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June 4, 1999: everything i imagined i wanted from you


Last week I went in to LG to continue "negotiations", but it turned out the people involved hadn't timed things right and weren't really prepared for it, so instead I just demo'd for a couple of the bigwigs

Yesterday, one of them, Joe finally called back, or so my answering machine revealed when I got home. Today I will talk to him.

However, things have gotten subtly more complicated.

Last night I dreamt...

I was talking to John Carmack about the Quake 3 renderer. He was talking about how he was handling some sort of rendering primitive which dynamically changed what vertices were needed (probably curved surfaces, but it wasn't explicit at the time).

He told me that he just went ahead and recopied the vertices around; it was potentially inefficient but extremely simple, and therefore very bugfree. "It's BLAH," he said. "BLAH" was some word that didn't make any sense to me at the time, and so now I've forgotten it. Some real world term, but it didn't fit the context.

Well, John Carmack has a history of picking his own words to describe things, instead of using industry-standard terminology, so I figured that's what it was, and questioned him further about what he meant. "You mean it's blah-blah-blah?" I asked, proposing a definition.

"Not exactly."

The dream continued, but I don't remember the details.

Now, let me give you a little background context for this dream. The initial setup in the first paragraph probably stems from recent worklogs Carmack published, in which he implied that he's doing dynamic subdivision of curved surfaces instead of the static subdivision he was doing before. The discussion there and in the next sentence is about an implementation issue in doing that. What's odd is I don't think I ever thought about this issue consciously with respect to Quake 3; that is, it would appear that in the dream state I did some correct logical thought, based on my expert knowledge of the subject matter.


Also, the subject matter is particularly interesting because this is one of the ways in which my rendering engine would have been "better" than John's--shipping much later, so of course it should be "better", not a knock at Quake 3 at all--but now it would appear it will be no longer.

Most relevent to the fact I had this dream at all, though, is that Brian Hook, who I've mentioned before, recently announced that he is leaving id software--the company making Quake 3. The company where John Carmack works. The company I recently had a dream about working at.

Two years ago, after I had left LG for the first time, I found out rather late in the process that Carmack was looking for a programmer to replace Michael Abrash. I dropped him mail about it, and he said that (a) he had already decided to hire Brian, and (b) he had thought about talking to me, but decided I wouldn't be an appropriate fit. I replied that I wasn't so sure about that, but I didn't see any reason to pursue it, in the light of (a).

That dream no doubt reflected that I spent some time yesterday reconsidering and reevaluating things.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

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attribution dammit: Frankenstein Aimee Mann