Leading OGL Game Dev Believes Direct3D Is Better than OpenGL

John Carmack: Direct3D Is Better Than OpenGL

by Anton Shilov
03/11/2011 | 07:07 PM

The man behind a number of many AAA games, including Doom and Quake, and who has always been apologist of OpenGL application programming interface (API), John Carmack, said in an interview that the Microsoft Direct3D API now provides a better platform to develop.


"I actually think that Direct3D is a rather better API today. Microsoft had the courage to continue making significant incompatible changes to improve the API, while OpenGL has been held back by compatibility concerns. Direct3D handles multi-threading better, and newer versions manage state better," said John Carmack, the head programmer of id Software, in an interview with Bit-Tech web-site.

For many years Mr. Carmack and id Software obeyed the Direct3D API since it does not allow to impose vendor-proprietary extensions. Nonetheless, the vast majority of game developers have been used D3D as the only standard since the early aughts. Moreover, even id's boss does not intent to move to DirectX because he has too many platforms to serve.

"It is really just inertia that keeps us on OpenGL at this point. [id] has no plans to move over to Direct3D, despite its advantages. OpenGL still works fine and we wouldn’t get any huge benefits by making the switch, so I can’t work up much enthusiasm for cleaning it out of our codebase. If it was just a matter of the game code, we could quite quickly produce a DirectX PC executable, but all of our tool code has to share resources with the game renderer, and I wouldn’t care to go over all of that for a dubious win, explained Mr. Carmack.

Given the fact that John Carmack heavily works on ports of video games created by his company onto mobile devices as we as developing games for emerging mobile platforms that require "open" tools amid being closed platforms.