CIG on RTX and Star Citizen

A thread on the Roberts Space Industries forums explores the potential impact of supporting NVIDIA's new RTX technology in Star Citizen, Cloud Imperium's long-in-development space game(s). This is from a couple of weeks ago, before being uncovered by DSOGaming. A supporter presented an odd theory that supporting this would "save you devs so much work farther along and look absolutely spanking." CIG's Ben Parry disagreed, saying, "Not in the slightest. I expect, if we use it, it'll be a massive headache and time-sink but might give us some subtle improvements in looks or performance if we get it right." He expresses doubts that they will pursue this, saying: "I'd love to, it looks like fun, but at the moment we have other high priority tasks on the roadmap." In another post, he describes more of what he thinks supporting RTX would entail:

It's more likely to be a case of "We've got a test-bed scene for a ray-based environment lighting technique, it works for one type of light so far, here's a list of things you can no longer safely have in a room without it breaking, with rough probabilities of how likely we are to work out a solution" ☻

The added headache is that whatever we offered would have to be an "as well" feature rather than an "instead", developing a feature for a single manufacturer's top-end cards means also maintaining feature parity for everyone else's hardware.

Personally I'd like to use it to make the shadows crispier.

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31.
 
Re: Morning Tech Bits
Feb 19, 2019, 04:03
Slick
 
31.
Re: Morning Tech Bits Feb 19, 2019, 04:03
Feb 19, 2019, 04:03
 Slick
 
It's not a chicken or egg problem. It's a problem with one very obvious solution, a new console generation. Any new tech or feature not included in a new console generation is just window dressing.

If RTX is what kickstarts AMD to offer a competitive alternative, then great. I doubt it will arrive in any meaningful way for the 2021 console gen.

Besides, nVidia has on multiple occations let AMD take the lead on new technologies and fall flat on their face when it isn't widely adopted. Can cite multiple examples in the last 15 years of AMD's tech superiority, but nVid doesn't implement, so game devs aren't going to develop for a split base, so AMD burns RnD money for no real gain.

I wouldn't be surprised if AMD is happy to let nVid burn through all these excessive features that no one is really going to use for a decade... payback's a bitch.

AMD = will power next gen of consoles = basically controls the fate of all AAA games for the next 8 years.
For your transgressions you shall be labeled a shill, called an idiot and anytime you mention facts or disagree with a tribe member you will henceforth be known as a troll. The best you can hope for is that the labels won't haunt your offspring. -RedEye9
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30.
 
Re: Morning Tech Bits
Feb 18, 2019, 14:01
30.
Re: Morning Tech Bits Feb 18, 2019, 14:01
Feb 18, 2019, 14:01
 
Slick wrote on Feb 18, 2019, 07:24:
Has anyone else actually watched footage of games with RTX ultra enabled?

How the hell is anyone still hyped for this nonsense? Going from no AA to even SMAA has a more noticible difference on the final image quality than anything we'll see shoehorned into a AAA game in the next decade.

The only saving grace for this tech would be a small studio game that's built from the ground up for RTX. Like a cool 3D indie game that looks like one of the nvidia demos.

Anything else is a non-starter.

You think a multi-million $ AAA studio is going to cater to the 0.02% of users who have an RTX card? Or the 100+ million of them who have a PS4, Xbox, or "normal PC"?

Their focus will be getting the best image quality on the 99.8% of systems. It would be irresponsible for them to actually build a true RTX game, as they have zero hope in hell of ever recouping their investment.

Sorry guise, truth hurts.

Shit, I'm still waiting for games to utilize all the great features of DX12, LOL! Maybe in 2021 when the next consoles get here we'll see DX 12 being used by developers, and maybe in 2029 with the next next gen of consoles maybe we'll have integrated RTX units in consoles, so developers could justify a true RTX build of a AAA game, but not before.

THE FUTURE IS NOT HERE.

It's a chicken or egg problem. Ray tracing is the future for sure, but no dev is going to code for that unless there's a hardware base. There's no point in building the hardware unless there are games that can run it. Good on NVidia for building this in, even though it's not usable yet. It's really an investment that won't pay off for another decade, but we had to start on it sometime.

EDIT: Basically ninja'd by CJ.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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29.
 
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen
Feb 18, 2019, 13:48
Kxmode
 
29.
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen Feb 18, 2019, 13:48
Feb 18, 2019, 13:48
 Kxmode
 
Mordecai Walfish wrote on Feb 17, 2019, 23:57:
Oh great another year of dev time so they can get RTX shit implemented. Whats the expected release date now? 2050?

