Quake II Fully Ray Traced

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Matt_B
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Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Post by Matt_B » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:52 am

To qualify that a bit further you could contrast it with the sort of graphical makeover that the likes of Resi 2 and the forthcoming Link's Awakening. They look like thoroughly modern games, albeit without ray tracing, rather than a very old one with some flashy effects tacked on.

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Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Post by SJ_Sathanas » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:13 am

Matt_B wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:52 am
To qualify that a bit further you could contrast it with the sort of graphical makeover that the likes of Resi 2 and the forthcoming Link's Awakening. They look like thoroughly modern games, albeit without ray tracing, rather than a very old one with some flashy effects tacked on.
That would make for a poor ray tracing demo though.,....

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Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Post by Matt_B » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:44 am

SJ_Sathanas wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:13 am
Matt_B wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:52 am
To qualify that a bit further you could contrast it with the sort of graphical makeover that the likes of Resi 2 and the forthcoming Link's Awakening. They look like thoroughly modern games, albeit without ray tracing, rather than a very old one with some flashy effects tacked on.
That would make for a poor ray tracing demo though.,....
Obviously it would. Still, I'd think it'd make for a better ray tracing demo if they updated the graphics generally and then added ray tracing.

Then again, that would entail a lot more work and they could probably only improve things so much before they ran into the same performance issues as the modern games trying to use it.

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Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Post by outdated_gamer » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:54 pm

Matt_B wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:52 am
To qualify that a bit further you could contrast it with the sort of graphical makeover that the likes of Resi 2 and the forthcoming Link's Awakening. They look like thoroughly modern games, albeit without ray tracing, rather than a very old one with some flashy effects tacked on.
Those are full priced remakes though, not free remasters like this title here.

If you look at Resi 2, it's basically a fully new game with fully remade graphics, gameplay, etc., while Quake II RTX is the original game with improved lighting and some other "eye candy" like higher detail weapon models, explosions, textures, etc.

The price of admission for Quake II RTX is having a Nvidia RTX card (it will work on Nvidia GTX 10x0 series too, albeit much slower), which, admittedly, is not cheap, but I'd say it does it's job as a graphics tech demo.

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Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Post by Matt_B » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:28 am

As before, I've no arguments about its value as a tech demo.

Still, like you say, when the price of entry is a £300 graphics card, it being a "free" game seems rather moot.

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Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Post by outdated_gamer » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:01 pm

Matt_B wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:28 am
As before, I've no arguments about its value as a tech demo.

Still, like you say, when the price of entry is a £300 graphics card, it being a "free" game seems rather moot.
Well, real-time ray tracing is kinda the whole point here so it requiring the type of hardware that can pull it off seems sensible to me.

Those without a RTX compatible card can always download the free but also fine Quake II XP mod:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uurJ-zjhok


Anyways, here's the list of changes:

- Improved Global Illumination rendering, with three selectable quality presets, including two-
bounce GI
- Multiplayer support
- Time of day options that radically change the appearance of some levels
- New weapon models & textures
- New dynamic environments (Stroggos surface, and space)
- Better physically based atmospheric scattering, including settings for Stroggos sky
- Real-time reflectivity of the player and weapon model on water and glass surfaces, and
player model shadows, for owners of the complete game (the original Shareware release
does not include player models)
- Improved ray tracing denoising technology
- All 3,000+ original game textures have been updated with a mix of Q2XP mod-pack
textures
and our own enhancements
- Updated effects with new sprites and particle animations
- Dynamic lighting for items such as blinking lights, signs, switches, elevators and moving
objects
- Caustics approximation to improve water lighting effects
- High-quality screenshot mode that makes your screenshots look even better
- Support for the old OpenGL renderer, enabling you to switch between RTX ON and RTX
OFF
- Cylindrical projection mode for wide-angle field of view on widescreen displays

A vid from Nvidia:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7RniXWvYhY

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Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Post by outdated_gamer » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:02 pm

It's out since the 6th and as expected it's melting the best PCs out there. It seems it's more impressive for programmers, computer scientists and hardware enthusiasts than it is for, usually younger and less knowledgeable, gamers, since the performance hit and hardware requirements are quite massive.

Here's a good vid about it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbD32b4UiZ8

And here's a comparison with original OpenGL renderer vs ray-traced (path traced) RTX renderer and some gameplay:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8H0dkL8Pro&t=217s

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Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Post by Matt_B » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:24 am

Yeah, the performance is very poor. You're pretty much wasting your time playing on a 10 series card. I managed to get it running on a 1070 after a few tweaks, but had to put the resolution down to 800x600 to get the frame rate up into the high 20s. That's a card that'll usually get over 30 on most bleeding edge games at 4K on the highest settings too, so it just illustrates how hardcore the demands of ray tracing are. Nvidia themselves recommend an RTX 2060 as the minimum requirement, and if you want to play it at 1080p without it looking like a slideshow, I suspect that's your starting point.

As for the graphics generally, the lighting through glass - or just gaps in the walls and roofs - and reflections off glossy surfaces look fabulous, although such moments are few and far between with the game mostly just looking very old.

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Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Post by Matt_B » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:10 am

I've now had a go at it on a friend's RTX 2080 Ti and, to be honest, it's not really that much improved.

