John Carmack Reveals New Game Engine

Monday’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference may have been a chance for Apple fans to kneel at the altar of Steve Jobs, but it also unexpectedly turned into a big day for the gaming community with an appearance by another celebrity – John Carmack. The programming guru was there to debut id Tech 5, a new game engine that id Software has been working on in secret for years.

Details about the new platform were scant. Carmack showed screens of a detailed desert environment, which he said contained 20GB of original textures. In the press release that followed the show, id claimed, “The new id rendering technology practically eliminates the texture memory constraints typically placed on artists and designers and allows for the unique customization of the entire game world at the pixel level, delivering virtually unlimited visual fidelity.”

Carmack also mentioned that users would be able to modify the environment without changing the game – for instance by carving their name into a rock. Given the environmental interactivity in existing games, the significance of Carmack’s comment wasn’t clear.

One thing that is for certain is the selection of platforms id Tech 5 will run on. Given the choice of event for its unveiling, Macs will most certainly be able to handle id Tech 5, along with id Software’s old standy, the PC. According to id’s press release, the engine will also run on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 consoles.

Carmack didn’t reveal what kind of game the engine would go to use in, but we have our own guesses. The company also made it clear that id Tech 5 would be available for licensing to other developers.

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