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VKDoom is a ZDoom-based source port with a focus on Vulkan

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Well this is pretty fun to see! The ZDoom / GZDoom family is expanding with VKDoom, a new source-port that has a focus on expanded Vulkan support and modern rendering. Now it's worth noting that GZDoom already supports Vulkan, but VKDoom has a focus on making the Vulkan support much more modern with advanced rendering features for modern GPUs.

Currently the official site doesn't go into a lot of detail about it since it's quite new. What we do know is that VKDoom is being synced with the main GZDoom as they work on it, so all the GZDoom modding and editing features should work out of the box.

Pictured above is DISDAIN an upcoming fast-paced, visceral retro-styled first person shooter built on VKDoom by the people making VKDoom. It's launching sometime "soon" with Linux support.

Some features it has from their Wiki:

  • All features from latest version of mainline GZDoom (ACSZScriptZMusic etc)
  • Vulkan based renderer:
    • Raytraced baked lightmaps (produced from ZDRay)
    • Raytraced dynamic shadows
  • Support for the DEHEXTRA standard
  • Unreal Engine 1 style light coronas
  • Modified defaults as per community feedback (like None - Linear texture filtering and more optimized defaults to better represent the IWAD games - full list here https://github.com/dpjudas/VkDoom/commit/896102c1793e565cb9832d4b2ecc5edf0e41a5c6)
  • Hitbox rendering with r_showhitbox
  • Alternate mouse cursors for the IWAD games
  • ZScript extensions related to save games and automap access
  • New MAPINFO property NoAutoSaveOnEnter, and a CHANGELEVEL_NOAUTOSAVE flag for ChangeLevel (both ZScript and ACS) - that disables the hardcoded saves when entering a map

They said they will also continue to push code back to GZDoom so "eventually GZDoom will inherit much of the technology on display in VKDoom". For now, it seems it was easier to get all the advanced features done in a fork.

In regards to a question about Linux builds being available or needing to be built manually the official VKDoom account on X replied: "There will be, eventually. There's still lots of work to be done on other parts of the engine currently, so we can't spare enough manpower to take care of Linux and Mac yet. Stay tuned!"

See more on the official site and GitHub.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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11 comments
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jordicoma Sep 13, 2023
This has to be merged on gzdoom some day, and be able to choose the renderer software/OpenGL/Vulcan at will.
TimeFreeze Sep 13, 2023
Besides the new rendering features whats the point of this Source Port? Vulkan already exists in GZDoom. Surely they could merge those features into GZDoom itself?


Last edited by TimeFreeze on 13 September 2023 at 6:42 pm UTC
benstor214 Sep 13, 2023
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Quoting: TimeFreezeBesides the new rendering features whats the point of this Source Port?
I think it mainly is meant to promote Vulkan.
d10sfan Sep 13, 2023
I could add this to luxtorpeda-dev if there's interest
Lanz Sep 13, 2023
This looks great!!! Can't wait to see how it progresses.
D34VA_ Sep 14, 2023
Quoting: TimeFreezeBesides the new rendering features whats the point of this Source Port? Vulkan already exists in GZDoom. Surely they could merge those features into GZDoom itself?

This port has real-time ray-traced lighting, though that's weirdly not obvious thanks to only being a bullet point in this article and the screenshot not showcasing it. The chosen screenshot just looks like any other GZDoom screenshot. Meanwhile, on the project site:


Lofty Sep 14, 2023
Quoting: D34VA_
Quoting: TimeFreezeBesides the new rendering features whats the point of this Source Port? Vulkan already exists in GZDoom. Surely they could merge those features into GZDoom itself?

This port has real-time ray-traced lighting, though that's weirdly not obvious thanks to only being a bullet point in this article and the screenshot not showcasing it. The chosen screenshot just looks like any other GZDoom screenshot. Meanwhile, on the project site:



Raytracing reminds me of what Nvidia did to bring about Tessellation in Crysis which tanked performance for AMD and gave very little noticeable improvement over standard techniques, just like when Nvidia released RTX.

And every time i see the 'accurate' shadows of raytracing they look soft and fuzzy, if i want raytraced shadows on my older games i just switch shadows to medium settings and gain 40FPS. Of course with RTX its the other way round, you lose 40fps. Not to mention the whole scene tends to look 'darker' so again i just lower the gamma in game and we have a similar look.
Then there is the softening 'de-noizer' effect which is like added motion blur as the scene renders slower than your eyes ideally need.

That aside, there are many ways to do standard lighting in games that are not pathtraced that look so close that you can barely tell the difference and those techniques improve all the time. Aesthetically, i often prefer the traditional lighting in games, maybe i like the clear cut difference between reality and non-reality, maybe it's better for escapism? idk.

That said, technical progress is good, but i can't help but shift the feeling that raytracing will be used by some devs to spend less time on intricately lighting a scene and just flooding the thing and letting the raytracing do its work.

Each to their own. So long as it is toggle-able.


Last edited by Lofty on 14 September 2023 at 4:52 pm UTC
Purple Library Guy Sep 14, 2023
Quoting: Loftyif i want raytraced shadows on my older games i just switch shadows to medium settings and gain 40FPS.
axredneck Sep 14, 2023
Is it made by the same person who added Vulkan to GZDoom?
Talon1024 Sep 15, 2023
Quoting: axredneckIs it made by the same person who added Vulkan to GZDoom?
It's made by the person who added post-processing effects like Bloom and SSAO to GZDoom, back when there was the QZDoom fork.

One good reason for having a Vulkan-focused fork of GZDoom could be to try and improve performance with super fancy mods like Wolfenstein: Blade of Agony. The developers have received a lot of complaints about poor performance, and a port like VkDoom offers an opportunity to optimize the renderer for modern computers, which potentially means higher framerates.
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