Nvidia is open sourcing the RTX Remix Toolkit and releasing the Runtime SDK to 'empower developers' in 'virtually any game'

Screenshots showing Need For Speed 2 with an RTX Remix mod enabled/disabled.
(Image credit: NFSU2 RTX)

Nvidia has announced today that it is making big advances in the RTX Remix world, advances that will open the tech up to allow modders unprecedented control over the whole technology. But the other side of this announcement is the release of an RTX Runtime SDK that will let the developers, or anyone with access to a game's rendering pipeline, integrate all of Remix's features in any game.

That's a potentially huge change because right now RTX Remix is limited to only DirectX 8 or DirectX 9 games, as later APIs use a different pipeline that doesn't allow Remix to essentially replace that wholesale. This limitation means that at the moment you're only seeing the fancy ray tracing, AI texture replacement, and upscaling features being used to remaster old PC classics.

I mean, that has meant we've got the Half-Life 2 mod in progress as well as Need For Speed Underground 2 and even Splinter Cell, among others. But it also means that a ton of other titles aren't eligible for the RTX Remix modding treatment.

"Today we're announcing the next major step which is making RTX Remix a complete open platform," an Nvidia representative tells me in a pre-Computex briefing. "In June we will open source the RTX Remix Toolkit and this is the core Remix application used to author the mods and provide the AI textures.

"We are open sourcing our tools for the modding community so they can have more control over the technology."

This is a nice feature, allowing modders to get at the core of the software which should give them the tools to open up support in current titles that might be proving tricksy even though they meet the current specs for Remix.

But it's the second bit of this announcement that could have big ramifications for the modding community. "We will also release the RTX Remix Runtime SDK," I'm told, "so that will empower developers to integrate Remix Runtime into virtually any game or digital content creation tool where they have access to rendering data. This will also extend compatibility of Remix Runtime."

Of course this isn't going to instantly make DirectX 10 and 11 games compatible with Remix out of the box, it's still going to require either the developers of a particular game to go back in and use the Runtime SDK to add native support for the Remix renderer. Though if you can gain access to a game's source code and renderer, then you stand a chance of making it compatible. If you're smart enough, that is.

"By making the RTX Remix Runtime SDK available, we've given easy access to Remix's renderer," Nvidia says. "Skilled programmers who have access to a game's rendering pipeline can use the SDK to integrate Remix's renderer and Runtime features natively. 

"We expect this will be especially useful for developers and programmers who have source code or access to a game's renderer."

I'm sure the folk at Rockstar have got a bit of spare time at the moment to jam it into GTA V, right?

But that's not all… the final part of this new, more open RTX Remix world is something called the RTX Remix Toolkit REST API. This is a layer that allows any application to connect to the Toolkit via a live link "to help with the modding workflow."

Examples are probably the easiest way to understand what this means. With this, you could hook Blender up to Remix and pull a 3D asset out of the game directly into Blender, mess around with it, and then drop it back into Remix on the fly.

(Image credit: Nvidia)
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You could also hook up something like ComfyUI, which uses a host of different generative AI models to create from text prompts alone. The example Nvidia gives is of taking a particular texture from a game, dropping into ComfyUI and passing it through an upscaling and PBR (physically based rendering) generating model to create a more detailed version of that texture. And then, using a text prompt altering that into an entirely new texture, before dropping directly back into the game via Remix.

It looks incredibly powerful to this layman, and I'm hopeful this opening up of the Remix platform really will kickstart a new wave of community remasters of updated classics. Well, so long as we can find some skilled programmers with source code access, that is.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.