18 days ago - Lil Shammgod - Direct link
Welcome back, Prospectors!

The final Icarus Beta Weekend is upon us and what a journey it has been! We're going to send you off towards Icarus v1.0 with a bang, and we'd like to thank you all for being such a fantastic team of beta testers.

This Beta Weekend we are adding a major new graphics feature - NVIDIA’s RTX Global Illumination. We have a strategic partnership with NVIDIA and our busy developers have been working closely with them for the last few months to optimize Icarus’ graphics and to apply Global Illumination in ways never done before in an open-world game.

To ensure the best possible experience, make sure you have your drivers updated to the latest version available on the NVIDIA website[www.nvidia.com].

Naturally we want to show off these gorgeous graphics, so we’ve added a Photo Mode for you to use and enter a series of competitions this Beta Weekend. They are the:
  • Best Photo Competition
  • Best Build Competition
  • NVIDIA 3080 graphics card giveaway
Click here for details of the prizes and how to enter!

Ray Traced Global Illumination

Icarus will be one of the first games in the world to use Ray Traced Global Illumination in an open-world setting.

RTX Global Illumination (RTXGI) creates dynamic, realistic rendering for games by computing diffuse lighting with ray tracing. It more realistically models how light is bounced off of surfaces (indirect light) rather than being limited to just the light that hits a surface directly from a light source (direct light). This provides infinite bounce lighting and soft shadow occlusion, showing how light and colors bounce off nearby surfaces.

What this means for Icarus is you’ll be able to see more detail in the undergrowth shaded by trees, better lighting in caves, forest fires that reflect off soon-to-be-burnt cabins, beautiful dropship takeoffs and more detail at nighttime. Shadows will have more detail in them and fewer dark patches. The lighting will change as bases are built or trees are chopped.

In the past, Global Illumination has typically been used in static or indoor scenes. An open-world like Icarus is different.

Previously most Global Illumination has been baked or precomputed and stored in light maps or irradiance probes for a fixed level or room. Icarus, however, features large outdoor environments that can even change as a forest is chopped down or a base built. Icarus uses a new RTXGI feature called Infinite Scrolling Volumes, which uses ray tracing to constantly update the Global Illumination lighting volume around the player as they move through Icarus’ world. This effectively provides an “infinite” volume of global illumination for the player without needing a huge amount of memory to store an infinite number of lighting probes.

Icarus will be the first published game to use NVIDIA’s RTXGI Infinite Scrolling Volumes. If you have a NVIDIA RTX card we’d love you to try it out this Beta Weekend. Check the Settings menu to see if your PC can use it.

Photo mode
A game as beautiful as ICARUS wouldn’t be complete without a photo mode and we’re going to make sure you put it to good use.

  • Hit 8 on your keyboard’s Number Pad to enter Photo Mode
  • Hit 9 on your keyboard’s Number Pad to toggle the game UI on/off
  • You can change these key bindings in the Settings menu.
  • Photos will be saved into your /photos folder

For the artist in you, photo mode features a bunch of post-processing options such as Depth of Field, Bloom, Colour Correction, Vignettes and Motion Blur. You’ll be able to adjust Field of View, Exposure, move the camera a short distance, and save your favourite settings as presets.

For those of you with NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics cards, Icarus takes advantage of NVIDIA DLSS to boost performance. Utilizing AI rendering technology and the dedicated Tensor Core AI processors found exclusively on GeForce RTX GPUs, DLSS provides maximum performance and uncompromised image quality.

Icarus on GeForce NOW
If you lack a GeForce RTX desktop or laptop, or are away from your gaming system, you can also play Icarus this Beta weekend with GeForce NOW, NVIDIA’s cloud gaming service.

That means you can play at 1080p and 60 FPS across all of your devices - from lower-spec PCs, to Mac, Chromebook, Android mobile, Android TV, iPhone and even iPad. Although you won’t be able to save Icarus Photo Mode pics to your local harddrive.

Give PC gaming a try with a free membership. Or, join one of the premium memberships for an enhanced experience including priority access to servers, RTX ON, and extended session lengths. Learn more at http://geforcenow.com.

Returning this Beta Weekend are all your old-favorite missions from the original Arctic, Desert and Mission Beta Weekends, but with the benefits of optimization and balance changes we have made since.

This includes:
  • ICEBREAKER: Extermination
  • BROKEN ARROW: Recovery
  • BLACKSAND: Terrain Scan
  • BEACHHEAD: Recon
  • LIVEWIRE: Terrain Scan
  • DARK HARVEST: Bio-Research
  • FIELD TEST: Recovery
  • KILL LIST: Extermination
  • HEADSTONE: Geo-Survey

AMA with our Gamerunner, Dean (Rocket)
As requested, we will be hosting an AMA (Ask me Anything) in our Discord during Beta Weekend Seven with our Gamerunner, Dean and hosted by Shammgod. You can leave your questions to be considered in the Discord[discord.gg] channel #bw7-ama, and join us live in the Discord Stages 'AMA' channel at:
  • 2:00pm PST 20th November
  • 10:00pm UTC 20th November
  • 11:00am NZT 21st November

Patch Notes
Because this post is coming out earlier in the week than usual, patch notes will be added here later when we have finalised them.

Final Details
Your characters from the last Beta Weekend will be available and the Level Cap will once again be 30. Tier 4 technology is still locked on the planetary tech tree but will be available at launch.

The ‘fog-of-war’ map is available and the playing area will vary for each mission and prospect.

Beta Weekend Seven will begin at:
  • 5pm Fri 19 November PST
  • 1am Sat 20 November UTC
  • 2pm Sat 20 November NZT

- Shammgod
18 days ago - /u/ - Direct link
A lil somethin somethin: You can find the details for this event on the announcement page here.