Rage on iPhone is "actually possible"

Carmack reckons he could do it.

Only John Carmack could claim it's possible to recreate Rage entirely on iPhone - and then be taken seriously.

That's why people have gotten the wrong end of the stick.

"While it would (amazingly!) actually be possible to compile the full-blown PC/console Rage game for an iPhone4 with some effort," wrote Carmack on the Bethesda blog, "it would be a hopelessly bad idea.

"Even the latest and greatest mobile devices are still a fraction of the power of a 360 or PS3, let alone a high-end gaming PC, so none of the carefully made performance trade-offs would be appropriate for the platform, to say nothing of the vast differences in controls."

Carmack said the technology demo he showed on iPhone at QuakeCon - "It's Rage. On the iPhone. At 60 frames a second" - mislead people into thinking the entire experience was being translated to iPhone.

"In hindsight, I probably introduced it poorly."

Instead, what the iPhone will get is Mutant Bash TV, a post-apocalyptic combat game show based in the Rage world. The idea is to get from start to finish alive and with the best score possible. Carmack wants you to enjoy playing the content again and again.

"Many of the elements that made Doom Resurrection good the first time you played it hurt the replayability, for instance. Rage iOS is all action," Carmack wrote, "all the time.

"I have played the game dozens of times, and testing it is still fun instead of a chore."

Visually and technically it'll be a showpiece - of course it will, it's John Carmack. The data the game requires is "big, really big" and the HD version is "more like getting a movie than an app" - "so be prepared for a long download".

"What we do have is something unlike anything ever seen on the iOS platforms," puffed Carmack. "It is glorious, and a lot of fun. Development has been proceeding at high intensity since QuakeCon, and we hope to have the app out by the end of November."

Nevertheless, id Software won't charge much for Mutant Bash TV - hardly anything, in fact.

"We decided that this would be a good opportunity to try a $0.99 SD / $1.99 HD price point," explained Carmack. "We need to stay focused on not letting the project creep out of control, but I think people will be very happy with the value."

Rage on console - with id Tech 5 underneath - has been so far visually and technically impressive. Whether the innards can match the outards - to make up a word - remains to be seen. But we'll watch very closely.

RAGE at E3 2010.

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