Star Citizen’s Gen 12 Renderer & Vulkan Q&A

The Star Citizen team has been working on the game for years, and with their new Gen 12 Renderer they seem to be going all-in. In this Q&A from a recent livestream, Chris Roberts explains what Vulkan is and how it will improve gameplay performance in Star Citizen.

The “star citizen gen 12 renderer release date” is a question that has been asked by many people. The new release date of the Star Citizen Gen 12 Renderer is November 28th, 2017.

Star Citizen’s Gen 12 Renderer & Vulkan Q&A

We got an update on Star Citizen’s graphics, the Gen 12 renderer, and Vulkan Optimization, as well as plans for upgrades and implementation in the next quarters… I have a comprehensive analysis of that, as well as a short review of the week’s news for the week ending February 6th, 2022.

Red Festival & XenoThreat!

The Red Festival is now taking place; you may collect red envelopes around landing zones and sell them at the kiosk, as well as a variety of red ships and skins.

XenoThreat 3.0 is now available on the live servers; join the server-wide mission and fleet warfare. It won’t last forever, but give it at least a week… maybe two.

It pays well and allows you to meet some new buddies in space.

During XenoThreat, a variety of Combat Ships are also on sale.

One of the Pyro Space Stations and its market area looks to be the subject of this week’s Sneak Peek.

Inside Star Citizen took a peek at the upcoming Ship to Ship Refueling feature in Alpha 3.17.

The Starfarer will be able to transport gasoline to ships in need, dock them with the fuel arm, and bill them for fuelling services. I’ve included a link to a more detailed explanation below. 

This week, there was some drama at the Star Citizen Roadmap, as CI announced that they will concentrate on the less focused, larger Progress Tracker rather than a traditional Roadmap… Following Q2 and alpha 3.18, they will only disclose the following quarter in terms of what will be in the next major release. This is because features shift around a lot, and users become irritated when a feature goes off the Roadmap or changes its location… Even if it’s the goal or aim, they can’t promise that features will be in a certain patch… particularly in updates that are many months or quarters out.

Some supporters believed CI was blaming them… Because of what I presume were some badly selected phrases on CI’s part, it’s all quite fixable, and CI could make the Progress tracker a fantastic resource if they extend its information and context. However, this overshadowed the fact that several features, such as permanent hangars, were postponed until 3.17…

Refueling & Expanded selling are very much still in Alpha 3.17 and Salvage & the Cargo Refactor are still currently in 3.18… so that’s currently a win.

Anyway, check out my video for an analysis of CI’s announcement and the modifications to the Roadmap.

 

We had a Star Citizen Live: Graphics Engineering Q&A with Director of Graphics Engineering Ali Brown talking about Gen12 Renderer Updates, Vulkan and the road to an amazing looking game. Let’s go thru each of these questions Starting with:

2:07 [Give us an update on Vulkan in general]

The new Gen12 Renderer’s backend is Vulkan. Before Vulkan integration can be completed, the remainder of the Gen12 renderer must be finished. They’re roughly 60-75 percent done with the Vulkan Renderer’s capabilities, but they’ll want to iterate on it to make it more performant after it’s done. The Gen12 side is almost finished, and once it is, they will be able to devote more efforts to finishing the Vulkan bits, which will be published shortly after.

You’ll see additional Gen12 changes in Alpha 3.17, and more will come online with each major patch, so there will be a steady trickle of them rather than a single one, and now we’re on to Gen12, but there are already a lot of Gen12 features in the game. They’ll eventually abandon the Vulkan altogether.

7:14 [When Will Thread/Core Use on the CPU Be Optimized?]

With each Gen12 release, CPU scalability should increase as additional CPU cores and threads are utilised more effectively.

8:43 [Will the game always remain CPU-intensive, or will it shift to GPU-intensive?]

Gen12 & Vulkan integration should help move a lot of the resources to the GPU and other improvements will also help the game be less CPU Intensive. Tho the game and graphics options should make this scalable based on player hardware. The game is likely to be somewhat CPU intensive tho even when optimised.

