Next-Gen Graphic APIs: DX12, Vulkan, and Metal

Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
Re: DX12 formally announced!

Well Apple apparently announced they are deprecating both OpenGL and Open CL on their platforms and pushing everyone onto their own Metal API.

Probably not the best moving for Mac gaming given it reduces the ease of crossplatform games and it raises the whole fear of them removing it totally which would kill BC for older games.

Makes me wonder about Vulkan in the context of gaming. At this stage I guess its only Android where it will be strong. Windows uses DirectX, MacOS/iOS uses Metal, Playstation uses their own APIs, Maybe Nintendo?
 
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Chikahiro

Neo•Geo Fanboy
Validated User
Re: DX12 formally announced!

Well, it does make me wonder how things will go with this:
https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/02/vulkan-is-coming-to-macos-ios-but-no-thanks-to-apple/
Vulkan—the open, cross-platform GPU API from the Khronos Group, the industry body that also develops OpenGL—is available on Windows, Linux, Android, the Nintendo Switch, and cloud systems, but it has one sizeable gap: none of Apple's platforms support it. macOS has old, and slow, OpenGL drivers, and iOS supports OpenGL ES, the OpenGL subset designed for embedded systems. Apple has thus far shown no interest in offering the modern Vulkan API and instead has pushed its own proprietary API, Metal.

Today, that gap is being substantially filled, with the open source, royalty-free release of MoltenVK—a runtime for macOS and iOS that offers an almost complete subset of the Vulkan API implemented using Metal. Released under the Apache 2 license, MoltenVK will enable developers to build their Vulkan applications for Apple's platforms, allowing for a single codebase to span Windows, Linux, Android, macOS, iOS, and more.
They're aiming at DX12 as well. This could be beneficial, I think. No thanks to Apple, mind you.

Although, they're trying to make it easier to bring iOS games and apps to MacOS. And I remember reading before (although years ago) that iOS users monetize better than Android users... I'm curious to see how this goes. Might be bad for hardcore and enthusiast games, but might be good for smaller titles? I dunno.
 

Chikahiro

Neo•Geo Fanboy
Validated User
Re: DX12 formally announced!

In the "needs to be added to future APIs" category:
https://www.neowin.net/news/nvidias-infinite-resolution-patent-could-be-a-game-changer
The "infinite resolution" technology proposed by the GPU giant is actually a relatively simple concept - and not entirely new: instead of bundling static texture packs for specific resolutions, developers would use scalable vector graphics and include a single set of texture information that automatically adapts to the screen resolution the game is running on. This would allow games to render as clearly in future, higher-resolution devices as they do on current ones.
Supposedly they've been working on this for a while.
http://research.nvidia.com/publication/infinite-resolution-textures

Now, I know of at least one game that used vector textures for 3d graphics: Galactic Civilizations 2. Any others? I personally hate working on vectors, even for the simple stuff I do. I can't imagine using them for realistic looking video games.
 
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s/LaSH

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Re: DX12 formally announced!

In the "needs to be added to future APIs" category:
https://www.neowin.net/news/nvidias-infinite-resolution-patent-could-be-a-game-changer


Supposedly they've been working on this for a while.
http://research.nvidia.com/publication/infinite-resolution-textures

Now, I know of at least one game that used vector textures for 3d graphics: Galactic Civilizations 2. Any others? I personally hate working on vectors, even for the simple stuff I do. I can't imagine using them for realistic looking video games.
Le huh. I suppose you'd rasterise the vectors into a more conventional texture format at runtime, avoiding the overwhelming performance problems with complex vector graphics. It could indeed work, with some massaging. But wow, the vectors you use to represent a photorealistic gravel floor, with normal maps and parallax mapping etc, are going to be utterly human-unreadable.
 

Chikahiro

Neo•Geo Fanboy
Validated User
Re: DX12 formally announced!

