John Carmack resigns from id Software

John Carmack recently joined Oculus VR to serve as their chief technology officer, but remained at id Software. However, Carmack found working two jobs quite difficult, and has officially announced his resignation from the Doom and Quake developer.

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John Carmack recently joined Oculus VR to serve as their chief technology officer, but remained at id Software. However, Carmack found working two jobs quite difficult, and has officially announced his resignation from the Doom and Quake developer.

"I wanted to remain a technical adviser for Id, but it just didn't work out. Probably for the best, as the divided focus was challenging," he said on Twitter.

"John Carmack, who has become interested in focusing on things other than game development at id, has resigned from the studio," id studio director Tim Willits said in a statement to Polygon. "John's work on id Tech 5 and the technology for the current development work at id is complete, and his departure will not affect any current projects. We are fortunate to have a brilliant group of programmers at id who worked with John and will carry on id's tradition of making great games with cutting-edge technology. As colleagues of John for many years, we wish him well."

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  • reply
    November 22, 2013 12:40 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, John Carmack resigns from id Software.

    John Carmack recently joined Oculus VR to serve as their chief technology officer, but remained at id Software. However, Carmack found working two jobs quite difficult, and has officially announced his resignation from the Doom and Quake developer.

    • reply
      November 22, 2013 12:40 PM

      R.I.P.

    • reply
      November 22, 2013 12:40 PM

      RIP iD Software

    • reply
      November 22, 2013 12:42 PM

      RIP in peace. End of an Era™

    • reply
      November 22, 2013 12:46 PM

      Wow

      I'm not sure how to feel about this. I credit id games for my love of computers. Quake really got me looking behind the curtain and digging into tools. Eventual I had more fun setting up services, lans and building maps and skins then actually playing.

      Over the years what I found special about id games was lost. Definitely after q3, but even that was not the same. While I always appreciated the technical merits of the id game engines, the soul was missing. There was something that the other members of the team brought that got lost at some point. I dont know who was responsible or when it happened, but it did.

      With all that being said it is still sad to know that he has moved on.

      RIP id

    • reply
      November 22, 2013 12:48 PM

      Well fuck.

    • reply
      November 22, 2013 12:49 PM

      End of an era.

    • reply
      November 22, 2013 12:52 PM

      Cute quote: If they don't want me to talk on stage at Quakecon next year, we'll just have to fill up the lobby like the old days. :-)

    • reply
      November 22, 2013 12:53 PM

      Wow. Wonder how id will turn out now.

    • reply
      November 22, 2013 12:53 PM

      Whaaaaaaaaaa....

    • reply
      November 22, 2013 12:53 PM

      Thank id for all the great memories and moments for myself and those I got to share with friends. It was a unique experience we'll never get to experience again!

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      November 22, 2013 12:53 PM

      No big deal. For me, id has mostly been a sleeper company for the last ~14 years anyways.

    • reply
      November 22, 2013 12:53 PM

      [deleted]

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      November 22, 2013 12:55 PM

      that's great news, finally his work will benefit the gaming community again.

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        November 22, 2013 1:27 PM

        yeah when was the last time that company released a game of note. quake 2? yeah, yeah, i know you guys liked q3

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      November 22, 2013 12:57 PM

      11/22/13: His [Carmack's] departure will not affect any future projects.

      Twelve months later: id Software shuttered.

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 1:26 PM

        Yeah, I really don't see them surviving in the long term.

        • reply
          November 22, 2013 1:27 PM

          What if they went out and hired Romero back?

          They might still fail but the ride will at least be interesting.

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            November 22, 2013 1:49 PM

            I have to say Mr. Romero turns out to be a pretty awesome guy. I've run into him at GDC a bunch of times and despite having been a bit of a dramatic attention hog when he was younger he's pretty chill now days. Also his wife Brenda is even more awesome in terms of game design.

