Subject: General Tech | January 18, 2019 - 06:09 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: vulkan, rtx, raytracing, Quake II, quake, Q2VKPT, Q2PRO, path tracing, open source, nvidia, john carmack, github, fps
Wait - the first fully raytraced game was released in 1997? Not exactly, but Q2VKPT is. That name is not a typo (it stands for Quake 2 Vulkan Path Tracing) it's actually a game - or, more correctly, a proof-of-concept. But not just any game; we're talking about Quake 2. Technically this is a combination of Q2PRO, "an enhanced Quake 2 client and server for Windows and Linux", and VKPT, or Vulkan Path Tracing.
The end result is a fully raytraced experience that, if nothing else, gives the computer hardware media more to run on NVIDIA's GeForce RTX graphics cards right now than the endless BFV demos. Who would have guessed we'd be benchmarking Quake 2 again in 2019?
"Q2VKPT is the first playable game that is entirely raytraced and efficiently simulates fully dynamic lighting in real-time, with the same modern techniques as used in the movie industry (see Disney's practical guide to path tracing). The recent release of GPUs with raytracing capabilities has opened up entirely new possibilities for the future of game graphics, yet making good use of raytracing is non-trivial. While some games have started to explore improvements in shadow and reflection rendering, Q2VKPT is the first project to implement an efficient unified solution for all types of light transport: direct, scattered, and reflected light (see media). This kind of unification has led to a dramatic increase in both flexibility and productivity in the movie industry. The chance to have the same development in games promises a similar increase in visual fidelity and realism for game graphics in the coming years.
This project is meant to serve as a proof-of-concept for computer graphics research and the game industry alike, and to give enthusiasts a glimpse into the potential future of game graphics. Besides the use of hardware-accelerated raytracing, Q2VKPT mainly gains its efficiency from an adaptive image filtering technique that intelligently tracks changes in the scene illumination to re-use as much information as possible from previous computations."
The project can be downloaded from Github, and the developers neatly listed the needed files for download (the .pak files from either the Quake 2 demo or the full version can be used):
- Github Repository
- Windows Binary on Github
- Quake II Starter ("Quake II Starter is a free, standalone Quake II installer for Windows that uses the freely available 3.14 demo, 3.20 point release and the multiplayer-focused Q2PRO client to create a functional setup that's capable of playing online.")
There were also a full Q&A from the developers, and some obvious questions were answered including the observation that Quake 2 is "ancient" at this point, and shouldn't it "run at 6000 FPS by now":
While it is true that Quake II is a relatively old game with rather low geometric complexity, the limiting factor of path tracing is not primarily raytracing or geometric complexity. In fact, the current prototype could trace many more rays without a notable change in frame rate. The computational cost of the techniques used in the Q2VKPT prototype mainly depend on the number of (indirect) light scattering computations and the number of light sources. Quake II was already designed with many light sources when it was first released, in that sense it is still quite a modern game. Also, the number of light scattering events does not depend on scene complexity. It is therefore thinkable that the techniques we use could well scale up to more recent games."
And on the subject of path tracing vs. ray tracing:
"Path tracing is an elegant algorithm that can simulate many of the complex ways that light travels and scatters in virtual scenes. Its physically-based simulation of light allows highly realistic rendering. Path tracing uses Raytracing in order to determine the visibility in-between scattering events. However, Raytracing is merely a primitive operation that can be used for many things. Therefore, Raytracing alone does not automatically produce realistic images. Light transport algorithms like Path tracing can be used for that. However, while elegant and very powerful, naive path tracing is very costly and takes a long time to produce stable images. This project uses a smart adaptive filter that re-uses as much information as possible across many frames and pixels in order to produce robust and stable images."
This project is the result of work by one Christoph Schied, and was "a spare-time project to validate the results of computer graphics research in an actual game". Whatever your opinion of Q2VKPT, as we look back at Quake 2 and its impressive original lighting effects it's pretty clear that John Carmack was far ahead of his time (and it could be said that it's taken this long for hardware to catch up).
Subject: General Tech | December 28, 2018 - 03:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: doom, gaming, john carmack, id software, John Romero
Hackaday takes a look back at one of the most iconic and influential games created, the original DOOM. The 25 year old story encompasses a lot of the history of the industry, from pushing the then current hardware to it's limits effectively, through porting it to game consoles to what is currently still being done with the venerable game. id Software and its Where’s All the Data? files have been modded and released constantly and currently if you have a device with a display and at least 12 MB of storage, you can likely play DOOM on it. Take a look back as well as a look at John Romero's current project SIGIL; it should bring a smile to your face.
