Something to look forward to: Adding ray tracing to classic games was a great way to show the difference it makes. Last week, a mod posted a YouTube trailer showing off the feature used in the original Half-Life. The mod plans to make it playable this year, although no specific date was mentioned.

In his description of the Half-Life: Ray Traced trailer, Sultim_t says that it will add real-time trajectory tracking to the first-person shooter Valve in 1998. Ray-tracing effects include global lighting, reflections, refractions, and soft shadows.

Tracing is similar to ray tracing, but is more comprehensive and computationally expensive. Ray tracing in games like Cyberpunk 2077 or Resident Evil Village is mixed with traditional rasterization, only dealing with effects like lighting or global reflections. In comparison, tracing renders the entire scene with ray tracing.

It takes so much power that only games with relatively basic or older graphics like Minecraft or Quake II RTX can use it at bootable frame rates. However, even these games need scaling methods like DLSS to do so. Sultim_t didn’t mention any scaling functionality for Half-Life: Ray Traced.

Sulim_t previously developed a ray tracing mod for Serious Sam, although this mode builds on a previous attempt to add ray tracing to Half-life. Sulim_t plans to publish it on GitHub with the source code when complete. In 2019, Nvidia announced plans to bring ray tracing to more classic games, but hasn’t revealed anything since then.


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