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              November 22, 2013 3:30 PM

              Last story about him sounded like he'd taken a pretty big drink from the apple cool-aid glass.

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 1:05 PM

        Yeah it's going to be kinda hard to be effective in even an advisory capacity on cutting edge tech issues in absentia

    • reply
      November 22, 2013 1:00 PM

      So basically they just made it official now what already took place.

      Just finished RAGE last night (first time) and it really let me reflect on how far id Software has fallen.

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      November 22, 2013 1:01 PM

      Shame but I reckon he needed the change, so do id. Great news for the Rift though.

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      November 22, 2013 1:06 PM

      Wow. Truly the end of an era. However, Oculus is a company moving in the right direction.

      Any chance we'll be seeing id tech 6, outside of branding purposes? Do you think those Kotaku reports of id being turned into a tech company if they can't get Doom together could even happen now since Carmack's left? I guess id's essentially a new studio leadership-wise. Is Kevin Cloud still there?

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        November 22, 2013 1:26 PM

        Am I alone in thinking the Oculus Rift is a neat idea for a toy or gimmick but not really something that's important?

        I admittedly have not tried one (despite having been at QuakeCon where they had it a few times) so I might change my tune but I personally have some thoughts on what I like about gaming, where I want to see gaming headed, and none of it involves strapping something to your head and looking like a bozo.

        I mean yeah if it winds up being this optional method of experiencing something (kinda like how weird mouse peripherals are optional ways of experiencing something) then that's fine but when I see comments like this saying that they're "moving in the right direction" it makes me think that the VR helmet things we see in sci-fi visions of what video games are like in the future is actually what people think they want and I just can't see it taking over.

        I mean what we really have here is Carmack who is rich as fuck and likes crazy expensive toys deciding that he wants to play somewhere else now (and kudos to him, I'd love to just do whatever the fuck I want and get paid for it) but I don't know if it's possible to not read more into it.

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          November 22, 2013 1:41 PM

          At the very least, it's a cool experiment, right? He probably wants a change. id seems to have had some serious trouble the past couple of years with the Rage and Doom 4 teams having problems gelling on the rebooted project. I mean they were hiring a creative director a couple of months ago!

          Carmack's a legend. He's done enough. id used to the best games company in the world, but that was a long time ago. It must be liberating leaving all that history behind and starting over at a relatively new company.

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          November 22, 2013 1:41 PM

          I agree for the most part, but not the part about how you look when you have it on.

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          November 22, 2013 1:52 PM

          I assumed it was a gimmick until I tried one. It still needs work, higher rez, games designed for it from scratch... but it's the real deal. It really convinces your brain in some fundamental way that you are in a different place. It's kind of scary but it really does change everything... who knew that all that VR hype and dreaming of the past 20 years would turn out to be real...

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          November 22, 2013 1:58 PM

          There's two major things that make what they're doing unique:
          #1 is accurate head-tracking (sub-20ms updates). This increases immersion massively for the players in a way that most people do not appreciate until they experience it.
          #2 is accurate depth-perception. Unlike Nvidia's 3D mode, the depth here has a significantly better convergence point that follows your head movement (it's still not accurate, aka, it does not track eye movement to lock a proper focal and convergence point) - But it is a significant step up from the flawed convergence point parallax problem that static-positioned monitors have.

          The immersion factor is massive, but until you've experienced it you do not understand how much more it can add to many games. Trying it out with something like Amnesia or Project C.A.R.S. is... you have to experience it to understand why people who use or develop for it are calling it the future of display technology. Until you have, you just will not understand.

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            November 22, 2013 3:12 PM

            Something I've always wondered about this is how do you look behind yourself? Turning your head 180 degrees while sitting down isn't exactly doable.

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              November 22, 2013 3:18 PM

              Move the mouse/controller slightly and then turn your head. The FOV for the Occulus is a lot wider than a monitor (and configurable by the user).

