AMD engineer adds path tracing module for Return to Castle Wolfenstein

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Let’s talk about Return to Castle Wolfenstein, specifically the iorctw mod released in 2018. This is an improved game engine that was released back when id Software used to release the source code for all their games. This mod is especially interesting today because an AMD engineer has made a new set of improvements.

AMD Senior Graphics R&D Engineer Dihara Wijetunga happily announced that he is working on adding path tracing to Return to Castle Wolfenstein via iorctw. The iorctw project this AMD engineer is working on uses a custom DirectX 12 backend. You can see the thread Dihara created to support the project below.

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And you can also see more footage from the game with path tracing enabled below:

OK, so what is path tracing? For those who don’t know, path tracing is a form of ray tracing that sends rays out from the camera and, when a ray hits a reflective or refractive surface, repeats the process until it hits a source from light. The series of rays from the Camera to the Light form a “path”.

With it, you can basically achieve realistic effects and lighting. It has one downside which is the noise. However, the noise disappears as other paths accumulate and eventually converge into a sharp image. It’s worth mentioning that this project is also in its early stages, so some development might be required before Return to Castle Wolfenstein receives full path-tracing support.

In other news, Elden Ring got a new difficulty layer added with a survival difficulty mod. This mod introduces hunger and thirst mechanics, new materials to craft and upgrade weapons, new cures for region-specific ailments, and more. Additionally, a new Cyberpunk 2077 mod also introduced a futuristic feature (which probably should have been part of the original game): flying cars.

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