If you read the snippet Blue posted above you would see that CIG isn't implementing RTX.

CIG's Ben Parry: "I expect, if we use [RTX], it'll be a massive headache and time-sink ... I'd love to, it looks like fun, but at the moment we have other high priority tasks on the roadmap."
"There are times when I would rather have some Kahlua instead of a clue." - Mr. Tact (May 27, 2021)
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28.
 
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen
Feb 18, 2019, 10:15
28.
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen Feb 18, 2019, 10:15
Feb 18, 2019, 10:15
 
Both RTX and DLSS have been very underwhelming in real world gaming scenarios.

They look great in canned benchmarks and demos, but games... not there yet.
27.
 
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen
Feb 18, 2019, 10:14
Slick
 
27.
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen Feb 18, 2019, 10:14
Feb 18, 2019, 10:14
 Slick
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Feb 18, 2019, 09:44:
It'll be the same with RTX one day. Games will look like nVidia's demos. The question is not if but when. Who cares if they jumped the gun a little? Someone's gotta get the ball rollin'...

If it takes until 2029 (I think 2026/27 is more realistic for PS6 & co.) then so be it. BTW, we might also see a PS5 Pro in between that could have ray-tracing as an additional feature.

Yeah, that's my whole point, it's not if but when, but the when isn't anytime soon. And yes someone has to get the ball rolling. It's just worth noting to early adopters that they're REALLY early adopters if the end-goal is in any way just equivalent to the DEMOS that nVidia is using TODAY to sell this product.

Xbox 360 kicked off that gen in 2005, Xbone/PS4 were in 2013, most signs indicate that 2021 will be the next gen. That's a clear 8-year cadence between generations, with a probably 4-year refresh inbetween. That's where I pulled that 2029 estimate from.

And the mid-cycle refresh isn't going to get us true ray-traced games. Just like the mid-cycle this gen, or the current breed of RTX cards. The games aren't built for that, they're built for DX11 with no raytracing, because that's what 99.8% of the market is gaming on.

The only time that we have a true generational leap these days is the new console generations, sad to say. That's when the minimum specs of what the developer can accomplish with their game gets revealed. It dictates how big maps are, how much AI is used, how many NPCs can be used at once, how the networking gets handled. It's the blueprint for the next 8 years, and all AAA games follow this blueprint. You can add HDR support mid-cycle like the PS4 Pro and Xboxone X, but it's just a coat of paint. The games don't fundamentally play any different. It's all about the lowest common denominator.

And until the lowest common denominator includes hardware-accelerated raytracing on consoles that compliments a soon-to-be 4k pipeline without chugging it down, then it isn't going to happen. Not the way the nVidia demos are advertising. It's practically a bait-and-switch for people who don't know better.

2021 will see the good parts of DX12 like much more CPU overhead to do all the cool fun things that game devs would LIKE to be doing, but simply can't because of hardware limitations on the lowest common denominator. This is enough to get excited about. Raytracing is further down the line, so IMO not worth getting excited about yet, it's going to be a while. When it finally happens it will be a glorious photo-realistic paradigm shift for gaming, but we're a long ways from that.

My only fear is now that we're on x86, that there's no real reason to do a full "reset" on minimum specs from gen to gen. This would be disastrous to progress, as devs would still design games with 2013 hardware in mind because it has an install base of 100 million. It would be great for beancounters, but devastating for the march of progress. We need that clean break every 8 years if not less... I don't want to be gaming in 2024 on a PS5 on a AAA game that was designed FROM INCEPTION to still be backwards compatible on a PS4 designed in 2013. That's what worries me most.

For your transgressions you shall be labeled a shill, called an idiot and anytime you mention facts or disagree with a tribe member you will henceforth be known as a troll. The best you can hope for is that the labels won't haunt your offspring. -RedEye9
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26.
 
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen
Feb 18, 2019, 09:44
26.
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen Feb 18, 2019, 09:44
Feb 18, 2019, 09:44
 
Dude, let's give it some time. It's been like this with new tech many times.

Back in ye olde days, 3D Mark 2000 looked out of this world when it came out and it ran like dog shit on then current GPUs. It took several years before games began looking like it.

It'll be the same with RTX one day. Games will look like nVidia's demos. The question is not if but when. Who cares if they jumped the gun a little? Someone's gotta get the ball rollin'...

