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EA's experimental Halcyon game engine has Vulkan and Linux support

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It seems EA are doing some rather interesting things with their experimental Halcyon game engine which includes Vulkan and Linux support.

During the Khronos Munich Meetup this weekend, Graham Wihlidal of EA's SEED (Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division) presented a talk about this exciting game engine. While it's somewhat surprising to see EA start to use Vulkan, it's even more surprising to see Linux actually being mentioned as a target platform:

It's not just Vulkan though, it also supports Metal 2 (early stages) and Direct3D 12. On top of that, one of their aims is to easily access multi-GPU setups. However, they do mention that they haven't implemented multi-GPU support or Ray Tracing for Vulkan yet but they say it's planned.

What's also rather fascinating about it, is that they said they can mix and match different rendering backends in the same process. They say it made debugging Vulkan easier, as one half of the screen was using DX12 and the other Vulkan. Can't say I've heard of anyone else doing that, very cool.

See the full details here including a slideshow you can view online or a PDF you can download.

To keep some expectations in check: This doesn't necessarily mean EA are going to be putting out Linux games, but if they ever do start seriously using this game engine for future games it means the barrier for a Linux port could be lower. However, it might just be a bit of fun for the engineers.

Hat tip to Janz.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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rkfg 28 October 2018 at 9:09 pm UTC
Quoteit might just be a bit of fun for the engineers.
It always starts "just for fun".
Liam Dawe 28 October 2018 at 9:11 pm UTC
rkfg
Quoteit might just be a bit of fun for the engineers.
It always starts "just for fun".
Well, let's remember DOOM shall we ;)
rkfg 28 October 2018 at 9:17 pm UTC
Oh well, I was mostly referring to the Linus' book with that title. Hope it will grow into something bigger and all. Honestly, EA is the last company I expected to move into this direction. Bethesda would have been more logical.
Shmerl 28 October 2018 at 9:23 pm UTC
Multi-GPU support in common Vulkan drivers isn't even ready yet, or is it?
madpinger 28 October 2018 at 9:29 pm UTC
Linux support, from the most evil publisher in the industry... Yeah. Keep that micro in your games and I don't care if ya have native support <.<
Cestarian 28 October 2018 at 9:36 pm UTC
Well that's cool, if EA ever recovers from their current state of being a pure and utter garbage company that can't produce any decent games anymore.

I'm honestly surprised that EA is moving to support Linux though, they were literally the last gaming related company on the planet I expected to do so.

Here's hoping that this will be successful despite me not intending to start buying EA products again anytime soon, I mean I can just picture it happening "If the assholes over at EA are supporting linux now, how does it make us look if we don't?", thus a domino effect begins leading to all major publishers adding linux support to their game engines.


Last edited by Cestarian on 28 October 2018 at 9:39 pm UTC
lejimster 28 October 2018 at 9:48 pm UTC
CestarianWell that's cool, if EA ever recovers from their current state of being a pure and utter garbage company that can't produce any decent games anymore......

EA have always been garbage. I had the "pleasure" of experiencing it first hand when I was in game development.

Its a shame really because they've ruined great studios over the years.
mylka 28 October 2018 at 10:13 pm UTC
origin is for macos and they dont have much games on it, so im not very optimistic
silmeth 28 October 2018 at 11:08 pm UTC
As I understand it, the SEED division is pretty independent inside EA, and their aim is to experiment with various new technologies related to gaming, not focused on providing a new AAA title on tight schedule. So they eg. create (at least some of) their software in Rust, and not C++ like the rest of the industry – see eg. this tweet, and this, and repositories they fork / contribute to. I wouldn’t normally expect EA to look into new emerging programming languages, and yet it seems that’s what SEED does, so it does not really surprise me that they also investigate open APIs and Linux support.
Dunc 28 October 2018 at 11:08 pm UTC
lejimsterEA have always been garbage. I had the "pleasure" of experiencing it first hand when I was in game development.
In the '80s, under Trip Hawkins? I don't know what they were like to work for, but they had a pretty good reputation among gamers back then.

Released all their internal tools, too. Not free, because that wasn't really a thing, but you could buy them: Deluxe Paint (still, to this day, one of the best bitmap graphics editors around), Deluxe Music, etc. And they were almost an unofficial first-party developer on AmigaOS. The IFF container format (on which Microsoft based RIFF WAV) was EA's work. In my Amiga days, they were genuinely thought of as being among the good guys.

I kind of lost touch with gaming during the '90s, so I don't know when or how they went downhill, but it was quite a shock to discover how reviled they'd become in the community when I got back into it 10-15 years ago. They deserved it, but it was still a shock.


Last edited by Dunc on 29 October 2018 at 1:15 am UTC
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