#### Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

# John Carmack...

This topic is 5753 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

## Recommended Posts

John Carmack make me want to commit suicide from his implausible talk of the new DOOM. I consider that man smarter than Einstein! Someone try and help me strengthen my grip on sanity here. I desire to be a game programmer or have something to do with gaming when I get older and believe it or not, John Carmack discourages me rather than encourages me. I''m doing pretty well in Math but I still can''t fathom almost anything he says. AH! FYI: I am a very depressed person that has confidence in the negatives and see no hope in the future for myself. I try to sitdown and say to myself "OK, I will be like Carmack in the manner of intelligence so I will learn something very beneficial before I leave this chair.". But it never happens, I leave saying I''m a loser and will only be a garbage man. I talked to John Romero and he was the only one that gave me somewhat confidence but it was taken away after the daunting C++ exam. I know Carmack is the best of the best but I can''t even draw a damn line in C++! Please, someone, help me refind my confidence and motivation for gaming so I can actually grow up and be proud of myself. -K. Rudisill, 16 "I don''''t watch TV. I don''''t do sports." -John Romero

##### Share on other sites
I''m sure John Carmack didn''t get good overnight.

By the way, if it makes you feel any better, he writes ugly code :-)

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way | Google can help with your question | Search MSDN for help with standard C or Windows functions

##### Share on other sites
Yeah right dude. Look at QIII! I''ve used other engines (played them, used the console, etc.) and QIII has been the neatess engine I have yet to see. An example would be when I wanted to page up in the QIII console, a line of dots appeared above the text region. Simple but helpful I believe. I dunno.

##### Share on other sites
You can''t draw a line and you think you should understand the math behind Doom III and others, (sigh).

Start at the beginners link above.

,Jay

##### Share on other sites
quote:

By the way, if it makes you feel any better, he writes ugly code :-)

id Nut: What siaspete meant by the above is that Carmack is notorious for his poor coding style. This has nothing to do the fact that it works WELL, which is something I''m sure very few would argue.

Mike

##### Share on other sites
Well... if you can''t even draw a line in C++ then maybe Carmack is right. However... that really doesn''t mean you will never be able to draw a line in C++, there once was a day (although it is in the far far past) that Carmack didn''t know how to draw a line in C++ as well.

Secondly... the chances that you will be a programmer at the standard of "John Carmack" is very slim... that chance is probably just as big as you being a movie producer like Steven Spielberg or an artist like Leonardo da Vincie... However... there are lots of lower skilled game programmers in the world and they all are in the industry as well...

The basic idea behind this text is this: NEVER GIVE UP... although you might never become as good as John Carmack... you might end in the game industry just as well.

I aspire to be a game programmer in the future as well (and I can do lines in C++ , I can do PVS/CSG/BSP and many other things as well... but there are a lot of people who can do that. That is because those are just techniques... being a game programmer means that you are able to see the whole picture of the game programming related subjects (yes... that also means those nasty software engineering courses I had on university (and thrust me... I really hated them... but afterwards they were quit usefull)) and being able to find good solutions to different situations... Note that I said finding good solutions... and the PVS/CSG/BSP/Line Drawing are just algorithms that everyone can learn... however John Carmack was the person that was able to unleash the extra potential that the BSP tree had hidden inside (that is part of what makes him a great programmer). Anyways... back to myself... Unfortunately I am not in the game programming business... at least not yet... and maybe never will... but I am trying and I will keep trying. Another horrible aspect is that I am currently a student in CS... and that means that I really do not have the time to really progam as in 60 hours a week... but I am straying from the point I am about to make... the point is this... actually it are 3 points

1) Learn a lot of math/C++/Software Engineering/etc.
2) Then try to see the overall picture and develop your skills from that
3) NEVER GIVE UP!!!