If it takes until 2029 (I think 2026/27 is more realistic for PS6 & co.) then so be it. BTW, we might also see a PS5 Pro in between that could have ray-tracing as an additional feature.

AMD's Lisa Su has stated that she, too, considers ray-tracing as an "important technology" and that AMD is actively working on it plus all the big engine folks like Unreal and Unity are on it (yes, it will be incremental from RT support to RT slowly becoming a more and more integral part of the engines over the years) so let's stay optimistic.

I also think that RT is looking quite spectacular in MOST scenes in Metro already in spite of being a "tacked on" tech. There are a few problematic areas but if you look at e.g. this side by side video (left side is RT off and right side RT ultra) then we can see that it is a really nice bump in image quality in MOST scenes.

Yes, it needs work, yes it was tacked on in Metro, yes it will take time, yes, yes, yes all true... but we'll be getting there as devs receive better training, nVidia (AMD) develop the tools further, as the engine creators release new SDKs and all that jazz.

There is no instant gratification awesome button by plugging a RTX card into your system but there is quite a lot of game support upcoming. It will get refinements. It will get better and better.

I'm going to sit back, relax and activate/deactivate RT depending on the quality of its implementation. No problem. Let's take it easy, one step at a time.
25.
 
Re: Morning Tech Bits
Feb 18, 2019, 08:57
Slick
 
25.
Re: Morning Tech Bits Feb 18, 2019, 08:57
Feb 18, 2019, 08:57
 Slick
 
replying to CJ:

We're talking about different things.

Saying stuff like: "Implementing ray-tracing should be relatively little work for the actual devs" is completely missing my point. You're taking about the thin coat of varnish, I'm talking about real ray-traced games.

Look at the comparison screenshots for Metro: Exodus with "RTX on ultra" vs. "RTX off". They're virtually identical. Even in direct A-to-B tests most people wouldn't be able to tell which is which.

Now why is that?

Because the lead platform for the game are consoles, with non-RTX (normal) PCs trailing a bit behind. The game is designed from the ground up to look great on non-RTX platforms. That's why even Metro (arguably most advanced use of RTX we've seen to date) looks utterly unimpressive with RTX cranked up to max compared to how the base game already looks.

Only if the developers built the game from day 1 with RTX in mind, and frankly ONLY RTX in mind, will we see anything half-impressive from this tech. And they simply aren't going to do that. They won't sink 50M into development and another 50M into marketing for a product that targets a pool of 200,000 potential buyers, they will target the 100,000,000 PC and console users that aren't using RTX. Like I said, it would be irresponsible for them to do otherwise.

This has nothing to do with the PC being a decently big platform or not... 99% of PC gamers don't have RTX-capable hardware, and the PC platform is 3rd in importance when it comes to sales after Playstation and Xbox for AAA games. The games you'll find on uPlay aren't designed with the PC as the lead platform, they're all built primarily for consoles with very few exceptions, and when PC is the lead platform ie. Anno, RTX will be an afterthought to the less than 1% of users, just like it is in BFV and Metro.

The games will need to be BUILT for RTX for them to come anywhere close to this dream of a raytraced future that we've all been sold on. Think of an nvidia RTX demo, it was built for RTX it looks COMPLETELY different. THIS is what I'm talking about. And we aren't going to see AAA games that look like THAT for a decade.

The 2021 console generation will have DX12, but it won't have dedicated raytracing hardware, it will use GPGPU cores to accomplish some raytracing in a very limited fashion, probably to check the marketing tickboxes, but there's no way in hell they will be able to do anything close to what you're expecting. The 2021 generation will see art assets, and LOD shift to 4k as the new target resolution, and that will take every bit of processing power a mid-level AMD APU can muster.

The real revolution will be IMO the next next generation of consoles circa 2029 or so, where there is enough processing power to spare for raytracing on consoles.

If consoles can't do it, don't expect any miracles from the PC ports we all enjoy. It'll be nothing more than a thin coat of varnish.
For your transgressions you shall be labeled a shill, called an idiot and anytime you mention facts or disagree with a tribe member you will henceforth be known as a troll. The best you can hope for is that the labels won't haunt your offspring. -RedEye9
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24.
 
Re: Morning Tech Bits
Feb 18, 2019, 08:16
24.
Re: Morning Tech Bits Feb 18, 2019, 08:16
Feb 18, 2019, 08:16
 
Slick wrote on Feb 18, 2019, 07:24:
You think a multi-million $ AAA studio is going to cater to the 0.02% of users who have an RTX card? Or the 100+ million of them who have a PS4, Xbox, or "normal PC"?