"In an era that was already soaking with “tude”, Doom established an identity all its own. The moody lighting, the grotesque monster designs, the signature push forward combat, and all the MIDI guitars a Soundblaster could handle; Doom looked and felt a cut above everything else in 1993."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Guru3D Rig of the Month - December 2018
- FCC Says It is Investigating CenturyLink 911 Outage @ Slashdot
- A tour of elementary OS, perhaps the Linux world’s best hope for the mainstream @ Ars Technica
- Microsoft's Emergency Internet Explorer Patch Renders Some Lenovo Laptops Unbootable @ Slashdot
- Our favorite (and least favorite) tech of 2018 @ Ars Technica
- Handset chip prices to stay stable in 2019 on more AI penetration @ DigiTimes
- 2018 in smartphones: Paying more for less @ The Inquirer
- Drama, Drugs and Data: A Profile of 10 Top Tech CEOs @ Techspot
- Sears, the 125-Year-Old Iconic Retailer, Has 24 Hours To Survive @ Slashdot
- Reinstall Windows 10 Without Deleting Your Software, Files or Settings @ Techspot
- GIVEAWAY: get SOMA for free @ GoG
Subject: General Tech | March 10, 2017 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: zenimax, Lawsuit, john carmack
According to Dallas News, John Carmack is suing ZeniMax for monies owed after he sold his company, id Software, to them. He claims that the company promised $45.1 million USD, half of which was used to buy stock in ZeniMax; specifically, the lawsuit states that “sour grapes is not an affirmative defense to breach of contract,” which... not so loosely implies that ZeniMax is just mad about the whole situation. ZeniMax, on the other hand, said that this was already rejected by a court in a previous filing.
As our readers probably know, this comes on the heels of ZeniMax suing Oculus VR, including John Carmack, over ownership of virtual reality technologies. While ZeniMax was awarded $500 million in prior damages by the jury decision, none of these damages were attributed to John Carmack.
Subject: General Tech | March 26, 2014 - 02:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: oculus rift, Kickstarter, john carmack, facebook
You've heard by now that Facebook has purchased Oculus and you likely have an opinion on the matter. There are quite a few issues this sale raises for the technologically inclined. For the Kickstarter backers, the question of the propriety of Vulture Capitalists benefiting monetarily from a project which began in part because of their donation made on Kickstarter; which still did net them a device. For those hoping that Oculus was going to be a project designed and lead by Palmer Luckey and involving John Carmack with little oversight or pressure from a company that wants an immediate return on their investment. For some the simple involvment of Facebook is enough to sour the entire deal regardless of any other factors.
KitGuru offers some possible benefits that could come of this deal; Facebook cannot afford to slow development as competitors such as castAR will soon arrive, nor can they really push Carmack around without risking his involvement. Before you start screaming take a moment to think about everything this deal involves and then express your opinion ... after all you don't get reality that is much more virtual than Facebook.
"I know guys. I know. I’m mad too. I’m sad, disappointed, even betrayed, but these are all things I’m feeling and I bet you are too. We’re having an emotional reaction to two companies worth multiple billions of dollars doing a business deal and though I can’t help but wish it hadn’t happened, I know that if I look at it logically, it makes sense for everyone."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Nvidia takes on Raspberry Pi with the Jetson TK1 mini supercomputer @ The Inquirer
- GNOME 3.12 Seeded by GNOME OS Projects @ Linux.com
- Meet Microsoft's latest Windows Server reseller – come on down, Google @ The Register
- SSD penetration rate bound to rise in 2014 @ DigiTimes
- Rosewill RGS-108P POE Gigabit Network Switch @ Modders-Inc
- Windows 8 BREAKS ITSELF after system restores @ The Register
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 18, 2013 - 07:55 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, tim sweeney, nvidia, Mantle, john carmack, johan andersson, g-sync, amd
If you weren't on our live stream from the NVIDIA "The Way It's Meant to be Played" tech day this afternoon, you missed a hell of an event. After the announcement of NVIDIA G-Sync variable refresh rate monitor technology, NVIDIA's Tony Tomasi brough one of the most intriguing panels of developers on stage to talk.
John Carmack, Tim Sweeney and Johan Andersson talk for over an hour, taking questions from the audience and even getting into debates amongst themselves in some instances. Topics included NVIDIA G-Sync of course, AMD's Mantle low-level API, the hurdles facing PC gaming and what direction each luminary is currently on for future development.
