Star Citizen will drop DX11, avoid DX12 support

Over the weekend, Cloud Imperium fielded questions from players on some of the more technical elements on display in Star Citizen’s last Around the Verse. Turns out that some major DirectX changes are on the horizon.

“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 & Linux,” explains Director of Graphics Engineering Ali Brown. “As a result our current intention is to only support Vulkan and eventually drop support for DX11 as this shouldn’t effect any of our backers. DX12 would only be considered if we found it gave us a specific and substantial advantage over Vulkan. The API’s really aren’t that different though, 95% of the work for these APIs is to change the paradigm of the rendering pipeline, which is the same for both APIs.”

Brown also addresses a complaint that “CIG is avoiding the most important questions” and says that the game’s “dedicated systems for asteroids & debris we can already handle over 100,000 individually moving objects on screen at well over 60fps” bolstered by “an imposter system to handle the visualization of millions more in the background.”

Source: Official forums. Thanks, Jidden!
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104 Comments on "Star Citizen will drop DX11, avoid DX12 support"

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possum440 .
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possum440 .

I am all for anything to burn microshaft.

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Dolnor .

I realize that when Star Citizen/Squadron 42 is released, I’ll be selling my account. I won’t be able to afford buying a computer that will run it in 2 years. The switch to Vulkan means that my computer now won’t run it…I have the wrong graphics card and my system is too old. I guess I’ll have to start playing the other 25 games I haven’t started that run fine on my system.

TQQdles™

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Joe Blobers

Vulkan won’t make the game unplayable…. and it run fine today with an I5 quadcore 3.4 and a GTX 780. Only Netcode is a problem to have smooth gameplay in PU but otherwise in arena commander and SM it is perfect.

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mysecretid

Many of the newest computer games I’ve bought include the Vulkan API alongside the Direct X API.

By creating Star Citizen around the Vulkan API, CIG effectively frees Star Citizen from a reliance on Windows and Microsoft in order to run,

This opens the door for simpler ports of SC for gamers using Apple or Linux desktop systems, for example

For the longest time, desktop computer games were effectively bound to the Direct X API if they used advanced graphics and/or graphics cards, and the Direct X API is the intellectual property of Microsoft.

Any perceived attempts to “reverse engineer” Direct X into something more “open source” were met with litigation.

The Vulkan API essentially arrived at a similar functionality through a different path, so the threat of legal smiting never materialized.

Vulkan basically allows developers to create desktop computer games without automatically binding those games to the Windows operating system.

My understanding of the issue as of this writing,

Cheers,

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Lethality

This is a very smart decision, and shows they are focused on making Star Citizen a game with a long future, free of platform-specific bindings. That includes, I’m guessing, ditching Windows entirely at some point.

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Melissa McDonald

You surely can’t be serious. Why would you ditch the vast majority of gamers who don’t play on consoles or mobile? Are you suggesting Star Citizen’s future is consoles and mobile? Because it sure isn’t Linux or Mac.

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Joe Blobers

He said ” free of platform-specific bindings”. What is the point about console and mobile?
Can be used on Mac, Linux and older or newer Windows…. hence more than only Win10. That is a pretty clever move indeed.

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NovaScotiaCitizen
Valen Sinclair
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Valen Sinclair

“We will begin coding a new in house game engine next week. We expect it will take 4 years to complete, by which time it will be obsolete. In the meantime, we’ve put a new ship in the online store…the Vapoware-32X for only $200. Snap them up while you can, because they are a limited quantity digital ship!”

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Joe Blobers

The less a guy understand a business, the more he shoot uneducated comment.

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Jack Pipsam

I suppose their next announcement will be a change in programing language all together.

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Buchi Buci

…or genre, a dating sim.

ceder
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ceder

Vulcans vs Romulans….. the debate is about on par.

miol
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miol

At least they can have babies together…

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Dividion

Would that be a Romulcan or a Vululan?

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rafael12104

Hmm. First, it’s no dew of my lily. I’m not pro SC or anti SC. Just watching the show from out here.

I will say however, that while I support efforts ensuring the MS doesn’t have everything in their grasp, going against MS video API’s is not a long term view of things.

There are many examples of games choosing not to go DX only to come back crawling back later, even a few years later, after a major update.

The thing about MS is that you do have to give them is that they are very competitive. IF Vulkan in fact outperforming DX11 right now, you can bet your ass MS will work assiduously to correct that.

Oh, and as for that, we want to include all OSes bit including Linux, LOLOLOLOL!

Pull my leg after you release the game.

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Lethality

It makes all the sense in the world… the Microsoft long-term bloat has worn out it’s welcome. Better to use tech that doesn’t live tied to the hip of a specific OS.

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John Kiser

Vulkan competes with dx12, but if you plan to port to linux at some point or support anything other than windows 10 with a lower level API like vulkan or dx12 vulkan is defintely the way to go.

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Jack Pipsam

DX just works, people can hate on Microsoft all they like, but the fact remains that DX is currently the best of the bunch. Just like for most people, Windows is the most logical choice for an OS to use on their computers. Oh sure people might like the idea of Linux, the open source dream, but in reality Windows just works.

Maybe someday Vulkan will be better, but that isn’t today.

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Joe Blobers

Better for what? Do you think senior developers like the one at Cloud Emperium will pick VUlkan just to gain a few thousands Linux players? Most players wont see a difference between VUlkan and DX12 but VUlkan can run on any OS… Guess what is the right move in terms of players base. A few thousands or 100.000″s. Again CR did the right move after Lumberyard.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

vulkan isn’t outperforming dx11 right now tho. the couple of games out that support dx11 and vulkan perform better with dx11.

vulkan outperforms openGL in doom but that’s not exactly hard (as well doom is like super duper optimized to begin with)

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John Kiser

I think you mean to say DX12. DX11 is not going to beat vulkan period as one is a lower level API and the other is not.

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Schmidt.Capela

“””IF Vulkan in fact outperforming DX11 right now, you can bet your ass MS will work assiduously to correct that.”””

I don’t think that is even possible. Not any more than Microsoft could make DX11 perform better than DX12.

Much of the performance gain comes from a different architecture, different ways of managing the graphics elements and hardware, in which Vulkan is very different from OpenGL and all D3D APIs before DX12.

As for whether DX12 will perform measurably better than Vulkan: I doubt it. I doubt the opposite would happen either. Both DX12 and Vulkan are too close to the metal for any meaningful performance difference to be felt, and if DX12 has Microsoft to make sure no issues crop up, in the case of Vulkan you have AMD, NVidia, and Intel collaborating in making sure it doesn’t hit any snags.

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rafael12104

Take the number out of the equation. DX 11, DX 12, whatever, MS will not let it stand if they can possibly do something about it. And they have the cash to do just that.

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Sally Bowls

I can’t say that is wrong. However, my worry is that while both are close to the metal, the small part between them and the metal is written and owned by Microsoft. Whether they use that to “benefit consumers” or “unfairly” is personal opinion.

IMO, the heroes are NVidia and AMD. While Intel desktop CPUs have not been pushing performance, the graphics people continue to fight the good fight; at least the 1080 ti came out sooner/faster than I was expecting.

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Dystopiq

Good. I run DOOM on Vulkan and it is phenomenal.