An updated version of Half-Life with ray-traced effects is coming soon courtesy of a Russian software engineer named Sultim Tsyrendashiev.
Dubbed Half-Life: Ray Traced, the project is advertised as the first version of Valve’s 1998 classic sci-fi shooter with hardware-accelerated, real-time path tracing, enabling more realistic lighting, reflections, and more for Gordon Freeman’s original adventure. Tsyrendashiev’s fully realized attempt won’t be available until later this year, but a teaser was shared this week that offers a look at how his version compares to the original.
“Half-Life: Ray Traced integrates the real-time path tracing into the original Half-Life (1998),” reads a description for the teaser. “With the hardware accelerated ray tracing, it is possible to calculate global illumination, reflections, refractions, soft shadows and other visual effects with interactive framerates.”
“Source code and the playable build of Half-Life: Ray Traced will be released on https://github.com/sultim-t when the mod will be ready… these things, they take time.”
The original Half-Life was released in 1998, a year that saw the debut of then-remarkable computer hardware such as the NVIDIA Riva TNT, Creative Labs Sound Blaster AWE64 Gold sound card, and Maxtor 8.4 GB DiamondMax 2160 hard drive.
Half-Life 3, if it ever happens, will presumably ship with some level of ray tracing support.