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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.

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Tags: Game Engine
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Purple Library Guy 4 Nov, 2018
Quoting: PatolaYeah, everybody and their mother are told that capitalism is a monster which threatens the planet, rewards malignant greed and leads to big corporations ruling over the individual and lazy gamblers gaming with money at the stock market.
You do realize I didn't say anything about any of that stuff, right? I would like to be quite clear that I was making analytical comments, not ethical or normative comments. I never said capitalism was bad, or socialism was good, or markets were either good or bad. I was just commenting on the relationships between them, which are not what a lot of people think they are.

But in fact, everybody and their mother are told the exact opposite of (wot you said), and all the media is owned by people in whose interests it is to make sure everyone thinks the opposite of (wot you said). There is a quiet but quite substantial system of subsidies and library gifting dedicated to spreading the works of Ayn Rand, for instance. On the other hand, nobody with money has an interest in promoting anticapitalist ideas. Given that, it's really quite surprising they are as widespread as they are. There are many persuasive arguments in favour of capitalism, or against its critics, but the idea that poor baby capitalism is just overwhelmed by the universality of anticapitalist propaganda which somehow by magic totally controls the message, is not one of them.

Quoting: PatolaNothing could be further from the truth. The stock market is a market of risks vs. rewards which offsets investments which otherwise wouldn't be given money to succeed, so it leads to production of riches, of real value. Also, capitalism is a [url=""]system of voluntary trade[/url], there is no cohercion if we're talking about the same thing. And finally, "intellectual" property cannot be part of capitalism because it is based in private property, which conceptually depends on the scarcity (or rivalry) of the good -- non-scarce goods cannot be property.
I have seen all of these assertions before, many times. I have seen many refutations of them, and counterarguments for them and so on. On balance, I do not find any of these assertions convincing. Oh, except the "intellectual property" point--I quite agree that "intellectual property" is not in fact property and that it is warped to treat it as such. To me, however, the very fact that the term has been universally agreed on and pushed with such vigour in unison by so many of the wealthy and powerful of the world, and economists have generally fallen in line, suggests that actually existing capitalism has little in common with the apologetics for it that masquerade as theories.

I won't take on all those points because it's a really wide-ranging discussion. However, I'd like to make a little note about coercion. Capitalism in England, which is generally taken to be pretty much the first place capitalism took hold, operated to a fair extent by coercion from the very beginning. At the time, there were a whole lot of small farmers who individually had (mostly not owned, but rented from upper class landowners over generations) slightly less land than needed to get by--however, they had access to common land, including both fields for grazing and forests for hunting, firewood, gathering of herbs, mushrooms and so forth. Combine their own land with the commons, and these small farmers could subsist reasonably well. They tended to aim for self-sufficiency but mostly sold some surplus food as cash crops with which to get those things they could not produce themselves. But at the time, there was a new class of people rising who were making money by running workshops where people worked for pay. You have to realize this was a mostly new thing in the world--made goods were up to then created by self-employed craftsmen in guilds, their help mainly apprentices who worked for keep, a little money now and then to go to the market, and the expectation of someday becoming independent craftsmen themselves. Or just by ordinary folk for their own use.

Also new were colonies--places like Jamaica with plantations where slaves laboured to produce raw materials; England had these raw materials coming in, and there was money to be made doing stuff with them. Hence these new workshops. This was not all about technology--Adam Smith's famous "pin factory" example didn't include any new technology, the point was about division of labour.

But these workshop owners had a problem: They couldn't get enough people to work in them. Few people wanted to become entirely dependent on an unreliable--and low--money wage. They had a better deal going--the small farmers had their independent and fairly reliable self-sufficiency and were their own bosses, while to the craftspeople becoming an employee was a simple demotion. So the workshop owners, proto-capitalists you might say, got together with the big landowners and the politicians (all the same people really) and passed various laws to change the status of land; the core of it was called the "enclosure" laws. These amputated the common land. The common fields were handed over to big landowners to do more modern-style farming or to put sheep on or such; the forests were barred from common use and draconian anti-poaching laws were enacted to stop anyone from trying. Rents were raised, various means were used to shrink the small-farmers' plots of land. The result, the planned result, was thousands upon thousands of ex-farmers thrown off their land and made destitute. Harsh laws about vagrancy were enacted as well, to make it harder to just sort of bum around. The whole concept of police started to exist around this time.

Suddenly, there were lots and lots of desperate people willing to do anything to eat, and the workshop owners had a supply of cheap because desperate wage labourers. And that is how capitalism and wage labour began: Slaves overseas providing much of the raw materials, wage labour provided by people deliberately thrown into destitution so they would have no choice.

Now that said, capitalism was clearly dynamic. It reinvested surpluses, created economic growth, drove (and shaped) technological progress, prompted huge population increase. It represented a truly massive break with older systems. It could be strongly, if perhaps uncomfortably, argued that this made it worth a lot of coercion, suffering, and death, at least unless and until something better showed up. But non-coercive? Not so much.

Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 4 November 2018 at 7:05 am UTC
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