Starfield, the upcoming space RPG from Fallout and Elder Scrolls developer Bethesda, will apparently include RTX integration and ray tracing, according to the LinkedIn profile of one of the game’s graphics programmers.
We’re still waiting for news on the Starfield release date, although recent changes to the RPG’s Steam page suggest we might hear something more concrete soon. In the meantime, the first gameplay trailer from Summer Game Fest is more or less all we have to go on, but it looks like the game’s impressive natural and ambient lighting effects might be driven by real-time ray tracing.
Germain Mazac is a graphics programmer at Bethesda who has previously worked on both Fallout 76 and Skyrim: Special Edition. According to their LinkedIn profile, they are currently working on Starfield, where they are responsible for “PBR [physically based rendering] lightning, indirect lighting, [and] RTX integration.”
PBR refers to altering the values of various surfaces and textures in a game so that they capture and reflect light appropriately – the polished surface of an in-game table, for example, will behave differently to a rock. In combination with real-time ray tracing, which uses algorithms to trace the path, direction, and intensity of in-game light sources to produce more believable shadows and variance, this could mean that the many Starfield cities and galaxies end up looking rather impressive.
Starfield is being built using an updated version of Bethesda’s Creation Engine, aptly named Creation Engine 2. Given the size, scale, and variety of the upcoming RPG (all those different planets, with their own stars, suns, and atmospheres) advanced lighting seems like a must. Let’s hope we see more evidence of Starfield’s lustrous visuals in a new gameplay trailer soon.
In the meantime, you might want to get ahead of the galactic war with our guide to Starfield ship design. We can also get you tooled up with our primer on Starfield guns, and give you the rundown of who you’ll be going up against among the many Starfield factions, all of which, good or evil, will hopefully be beautifully lit.