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CIG shifts Star Citizen to Vulkan, drops DirectX

CIG shifts Star Citizen to Vulkan, drops DirectX

Cloud Imperium Games has announced it is to drop DirectX support from its long-delayed Star Citizen in favour of retooling the game under the cross-platform Vulkan API.

Cloud Imperium Games has announced that it is to drop DirectX 12 support from its long-in-development crowd-funded spacefaring title Star Citizen, in favour of the cross-platform Vulkan application programming interface (API) - and has teased at potential support for Linux to boot.

Revealed back in 2012 by Chris Roberts as a spiritual successor to his Wing Commander franchise, Star Citizen quickly set about breaking every possible crowdfunding record. By July 2013 Roberts' company had raised $14 million, and just one year later had hit $35 million. In August 2014, only a few months before the company had promised to release the finished version of the game, the company announced it had raised $51 million and would be using the money to considerably widen the scope of the title - hence the original launch date whizzing past and, today, only a small subset of game features being made available in alpha and beta status builds. Since then, and despite additional delays, the money has continued to pour in: the company's latest stats show a whopping $145 million in income, largely from fans paying for 'exclusive' virtual ships.

Anyone hoping for a rapid release, however, is likely to be disappointed by the news that developer Cloud Imperium Games is making yet another engine shift, this time moving its target from Microsoft's DirectX 12 API to the Khronos Group's cross-platform Vulkan. 'Years ago we stated our intention to support DX12, but since the introduction of Vulkan which has the same feature set and performance advantages this seemed a much more logical rendering API to use as it doesn't force our users to upgrade to Windows 10 and opens the door for a single graphics API that could be used on all Windows 7, 8, 10 & Linux,' explained director of graphics programming Alistair Brown in a forum post explaining the shift, hinting too at an eventual end to the game's Windows exclusivity.

'As a result our current intention is to only support Vulkan and eventually drop support for DX11 as this shouldn't effect any of our backers. DX12 would only be considered if we found it gave us a specific and substantial advantage over Vulkan. The API's really aren't that different though, 95% of the work for these APIs is to change the paradigm of the rendering pipeline, which is the same for both APIs.'

While Brown has assured backers that the work required to shift away from DirectX 12 and the current DirectX 11 builds to a version running on Vulkan is relatively minimal, neither he nor his company have commented on how long the shift will add to the already overrun development schedule.

15 Comments

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Panos 20th March 2017, 12:12 Quote
At least their Mantle code, isn't going to be wasted.........

lol. More excuses for more delays.
perplekks45 20th March 2017, 12:28 Quote
While I welcome the move to Vulkan this is getting a bit silly now. What next? A move to idTech 6? Bring in Unity? Ask Sabre to deliver the networking backend? They're switching technologies/engines/APIs for each development sprint it seems...
Corky42 20th March 2017, 13:52 Quote
Seems logical not to restrict your market to an API that only address a quarter of the your customers.

Why more developers don't do the same is beyond me.
Parge 20th March 2017, 14:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
While I welcome the move to Vulkan this is getting a bit silly now. What next? A move to idTech 6? Bring in Unity? Ask Sabre to deliver the networking backend? They're switching technologies/engines/APIs for each development sprint it seems...

I don't think you've really taken the time to understand the two changes (I assume) you are referring too.

Neither are a great deal of work. The Lumberyard change was done in a few days.

When it comes to API, all that has happened here is that instead of eventually moving to DX12 they are going with Vulcan, neither of which has been yet implemented anyway.
SMIFFYDUDE 20th March 2017, 17:00 Quote
Is this just an excuse to draw the development out longer and keep that sweet early access moolah rolling in forever?
Harlequin 20th March 2017, 17:07 Quote
At this point they might as well go ` yeah this isn't working , lets write our own engine`
Parge 20th March 2017, 17:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMIFFYDUDE
Is this just an excuse to draw the development out longer and keep that sweet early access moolah rolling in forever?

You think they will make less cash in early access than by having a fully finished, functional game with microtransactions?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
At this point they might as well go ` yeah this isn't working , lets write our own engine`

Why would they do that?
IanW 20th March 2017, 17:30 Quote
@perplekks45 - As Parge said. The switch from their own fork of CryEngine to Amazon Lumberyard (Which was forked from the SAME build of CryEngine!) took 2 guys 1 day to complete.

@Harlequin - CIG's build of CryEngine (now Lumberyard) is 75-80% their own work now anyway.
Guinevere 20th March 2017, 20:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
a fully finished, functional game with microtransactions?

It's Star Citizen. There's already plenty of transactions...

They're just not very micro!

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/Combos/The-Completionist-Digital

You know they're laughing all the way to the bank when you can buy an $18,000 version of the game!

But at least for your 18 grand you get every bit of content... up until 2014 and a bit of 2015. Come on it's not as if they can give away content for free.

And people complain about paid DLC!
wolfticket 20th March 2017, 21:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
You think they will make less cash in early access than by having a fully finished, functional game with microtransactions?
...
In general, yes.
In Star Citizen's case, probably no.
jb0 21st March 2017, 12:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMIFFYDUDE
Is this just an excuse to draw the development out longer and keep that sweet early access moolah rolling in forever?

You think they will make less cash in early access than by having a fully finished, functional game with microtransactions?

Don't they ALREADY have a functional game with microtransactions? As near as I can tell, they have a product they are selling, and they describe it as early-access fundraising for publicity purposes.
The game is launched, and it makes the company over a million dollars a month.
IanW 21st March 2017, 12:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jb0
Don't they ALREADY have a functional game with microtransactions? As near as I can tell, they have a product they are selling, and they describe it as early-access fundraising for publicity purposes.
The game is launched, and it makes the company over a million dollars a month.

Actually, it's nearer $3m
Wakka 21st March 2017, 12:48 Quote
Regardless of whether or not the game ever actually becomes a complete, on-the-shelf package or not, it's certainly going to go down as one of the most divisive projects in history.

I have no problem saying I don't agree with the approach CIG are taking, but at the same time I really don't care if someone wants to spend £100/1000/5000 on a space ship to fly around in game - it's neither my money nor my business.

I just hope it doesn't set a precedent for other developers to demand hundreds of millions of dollars, and years of peoples time to playtest and bug-report, to create a finished product... otherwise boundary-pushing games will happen as often complete solar eclipses.
bawjaws 21st March 2017, 13:03 Quote
I took quite a keen interest in SC a couple of years back, but for me personally it's got to the point where I'm quite happy to park my interest until such time as the game is complete and fully released. I really hope that SC is amazing, but I'm not emotionally invested anymore.
Harlequin 21st March 2017, 13:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge


Why would they do that?

They should have done it from the start , when no game engine would work the way they wanted it to
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