12:37 [Are you planning to go further into the mesh shader process and its advantages once Vulkan support is implemented?]

Mesh shaders will be investigated, and if shown to be useful in the future, they may be implemented. They want as many people to benefit as possible.

14:37 [Has Linux been subjected to any internal Vulkan testing?]

Vulkan will increase Linux compatibility, but they haven’t said whether or not a native Linux client would be available. There are currently some simple anti-cheat concerns with Linux, which they hope to resolve in the near future.

17:03 [How do you stay up with technology? Will the visuals in Star Citizen become obsolete or be overtaken by other engines?]

They gradually phase away obsolete technology while continuing to create and enhance new and existing technology. There will always be enormous, flashy engines and demonstrations on display… Many of them will need many years to fully realize their potential. They study UE5 and learn from it, but they are OK with their Engine being fantastic when it is launched as long as they keep upgrading it. Ray-Tracing, Nanite, and UE5 are not always the best solutions.

24:31 [Is there a limit to the engine?]

They don’t have a hard limit since the engine is made up of several systems that are always evolving… in fact, they claim that iteration and improvements are speeding up.

26:26 [Are we going to do DX12 or aren’t we going to do DX12?]

They have no plans to develop DX12 and are instead concentrating on Vulkan… They could, however, use DX12 if necessary.

28:05 [Will more sophisticated graphics settings be available soon?]

When Gen12 is finished, we should see a significant shift in the visual choices available, with both basic and sophisticated options that both provide significant change. Options will be inspired by improvements in quality and performance.

29:56 [Could a windowed borderless mode be added to the graphics settings?]

Yes, and getting res scaling functioning is a top goal.

32:16 [Do you have any intentions to allow us to disable temporal Anti-Aliasing and eliminate the ghosting it causes?]

Temporal AA is a low-cost approach to handle a lot of graphics, blending, and noise reduction. So no, not right now since it would detract from the terrain’s appearance while yet providing excellent performance.

If it makes sense, they may choose to reveal the choice in the future. The advantages far outweigh the drawbacks.

35:48 [Can native HDR be expected in the future?]

They support it internally, but it requires some effort, and they want to support it entirely natively in the future.

37:50 [Will you offer a setting to disable camera-based motion blur but enable object-based motion blur?]

They will in the future, yes.

39:21 [Should players anticipate VRAM use to rise as the game progresses as they contemplate GPU purchases?]

They don’t want to shut out players who have less VRam… However, if you have a lot of VRam, you’ll be able to crank up the graphics settings and run at greater resolutions.

42:55 [How do you intend to deal with the graphical toll when entering a system with a large number of assets?]

Many of the present difficulties are caused by CPU issues; however, with the Gen12 renderer and general CPU/game code improvements, this should improve dramatically over time.

46:07 [Will gamers ever be able to employ effective night vision?]

Although there is some interest in it, they cannot guarantee that it will be included in the game. If they did, instead of merely a green effect, it would most likely be a more realistic version.

52:02 [Will RTX help the developers figure out a solution to the game’s absence of reflected objects or mirrors?] Because RTX is too resource intensive for “real” mirrors, they will more likely utilize a low-cost approach for tiny mirrors or reflections.

54:51 [Will there be actual snow weather in the game that isn’t the same as dust storms?]

They’ll have full-fledged weather at some point, with far better effects for rain, snow, and other elements…

56:26 [Update on DLSS and FSR?]

They’ll consider the advantages of the technologies in the future, since their current UIs don’t function well with either. They favor technology that benefits the most participants… Both might potentially be applied in the future.

1:01:56 [Will the visibility of the HUD improve?]

Drop shadows behind text and other approaches are being considered as ways to reduce the amount of light behind the UI.

1:04:23 [Which of the next graphics enhancements excites you the most?]

The framerate reigns supreme… They’re aiming for a solid 60 on everything. They also aim to promote global lighting since it would greatly improve the aesthetics. They intend to further optimize the game when Gen12 is finished to assist everyone obtain the greatest performance at the highest settings possible.

