QuakeCon keynote tidbits: Doom 4 in 'Bethesda mode'

John Carmack spoke for almost three hours during his keynote at QuakeCon. Here's a quick run down of some of the highlights, including a brief tidbit on why there has been no info on Doom 4.

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John Carmack's keynote is always one of the highlights at QuakeCon. While much of what he says goes above and beyond the comprehension of the average Joe, this year's three-plus hour presentation by the id Software guru offered some interesting tidbits beyond his apology for the state of Rage for the PC at release, and his disinterest in the Windows 8 OS. Perhaps the most interesting revelation was the odd status of Doom 4.

Carmack said that people have been asking a lot about the game but he just can't talk about it. "Doom 4 is being done in 'Bethesda mode' where we're still not talking about it. It's done when it's done and we don't want people reading more into it than they should."

Other notes:

  • Carmack thinks the new Ouya console is a "longshot." He said it is possible it can succeed, but he feels it's nicer to program for Linux than to do it for Android. "It's neat that they want to cater to indie developers, but I don't think that's something a business can run on."

  • He said that he and the team cannot answer any questions about the next generation of consoles. "We are bound by NDAs and stuff. We just can't talk about it."

  • id software has stopped its mobile development. "The Bethesda family is all about swinging for the fences," he said, and mobile no longer fits in the company's plans. "I do regret not being able to work on mobile projects more."

  • Mac is still a viable platform for id and he suspects it could be more important down the road because of OS changes that will help the company as a whole. He also said Linux has become much more of a factor with Valve announcing Steam for Linux.

Carmack also talked a lot his work with virtual reality and trying to come up with a headset that could take VR to a level where it would be viable for games. He said he ran into numerous obstacles until he saw what Palmer Luckey was working on. Carmack was so impressed he started to optimize Doom 3 BFG for the VR display. Luckey launched a Kickstarter for the development of the Oculus Rift goggles two days ago, and the project has already gathered more than four times the initial $250,000 sought. We will get a demonstration of the VR display later today, so stay tuned for our report.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 3, 2012 7:15 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, QuakeCon keynote tidbits: Doom 4 in 'Bethesda mode'.

    John Carmack spoke for almost three hours during his keynote at QuakeCon. Here's a quick run down of some of the highlights, including a brief tidbit on why there has been no info on Doom 4.

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      August 3, 2012 7:23 AM

      \m/ Keefer

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      August 3, 2012 7:27 AM

      Very nice info John good stuff, looking forward to your VR article later on.

      Any chance you can gank a Doom 4 screen shot for us :)

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      August 3, 2012 7:45 AM

      Reading between the lines, it doesn't sound like Carmack is pleased with some of Bethesda's policies and goals. I know he enjoyed mobile development, and if he wants to bring more id classics to mobile, he should be allowed to do that. He's a diverse guy with diverse interests and doesn't like to stick to doing one thing all day every day. He enjoyed porting Wolf3D and Doom to mobile because it offered a new challenge. A bored Carmack is not good for anybody, owners or consumers.

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        August 3, 2012 7:49 AM

        Carmack Leaves id Software, forms new independent development studio with John Romero

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          August 3, 2012 7:50 AM

          yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

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            August 3, 2012 7:51 AM

            sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

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              August 3, 2012 8:21 AM

              Purchased by EA

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                August 3, 2012 8:23 AM

                nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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                  August 3, 2012 9:34 AM

                  exclusive doom 4 on origin!

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                    August 3, 2012 10:40 AM

                    Day 1 DLC - 20 new Monster Closets!

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                      August 3, 2012 11:19 AM

                      Carmack retires from game development, launches himself...TO THE MOON!

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                        August 3, 2012 5:27 PM

                        Discovers that dust from the Moon can somehow be digested, leading to much energy - returns back to Earth again - starts creating a new game engine!

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          August 3, 2012 8:35 AM

          ...And calls it Eye-Dee Software

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          August 3, 2012 9:27 AM

          That would be terrible.

