PC Gamer US Edition|August 2020

Cutting-edge graphics find an unlikely home in MINECRAFT WITH RTX
Jacob Ridley

Step out onto the promenade of Imagination Island, and you’ll catch a glimpse of an expansive vista in the hazy glow of the morning sunlight, filled with roller coasters, food stands, and a cathedral that would give the Sagrada Família a run for its money. It’s a Minecraft world built by creator collective BlockWorks, and every inch has been constructed to showcase the most dramatic change to Minecraft’s graphics since it launched a decade ago.

The Minecraft with RTX update flaunts its new suite of ray-traced effects—including reflections, global illumination, shadows, and refraction—powered by an all-encompassing path tracer.

“After Quake II RTX, we knew it was possible,” says Oli Wright, Nvidia GeForce devtech engineer. “So it seems natural to go that way for Minecraft. It’s going to get the best results. Doing individual effects will get you partway there, but not the whole deal… it’s where all games are going to end up at some point. Just a question of when.”

“We’ve had a history of making these kind of big technological bets,” adds Kasia Swica, senior program manager. “So whether it’s been early adoption of virtual reality, cross-platform play between mobile, PC, and console, especially from our engineering side, they’re really looking for what’s next to bring the franchise forward constantly. So ray tracing seemed like a good fit.”



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August 2020