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Get With The Programmer: Carmack Speaks

Code guru, hobbyist rocket scientist and co-founder of iD Software John D. Carmack has been tracked down at E3 by PC Gamer, and they were rewarded by a rather excellent twenty minute interview. With him, obviously. Want to know what he had to say about consoles holding back iD's work on the PC? Of course you do. It's after the jump.

CVG's embed code is neatly borked, so I've transcribed one particularly juicy quote for you below, because I love you. Alternatively, watch the full thing here.

Talking about something he wished he'd done differently during Rage's development, Carmack said this:

"When we started on the game six years ago, I looked at the consoles and said 'These are as good as the PC', and our development strategy was to develop live on all the platforms. And now we're looking at PCs that have ten times the horsepower of the consoles. I'm making a large change in my direction just saying 'We should be building things efficiently on the PC and then deploying on the consoles.' And we didn't make that as crisp of a distinction as we could have.

"My development system now has twenty four threads and twenty four gigs of memory, and we can start putting on half a terrabyte of solid state drives, and these are the things that are gonna drive the development process on the PC. I'm actually as excited about how we're developing tht titles in this coming generation as the graphic enhancements and things that I'm gonna make.

"...it is unhappily true that we have these consoles here running at sixty frames per second, and we could have these massively more powerful PC systems that struggle sometimes to hold the same framerate because of unnecessary overheads. If we were programming that hardware directly on the metal the same way we do consoles, it would be significantly more powerful."

Do you know, that might explain why iD's trademark of coupling their games with breathtaking technology isn't really present in Rage. Did anybody else see that coming? All of you? Never mind.

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Quintin Smith avatar

Quintin Smith

Former Staff Writer

Quinns was one of the first writers to join Rock Paper Shotgun after its founding in 2007, and he stayed with the site until 2011 (though he carried on writing freelance articles well beyond that). These days, you can find him talking about tabletop board games over on Shut Up And Sit Down, or doing proper grown-up journalism with the folks at People Make Games.