As long as you believe in yourself... you will succeed... just because if you are any good... you could probably lift your own small software company from the ground... and become the much aspired game programmer

That was all

ICQ: 130925152
Email: e.j.folkertsma@student.utwente.nl

##### Share on other sites
There's gonna be a new DOOM? When did John Carmack talk about?

You've got to keep in mind that he's been programming for I don't know how long probably 20+ years. You just can't expect to reach that level of experience and knowledge when you're just starting out. It's good to aspire to his greatness, as long as you know you're gonna have to put the same amount of work into it that he did.

[edited by - Xanth on April 20, 2002 3:26:33 PM]

##### Share on other sites
Check out this site for movies on it, get all of them if you have a fast connection, they''re great. http://gamespot.com/gamespot/filters/products/media/0,11100,469881,00.html

"I don''''t watch TV.
I don''''t do sports."
-John Romero

##### Share on other sites
I took my knowledge of linear algebra and came up with makeshift ways of doing 3D graphics without OpenGL or DirectX. That was prior to 1995.

Then, when I looked at the spec for the Doom games, I learned about BSP data structures and how they apply themselves to rendering internal environments.

I wrote a simple outer space battle demo, and a simple skeletoned figure.

I have a lot of ideas of HOW to do things, and have dabbled in little bits here and there (including sound programming and multiplayer).

Even after all that work, I have yet to write a BSP splitter for a full 3D environment, much less implement simple collision detection for it. And forget triggered occurrences like doors and moving ledges. (At least, not yet, anyway...)

What I'm saying is, you have to start somewhere that makes sense. Built a hut, THEN a house, THEN a business building, THEN move on to skyscrapers.

There aren't a lot of John Carmacks or John Romeros in the world. It's all doable, and we can all learn and know and understand as much as they do.

But John Carmack, as an example, plans ahead for future technologies and keeps up on the latest rendering theories, so his engines are always one step above most. That doesn't come easy. It takes a lot of dedication and time spent, and knowing where to go and having the resources. And it results in his lingo being near undecipherable to a lot of us!

Don't get down on yourself just because, figuritively speaking, you can't take a final exam before you've taken the course. Be prepared to realize your limits and adapt to them, or conquer them.

In retrospect, during an interview I was once told that I could tell if a triangle was facing the viewpoint by finding its product (and I'm thinking, what the hell is a triangle's product!?)

[edited by - Waverider on April 20, 2002 3:37:41 PM]

##### Share on other sites
Wow. Thanks, I appreciate that. I like the phrase "taking the final exam without the course" very true. Thanks a bunch. Now I just have to get money for a game programming book.

##### Share on other sites
Like the other person said John Carmack did not become that clever over night. He started at beginning and built up, so back in 85 or whatever whn Commander Keen came out , I bet if you asked Carmack to Q3 he would have no idea, infact I have read an interview where he says this or sumthin.
Also you need to start at bottom & build up. About 4 months ago I made an address book & I thought it was so gd I was so proud of myself it like took me aweek. I look it now & absoulute crap, I am now creating a 3D software rendering engine & have created super mario kart engine & a side scroller + loadsa stuff.
One more thing about Q3 , that probably took about 2 years to make with about 20 professionals all working togther so really how do you expect to even compare to this as a beginner. I use to find all the stuff Carmack said & infact MSDN & other technical stuff really hard to understand but as you learn more & more stuff makes more sense. & the hardest sounding stuff is ually the easiest

Life is a learning expiernce!

hope this helped WizHarD

##### Share on other sites
Like the other person said John Carmack did not become that clever over night. He started at beginning and built up, so back in 85 or whatever whn Commander Keen came out , I bet if you asked Carmack to Q3 he would have no idea, infact I have read an interview where he says this or sumthin.
Also you need to start at bottom & build up. About 4 months ago I made an address book & I thought it was so gd I was so proud of myself it like took me aweek. I look it now & absoulute crap, I am now creating a 3D software rendering engine & have created super mario kart engine & a side scroller + loadsa stuff.
One more thing about Q3 , that probably took about 2 years to make with about 20 professionals all working togther so really how do you expect to even compare to this as a beginner. I use to find all the stuff Carmack said & infact MSDN & other technical stuff really hard to understand but as you learn more & more stuff makes more sense. & the hardest sounding stuff is ually the easiest

Life is a learning expiernce!

hope this helped WizHarD 15

##### Share on other sites
I appreciate the help. I''m stupid for thinking the way I do sometimes. Thanks. I thought commander keen came out in the 90s since id was founded in like 1991? Yeah so anyway, later guys.

