Modding is a culture that is clearly not unknown in the Farming Simulator universe. The Giants game can boast of being among the most modified games. But other games also have very active communities. Just look at sites like Mod DB or Nexus Mods which host over 400,000 mods for around 1,800 games. There are several types of mods, although they could be classified into 2 main families: content mods and technical mods. For the latter, nVidia has just released, in parallel to the announcement of the RTX 4000 series, a stone in the pond with RTX Remix.
Graphical mods allow a game to survive over time, improving its visual appearance over and over again over the years. And nVidia engineers know how difficult it is to make graphical modifications that work directly in a game engine. Game-specific tools must be invented to actually modify a game, and programming knowledge is often required to add modern effects. Some games are clearly not open to modification and don’t even allow access to files. We’ve seen RayTracing mods flourish from the 3D chipset maker’s labs, like the Quake II RTX mod, which took an entire team months to develop. Repeating this process to renew/update all old games is simply not possible due to lack of time. Therefore, nVidia took a different approach.
NVIDIA RTX Remix comes into play
NVIDIA RTX Remix is coming soon, making it easy to remaster DirectX 8 and DirectX 9 compatible games with fixed feature graphics pipelines. In a compatible game, press a hotkey and the surrounding scene will be captured.
RTX Remix can capture textures, geometry, lighting, and cameras through an innovative custom D3D9 runtime called the RTX Remix Runtime. Classic games like Morrowind use the D3D9 runtime to send draw calls (render instructions) to the GPU. The RTX Remix Runtime intercepts these draw calls, interprets them, and reassembles them into an identical scene. From there, RTX Remix converts the assets and scene into the widely adopted Universal Scene Description (USD) open 3D framework, which is the foundation of the NVIDIA Omniverse platform.
Since RTX Remix is based on NVIDIA Omniverse, these USD game assets can be easily imported into the RTX Remix app or any other Omniverse app or connector, including gaming industry standard apps like Adobe Substance 3D Painter , Autodesk Maya, 3ds Max. , Blender, SideFX Houdini and Unreal Engine from Epic Games. Modding teams can collaboratively update and replace assets, and see each change, as the asset is synced from the Omniverse Connector to the Remix window. This powerful workflow will change the way modding communities approach the games they modify, giving modders a single, unified workflow, enabling the remastering of a diverse set of games without having to learn a multitude of tools. owners.
When remastering assets for use with ray tracing, every texture and surface requires Physically Based Rendering (PBR) materials to allow them to interact naturally with ray tracing light. For example, glass reflects the world in clear detail, while laminate flooring has rough, coarse reflections. And the stone, although without visible reflections, can still bounce light and have an effect on the scene. Classic games are usually built with simple color textures that lack any of these properties.
Beyond textures, your surfaces also need new details. To improve a classic game, you need a normal map or a completely new surface with real geometric details that have been handcrafted by the modder, both of which take a bit of time to do.
RTX Remix simplifies and speeds up the artistic remastering process using AI. AI Super Resolution increases the resolution of extracted textures up to 4X, turning 1080p-class textures into higher-quality 4K assets. And AI Physically Based Materials analyzes the game environment to add PBR properties to all mined assets. As shown in the screenshots below from mount and blade from TaleWorlds Entertainment, a cobblestone floor immediately changes from a flat surface with a basic texture to a detailed stone surface with a roughness map that interacts with light realistically.
In the image below from The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind from Bethesda Softworks, NVIDIA artists used RTX Remix to remaster a scene. The team uploaded a shared RTX Remix project via Omniverse, and when a member updated the material properties of an object or the mesh of an asset in Omniverse-connected apps like Substance or Maya, the game scene synced up in the Remix window : Collaboration becomes child’s play. A second artist could then spend their time in the Remix app, meticulously moving each completed element into the perfect position for him and re-lighting the scene with the reconstructed objects in mind. It’s that simple, the tool allows collaboration and development 24 hours a day with a team of modders spread across the planet. Previously, you had to wait for someone’s work to complete and submit. Now there is no lag, and another can pick up where you left off.
A complete set of production tools makes it possible to turn an old game into a new one.
When the RTX Remix Mod is ready, simply export it and share it with gamers. They simply download the mod and place it in the game directory along with the .exe and launch the game. The NVIDIA RTX Remix runtime does the rest, replacing the old APIs and renderers with the RTX Remix Runtime’s Vulkan 64-bit renderer and updating images on the fly. The player also benefits from the instant addition of NVIDIA DLSS 3, for higher frame rates.
Example with Portal RTX, made with NVIDIA RTX Remix
Just like a real team of modders, NVIDIA developers have collaboratively created an amazing mod using RTX Remix. All of the tools and processes documented above were applied to create this DLC for Valve’s game: PORTAL.
Can we dream of seeing Farming Simulator 15 using PBR textures, global illumination and ray tracing? With nVidia RTX Remix, this becomes entirely possible.
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