This week at GDC we saw some of the technology that will be driving our virtual worlds in the future. The techniques on cutting edge graphics and high end hardware are so distinct, we’ll be stepping into the most realistic settings we have ever faced. EPIC Games and Nvidia both gave presentation that turned some heads in where gaming will be no more than a decade from now.
EPIC Games – Unreal Engine
With Fortnite becoming the premiere game right now. EPIC took to the stage this week at GDC and showed off some of their amazing new Real-Time Ray Tracing technology. In conjunction with Nvidia and ILMxLAB to show off a Star Wars Demo that stunned game makers. The movement of light throughout the New order space station and follows the tale of two troopers under Captain Phasma. To how games will be made in the future brings in a new era of realism that will blur the lines with reality.
Next they showed the Next Generation Digital humans with a demo from the amazing Andy Serkis. The real time rendering combined with 3Lateral’s human framework technology was another mind blowing demo on what we will see in the future. They combined this with Siren who was a real time digital human portrayed by an actress.
The overall levels of technology that EPIC Games is putting out with the Unreal Engine is setting the bar for how we will see games future. Combined with Nvidia’s hardware to run the systems it seems like gaming will be much closer to the Oasis than we realize.
The human rendering is the most interesting aspect of how things will play. We have often said in online games that things will go one of two ways. You will have a haptic suit and VR rig in your house to step into a virtual world and play against others in a similar reality. Or, you will sit in a chair with a brain implant and play from your imagination. It appears that the first concept will be here sooner than you think.
The other thing to look at is how the new generation of gamers is coming up in the world. They began on Minecrafting building worlds and dealing with perma-death scenarios. They now play Fortnite by the millions and will continue to mature in competitive gaming.
The battlegrounds of the future will be much more realistic and hopefully fun for all of us. The big question about all this technology and hardware is when will be become affordable for the average person? Will it impact how sporting event will take place in the future? Perhaps esports will move into a combination of mental and physical challenges through an augmented virtual environment. If these are the worlds that generations will be playing in it begs the question of how the lines of reality and virtual reality will blend.
As gamers, the level of adventure you can experience in your own home will be unprecedented. When and how we get there is coming quickly. Be ready!