They also want to improve debug stats so users can work out how to improve their frame rate or why their frames are what they are. Boom, that’s it for your Star Citizen Weekly Update and that SCLive Graphics Q&A.

The Red Festival is now taking place; you may collect red envelopes around landing zones and sell them at the kiosk, as well as a variety of red ships and skins.

XenoThreat 3.0 is now available on the live servers; join the server-wide mission and fleet warfare. It won’t last forever, but give it at least a week… maybe two.

It pays well and allows you to meet some new buddies in space.

During XenoThreat, a variety of Combat Ships are also on sale.

One of the Pyro Space Stations and its market area looks to be the subject of this week’s Sneak Peek.

Inside Star Citizen took a peek at the upcoming Ship to Ship Refueling feature in Alpha 3.17.

The Starfarer will be able to transport gasoline to ships in need, dock them with the fuel arm, and bill them for fuelling services. I’ve included a link to a more detailed explanation below. 

This week, there was some drama at the Star Citizen Roadmap, as CI announced that they will concentrate on the less focused, larger Progress Tracker rather than a traditional Roadmap… Following Q2 and alpha 3.18, they will only disclose the following quarter in terms of what will be in the next major release. This is because features shift around a lot, and users become irritated when a feature goes off the Roadmap or changes its location… Even if it’s the goal or aim, they can’t promise that features will be in a certain patch… particularly in updates that are many months or quarters out.

Some supporters believed CI was blaming them… Because of what I presume were some badly selected phrases on CI’s part, it’s all quite fixable, and CI could make the Progress tracker a fantastic resource if they extend its information and context. However, this overshadowed the fact that several features, such as permanent hangars, were postponed until 3.17…

Refueling & Expanded selling are very much still in Alpha 3.17 and Salvage & the Cargo Refactor are still currently in 3.18… so that’s currently a win.

Anyway, check out my video for an analysis of CI’s announcement and the modifications to the Roadmap. Links below. 

We had a Star Citizen Live: Graphics Engineering Q&A with Director of Graphics Engineering Ali Brown talking about Gen12 Renderer Updates, Vulkan and the road to an amazing looking game. Let’s go thru each of these questions Starting with:

2:07 [Give us an update on Vulkan in general]

The new Gen12 Renderer’s backend is Vulkan. Before Vulkan integration can be completed, the remainder of the Gen12 renderer must be finished. They’re roughly 60-75 percent done with the Vulkan Renderer’s capabilities, but they’ll want to iterate on it to make it more performant after it’s done. The Gen12 side is almost finished, and once it is, they will be able to devote more efforts to finishing the Vulkan bits, which will be published shortly after.

You’ll see additional Gen12 changes in Alpha 3.17, and more will come online with each major patch, so there will be a steady trickle of them rather than a single one, and now we’re on to Gen12, but there are already a lot of Gen12 features in the game. They’ll eventually abandon the Vulkan altogether.

7:14 [When Will Thread/Core Use on the CPU Be Optimized?]

With each Gen12 release, CPU scalability should increase as additional CPU cores and threads are utilised more effectively.

8:43 [Will the game always remain CPU-intensive, or will it shift to GPU-intensive?]

Gen12 & Vulkan integration should help move a lot of the resources to the GPU and other improvements will also help the game be less CPU Intensive. Tho the game and graphics options should make this scalable based on player hardware. The game is likely to be somewhat CPU intensive tho even when optimised.

12:37 [Are you planning to go further into the mesh shader process and its advantages once Vulkan support is implemented?]

Mesh shaders will be investigated, and if shown to be useful in the future, they may be implemented. They want as many people to benefit as possible.

14:37 [Has Linux been subjected to any internal Vulkan testing?]

Vulkan will increase Linux compatibility, but they haven’t said whether or not a native Linux client would be available. There are currently some simple anti-cheat concerns with Linux, which they hope to resolve in the near future.

17:03 [How do you stay up with technology? Will the visuals in Star Citizen become obsolete or be overtaken by other engines?]

