id Software Dev Puzzled By Devs Choosing DX12 Over Vulkan, Claims Xbox One DX12 Is Different Than PC

‘Don’t buy all Microsoft propaganda.’

Posted By | On 08th, Jul. 2016 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605

DirectX 12

Microsoft’s DirectX 12 appears to be the next generation PC gaming graphical API of choice- which makes sense, given the ubiquity of Windows when it comes to PC gaming, and DirectX’s deep integration with Windows. That said, however, there are now alternatives to DirectX, viable alternatives that developers could be using, and open ones, rather than closed proprietary solutions like DirectX is- such as Vulkan.

But possibly because of Windows ubiquity, and because of all the hooks that DirectX has with Windows, or maybe because of all the other pushes for DirectX adoption that Microsoft have made, such as the aggressive push for Windows 10, or bringing DirectX to Xbox One, the fact remains that more and more developers are supporting DirectX 12 over Vulkan, or any other alternative, for their PC games- and this is something that Axel Gneiting, engine programmer at id Software, doesn’t necessarily approve of.

Speaking on Twitter, Gneiting said that developers using DirectX 12 over Vulkan ‘literally makes no sense.’ Elaborating on his stance, and in response to some questions, Gneiting pointed out that with Windows 7 forming a major chunk of the PC gaming market, and with DirectX 12 being incompatible with Windows 7, using DirectX in an attempt to have ‘one codebase’ makes no sense, since developers would need to create two separate ones anyway. He pointed out that the argument that programming for Xbox One and Windows 10 becomes easier by using DirectX 12 is moot too, because DirectX 12 on Windows and on Xbox is very different, necessitating two separate code paths anyway.

He also made some observations about how a lot of the perceived benefits of DirectX 12 are not exclusive to it, noting that both Vulkan and DirectX give similar performance benefits anyway.

I guess my question here is- if that is the case, why does it bother him at all that DirectX is the preferred code path for developers over Vulkan? I suppose there is something to be said for pushing open solutions like Vulkan, over proprietary and closed ones like DirectX, which effectively trap developers in Microsoft’s development ecosystem, so I can see some of his reasoning. But then, I suppose that DirectX benefits because it is not open- it has Microsoft to evangelize it, because Microsoft have a vested investment in seeing it widely adopted. Vulkan being open by definition has no such custodian, and that is why there is no one to pitch it to developers to the extent that Microsoft do with DirectX.

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  • Wow. 90% of the comments here are an embarrassment to ALL gamers, regardless of platform choice. Nice job.

  • Khalid Abu Shawarib

    Every developer who worked on both DX12 and Vulkan say they are 95% similar. The only major difference is that Vulkan is much more cross platform. Can run PC, Embedded systems, mobile and consoles. It’s clear why no one should use DX12.

    • Ordeith

      Vulkan is also much slower and harder to use.
      Par for the course for OSS, actually.

    • Khalid Abu Shawarib

      Non sense. I told you they are almost identical in architecture.

    • Ordeith

      Meanwhile, in the real world…
      Vulkan is also much slower and harder to use.

    • Khalid Abu Shawarib

      Keep repeating it and it might become a truth one day.

    • Ordeith

      No need. It was truth the first time.

    • Dezr

      Got any source on vulkan being “much slower” ?
      From what I have gathered from the developers I follow and tech news, vulkan is just as fast as DX12, faster in some cases (not by much). And it isn’t any harder to use, at all, from what I understand.

    • Ordeith

      The OSS evangelists would have you think that. But real world tests have shown how such claims continue to be their usual pipe dream nonsense. Anandtech has done some benchmark comparisons.

    • DavidHollinger

      You’re comparing what was Beta software at the time and using that data a production results. No one in their right mind does that in the Technology industry.

    • Ordeith

      Enter the evangelist, selling the dream. Who’s buying?

    • DavidHollinger

      Well, id is buying and they are no small company or small presence in the gaming world. As someone working in technology, OSS is dominating everything in infrastructure, development, and web.

      But back to Vulkan, here’s a list of companies that have vested interests and contribution in Vulkan’s success:

      – Nintendo
      – Sony
      – Google
      – Epic Games
      – Valve
      – Blizzard
      – Adobe
      – Nvidia
      – AMD
      – Intel
      – Pixar
      – Unity
      – Canonical
      – Red Hat
      – Wargaming
      – Amazon
      – Even Microsoft and Apple
      – and many more

      Source: Khronos Group

    • R3BiRtH

      The benchmark he’s using isn’t up to date at all. i suspect he’s using the talos principle’s implementation, and taking it out of context. both Vulkan and DX12 fare bad when used in engines not designed for them, and the talos principles implementation was a showcase of that (like ROTTR was for dx12). Due to that however, that doesn’t make it a showcase of the api. As for the “harder to use”, given that both of them are similarly designed like mantle in usage, that is obviously incorrect, if talking specifically about the api

    • DavidHollinger

      You have no idea what you’re talking about. A vast majority of data intensive software and environments us OSS to run b/c Microsoft’s software wasn’t designed for it – they’re still playing catch up.

      With the exception of Hyper-V (which is nowhere near Market leader in Virtualization), every VM Hypervisor OSS or based on OSS.

      Container technology right now is Linux-only (Microsoft and Docker are working on a Windows solution).

      Big Data is nearly 100% OSS based and even Microsoft’s own Network backed in Azure is Linux-based.

  • Anirban Samanta

    I don’t understand the author’s question. Mr. Gneiting is bothered because people are paying money to get something inferior when a far better solution was available for free. I would be bothered too – Is Microsoft paying the devs to pick Dx12? If that is the case then consumers should be worried, as Microsoft would be influencing the industry directly. It is not a new thing, it has been happening for a long time, but that doesn’t make it right or the way forward. As to who is championing Vulkan, the author should check Vulkan’s background as it is supported by basically everyone in software and hardware industries except Microsoft.

  • Filius Terra

    Funny how some time ago an Id dev said exactly the opposite:
    but facing their today’s Vulkan release, that marketing post was a smart move.

  • supersungin

    get rekt microsoft….vulkan ftw

  • By Any

    The future of Vulkan is going to depend almost entirely upon Sony and Nintendo. If Sony and Nintendo allow and support Vulkan usage on their systems going forward, then almost every game dev is going to switch over to Vulkan to make cross platform games really easy to make. This will in turn put pressure on Microsoft to allow and support Vulkan on the XBOX, and then it’s game over for DirectX.

  • Graeme Willy

    This has been the Open problem for decades. It’s the same as saying, “why don’t developers favor Linux for gaming? It is much better and more efficient than any Windows OS.

  • Dylan Hunt

    After reading this, along with Unity 5.6’s new update, “Throne of Lies: The Online Game of Lies & Deceit” is making the switch 😀 Trailer:


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