Friday January 18, 2019

Q2VKPT Brings Ray Tracing to Quake 2

Graphics developers just released an ray traced version of Quake 2, which they claim to be "the first playable game that is entirely raytraced and efficiently simulates fully dynamic lighting in real-time." Calling it a Quake 2 mod is a bit of an understatement, as the project represents a Vulkan rewrite of most of Q2PRO's rendering code, which is itself a massive modification of Quake 2. The researchers say the project "is meant to serve as a proof-of-concept for computer graphics research and the game industry alike," and that it serves as a glimpse into a future where ray tracing has replaced rasterization. If you want to try it out, the initial release can be downloaded on the project's Github page. Thanks to RPS for spotting the release, and check out the ray traced Quake 2 footage below:

VKPT and Q2VKPT were created by Christoph Schied as a spare-time project to validate the results of computer graphics research in an actual game. The project currently encompasses 12K lines of code and completely replaces the original Quake II graphics code. Initially, it was prototyped in OpenGL with contributions by Johannes Hanika (Experimental Ray Tracing, Shaders, GL/Vulkan Fixes), Addis Dittebrandt (Light Hierarchy, Debug Visualisation), Tobias Zirr (Light Sampling, Hack Supervision and Instigation, Website, Info Texts), and Florian Reibold (Initial Light Hierarchy). Additional help was provided by Stephan Bergmann, Emanuel Schrade, Alisa Jung, and Christoph Peters (made some noise).