QuakeCon started off with a brand-new Rage trailer, showing off some new details of the game. Then the pony-tailed and country music star-resembling Todd Hollenshead came out to welcome the audience and kick things off. "How's that for a welcome to QuakeCon? What do you think?" To which the crowd thundered their approval through applause.
Todd was quick to thank partner AT&T, who is bringing five times more bandwidth to the Bring Your Own Computer room. This brought some of the loudest applause of the evening, and only at QuakeCon would a crowd break into raucous clapping for a bandwidth announcement. Hollenshead then detailed the massive sales that usually accompany this four day event, which includes 50% off all id iOS games, and a massive Steam sale that culminates in a huge QuakeCon Pack that offers all released id and Bethesda games for $69.99.
Then it was time to bring out the star of the evening, id's John Carmack. Now, before you get too excited, I'm going to burst your bubble right here: he doesn't say anything about Doom 4. He sort of hints about it by saying "We cannot take eight years next time to make our next game. We need to figure out how to do these amazing things faster. Maybe we shouldn't have been quite so ambitious with Rage. Maybe we should have spent some time doing the other things that we know how to do really well." Head on for the full video of the keynote, along with the highlights.
Decipher that however you want to, but one thing we are definitely wanting is Doom 4 news. At QuakeCon 2009 they told us that we'd hear more about it at QuakeCon 2010. Then in 2010, they told us we'd hear all about it at QuakeCon 2011. Here we are at QuakeCon 2011, they didn't even mention it. It's like it has become a taboo subject around here.
You can check out the highlights from last year's John Carmack keynote speech from QuakeCon and listen to the audio right here. This year, he mostly focused on the nitty gritty details of the development of Rage, and it wasn't long before he got extremely technical. There's no doubt in anyone's mind that Carmack is a genius, but for an audience hungry for new game details, this was more like a master class on video card overflow buffers and hacks to software drivers.
Here are some of the highlights from the above video:
- "I'm not an executive at heart. I'm an engineer."
- Carmack said, "It's really great to be here after we've talked about these games all year and to get to be able to see people playing the game. I've been on the floor watching people play Rage with a big grin on my face."
- "Rage is the most enjoyable id game that we've ever made, from my perspective. But by no means are we ready to be stood up next to Skyrim as an adventure game, that's not what we're doing."
- "We like to throw around the word megatexture, but it's important to realize that megatextures are maybe 10% of the code, which is maybe 25% of the entire effort that goes into the game. There are millions of lines in the game code, and only tens of thousands of those are related to megatextures."
- "We've had to make some significant sacrifices to make Rage this gorgeous, moving painting that runs at 60 frames per second, but we've accomplished that and more. Our artists have created a fabulous world, and you can stop practically anywhere to look around and soak things in."
- "I know that we're going to get dinger by some people on the graphics. There will be people who turn on the highest movement sensitivity and walk backwards into town and then spin around quickly. And things might be a bit fuzzy at first before you see all the details. (Seriously, who does that?) We do a lot of work to make sure this is not an issue."
- "It pains me that Microsoft and Sony don't allow you to plug in a keyboard and work directly with the debug code. There's no real reason for that. Only PC people get to mess around with the code." (This got an enormous cheer from the audience)
- "The video hardware on PC is often 10 times more powerful than that on the consoles."
- "Intel's current graphics hardware is getting…. decent. (laughter). In the past you've always gone out and bought a serious video card. But the Intel integrated graphicshis is the stuff that you've forgotten was on there. We have Rage running on it, it's not at 60 FPS yet, but we're working on it. It's not going to be long before you're actually able to use that. That's making the video card manufacturers very antsy."
- "It's nice having only three relevant video card companies to deal with these days. In the past there was a very clear separation about who should be creating these cards and writing drivers, and who shouldn't."
- "Any Xbox 360 developers that are listening to this, if you're not using Analyze, you're making a huge mistake."
- The Doom 3 source code will finally be released this year. It's finally cleared the legal process. "We're waiting until Rage is out the door and on the street before we really start working on this."