QuakeCon Keynote & Presentation news

This morning we’re pleased to announce that QuakeCon, the ultimate video game festival, will kick off on Thursday, August 4th 2011. As tradition goes, id’s co-founder and technical director, John Carmack, will kick things off with his keynote address.

In addition to the keynote and other special events (more on that soon), this year’s event will give you a chance to see some great presentations on our upcoming titles, including Todd Howard’s first public presentation of Skyrim!! QuakeCon will also see the first public demo of Prey 2, which will be demoed by Chris Rhinehart, Project Lead at Human Head Studios. And in addition to being able to play RAGE on the show floor, attendees will be able to check out a special presentation of the award-winning shooter given by Matt Hooper, the game’s Design Director.

QuakeCon 2011 will take place at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, TX. The event remains FREE to general admission and BYOC attendees thanks to the support of id and Bethesda Softworks, as well as the QuakeCon volunteer staff and the 2011 event sponsors and exhibitors. Doors to the QuakeCon BYOC will open on Thursday, August 4th at 9:00am CST and will remain open through 12:00pm CST on Sunday, August 7th.

QuakeCon Exhibit Hall Hours are:

  • Thursday, August 4, 2011 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Friday August 5 2011 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Saturday August 6, 2011 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

To pre-register online for QuakeCon today go to: http://registration.quakecon.org/.

All the RAGE: John Carmack

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Whether he’s making games, building rockets, or just talking about technology, it’s always interesting to listen to John Carmack. Read his ‘All the RAGE’  interview below. And if you missed it, be sure to check out the podcast interview Nick and I did with him back in November.

What do you do at id Software?

I am the technical director. I find and develop the major technology pillars that our games are built on, which involves research, some inspiration, and a whole lot of work.

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Around the web: New Vegas and RAGE coverage

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Around the web returns with a mix of news for Fallout: New Vegas and RAGE mobile.

We start with the former. Earlier this week we put the word out that the latest game update for New Vegas has been submitted. The update will be available on each platform (PS3, PC, and Xbox 360) soon, and you can find the latest updates in our forums here.

In other news for the game, today X-Play announced their Best of 2010 award nominees — with Fallout: New Vegas receiving nominations for Best Writing and Best RPG. New Vegas has also picked up Best RPG nominations at 1uP, Just Push Start, and already won at PS3 Gamerzines!

There’s plenty more to read on New Vegas this week, including…

More news after the break…

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A cornucopia of coverage

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Here’s another web roundup to fill up your web browsers before digging into turkey and mashed potatoes.

In last week’s In the ‘Works, we shared new details on Fallout: New Vegas’ upcoming DLC, Dead Money, which hits Xbox LIVE on December 21st. You can also check out the content’s fact sheet, and above we’ve got the first screenshot.

More news, including coverage on the iPhone release of RAGE, after the jump.

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John Carmack discusses RAGE on iPhone/iPad/iPod

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This month we’re privileged to share a special diary from the legendary John Carmack, technical director and co-founder of id Software. In addition to his current work on RAGE — coming to Xbox 360, Games for Windows, and PlayStation 3 on September 13, 2011 — and id Tech 5 technology, John has been working on an iPhone/iPad/iPod touch version of RAGE that will introduce gamers to the game’s story and world.

Round of applause for John Carmack…

RAGE for iPhone

Our mobile development efforts at id took some twists and turns in the last year. The plan was always to do something RAGE-related on the iPhone/iPad/iPod touch next, but with all the big things going on at id, the mobile efforts weren’t front and center on the priority list. There had been a bit of background work going on, but it was only towards the end of July that I was able to sit down and write the core engine code that would drive the project.

I was excited about how well it turned out, and since this was right before QuakeCon, I broke with tradition and did a live technology demo during my keynote. In hindsight, I probably introduced it poorly. I said something like “Its RAGE. On the iPhone. At 60 frames a second.”  Some people took that to mean that the entire PC/console game experience was going to be on the iPhone, which is definitely not the case.

