John Carmack, owner of id Software, appeared at Apple Worldwide Developers Conference and delivered the first public demonstration of id's next generation game engine. It allows almost unlimited visual tinkering separate from the mechanics of the game.
Tools to be provided by Id mean "They have unlimited flexibility to
change as much as they want on the surfaces with no impact on the
performance or the stability of the game," said Carmack.
So once the game developers have done their part, artists can be let
loose on the visual appearance "to make it look as good as we have time
or resources to do." Multiple artists can work on different aspects of
the world at the same time.
The engine will be licensed for Mac, PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 developers. Watch a fantastic YouTube clip of Carmack's address and demo here.