Image from John Carmack Meta for an article titled, 'This Is the End of My Decade in VR'

Image: Bloomberg (Getty Images)

John Carmack, legendary game designer, rocket boy and VR enthusiast, has announced that he has surpassed both Meta/Facebook and the virtual reality business as one of its most prominent champions after a decade.

Carmack’s was in position executive consultant. After initially sending a farewell message to colleagues in an internal memo, which was partially leaked to the media, he decided to post everything, including some clarifications, on his Facebook page.

This is exactly what it is:

This is the end of my decade in VR.

I have mixed feelings.

Quest 2 is pretty much what I wanted to see from the start – mobile hardware, indoor tracking, optional PC streaming, 4k(ish) screen, affordable price. For all my complaints about our software, millions of people are still getting value from it. We have a good product. It’s successful, and successful products make the world a better place. Things could have happened a little faster and better if different decisions had been made, but we built something pretty close to The Right Thing.

The issue is our efficiency.

Some will ask, as long as this is happening, I care what the progress is.

If I’m trying to sway others, I’d say that an organization known for its inefficiency alone isn’t ready for the inevitable competition and/or belt-tightening, but really, it’s more of a personal pain to see a 5% GPU utilization count. production. I am offended by this.

[edit: I was being overly poetic here, as several people have missed the intention. As a systems optimization person, I care deeply about efficiency. When you work hard at optimization for most of your life, seeing something that is grossly inefficient hurts your soul. I was likening observing our organization’s performance to seeing a tragically low number on a profiling tool.]

We have a ridiculous amount of people and resources, but we constantly sabotage ourselves and waste effort. There is no way to sugar coat this; I think our organization is working at half the efficiency that would make me happy. Some may scoff and claim we’re good, but others laugh and say, “Half? ha! I’m a quarter as efficient!’

It was a struggle for me. I have my voice at the highest level here, so it seems like I should be able to move things around, but I’m probably not convincing enough. A good portion of the things I complain about eventually turn my way after a year or two and the evidence piles up, but I’ve never been able to kill the stupid things without harm or set a direction. he I think my influence on the fringes has been positive, but never the main driver.

It definitely affected me – I could have moved to Menlo Park after I got the Oculus and tried to fight leadership generations, but I was programming and I thought I would hate it, be bad, and probably lose. anyway.

Enough complaining. I’m tired of fighting and I have my own startup, but the fight can still be won! VR can bring value to the majority of people in the world, and no company is better positioned to do so than Meta. It may indeed be possible to get there by simply moving forward with existing practices, but there is plenty of room for improvement.

Make better decisions and fill your products with Curse!

As he explained, while his comments may seem damning, they are not necessarily related to anyone he works with or decisions made above him. They’re more about his apparent passion for the idea of ​​optimization, a structural and systemic problem that would have been maddening for a man used to writing code and launching rockets into space at a large company like Meta.

This would normally be the part of the story where I would throw in some speculation, maybe such a high profile departure could spell trouble for Meta’s efforts in space, but lol, I think Meta does a pretty good job of shouting this from the cracks themselves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *