First, I’d like to precise that I’m not asking for any new feature but just giving you my point of view & idea and I’d like to know what you think about it :).
These last years, with the emergence of OpenCl (or CUDA for Nvidia), massive amount of real-time parallel calculus became possible. Thanks to this ever increasing power, real-time path-tracing becomes more and more a reality. Of course this is the ultimate goal, the Holy Grail for any Game Engine.
When we look at Crysis, FarCry or Unreal, we can find the graphics already excellent (and I remember I was really astonished when I saw for the first time the Crysis’Jungle in realtime :)).
However all we see are a bunch of very complicated “hacks” that tries to get closer from the reality. For e.g to simulate the Global Illumination, they use : SSAO filters, hard/soft shadows, faked radiosity, etc …
The day real-time path-tracing will be possible, all these developed technology will become useless because Global Illumination is naturally simulated with path-tracing .
Today on powerful computer, this dream is almost reached through some engines such as:
Latest Intel’s Open-Source Renderer Embree
Video example here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6OWvHEypls&feature=channel&list=UL
I’m deeply convinced that the first path-traced video games will appear in the few years (maybe 4-5 years ?) and this will be a revolution for video games.
Of course, concerning tablet and mobile phone, their limited power will not allow path-tracing for a much longer time. However, with the developing Cloud Gaming where the calculus are made on the server and no more on the device, this should not be a problem anymore.
So I think that instead of painfully trying to bring to the BGE the technologies that Unreal or Crysis Engine have for a long time, we could instead look further and try to to take one step ahead similarly to Brigade.
This is a huge opportunity for us to bring back the BGE in the race by having this kind of renderer before the others.
And we’re maybe not so far ? Cycle is already very fast and maybe if a special Branch of Cycle, more oriented towards real-time (with tweaks and optimization similar Brigade’s ones) was developed, we could reach realtime path-tracing ?
In the long term, this would also allow to integrate the BGE more into Blender because they would share the same sort of Render Engine (for e.g, Materials’ node could be used in both Cycle and BGE without any modification needed). And that would be awesome …