Vulkan just dropped – here’s what I have so far

Today marks a new milestone for game developers like me: In love with Linux, Game Development and willing to setup a framework for their development endeavours! Vulkan finally released and drivers from hardware vendors are dropping everywhere. nVidia released their own for both Windows and Linux. The Open Source Intel driver also hit the interwebs a few minutes ago (thank you Raven67854).

gpu_support

Thanks to @mikekasprzak for the image!

First day caveats

Now, I’m bound to an Intel GPU at home (Iris Pro 5200) and thankfully that is supported.  However yesterday I ordered a x86 tablet so I can take my <future> development framework on the go (check up my articles on doing game development from a <android> tablet here). The problem is that said tablet is still on a Bay Trail GPU and as of this writing the Intel driver does not support any gpu that is not Broadwell, Cherryview, Skylake, Broxton or Kabylake. So not a great start but hey, I can work around it. Will require two separate renderers (Vulkan and OpenGL) so I can still do development while on-the-go but I’m hoping that in the future support will be added for those GPU’s. On the bright side, I now have a tablet I can install ubuntu on!

come_and_gets_it

Vulkan resources

So, here’s what I have so far! There’s a mother-load of Vulkan examples that dropped on Sascha’s William github! The official Vulkan’s Khronos Group homepage has allot of API references and specifications. There’s a Vulkan CPP wrapper running around courtesy of Chris Hebert which you can clone/fork/use from here. NVIDIA also released quite a few Vulkan examples on their developer’s portal. Get them, and the drivers from here. LunarG’s Vulkan SDK’s and tools are also up and available at this address (you need to setup an account). There are also allot of Vulkan events appearing on meetup dot com, events announced, hosted and/or endorsed by the Khronos Group, like this one (I’m really hoping that someone will host such an event in Bucharest, been itching to catch a flight to the capital for a while now).

What's next?

For Vulkan? Hopefully, allot of things! The Talos Principle vulkan-powered version should drop on Steam any day now. The same goes for Dota 2 and a few other Valve games. For me? I’m just starting to go knee-deep in Vulkan code and setup my development framework. The plan? A small 3D rendering engine coupled with Lua for scripting and a few tools I’ve been itching to write (cross-platform Level Editor, UI Designer, etc). The idea is that someday I’m hoping to go indie again and I want to be prepared. That means having some savings, tools that I have FULL CONTROL over and enough technical challenges to keep me motivated! I’ll also add a new blog category for Vulkan specifically where I’ll share my impressions of using Vulkan starting today!

 

Have a great day!

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