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Cloud Imperium Games Will Use Vulkan For 'Star Citizen,' Not Supporting DirectX 12

At the moment, only a handful of games, such as Dota 2 and Doom, support the use of the Khronos Group’s Vulkan API. Now, another studio joins the list: Cloud Imperium Games (CIG), which is known for its current development on Star Citizen.

Vulkan is supposed to provide better performance for players while also reducing driver overhead and providing more control over GPU resources to developers. Ali Brown, the  director of graphics engineering at CIG, revealed the news as part of a series of questions posed in the game’s forums. Even though CIG planned to add support DirectX 12 support for the game, the team switched to Vulkan because it could work with any OS, which wouldn’t force users to upgrade to Windows 10.

“Years ago we stated our intention to support DX12, but since the introduction of Vulkan which has the same feature set and performance advantages this seemed a much more logical rendering API to use as it doesn't force our users to upgrade to Windows 10 and opens the door for a single graphics API that could be used on all Windows 7, 8, 10 & [sic] Linux. As a result our current intention is to only support Vulkan and eventually drop support for DX11 as this shouldn't effect [sic] any of our backers.”

Brown said that DirectX 12 support would be added only if it had some sort of advantage over Vulkan. However, Brown wrote that both APIs have the same function, which is “to change the paradigm of the rendering pipeline.” The main difference is that Vulkan can work on multiple systems.

The switch to Vulkan isn’t the only major move by CIG in its ongoing development of Star Citizen. At the end of 2016, the studio announced that it was switching the overall development software from CryEngine to Amazon Lumberyard. The main reason for the change was the use of Amazon’s online services, specifically GameLift, which adds or subtracts the amount of servers needed in an online game (such as Star Citizen) based on the current number of players online.

NameStar Citizen
TypeSci-fi, Shooter, Flight
DeveloperCloud Imperium Games
PublisherCloud Imperium Games
PlatformsPC
Where To BuyStar Citizen
Release DateN/A
  • garrett040
    good, screw micro**** and their proprietary dx12

    Language edit by moderator. This is a family friendly website.
    Reply
  • Longscope
    Since StarEngine (cig's version of cryengine) and lumberyard are both based off of the same cryengine branch, seems like a good use of lumberyard's networking ability.

    As far as Vulkan... it worked great on DooM, should work good for SC.
    Reply
  • sesam
    All major developers should shift to Vulkan. Unless Microsoft hands you a bag of money it does not make any sense to support DX12. Vulkan has similar or better performance and multi OS/platform support.
    Reply
  • CRO5513Y
    I agree with this, i hope they fix performance soon as well i totally love flying around the universe in 30 FPS despite 10% GPU load and CPU on 60-70% most the time (highest any game has ever pushed it) and RAM at 7-9GB which is lovely... The game does look good tho and i couldn't agree more with them changing from DirectX 11 to Vulkan.

    *Edit* my mate running 2x GTX 1080 and a i7-5820K also runs the same and couldn't agree more.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    19458844 said:
    All major developers should shift to Vulkan. Unless Microsoft hands you a bag of money it does not make any sense to support DX12. Vulkan has similar or better performance and multi OS/platform support.
    Developers are motivated by more than just bags of money, amazingly. They have to worry about things like time to market and overall development costs. If someone paid you $5000 to use Whizbang Graphics API (here, take this bag of money with strings attached), but doing so incurred an additional $10K in development costs and delayed your product two months, it doesn't make sense to do so. One of the big reasons high-level DX was more popular with developers vs high level OGL: It was easier to develop with. I can't say that is true with Vulkan vs DX12 but the possibility exists.

    So IF there's a similar (but likely smaller) advantage with the low-level DX12, there's incentive to use it and it will remain popular with many developers. I wouldn't blame them. That being said I really don't care what engine Star Citizen uses or what API. DX, OGL, Vulkan - Glide even! Cryengine, id Tech, Source, Unreal, Unity... Build perhaps. Just please make it out of alpha soon... and out of beta before 2020.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    19458817 said:
    As far as Vulkan... it worked great on DooM, should work good for SC.
    It's just an API. What they do with it is what counts. id is generally pretty good at optimizing... CIG... we'll see. I won't hold alpha performance against them, but you can't extrapolate performance from Doom just because they're using the same API. Especially when talking about a low-level API like Vulkan or DX12.
    Reply
  • kinggremlin
    19458844 said:
    All major developers should shift to Vulkan. Unless Microsoft hands you a bag of money it does not make any sense to support DX12. Vulkan has similar or better performance and multi OS/platform support.

    Vulkan is about a year behind DX12 feature wise, and MS continues to add features with updates. As is usually the case, when MS is motivated, they "oddly" increase their rate of development and quality. As older Windows OS's are phased out, and 10 and whatever else is coming become the standard, Vulkan will turn into the next OpenGL. Also, some of Vulkan's comparable features to DX12 also require Windows 10, since the features require WDDM 2.0 to work.

    According to Steam, about 0.79% of gamers are using Linux. Somehow, I doubt Cloud Imperium is using Vulkan so they can target that market. Microsoft OS's own the gaming market, so acting like you using Vulkan is somehow breaking free from the MS prison is missing the forest for the trees. The platform support benefits of Vulkan vs DX12 right now is that Vulkan supports older versions of Windows, though again not with all features, which is still tying you into Microsoft. But whatever helps you sleep at night.
    Reply
  • mrmez
    W10 has 25% market share while W7 has almost 50%

    Surprised anyone is using DX12 since Vulcan will triple your potential customers.
    Reply
  • jasonkaler
    "as it doesn't force our users to upgrade to Windows 10 "

    That's the last of their concerns. By the time star citizen is finally released, we'll all be on windows 14.
    Reply
  • mitch074
    Vulkan is also supported on Nintendo Switch and is officially the default API under the newer versions of Android; OpenGL is kept around for compatibility, but there are talks about reimplementing it over Vulkan (making it so that chip makers only have to provide Vulkan drivers for OpenGL to work on their chip). It is also proven that current consoles can run Vulkan (tested true with a PS4 running Linux, the proprietary AMD graphics driver and the Vulkan-using Dolphin emulator - it's funny to see Wind Waker running on a Sony machine!)
    While support for older versions of Windows does mean that it will have meaning only for people that wanted to keep their Win7 until 2019 (not that far), it also covers those that want to keep Win8/8.1 until 2021 - that is, not too many, but still a few. I'm happy about Linux support though, as most of my games have a Linux version and I don't have to reboot from my normal browsing/work/mail/video session to boot Win10.
    Reply