John Carmack on Doom 3 VR: "I'm glad it exists"

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After years of potential prototypes and fan mods, Doom 3 is officially coming to virtual reality this month. With the project’s rocky past still fresh in the rearview mirror, how does original creator John Carmack feel about the new Doom 3 VR? 

Speaking to us, Carmack seemed happy that the project is finally releasing in a commercial capacity. "I’m not well informed on the project, but I’m happy it exists!" Carmack told us.

Is PSVR a good fit for this game?

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PlayStation's PSVR headset isn't the greatest VR headset on the market. The display is low-res, its cables are annoying and the controllers leave a lot to be desired. But are those a problem?

John Carmack doesn't think so. When asked about whether Doom 3 VR would be held back by PlayStation's headset, the Doom creator responded that the headset should be fine. "It should be more than sufficient," Carmack told us.

Carmack’s history with Doom 3 VR

Former id Software founder John Carmack initially demoed a prototype version of Doom 3 VR back in 2012. Demoed on a Sony-designed VR display, the virtual reality conversion was a basic port of id’s Doom 3: BFG Edition. 

Carmack's original Doom 3 port didn’t feature the complex hand tracking that the upcoming release does. Dedicated hand tracking for games didn’t exist back then. Much like other early VR titles, such as the unreleased Alien Isolation VR conversion, players would move and aim with a standard controller. With Carmack’s public falling out with Doom IP holder Zenimax Media, the port never released.

In a 2013 Wired interview, Carmack expressed hope that the project would one day see release. “If I had free time, which I absolutely do not, I wish that I could bring the Doom 3 stuff over,” he said. “I did feel really bad about the fact that I had pseudo-promised Doom 3 for the Rift when I was first talking about it, and now the fact that it didn't get released, I felt personally uncomfortable with how that turned out. I wish I could be doing that, but I do not have the time now.”

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