Modder created the “Echelon Renderer” for Deus Ex for this incredible RTX Remix

Modder builds a new Deus Ex renderer to give it a glorious path traced makeover

Nvidia’s RTX Remix technology has the potential to transform classic PC games, but not all classic games work well this tech. Yesterday, a modder called “onnoj” released a new renderer for Deus Ex called “Echelon” to make the PC classic work better with Nvidia’s RTX Remix game enhancing tech.

By creating a new renderer for Deus Ex, “onnoj” has allowed the game to better benefit from Nvidia’s path tracing technology. This has resulted in a graphical transformation that gives the game an entirely new look. Nvidia’s Jacob Freeman has documented the impact of path traced lighting in this game on Twitter/X. There, he showcases the game with path traced lighting on and off.

Below is what “onnoj” has to say about their new “Echelon renderer” for Deux Ex on Github.

Deus Ex, released in 2000, was built using the Unreal Engine. In terms of rendering architecture, the game’s renderer was largely software-driven. Vertex transformation was done in software, and then pushed to the GPU as a giant vertex soup. The lighting was baked into lightmaps.

Out of the box, Deus Ex (and other Unreal-Engine games) work poorly with Remix; from Remix’s perspective, it just sees a giant vertex soup being pushed to the GPU. That vertex soup is already pre-transformed in view-space, so while some basic raytracing can happen, the results look awful, and things like lighting can never look correct.

Thankfully, the Unreal Engine shipped with a plugin system for its renderers, and Ion-storm were kind enough to release an SDK for Deus Ex which included the headers needed to write new renderers. Thanks to Marijn Kentie and others, there are various modern open-source renderers available for Deus Ex.

While taking inspiration from those renderers, this renderer is written from scratch with the goal to provide render calls in the most compatible way with RTX Remix.

(This mod came to our attention thanks to Jacob Freeman)

This year, we have seen many games get receive the RTX Remix treatment. Need for Speed Most Wanted and Need for Speed Rivals now have RTX Remix mods. An RTX Remix mod is also available for Tomb Raider.

The newest version of the Deus Ex Echelon Renderer for RTX Remix is available on GitHub.

You can join the discussion on Deus Ex’s RTX Remix on the OC3D Forums.

Mark Campbell

Mark Campbell

A Northern Irish father, husband, and techie that works to turn tea and coffee into articles when he isn’t painting his extensive minis collection or using things to make other things.

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