"I don''''t watch TV.
I don''''t do sports."
-John Romero

The Lord disciplines those who he loves.

##### Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by id Nut
I appreciate the help. I''m stupid for thinking the way I do sometimes. Thanks. I thought commander keen came out in the 90s since id was founded in like 1991? Yeah so anyway, later guys.

And don''t be so hard on yourself by saying things like "I''m stupid for thinking the way I do sometimes." Everyone doubts themselves at one time or another. I am just starting out in college as a computer science major and it is kicking my arse. There are numerous days when things don''t go as planned or I think that things are really hard and I am not sure if I can do it... that''s normal. The difference is getting back on the horse when you fall off.

Everyone fails... I''m sure you could ask John Carmack about his failures in programming and game development and his list would be endless. What matters is whether you realize that everyone fails and move on or you focus on the failures and lose sight of the fact that even though you failed, by taking the steps to do whatever you failed at, you are already ahead of x-thousand others out there who didn''t even try.

Keep at it and just understand that everyone starts somewhere.

--

I''''m not a freak, I''''m just really shiny.

##### Share on other sites

Take comfort in my stupidity. I''m a self-taught person (pretty much like everyone else). I started programming at 16 (when I got my first computer). I still don''t know how to really do anything useful.. and while I''m not struggling (not even close) in college, I never ace the tests (for CS classes), which really makes me think I wasted my time learning on my own (meh). So there, I''ve been at it a while, and I still suck. Feel better?

Carmack does the same thing to me.. I don''t even know where Carmack finds the time to read and experiment. But I guess, I do it because I love it, even if I''m not the greatest.

##### Share on other sites
Does he have a wife/girlfriend?

##### Share on other sites
Yes. Anna Kang is his wife.

##### Share on other sites
I don''t mean to disrepect him, because he obviously has skills, but he does seem very overhyped.

I find it hard to believe there is no-one else who could have wrote Doom, Quake etc. He doesn''t do anything magical that know one else understands.

It would be great if everyone looked up to someone who actually wrote nice, maintainable, readable etc code. I find this really hurts the community as none of you seem to aspire to this because of John Carmack.

##### Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
I don't mean to disrepect him, because he obviously has skills, but he does seem very overhyped.

I find it hard to believe there is no-one else who could have wrote Doom, Quake etc. He doesn't do anything magical that know one else understands.

It would be great if everyone looked up to someone who actually wrote nice, maintainable, readable etc code. I find this really hurts the community as none of you seem to aspire to this because of John Carmack.

It's not because no one else could. It's because no one else did . Carmack is heralded as the best because he is the best (at this time). No one writes nice maintainable code, period. Carmack writes the most brutally efficient code I've personally ever see, and that is something to aspire to. It's not as hard to understand as it has a reputation for. You're going against yourself here - you're exactly right that Carmack does nothing "magical," per se, so don't deify him by saying that his code is impossible to understand, etc. He's just really darn good at what he does.

Peace,
ZE.

//email me.//zealouselixir software.//msdn.//n00biez.//

[if you have a link proposal, email me.]

EDITED for typos.

[edited by - zealouselixir on April 21, 2002 3:21:17 PM]

##### Share on other sites
"Carmack does nothing "magical," per se.."

Except manage to take techniques previously only considered as off-line/non-realtime rendering areas and produce real-time and robust versions. Curved surfaces and shadow volumes being two examples that spring to mind.

