By now a lot of you have probably feasted your eyes on the Quake 2 real-time ray-traced lighting video that’s been doing the rounds since January. Created by former Nvidia inter Christoph Schied, this brings the RTX experience to Id Software’s classic (and ancient) 1997 shooter.
Nvidia spied an opportunity and immediately contacted their former intern, taking Q2VKPT and helping to add a whole bunch of additional graphical features. It has now become a complete overhaul of Quake 2 with RTX effects, officially supported by Nvidia, and running on Vulkan. It’s really quite the thing as well, with Nvidia’s extra changes breathing some incredible new life into the beloved sci-fi shooter.
“We’ve introduced real-time, controllable, time-of-day lighting, with accurate sunlight and indirect illumination; refraction on water and glass; emissive, reflective and transparent surfaces; normal and roughness maps for added surface detail; particle and laser effects for weapons; procedural environment maps featuring mountains, sky and clouds, which are updated when the time of day is changed; a flare gun for illuminating dark corners where enemies lurk; an improved denoiser; SLI support (hands-up if you rolled with Voodoo 2 SLI back in the day); Quake 2 XP high-detail weapons, models and textures; optional NVIDIA Flow fire, smoke and particle effects, and much more!” said Nvidia’s Andrew Burnes.
Nvidia isn’t ready to release footage of its changes just yet, but here’s the original footage from Schied, as well as the first batch of comparison screenshots from Nvidia’s updated version of Quake 2 RTX.
All of this could well form the basis for updating other old games to run with real-time ray-traced lighting, a move that evidently on potential visual quality.
As it currently stands, you will need a GeForce RTX graphics card to take advantage of this, although Nvidia does plan to bring ray-tracing to the GTX 10 series starting in April.