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NVIDIA shows off Quake 2 with ray tracing and it looks stunning!

By Vijay Anand - on 19 Mar 2019, 11:09am

NVIDIA shows off Quake 2 with ray tracing and it looks stunning!

At NVIDIA's GTC 2019, we got a sneak preview of a fully ray-traced cult classic - Quake II! Now re-engineered for ray tracing, Quake 2 RTX could summon other classic remakes with ray tracing and push developers to further support ray traced games. Experience it just like we did and get blown away!

If you recall, Quake II was a staple in everyone's benchmarking arsenal back in 1997 and 1998 - yes, back when 3DFX was still around and it was one of the highlight games that received 3DFX GPU acceleration support. Readers of our site should recall days of the mighty Canopus Pure 3D II cards in SLI and complementing it with a Tseng Labs ET6000 based 2D card like the STB Lightspeed 128 for the ultimate in 2D and 3D performance.

When the Quake II engine went open source in 2001, it meant anyone could tinker with the code and completely come up with their interpretations and other experiments. NVIDIA worked on a variant that was last created by a former intern, Q2VKPT, but this time using a Vulkan render and implemented several updates to bring about the Quake II RTX:-

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, Quake 2 XP high-detail weapons, models and textures; optional NVIDIA Flow fire, smoke and particle effects, and much more!

All in all, the outcome of Quake 2 RTX terrifically updates the dim and grim looking game of yore and makes it look like a much younger game title thanks to realistic material based rendering, complete with reflections, refractions, emissive textures, soft shadows, dynamic and indirect lighting, dynamic weapon effects and much more. You can run all this in real time on a GeForce RTX graphics card. 

More info to come at a later date on where you can get your hands on this build of Quake 2 RTX for your personal amusement and re-playing the classic in a new light - literally speaking.

Source: NVIDIA

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