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          August 3, 2012 9:33 AM

          *throws up in mouth a little*

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          August 3, 2012 10:23 AM

          0h, gawd, yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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          August 3, 2012 10:26 AM

          They should call it: ego Software LLC.

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          August 3, 2012 12:30 PM

          Both of them were at their best together, and neither has worked on a game I've enjoyed since.

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            August 3, 2012 12:46 PM

            Agreed.

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              August 3, 2012 5:55 PM

              vincent, crustar, how come you guys didnt like quake 3?

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                August 3, 2012 6:56 PM

                No SP campaign. Quake 1 was also the better DM game (partially because of Romero's input!).

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            August 3, 2012 5:56 PM

            Weird, I thought Quake3 was pretty universally loved.

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          August 3, 2012 2:28 PM

          O_O I would give them all of my moneys.

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          August 3, 2012 2:58 PM

          All I gotta say is

          ...Q1DM3

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          August 3, 2012 4:31 PM

          Will never happen.

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          August 3, 2012 5:53 PM

          Fuck no.

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          August 3, 2012 10:51 PM

          Would be so awesome

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        August 3, 2012 8:24 AM

        He probably can't leave due to buyout contract stipulations, but yeah, it seems insane that you have a huge, growing market, and a guy interested and capable of making incredible tech for iOS, and to just leave that money on the table is kind of baffling.

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      August 3, 2012 8:20 AM

      I'm no PR Professional, but whole 'Bethesda Mode' thing doesn't seem like very smart marketing. Muzzling Carmack, leaving the people that actually liked RAGE in the dark re: mod tools and DLC, and doing this whole 'not officially announced' thing for a product we all know they're working on... I dunno, does anyone else have an opinion about this?

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        August 3, 2012 8:26 AM

        Carmack might be a little *too* all over the place. Obviously he's brilliant, but I don't think they want to put him so far into research scientist mode that he's not serving the best interests of core products. Maybe they need a 20% rule for him :D

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        August 3, 2012 11:15 AM

        Carmack is used to being independent for years.

        I guess he 's not used to go with all the pr from HQ.

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        August 3, 2012 12:08 PM

        It's better than how we were beaten over the head with Rage footage for soooo long and it ended up bad.

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        August 3, 2012 12:10 PM

        Maybe he should work @ Valve, though I doubt that he'd be willing to rellocate.

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        August 3, 2012 2:04 PM

        At least he didn't call it "3D Realms mode"

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      August 3, 2012 8:24 AM

      If Linux and Mac got some dev tools that made it easier to write cross-platform code, things could get really interesting. Does Unreal Engine support either of those? I don't even know.

      I'd really like to see OS's competing for marketshare in PC gaming. Microsoft has taken an approach to it that's been borderline negligent, and if nothing else lighting a fire under their ass would be a good thing.

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        August 3, 2012 8:26 AM

        The only thing holding back Linux and OSX gaming is graphics card drivers. As he said in the keynote, if intel integrated graphics becomes standard, it would level the playing field.

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          August 3, 2012 8:33 AM

          I can't listen to the keynote at work yet, but that's an interesting claim. You'd think that it wouldn't be horrendously difficult to get at least NV *or* ATI on board with comprehensive rendering support, if not a ton of features.

          But it seems like that's an oversimplification in any case. Does he mean it's the only thing holding *his* projects back? Because a giant part of the rest of the world relies on copious use of third party middleware and engines that would need to also work on other platforms.

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            August 3, 2012 8:38 AM

            An id or Epic engine is always going to try to be bleeding edge, which is where the graphics drivers are the most finicky. OSX and Linux have drivers that will always be second class to ATI/nVidia, and those engines will have a little trouble. Source and Unity are traditionally more conservative, and probably have an easier time going cross platform.

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            August 3, 2012 8:42 AM

            Nvidia have drivers that are fine as far as general use goes. They're obviously close source and the performance isn't quite as good as Windows, but they're more than usable.