What I showed was a technology demo, written from scratch, but using the RAGE content creation pipeline and media. We do not have the full RAGE game running on iOS, and we do not plan to try. While it would (amazingly!) actually be possible to compile the full-blown PC/console RAGE game for an iPhone4 with some effort, it would be a hopelessly bad idea. Even the latest and greatest mobile devices are still a fraction of the power of a 360 or PS3, let alone a high end gaming PC, so none of the carefully made performance tradeoffs would be appropriate for the platform, to say nothing of the vast differences in controls.

What we do have is something unlike anything ever seen on the iOS platforms. It is glorious, and a lot of fun. Development has been proceeding at high intensity since QuakeCon, and we hope to have the app out by the end of November.

The technical decision to use our megatexture content creation pipeline for the game levels had consequences for its scope. The data required for the game is big. Really, really big. Seeing Myst do well on the iPhone with a 700 meg download gave me some confidence that users would still download huge apps, and that became the target size for our standard definition version, but the high definition version for iPad / iPhone 4 will be around twice that size. This is more like getting a movie than an app, so be prepared for a long download. Still, for perspective, the full scale RAGE game is around 20 gigs of data with JPEG-XR compression, so 0.7 gigs of non-transcoded data is obviously a tiny slice of it.

Since we weren’t going to be able to have lots of hugely expansive levels, we knew that there would be some disappointment if we went out at a high price point, no matter how good it looked. We have experimented with a range of price points on the iPhone titles so far, but we had avoided the very low end. We decided that this would be a good opportunity to try a  $0.99 SD / $1.99 HD price point.  We need to stay focused on not letting the project creep out of control, but I think people will be very happy with the value.

The little slice of RAGE that we decided to build the iPhone product around is “Mutant Bash TV”, a post apocalyptic combat game show in the RAGE wasteland. This is the perfect setup for a quintessential first person shooter game play experience — you pick your targets, aim your shots, time your reloads, dodge the bad guys, and try and make it through to the end of the level with a better score than last time. Beyond basic survival, there are pickups, head shots, and hit streak multipliers to add more options to the gameplay, and there is a broad range of skill levels available from keep-hitting-fire-and-you-should-make-it to almost-impossible.

A large goal of the project has been to make sure that the levels can be replayed many times. The key is making the gamplay itself the rewarding aspect, rather than story progression, character development, or any kind of surprises. Many of the elements that made Doom Resurrection good the first time you played it hurt the replayability, for instance. RAGE iOS is all action, all the time. I have played the game dozens of times, and testing it is still fun instead of a chore.

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QuakeCon: Panel Coverage at Gamespot

Didn’t have a chance to see the panels and presentations at QuakeCon 2010? No worries — the fine folks at Gamespot have recaps (and some video) for you to catch up on.

One of my personal highlights of the show was attending Rocket Talk — featuring legends Richard “Lord British” Garriott and John Carmack talking about their passion for space exploration. For a summary of the talk, head here. Be sure to watch Garriott’s presentation on his journey to the International Space Station (embedded above) — it’s really amazing stuff.

Gamespot also has a sample of John Carmack’s presentation on Armadillo Aerospace. Check the highlights below….

Hit the jump for links to Gamespot’s coverage of QuakeCon’s panels…

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QuakeCon 2010 Panels and Special Presentations Schedule

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Before we head out for the weekend, we wanted to share some exciting news about the panels we have planned for QuakeCon 2010. In addition to folks you know and love from Bethesda Game Studios and id Software (including the likes of Todd Howard and John Carmack), some of our favorite people in the industry will be attending.  Below is the schedule of events…

Thursday

‘The World of Design’ Panel

12.30pm in the Cortez Room

  • Joel Burgess, Bethesda Game Studios
  • Matt Hooper, id Software
  • Neil Alphonso, Splash Damage
  • Todd Alderman, Respawn Entertainment

QuakeCon Kick Off — 2:30pm in the Grand Ballroom

  • Todd Hollenshead will welcome attendees to QuakeCon 2010

Keynote — 2:30pm in the Grand Ballroom

  • John Carmack’s Annual Keynote address to QuakeCon attendees

“Rocket Talk” — 5:30pm in the Grand Ballroom

  • John Carmack and Richard Garriott share their passion for Rockets and space travel in this special QuakeCon presentation

Check out the rest of the schedule after the break…

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