Star Citizen, the gloriously ambitious space sim with an ever-increasing scope and budget is an incredibly good looking game, thanks to its use of Crytek’s CryEngine. And it could end up looking (and importantly, running!) better – because it looks like the game will utilise DirectX 12.
That’s the plan, anyway.
Speaking to Gamers Nexus in a long, technical interview, Cloud Imperium’s Chris Roberts explained the plan to move support not just Direct X 12, but other low-level API’s like Vulkan.
“We’re in process. It’s part of one of the tasks of the engine group right now, so it’s actually something we’ve commenced on and are working on,” Roberts says.
“We’re doing it the right way, versus just changing a couple API calls and saying ‘we’ve got Dx12,’ so it won’t be ready until next year, but we’re actively working on it. We work pretty closely with AMD and it’s one of the things that is a big deal to them and would be a big deal for nVidia, too. We really want to try to utilize more of the power of today’s graphics cards, so it’s that, it’s also on the compute side where there’s a whole bunch of stuff that we’re starting to lay onto compute, allowing us to do pretty cool stuff, like voxels and stuff like that.”
Don’t expect any of these lower level API’s to be implemented any time soon though. In fact, they may not even be part of the game when it finally sees retail release some time in 2037.
“I think, fundamentally, there is some definite work that has to happen on the low-level in all game engines to really push Dx12. It’s not just adding more jobs, it’s also about refactoring some of the pipeline, how you deal with the data, how you organize your resources so you can be more parallel, which is how you get the real power of Dx12 or Vulkan.
You can take a Dx11 renderer and make it Dx12 pretty quickly. You’re not going to get the benefit of Dx12 or the Vulkan stuff until you do more fundamental refactoring. That’s what we’re doing – we’re saying, ‘we’re gonna do it right so that we’ll really get the performance gains.”
If you’re interested in the tech behind Star Citizen, and how the game is leveraging CryEngine give the article at GamerNexus a read.
Last Updated: October 1, 2015