They gradually phase away obsolete technology while continuing to create and enhance new and existing technology. There will always be enormous, flashy engines and demonstrations on display… Many of them will need many years to fully realize their potential. They study UE5 and learn from it, but they are OK with their Engine being fantastic when it is launched as long as they keep upgrading it. Ray-Tracing, Nanite, and UE5 are not always the best solutions.

24:31 [Is there a limit to the engine?]

They don’t have a hard limit since the engine is made up of several systems that are always evolving… in fact, they claim that iteration and improvements are speeding up.

26:26 [Are we going to do DX12 or aren’t we going to do DX12?]

They have no plans to develop DX12 and are instead concentrating on Vulkan… They could, however, use DX12 if necessary.

28:05 [Will more sophisticated graphics settings be available soon?]

When Gen12 is finished, we should see a significant shift in the visual choices available, with both basic and sophisticated options that both provide significant change. Options will be inspired by improvements in quality and performance.

29:56 [Could a windowed borderless mode be added to the graphics settings?]

Yes, and getting res scaling functioning is a top goal.

32:16 [Do you have any intentions to allow us to disable temporal Anti-Aliasing and eliminate the ghosting it causes?]

Temporal AA is a low-cost approach to handle a lot of graphics, blending, and noise reduction. So no, not right now since it would detract from the terrain’s appearance while yet providing excellent performance.

If it makes sense, they may choose to reveal the choice in the future. The advantages far outweigh the drawbacks.

35:48 [Can native HDR be expected in the future?]

They support it internally, but it requires some effort, and they want to support it entirely natively in the future.

37:50 [Will you offer a setting to disable camera-based motion blur but enable object-based motion blur?]

They will in the future, yes.

39:21 [Should players anticipate VRAM use to rise as the game progresses as they contemplate GPU purchases?]

They don’t want to shut out players who have less VRam… However, if you have a lot of VRam, you’ll be able to crank up the graphics settings and run at greater resolutions.

42:55 [How do you intend to deal with the graphical toll when entering a system with a large number of assets?]

Many of the present difficulties are caused by CPU issues; however, with the Gen12 renderer and general CPU/game code improvements, this should improve dramatically over time.

46:07 [Will gamers ever be able to employ effective night vision?]

Although there is some interest in it, they cannot guarantee that it will be included in the game. If they did, instead of merely a green effect, it would most likely be a more realistic version.

52:02 [Will RTX help the developers figure out a solution to the game’s absence of reflected objects or mirrors?] Because RTX is too resource intensive for “real” mirrors, they will more likely utilize a low-cost approach for tiny mirrors or reflections.

54:51 [Will there be actual snow weather in the game that isn’t the same as dust storms?]

They’ll have full-fledged weather at some point, with far better effects for rain, snow, and other elements…

56:26 [Update on DLSS and FSR?]

They’ll consider the advantages of the technologies in the future, since their current UIs don’t function well with either. They favor technology that benefits the most participants… Both might potentially be applied in the future.

1:01:56 [Will the visibility of the HUD improve?]

Drop shadows behind text and other approaches are being considered as ways to reduce the amount of light behind the UI.

1:04:23 [Which of the next graphics enhancements excites you the most?]

The framerate reigns supreme… They’re aiming for a solid 60 on everything. They also aim to promote global lighting since it would greatly improve the aesthetics. They intend to further optimize the game when Gen12 is finished to assist everyone obtain the greatest performance at the highest settings possible.

They also want to improve debug stats so users can work out how to improve their frame rate or why their frames are what they are. Boom, that’s it for your Star Citizen Weekly Update and that SCLive Graphics Q&A.

The “gen12 renderer” is the next generation of Star Citizen’s rendering engine. It will be used in the upcoming Alpha 3.0, which should be released soon. The new “Vulkan Q&A” was a live-streamed question and answer session with Khronos Group President Neil Trevett.

Related Tags

  • star citizen vulkan 2021
  • star citizen vulkan
  • star citizen vulkan update
  • star citizen dx12
  • star citizen roadmap
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