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Carmack Addresses "Creativity" Issue of FPS Market

Looks as though id Software's John Carmack has noticed that the genre he helped establish – the first-person shooter – is currently saturated with squad-based military titles. But he's also apparently annoyed with developers and critics who think that there's no creativity in producing those very same military shooters.

IndustryGamers reports that it recently asked the famed programmer if the genre has hit a wall regarding innovation, only to receive a "more annoyed tone" with Carmack's overall feelings on the matter – that certain developers and critics have gotten "snooty" when it comes to creativity in the FPS genre.

"That’s one of the things - I’m actually happy RAGE is a little bit different in terms of feeling and tone," he said. "It’s not just, 'Here’s your squad mates.' But that’s still a proven formula that people like, and it’s a mistake to [discount that]. As long as people are buying it, it means they’re enjoying it. If they buy the next Call of Duty, it’s because they loved the last one and they want more of it."

Essentially, if people are still buying it, then there's nothing wrong with developing another squad-based military shooter. But this is where many developers and critics seemingly have an issue with the genre in its current state: there's not enough creativity, not enough originality.

"So I am pretty down on people who take the sort of creative auteurs' perspective," he added. "It's like 'Oh, we’re not being creative.' But we're creating value for people - that’s our job! It’s not to do something that nobody’s ever seen before. It’s to do something that people love so much they’re willing to give us money for. So I do get pretty down on people that - you see some of the indie developers that really take a snooty attitude about this. It’s almost as if it’s popular, it’s not good. And that’s just not true."

He went on to admit that he expected third-person to be the more popular genre simply because it offers more of a visual field, especially when Gears of War stormed on the Xbox 360. He also expected the viewpoint to allow developers to do things in games that haven't been done before. But ultimately the oneness players get from the first-person perspective, the total immersion, has seemingly kept the genre at the forefront.

And despite the saturation of military shooters flooding the genre, he gives Call of Duty a thumbs up.

"I’ve actually been really happy seeing the success of Call of Duty, which is also a 60 fps game, which would validate some of my [thinking]," he said. "That was one of our big arguments internally as we were stressing over that, like, ‘Y’know, I think some of the success of Call of Duty is because of how good it feels.' But seeing the huge success of that, it has been great to see it swing back towards people really seeing the advantages of first person perspective, the immersion that you get in the game - that you may be watching a kick ass movie in the third person view, but you’re in the kick ass movie with first person. But there will forever be first-person shooters and third-person shooters and all of that. They’re stable genres that will continue to be polished and improved forever after."

id Software is expected to wrap up its post-apocalyptic first-person shooter, RAGE, within the next few months. RAGE is slated to hit the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC on October 4, 2011.

  • nebun
    carmack can address this.....oIo.....
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    What, THIS guy AGAIN? I'm tired of his "comments" on how tablets and smartphones will take over desktop and laptops in a year... but now he SUDDENLY talks sense! FPS hit the wall a long time ago... what else can you do with an FPS rather then improve graphics? The game genre involves shooting, and not much more, and it's fine! Otherwise, there're things like Just Cause 2 and TimeShift, which offer an FPS core with additional abilities that drastically change the way an FPS works (no, Crysis nanosuit can NOT be considered such an ability!). Concerning 3rd person shooter vs. FPS... I don't agree do his "immersion" ideas. I'm feeling much more immersed while playing Mass Effect 2 or JC2 rather than Call of Duty =P
  • el33t
    Well, I personally feel that people nowadays are way too demanding regarding FPS games especially. I absolutely love the feel of CoD games and I hate it when people complain about how it lacks innovation etc. It has everything a war-based FPS should ought to deliver.
  • Story is everything.....
    Make a lame FPS and get a lame review due to the associated lame gameplay.
    BUT, use a decent storyline as with HLx, CODx, STALKERx, DOOMx, QUAKEx etc and these comments about FPS being "done" just isn't correct.
    Bring me more!
  • fenix1186
    "But we're creating value for people - that’s our job!"

    He meant: "But we're creating profit for us - that’s our job!"

    Honestly the FPS genre hasn't seen too much new stuff. With appalling games like COD, it's just sad. I mean call of duty was awesome as MW1. Then everything that has come after should have only been an expansion because there is NOTHING different aside from a bit more story and some random small items. COD has instead become the Madden of FPS's. Same shit different year. People just love buying the same thing every year with the tiniest changes from the last iteration: COD, Madden, anything Apple, etc
  • darkchazz
    He's just happy because CoD uses the quake 3 engine :P
  • enforcer22
    JastheAceStory is everything.....Make a lame FPS and get a lame review due to the associated lame gameplay.BUT, use a decent storyline as with HLx, CODx, STALKERx, DOOMx, QUAKEx etc and these comments about FPS being "done" just isn't correct.Bring me more!
    What story? all those games suck anyways. Battlefield is way better.ok i do like HL but waiting to finish it is becoming pointless.
  • CTT
    CoD's story has never been its weak point IMO, at least the few of them I've played. Although the last one I played (MW2) took a big hit from consoleitis. Its game play mechanics are crap along with its multiplayer, Battlefield has always blown it away there. So my choice is paying $60 for a good story I'll blow through in a afternoon, or pay $50 for basically no story but a solid game I'll play for years.

    Pretty much what FPS genre comes down to for me these days, easy choice IMO.
  • So...basically he's saying a game is good when it's sales are successful.

    I've regreted Black Ops. Not only because of the game itself, it's just struggling the PC platform. What happen to the immersion in the FPS genre. Today, it's all about bringing kids a gore game.

    So lets keep up with our merchandising and we are fine...
  • fenix1186
    Yea I forgot about the EXTREMELY overpriced MAP PACKS! I remember when maps used to be free. Lol. What a joke. Money grubbing!