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            November 22, 2013 6:19 PM

            Oculus Rift is actually not meant to have a convergence point in the render at all. The render cameras should be parallel. You can't get away with that on a movie screen, but for the Rift it works.

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          November 22, 2013 3:25 PM

          There are huge applications outside of gaming

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          November 22, 2013 6:10 PM

          You gotta think past the current gen. Some day, probably not even that far in the future, there will be a device that's like a Rift and a google glass all in one, except ten times better then both at what they do now. Also there will be thousands of apps for it. Monitors are going away.

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            November 22, 2013 7:09 PM

            Yeah you sound like Dean Kamen telling us how one day the Segway will take over the world and people will design cities with it in mind.

            Segway being one of the comparison points as to why Google Glass is going to bomb. At least with normal people anyway.

            Or for that matter people who think tablets are going to replace all PC's one day.

            It's not going to happen.

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              November 22, 2013 7:26 PM

              Dean Kamen gave a keynote speech at my college, while standing on a Segway.

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              November 22, 2013 7:35 PM

              The segway offered almost no value proposition to the average person, the current equivalent would be CastAR - cool tech/solution, but useless to most people. Almost everyone could have an experience they enjoy in VR, its just a matter of if it gets sidelined into the cultural ghetto of video games, since those are the tools and skills that will be applied first.

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              November 22, 2013 7:48 PM

              You are really trolling hard here... tablets, Segway and Google glass? lol... Not a good week at work?

              You should at least try the OR before saying it won't amount to shit because all I see is video after video of people trying the thing out and leaving their jaws on the floor afterwards. It's an immersion device that people have immediate and highly favorable reactions to, what more do you need? The OR guys have put their shit out there and it's getting extremely positive feedback.

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                November 23, 2013 6:00 AM

                Saying that an OR is a cool device that maybe will go places, sure - I can get behind that.

                Saying that an OR is going to replace monitors entirely? That's some serious internet hypochondriac shit right there.

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          November 22, 2013 6:26 PM

          I've always hoped for a Free space 3 with the oculus rift.

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      November 22, 2013 1:19 PM

      man that really sucks.

      if it were like 15 years ago.

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      November 22, 2013 1:21 PM

      id's Doomed.

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        November 22, 2013 1:22 PM

        When he found out, Willits was full of Rage.

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          November 22, 2013 1:28 PM

          The rest of the Keen programmers are now Quaking with fear.

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            November 22, 2013 1:53 PM

            They'll always have a home in wolfenstein.

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              November 22, 2013 5:40 PM

              But they'll have to stay in the Catacomb of that place.

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            November 22, 2013 1:56 PM

            I was really Commander Keen for him to stay at id, but maybe Wolfenstein at the same company for too long is a bad idea. Now that his time is Rescue Rover and he's slipped into the Shadow Knights, I'm sure he'll make plenty of money to put in his Hovertank account.

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      November 22, 2013 1:22 PM

      Next up: Zenimax buys Oculus Rift makers.

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        November 22, 2013 1:25 PM

        That's what happened to Jeff Green. He left EA in August 2010, then went to PopCap in November or Decemner 2010... and then EA acquired PopCap in 2011.

    • reply
      November 22, 2013 1:26 PM

      "What is iD? Pete Hines, don't hurt me.... Don't hurt me... No more..."

      (head bob via Doom II idle sprite animation)

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      November 22, 2013 1:40 PM

      The Oculus Rift is cool and all, but it's gonna be like the Segway. It will disappear.

      Sigh.

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      November 22, 2013 1:53 PM

      Nooooo!!!!! It's the end of the world! Carmack and iD are like peanut butter and jelly! He's an icon! The equivalent of a Twinkie! Why cruel world? Why? Gimme back my Twinkie!

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      November 22, 2013 1:53 PM

      Rip ID software.

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      November 22, 2013 2:03 PM

      [deleted]

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        November 22, 2013 2:16 PM

        Yep. As a fan of the Oculus Rift, I'm happy that he's putting his total focus into it.

