Shackpets | Available on iOS and Google Play Store

Carmack's Thoughts on 3D, Motion, Dedicated Servers, and Cloud Gaming

During John Carmack's QuakeCon 2010 keynote address and Q&A session, he expressed thoughts and analysis based upon various gaming trends and technologies.

On 3D displays: Carmack is not a fan of 3D displays for actual 3D. While he does see some technical benefits to higher refresh rates, he remains "dubious about the real value to the consumer on 3D."

On motion controls: "If you've got a game that's finely tuned for one input device, it's not going to be better with a different one - I'm not a big booster of the current crop of motion stuff. It's not to say they're without value, but they're not of value to id [Software]."

On PC dedicated servers: John Carmack is "puzzled" that it's as big of an issue to gamers as it appears to be, based upon reactions to Modern Warfare 2's lack of dedicated servers. Carmack assures gamers that "there's no evil plan against dedicated servers," and for id Software it isn't something id has decided on yet for Rage. As a feature, id isn't "bullet-pointing [dedicated servers] very high," but he "expects it will be possible [to run a dedicated server] for Rage."

On Cloud gaming services: "Cloud gaming is interesting. I haven't tested the products out there now, but it's not exactly clear when the market will sustain it. There's no question that eventually that will be the model a lot of people will play games with." Carmack is also optimistic that cloud gaming will solve alleviate problems like draconian DRM and cross-platform development. Linux, for example, might benefit greatly from cloud gaming since native Linux ports of a game would no longer be required.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 13, 2010 12:34 PM

    If you're a game developer and you're puzzled at why such a huge part of your community is angry over something about video games, it behooves you as a developer to stop being puzzled and find out why. Then when you understand everyone's positions, you make your own position and defend it.

    • reply
      August 13, 2010 12:46 PM

      Yeah that part puzzled me. If you're not sure why your base is annoyed by something regarding online play. You should look into it? I figure if your game is meant to be played online that should be something of a concern to you as a developer.

      • reply
        August 13, 2010 12:51 PM

        I don't know.. I never really got the feeling Id (or Carmack) really cared too much about what their fans were saying about their games. They always kind of just did their own thing and if people liked it... they liked it and bought it. They have always sold enough games that way that they don't need to cater to one vocal group or another. They have always been good to their fans in terms of making modding easier and releasing code for free etc. But they've never really struck me as a team who would change something just because a group asked for it.

        • reply
          August 13, 2010 12:53 PM

          And I'm not saying that in a negative way to Id.. I actually respect this about them. They are the designers and architects.. they build it the way they want to... that's their right. They also happen to be damn good at what they do so they've been successful up until now (and I don't see that changing with Rage - it looks amazing so far).

          • reply
            August 14, 2010 4:35 AM

            They've been darn good at making engines, but IMO they haven't made a game I've wanted to buy since Quake 3. Back when all shooters and their storylines/multiplayer were simplistic, id stuff was great, but now that the industry is more complex, id is a bit dinosaurish....a really technically sound and intresting dinosaur.

            Rage looks pretty and I like that they're finding ways around the horrible limitations of console hardware, but gameplay wise I couldn't care less about the game and I have no intention of buying it despite my love for all of id's Q3 and earlier stuff.

            As for being puzzled about dedicated servers, that's been discussed successfully in other threads here, but I couldn't agree more....even if you're a horrible money-grubbing asshole who's not interested in catering to fans, you'd think you might want to un-puzzle yourself so you could understand the market for your games in order to sell more copies.

    • reply
      August 13, 2010 12:57 PM


      • reply
        August 13, 2010 1:37 PM

        You don't know that. :-)

      • reply
        August 13, 2010 4:21 PM

        Correction: He's sitting around sipping tea all day long, watching his own spaceships on virgin flight missions.

    • reply
      August 13, 2010 1:08 PM

      But if the why is due to unfounded fear, misinformation, or something to that effect then it explains why he's puzzled. If he's puzzled in the sense that 'all the complaints I see about no dedicated servers could still be accomplished without them and yet people complain' I don't see why that's a problem.

      • reply
        August 13, 2010 1:29 PM

        Yes, because we all bitch about the lack of dedicated servers out of unfounded fear, misinformation, or something to that effect.

      • reply
        August 13, 2010 1:42 PM

        There are a couple things inherent to dedicated servers:
        One central meeting place - getting the GTA4 shackbattle going is a big pain in the ass, especailly compared to BC2
        Sense of territory - "This is Our server. We run it how We like it."

        Then there are a couple things that have a history of associating with them:
        Typically a server has some kind of leased line, so it's got the network and compute power to support high level play. P2P is guaranteed to have some sort of resource sharing which itself may or may not affect the game.
        Mods / Customizations - The concept of "owning" a server goes hand in hand with hacker mentality

        It's typically these associated things that people are invested in, which yes - can be done on p2p (game modes in gta). I think the real fear is that PC gaming has had a long history of tweaking, modding, and getting exactly the experience you want. It's not about entitlement, it's about High Resolution Experience ( ). Any capability to add to something makes it yours in part. The concern is that these are too easy to cut with ballooning budgets and once they're gone, that will permenantly kill off a significant set of experiences.

        Also, I would honestly suck somebody's dick multiple times for Far Cry 2 modding tools. SM for details.

      • reply
        August 14, 2010 6:05 PM

        Explain how you would engineer host advantage away?

    • reply
      August 13, 2010 1:18 PM


      • reply
        August 13, 2010 1:30 PM

        You're right, but the other arguments around community, control, and longterm support are pretty simple to understand.

      • reply
        August 16, 2010 7:42 AM

        uplink on broadband is still crap and is made worse by

        -last mile issues esp from weather like rain causing packet loss
        -extra latency and packet loss from wifi aka laptop gaming
        -shared uplink channel on cable broadband (uplink will be worse depending on time of day)
        -p2p crap people are running in the background

        p2p gaming is nowhere near as good and we're not even getting into the problems with the matchmaking

Hello, Meet Lola