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John Carmack of id Software unveils new ultra high detail game engine

Yesterday, during the keynote address at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, John Carmack revealed some footage of a new game engine. The video above is the best quality you're going to get for a little while. At least until id release some footage themselves. Despite this, however, it still looks stunning.

Dubbed "id Tech 5," the new engine promises to almost completely remove any limitations on texture size, allowing "for the unique customization of the entire game world at the pixel level." Examples include changing material colours on the fly and etching fine detail, such as initials, into existing geometry. As the video says, the footage above uses over 20 gigabytes of texture files. Presumably, with their developments into new compression methods, we'll be seeing all this fit onto a 9 gigabyte DVD. It'll have to if they plan on releasing games that run on this engine onto the PC and Xbox 360. Games on the PS3, on the other hand, will be able to take advantage of the 50 gigabytes of storage on Blu-Ray discs, allowing for lower compression and, we assume, faster loading as a result.

This is all just speculation for now, however. Other than the above video and the blurb that has been posted on the id Software official website, there's no specific information. We'll have to wait until E3 for that.

[Via CVG and Engadget]

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Reader Comments

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1. Looks like motorstorm :p

Posted at 10:55AM on Jun 12th 2007 by Axxl

2. damn...i thought that WAS motorstorm

Posted at 11:22AM on Jun 12th 2007 by Justin

"allowing for lower compression and, we assume, faster loading as a result"

Doesn't less compression mean slower loading?

Posted at 11:34AM on Jun 12th 2007 by Sean

4. Who knows, maybe Sony will use this engine on the next Motorstorm.

Thank you have just shown us that the PS3, and 360 will be leaving the Wee (at least on a technological level) in the dust very soon.

I will take that kind of graphical quality where I can feel more immersed in a game over some wave my arms around like a fool control every time.

Mark Rein even said something that would make a Weeboys blood boil, he said that UE3 cannot be done on the Wee in it's current form and that it would need to be dumbed down on a massive scale to "run" on the Wee.

He even referred to the PS3 and the 360 as the REAL next-gen systems.

Nintendo, you can have your Mee's on your Wee. PS3 and 360 will have....well, you saw the video.

Posted at 11:38AM on Jun 12th 2007 by GodisaMyth

5. @Sean: not necessarily. If you spend more time decompressing than loading, there's no point compressing it. Or, if you use file streaming (most do), you have to get a copy of the entire file before you can even think about decompressing it, adding to the time. If you can just stream the object off the media without having to worry about decompression, you actually save load time.

Posted at 12:54PM on Jun 12th 2007 by Andir3.0

6. Generally speaking, most assets on-disc are compressed in a hardware-native form, so they don't require any load-time decompression (.D3D for example) and can be loaded directly into the graphics card's memory, saving both load time and "decompression" time. This has been the standard fare for single-platform deployment for some time now (You can't usually accomplish this on a PC due to the variances in hardware and software)

Basically the whole Compression vs. No-compression argument is moot.

I don't exactly know how Carmack is accomplishing his feat, but I believe it's basically a real-time pixlet/wavelet LOD system (kind of an advanced, 3D, iner-material mip-mapping)
It's a vary big achievement and is a true paradigm shift for how real-time objects are textured.

Carmack talked about this technology a few years ago while the PS3 and 360 were in development and expressed his concern that the hardware going into the machines was still based on tiled, power of 2 textures, hinting that he had a much better way of doing it. When hardware supports this stuff natively, real-time rendering is going to change in a BIG way.

I wasn't sure if Carmack was still relevant in this day and age, but that dude has some serious gray-matter going on.

Posted at 2:34PM on Jun 12th 2007 by tom

7. @tom: Correct me If I'm wrong, but wasn't it Carmack/id who packaged the textures up into WAD files? Granted, this was PC and I haven't used the id engines in a LONG time so they could be different now, but when I fooled around with the id engine, the WAD file was a compressed collection of assets. In this case, the program would have to extract the information straight from the disc (seek time slowdown) or copy it down to the HD and decompress it locally (copy and un-compression slowdown). Again, they could have changed the file format, but I'm pretty sure that's how they used to do it with WAD compression/collections.

Posted at 5:31PM on Jun 12th 2007 by Andir3.0

8. Yeah, this is seriously impressive and he was super-smart to let it be the most accessible to artists. THey're the people who really make these things happen. I think the closest to this on last-gen is Shadow of the Collosus, those HUGE environments, where there were subtle faces in the mountains, and stuff.

Posted at 9:25PM on Jun 12th 2007 by John

9. ill believe it when they prove it. this sound and looks like vaperware.

Posted at 10:48PM on Jun 12th 2007 by matjet

10. @ 7, even thou bluray still a @ work technology.. and still getting better.. they transfer some key information to the hdd which all ps3's have making the game not slow at all.. that's why oblivion had faster loading times than the xbox did..

you cannot look at one of the not strongest part of the ps3 yet and say that is why it won't work, they were smart when they made it, and by putting standard hdd, dedicated ram, yet if graphics need more ram they can borrow from the cell's ram, the whole ps3 works in harmony..

Posted at 3:32PM on Jun 13th 2007 by BulletToothTony


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