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      November 22, 2013 2:17 PM

      omg end of pc gaming!!!!!1

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      November 22, 2013 2:41 PM

      Whelp, certainly the end of an era. But its a good move for him. I'm excited to see what he does at Oculus.

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      November 22, 2013 2:52 PM

      Lots of rumors before this years keynote that it would be his last.

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      November 22, 2013 3:16 PM

      I think the RAGE engine was proof that Carmack has kind of lost it for a while now.

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        November 22, 2013 3:21 PM

        bullshit

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          November 22, 2013 3:38 PM

          Other developers are pushing graphics engines in better ways than Carmack has for the past 10 years. Crytek is one example.

          He's no longer the god he once was, and he never really cared about good game design anyway.

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            November 22, 2013 3:39 PM

            I do think the stuff he's doing at Oculus is fantastic though. That's the kind of shit he should be doing these days.

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            November 22, 2013 3:41 PM

            Show me a single game/engine with such level of optimization, level of details and buttery 60 fps perfofmance !!

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            November 22, 2013 4:34 PM

            You're confusing "look" with "technology." John is a technology guy, not an artist.

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              November 22, 2013 5:26 PM

              I don't see how this simple fact has eluded so many people for so long.

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            November 22, 2013 4:47 PM

            And CryEngine runs on mobile does it?

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              November 22, 2013 4:58 PM

              And neither does id Tech 5.

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                November 22, 2013 5:22 PM

                [deleted]

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                  November 22, 2013 5:28 PM

                  What I showed was a technology demo, written from scratch, but using the RAGE content creation pipeline and media. We do not have the full RAGE game running on iOS, and we do not plan to try. While it would (amazingly!) actually be possible to compile the full-blown PC/console RAGE game for an iPhone4 with some effort, it would be a hopelessly bad idea. Even the latest and greatest mobile devices are still a fraction of the power of a 360 or PS3, let alone a high end gaming PC, so none of the carefully made performance tradeoffs would be appropriate for the platform, to say nothing of the vast differences in controls.
                  -John Carmack
                  http://www.bethblog.com/2010/10/29/john-carmack-discusses-rage-on-iphoneipadipod-touch/

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            November 22, 2013 5:42 PM

            I disagree completely. He might have not adjusted to the realities of the industry (which is an entirely different issue) - or maybe he's thinking too far ahead for the general audience (having a game running at 60 FPS WILL be important) - but to claim that technically he's not relevant, sorry, but you're mistaken.

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            November 22, 2013 6:18 PM

            I'm going to assume you meant he is no longer the singular pinnacle engine tech programmer that he used to be, and that is probably true. Where once he was alone by himself at the top now there is a larger group... Dice guys, Crytek guys, Sweeney/Epic, Valve probably...

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              November 22, 2013 6:48 PM

              but remember John was doing it himself for the most part

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              November 23, 2013 1:20 AM

              I think thats the point really. The old way, with one sole genius forging ahead isn't really feasible anymore.

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            November 22, 2013 9:55 PM

            I don't think it has to do with his abilities... I think it is more about his focus. I don't think his heart has been in game engines for a while now. I think it was just kind of a day job for him.

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        November 22, 2013 3:21 PM

        crazy talk

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          November 22, 2013 3:41 PM

          Nah man that thing is a mess with texture streaming issues and the annoying tools you need to deal with compiling the environment art to game ready assets.

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            November 22, 2013 4:31 PM

            The "issues" were fixed literally 2-3 days after release. People whining about it lasts years though.

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        November 22, 2013 3:48 PM

        Technically it was incredible, but it was unfortunately too far ahead of it's time for modern storage & distribution technology, which limited the texture detail level.

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        November 22, 2013 4:33 PM

        Let me get this straight. You think the technology that allows artists to choose exactly where they spend all of their memory budget while maintaining 60 Hz is proof that John has lost his edge?

