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Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass has new screenshots and a much bigger world

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Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass [Official Site] from Croteam has me rather excited, it also has more information out and some fresh screenshots. Click the shots to make them bigger.


AAAAAAAAAAA!

Firstly, they're saying it's going to be a much bigger game with "huge environments populated with optional objectives, secrets and deadly ambushes". To be clear though, they do say it's not an open-world game, but the same linear experience as before. There will be plenty to shoot of course, with practically everything trying to kill you.

They've also now confirmed that the motorbike shown in the teaser trailer is actually something you will use. Not just that, they amusingly said you will be able to drive "a combine or even a bulletproof popemobile and drive your way through unfortunate enemy pedestrians".

On top of that, companions will be joining you directly in the game, not just cut-scenes. That sounds good, should be interesting for the co-op side of it!

Hopefully a proper trailer will be released soon!

12 Likes, Who?
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rkfg 13 June 2018 at 8:33 pm UTC
mirv
rkfgThat Russian word on the crane means "sunflower seeds" it's so weird. The graphics look even more detailed than before, truly badass. I guess this is exactly the type of games that would benefit greatly from using Vulkan, they could fill the screen with hundreds of enemies using all the cores efficiently.

Just to keep expectations in place: using Vulkan gives a lot, but doesn't mean that hundreds of enemies can be on-screen at once. Especially if they're animated and need some form of interaction with. Such scenarios can quickly become GPU bound, or data transfer bound. Vulkan will not help in those cases.
There's more to it than that, but broadly speaking Vulkan only helps if CPU bound.
Sure, but not just CPU bound due to whatever reason. Say, if the game is bound by AI or complex sound calculation Vulkan isn't going to help either. But it helps when you need to feed different types of resources to the GPU (from my understanding after watching the Feral talk), like constructed pipelines, textures, shaders (or is it the same as pipelines? Not sure) and vertex data. I'm not an expert and I have no good knowledge of what exact part of a renderer could load the CPU apart from sending data to the GPU.

So yeah, maybe it's not that beneficial for many identical objects (instancing helps with that) BUT it could help with streaming a lot of data for big, seamless and diverse environments. And SS4 promises exactly that.

I found a short but sweet presentation from NVIDIA that shows how one can benefit from Vulkan's multithreading support. Basically, it's updating buffers and shader compilation in parallel. For example, you can update animation data (which is done fully on GPU in modern engines I believe) for multiple objects at the same time instead of doing that sequentially.
mirv 13 June 2018 at 9:05 pm UTC
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rkfg
mirv
rkfgThat Russian word on the crane means "sunflower seeds" it's so weird. The graphics look even more detailed than before, truly badass. I guess this is exactly the type of games that would benefit greatly from using Vulkan, they could fill the screen with hundreds of enemies using all the cores efficiently.

Just to keep expectations in place: using Vulkan gives a lot, but doesn't mean that hundreds of enemies can be on-screen at once. Especially if they're animated and need some form of interaction with. Such scenarios can quickly become GPU bound, or data transfer bound. Vulkan will not help in those cases.
There's more to it than that, but broadly speaking Vulkan only helps if CPU bound.
Sure, but not just CPU bound due to whatever reason. Say, if the game is bound by AI or complex sound calculation Vulkan isn't going to help either. But it helps when you need to feed different types of resources to the GPU (from my understanding after watching the Feral talk), like constructed pipelines, textures, shaders (or is it the same as pipelines? Not sure) and vertex data. I'm not an expert and I have no good knowledge of what exact part of a renderer could load the CPU apart from sending data to the GPU.

So yeah, maybe it's not that beneficial for many identical objects (instancing helps with that) BUT it could help with streaming a lot of data for big, seamless and diverse environments. And SS4 promises exactly that.

I found a short but sweet presentation from NVIDIA that shows how one can benefit from Vulkan's multithreading support. Basically, it's updating buffers and shader compilation in parallel. For example, you can update animation data (which is done fully on GPU in modern engines I believe) for multiple objects at the same time instead of doing that sequentially.

More precisely, queuing blocks of data for transfer to avoid stalls is easier with Vulkan. Still doesn't help if a render of some object has to wait for a data refresh - data has to get there one way or another, and that can easily be a bottleneck.
Even in GL, drivers could pipeline data transfers by the way - they got pretty good with that, and could do so in parallel to other tasks. It was just messy in drivers, and a lot of guesswork was involved. Vulkan gets rid of the guesswork by dumping it directly in the lap of the developer.
But if you want to update the animation data of several hundred independent characters, that data bulk can get quite large. Sure, it can be preloaded into buffers and some compute used to interpolate, but that's assuming all possible animation is preloaded (which might not be the case, particularly if you need to blend components, and there is limited memory to work with). Then you have to add path determination into that of course. Feeding all that to the GPU every frame can easily become a bottleneck.

I would say that Vulkan can make it easier to reach GPU saturation, but that does not equate to necessarily being able to add hudreds of characters on-screen. It all really does depend.
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