Hell, people still havn''t figured out how exactly he''s managed to crowbar together shadow volumes and soft-edged shadows in realtime yet, but he''s clearly done it

##### Share on other sites
Additionally, he was the ONLY person who could do a Doom-style engine that really worked for quite a while after Doom was released. Beyond just getting a working real time raycasting engine (on the processors of the time, a fairly difficult task), he was able to animate the sprites of the enemies, which was absolutely shocking to everyone in the industry. I remember reading something that Carmack said, which was to the effect of "Because of Moore''s Law, something that can be only done by a great programmer can be done by an adequate programmer two years later." While this is a little arrogant, it''s true; most of the features that Carmack includes are only incorporated into engines coming out 18 months after his.

But there is a ray of hope in all this, which is that you *can* do all the things that Carmack does, only not at the same time as he does. I imagine a lot of people could write a q1-esque engine right now, and a few less people could write q2 or q3 if given the time. Probably very few of them would be as "brutally efficient," but they''d work, and would have good frame rates and such. So here''s the deal: you may never be John Carmack, but you can still do what he does after he does it, and explore some pretty cool stuff along the way. As far as actually understanding what he says, I have a few suggestions for books:
-Computer Graphics: Practices and Principles (3rd edition coming out soon, I think)
-OpenGL Programming Guide (The Red Book)
-Something on Linear Algebra (it needs to be learned)
-If you haven''t already learned it, a basic text on Calculus

Now, you start working your way through the NeHe tutorials (nehe.gamedev.net), and use the books you have to understand what each tutorial is actually doing. Once you get the basics, the more complicated stuff comes much easier. And if that doesn''t pan out, I know of garbage men who make $70k a year, so all hope is not lost. Good luck with your endeavours and all that. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites I don''t want to be John Carmack, I want to be like him. Honestly its like we only talk about code and there is no fun in making all this crap. I''m in the industry to have fun and meet new people, that''s it. I don''t have passionate love for code but I do have love for the final product. I would love (and so would you) to have a game out and be in EB eavesdropping on kids saying "Yeah, *Enter title here* is awesome! That game is the$hit!". That would probably satisfy me and I could die with a smile on my face.

I know that you need to put up with the rain if you want the rainbow but there is a doubt that is stuck in my mind whether or not this is in fact the industry for me. I don''t enjoy coding at times especially if I''m not sure what I''m doing. I love to draw especially if it turns out good, same goes for writing. So I dunno. I''m sure once I get into graphics I''ll enjoy coding a lot more. I''m so bored of just letters even though I''m still not the best in it. That''s another thing, I get discouraged very easily. My other friend is just as wild about Carmack as me but he isn''t discouraged by him, he is motivated and excited. I''m not gonna talk about my life in depth anymore since I was verbally bashed over at anandtech being called a "freak" and Shi+ like that.

In conclusion, hopefully this is the industry for me. I like the people I meet (spare a few) and it''s a really neat, complex industry to be in, later guys.

"I don''''t watch TV.
I don''''t do sports."
-John Romero

The Lord disciplines those who he loves.

##### Share on other sites
Well if you like drawing and writing maybe you should look into
"Game Design". You know, writing stories and creating graphics with 3DS Max or Maya or something like it.

##### Share on other sites
See I think I''m more like Romero than anyone. He''s into multiple things especially when he was designing DOOM, he said he oversaw everything and that''s the way I am. But I think that''s bad that I''m not into one thing very deep. I dunno, what do you suggest? I like story and art, I''m OK with programming. Also, I don''t understand how everything goes together with a game like graphics, level design, and programming. How do they like squash it all together especially with like a level editor. Do they [id] make the level editor and do something with the file and input them into the code somehow? I need some clarity on this one, I''m completely lost. Is there a book on how to understand programming and graphics? Just need some knowledge.

"I don''''t watch TV.
I don''''t do sports."
-John Romero

The Lord disciplines those who he loves.

##### Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by id Nut
Also, I don''t understand how everything goes together with a game like graphics, level design, and programming. How do they like squash it all together especially with like a level editor. Do they [id] make the level editor and do something with the file and input them into the code somehow?

They save the level in some format of choice and from the game they load it. Very simple in theory.