We know that Source 2 from Valve is a pretty capable game engine, and we've seen what they've been able to do with it over the years (and Half-Life: Alyx turned it up a notch) but what's next? Ray Tracing perhaps.
It's not a whole lot to go on but Artifact, the card-game failure from Valve that's currently going through a complete overhaul continues to be upgraded and SteamDB creator Pavel Djundik spotted something interesting that they posted up on Twitter:
What they found mentions "Raytracing Shader" and "RTX", which is pretty damn clear. The full link to all the new bits mentions plenty of other things too including Vulkan API additions.
To what end though? Where will this be going into Valve games? It doesn't really seem like a fit for Artifact, and the constant rumours of CS:GO moving over to Source 2 probably still wouldn't give it Ray Tracing either since it's a highly competitive game and it needs a level playing field. Then again, it would still be thoroughly interesting to see in action no matter what.
So what do you think this could be for? Perhaps just as a side-effect of Artifact developers pulling in newer code over all Source 2 updates, that Valve are working on overall to be available somewhere else? Half-Life: Alyx already looked pretty fantastic (from footage I've seen, no VR kit here), imagine how that would look with Ray Tracing added in.