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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.
5 Likes, Who?
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jasonm 24 August 2017 at 3:28 pm UTC
Faugn
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.

Again, Unreal Engine's vulkan implementation is brand new, and lacks a lot currently....
Faugn 24 August 2017 at 3:33 pm UTC
jasonm
Faugn
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.

Again, Unreal Engine's vulkan implementation is brand new, and lacks a lot currently....

Sure, but they will get there. Because with OpenGL, even if Unreal Engine implementation is great, you won't get anywhere if you don't have a good OpenGL driver. If Ark does not correctly work with the NVidia driver (arguably the best OpenGL driver on Linux), what are the chances you'll ever get good support with AMD or Intel cards?

And what about the current practice (DirectX and OpenGL) of having game specific optimizations in the drivers? That's another consequence of the complexity of OpenGL / DirectX drivers. This should not happen with Vulkan (or DirectX 12) drivers because they are much lower-level, and match more closely the hardware.
jasonm 24 August 2017 at 3:38 pm UTC
Faugn
jasonm
Faugn
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.

Again, Unreal Engine's vulkan implementation is brand new, and lacks a lot currently....

Sure, but they will get there. Because with OpenGL, even if Unreal Engine implementation is great, you won't get anywhere if you don't have a good OpenGL driver. If Ark does not correctly work with the NVidia driver (arguably the best OpenGL driver on Linux), what are the chances you'll ever get good support with AMD or Intel cards?

And what about the current practice (DirectX and OpenGL) of having game specific optimizations in the drivers? That's another consequence of the complexity of OpenGL / DirectX drivers. This should not happen with Vulkan (or DirectX 12) drivers because they are much lower-level, and match more closely the hardware.



You hit the nail on the head when you said "Sure, but they will get there." Once that happens and UE4 has proper vulkan support, come hit me up again and my opinion will most likely change. Right now my opinion hasn't shifted because Vulkan isn't nearly as pheasable as simply fixing OpenGL today and giving us a proper gaming experience.
Faugn 24 August 2017 at 3:45 pm UTC
jasonm
Faugn
jasonm
Faugn
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.

Again, Unreal Engine's vulkan implementation is brand new, and lacks a lot currently....

Sure, but they will get there. Because with OpenGL, even if Unreal Engine implementation is great, you won't get anywhere if you don't have a good OpenGL driver. If Ark does not correctly work with the NVidia driver (arguably the best OpenGL driver on Linux), what are the chances you'll ever get good support with AMD or Intel cards?

And what about the current practice (DirectX and OpenGL) of having game specific optimizations in the drivers? That's another consequence of the complexity of OpenGL / DirectX drivers. This should not happen with Vulkan (or DirectX 12) drivers because they are much lower-level, and match more closely the hardware.



You hit the nail on the head when you said "Sure, but they will get there." Once that happens and UE4 has proper vulkan support, come hit me up again and my opinion will most likely change. Right now my opinion hasn't shifted because Vulkan isn't nearly as pheasable as simply fixing OpenGL today and giving us a proper gaming experience.


What does fixing OpenGL means? IHMO, Unreal Engine support for OpenGL is already there. The problem is drivers and the amount of work needed by game developers on shaders. The former is mostly out of control of game developers, unless they can workaround drivers bugs / performances issues. Which is costly.

With respect to Ark, I don't expect any change because of the points above. The fact that the cavern bug is fixed seems more like a happy accident...
jasonm 24 August 2017 at 3:53 pm UTC
The version of UE4 they used originally to create Ark had some horrid OpenGL issues. I'm assuming their upgrade recently to a later version of the engine code has done some things to fix those issues with OpenGL like the caves and such. That engine upgrade wasn't easy at all as their engine is highly modified so they couldn't simply patch in the changes automatically, much of it had to be done by hand.... I'm sure their is still a lot of work to do if they were to get every single new feature of UE4 into their own implementation of the engine. The problem isn't OpenGL, the problem is a half assed implementation of OpenGL and not enough time to sure up issues with the OpenGL renderer by the devs. If OpenGL was terrible how are Feral and VP making good OpenGL ports? It's all about spending the right amount of time tweaking and making whatever API you want to work and work well. I'm all for Vulkan, I just find it unreasonable to think right now is the time to expect it when it's not in a great state even in the current engine they're using is all. I try to be reasonable per my requests, after all, we are less than 1% of their revenue....
Faugn 24 August 2017 at 4:02 pm UTC
jasonmThe version of UE4 they used originally to create Ark had some horrid OpenGL issues. I'm assuming their upgrade recently to a later version of the engine code has done some things to fix those issues with OpenGL like the caves and such. That engine upgrade wasn't easy at all as their engine is highly modified so they couldn't simply patch in the changes automatically, much of it had to be done by hand.... I'm sure their is still a lot of work to do if they were to get every single new feature of UE4 into their own implementation of the engine. The problem isn't OpenGL, the problem is a half assed implementation of OpenGL and not enough time to sure up issues with the OpenGL renderer by the devs. If OpenGL was terrible how are Feral and VP making good OpenGL ports? It's all about spending the right amount of time tweaking and making whatever API you want to work and work well. I'm all for Vulkan, I just find it unreasonable to think right now is the time to expect it when it's not in a great state even in the current engine they're using is all. I try to be reasonable per my requests, after all, we are less than 1% of their revenue....

