Quake II looks better than ever with ray tracing

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Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Mods are a great excuse to revisit old games but more often than not, the desire to replay a timeless classic has more to do with the fact that it was a great game to begin with rather than wanting to experience some newfangled technology.

With Q2VKPT, you get the best of both worlds.

Created by Christoph Schied, a Ph.D. student at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, Q2VKPT is a rebuild of the original Quake II consisting of 12,000 lines of code that completely replace the game’s graphics code. Schied describes it as the first playable game that is entirely ray traced to simulate fully dynamic lighting in real-time.

Using an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, it’s possible to run the game at nearly 60 frames per second at a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440.

It’s understandable not to initially be impressed that a 20-year-old game is struggling to hit 60 FPS on the latest hardware but as Schied highlights, the limiting factor of path tracing is not primarily ray tracing or geometric complexity. Instead, it’s the number of indirect light scattering computations and light sources that account for the high computational cost.

“Quake II was already designed with many light sources when it was first released, in that sense it is still quite a modern game. Also, the number of light scattering events does not depend on scene complexity.”

As such, Schied said it’s plausible that the techniques used in Q2VKPT could be scaled to more recent games.

Those interested in giving Q2VKPT a try can grab the necessary files over on GitHub.

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Evernessince

TS Evangelist
"Using an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, it’s possible to run the game at nearly 60 frames per second at a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440."

This doesn't seem like something you'd want to proudly display on your new $1,200 graphics card's award section. Can't even play a 21 year old game at 60 FPS.
 

roberthi

TS Addict
"Using an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, it’s possible to run the game at nearly 60 frames per second at a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440."

This doesn't seem like something you'd want to proudly display on your new $1,200 graphics card's award section. Can't even play a 21 year old game at 60 FPS.
Was thinking the same thing. It doesn't even look that good and takes away the nostalgia.
 

ShObiT

TS Maniac
You guys obviously do not understand how visually complex and demanding this technology is, or have an educated history of what happens to GPU's when they push new tech.
Yes we know, every other AMD generations there's new tech, maybe that's why they kept losing, just like this "RTX" is crappy now. But hey can't we just please enjoy this time giving **** to the Green team? save your excuses please.
 
You guys obviously do not understand how visually complex and demanding this technology is, or have an educated history of what happens to GPU's when they push new tech.

Thank You.

I bought my RTX2080Ti just to have it and then wait for developers to deliver content for it. Ray Tracing is basically a graphic candy, but it's extremely demanding tech that is still not matured.
 
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When Quake 2 was released, G.R. knocked it saying that "all it added was colored lighting" and insulted the AI for just ducking or sidestepping projectiles.
 
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Evernessince

TS Evangelist
You guys obviously do not understand how visually complex and demanding this technology is, or have an educated history of what happens to GPU's when they push new tech.
Visually complex and demanding doesn't suddenly make it good. The reason modern graphics look as good as they do is because many current technologies are shortcuts to the way light actually behaves in real life. You can brute force a small improvement in visual fidelity or you can be smart about it. Nvidia did the former. My first boss always told me to work smarter, not harder.

Nor is it traditional to nearly double the price of the top end graphics card for a single small graphical improvement that was used in 0 games at launch.
 
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ShagnWagn

TS Guru
You guys obviously do not understand how visually complex and demanding this technology is, or have an educated history of what happens to GPU's when they push new tech.

Thank You.

I bought my RTX2080Ti just to have it and then wait for developers to deliver content for it. Ray Tracing is basically a graphic candy, but it's extremely demanding tech that is still not matured.
While I see your point, I would rather wait until the tech is used, then buy the card for much cheaper. Often times it is the next generation before it's adopted into (playable) games. I predict the 3080 or whatever will probably double the frames as it will be built around RT optimization. Just my thoughts though.
 
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You guys obviously do not understand how visually complex and demanding this technology is, or have an educated history of what happens to GPU's when they push new tech.
It's not that visually complex or demanding at all. We've been using it for over 20 years in the CGI realm. I use it ever day for a living in arch/viz, and we've had no problem rendering with the GPU for MANY years with Redshift, Octane, Vray RT, iRay, and other engines. GPU-tech is simply pushing the data through the other pipeline; instead of the CPU and a few cores it's going to the GPU and many hundreds of cores. You're not coming off as educated or "edgy" by pretending you know more about it than anyone else here. INB4 "muh realtime engines are different".

And every reader here has an "educated history of what happens to GPUs (there's no apostrophe there, kiddo) when they push new tech" because that's what these articles are about, and we've all read them. The RTX sales-pitch is terrible and Nvidia overshot their mark on this one. They aren't powerful enough to push the tech they're sold to push, by a longshot.
 

Burty117

TechSpot Chancellor
Looks really good actually, I wonder what the original Half-Life would look like fully Ray-Traced?
 

ValterV

TS Rookie
I wonder if Beth will re-re-re-re release Skyrim, this time in full RT glory to play with the new lineup of RT gpus, the 3080s. (my fingers were itching to add apostrophes to every single instance of a plural form).
 

ShObiT

TS Maniac
It's not that visually complex or demanding at all. We've been using it for over 20 years in the CGI realm. I use it ever day for a living in arch/viz, and we've had no problem rendering with the GPU for MANY years with Redshift, Octane, Vray RT, iRay, and other engines. GPU-tech is simply pushing the data through the other pipeline; instead of the CPU and a few cores it's going to the GPU and many hundreds of cores. You're not coming off as educated or "edgy" by pretending you know more about it than anyone else here. INB4 "muh realtime engines are different".

And every reader here has an "educated history of what happens to GPUs (there's no apostrophe there, kiddo) when they push new tech" because that's what these articles are about, and we've all read them. The RTX sales-pitch is terrible and Nvidia overshot their mark on this one. They aren't powerful enough to push the tech they're sold to push, by a longshot.
People will use any excuse for Nvidia.
 

amstech

IT Overlord
It's not that visually complex or demanding at all. We've been using it for over 20 years in the CGI realm..
I've had to address this before, looks like I have to address it again...to me this is common sense but some people require an explanation.
Running RT in real-time with millions of possible outcomes/reflections/events versus a scripted event in a movie or CGI is much different, its not even close to being the same thing. Your talking about the worlds fastest gaming GPU being brought to its knees on a game that can be run on a Pentium II 400MHz and 16MB Voodoo Banshee.
 
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Eldritch

TS Addict
And that is exactly why it is not brag worthy.
Thats exactly why it is.
People don't care about the backend as long as the frontend is not impressive. We can argue how many billions of computations of physiscs, vertices and shading happens to render a frame but nobody will be impressed as long as output itself isn't great.

RT is future, no doubt about that. But it isn't mature yet and may not be for atleast two more generations.
 
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Puiu

TS Evangelist
just like this "RTX" is crappy now..
All new technologies for graphic enhancement go through this phase, its not crappy, its in its infancy.
But hey can't we just please enjoy this time giving **** to the Green team?
Go ahead, I've been as upset as anyone over their RTX pricing.
save your excuses please.
Save your thoughts.
If it is in its infancy then we should treat it as such. Call us back when it is relevant, until then it's just you making excuses.
 
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