John Carmack awarded for his work on VR… just before leaving Oculus!

Last Monday, John Carmack received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the VR Awards, and in his recorded acceptance speech, complained about the slow pace of progress in VR, knowing that there are still many things to do in that domain…

… but he won’t be the guy who will implement his long TODO list, as he announced today that he will leave Oculus, going from being the full-time CTO (since 2013 after his departure from id Software) to a “Consulting CTO” role for the company. He will work in research related to the “Artifical General Intelligence” – AI with some kind of real reflexion and learning.

Starting this week, I’m moving to a "Consulting CTO” position with Oculus.I will still have a voice in the development…

Posted by John Carmack on Wednesday, November 13, 2019

 

He was already talking about his interest in the domain in this long – but very interesting! – 2 and a half hours interview he gave to Joe Rogan in August about his past and future work, including long segments about VR and id Software:

We can be sure that with the intelligence of John Carmack, this domain might evolve more quickly in the upcoming years!

John Carmack joins facebook!

To be more precise: his employer Occulus VR has been bought by facebook for around 2 billion dollars. It means that the giant social network is very interested in the virtual reality technologies, which have a very bright future. It will also bring a lot of cash to the company, which will be able to expand without any problem. Nevertheless, nobody knows what will be the future of this company…

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: