ARK Developer: DirectX 12 Is Very Complicated

‘it’s a new technology, so it will take time.’

Posted By | On 09th, Oct. 2015 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


I can’t remember any API in history that has gotten as much mainstream awareness and coverage as DirectX 12 has. From what I understand, it deserves it too, but more importantly, the developers also truly believe that the API can truly mark a generational shift in video game graphics. For instance, the developer of ARK: Survival Evolved, who is currently working on releasing a DirectX 12 update for the game, believes in its potential- in spite of the complications that it brings with it potentially.

“DX12 is a new technology and it’s very complicated even for the largest teams to get everything working smoothly. We care greatly about this but want the experience to be extremely polished and exactly what people expect. The DX11 technology the engine is built on is extremely mature and DX12 just isn’t ready for us yet for a variety of reasons. It just comes down to other technical wins like server performance and general client optimization that apply to ALL users being our first priority for now,” the developers said in response to a question in a Reddit AMA.

It makes sense, too- from what I understand, DirectX 12 is very different from how previous APIs worked and compiled and executed code, different in the system calls it makes and how it makes them. Yes, this leads to massive performance benefits, but at the same time, it also means that any tangible benefits from it may take a while to manifest- which is a bit disappointing, but good things come to those who wait anyway.

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  • Luieburger

    Note: They also said they would implement the Vulkan API, which runs on ALL Windows versions, SteamOS, Linux, and possibly Mac.

    Ditch DirectX 12. Why bother when Vulkan runs on more Windows machines, and DX 12 runs only on Windows 10.

    • XbotMK1


    • Why bother? Simple: because DirectX 12 is better than Vulkan API. Eschewing the former for the latter will hold back PC gaming. I don’t want that, and neither should you.

    • Przemysław Lib

      We have multiple statements now that Vulkan will exhibit same features as DX12. It have better ecosystem opportunities like shader language representation that is meant to be used as back end for various other languages). And it have vendor extensions built in, while DX12 will need to be extended by nvidia API’s even for Maxwell.

    • “Vulkan will exhibit same features as DX12.”
      Sorry, but that’s a load of crap. It will not match the features of DirectX 12, nor the performance gains. There is a reason DirectX is popular: it’s better.

    • Georg Dirr

      They share similar features.
      Besides vulkan means more profit for game developers,
      why restrict yourself to one operating system when you can
      sell to a much broader user base.
      Why support a monopoly. Spewing bo3 zombies won’t be dx12 or vulkan.

    • 1. They also don’t share many features.
      2. Not necessarily: PC gamers are picky group, obsessed with eye candy and performance. If given a choice between buying a groundbreaking game (uses DirectX 12) and just an adequate one (uses Vulkan), many gamers will choose the former.
      3. To push the industry forward technologically and make the best possible game you can make.
      4. What monopoly?

    • R3BiRtH

      They do share the same features. Both support asynchronous shaders, Multi-Gpu functionality, and the same lower level approach to hardware. The DirectX 11.3 features that are in DX12 are being added in OGL4.6 by khronos, and due to their statement about Vulkan having the same feature set as the versions of OGL (like geometry shaders, tesselation, etc), Vulkan is also going to have these features. The way they handle the shading language is even similar, except Vulkan allows for more than one language, while DirectX only supports HLSL. The only main difference so far, outside of features, is that DirectX is only on 10, where as vulkan is on everything else

    • Having overlap on some features is not having overlap on all features. For instance, being only on Windows 10 allows DirectX 12 to do things that Vulkan, slave to other operating systems, cannot. That’s actually one of the biggest advantages that DirectX 12 has.

    • R3BiRtH

      and exactly what advantages does that provide DirectX12, considering the main advantages that come from the api were what it was made for, Lower level development

    • Closer access to the core of the OS reduces overhead and abstraction. Only DirectX 12 can do that. Also, DirectX 12 allows for development across computers and consoles. The performance gains of DirectX 12 will be higher than other APIs. Microsoft knows how to code better than anyone else.

    • R3BiRtH

      thats only really one distinct advantage, which is development across the Xbox one specifically, but access to the core of the OS is a misnomer. DirectX 12, due to its change as a lower level api, reduces overhead and abstraction because it has closer access to Hardware, not OS. it’s implementation is specifically for windows 10 mainly due to WDDM 2.0, which accounts for dx12’s memory management from gpu drivers, but in terms of how it works for reducing overhead, it works like Mantle, which Vulkan also works like as well.
      Basically, in terms of overhead, it would be the same as Vulkan, since they, again, do things the same for reducing overhead and being lower level. The OS thing that DX12 relies on is WDDM, which was used as it’s solution for gpu memory (or gpu vram), not overhead and abstraction. They both take the same steps for achieving lower level abstraction to the hardware.

