Star Citizen now plans to use the Vulkan API, dropping DX12 support

Rodiano Bonacci
Marzo 20, 2017

Plus, the change would ensure that Star Citizen would be playable on multiple versions of Windows and Linux. The latest API has been picked up by plenty of games in the a year ago and while the folks over at Cloud Imperium Games planned to include it in Star Citizen, the engineers over there have since changed their minds, with plans to drop the planned DirectX 12 support and use Vulkan instead to ensure cross-OS compatibility.

Star Citizen's director of graphics engineering Ali Brown announced the move on the official forums over the weekend, saying it was a "much more logical" choice rather than adopting DirectX 12. "As a result our current intention is to only support Vulkan and eventually drop support for [DirectX 11] as this shouldn't effect any of our backers".

With DX11 support to be phased out in favour of the new rendering API.

Brown doesn't dismiss the possibility of DirectX 12 support for Star Citizen in the future.

"DX12 would only be considered if we found it gave us a specific and substantial advantage over Vulkan", Brown said. The API's really aren't that different though, 95% of the work for these APIs is to change the paradigm of the rendering pipeline, which is the same for both APIs. CIG had announced years prior that it would eventually be supporting DirectX 12, but given that the API is exclusive to Windows 10, the developers felt it was best to implement an API that didn't force its users to upgrade if they didn't want to.

If anything is subject to change, you can be certain the boffins over at Cloud Imperium Games will let their legion of pilots know. Usually it's the performance boost offered by the API that wins developers over, but for Star Citizen those benefits are only part of the reason for the switch.

They're also still prepping for the next big build for the game in the form of alpha 3.0.

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