Interview of John Carmack about id Software and Occulus VR

John Carmack was recently interviewed by USA Today website about his new job at Occulus VR (where he’s the Chief Technical Officer on the virtual reality headset, the Occulus Rift), but also on the reasons why he left id Software:

When Carmack joined Occulus VR, he thought he could continue to work for id and integrate the virtual reality technologies into the two next projects of the studio: Wolfenstein: The New Order and Doom 4. However, the publisher and owner of id, ZeniMax, declined the proposal. “It would have been a huge win,” says Carmack. “It seemed like a sensible plan for me.”

If they agreed, Carmack would have continued to work for id. “I would have been content probably staying there working with the people and technology that I know and the work we were doing,” he says. “But they couldn’t come together on that which made me really sad. It was just unfortunate,” Carmack says. “When it became clear that I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to do any work on VR while at id software, I decided to not renew my contract.”

Carmack works for Occulus VR from his home in Dallas, and not in Irvine, California, where the company has its offices. They collaboration started in a web forum, where he discussed with the Occulus VR founder, Palmer Luckey, who sent him a prototype of the Occulus Rift. Once he received it, Carmack did some improvements on the movement tracking system and the image quality, and showed the headset working with Doom 3 at the E3 expo in 2012.

Since this sad episode, Carmack is working full time on the Occulus Rift, and has a lot of fun on it: “While Oculus is still kind of scary fast in terms of all the people coming on there is still the sense that a handful of us are going to crunch really hard and get something done by next Thursday.”

Here is an interview he did last October for Engadget about Occulus VR:

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