        I realize people are not in love with Rage for various reasons, but technologically it was pretty amazing. As a result, I hear developers talking about megatexturing with a lot of regularity.

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        November 22, 2013 4:38 PM

        [deleted]

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        November 22, 2013 6:16 PM

        I disagree, RAGE running at 60fps on 360 was one of the most impressive things I've seen on the thing. It had Gears level graphics and ran at twice the framerate.

        It even looked good in split screen and not like total garbage like most games do.

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 11:02 PM

        Yep. The texture streaming mess and the lack of good lighting in indoors. The game looks very "flat" indoors - like a game from the early 2000s.

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      November 22, 2013 3:23 PM

      Not surprising. The writing was on the wall when he became Oculus CTO.

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      November 22, 2013 4:27 PM

      In the long run, Carmack will be remembered long after Tim Sweeney, but business-wise, Sweeney did the right thing by sticking with his role as programmer.

      id is an example of what happens when a programmer takes control of a company.

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        November 22, 2013 5:52 PM

        Carmack very explicitly refused to take part in game design at any point except Quake 3. I don't know why people think Carmack designed their games, they don't hire all those other people to sit around and tell Carmack he's awesome.

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          November 22, 2013 5:54 PM

          He did dictate design to a degree. His tech choices directly impacted the games id was working on.

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          November 23, 2013 1:23 AM

          He threatened to walk out of the company several times unless the team agreed to make the game he wanted to make. He also used his position to have people fired that disagreed with his design principles.

          He might have not had a direct influence on minute game design details, but his ideas dictated what games id have made since Romero left.

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            November 23, 2013 2:29 AM

            Bullshit, Adrian Carmack was the asshole who disagreed with the rest of the team, John Carmack then threatened to leave if Adrian didn't cut out his crap. Adrian was the one who fired someone (Paul Steed), and it's no surprise he got forced out of id later for being such a shitbag.

            John Carmack has typically always said he designs technology to support the developers and artists (which is why he focused on giving the artists more freedom with MegaTextures instead of masturbating over every new whizbang trick like CryTek). The two examples of him making design decisions I can think of are the lack of a use key in Doom 3 instead favoring the mouse driven GUI system, and the focus of atmosphere in Doom 3...which unfortunately got gutted by the time the final game came out. The leaked alpha was a far more compelling experience...movement was slower, making you pay more attention to the environment...your pistol fucking exploded when you fired it, the sounds in the final game are pathetic...zombies would get back up, so after creeping through some corridors and taking out a few zombies, you'd suddenly realize they've gotten back back up and are creeping on you. And of course you could stand on them so they couldn't get back up, which was just really funny.

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            November 26, 2013 1:02 AM

            Haha, you really mixed up the names there!

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        November 26, 2013 1:03 AM

        He took control of the whole company? Are you serious?

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      November 22, 2013 4:36 PM

      Been thinking about this guys...what are the chances he and Romero could start something again?

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        November 22, 2013 4:37 PM

        they could start something sure, I don't know why you'd expect it to be good though

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      November 22, 2013 4:37 PM

      Well that's great. Pour out a cold one for ol' John. Somebody tell Romero id has an opening.

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      November 22, 2013 5:30 PM

      That's great for Oculus. I can't wait to see the results of Carmack's works.

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      November 22, 2013 5:35 PM

      After the huge disappointment that was Rage I don't really give a shit.

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      November 22, 2013 5:39 PM

      Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh sheeeeeeeeeit

      (it's about time.)

    • reply
      November 22, 2013 6:35 PM

      Doom 4 now an RPG in the Gamebryo engine.

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      November 22, 2013 6:38 PM

      I'm excited about this.

      If John can do for early VR what he did for early 3D engines, I think we are going to see some REALLY exciting technology.