Their focus will be getting the best image quality on the 99.8% of systems. It would be irresponsible for them to actually build a true RTX game, as they have zero hope in hell of ever recouping their investment.

Sorry guise, truth hurts.

I would have wholeheartedly agreed with that hurtful truth until about a week ago but ever since I have seen UbiSoft's PC sales numbers last week which skyrocketed for no good reason (no new Anno or other PC exclusive that would explain a spike) by a whopping 58% YoY I'm not so sure anymore.

This might all change again next year or in 2021 when the new toys (PS5 et al) arrive in stores but for now it looks like PC gaming is experiencing a resurgence as the current gen of conslows seem to be getting a bit long in the tooth.

That's why some AAA devs/publishers will probably take the RTX plunge. Let us also not forget that nVidia has excellent developer support by all accounts.
Implementing ray-tracing should be relatively little work for the actual devs. It is mostly done by on-site nVidia graphics engineers (in the future in tandem with AMD engineers as soon as AMD has hardware RT capable GPUs out there).

Shit, I'm still waiting for games to utilize all the great features of DX12, LOL!

Well, ray-tracing now is a part of the DirectX 12 API. Any garage script kiddie can download the DX12 SDK and start gigaraying the living fuck out of their Pacman clone.

nVidia are pioneers in that they have collaborated with MS to make RT a DX12 standard and by being the first ones to release GPUs with dedicated RT hardware but it is now up to DX12 developers to either adopt it or dump it.

What is really unfortunate is the GPU market. I'm wondering what it would have been like if there would have been no crypto boom, no excess stock and all those problems.

Maybe then a 7nm graphics card lineup would already be imminent with plans to move to 5nm next year.
TSMC has been trucking with nary a bump in the road the last couple of years.

If it weren't for economic factors then we could see much larger jumps in GPUs but those new very advanced processing nodes like 7nm(+) and 5nm and beyond are expensive as fuck for the hardware makers... btw, the price hikes are not just greed by Apple or nVidia or AMD but they have a basis in exploding manufacturing costs as well as R&D budgets (i.e. R&D both on the foundry level at TSMC as well as the hardware makers themselves).

These factors are really unfortunate for VR and RT since we are moving so slow in terms of hardware these days. For VR and RT to take off we really "need" a couple of years like the old days where AMD/nVidia released their new gens like in February and then the next one in November of the same year already.
23.
 
Re: Morning Tech Bits
Feb 18, 2019, 07:27
23.
Re: Morning Tech Bits Feb 18, 2019, 07:27
Feb 18, 2019, 07:27
 
CIG won't stop until every single atom and photon is represented in the game. So long as people keep pre-ordering ships.
22.
 
Re: Morning Tech Bits
Feb 18, 2019, 07:24
Slick
 
22.
Re: Morning Tech Bits Feb 18, 2019, 07:24
Feb 18, 2019, 07:24
 Slick
 
Has anyone else actually watched footage of games with RTX ultra enabled?

How the hell is anyone still hyped for this nonsense? Going from no AA to even SMAA has a more noticible difference on the final image quality than anything we'll see shoehorned into a AAA game in the next decade.

The only saving grace for this tech would be a small studio game that's built from the ground up for RTX. Like a cool 3D indie game that looks like one of the nvidia demos.

Anything else is a non-starter.

You think a multi-million $ AAA studio is going to cater to the 0.02% of users who have an RTX card? Or the 100+ million of them who have a PS4, Xbox, or "normal PC"?

Their focus will be getting the best image quality on the 99.8% of systems. It would be irresponsible for them to actually build a true RTX game, as they have zero hope in hell of ever recouping their investment.

Sorry guise, truth hurts.

Shit, I'm still waiting for games to utilize all the great features of DX12, LOL! Maybe in 2021 when the next consoles get here we'll see DX 12 being used by developers, and maybe in 2029 with the next next gen of consoles maybe we'll have integrated RTX units in consoles, so developers could justify a true RTX build of a AAA game, but not before.

THE FUTURE IS NOT HERE.
For your transgressions you shall be labeled a shill, called an idiot and anytime you mention facts or disagree with a tribe member you will henceforth be known as a troll. The best you can hope for is that the labels won't haunt your offspring. -RedEye9
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21.
 
