"The cost of adding a feature isn't just the time it takes to code it. The cost also includes the addition of an obstacle to future expansion. ... The trick is to pick the features that don't fight each other."
"I have more faith in the sadistic nature of reality"
Referring to the development cycle of his rockets and that he expects to lose some.
"Focus is a matter of deciding what things you're not going to do."
"Low-level programming is good for the programmer's soul."
"I'd rather have a search engine or a compiler on a deserted island than a game..."
"Programming is not a zero-sum game. Teaching something to a fellow programmer doesn't take it away from you. I'm happy to share what I can, because I'm in it for the love of programming."
"If all of the X-Prize teams were given $5 million each to build their vehicles, almost all of them would fail for completely technical reasons."
"The low level operating system SUCKS SO BAD it is hard to believe. The first order problem is lack of memory management / protection. It took me a while to figure out that the zen of mac development is 'be at peace while rebooting'. I rebooted my mac system more times the first weekend than I have rebooted all the WinNT systems I have ever owned.... there is just no excuse for an operating system in this day and age to act like it doesn't have access to memory protection."
On programming under the Classic Mac OS, in his '.plan' file.
"The good thing, is that the game characters don't have to really be intelligent. They just need to avoid doing stupid things in front of the player, a much easier task than actually creating a sentient artificial being"
"My wife got me a new cell phone a year and a half ago, and it had some little Java games on it. When I played through them, I was almost morally indignant that someone would make these really awful games on this platform. Because I was looking at this and thinking, "There's more power in this handset than all of the early [personal-computer] games that we made back in the Commander Keen days. Why do these games suck so bad?"
"If there were a small set of professional rules that I agree with in theory but have chosen not to pursue because they conflict with more common play, then an official "pro mode" might make sense. Any other suggestions along those lines?"
September 1999. Idea for Quake 3 Mod CPMA was born
"I’m going to turn on every damn light in protest of Earth Hour. Lighting the darkness is fundamental to humanity's climb."
(from John's Twitter feed, 3/30/2012)
"Using your time effectively is very important, and there is often a non-linear relationship between the amount of time you can stay focused and the amount that you can learn or accomplish. It is often possible to get more done in a highly focused 12 hour stretch than in a normal 40 hour work week that is interspersed with email, chat, and other distractions. Someone that can be completely obsessive about something does have an advantage, but the same questions about focus apply for any amount of time you choose to devote to an undertaking. Most people work at only a fraction of their potential." John Carmack