In a video posted to Nvidia’s official YouTube page, the channel unveiled exclusive footage of Doom running on the new API, and it’s absolutely glorious. Running on a GTX Titan, the game moves at a silky-smooth 60 frames, all settings maxed out, with nary a hitch. Id Software recorded the video giving the player some upgrades, allowing for some crazy fast gameplay. It moves so fast, it’s hard to keep up. But that’s kind of the point: It’s a demonstration that shows this graphically intensive game runs freakishly well on Vulkan. Id Software was also gracious enough to allow users to download the uncompressed video file so that gamers can bask in all its glory.
For those that aren’t programmers, here’s a quick rundown. An API (application programming interface) is a set of tools that allow programmers to help pieces of software communicate with each other. In the case of graphics processors, it acts as a communicator between the GPU and the game engine.
If you’re an avid gamer, then Vulkan should get you excited. The Khronos Group is an open consortium including members like Apple, Google, Sony Computer Entertainment, and AMD, among others. Khronos is boasting that it’s API will give better performance and will work across all devices, unlike Microsoft’s popular DirectX. In a way, Khronos is trying to deregulate the graphics API landscape.
Right now Microsoft is going all in with its DirectX 12 and Apple is developing Metal for Mac. This creates complications for game developers. If they want to release games on multiple platforms, that would mean having to rework each game for each system. Vulkan is trying to continue the OpenGL lineage by making it open source and available to everyone.
Essentially, if Vulkan succeeds, that means less stress on developers, and hopefully better games for gamers.