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Doom Creator John Carmack Honoured with Bafta (bbc.co.uk)
90 points by Audiophilip on Apr 7, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 30 comments

If anyone is interested in Carmack's backstory I recommend picking up a copy of "Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture." It was published in 2004 so don't expect any of the newer stuff he has done but it is quite the read.

Whenever I need inspiration, I read that book. John Romero was an interesting character, but John Carmack is the whole point of that book to me. His work ethic and drive to continually improve his skills are so inspiring and rewarding.

It's on my shelf right now, two books away from Soul of a New Machine. Been meaning to give Where Wizards Stay Up Late a try next.

Read it now, best thing ever.

In a similar sort of vein, "Show Stopper!: The Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft" is a great recaps of the initial Windows NT days with David Cutler and his 200+ ex-Digital OS engineers.

It was published in 1994 (so covers up to Windows NT 3.5 and touches on Chicago/Win95) and features a lot of info gleaned from 1:1s the author had with Gates, Cutler and a host of other executives.

(The design decisions made back then between 89-93 for NT are what enabled things like 'Bash on Ubuntu on Windows' to take place today.)


Completely agree - great book and a great insight into the 2 Johns' dedication to creating Doom.

I'm fascinated that Carmack thinks Quake 3 is overlooked. At least among the people I know, Quake 3 is considered the best multiplayer arena shooter of all time.

Wasn't Quake 3 the first game that had champfered corners that were actually round? I remember that being a technical achievement at the time.

define 'actually round'

it had patches, and these were a not very important technical first, because an artist could create the same geometry in a number of ways and get the same end result. from a usability perspective of level editors though, it saved the environment artist a considerable amount of time, effort and risk of mistakes.

the patches were cubic bezier patches of fixed subdivision. other game engines improved on this in short order to have dynamic subdivision/lod based on distance without cracks and more complicated patch types (e.g. you can never make a sphere with quake 3's patches)... whereas keeping the subdivisions fixed means that cracks are trivial to avoid.

i believe that quake 3/id tech 3 did not solve this even in later iterations... it was more another tool to add fixed, un-lod-ed triangles to the environment mesh, with an added caveat that they didn't seal the convex hulls describing the pvs and inside/outside or get used to provide planes to split the bsp.

Unreal Tournament was the best. Hall of Giants for the win, still the best CTF map ever.

I always loved Facing Worlds, and still do:)

Morpheus on the multiplayer demo sold it to me. Loved instagib games.

I agree. The physics engine is absolute perfection.

I met Romero yesterday, so stoked! :) http://imgur.com/iHbjCcB

I really do think its overdue. :)

I owe a lot of my knowledge and understanding to having trawled through, building, modifying, cleaning up, refactoring or repurposing a lot of the publically available codes for Quake 1/2/3.

Truly an inspiration as a programmer.

I looked up John's net worth. Apparently it's 40M. That surprises me, I would have thought given his involvement in the success of putting Oculus on the map that he would have made out way better from the Facebook acquisition.

If you got that off of Google, via one of the celebrity net worth sites, you can almost entirely disregard it. They have no private knowledge of his worth, and commonly do a sloppy job of putting it all together. They're SEO spam sites designed for bulk to capture all the people searching for "kim kardashian net worth" or "how rich is kim kardashian?" etc.

His co-owner stake in id Software alone was likely worth $40 million (not after taxes of course) or more (ZeniMax raised an extra $105m for the purchase), and he had earned a fortune prior to that courtesy of 20 years of high selling games and relatively small development costs (some of which was burned on Armadillo Aerospace, perhaps up to $10 million total based on what Carmack has publicly said about the cost of operating it).

The high-priced buyout by Facebook likely increased Carmack's network significantly. $40m would be just 2% equivalent of the Facebook acquisition price. I wouldn't be surprised if Carmack owned 2% of Oculus.

I'm obviously not in the know, but I think his liquid assets were low (for a software legend) before the Oculus sale. He mentioned selling his cars to help fund Armadillo at one of his Quakecon talks.

Above say, 5M does it matter? At that point you don't have to work another day in your life if you don't want to.

Yes. For about a decade Carmack funded a significant amateur space rocket effort -- Armadillo Aerospace. That shut down because of lack of money to devote to the project. See http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/08/john-carmacks-8m-pipe... He reached $8 million put in before reaching the decision that was too expensive for a hobby.

Good point, thanks for reminding me about Armadillo.

It certainly does.

With 5M I would probably play it fairly safe, keep my money in a diversified portfolio weighted towards high dividend stocks and try to live a modest upper-middle/upper class lifestyle, with the exception that I would travel quite a lot. I would probably run a small consulting firm just to stay engaged.

With 40M, I would probably have 2-4 teams of people simultaneously working on business projects. That much money lets you take risks, because even if everything goes wrong, as long as you're not retarded you can just liquidate and still have enough left to play out the 5M scenario.

If you read around the threshold is 12-15M, though that doesn't affect the validity of your point.

Best way to make a million dollars in rocketry? Start with a billion...

I love Doom, but what I've always respected about Carmack is the fact that he actively tries to get better by learning all the time.

This guy could easily have just learned C and called it "done", and no one would judge him for it. Instead, he's giving speeches talking about how cool Lisp and Haskell are and that he thinks functional is the way to go.

Whether or not he's right about that is a matter of preference, but I think it's cool that he's not content with "knowing enough".

I love Carmack.

I love Masters of Doom.

Even the fact his bow tie is messed up, is classic John Carmack.

BAFTA is British Academy of Film and Television Awards.

British Academy of Film and Television Arts actually

Whoops, indeed it is. Thought one thing, typed another :-|

time to update .plan

[edit: and totally deserved]

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