    • “because it has closer access to Hardware, not OS.”
      Closer access to the OS is what allows it closer access to the hardware.

      ” they do things the same, have the same features”
      They do some things the same; they have some of the same features. DirectX12 has more upside.

    • R3BiRtH

      “Closer access to the OS is what allows it to have closer access to hardware”

      Thats the thing, the “closer access” to the OS is only the access it has to WDDM 2.0, specifically for memory, not handling gpu resources for programs. What allows it to manage gpu reasources more efficiently is HOW it works, which is mainly due to it allowing devs to manage resources more specifically (with the api itself spitting native code to the hardware, like vulkan dies). You can’t say “it does that due to the OS”, mainly cause it does it the same way as Vulkan, and Mantle. If it honestly was mainly due to lower access to the OS, directx 12 would’ve been moved to the windows sdk like xinput and xaudio, instead of having its own sdk

      It has closer access to hardware due to the api taking a different approach to how developers program with it. Developers now directly manage how applications do things with the hardware now more than they did before, which is why there is less abstraction. The api’s (dx12 and vulkan), provide the methods for doing that, and coincidentally, provide the same set of methods to do so. This is different from the past api’s (dx11 and ogl), which handled more things for the developers.

    • “You saying ‘it has more access to OS, which is why its better’ is like me saying ‘vulkan is better because it works directly in drivers of hardware, making it easier for it to spit out native code back to the hardware'”.
      That’s a false analogy. I think you need to step back and reconsider what an operating system is and does. Ultimately, everything comes down (or, rather, comes up) to the operating system.

    • R3BiRtH

      An operating System performs a basic set of instructions, while also providing a framework for hardware and software. DirectX 12, doesn’t have access to much of the hardware strictly due to the operating system, mainly cause the api itself mainly benefits from the WDDM (the thing fron the OS it relies on), and it does that for memory. Everything else (the main parts that would affect the application) is handled directly from the api itself (or i guess now, by the dev themself through the api), in the way that allows it to have less abstraction. The way the api handles that, is the same way Vulkan and mantle does. WDDM isn’t neccessarily the deciding factor of which api is better, its the api itself

    • It sounds like you’re trying to argue that the OS doesn’t really matter. But of course it does: the OS is the governor. And that is why DirectX 12, by limiting itself to one OS–one that it can get closer to than any Vulkan can–has more upside.

    • R3BiRtH

      I wasn’t necessarily saying OS’s don’t matter, so much as that DirectX 12 doesn’t rely on the OS for all of its functions (so far only one, mem management), therefore in terms of the aspect of which one has more overhead, they are fairly equal

    • Memory management seems like a pretty important function in terms of performance. Furthermore, how do you know that, “in terms of…overhead, they are equal”? Have they both been tested? My understanding is that DX12 is in developers hands now and ready to roll and that Vulkan is not. Where are you drawing these conclusions from?

    • R3BiRtH

      The benchmarks between mantle and dx12.
      (how did the topic derail so much, the only reason why i commented was to say they did the same stuff, and they pretty much do. One being better than another doesn’t matter for that)

    • Anyway, the biggest reason DX12 is better is because of security. Vulkan, like any open-source API, is a pirate’s treasure chest. That’s terrible for gaming.

    • R3BiRtH

      it’s not Open Source…who told you that? It’s Open Spec, as in, not restricted to one OS, due to it being an open standard.
      (drivers may be open source though, NOT the entire api)

      (and there is nothing wrong with open source, as it allows for fixing problems quicker. and whats this about pirates? its a TOOL, not something that is pirated like games)

    • It’s an extension of OpenGL, which is open source, is it not? Are you saying Khronos is taking what was once open-source and now trying to monetize it? Or was OpenGl not, in fact, open?
      There are a lot of great things about open source. There are also a lot of not great things about open source. It’s a mixed bag. Yes, games built on open source tools are easier to crack than those that aren’t.

