At its GDC 2019 keynote, Google announced Stadia, a cloud streaming service allowing graphically-intensive games to be available to anyone who can run Chrome. Doom Eternal will be one of the first games on the platform, streaming at 4K resolution, 60 fps. Google has partnered with AMD to design a custom GPU with “more than ten teraflops of power,” which is paired with a custom CPU for each Stadia rendering instance. Those instances will run on Linux and use the Vulkan API. Google has partnered with Unreal and Unity to “bring full support to the most popular and familiar game engines to our development community.”
Vulkan Memory Allocator (VMA) is AMDs single-header STB-like library for easily and efficiently managing memory allocation for your Vulkan games and applications. The last three months of VMA development since the release of v2.1 have mostly focused on significantly improving and fleshing out the memory defragmentation support, adding support for sparse binding, and making sure the library had a rich and robust set of allocation strategies for games and other Vulkan applications to use. For all the details, read the GPU Open blog.
Magic Leap has made the session on Seedling from Insomniac Games available to the public. Featuring Joel Bartley, lead gameplay programmer for Insomniac Games, and Michael Liebenow, lead software engineer for Magic Leap, the session examines how to integrate a 3D engine into an app using the Vulkan API. “We support two low-level rendering APIs, both Vulkan and OpenGL, but we feel that Vulkan provides more opportunities for optimization, which is especially important when you’re trying to get all the performance you can out of a mobile system, and that is one of the main reasons why we recommend Vulkan for your development,” said Liebenow during the session.
Valve released the Beta of a new and improved version of Steam Play to all Linux users. The Beta version includes a modified distribution of Wine, called Proton, to provide compatibility with Windows game titles. Windows games with no Linux version currently available can now be installed and run directly from the Linux Steam client, complete with native Steamworks and OpenVR support. DirectX 11 and 12 implementations are now based on Vulkan, resulting in improved game compatibility and reduced performance impact. There are a lot of details in this announcement, be sure to read the entry over on the Steam Community website.
Adam Sawicki, a member of AMD RTG’s Game Engineering team, has spent the best part of a year assisting one of the world’s biggest game studios in porting one of their AAA games to the Khronos Vulkan API. That kind of experience — embedded with the game developer and working hands-on in their codebase alongside their own engineers — is always worth sharing whenever possible. Adam has turned what he learned into a general presentation aimed at those looking to port a game engine to either Vulkan or DirectX 12.
The X-Plane cross-platform flight simulator has been depending upon OpenGL for nearly two decades since the program first came into existence, but a port of its rendering engine to use the Vulkan API has been a work-in-progress. It looks like their Vulkan support is getting squared away as the company has tweeted this weekend they will be talking about Vulkan integration this weekend at the Flight Sim Expo in Las Vegas.