Cool stuff: After Nvidia added ray tracing to Quake II, many wondered why no one brought the feature to its predecessor. A prolific modder has now released a conversion to fill that gap, while asking fans to wait a little longer for another highly-anticipated project.
Sultim “sultim_t” Tsyrendashiev is back, adding real-time path tracing to id Software’s 1996 classic Quake. The mod’s initial reveal was a surprise addition to a trailer announcing a delay on the Half-Life 1 path tracing project in January.
The new Quake mod is available on Tsyrendashiev’s GitHub and works with the original 1996 release and 2021 remaster. Tsyrendashiev based his project on vkQuake –a Vulkan conversion of QuakeSpasm.
Users installing the Steam edition of Quake can quickly apply the mod by downloading and unzipping its archive and then running the vkQuake executable, which should automatically detect the Steam folder.
To manually install on non-Steam editions, copy the game’s PAK files and music folder into a new folder called “id1,” located in the same directory as the vkQuake executable. Make sure to overwrite the old cfg file with a new one. Players with RTX graphics cards should install DLSS 2.0 by downloading the dll file and unzipping the RayTracedGL1-DLSS zip file into the same folder as vkQuake.
This mod is the third ray-tracing upgrade for a classic FPS that Tsyrendashiev unveiled this year. In April, he released a conversion for the original Doom. He also has one available for Serious Sam.
Tsyrendashiev has since updated the Doom mod to support AMD GPUs. Those who initially passed on it because they don’t own RTX cards may want to try it. For those without DLSS, running the game at retro resolutions helps with performance.
Another classic first-person game receiving ray tracing this year is Portal, courtesy of Nvidia and its new RTX Remix pipeline. The company hopes more modders will use its new toolset to add ray tracing and other features to forward-rendered DirectX 8 and DirectX 9 titles. Remix has already proven helpful in adding improved textures and DLSS 3 (or DLSS 2) to The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and the original Mount & Blade. The Portal conversion will be freely available to owners of the game on PC in November.