AGEIA Was “Stupid”, Project Offset Could End Up As Intel Tech Demo

john_carmack_mini.jpgEven though his presence in the industry has declined somewhat since the release of Doom 3, and his passions have shifted from polygons and frame buffers to mobile phones and space rockets, it’s always pure win reading interviews with id’s John Carmack. Mention any topic and the man has something compelling to say.

PC Perspective managed to get a hold of the programming guru and quiz him on the latest happenings in the industry, including the recent purchase of AGEIA by NVIDIA and Intel’s consuming of Offset Software and its luscious graphics engine and physics middleware vendor Havok.

Early on in the piece Carmack gives ray tracing a tongue lashing and fortifies his opinion on rasterisation, the dominant form of 3D rendering. According to Carmack, the argument that the former scales better than the latter is “ridiculous”. He even throws in a chunk of info on voxels, which our good friend Ken Silverman loves to bits.Next up Carmack comments on Intel’s shiny new toys – Havok and Offset Software. Intel’s always been about the hardware, but its hard to get the message across to people who have no idea what the benefits are of parallel processing. What better way to do it than with a demo of thousands of scrumptiously-rendered objects doing naughty things to each other:

The best way to evangelise your technology is to show somebody something … That’s the best way to lead anybody; it’s by example. They’ll learn the pros and cons of everything directly there and I very much endorse that direction for them.

Carmack however wasn’t so glowing on the topic of NVIDIA and its questionable acquisition of AGEIA. He actually pulls out the “S” word:

That was one of those things where it was a stupid plan from the start and I really hope NVIDIA didn’t pay too much because I found the whole thing disingenuous. Many people from the very beginning said their entire business strategy was to be acquired because it should have been obvious to everybody that the market for an add-in physics card was just not there.

One could argue that there’s still no market for hardware physics. My bet is it’ll just “fade” into the hardware, and end up as another bullet point on the box for your graphics card or CPU.

Of course, id’s main man doesn’t stop there. Loads more await you in the full interview, including info on id Tech 6, the developer’s upcoming glorified tech demo.

John Carmack on id Tech 6, Ray Tracing, Consoles, Physics and more [PC Perspective]

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