Nvidia's Lightspeed Studios is bringing RTX to classic games

October 14, 2019 | 11:16

Tags: #directx-raytracing #dxr #quake-ii-rtx #retro-gaming #rt-cores #rtx #turing #vintage-gaming

Companies: #nvidia

Nvidia is recruiting for staff at Lightspeed Studios, a newly formed division which appears to be focusing on adding ray tracing technology to classic games - starting with 'a title that you know and love'.

Nvidia has been pushing hybrid ray tracing in games, where computationally intensive ray tracing rendering is used to support more traditional rendering techniques as a means of boosting graphical fidelity, since the launch of its GeForce RTX 2000 family of graphics cards and their built-in RT Core ray tracing acceleration hardware. Adoption of the technology has been relatively slow, however, largely thanks to a lack of support for DirectX Raytracing (DXR) in rival AMD's graphics products, and as a means of encouraging development Nvidia has been coming up with some demonstrations of its own - including launching a version of Id Software's classic twitch shooter Quake II with a ray-tracing renderer.

While Quake II RTX, as Nvidia's version of the game is known, stood out as something of a novelty, it looks like the company is looking to repeat the process with additional classic games - and is actively recruiting staff to bring RTX technology to 'a title that you know and love'.

In a job listing first spotted by DSO Gaming, Nvidia is seeking a producer and other staff for its Lightspeed Studios division. 'The Nvidia Lightspeed Studios team is picking up the challenge starting with a title that you know and love but we can't talk about here,' the listing reads. 'We’re building a team of talented, dedicated game developers who are ready to get going quickly.'

The move makes sense: For all except those on Nvidia's very highest-end RTX cards, enabling ray tracing results in a three-way trade-off: Quality settings for the traditional renderer can be turned up to high with RTX enabled so long as you lower the rendering resolution; the rendering resolution can be kept high with RTX enabled so long as you lower the quality settings for the traditional renderer; and if you want to use the top quality settings at a high resolution, you'll need to disable RTX. Using an older game, where the traditional rendering engine can run at maximum settings and high resolutions on any graphics processor from the last decade or so, means that you don't have to compromise - and will provide a dramatic jump in visual quality that might be more subtle when compared to enabling RTX features in an already cutting-edge game engine.

Nvidia has not commented on the advert, nor on what projects Lightspeed Studios has in its queue.

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