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      November 22, 2013 6:46 PM

      Carmack is synonymous with ID. Any shortcomings in ID's later games are unfairly blamed on him. I dismiss it all as blissful ignorance. He changed gaming as we know it, and he's in the right place to do it again. Sad, and yet so incredibly exciting.

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 6:50 PM

        Didnt John just do the engine I think the other stuff was done by other???

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          November 22, 2013 7:49 PM

          Its was all Romero.

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          November 23, 2013 6:22 AM

          Oversimplification. I think he was very involved in the design of the games early on.

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      November 22, 2013 6:54 PM

      hey, id software is hiring!
      http://jobs.zenimax.com/locations/view/1

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      November 22, 2013 7:31 PM

      My early days of gaming/internet is crashing down on me first Winamp and now this what will be next!?!?

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 7:33 PM

        http://www.tucows.com/ shutting down.

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 7:34 PM

        bluesnews to close

        • reply
          November 22, 2013 10:00 PM

          fuck no, I still go there daily

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          November 22, 2013 10:32 PM

          I'd be devastated. I don't know what I'd do if that ever came to be.

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          November 23, 2013 6:02 AM

          I still subscribe to bluesnews' RSS feed but it's sort of pointless - every story is "Evening Screenshots" and not useful at a glance.

          Still I'm fascinated that he's still doing that site, by himself I assume, and making enough money to survive (I can't imagine he'd be doing it on the side)

          • reply
            November 23, 2013 6:23 AM

            If he's doing it on the side, he's working his ass off!

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 7:41 PM

        Shacknews

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 7:57 PM

        your 56k modem

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 7:58 PM

        Happypuppy shutting down

        • reply
          November 22, 2013 8:07 PM

          zombo.com decided that nothing is possible

          • reply
            November 22, 2013 9:00 PM

            the last AYB image is deleted from the internet

        • reply
          November 22, 2013 8:59 PM

          what was that aol keyword gaming thing... like antagonistic gamers or something.

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 8:57 PM

        Qwop will become ptw. Start out with just q and then buy the rest of the letters.

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 9:14 PM

        early internet keywords:

        id
        apogee
        shareware
        .plan
        fingers
        56k
        3dfiles.com
        voodooextreme

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 9:14 PM

        its gonna be gaming piracy

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 9:24 PM

        Hamsters to give up dancing

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 9:26 PM

        the cow stopped spinning

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 9:38 PM

        the few remaining "ate my balls" sites quietly remove their webring links

        • reply
          November 22, 2013 9:48 PM

          How will they do this now that front page won't install on Windows 7?

        • reply
          November 22, 2013 10:31 PM

          I was just telling some Googlers about ate my balls webring sites the other day. They were too young to have seen them :(

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 9:55 PM

        Homestar Walker

      • reply
        November 22, 2013 11:03 PM

        HTTP

        • reply
          November 23, 2013 12:32 AM

          Hardcore Transgender Tentacle Porn?

          • reply
            November 23, 2013 1:46 AM

            OH HELL NO YOU KEEP YOUR FILTHY PAWS OFF THAT ONE!

      • reply
        November 23, 2013 2:42 AM

        I wonder if that cow is still spinning

      • reply
        November 23, 2013 6:34 AM

        All these base will no longer belong to us.

    • reply
      November 22, 2013 10:40 PM

      well damn.

    • reply
      November 22, 2013 11:31 PM

      Holy shit! Well this just makes me more excited for the future of Oculus!

      He said himself in a recent interview that there is almost no room for more innovation in 3D renderers comparatively speaking. He wants to work where he can make the most difference, and he probably felt like he was just iterating at id. I can't wait to see what he does with the next rift!

    • reply
      November 23, 2013 6:21 AM

      I blame you guys! All you filthy shackers that hated DooM3!!

    • reply
      November 23, 2013 6:53 AM

      So sad :-(

    • reply
      November 23, 2013 10:31 AM

      This is amazing news. He can make a huge difference now that he's at Occulus instead of working on antiquated shooters.

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