    • R3BiRtH

      1. Vulkan a new API which is based around Mantle, that is open spec. It is NOT OpenGL (hence the reason why Vulkan is A. made around the mantle specification and, B. existing ALONGSIDE OpenGL. Khronos stated both themselves, and that’s also why opengl is also being updated alongside vulkan).
      2. OpenGL is, in fact, not open source. it is OPEN SPEC .(

      using Vulkan for making games is essentially the same as using DX for making games. it would be the same effort in cracking games made with both (not seeing how any of that matters though, as they are both not open source, and cracking games is more than just “Which rendering api is used”)

      i’m not trying to be mean or rude or anything, but just stop now (with the argument). both those assertions (vulkan being opengl, and open source) are just wrong, and are lies.

    • 1. Well, this is suddenly a lot less exciting now that Vulkan is not open-source.
      2. That seems unlikely that cracking Dx12 and cracking Vulkan require the “same effort”. Even if they’re both not open source, that doesn’t mean they have the exact same security vulnerabilities.
      Stop with what argument? You mean the ones where I was asking you questions? Questions aren’t arguments. They’re questions. I was told those things about Vulkan, now you’re telling my something different, so I asked for clarification. Those aren’t “lies” or assertions. They’re questions. Relax. Why you’re so defensive of Vulkan, especially when it’s not even open source, is kind of weird.

    • R3BiRtH

      When i said “stop with your argument”, i was talking about your argument of “DX12 being better than Vulkan because vulkan is open source”. I was getting a bit annoyed because it seemed like you were making statements in the form of questions, more so than actual, genuine questions (instead of saying “isn’t vulkan an extention….”, you said “Vulkan is an extention of…”, that kind of wording creates a different tone, and you used that kind of wording throughout the post)

      there are no “security vulnerabilities” to worry about in the context of making games with Vulkan or DX12, as they are used for a different aspect that doesn’t account for the security of a game as a whole (that’s why games use DRM, software that is actually supposed to fulfill that purpose). if you are talking about cracking the API’s themselves, that is a non-issue for both regardless, with them being the types of api’s that they are. they don’t have any conventional security vulnerability like traditional software may have

    • I didn’t say “Vulkan is an extension of”. I said, Vulkan is an extension of…is it not?”. That is literally the exact same thing you wanted me to write, but with the clause in a different part of the sentence. The meaning is the same. It was never an argument. Hence, ending the sentence with a question mark.
      I was more excited about Vulkan back when I thought it was open source. Now that it’s essentially just trying to do the same thing as Direct X 12, that’s not very interesting.

    • R3BiRtH

      I put an ellipsy after i typed “vulkan is an extention of…”. Again, due to us typing, by putting the clause in a different part of the sentence, it creates a different tone. Given the tone of your earlier replies, combined with how you structured the sentence, it didn’t make your question seem genuine, but more so like you were presenting a statement in the form of a question. I apoligize, but just understand that the diction, at least fir me, created a different tone to me than what you may have wanted.

      Vulkan is an api that fits a very specific set of function. There is no reason to make it open source due to it supposing to be a common implementation across multiple sets of hardware, and OS’s. It is extensible, as in it can be given extentions to give it more features, but the core api itself is closed. The main thing about Vulkan, that everybody has been talking about, is that due to it being open spec, it is like DX12, except on every platform, not specifically on one. That advantage is great, as it helps to not restrict development of lower level games and stuff on one platform. it’s for that reason why, to i and others, it’s very exciting. It being common with DirectX makes it easier for pprts between both, or development strictly on the api, which is good for fulfilling its purpose

    • It’s not possible to accurately interpret tone like that. Your misinterpretation is evidence of that.

      “except on every platform, not specifically on one. That advantage is great, as it helps to not restrict development of lower level games and stuff on one platform.”
      Its biggest advantage is also its biggest flaw. Specialization is always better than generalization when it comes to technological advancement in innovative fields such as video game development. That is unfortunate that Vulkan is merely trying to tag along DirectX 12 when it could’ve at least done something interesting by being open source.

    • R3BiRtH

      I know i misinterpreted the tone, i didn’t say that i didn’t. I was saying that it would be easier not to, if your sentence was structured differently (simple as that, at least for me)

      Specialization isn’t always better when it comes to a development like that, as it makes it harder for possible adoption depending on the circumstances (Dx9 to dx10), or it creates a reliance, where there doesn’t need to be one.

