Carmack starting from scratch

id Software programmer confirms that the Doom 3 engine is being written from the ground-up

Details on id Software's new Doom game are still scant, and we've heard almost nothing about the game since its sensational announcement in frankly bizarre circumstances on June 1st. In fact, John Carmack hasn't updated his .plan (a mixture of diary and work log) since that day. But thanks to a message board post from Jim Dosé, one of the company's new programmers, we now have some idea of what's going on in the early stages of the game's development.

"The engine is being completely rewritten, just piece-by-piece", Jim explained, refuting suggestions that the new Doom would instead use a heavily modified version of the Quake 3 engine. "Currently, the renderer, shader system, and game code are completely new. The cgame and network code have been removed. The animation system is currently being written from the ground up. The sound system and UI are still in place, but will be rewritten by Graeme and Robert when they are finished with the mission pack. At some point along the way, John will probably write a new network system. So, even though we are not starting out with a blank sheet of paper, the final result will be a full rewrite."

Given how poor the sound systems and interfaces of id Software's previous games have been, confirmation that they are being rewritten from scratch by someone other than John Carmack is certainly good news. This also marks the first time that id have completely overhauled their engine since the first Quake, as both Quake 2 and Quake 3 built on the previous version of the engine. Hopefully some time next year we will get our first look at the new engine and see whether JC has worked his magic again...

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