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Gaming with Kids and Armadillo Aerospace

Interview: id Software's John Carmack
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DC: Do id Software and Bethesda/ZeniMax Media have a strategy for licensing id Tech 5?

JC: We’re officially not doing anything outside the Bethesda/Zenimax Media [id Software's parent company] family. We have a few other companies or teams internally that are working with it.

DC: I know the last time we talked you were playing a lot of Nintendo DS games with your son. What are you guys playing nowadays?

JC: It’s funny right now because we just turned around gone back to the very first Wii game that we ever bought, BoomBlox. It‘s got a creation mode, and I’m super happy that my son is now excited about building his own levels on there…just having him put the levels together, explain to me what they are, and then we start playing with them, and I think that’s great. I enjoy the creative bit. We had a lot of fun with Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, and the latest Super Mario Brothers and Zelda games. He’s also got his Pokemon: Battle Frontier that I don’t get into much.

DC: I know you don’t get to game that much, but what is your favorite non-id Software game to play right now, if anything?

JC: That would probably be the new Super Mario Brothers. The founding of id Software sort of revolved around Super Mario Brothers in some way, and I still have fun going back and playing that. I bought an original NES off of eBay to go ahead and show my son the old games on there, and I dug out an Atari 2600 to look at the really old games that I played.

DC: Your side project company Armadillo Aerospace isn't taking government contracts anymore. Keeping that in mind, what is the primary goal of Armadillo now in 2011 and beyond?

JC: Things have changed, but we do expect to be servicing the government market as a provider rather than a contractor with the flight opportunity stuff. Right now I’m willing to take a longer view and sink my money into it to build the vehicles that will be capable of doing suborbital research and science project stuff, and then eventually move towards space adventures and manned flights. There’s actually quite a bit of potential money in the science markets right now…not from NASA’s standpoint, but in the multiple millions of dollars a year, tens of millions and such, which would actually recoup the investment that I put into all of this. It just means that I’m probably going have to put a year or two of my own money again back into the company. At this point, now that it’s not volunteers, but rather full time staff, plus all the materials and outsourcing, it costs about a million dollars a year.

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