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For those that enjoy it, the ARK: Survival Evolved [Steam] launch trailer has arrived ahead of the launch next week.


You can see the announcement about the trailer and what's to come here.

I've still yet to see them comment anywhere about the broken water on Linux, so it seems with only a few days left it will launch with that broken. The water is still a rather ugly plain brown texture, which isn't great.

What I am pleased to say, is that the graphical bugs inside caves are indeed fixed. You need a recent version of the NVIDIA driver, at least 384.59 (I tested with 384.69). You also need to ensure you wipe the NVIDIA cache stored in your home in a hidden folder named ".nv" (I just deleted the folder). It's entirely possible the game is just not adjusting the shaders for new drivers. Even though I did the same before, it seems it's a probable driver bug (or recent NVIDIA drivers have a work-around for a game issue).

The bug when you leave the water, with a laser light-show happening is still there, at least for me. It's nice to be able to see actual progress though, so my thoughts on it aren't as bad as before. I still think for a £49.99 game that they need to step up their Linux support.

They won't be using Vulkan any time soon either, as they recently got asked about using Vulkan and their answer was this:
QuoteUnreal 4’s own official Vulkan integration was only like half-functional when I last reviewed it a few months ago. I’ll take a look shortly to see if it’s farther along. Once Epic has got it going fully well (fully matching the functionality and pipeline of DX11 & Shader Model 5), I’d like to try to incorporate it into ARK.

However, it's nice to see them actually respond to and it remain open to doing it.

It seems players on Steam aren't particularly happy with ARK overall. The Steam users reviews are "Mixed", with all the most helpful showing on the Steam store page being negative.
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Faugn 24 August 2017 at 2:03 pm UTC
The requirements for being able to advertise SteamOS/Linux are not stringent enough. I think right now it's mostly about being able to start the game from Big Picture mode, and that's it....

Steam games need something like the Wine Applications Database ratings, maybe something tied to the configuration used to play the game? If you own the game, you can rate it as Garbage/Bronze/Silver/Gold/Platinum on your configuration. And then the store should provide a way to collate those and average ratings for configurations similar to yours.

But then again, it's unlikely Valve will care enough to ever implement something like this... If they cared they would at least fix the current interface (many) flaws.
Power-Metal-Games 24 August 2017 at 2:25 pm UTC
Using Vulkan for anything that testing is not possible in Unreal even with 4.17. Yesterday I tested our game that is usually running at more than 200fps, and it couldn't run at more than 30 sometimes falling below 10. At last, everything was complete, just fps made it impossible to play and all that was tested at a very powerful hardware. I can't imagine what would done testing it on some more usual machine.
Ehvis 24 August 2017 at 2:29 pm UTC
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A quick scan reveals that SM5 level support is there, but slightly glitchy and very slow. Full support including parallel rendering is still listed as "future".
jasonm 24 August 2017 at 2:42 pm UTC
Honestly, we don't need vulkan, we just need a proper implementation of OpenGL to make it work well. Vulkan is a neat concept and hopefully will be great in time but it's not the magic bullet everyone thinks it is. Why is everyone putting so much weight into the Vulkan API as opposed to just wanting games that work well for us?
Faugn 24 August 2017 at 3:06 pm UTC
jasonmHonestly, we don't need vulkan, we just need a proper implementation of OpenGL to make it work well. Vulkan is a neat concept and hopefully will be great in time but it's not the magic bullet everyone thinks it is. Why is everyone putting so much weight into the Vulkan API as opposed to just wanting games that work well for us?

Because implementing a conformant Vulkan driver is less work then a conformant OpenGL one?
jasonm 24 August 2017 at 3:08 pm UTC
Faugn
jasonmHonestly, we don't need vulkan, we just need a proper implementation of OpenGL to make it work well. Vulkan is a neat concept and hopefully will be great in time but it's not the magic bullet everyone thinks it is. Why is everyone putting so much weight into the Vulkan API as opposed to just wanting games that work well for us?

Because implementing a conformant Vulkan driver is less work then a conformant OpenGL one?