      And the specialization argument may not neccessarily apply. They aren’t things where they are massively different from advantages like dx or opengl, the scope is different now. Instead of it being an api that is on multiple versions of an OS, it is on one. If a person could use something that only works in one room, and something else that does the same thing, but works everywhere, and they do things the same, the person would more likely choose the latter thing. Thinking DX 12 would be better by a lot is a great deal of speculation, that shouldn’t be assumed unless there was proof (especially since, again, benchmarks between dx12 and mantle proved to be very close already).

      Vulkan isn’t necessarily tagging alongside DX12. The whole aspect of it being a tool that does what it does fits a purpose outside of dx, which is supporting more than one platform, or platform version more seamlessly. That isn’t something DX12 can just do, unless microsoft changes it, which we all know they aren’t. Another thing is that, that basis is the same as “directx 12 is tagging alongside mantle”.

      Anyways, i’m done. This is tiring, and in the end, i fulfilled my original quota. There’s no need to drag this along for no reason, as it is clear you really believe what you believe, and i do the same. Its just turning into two immovable walls that are both trying to be moved, its getting nowhere

    • English is not my native language. In my native language, that type of sentence structure is common.

      Adoption and reliance don’t really negatively affect what I’m talking about: performance. Typically, specialization always results in increased performance. Any time you have to divert resources to co-develop for other platforms, this limits the ability reach full potential on any of them. No company has infinite resources, and any resources spent somewhere else are resources spent somewhere else. DirextX 12 being confined to one platform is its strength just as it is its weakness. Strength in performance potential, weakness in dissemination potential.

    • Borntoride

      Speak for yourself.

    • Who else would I be speaking for?

    • Smeezer

      DirextX altogether is only popular because of xbox aka the directx box. xbox promoted the wide adoption of directx and thus surpassed other options. it wasn’t just better by default.

    • Direct X was popular long before Xbox ever existed. Direct X is popular because Windows is popular.

    • Smeezer

      At that time, no. DirectX was only supplementing OpenGL initially. Wiki DirectX

    • I did. And it revealed how it was popular before Xbox ever existed.

    • Smeezer

      Did you even read it?
      Since Windows 95 was itself still new and few games had been released
      for it, Microsoft engaged in heavy promotion of DirectX to developers
      who were generally distrustful of Microsoft’s ability to build a gaming
      platform in Windows. Alex St. John, the evangelist for DirectX, staged
      an elaborate event at the 1996 Computer Game Developers Conference which game developer Jay Barnson described as a Roman theme, including real lions, togas, and something resembling an indoor carnival.[8] It was at this event that Microsoft first introduced Direct3D and DirectPlay, and demonstrated multiplayer MechWarrior 2 being played over the Internet.

      The DirectX team faced the challenging task of testing each DirectX release against an array of computer hardware and software.
      A variety of different graphics cards, audio cards, motherboards, CPUs,
      input devices, games, and other multimedia applications were tested
      with each beta and final release. The DirectX team also built and
      distributed tests that allowed the hardware industry to confirm that new
      hardware designs and driver releases would be compatible with DirectX.

      Prior to DirectX, Microsoft had included OpenGL on their Windows NT platform.[9] At the time, OpenGL required “high-end” hardware and was focused on engineering and CAD uses.[citation needed]
      Direct3D was intended to be a lightweight partner to OpenGL, focused on
      game use. As 3D gaming grew, OpenGL developed to include better support
      for programming techniques for interactive multimedia applications like
      games, giving developers choice between using OpenGL or Direct3D as the
      3D graphics API for their applications. At that point a “battle” began
      between supporters of the cross-platform OpenGL and the Windows-only
      Direct3D. Incidentally, OpenGL was supported at Microsoft by the DirectX
      team. If a developer chose to use OpenGL 3D graphics API, the other
      APIs of DirectX are often combined with OpenGL in computer games because OpenGL does not include all of DirectX’s functionality (such as sound or joystick support).

      In 1998, four engineers from Microsoft’s DirectX team, Kevin Bachus, Seamus Blackley, Ted Hase and DirectX team leader Otto Berkes, disassembled some Dell laptop computers to construct a prototype Microsoft Windows-based video game console. The team hoped to create a console to compete with Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 2, which was luring game developers away from the Windows platform. The team approached Ed Fries,
      the leader of Microsoft’s game publishing business at the time, and
      pitched their “DirectX Box” console based on the DirectX graphics
      technology developed by Berkes’ team. Fries decided to support the
      team’s idea of creating a Windows DirectX based console.[8][9]

      DirextX wasn’t that popular until the xbox. I remember, I always preferred the better quality OpenGL

    • None of that spam supports your claim that DirectX wasn’t popular before 2001.

