Just a small post to share the link to John Carmacks’s keynote at Quakecon 2013. I watch them every year for several reasons. First, it’s a small pleasure to hear Carmack speak and, second, he always shares interesting facts and research he has been doing about games, graphics and the state of the industry in general. This year he also covers the upcoming game consoles, Xbox One and Playstation 4.
As a programmer working on Air Traffic Control systems I also appreciate very much his opinions and insight into software development and programming platforms and languages. There are many similarities between ATC software and games in the sense that both are usually big and complex systems from the software engineering perspective that have to meet soft realtime requirements. It’s true that games are not really soft realtime, but they do have to make work as fast as possible to meet a soft deadline of 30, 60 or whatever amount of FPS the developer wants to achieve. Hence, his comments about the importance of static typing, functional style, parallelism and work scheduling fall into my personal interests.
This year he also gave a second talk that I haven’t watched yet about Lightning and rendering. Lightning is also a major piece of Unreal Engine 4 together with visual changes and debugging improvements to the SDK, so it’s obvious the industry is right now very interested in this topic. IGN also analyzed the Unreal Engine 4 demos with a specific emphasis in lightning.