Why id Software Chose Vulkan over DirectX 12

/ 8 years ago

Why id Software Chose Vulkan over DirectX 12

id Software is one of the best-known game developers in the world, having created smash hit games for many generations. With the latest Doom game being another big hit, and a graphical powerhouse, did you ever wonder why they chose Vulkan over DirectX 12?

The good people over at DSO Gaming managed to get hold of id Software’s Tiago Sousa and Axel Gneiting, and took the time to interview them about OpenGL over DX11, as well as asking why they went with Vulkan over DX12.

“As Axel told us, OpenGL has a bigger feature set through extensions and it is less restrictive in terms of certain GPU operations, something that was ideal for what id Software was going for.” Said DSO.

“Overall we had very little issues developing DOOM with OpenGL. DirectX 11 might have an advantage when it comes to optimizations on driver side, as more effort was put into that over the years by the IVHs compared to OpenGL. Also admittedly, there is a broader range of tools that work with DirectX than OpenGL at this point in time. On the other hand, OpenGL has a bigger feature set through extensions and it is less restrictive in terms of certain GPU operations.”.

“DirectX 12 and Vulkan are conceptually very similar and both clearly inherited a lot from AMD’s Mantle API efforts. The low level nature of those APIs moves a lot of the optimization responsibility from the driver to the application developer, so we don’t expect big differences in speed between the two APIs in the future. On the tools side there is very good Vulkan support in RenderDoc now, which covers most of our debugging needs. We choose Vulkan, because it allows us to support Windows 7 and 8, which still have significant market share and would be excluded with DirectX 12. On top of that Vulkan has an extension mechanism that allows us to work very closely with AMD, NVIDIA and Intel to do very specific optimizations for each hardware.”

DSO promised a more in-depth interview soon too, and we look forward to hearing more from id Software.

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