Id Software co-founder John Carmack has answered the industry brainteaser of why Elder Scrolls V isn’t built using Id Tech 5.
He said the engine would be “completely unacceptable” at the centre of Bethesda’s project, chiefly because the game wouldn’t play on the engine’s strengths.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is being built at Bethesda Softworks using the studio’s proprietary Creation Engine.
Yet in June 2009, Bethesda’s owners Zenimax media bought id Software for more than $150 million.
It was initially believed the deal had paved the way for Bethesda to take advantage of id Software’s high-end technology.
Today Carmack says that wouldn’t benefit id Software nor Bethesda.
"The megatexture direction [in id Tech 5] has some big wins, but it’s also fairly restrictive on certain types of games," Carmack said in an interview with Gamasutra.
Games such as Grand Theft Auto – which renders huge cities inhabiting hundreds of buildings along with numerous visual landmarks – would not play to the engine’s strengths, Carmack said.
"[And] it would be a completely unacceptable engine to do [Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls V:] Skyrim in, where you’ve got the whole world, walking across these huge areas,” he added.
Megatexturing is an innovative process where an entire landscape is dressed with one huge all-encompassing texture.
Instead of adding separate textures to different types of geometry, one giant ‘blanket’ texture is precisely placed over an entire game space.
The use of a single texture, instead of hundreds or thousands, can in theory offer high-end visuals at a low processor cost.