plans to implement NVIDIA's real-time DXR ray tracing
support to the Windows 10 version of Minecraft
, the sandbox game that became a worldwide sensation
despite voxel graphics that are anything but high-fidelity. This is particularly
interesting in light of the recent
that Microsoft-owned developer Mojang was cancelling plans for a
Super Duper Graphics Pack upgrade they announced during E3 2017. The
has more on the news, including
a reveal trailer
showing how this free update will change the look of the game on supported video
cards. Here's more:
Minecraft with RTX will refit the entire game with
path tracing, a form of ray tracing featuring incredible levels of detail,
affecting almost every pixel of every scene. You’ll see lifelike lighting,
reflections and shadows, plus so much more, exemplifying the power of ray
tracing and demonstrating why game developers like Mojang and Microsoft are
working together with NVIDIA to enhance upcoming blockbusters with ray tracing.
Minecraft is a dynamic world, where blocks can be removed or added en masse.
NPCs and enemies roam the land, and other players zoom about in minecarts. To
account for constantly-changing conditions, every ray-traced effect works in
real-time, bringing lifelike visual effects to the stylized world of Minecraft
in jaw-dropping fashion.
“Ray tracing sits at the center of what we think is next for Minecraft,” said
Saxs Persson, Franchise Creative Director of Minecraft at Microsoft. “RTX gives
the Minecraft world a brand-new feel to it. In normal Minecraft, a block of gold
just appears yellow, but with ray tracing turned on, you really get to see the
specular highlight, you get to see the reflection, you can even see a mob
reflected in it.”
With ray tracing, nearly everything is visually improved. Lighting is upgraded
to real-time global illumination, enabling light to realistically illuminate
blocks and buildings as the world is modified. Emissive blocks like Glowstone
and Lava can illuminate environments, along with other dynamic game elements.
Water, glass and other reflective surfaces show accurate real-time reflections,
mirroring their surroundings. Shading and shadowing gain lifelike accuracy.
Clouds, fog and other atmospheric effects naturally change the look and feel of
the world. Blocks gain extra depth and detail from normal maps, enabling
shadows, lighting, specular reflectivity and ambient occlusion to further
increase their fidelity and appearance. And on it goes, because the entire game
is enhanced with raytracing.
Minecraft probably has the most mods of any game, ever. So ray tracing will of
course also be moddable, enabling players to generate endless ray traced content
for themselves and others. And with the raytraced effects and capabilities of
RTX Minecraft, new in-game designs that were previously impossible become a
reality, be those a spooky ravine that fades into darkness, filled with hostile
mobs drawn to the light of the player’s torch; fun houses made of mirrors; or
caves that glow with the precious resources or dangerous lava within.