The John Carmack of the popular imagination is a high-level tinkerer, solderer for the gods - a man interested in technological advancement for its own sake. But Rage’s campaign trail found him regretting a six year development process bogged down in code rewrites - willing in the future to be a servant to his games and accept those elements of game tech already “really good enough”.
The same thinking seems to apply to his new role at Oculus. Rather than building star-reaching solo experiments, Carmack’s working intimately with the company’s new game development team to optimise the Rift for use in games today.
“He's working on a lot of exciting tech," Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe told Engadget on Carmack. “But, his heart and soul and history certainly lies in the game development side.”
Iribe suggested that Oculus’ internal games team were working on something that would showcase the Rift’s spectrum of functionality. Much like Gears of War showcased Unreal 3, and - if you want to make a pointed example - Doom showcased a third dimension.
“That's always been Epic's philosophy,” said Iribe. “And it's what allowed them to make what they made. It's certainly been id's philosophy in the past. It's been John Carmack's philosophy - you gotta eat your own dog food here, and develop internal content also.”
In August, Oculus hired on former Rage design director Matt Hooper. Iribe suggested that intrigued parties keep an eye on Oculus’ careers page - where “more and more” game developers will pop up over the next six to 12 months.
What’s more, Oculus plan to commission third-party games themselves.
“When we catch on to a nugget that seems like it should become a full experience, we may end up doing it ourselves. We may end up putting it out and working with a third-party studio that does,” explained Iribe. “We've actually started to engage with third-party studios like that through the relations group, the publishing group, as well as our own development.
“I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't do more and more internal development.”
What sort of games would you like to see emerge from Oculus themselves? First-person shooters, VR’s assumed natural home? Or something new - a genre specifically tailored for the Rift?