    • Luieburger

      “Simple: because DirectX 12 is better than Vulkan API.”

      gr8 b8 m8 r8 8/8

      lol… Kappa,c_fit,h_200,w_200/v1395991705/gjn81wvxqsq6yzcwubok.png

    • つまらないことに時間を無駄に過ごすな。お前は子供っぽい。

    • Luieburger

      Nobody takes your comment seriously because clearly you are trolling. State the facts and paste your sources. Otherwise you can take a hike, troll. #rekt

    • Says the guy who posted チンプンカンプン. Accusing people of trolling is itself trolling. Grow up.

      I am not Bing. Anyone who knows how to use search engine can find the facts for themselves, but I’ll give you a head start. Nothing can match DirectX 12 when it comes to its unparalleled abstraction layers between the system and the OS + universal API that works on computers, tablets, consoles, phones, and mixed-reality devices.

    • Luieburger

      “Says the guy who posted チンプンカンプン.”

      Umm… I don’t speak or write Japanese, so yeah. Not sure what you are talking about. Not only are you a troll, but you’re a delusional troll. You’re out of your mind.

      If you don’t have facts to back up your troll claims, then you are a troll. Deal with it. Take care, son. It’s been fun watching you try to play games with me. <3

    • And I don’t speak whatever this language is “gr8 b8 m8 r8 8/8”. That’s the point.

  • XbotMK1

    “I can’t remember any API in history that has gotten as much mainstream awareness and coverage than DX12 has. From what I understand, it deserves it too, but more importantly the developers also truly believe that the API can truly marke a generational shift in video game graphics ”

    What the fk? Where did the developer state that?

    DX12 doesn’t deserve anything. Consoles already have low level APIs and PC has Vulkan. DX12 is late to the party. DX12 is just an API that Microsoft uses to lock you into Windows 10. Vulkan is arguably better as it is not owned by anyone, it can be used accross nearly any OS and offers the same performance gains. So from what I see the only ones who are excited over DX12 and obsessively promoting it are Microsoft puppets or fanboys with an agenda.

    And the only reasons why DX12 has gained mainstream attention is because news reporters and journalists keep posting redundant articles about it and shoving it down everyone’s throat. The rediculous debate over whether DX12 would help Xbox One is also why DX12 has received too much attention.

    • Tech junkie

      Why so scared if so confident Microsoft is a joke?

    • Przemysław Lib

      It’s Vulkan that is late. Game devs need to shell out 10k$ to join khronos to get access to it!

      It will change soon, but for now it’s DX12 that is available.

    • FreeRyu

      You love to hate on everything Microsoft don’t ya.

  • red2k

    All is about ECONOMIC reasons… They need train all of their programers to work with this new version of Dx12, update their gameengine and all of that cost money and they dont want invest there.

    • Mark

      I hear u. Most of us rarely think about cost as a factor with new tech adoption.

    • Przemysław Lib

      Usually it’s few people in game engine department. Nobody else need to know nor care.

      However Vulkan/DX12 allow very parallel architecture. And it’s that architectural makeover that is manpower and skill consuming.

      Good news is that DX12 to Vulkan and vice versa is almost cosmetic change in comparison.

    • red2k

      Yeah, that is another manifestation but they can add more personal to their gameengine department in order to split the job, and take education, because right know everything related to those new APIs is a whole learning process. The point is the devs need to make an investment thats a fact but they need see the transition DX12/Vulkan as a opportunity for promote their games and maybe increase their game performance. Work with those new API can be a good deal but they need daring.

  • 2econd gpu unlocking

    DX12 unlocks our 2nd GPU as a virtual core.
    That’s Why they are called Stereo drivers on our xbox.
    At this stage we are still playing weak.

    • XbotMK1


    • 2econd gpu unlocking

      A lot are LOLing at the Sony dashboard speed compared to what we asked for.
      Sony’s weaker CPU can’t multitask snap as fast as ou new dashboard and
      We just LOLing at Sony.

  • HisDivineOrder

    I think games will need to be built for DX12 from the start to really shine with it.

    • Guest

      That has been the message all along…porting a game to Dx12 will see marginal gains, but to truly have the whole picture they will need to be ground up in engines that fully support Dx12.

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