If it's ever on the table again to rewrite the renderer, Vulkan, please.

Title says it all, and I'm sure Frontier would love to have a functioning vulkan version, and I won't discount the challenges involved in getting your graphics programmers learnt on it either.

The thing is, though, that a vulkan version will benefit everyone. It benefits your console users as you'll be uncovering and optimizing the Cobra platform, building your own command buffers will highlight areas you can optimize your instructions per GPU tic, which you'll be able to measure against your Xbox DirectX and PS4 GMN code paths (and you'll be able to apply a lot of the frame timing improvements to the PS4 GMN version).

It'll benefit the PC platform immensely as nVidia and AMD have great vulkan ICD's and more documentation is coming out all the time for SPIR-V (and how awesome the shaders are to write for once you have the initial setup outlay completed). The shader caching on Vulkan for cloud platforms like Steam will also tremendously benefit everyone that has like GPU's (eg everyone with a 2070 can have a cloud based shader cache that runs like a rockstar for their cards, and Steam will maintain the caches for you). You'll also be able to extend a HUGE olive branch to the Linux community and virtually have a whitelisted Linux supported platform release that'll give players more choice.

It can also bring the Mac port back to life thanks to MoltenVK, granted you'll have some relatively steep system requirements, a lot of Mac's today would be able to wring more performance out of a MoltenVK version than you could get out of OpenGL (even current OpenGL).

Elite has a lot of bugs, and don't get me wrong, fixing those has their place of importance. I can't put the pen to paper to see if it's really worth the business decision to make, as I'm not seeing the insider perspective. At some point, however, Frontier will want to add Vulkan support to the Cobra platform. If anyone from Frontier sees this and reads it, you've got my thanks.

I love Elite, and I am very excited to see where Frontier takes it later this year with fleet carriers as well as the "next era" to be talked about in 2020.

o7, and thanks for a wonderful game. Vulkan support doesn't make or break it, it's just something I really hope to see some day.
 
Cause of the drm their other games use porting the engine to use vulkan would on help linux users with elite.

On the linux side elite already works well with dxvk. Vulkan support as part of a new/improved generation of the cobra game engine for future titles would be nice.

Not all gpus that could run elite properly support Vulkan so moving to pure vulkan at this time would be bad for these users.
 
Cause of the drm their other games use porting the engine to use vulkan would on help linux users with elite.

On the linux side elite already works well with dxvk. Vulkan support as part of a new/improved generation of the cobra game engine for future titles would be nice.

Not all gpus that could run elite properly support Vulkan so moving to pure vulkan at this time would be bad for these users.
From what I can find, nVidia provides Vulkan drivers going back to Kepler, the GTX 600 series. Elite lists the 470 in its minimum requirements, which is Fermi, or the AMD R7 240.

Fermi is the only GPU arch unsupported by Vulkan that falls in this category. Frontier left far more Mac users out in the cold than the number of people still running Fermi (which is, also, unsupported by both Microsoft and nVidia as that arch was EOL'd a while back). In fact, on the Steam hardware survey I was unable to find ANY Fermi GPU's even in the survey, which indicates that if anyone in the whole entire Steam platform ecosystem is even running Fermi, that number is so small it represents less than 0.15% of the userbase and falls into the "Other" category, which I find very interesting. When I drill down into the "DX10" and "DX9" shader model GPU's, more people are using lower spec GPU's that are even older than Fermi to the point that Fermi arch GPU's don't even show up in those categories.

The AMD architecture of the time, the R7 240, has a robust Vulkan driver, and every arch from AMD since. It would be a fair point to say there may be some people left out in the cold, but the data points to such an infinitesimally small number of people that even using the term in its plural form may be debatable. Frontier made technical decisions to abandon far more people on the Mac to shed technological debt and do more exciting things. I would think a robust Vulkan renderer for the Cobra engine overall would be a fantastic investment not just for Elite, but for their other projects as well.

Just figured I'd chime in, but thanks for discussing and giving some life to the thread!
 
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