If you are a PC enthusiast or gamer you are definitely going to want to listen and watch the video below!
Subject: General Tech | August 8, 2013 - 02:22 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, amd, nvidia, crossfire, sli, frame rating, 7990, john carmack, Oculus
PC Perspective Podcast #263 - 08/08/2013
Join us this week as we discuss AMDs Crossfire Fix, Carmack Leaving id, Left 4 Dead 3 rumors and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:13:47
Subject: General Tech | August 7, 2013 - 12:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: oculus vr, john carmack, id software
He will remain a contributing coder for Armadillo Aerospace and he will not be leaving Id Software but John Carmack will now be spending most of his time as the CTO of Oculus VR. He has been instrumental in the design of the Oculus Rift since the very beginning and has been a major force in the development of virtual reality for decades. This move should help the development of Oculus' products accelerate and become even more impressive than the development model that Ken and Ryan had a chance to try. Even if this slows down the development of the next instalment of Quake or Doom, many would say it was as small sacrifice when you consider the promise which Oculus holds for the future of displays. Catch the fallout in the comments at Slashdot and catch our coverage of his keynote from Quakecon right here.
"In a surprising move that in retrospect makes a lot of sense, Oculus VR has announced that John Carmack will be joining the company full-time as CTO. Carmack also tweeted that his time division would be 'Oculus over Id over Armadillo. Busy busy busy!'"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- IBM opens up Power chips, ARM-style, to take on Chipzilla @ The Register
- Seagate goes back to ASICs, slurps upstart's brains in return for cash @ The Register
- Extreme Ultraviolet Chip Manufacturing Process Technology Closer To Reality @ Slashdot
- Qualcomm to switch 28nm HKMG wafer orders from TSMC to Globalfoundries, say sources @ DigiTimes
- How-To: Restore Your Windows 8 PC @ TechReviewSource
- Interview with Antec @ Funky Kit
- Diamond Multimedia WR300NSI Wireless-N Repeater @ Benchmark Reviews
- Camera Lens Buying Guide @ TechARP
The Densest 2.5 Hours Imaginable
Subject: General Tech | August 8, 2012 - 04:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: valve, linux, left 4 dead, john carmack, gaming
While running at a measly 6fps means that the zombies will get you, at 315fps you can't complain that you didn't see them coming. That is the current frame rate Valve is reporting their Linux test machine can produce when playing the Linux implementation of Left 4 Dead. That hardware was a Core i7 3930k, GeForce GTX 680 and 32 GB RAM and we were given a result from the same hardware running Win7; a slower 303fps after tweaking OpenGL. That takes performance concerns out of the picture when discussing gaming on Linux but it does not quite answer what John Carmack brought up in his QuakeCon keynote speech. As he points out, building goodwill among the Linux community hasn't paid for the programming in the past and simply increasing performance will not directly translate into better sales figures. However if we start seeing more Linux based Valve titles outperforming Windows on the same hardware, some enthusiasts are likely to set up a dual boot system, if not move their gaming rig to Linux solely. Read more at The Inquirer.
"Valve announced its plans to port its Steam content delivery service and Left 4 Dead 2 to Linux just last month. The firm has already made astonishing progress, announcing that with various performance tweaks it has managed to get the Linux version of Left 4 Dead 2 using OpenGL to run significantly faster than the Direct3D Windows 7 version."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- ShootMania Storm PC Preview @ eTeknix
- Sob: Thief 4 Sneaking Onto Next Gen Consoles? @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Wot I Think: Skyrim Dawnguard @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- You Could Pre-Purchase Counter-Strike: Global Offensive @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Heavy Metal: MechWarrior’s Not-So-Smooth Moves @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Quantum Conundrum (PSN) @ Kitguru
- New Super Mario Brothers 2 Nintendo 3DS @ Tweaktown
Introduction, Virtual Insanity and Game of Making Games panels
Our second day at Quakecon 2012 started bright and early with expert panel discussions led by some of the gaming industry's elite game designers and programmers from around the globe. These panel discussions focused primary around the process different game studios go through to produce triple AAA titles and current developments in virtual reality headset technology. There was also more discussions about creating mods for games like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and utilizing modding communities as resources to produce higher quality games.
In between panel discussions, Quakecon hosted the first round of their annual Bawls chugging competition. BYOC gamers and event attendees were also able to try out a few game demos of Smite, Rise of the Triad, Dishonored, and Doom 3 BFG Edition. There were also several "quick draw" Quake Live matches to give out raffle tickets for a chance to win a new 2012 Ford Shelby GT500 Coupe.