John Carmack "not all that excited" by next-gen hardware

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Alucardx23, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Alucardx23

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    This guy is amazing, he is single handedly making big jumps in VR technology, I know that most of us in this forum would pay 600+ for a real VR experience, imagine a game like Silent Hill or Heavy Rain with this technology done the right way, that's the REAL jump I would like to have from the next console generation. :smile:

    "Virtual reality, once thought of as a gimmicky, far-fetched idea, is becoming reality, and id Software's John Carmack is pushing hard to make VR headsets a part of every gamer's standard equipment."

    "It won't sweep the world in a year or two, but so much of what we've always been trying to do with games is simulate that holodeck experience and put you in a different world. This could do it in a way that you could never, ever get in a traditional game," he continued. "The thing is, when you walk around E3, you are still looking into a screen playing an interactive movie. That's just not the same level of experience that you get with this. You can integrate additional factors of actual motion. With a different sensor on here, you can get down on your hands and knees and put your hands on the virtual floor. That's really, really cool."

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articl...ack-not-all-that-excited-by-next-gen-hardware

    E3 2012: John Carmack Interview
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYa8kirsUfg
     
  2. Arwin

    Arwin Now Officially a Top 10 Poster
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    I think all the current next-gen hardware manufacturors know: Sony knows (lots of 3D, motion and glasses work), Microsoft knows (they have a big project as we saw in the documents) ...

    I think it may be a while yet, but I agree that this is definitely going to happen, hopefully it won't take too long. It will of course also show that we will need more performance for a good while yet, and that diminished returns in terms of graphics fidelity are farther off than we may think. That of course, is not to say that there isn't a lot or even more money to be made in low-fi gaming, by the way, so financially there are definitely more diminishing returns than in terms of demand for actual quality gain in certain applications.
     
  3. Rangers

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    I thought this article was pretty interesting, seems Carmack basically drove a stake in the ground and said "head mounted displays are the future of gaming". He even said MS should have gone for HMD rather than Kinect! Really big comments imo.

    Not having played with one I have no idea if the tech is that compelling.

    I do think for years Carmack has been tired of gaming, more interested in rocketry and gizmos, and it shows. For all intents and purposes he's lost relevance, and his continued belief that graphics are no longer important is the key to his and his companies "downfall" (if you can call sitting on piles of money from his past a downfall for Carmack :razz:). Look at Halo 4, literally probably 70% of the reason I'm so excited about that game is because it looks so damn pretty. Explain that in your worldview, Carmack.

    Plus, Rage besides having only decent graphics, really didnt look "right" to me, megatexture looks off. Crysis 2 looked better with lots of dynamism rather than everything static! And if you blame 60 FPS, the leaked Doom 3 screens didn't look any better.
     
  4. tuna

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    Which do you think is more fun to play?
     
  5. Rangers

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    havent played rage but crysis 2 is pretty good imo.

    Why?

    I guess in the abstract you'd think the more dynamic game with more interactivity, which wont be the megatexture game...

    unless you're pointing at 60 fps...anyway "user reviews" of RAGE on forums like Neogaf were definitely mixed IIRC
     
  6. Prophecy2k

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    I think stuff like HMDs and 3D and motion controls (1:1 motion tracking, not necessarily pointer controls) are great for games like FPS where the focus is creating a nice immersive experience.

    But as things progress, you get to the point where things like the abstraction of the control interface, the surreality of the graphics and the limits of player agency begin to dwindle. And then all your left with is a game where it's a digitally rendered representation of you, in a world that looks just like the one we live in. To me that just seems boring... I don't play games to be "me in my current life". I play games to take on the role of much more interesting characters, doing much more interesting things than the mundane stuff i do in my life. It's escapism, but the more you make it look and feel like the real world, the less it seems you're actually getting away from that by actually playing the games.
     
  7. tuna

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    60 fps makes it possible to have different game mechanics. It is pretty pointless to compare games if you have not played them.

    And how can you see if everything is static if you have not actually played the game?
     
  8. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    How good wouold a HMD be for LBP? Diablo? Wii FIt? Paper Mario? For first-person or chase-cam, an HDM simulating being there would be great. But that's a niche of gaming and a system based around it would severly truncate its market. I think Carmac has lost the plot on this one.
     
