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Raytracing Pt. 2 - Stay In The Light
Posted: Posted June 5th by mariomguy
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Let's start with the bad news first: At the moment, it seems to be very difficult to get good performance using RTX for multiple purposes: light bouncing (GI), shadows, and reflections. An indie developer already created Stay In The Light, a procedural dungeon crawler with RTX required in order to play. It does NOT play well on a 1080ti and requires DXR in order to run. The game features randomly generated dungeons that are all lit and shaded properly. Such a game before RTX could not have lighting handled nearly as well, and would not run faster.

The game is currently in early access on Steam. Gameplay footage and articles below:


https://www.pcgamer.com/stay-in-the-light-is-an-indie-game-that-requires-ray-tracing/
There are now 6 total games using DXR, including one that requires it to function. More will be coming as ray-tracing support improves. For now, shadows and reflections seem to be the easiest implementation with GI being very complex and difficult. UE4 still does not have landscape support for RTX, so there are still some big caveats.

In other words, I told you so.

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In other words, I told you so.

You're only saying that because you still don't understand the argument that basically the entire site was making in the last thread, which is that supacool graphics don't automatically translate into newer, better, or more interesting gameplay.

And this is particularly amusing because the game you're talking about is a *perfect* illustration of this concept you seem to struggle with.

The game features randomly generated dungeons that are all lit and shaded properly. Such a game before RTX could not have lighting handled nearly as well, and would not run faster.


It's pretty, literally no one disputes that. But those pretty graphics do absolutely nothing for the gameplay itself. Per a review:

Again, this is Early Access, and there are bugs and other mechanics that seem broken (or at least, I haven't figured them out). You're running—walking, really—around in a dungeon that floats in the sky, picking up treasure and trying to find the exit to the next level, all before some big hairy ogre named Him nabs you. He doesn't like light, in theory, but he also teleports around and often I'll only see a blue sparkle. It's still enough to put me on edge, and I may have yelped a little at the end of the above video when I died. But there's not a lot of game here just yet.

...

The current build of Stay in the Light feels more like a tech demo, but hopefully that changes over time. I've also seen performance bog down pretty hard even with the 2080 Ti, and there's certainly room for more optimizations as the development progresses.

https://www.pcgamer.com/stay-in-the-light-is-an-indie-game-that-requires-ray-tracing/
You're hyping up what amounts to a barebones Amnesia-esque spookem game from 2010. It's extra pretty, but that matters very little if the gameplay is so utterly dull.

Posted June 5th by Count Dooku
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If you want to make a fully dynamic game, you basically have to go back to the days of Super Mario Sunshine in terms of lighting. Baking is such a tremendous requirement to modern games for the past two decades you guys don't understand the limitations placed on developers and indies who want to create procedural and more dynamic systems, day/night cycles, etc. Gaming in general used to require TONS of baking just to work right, and it creates a host of issues for developers.

RTX is a one-size-fits-all solution for everything that was impossible before: perfect reflections along non-planar surfaces, without even needing to rendering the scene many times, shadows without rendering many times or artifacts, indirect lighting that doesn't look flat and UGLY, perfect refractions in glass, perfect AA, volumetric effects, etc. And it just works perfectly. Nothing has to be baked in, and it can be toggled on the fly.

So, if you are still OK with Super Mario Sunshine levels of graphics for dynamic games with perfectly flat shadows, good for you. But RTX allows dynamic worlds to be more modern. And it makes situations that would otherwise be impractical (massive forests, thin, detailed shadows, bounce lighting from tiny, emissive surfaces) possible.

This HAS tremendous gameplay potential, and we are on the cusp of greater things. Even if it doesn't happen this generation, an indie dev made a procedural dungeon crawler that looks like it took hours to bake, but it's running in realtime. He can make this dungeon change direction as the game progresses, and change the time of day, and it will still be properly lit.

Edited June 5th by mariomguy
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cool grafix my dude

Posted June 5th by Cruinn-Annuin
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Also, they should have named that game "Remain in Light". A Talking Heads reference would be the most interesting thing about it.

Posted June 5th by Cruinn-Annuin
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It bears repeating, this is straight-up the game generating a world that didn't exist before, setting some lights, then hitting "play" and you get this result. Simulation games, procedural games, games with day/night sequences and moving platforms, games with moving lights, millions of lights, flying through clouds, etc. can now come to life!

Posted June 5th by mariomguy
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All games that I don't really play or care about. Which is not to say it's not cool and obviously fans of those genres will appreciate it. But that stuff doesn't really add much to my gaming experience. Not yet, anyway.

Posted June 5th by Jet Presto
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Jet, this impacts ALL games. You can have a competitive FPS set on a quickly rotating moon, and all the shadows and day/night effects will follow.

Posted June 5th by mariomguy
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Which is not to say it's not cool and obviously fans of those genres will appreciate it.


I mean, I'm a fan of roguelikes and this doesn't effect that genre too much.

Jet, this impacts ALL games.


No, it literally doesn't.

Posted June 5th by Cruinn-Annuin
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Baking is such a tremendous requirement to modern games for the past two decades you guys don't understand the limitations placed on developers and indies who want to create procedural and more dynamic systems, day/night cycles, etc.

No one is disputing the value or potential of this technology for developers. Especially not me.

I used to spend a lot of time making source engine maps for HL2/Gmod. Designing the level and detailing it was a lot of fun. I could easily load into the game and check how things looked, if a room needed to be bigger, if the sight lines were correct, etc. Right up until the point where I had to start adding appropriate lighting. Then it turned into a special kind of hell. Add enough lights and it would start taking you an hour or more to render the map, only to find out something didn't look quite right. So while I'm not a capital D developer, I at least understand what you're getting at. The ability to just throw some RTX lights on the map and have the computer do all the work at runtime would have been wonderful.

What we've been saying, over and over, is that from a gameplay perspective this technology isn't offering us much yet. I'm sure in the long run developers will come up with some cool, inventive ideas for it. But right now, as evidenced by the game you posted in your OP, we're getting gameplay from 2010 that looks extra pretty. *That* is the issue, and the reason most of us aren't losing our minds over what amounts to a graphical advance.

So, if you are still OK with Super Mario Sunshine levels of graphics for dynamic games with perfectly flat shadows, good for you.



games with day/night sequences

You keep harping on day/night cycles as if they don't exist or are a new concept. Plenty of games pull them off and look good doing so. ***IT MIGHT BE HELL ON DEVELOPERS TO MAKE THEM WORK*** But they've managed to do it, and in ways that players clearly don't have major issues with. Hell, even Escape from Tarkov's drunken Russian developers have managed to implement passage of time that looks good.

You can have a competitive FPS set on a quickly rotating moon, and all the shadows and day/night effects will follow.

The last thing you'll find me focusing on in a competitive FPS is how convincing the shadows or lighting are. Don't get me wrong, I've taken the time to admire the visual design of a Halo map in the past. But it's not something I pay attention to when I'm in seek-and-destroy mode, and RTX isn't going to change that.

Edited June 5th by Count Dooku
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My only input to this thread will be this:

One indie game does not equal an entire industry swapping to make it be required "within a few years". Which is what you claimed last time.

You've also still not demonstrated why it is essential to the future of gaming, you've only shown why it is nice to have.

Therefore you told us nothing we don't already know or agree with. It's nice. It's pretty. So what I still play ancient games that look terrible by today's standards.

Posted June 5th by Moonray
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