Enjoying id Softwares’ latest FPS title? Chances are, if you’re playing it on either PS3 or Xbox 360, its a graphical tour de force with nary a sign of any visual issues. And if you’re playing it on a PC, then you’re most likely shouting and screaming obscenities at your screen every time another graphical issue rears its ugly head.
It’s been a launch plagued with complaints and frustrated fans, something that id Software has readily admitted to. Tim Willits and John Carmack recently explained how such problems could have occurred, vowing to fix them as best they could.
“We have had video drives issues that have caused problems and frustrations with our PC fans”, Creative Director Tim Willits said to Kotaku. “Everyone at id Software is very upset by these issues which are mostly out of our control. We are working with both AMD/ATI and Nvidia to help them identify and fix the issues with their drivers. We’ve had assurances that these problems are being addressed and new drivers will be available soon.”
Carmack explained that the development team had thought they had worked out any driver issues during development, and referred to problem as a “real clusterfuck”.
“We were quite happy with the performance improvements that we had made on AMD hardware in the months before launch”, Carmack said. “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”.
“We knew that all older AMD drivers, and some Nvidia drivers would have problems with the game, but we were running well in-house on all of our test systems. When launch day came around and the wrong driver got released, half of our PC customers got a product that basically didn’t work”.
“The fact that the working driver has incompatibilities with other titles doesn’t help either. Issues with older/lower end/exotic setups are to be expected on a PC release, but we were not happy with the experience on what should be prime platforms”.
With Rage being primarily developed for consoles, Carmack was asked if such problems could have been avoided if the team had focused more on the PC side primarily for the game, but Carmack explained why the team had designed for those platforms specifically.
“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”, Carmack said. “We chose the latter”.
“We do not see the PC as the leading platform for games. 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”.
If you’re still having trouble getting Rage to run the way it was meant to, then head on over to the Bethesda page, as new drivers for AMD and Nvidia cards have been released, which should hopefully sort out any further problems.
Last Updated: October 10, 2011