  9. jonabbey

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    I remember going to SIGGRAPH Dallas in 1990 when Jaron Lanier was leading the baby VR boom. The tech was honestly too primitive back then (remember Dactyl Terror?), but it's been 22 years, it's got to be time for another go at it.
     
  10. Scott_Arm

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    I think it's a worthwhile endeavor. There is also someone working on this at Valve, I think. That said, I don't think it's the best choice for all games. There is something to be said about being able to play a game without being completely detached from the world around you.
     
  11. bkilian

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    And besides, HMD is ok, but for proper immersion, you need force feedback (ie, an expensive suit) and the ability to move around (ie, an even more expensive moving platform).

    Oh god, I just thought of the best exercise game ever. imagine having to actually walk the real distances you're going in Skyrim...
     
  12. Scott_Arm

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    The day gamers get strapped into suits and helmets to play games is the day gamers start shitting their pants, because they held it too long during a WOW raid and couldn't get out of the suit in time.
     
  13. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    This exactly. The future of gaming isn't limited to tps/fps/racing. HMD needs to clear a lot of hurdles, not the least of which is being tethered to a box by headgear.
     
  14. Rangers

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    What different mechanics does Rage have as a result of 60 FPS?

    And what does playing it or fun have to do with me saying it doesn't look "right" to me, or that great? I'm not about to go play a game I dont have desire too for the sake of a message board dispute lol.

    Heres a example pic, the skybox just looks off in megatexture http://www.unitlost.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/doom-4.jpg
     
  15. Shifty Geezer

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    Well, on Carmac's new console I guess that will be all it can play. ;) Someone should develop HMD for FPs games, absolutely, but as a plug-in add-on for a console.

    Also how would it work for gaming in a chair? I think it'd be a bit unnatural, although gamers may acclimatise. But if you turn your head right to look over there, and then turn the controller right, what you were looking at will pass left across your FOV because you'll be turning a virtual player who's head is to the right. Players would have to learn to track objects with their head as the thumbstick turns. Super-fast shooters would be impossible. Definitely, a complete immersion surround vision and sound system would be an incredible experience, dropping you in a warzone or somesuch. But the actual playability might suffer, and it's not an easy fix with handheld controls. You'd need to at least be standing and moving. And things like leg-tracking would be impossible without amazing haptics, because when you moved your real leg to tread on a virtual log, you'd see your virtual leg hit the log while you'd feel your real leg pass through it. that's just not going to work.

    I just think the idea is a little overrated.
     
  16. Richard

    Richard Mord's imaginary friend
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    I've said it before: the problem with VR is how user conveys movement, not head-tracking. It doesn't matter if they're able to sell those goggles for 50 euros, I'm not going to put them on my head if I have to press buttons/sticks to move my character around. What happens when you have to look down at your controller, or <shudder> your keyboard?

    Btw, having beat both Rage and Crysis 2, Crysis 2 is superior in almost every single way games can be compared. Rage is longer, character animation transition to ragdoll is better and... hmm... that's pretty much it. Oh the dialogue is _slightly_ more memorable. Crysis 2 had more evolved core gameplay mechanics (move, shoot, look), better graphics even pre-DX11+HD texture patches, better music, better plot, a hundred fold more dynamic level design. Crysis 2 also had an infinitely less shittier ending than Rage's. Without hyperbole, Rage's ending was the worst, most abrupt, most mind-numbing, least satisfactory ending I've ever experienced. Even my old Speccy and NES games had better endings, wall-o-text and all! Finally, Rage also had one "feature" that automatically made it a worse game:
    INVISIBLE.WALLS.EVERY.10.FEET.MOTHER.TRUCKER.
    Besides, the mythic 60fps was a lie, on PC anyway. Because of "API limitations" the game is constantly dropping AND tearing frames with their new fangled "smart" vsync giving you usually 55-58fps on a 60hz monitor which makes the game feel laggier than it really is. DOOM 3 was the complete opposite: 30fps felt like 40.