So Vulkan may not be the solution for Ark, agreed. But it is the better long term solution for Linux gaming.

Regarding Feral / VP ports:
- it took a long time to get there
- the performance if still not great
- a number of ports were launched with only official support for NVidia

Those "half assed implementation of OpenGL" (drivers and/or engines) is the reason why we need Vulkan.


Last edited by Faugn at 24 August 2017 at 4:03 pm UTC
jasonm 24 August 2017 at 4:05 pm UTC
Faugn
jasonmThe version of UE4 they used originally to create Ark had some horrid OpenGL issues. I'm assuming their upgrade recently to a later version of the engine code has done some things to fix those issues with OpenGL like the caves and such. That engine upgrade wasn't easy at all as their engine is highly modified so they couldn't simply patch in the changes automatically, much of it had to be done by hand.... I'm sure their is still a lot of work to do if they were to get every single new feature of UE4 into their own implementation of the engine. The problem isn't OpenGL, the problem is a half assed implementation of OpenGL and not enough time to sure up issues with the OpenGL renderer by the devs. If OpenGL was terrible how are Feral and VP making good OpenGL ports? It's all about spending the right amount of time tweaking and making whatever API you want to work and work well. I'm all for Vulkan, I just find it unreasonable to think right now is the time to expect it when it's not in a great state even in the current engine they're using is all. I try to be reasonable per my requests, after all, we are less than 1% of their revenue....

So Vulkan may not be the solution for Ark, agreed. But it is the better long term solution for Linux gaming.

Regarding Feral / VP ports:
- it took a long time to get there
- the performance if still not great
- a number of ports were launched with only official support for NVidia

Those "half assed implementation of OpenGL" (drivers and/or engines) is the reason why we need Vulkan.


Your points are fair and I hear you, and I agree vulkan is overall better for us, but as I've said, I find it unreasonable to expect vulkan support from Ark when vulkan support is where it's at in regards to UE4 itself...
mirv 24 August 2017 at 5:51 pm UTC
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To chime in, if the Ark devs started integrating Vulkan changes today, I wouldn't expect it to be ready for a couple months at least (and that's being really optimistic). I do hope they continue to look at it though: a couple months is better than never, especially if the game is intended to be "long lasting".
peta77 24 August 2017 at 6:36 pm UTC
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  • Supporter
In the long run I don't think there's gonna be a question if it's either DirectX or Vulkan on MS-Windows either, as all others are supporting Vulkan and the X-Box (why X-Box, it's not about X-Windows!!! or is it??? maybe it's running some kind of heavily modified Linux/Unix version...) is the only one to support DirectX only, it'll be a simple economical decision to move to Vulkan (just remember, when talking about gaming we have to take into acount all consoles and then MS market share is dropping below 50%, so they're not untouchable!). The java-like concept of Vulkan makes the transition easy for most developers, but you have to implement much of the stuff the driver did before on your own. At that point you're conquered with decades(!) of experience/know how. So assuming Vulkan would instantly make anything better on a grand scale is delusionaly naive. But everything needs a starting point; and it is only fair to give the guys a chance... Which also means having to wait for an official release, as most of the drivers need some additional work to get proper support and eliminate overhead that isn't needed anymore. But as there's (supposedly) no OpenGL 5 anymore it surely is necessary for engine developers to focus on Vulkan.
TheRiddick 24 August 2017 at 6:37 pm UTC
I think both AMDGPU-PRO and the NVIDIA proprietary driver stacks offer superior performance with Vulkan, with on par Windows level performance if DOOM results under Wine are anything to go by. You can install the Vulkan component of AMDGPU-PRO with the open source amdgpu kernel driver so technically having the best of both worlds.

At present the RADV open source driver is functional but performs worse then OpenGL so people should steer clear of that unless they are doing testing.

So to wrap that up, if they can get Ark with Vulkan happening then both Windows and Linux users will experience parity in performance above that of directx; atm you have DirectX11 kicking OpenGL's ass most the time which isn't a good look for Linux ports if you ask me. We need parity performance with Windows, and Vulkan can deliver that!


Last edited by TheRiddick at 24 August 2017 at 6:41 pm UTC. Edited 4 times.
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