            I don't honestly know what state the ATI drivers are in; I know they made a show of releasing at least some of their documentation so open source guys could write for them, but I don't know if it ever came together. Haven't owned ATI in a while.

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        August 3, 2012 9:29 AM

        people would boot into linux to play a game? or they would switch over entirely to linux if some of their games were on linux? this does not make sense to me

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          August 3, 2012 10:13 AM

          I would absolutely boot into Linux if there were no compatibility issues with gaming. That's basically the primary reason I stopped using Linux.

          I don't think it's the easiest thing in the works for developers to support multiple platforms, but if people can't trust Microsoft to be a stable host, then that's how it's going to go. We'd probably see some good tools and libraries for writing cross-platform code if the demand were there.

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            August 3, 2012 10:20 AM

            im picturing my steam library and thinking oh i want to play game X but i need to boot into my other OS for that because it only supports windows or linux. that just sounds like a clusterfuck i dont want to deal with.

            i can barely muster up the effort involved to even INSTALL some of my steam sale games, but if its gonna make me reboot, then i am doomed LOL

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              August 3, 2012 10:35 AM

              Well, it's definitely trouble if you have to reboot for a single game, I agree with that. I also think that Linux probably still has significant short-comings, although I haven't used it in awhile.

              Life would be great if Microsoft were reliable. However, I have what I believe are legitimate concerns that they're going to try to be "creative" with their revenue generation soon, by leveraging their near-complete monopoly on the PC desktop to force people to send more month their way through other markets. It's well-known that Microsoft has routinely fucked up nearly every emerging market they've tried to enter, and that Ballmer is practically incompetent as a technology CEO, so it wouldn't be surprising at all if they started flailing wildly as tech sector competition mounts and their stranglehold on the desktop OS market isn't enough to satisfy shareholders.

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          August 3, 2012 10:39 AM

          if i had a good chunk of my games working in linux, i wouldn't have a reason to boot into windows

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          August 3, 2012 2:47 PM

          I would use linux 100% of the time if I could play games on it.

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          August 4, 2012 2:11 PM

          I would like to make the full on jump to Linux. The problem for me is there is a whole host of other software that doesn't offer any or good Linux support. There are alternatives for many Windows applications in Linux or even a Linux version, but for productivity software where there isn't a Linux version of it, they're aren't good enough alternatives.

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      August 3, 2012 11:01 AM

      so is it i - d software,

      or id software, like ehd?

      • Ebu
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        August 3, 2012 2:07 PM

        id, like did
        Or like the concept of the id.

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        August 3, 2012 2:12 PM

        pronounce the "i" like the word "irrelevant"

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      August 3, 2012 11:17 AM

      It'll be interesting to see what happens with his "VR" Goggles...

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        August 3, 2012 11:23 AM

        Far as I can tell, he's not working on the hardware anymore. He stopped working on that when the Oculus Rift guys demo'd their stuff. I suspect he'll just provide software support and content to them.

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          August 3, 2012 12:32 PM

          Oh gotcha. I thought Carmack was the man behind Oculus Rift. That clears things up a bit.

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      August 3, 2012 4:18 PM

      So... don't ask questions about Doom 4... not allowed to talk about next generation consoles... is there a relationship between these two items? Doom 4 launch title for Xbox 720 anybody? I could see that happening.

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        August 3, 2012 5:10 PM

        The game is at least a year and a half away, which is close enough to the presumed launch of next gen that it's hard to imagine it won't be, considering how it's right up to the edge of current hardware.

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      August 3, 2012 5:51 PM

      I await what you have to say about demonstration with the Oculus goggles.

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      August 3, 2012 6:28 PM

      Anyone have a link to the keynote?

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      August 3, 2012 9:54 PM

      Would rather have "Build Engine" mode

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      August 6, 2012 6:07 AM

      God damn it, Bethesda, shutting down id's mobile efforts.

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        August 6, 2012 7:53 AM

        mobile fpses are basically aids anyway