In a time when PC gamers are feeling a little short-changed when it comes to new release quality, id’s Rage was a perfect example of where it all went wrong.
Speaking to Kotaku, id’s John Carmack admits that the PC release driver issue has been a “cluster [email protected]#$”. Since the game was released earlier this week, PC gamers have had to put up with poor frame rates and graphical glitches such as tearing which has frustrated consumers. John Carmack admits things have not gone well adding:
“The driver issues at launch have been a real cluster [email protected]#$. We were quite happy with the performance improvements that we had made on AMD hardware in the months before launch; we had made significant internal changes to cater to what AMD engineers said would allow the highest performance with their driver and hardware architectures, and we went back and forth with custom extensions and driver versions.”
So why did it all go wrong for the PC version and why are PC gamers getting upset? It goes down to the approach id took in developing the game with consoles as the primary target for the title.
“You can choose to design a game around the specs of a high-end PC and make console versions that fail to hit the design point, or design around the specs of the consoles and have a high-end PC provide incremental quality improvements. We chose the latter.”
?”We do not see the PC as the leading platform for games,” Carmack added.? “That statement will enrage some people, but it is hard to characterize it otherwise; both console versions will have larger audiences than the PC version. A high end PC is nearly 10 times as powerful as a console, and we could unquestionably provide a better experience if we chose that as our design point and we were able to expend the same amount of resources on it. Nowadays most of the quality of a game comes from the development effort put into it, not the technology it runs on. A game built with a tenth the resources on a platform 10 times as powerful would be an inferior product in almost all cases.”
id have always driven PC gaming forward in the FPS genre but times have changed and PC gamers are more often than not finding that new titles suffer from ‘consolitis’ with inferior graphics, performance, interfaces and controls which make the PC gaming experience feel rather lackluster.
PC gaming is said to be on the up, but with developers such as id choosing to focus on console quality first for AAA titles such as Rage, it could be quite a while before PC gaming peaks and we get back to utilising all the power of today’s top PC gaming machines.
Note: AMD and Nvidia have released new drivers last night that PC gamers should try to improve performance.