    Anyway (sorry for the rant), misleading article title. JC doesn't mean to say the next gen hardware is not exciting which is what the headline implies. He does say some... hypocritical things about the next-gen (and current gen consoles). For instance:

    So why doesn't the PC port of Rage have the texture resolution shown in Rage screenshots from 2010 and 2009? Seems to me today's technology cannot do a good job representing a two year old creative vision.

    If graphics are not that important compared to new types of interactions why did they not release a Wii version of Rage that used the Wiimote to fling your no-skill-instant-kill boomerangs using iRage's engine and assets? Also, has Carmack looked at NPD reports from the last two years or so?

    So... just like the current-gen back in 2005 except with CoD 2 instead of Halo and 720p instead of 1080p. Why was he sooo excited back then? Heck even two years ago at QCon he said in response to a question of what would he do with more hardware graphical power (paraphrasing): we can soak up everything the IHVs can provide, I see no end in graphical advancements.

    It certainly isn't by keeping the same engine, assets, dumbing down the difficulty with more checkpoints, ammo and lights to the levels alongside adding an armour-mounted torch. Oh and adding 7 new levels, made by some interns no doubt, and charging 30 euros for the PC version (40 for consoles). id should take a look at their sister company with Bethesda supporting Skyrim with many patches, new gameplay mechanics (I only bought a horse after the 1.6 patch), free HD Texture packs, etc.

    If VR goggles really are what will make people interested in an 8-year old title, how is id going to make them interested in paying 100-600 bucks for them? Cookies?

    Anyway, if he doesn't want to work on the cutting edge of graphics, that's fine. He should work on VR goggles and rockets and whatever else he feels like it. All his previous work allows him that. He deserves it. He should, however, think about hiring a couple of excellent graphics programmers to pick up the slack. After playing Rage, I'm dreading the next DOOM, for all the wrong reasons.
     
  17. tuna

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    You can have faster turning, faster enemies, better aiming and loads of other stuff if you have a higher frame rate.

    If you do not experience things, how can you have an opinion it. You can say that Crysis 2 is great, but you cannot say that Crysis 2 is better than Rage because you have not experienced Rage.

    Do you judge food by photographs as well?
     
  18. Shifty Geezer

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    Worse than Borderlands?
     
  19. ERP

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    I'm a huge fan of HMD's, unfortunately we spent the last 15 years with manufacturers pushing towards glass' like form factors at the expense of FOV and decent exit pupil.
    Games really need to be designed for them, especially UI, but for a certain class of game they can be stunning. However they need a decent FOV (>70 degrees) and very fast head tracking. The only way to get either of those in the last 15 years has been to buy HMD's targeted at research or the military usually meaning >$10K in cost.

    I don't think customers will ever accept bulky form factors, unfortunately with conventional optics there is only so much that can be done and wide FOV means a bulky form factor.
    Holographic waveguides show promise but there are brightness issues that limit the practical FOV to about 35 degrees.
    Direct retinal projection has been around for almost 20 years, and is still not practical.

    I do think we'll see a resurgence in the space probably driven by AR rather than VR experiences, it's good to see someone with some clout pushing the idea.
     
  20. fearsomepirate

    fearsomepirate Dinosaur Hunter
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    Yeah, worse than Borderlands. Borderlands (a) had a boss fight and (b) felt like you were at the end of the game. Rage just said, "Hey, I'm tired of being a video game, so let's just stop now."

    FWIW, I thought Rage (PS3) was about as pretty a game of that type that I've seen. I don't think id's problem is graphics at all, it's that their games just aren't that good and haven't been since the late 90s. There's too much focus on tech, not too little (the fact that he focused on a tech that would run on consoles rather than maxing out a high-end PC is beside the point IMO). Six years making Rage and that was it? If the game had the same scope of content that Borderlands did, it'd be one of the best games of the generation. I'd give it an unqualified recommendation.

    It was pretty, it controlled well, the art was good, the setting was cool, but there was just so little game there. I just don't care about anything id ever does again. I passed on Doom3, and I thought I'd give them another chance this time and got burned. Rage was not a $60 game.

    BTW, a lot of people who played Doom 3 only played the OXbox version, so this new version on the consoles will be a whole new experience for them.
     
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