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Weekend reading: 300+ pages of interviews with John Carmack

Weekend reading: 300+ pages of interviews with John Carmack

July 7, 2017 | By Alex Wawro

July 7, 2017 | By Alex Wawro
More: Console/PC, Design

Heads up, devs: If you're looking for a little light reading this weekend, why not check out programmer Fabien Sanglard's archive of John Carmack interviews from 1996-2008? 

Even if you don't have time or the inclination to read all 300+ pages of the archive, skimming through it offers devs an intriguing look back at the evolution of both Carmack and the game industry at large.

For example, there's an exchange in an early '97 interview with a (now defunct) outlet called BootNet in which Carmack discusses how well a new id Software team member is working out, in the process evincing a way of thinking about a worker's value in the game industry that's no longer popular.

"Brian’s done really well because he’s probably working the longest hours of anyone here, like 90 hours a week," Carmack said. "I’ve been holding my 70 hours for six years now. Two years ago, I was the only person here at night. It’s just wonderful now to have some other people that are here as much as I am, working hard on things."  

There's also a good mix of practical game programming advice, some of which devs may still find useful today. In fact, Sanglard's archive came to Gamasutra's attention after Carmack retweeted a message from a fellow programmer who keeps one of Carmack's old quotes about programming on his resume.

An old Gamasutra interview with Carmack and his partner (and spouse) Katherine Anna Kang even appears in the archive, though its important final question has been omitted.

Devs who are into this stuff should also check out Sanglard's full website if they haven't already, since he has a celebrated history of archiving id materials (like Carmack's old .plan files) and doing in-depth reviews of publicly-released id code.

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