This blog was written entirely by Patrick "Pico" Moorhead, an avid game streamer without interference by the senior Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.
Shaders in the Minecraft community have been around since the early 2015 Forge Mod days. However, all the raytracing was labeled as “shaders.” The Minecraft community this month was relieved to see an NVIDIA partnership with Microsoft to ultimately have a real and officially licensed RTX in Minecraft. Before then, however, "raytracer" packs were often made by Minecraft artists on Reddit, Minecraft Universe, etc, which weren’t official and had lots of bugs. I recently had the opportunity to try out this officially licensed version of RTX Beta on the Windows 10 Edition and here are my thoughts.
The moment I logged in I was immediately was hit by the beauty of the water on the official RTX showcase map, Crystal Palace. I looked down at the water and for the first time, I could see the distortion of the mobs inside of the water. The water is a complete masterpiece, from the new luminescent blocks such as the ores and coral to the darkness and spookiness that the underwater mobs and shadows give.
The shadows on the player model are spot on and I love how there is a shadow between your arms and on your neck when you look up. I like the Entity shadows in the game, too, and wish that they were a little easier to see such as mobs, Item in Hand, and Player Models. I recognize this could be a function of my specific display and resolution. In the first person, you cannot see your shadow, as you can only see your floating hand as a shadow. That is, unless you press F5 and go to the third person. In the future, I'd like to see shadow effects in the nether portal block as when I use shader packs in the Java edition that is by far my favorite block in the game. In the NVIDIA version, it does emit light but it doesn’t allow light to pass through it.
I adore the dynamic lighting on the blocks, mainly the campfire and the Jack o’ Lantern. The RTX pack makes blocks like these not just a light source but adds uniqueness and realism to them. I was amazed at how the Enchantment Table’s actual book could react with light, it really shows how much actual time and dedication was spent on making this possible. The beams of light that come into dark areas such as underwater caves or areas will never get old, it is just an amazing factor that not a lot of shader packs have as of now.
NVIDIA revolutionized RTX for Minecraft like how Samsung revolutionized Minecraft VR back in 2016. RTX and VR both share the same stories. They were poorly created by artists and coding experts who wanted to experiment, then the professionals came and revolutionized and perfected the idea.
What I loved most about it personally, is that coming from a Minecraft player who grew up on the game and has almost played for 10 years is that it gives me the old feeling I had whenever I logged on for the first time ever. All the textures and light effects all come together perfects and no effect seems other ordinary like some of the incomplete ray tracer packs. It brings back that sense of realness and astonishment that hits you when you see things. While I was simply walking around a Vanilla world I was in shock and awe on how truly amazing it is and how the Minecraft RTX community has an official release of RTX Minecraft, I cannot wait until this comes out on the live clients and I and my friends can play and Livestream it together 🙂
If you would like to see some more screenshots with RTX "On" and RTX "Off" please hit this link.