Square Enix studio Luminous Productions has released a new tech demo titled “Backstage” and it showcases some lovely ray tracing tech in action on the developer’s Luminous Engine. This is the same engine that powered 2016’s Final Fantasy XV and will likely be used to power the studio’s next unannounced game. The tech demo is running on an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 TI, one of the most powerful graphics cards on the PC gaming market right now. Also, the demo is running in realtime, which should be a given but nonetheless is worth mentioning.
As highlighted in the video, ray tracing is primarily in regards to lighting and the way it interacts with different surfaces, which can include real-time diffusion, occlusion, shadows, and reflections. Ray tracing allows light to interact in a more realistic way within the environment based on the objects, textures, and surfaces that are present. The name comes from literally tracing the path of a ray of light. The technology can also be used for audio.
PlayStation fans who are crazy about graphics should definitely be excited about this new tech demo as Sony’s next upcoming console will reportedly be capable of real-time ray tracing. As of right now, ray tracing technology can only be found in a handful of AAA PC titles, but gamers will likely become very familiar with the tech in the months to come leading up to new console reveals. There’s always a flashy new buzzword every company throws into their new console announcements or game reveals, it seems like ray tracing might be the next big buzzword.
Luminous Productions has had a bit of a rocky history in the Square Enix-owned developer’s short existence. Following the launch of Final Fantasy XV and the release of some of its follow-up DLC content, director Hajime Tabata announced that he’d be departing from the studio and Square Enix entirely. Luminous is now led by the lead programmer on Final Fantasy XV, Takeshi Aramaki. Luminous Productions is still very new but they’re reportedly hard at work on AAA games for next-gen consoles. No games have been announced just yet but fans can probably expect to hear about whatever the team’s working on very soon. Until then, we can only expect that the games they create will, at the very least, look pretty dang beautiful.