id Tech 6

id Tech 6
Developer(s) id Software
Written in C++
Operating system Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Type Game engine
License Proprietary

id Tech 6 is a multiplatform game engine developed by id Software. It is the successor to id Tech 5 and was first used to create the 2016 Doom video game. Internally, the development team also used the codename id Tech 666 to refer to the engine.[1] The PC version of the engine is based on Vulkan API and additionally OpenGL API is also supported like its predecessors.

John Carmack started talking about his vision regarding the engine that would succeed id Tech 5 years before the latter debuted in Rage, but following his departure from id Software in 2014, Tiago Sousa was hired to replace him as the lead renderer programmer at the company.

On June 24, 2009, id Software was acquired by ZeniMax Media. It was later announced that id Software's technology would be available only by other companies also belonging to ZeniMax Media.[2] One such example is Arkane Studios' Dishonored 2 which uses the Void Engine, described as "based on Id Tech 5 [but with] rewritten quite everything that's 70% of the engine".[3]

Preliminary information

In 2008 and while id Tech 5 had yet to be fully formed, John Carmack said the next engine by id Software would be looking towards a direction where ray tracing and classic raster graphics would be mixed.[4] The engine would work by raycasting the geometry represented by voxels (instead of triangles) stored in an octree.[5] Carmack claimed that this format would also be a more efficient way to store the 2D data as well as the 3D geometry data, because of not having packing and bordering issues.[4] The goal of the engine would be to virtualize geometry the same way that id Tech 5 virtualized textures.[6][7] This would be a change from past engines which for the most part use mesh-based systems. However, he also explained during QuakeCon 08, that the hardware that would be capable of id Tech 6 did not yet exist at the time.[8]

In July 2011, Carmack explained that id Software was beginning research for the development of id Tech 6.[9] It's unknown if Carmack's vision of the engine at the time was still the same he described in 2008.


An early version of the fourth main Doom game was being built on id Tech 5 but id Software restarted development in late 2011 to early 2012, after Bethesda expressed concerns about its creative and technological direction. When development was restarted it was decided to begin with the id Tech 5-based Rage codebase but take "big leaps back in certain areas of tech" and "[merge] Doom features to Rage".[10]

Doom was first showed to the public during QuakeCon 2014, where it was confirmed it was running on an early version of id Tech 6.[11] The developers' goals when creating the engine were described as being able to drive good looking games running at 1080p on 60 fps but also reintroduce real-time dynamic lighting which was largely removed from id Tech 5.[12] The engine still uses virtual textures (dubbed "MegaTextures" in id Tech 4 and 5) but they are of higher quality and no longer restrict the appearance of realtime lighting and shadows.[13][14] Physically based rendering has also been confirmed.[15] A technical analysis of Doom found that the engine supports motion blur, bokeh depth of field, HDR bloom, shadow mapping, FXAA, SMAA and TSSAA anti-aliasing, directional occlusion, screen space reflections, GPU accelerated particles which are correctly lit and shadowed, and chromatic aberration.[16] On July 11, 2016 id Software released an update for the game that added support for Vulkan.[17]

Following Carmack's departure from id Software, Tiago Sousa, who had worked as the lead R&D graphics engineer of several versions of the CryEngine at Crytek, was hired to lead development of the rendering.[18][19] Bethesda's Pete Hines has commented that while id Tech 6 reuses code written by Carmack, most of the decisions made about the engine's direction were taken after he left.[14]

Games using id Tech 6

See also


  1. Griffin McElroy. "The new Doom game is just titled 'Doom,' runs on id Tech 6, and more details". Polygon. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  4. 1 2 "John Carmack on id Tech 6, Ray Tracing, Consoles, Physics and more". PC Perspective. 2008-03-12. What John does see ray tracing useful for is a very specific data model he has created called "sparse voxel octrees" that allow him to store immense amounts of data in a fashion that is easily accessed using ray tracing methods(...) This new data model and algorithm being worked on for id Tech 6 would allow, according to John, nearly infinite amounts of geometric detail in the world without the problems seen with tessellation engines or trying to store gigabytes of data locally
  5. John Olick (2008). "Current Generation Parallelism In Games" (PDF). id Software.
  6. "E3 2008: The John Carmack Interview. Rage, id Tech 6, Doom 4 Details, and More!". Maximum PC. 2008-07-15. I still think there’s one more generation to be had where we virtualize geometry with id Tech 6 and do some things that are truly revolutionary. (...) I know we can deliver a next-gen kick, if we can virtualize the geometry like we virtualized the textures; we can do things that no one’s ever seen in games before.
  7. "John Carmack on id Tech 6, Ray Tracing, Consoles, Physics and more". 2008-03-12. This new data model and algorithm being worked on for id Tech 6 would allow, according to John, nearly infinite amounts of geometric detail in the world without the problems seen with tessellation engines or trying to store gigabytes of data locally.
  8. "QuakeCon 08: id Tech 6 Will Utilize Hardware That 'Doesn't Exist Right Now'; Next-Gen Will Still Be Polygon-Based". Maximum PC. 2008-07-31. id Tech 6, for example, probably won't be coded in Java or any protected language. It also will be designed for hardware that doesn't exist right now. With new discrete graphics players entering the field (Larrabee, Fusion, etc), Carmack knows that the PC space is relevant, and that's where he'll be looking when thinking about coding his next engine.
  9. "Doom Creator More Excited About Games Now Than Ever". IndustryGamers. 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 'And we're in research for id Tech 6 graphics, content development…yeah, I’m super busy,' he said.
  10. Jason Schreier. "Five Years And Nothing To Show: How Doom 4 Got Off Track". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  11. HQGameplayTV (2 September 2015). "Powering DOOM with id Tech 6". Retrieved 11 July 2016 via YouTube.
  12. GameZone. "Doom debuts the new id Tech 6 engine". Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  13. Doom Tech Analysis: The Best-Looking 60fps Console Shooter?. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016 via YouTube.
  14. 1 2 "Bethesda wins the attention war by blasting marketing rules for Doom, Fallout 4 - GamesBeat - Games - by Dean Takahashi". VentureBeat. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  15. "Take A Look At DOOM's id Tech 6 In This Video Interview". WCCFtech. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  16. "Face-Off: Doom". Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  17. "". Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  18. "John Carmack's Replacement at id: Tiago Sousa (Crytek)". Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  19. "Tiago Sousa". Twitter. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  20. "Why id Software is calling it "Doom" and not "Doom 4"".
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