For a photorealistic gravel floor I don't know why you would even use pre-rendered textures when you could use procedurally generated textures instead. That was one tech I was hoping would do better but I think got ignored due to Bluray and using multiple DVDs last generation. Now, for at least PC games, the fact storage is pretty cheap doesn't help either. I won't complain about download speeds improving, though. That's well needed.
 

Chikahiro

Neo•Geo Fanboy
Validated User
Re: DX12 formally announced!

So, ray-tracing...
https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/08/microsoft-announces-the-next-step-in-gaming-graphics-directx-raytracing/
https://www.anandtech.com/show/13261/hands-on-with-the-geforce-rtx-2080-ti-realtime-raytracing

I guess this'll be the next big thing for a while.
[video=youtube_share;jkhBlmKtEAk]https://youtu.be/jkhBlmKtEAk[/video]


And Valve is doing more to bring not only greater acceptance to Vulkan, but to make it easier to have Linux games...
https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/08/valves-steam-play-uses-vulkan-to-bring-more-windows-games-to-linux/
 
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Chikahiro

Neo•Geo Fanboy
Validated User
Re: DX12 formally announced!

Nvidia demo...
[video=youtube_share;bFUWu387ErM]https://youtu.be/bFUWu387ErM[/video]

Aaaand Digital Foundry...
[video=youtube_share;moKV5_BpxjM]https://youtu.be/moKV5_BpxjM[/video]

5 years from now will be interesting. I'm wondering if Elite or other similar games might make use of limited raytracing? Racing games? I dunno.
 

Chikahiro

Neo•Geo Fanboy
Validated User
Whaaa? How much is Blizzard being charged for this?
https://www.anandtech.com/show/14078/microsoft-brings-dx12-to-windows-7?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=dlvr.it
For some background, Microsoft’s latest DirectX API was created to remove some of the CPU bottlenecks for gaming by allowing for developers to use low-level programming conventions to shift some of the pressure points away from the CPU. This was a response to single-threaded CPU performance plateauing, making complex graphical workloads increasingly CPU-bounded. There’s many advantages to using this API over traditional DX11, especially for threading and draw calls. But, Microsoft made the decision long ago to only support DirectX 12 on Windows 10, with its WDDM 2.0 driver stack.

Today’s announcement is a pretty big surprise on a number of levels. If Microsoft had wanted to back-port DX12 to Windows 7, you would have thought they’d have done it before Windows 7 entered its long-term servicing state. As it is, even free security patches for Windows 7 are set to end on January 14, 2020, which is well under a year away, and the company is actively trying to migrate users to Windows 10 to avoid having a huge swath of machines sitting in an unpatched state. In fact, they are about to add a pop-up notification to Windows 7 to let users know that they are running out of support very soon. So adding a big feature like DX12 now not only risks undermining their own efforts to migrate people away from Windows 7, but also adding a new feature well after Windows 7 entered long-term support. It’s just bizarre.

Now before you get too excited, this is currently only enabled for World of Warcraft; and indeed it's not slated to be a general-purpose solution like DX12 on Win10. Instead, Microsoft has stated that they are working with a few other developers to bring their DX12 games/backends to Windows 7 as well. As a consumer it’s great to see them supporting their product ten years after it launched, but with the entire OS being put out to pasture in nine months, it seems like an odd time to be dedicating resources to bringing it new features.

Microsoft does say that DX12 will offer more features on Windows 10, which makes sense since the graphics stack was designed for it right from the start, but if you do play World of Warcraft on Windows 7, you’re going to get a free performance boost. You may still want to look into getting off of Windows 7 soon though, since this isn’t going to move the January 2020 end-of-support date back for gamers.

For Blizzard, the publisher of World of Warcraft, this is a huge win for their developers, since they’ll no longer need to maintain two versions of the game.
Thought... the most surprising thing is they're not going to Vulkan. But then, its not like Apple really supports Vulkan either. Hrm...
 
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