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Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:02 pm
by outdated_gamer
Well, another big technological push seems to be going on in the PC gaming scene right now - consumer level ray tracing is finally a thing with Nvidia's GeForce RTX series (AMD and Intel to follow in the future) and we're already getting the first examples of ray tracing support in big commercial games, but the most interesting for retro gamers is Quake II RTX, which is Nvidia's backed upcomming ray traced version of Quake II:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY0W3MkZFs4

Funnily enough, Quake II used to be the premier title to push "hardware 3D acceleration" on PCs back in the day, so choosing it for a title to push consumer level real time ray tracing nowadays is all the more intriguing. Such upgraded or enhanced "HD remasters" of classic titles are not a new thing on the PC scene, with modders delivering them for free, but big companies like Nvidia and Bethesda showing interest in these things is a pretty cool thing. It may also mean that more ray traced classic games might be in consideration - imagine playing a fully ray traced OG Unreal, Aliens vs Predator or System Shock 2 - games where moody lighting was a fundamental part of the experience.

Another revealing thing is that real time CGI level stuff is now actually possible on middle range RTX series cards at smooth framerates and standard resolutions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EShi_U4J5ok

Ray tracing is not a new thing, but it never really was real time on consumer level hardware - usually pre-rendered:

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

Real time stuff was just too slow and grainy to give the impression of smoothness and sharpness:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0iggCbebGE

As for consoles - interestingly, Killzone Shadow Fall, a launch PS4 title, already had some (pre-rendered?) ray traced reflections, but proper ray tracing support will likely come on the next generation consoles.

Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:27 pm
by Crusty Starfish
That's really impressive stuff!

Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:24 am
by Dudley
To be fair, Quake 2 was used to push 3d accelerators because Quake 1 looked absolutely bloody awful and it was easy to show improvement.

Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:58 am
by icemann
And yet Quake 1 is the better game by far. Last outstanding game by id Software.

Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:49 pm
by Crusty Starfish
Quake 2 was awesome!

Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:37 am
by SJ_Sathanas
I loved quake 2. It really blew me away when I first saw it running in IIRC HMV. Fantastic music too.

Wasn't really a quake game though. Sci-fi space marine is a bit too close to doom.

Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:38 am
by icemann
Music wise there's no better than the Trent Reznor stuff. As for gameplay / graphics, Quake 1 had the whole Cthulhu type thing going, and the mish mash of medieval fantasy and futuristic tech for both the look of the levels + the enemies you'd encounter.

Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:00 pm
by Matt_B
I still think both games are great, although with enough different strengths and weaknesses that I can see why people would argue for the superiority of one or the other.

So far as the future of ray tracing in games goes though, I'd be a bit cautious. There's obvious potential for a massive lift when you're looking at a twenty year old game whose graphics are already quite antiquated and make few demands on a modern GPU. However, the gains have been much more marginal for the few modern games that have adopted it, with there usually being a significant performance trade-off when you turn it on.

Personally, I'm going to wait for at least one more generation of hardware before buying in because the current cards just don't seem quite powerful enough to pull it off on top of everything else.

Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:08 am
by SJ_Sathanas
icemann wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:38 am
Music wise there's no better than the Trent Reznor stuff. As for gameplay / graphics, Quake 1 had the whole Cthulhu type thing going, and the mish mash of medieval fantasy and futuristic tech for both the look of the levels + the enemies you'd encounter.
See I found Quake a bit incoherent. Zombies, Space marines and shotguns, knights with swords, trolls with chainsaws and grenade launchers all in one scenario just seemed a bit weird.
Quake 2 is much more realised. Not as original, and practically cliche by modern standards, but it was great back then and still plays very well today.

I've only ever played the N64 version of Quake though! It was so easy to get enemies fighting one another.

Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:48 am
by Dudley
icemann wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:58 am
And yet Quake 1 is the better game by far. Last outstanding game by id Software.
I've got skin in this game because episode 6 of Yesterzine is the CVG with the cover saying "3 greatest games ever" and featuring Mario 64, Nights and Quake 1.

I'd suggest those 3 games have aged differently.

As games Q1 and 2 are really quite different so I'm with Matt.

If you do go back and play Quake now, get Quakespasm. It fixes the daft implementation of mouselook and pushes the whole thing into hires.

Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:42 pm
by outdated_gamer
SJ_Sathanas wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:08 am
icemann wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:38 am
Music wise there's no better than the Trent Reznor stuff. As for gameplay / graphics, Quake 1 had the whole Cthulhu type thing going, and the mish mash of medieval fantasy and futuristic tech for both the look of the levels + the enemies you'd encounter.
See I found Quake a bit incoherent. Zombies, Space marines and shotguns, knights with swords, trolls with chainsaws and grenade launchers all in one scenario just seemed a bit weird.
Quake 2 is much more realised. Not as original, and practically cliche by modern standards, but it was great back then and still plays very well today.

I've only ever played the N64 version of Quake though! It was so easy to get enemies fighting one another.
That's because Quake was supposed to be a RPG originally, then they changed it to a Doom-like FPS.

Quake II was also supposed to be a different game, but they settled for the Quake branding.

Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:44 pm
by outdated_gamer
SJ_Sathanas wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:37 am
I loved quake 2. It really blew me away when I first saw it running in IIRC HMV. Fantastic music too.

Wasn't really a quake game though. Sci-fi space marine is a bit too close to doom.
If you ask me, Quake II is still very much Quake, except they removed the fantasy H.P. Lovecraft inspired stuff in favour of the Borg-like Stroggs.

Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:48 am
by icemann
Dudley wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:48 am
If you do go back and play Quake now, get Quakespasm. It fixes the daft implementation of mouselook and pushes the whole thing into hires.
Last year I went and played through all of Quake 1 via a source port that I cant recall. Playing the game natively was impossible due to how the game was coded.

Putting my games dev hat on for a sec: They coded the game without any time delta or frame rate restricting, so the game will run as fast as your cpu will let it. Which as the game came out in the 90s = super fast. The source ports fix this entirely and have plenty of other nice benefits (more resolutions to choose from, good music options etc), much like the Doom source ports.

Quake 1 also links in with Doom 1 & 2 unlike Quake 2.

Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:33 pm
by Dudley
Hah, when I played it for a forthcoming Yesterzine I was in DosBox and it played at a decent rate.

The biggest problem is that between the resolution and the sheer unrelenting brown you pretty much can't see what the crap it is you're supposed to shoot. Quakespasm (or I imagine the others) does solve that one at least.

Re: Quake II Fully Ray Traced

Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:21 am
by icemann
Thats as Dosbox locks the frame rate via the CPU cycles. That's the whole point of Dosbox. To emulate a 486 PC, or slightly better.