You can get decent frame rates at non-retro resolutions but it's not like the game looks much better for it. Assorted pundits have suggested that the graphics pretty much top out at 720p, beyond which you're only getting a bit more anti-aliasing over the limitations of the graphics, and I'd be inclined to agree with them. Also, past the initial set of shareware levels there's not exactly that much new you'll see in terms of ray tracing either.

Ah well, it's still a case of job done as a tech demo. However, it's also reinforcing that - unless you're in the market for a high end graphics card right away, and Nvidia have long been the default option for that - you're probably best off skipping until another generation. With AMD also offering ray tracing via somewhat complementary techniques, it might be worth waiting to see what they can offer up too.

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Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Post by outdated_gamer » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:42 pm

I have to agree - it's a great tech demo for cutting-edge PC hardware, but leaves quite a lot to desire as a remaster.

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Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Post by SJ_Sathanas » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:08 am

I'd be surprised if there weren't home brew/mod remasters of Q2 out there already (on Quake 3 or Doom 3 engines for example).
Interesting to see it, and fun looking at Quake 2 again after all these years. It was one of the first games I got after moving from consoles so I have a lot of affection for it, and games of this era (sort of "post-3dfx" as I call it).

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Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Post by outdated_gamer » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:18 pm

SJ_Sathanas wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:08 am
I'd be surprised if there weren't home brew/mod remasters of Q2 out there already (on Quake 3 or Doom 3 engines for example).
Indeed they are. Quake II XP and Quake II Berserker are two examples, but there's also Yamagi Quake II, Quake II Pro and several other source ports out there. Digital Foundry had recently a nice comparison vid between the different ports:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9vXz9-C-AY&t=1354s

And as I said, Quake II RTX is highly impressive from a technical perspective, but the very high system requirements make it enjoyable only to a handful of PC gamers.

On the other hand, this is the first time a game is actually pushing the PC past it's limits since Crysis from back in 2007.

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Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Post by Matt_B » Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:06 pm

outdated_gamer wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:18 pm
On the other hand, this is the first time a game is actually pushing the PC past it's limits since Crysis from back in 2007.
Not really, at least I don't think it's doing so any more than the other games that support RTX in some fashion. They all need a 20 series card with it turned on, but work on much older ones if you disable the ray tracing.

Then again, despite its fearsome reputation, Crysis was a game that you could play on graphics cards that were 3-4 years old at the time of its release. You just need a new graphics card if you had a low-end one or wanted to see the game at its absolute best.

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Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Post by outdated_gamer » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:13 pm

Matt_B wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:06 pm
outdated_gamer wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:18 pm
On the other hand, this is the first time a game is actually pushing the PC past it's limits since Crysis from back in 2007.
Not really, at least I don't think it's doing so any more than the other games that support RTX in some fashion. They all need a 20 series card with it turned on, but work on much older ones if you disable the ray tracing.

Then again, despite its fearsome reputation, Crysis was a game that you could play on graphics cards that were 3-4 years old at the time of its release. You just need a new graphics card if you had a low-end one or wanted to see the game at its absolute best.
You need dual RTX 2080 Ti cards in SLI to get over 30 fps in 4K with maxed settings here, that's pretty hefty if you ask me. Nevermind that the RTX option only works on certain Nvidia cards, some of whom can only run it in low resolutions to get playlable framerates.

Crysis could boot on a Pentium 3 class CPU with a shader model 2.0 GPU (Nvidia FX/ATi Radeon 9x00), doesn't mean it was actually enjoyable on such a configuration - sort of how the original Doom ran on a 386SX class CPU with 4 MB RAM and no sound card, but only in a tiny game window, low resolution and choppy framerate. The "but can it run Crysis?" meme clearly refers to the "maxed out" settings, which, even today, can give modern GPUs a certain workload. But more importantly, Crysis was the last "PC-only" (the console ports that came later were cut-down) big budget game that trully pushed the hardware (although we still got certain PC-only titles that burn our rigs, for example ArmA 3).

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Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Post by Matt_B » Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:59 pm

outdated_gamer wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:13 pm
You need dual RTX 2080 Ti cards in SLI to get over 30 fps in 4K with maxed settings here, that's pretty hefty if you ask me. Nevermind that the RTX option only works on certain Nvidia cards, some of whom can only run it in low resolutions to get playlable framerates.
Yeah, you do, but it's not really a game that looks any better for being run above 720p and I'd take 'maxed settings' with a pinch of salt as some seem to be needlessly demanding. Changing the global illumination setting alone, for instance, has a massive effect on frame rate without offering any drastic changes to the visual experience. Realistically the performance is good enough on any 20 series card and tantalizingly just out of reach of the 10 series ones. That it's been developed by Nvidia to help sell their latest range of graphics cards isn't exactly a secret either so that's the way it was always going to be.

For what it's worth, by way of comparison, there simply wasn't a card available that could run Crysis at 4K with the top settings above 30fps until six years after the game launched. Getting it to 60 took a full decade. Again, it could be argued that it's pretty much topped out at 1080p, above which you'll start to see the limitations of the models and textures, but I'd think that it still scales a whole lot better than Quake RTX and you get something far more tangible in return for spending more on your graphics card.

As for demanding PC-only games, I'd think we've long reached the point where artistry matters more than processing power. Sure, developers will happily take what's on offer in terms of the latter with the PC versions of many titles, but the sheer amount of work required to turn out the graphics for a AAA game these days inevitably mean that they're going to need to be cross-platform.

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