Is it? What's the site for that information as I would enjoy reading it...
jasonm 24 August 2017 at 3:10 pm UTC
Actually, I misread. Whats the driver have to do with Ark using Vulkan/OpenGL? The drivers are up to the manufactures and both OpenGL and Vulkan support via the driver are fine either way and both will continue to be maintained. So I'm kinda lost by your comment....


Last edited by jasonm at 24 August 2017 at 3:10 pm UTC
MasterSleort 24 August 2017 at 3:11 pm UTC
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jasonmHonestly, we don't need Vulkan, we just need a proper implementation of OpenGL to make it work well. Vulkan is a neat concept and hopefully will be great in time but it's not the magic bullet everyone thinks it is. Why is everyone putting so much weight into the Vulkan API as opposed to just wanting games that work well for us?

While I generally agree that games should just work regardless of API, we must understand that OpenGL is not as big in gaming as DirectX. Since both DX12 and Vulkan are somewhat new, there is still a chance that Vulkan could take the throne of the low-level APIs. I know DX12 has already gained some traction, but seeing Vulkan being implemented here and there, is a good sign for cross-platform APIs.

If Vulkan would become the graphics API of choice for most developers, it certainly would make it easier for them to create Linux variants of their games. More importantly, these games would probably be on par with their Windows versions, since they would be able to use the same shaders and not shaders generated by some shader-translation layer.

This brings me back to ARK. If ARK were to use Vulkan and also implement it on Windows, it would probably make it more likely that we will get the same optimizations as they get on Windows, which would make the game work well.
jasonm 24 August 2017 at 3:23 pm UTC
MasterSleort
jasonmHonestly, we don't need Vulkan, we just need a proper implementation of OpenGL to make it work well. Vulkan is a neat concept and hopefully will be great in time but it's not the magic bullet everyone thinks it is. Why is everyone putting so much weight into the Vulkan API as opposed to just wanting games that work well for us?

While I generally agree that games should just work regardless of API, we must understand that OpenGL is not as big in gaming as DirectX. Since both DX12 and Vulkan are somewhat new, there is still a chance that Vulkan could take the throne of the low-level APIs. I know DX12 has already gained some traction, but seeing Vulkan being implemented here and there, is a good sign for cross-platform APIs.

If Vulkan would become the graphics API of choice for most developers, it certainly would make it easier for them to create Linux variants of their games. More importantly, these games would probably be on par with their Windows versions, since they would be able to use the same shaders and not shaders generated by some shader-translation layer.

This brings me back to ARK. If ARK were to use Vulkan and also implement it on Windows, it would probably make it more likely that we will get the same optimizations as they get on Windows, which would make the game work well.


While I agree with many of your points and think Vulkan is most likely the future API of gaming, I disagree in this instance specifically. The UE4 that is used for Ark is heavily modified meaning upgrades are much more difficult as it has to be done all manually via code. They can't simply load their game into the new engine, tweak and fix a few things and export the game. UE4 has pretty good OpenGL code over all from what I understand and Vulkan still isn't where it needs to be. Hell, they just recently released an actual fair Vulkan implementation not too long ago which still has a lot to be desired. The OpenGL renderer in the newer engine has many thing fixed and should be pretty on par which should take them less time overall to create a better experience for us than trying to muddle with Vulkan at this time. That's how I view it anyway...
Faugn 24 August 2017 at 3:26 pm UTC
jasonm
Faugn
jasonmHonestly, we don't need vulkan, we just need a proper implementation of OpenGL to make it work well. Vulkan is a neat concept and hopefully will be great in time but it's not the magic bullet everyone thinks it is. Why is everyone putting so much weight into the Vulkan API as opposed to just wanting games that work well for us?

Because implementing a conformant Vulkan driver is less work then a conformant OpenGL one?

Is it? What's the site for that information as I would enjoy reading it...

It's lower-level, has no global state machine, error checking is not done by the driver. Unlike OpenGL, where each driver needs to implement a full GLSL compiler, Vulkan drivers only need to support the SPIR-V intermediate representation. Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulkan_(API)#Features

Also: conformance test suite (fully open source, by the way).

It is (possibly) more work for the graphic engine developers, but you get greater control. And that's not really an issue for game developers when using a third party engine like Unreal, or Unity.


Last edited by Faugn at 24 August 2017 at 3:27 pm UTC
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