Re: Morning Tech Bits
Feb 18, 2019, 04:30
21.
Re: Morning Tech Bits Feb 18, 2019, 04:30
Feb 18, 2019, 04:30
 
Kosumo wrote on Feb 18, 2019, 01:44:
Also, I don't know if RTX will help to make Sandi Gardiner a Hollywood actresses or not and that is an important part of Star Citizen/SQ42

people look stupid when they joke about sandi's acting and ambition. she married a millionaire which made her a millionaire, and then they became millionaires again... so she likes to act on the side, badly and pointlessly and insignificantly and for fun, the way you pick your nose.
20.
 
Re: Morning Tech Bits
Feb 18, 2019, 01:44
20.
Re: Morning Tech Bits Feb 18, 2019, 01:44
Feb 18, 2019, 01:44
 
Guys, you are all missing the point … what is important is that more people give Chris Roberts money.

Also, I don't know if RTX will help to make Sandi Gardiner a Hollywood actresses or not and that is an important part of Star Citizen/SQ42
19.
 
Re: Morning Tech Bits
Feb 17, 2019, 23:57
19.
Re: Morning Tech Bits Feb 17, 2019, 23:57
Feb 17, 2019, 23:57
 
Oh great another year of dev time so they can get RTX shit implemented. Whats the expected release date now? 2050?
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18.
 
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen
Feb 17, 2019, 23:42
18.
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen Feb 17, 2019, 23:42
Feb 17, 2019, 23:42
 
dont worry folks, lets get raytracing working before we get game finished.
"On 2646.215 I myself attacked & destroyed TCS Tiger's Claw in my Jalthi heavy fighter"
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17.
 
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen
Feb 17, 2019, 23:13
Kxmode
 
17.
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen Feb 17, 2019, 23:13
Feb 17, 2019, 23:13
 Kxmode
 
hoolaparara wrote on Feb 17, 2019, 18:48:
Don't worry folks, you'll be able to rebuy RTX versions of your ships soon.

RTX has nothing to do with geometry and textures. It's about real-time ray tracing, artificial intelligence, and programmable shading. Two of those are related to lighting and the other is related to how NPCs function. But I assume you knew that already and were joking.
"There are times when I would rather have some Kahlua instead of a clue." - Mr. Tact (May 27, 2021)
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16.
 
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen
Feb 17, 2019, 21:05
16.
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen Feb 17, 2019, 21:05
Feb 17, 2019, 21:05
 
hoolaparara wrote on Feb 17, 2019, 18:48:
Don't worry folks, you'll be able to rebuy RTX versions of your ships soon.

25% off, while supplies last!
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15.
 
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen
Feb 17, 2019, 18:48
15.
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen Feb 17, 2019, 18:48
Feb 17, 2019, 18:48
 
Don't worry folks, you'll be able to rebuy RTX versions of your ships soon.
14.
 
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen
Feb 17, 2019, 17:34
Kxmode
 
14.
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen Feb 17, 2019, 17:34
Feb 17, 2019, 17:34
 Kxmode
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Feb 17, 2019, 15:15:
OK, guys, I just got off the phone with Sherlock and he says Chris and Sandi have actually been eaten by Erin. "Heavy", burdening proof here.

TIL cannibalism is legal in the UK. Note to self: don't travel to the UK. :P
"There are times when I would rather have some Kahlua instead of a clue." - Mr. Tact (May 27, 2021)
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13.
 
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen
Feb 17, 2019, 16:43
13.
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen Feb 17, 2019, 16:43
Feb 17, 2019, 16:43
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Feb 17, 2019, 15:15:
OK, guys, I just got off the phone with Sherlock and he says Chris and Sandi have actually been eaten by Erin. "Heavy", burdening proof here.

This needs to become part of the Mueller inquiry.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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12.
 
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen
Feb 17, 2019, 16:41
12.
Re: CIG on RTX and Star Citizen Feb 17, 2019, 16:41
Feb 17, 2019, 16:41
 
Pigeon wrote on Feb 17, 2019, 13:58:
El Pit wrote on Feb 17, 2019, 12:37:
Clever strategy - now they got ray-tracing card to play later once they need more reasons to explain why they still need a few more decades to finish the game.

2020/21: "CIG stating that because of so many requests they have just started to implement ray-tracing - sorry to tell its fans it means no beta until 2024/25"

Don't forget the special edition RTX ship for only $10k

Price seems low...
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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