John Carmack, of DOOM, Wolfenstein, and Quake fame, has spoken out on the issue of Direct3D vs OpenGL in an interview with the folks at bit-tech. Check out the article here. Note that Carmack is still using OpenGL in his game engines because of cross-platform compatibility reasons, but prefers Direct3D’s more modern API.
It’s sad to see OpenGL in such a state of disrepair that even a contributor (id Software) to the specification denounces the standard.
Recently I’ve created a post about how id Software will no longer use OpenGL as their primary graphics API for game development. Here’s John Carmack’s response to the rumors:
There is certainly no plans for a commercially supported linux version of Rage, but there will very likely be a linux executable made available. It isn’t running at the moment, but we have had it compiled in the past. Running on additional platforms usually provides some code quality advantages, and it really only takes one interested programmer to make it happen.
The PC version is still OpenGL, but it is possible that could change before release. The actual API code is not very large, and the vertex / fragment code can be easily translated between cg/hlsl/glsl as necessary. I am going to at least consider OpenGL 3.0 as a target, if Nvidia, ATI, and Intel all have decent support. There really won’t be any performance difference between GL 2.0 / GL 3.0 / D3D, so the api decision will be based on secondary factors, of which inertia is one.
Somehow I keep getting back on this topic. Maybe it’s because of the excitement that was involved with the features promised by the idTech 5 engine as presented in the earlier QuakeCon demo.
Today was one of those exciting days for me. I just finished watching a two part video commentary on the development aspect of idTech 5 that was posted on GameSpy. A third video is an interview with John Carmack on the changes that will be occurring within id Software and other issues. The two commentary videos feature commentaries by John Carmack and Matt Hooper from id Software.
Keep in mind that the “lag” that you might notice is because you’re viewing a technical demo of an unfinished product. Another thing that might be worthy to notice is that the OpenGL API is no longer being used as primary graphics API, yet the company is moving towards DirectX as their primary API.
The first video is presented by John Carmack and is about the development of idTech 5 and Rage. The backdrop for this video is pretty much continuous, so you might want to look away to avoid insanity. He speaks about graphics development, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and other things that might be interesting to developers.
The second video introduces Matt Hooper as a secondary host and talks more about the tools and assets given to the level designers and artists in idTech 5. For an unreleased product, it looks amazing. There seems to be a great (if not massive) improvement over older tools such as GtkRadiant by having a more intuitive user interface. But you can judge for yourself below by watching the videos attached to this post.
The third video announces a new “game” or adaptation of the existing Quake 3 code base and create a free to download online game, hear all about it in the third video.
Edit: as of 2023, it seems that these videos have been lost to the ravages of time.
John Carmack and the id Software company have always been great supporters of the OpenGL Graphics API. Alas, major development with the API stops here for the game developer.
id Software has been working on a new game engine that would “revolutionize” the gaming industry and provide many advanced features. One of its main features is that it can support a constant 60fps on console systems. It was also announced that their new engine will run on: PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Eh, are we missing something important here?
Linux. Linux has always been a supported system when it came down to games from id Software. Yet according to Todd Hollenshead (id Software), id’s upcoming game “Rage” (which will be using idTech5) will be primarily a DirectX 9 game, not DirectX 10, nor OpenGL. Yet OpenGL will be used for the Mac release of both the engine and the game.
This could mean that OpenGL might become very unattractive in the game development community since there will be one less patron to support its Open cause.
One benefit from all this is that the game will be able to run on the Windows XP platform and not solely on Vista as all DirectX 10 games require. This, of course, is no consolidation for the Linux people who will now have to run the game on Windows.