The Trinity Thing
FS: Switching gears a bit, I was reading some stuff about how now that Quake 3 has been put to bed, that you're going to spend a little more time doing more research on engines.
John: I've got a couple of engine things that I'm working on, as far as research.
FS: So is one of those things Trinity? I think there's been a little confusion about "Trinity."
John: I was never really certain how this got as confusing as it did to everybody. After Quake, when I was starting on new rendering technologies and everything, everybody was just calling it "the next engine" or whatever. Michael Abrash suggested we just take Intel's tack of naming your next project after a river near you. We have the Trinity River in Dallas, and so it was just like "Trinity Engine," the next step. And of course we wound up not rolling that into a project because Quake II was derivative of Quake I, and I wound up stopping [Trinity] to work on Quake II, so there was never a specific project that was on. It was just like when we were talking about the work that I was doing, and at the start of Quake III, I went and did like six different research engines, for different rendering techniques and everything.
But it's still just the research work that I'm doing. It was like two voxel things, a spacewarping thing, a lumigraph thing, and then some of the stuff that actually turned into the Quake III engine, and some other stuff like that.
That's one thing that's been one of the real strengths of id and my technical direction in particular. You see companies that are wed to a clever idea; there are some specific games that you can probably name where they have their idea and that's what everything's wrapped around. I'm not tied to any of the particular ideas. Like I said, at the start of Quake III I had like six different things to go on, and I looked at all of them and said, "these are more intellectually neat," but what we're doing for Quake III actually turned out to be kind of a righter path in many ways. And I've got a couple of things that I'm going on right now. But there's no one that's like got some magic tag on it, they're just all the different things that I'm going to be examining.