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Continuing my love for Croteam, today it was pointed out on reddit that the Croteam developers have been talking quite a bit more about Vulkan on one of their Steam forums. They also stated that Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter should have the Fusion update with Linux & Vulkan in 'weeks' (source).

Some choice quotes for you:

On why they are going with Vulkan and not DirectX 12 (source):
QuoteIf we had DX12 it would still run about the same as Vulkan (i.e. slower than DX11 on Windows on TTP). DX12 is functionally equivalent to Vulkan, and they both need more code changes on our side to achieve their full potential. There's no relevant advantage of DX12, it would just add more code to maintain, while Vulkan adds Linux and Android compatibility.


Answering a question about why Vulkan performance in some games isn't great right now:
QuoteComparing different APIs in different games. You'd need a game with DX12 and Vulkan in same game to be able to compare. As a wild guess explanation - RotTR is a game based on a console-centric engine that was written from the bottom up to fit what hardware does (having precompiled pipeline states and building command buffers), while Doom, Sam and TTP are adapted to work on DX9-DX11-OGL system with state machines. While it was apparent for years that the state machine system doesn't fit the hardware, we had to use it, because the only available APIs on PC forced it.
IHVs engineers know very well that I've been crying for years (since multi-core CPUs started to become standard) to allow us to record GPU command buffers on separate thread. But that didn't happen in DX10, nor DX11, nor any of OpenGL iterations. So our engine was adapted to work with what we had. Now that DX12 and Vulkan came, it will take quite some rewrite to get it all turned upside down. Until that's done, Vulkan will be at disadvantage. But the very fact that it is close to DX11 in speed while it's working practically in emulation shows how much potential there is. This discrepancy is what you see in Doom and TTP vs RorTR.

Source

QuoteGL and DX11 will remain as compatibility fallbacks for a while. But Vulkan is the way forward.

Source

I continue to think Croteam are amazing. They not only make great games, but they talk so much real sense too. It's really great to see them talking so highly about Vulkan and moving to put all their games on Linux too. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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19 comments
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Leopard 10 February 2017 at 11:40 am UTC
I'm in love with them since they talked at last SteamDevDays about Vulkan.They're really pushing forward for Vulkan and Linux.
STiAT 10 February 2017 at 11:40 am UTC
What really impresses me, they're basically having all their games on their newer engines. I know no company who ports their games from engine to engine but Croteam.

Either they've designed the engines extremely well from the start up to make it not too complicated, or they're really investing a lot of time even in their old titles.
opera 10 February 2017 at 12:33 pm UTC
QuoteThere's no relevant advantage of DX12, it would just add more code to maintain, while Vulkan adds Linux and Android compatibility.
I like that point. Hopefully more and more developers take the advantages of vulkan over dx12 into consideration.
MayeulC 10 February 2017 at 1:36 pm UTC
STiATEither they've designed the engines extremely well from the start up to make it not too complicated, or they're really investing a lot of time even in their old titles.
From the thread, it looks like it's someone's side project that's coming to fruition.

I also gathered some important (to me) information: It seems that SS fusion will be a new game that every owner of the other SS games will receive, and they will be able to play every level from the games they own from this "gateway", on the new engine.
2017 is also part of their new versioning scheme for their engine, it looks like they adopted something a bit more similar to a rolling model. They probably decoupled even more the different parts of their games: game logic, graphics engine, etc.
Liam Dawe 10 February 2017 at 1:39 pm UTC
M@yeulC
STiATEither they've designed the engines extremely well from the start up to make it not too complicated, or they're really investing a lot of time even in their old titles.
From the thread, it looks like it's someone's side project that's coming to fruition.

I also gathered some important (to me) information: It seems that SS fusion will be a new game that every owner of the other SS games will receive, and they will be able to play every level from the games they own from this "gateway", on the new engine.
2017 is also part of their new versioning scheme for their engine, it looks like they adopted something a bit more similar to a rolling model. They probably decoupled even more the different parts of their games: game logic, graphics engine, etc.
From their other comments, Fusion is one single engine that runs all of the games.
silmeth 10 February 2017 at 1:40 pm UTC
I wonder what they use for optimizing their SPIR-V shaders. As the reference Vulkan shader compiler (glslang) does not do things like inlining, dead code removal, promoting memory to registers (they are still work-in-progress, and I am not sure if glslang even does loop unrolling), so that means it emits pretty suboptimal code for shaders.

It's possible that GPU drivers do those optimizations (but with SPIR-V intermediate language they shouldn’t have to) – but does Croteam rely on it? And do the drivers actually do it?

It’s also possible they use third-party optimizer like LunarGLASS (but, as it emits high-level glsl code, that seems cumbersome, although apparently works). Or that they have their own optimizer.

And it’s possible they do the optimizations by hand (which would be very time-consuming, error-prone and generally not that great).

So it’s interesting what do people actually earning money using Vulkan in production, use right now – I believe for some time the lack of optimizations in the compiler was a blocker for some game studios (Inovae wrote about it AFAIR).
STiAT 10 February 2017 at 1:49 pm UTC
@silmeth croteam talked about exactltly this some time ago. And everyone who follows croteam and the approach they prefer (do-it-yourself-and-do-it-right) - I give my bet on that they've written their own optimizer by now.
M@GOid 10 February 2017 at 4:27 pm UTC
QuoteThere's no relevant advantage of DX12, it would just add more code to maintain, while Vulkan adds Linux and Android compatibility.

Not only that. Vulkan also works in Windows 7 and 8, both still have ruge market share. DX12 is Windows 10 only.
Shmerl 10 February 2017 at 4:52 pm UTC
Nice, but when are they going to release their games on GOG? They aren't some legacy publisher, so what's stopping them?
Shmerl 10 February 2017 at 4:54 pm UTC
STiAT@silmeth croteam talked about exactltly this some time ago. And everyone who follows croteam and the approach they prefer (do-it-yourself-and-do-it-right) - I give my bet on that they've written their own optimizer by now.

Why would they all reinvent the wheel, instead of let's say improving glslang?
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