4A Games Targeting 1080P@60FPS for NVIDIA RTX in Metro Exodus
Metro Exodus, the semi-open world first-person shooter game developed by 4A Games and due for release on February 22nd next year, was the first game to be confirmed getting the raytracing treatment through NVIDIA RTX. It goes without saying that the game was among those showcased at Gamescom 2018 alongside the new GeForce RTX cards and of course there were also a few developers from 4A Games on hand for the press.
That's where Rendering Programmer Ben Archard confirmed to Rock, Paper, Shotgun that the studio is currently targeting 1080P@60FPS for the game running with NVIDIA RTX effects enabled (Ray Traced Global Illumination and Ambient Occlusion).
We’re always going to be pushing 60 fps. But we’ll see what we get. Obviously, there are three cards there and we’ll see what profiles we can get for each.
It’s 1080p, yes. That’s the goal, but we’ll see how it goes. That’s the trouble, we’re developing it and optimizing it. We’ve got an existing engine with the existing systems, so a direct comparison isn’t really fair. Yeah, when you first do it and first implement ray tracing in a naïve way, it’s more expensive, it’s slower. But if you optimise, yeah, you can get there. You get it up to frame rate and that’s what we’ve been trying out. Actually saying what the final difference is, I can’t because we're not finished.
Of course, it would be very different if that target was for the GeForce RTX 2070 rather than the GeForce RTX 2080Ti given that the latter GPU is priced $500 higher and is expected to be running games at 4K resolution without breaking a sweat. It's likely that the folks at 4A Games aren't really sure what's possible in terms of performance yet, anyway, as we've reported that other developers only had the hardware for a very short time before Gamescom 2018.
Archard also confirmed that it's entirely possible to switch the NVIDIA RTX features off just like you would with any NVIDIA HairWorks features in previous titles.
We’re still working on it and haven’t set out all the myriad of options yet. We haven’t narrowed that down. But in principle, yes, it’s definitely something like Nvidia’s HairWorks. Yes, you can turn Hairworks on and off, and you can turn any given lighting system off. It’s a feature, so yes, you could have a button that goes, ‘We’re going to switch over to RTX mode now’, but it’s the same engine running all the time, so it’s just, ‘Okay, we’re going to switch over to traditional global illumination systems, or we’re going to switch over to the modern RT GI system. It’s an optional feature, but it’s a really, really important feature.
One way to get back some performance would be by using the other major GeForce RTX feature, DLSS (Deep Learning Super-Sampling), which according to NVIDIA can provide anywhere from 30% to 100% boost in frames per second. Sadly, Metro Exodus isn't currently among the titles that have announced support for DLSS, though that may still change with about six months left on the game's development.
Below you can watch Ben Archard's Gamescom 2018 NVIDIA RTX presentation, recorded by PC Gamer.