It is now a fact: the Ray Tracing will be part of the future of gaming. Microsoft has updated its Direct X 12 to a new version with multiple additional features, the Vulkan APIs are also able to manage Ray Tracing and the graphics engine manufacturers are gradually adding support.
There is also the installed user base that can take advantage of these technologies. Nvidia has said that 15 million RTX GPUs have been sold, both portable and fixed, therefore we begin to have a large group that over time will increase more and more. The production loop is therefore starting, which will bring technology to ever more massive diffusion.
Hence, one of the symbolic games of this generation, Minecraft, gets its makeover by switching to a ray tracing rendering engine, going to dispel even a little the false myth that links graphics to games with realistic graphics and that's it. Ray tracing is nothing more than a way to calculate lighting accurately, closer to how light really behaves and this is very useful in practically every virtual world that you want to recreate.
For Minecraft the work done is extensive. The game does not use a hybrid form of rendering, where only one part is managed by Ray Tracing while the rest uses rasterization calculations. Here a Path Tracer has been implemented to manage every aspect of lighting. Path Tracer is a form of Ray Tracing that adds a passage. The basic principle is the same: rays are fired from the camera (the player's point of view) towards the game environment and how these rays are reflected and absorbed into the environment determines the final color of the monitor pixel.
To this is added a random sampling, also called the Montecarlo Method, of the scene you want to draw. The actual result is a computationally heavier effect but with much higher quality results. To this are added the classic materials of Minecraft completely redesigned. In order to function in a Ray Tracing environment, objects must have more information such as emissivity, surface roughness and what material they are actually made of.
To offset the computational increase, the game will also be equipped with DLSS2.0, to lighten the computational load on the graphics cards while maintaining a high final image quality. Performance increases by 70% according to Nvidia's internal tests.
Minecraft RTX Windows 10 will enter Beta on 16 April with 6 RTX worlds built by the best Minecraft world creators to explore.