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Star Citizen – Gen12, Vulkan & Why Devs Feel They Can’t Always Speak Up

Star Citizen’s Gen12 Renderer is nearing it’s first implementation and this is another huge milestone for the game and we have had a huge info dump from…

CIG Dev Responses talking about major updates with the Gen12 Renderer, Engine Improvements and Vulkan Integration… 

We’ve also got a quick summary of what’s coming up this week in the wonderful world of Star Citizen as September Ends.

This Week In Star Citizen

CitizenCon is just under two weeks away, so be sure to mark your calendars to be ready for when the festivities kick off on October 8.

There are 7 Panels we are currently aware of from Updates to Pyro, to Ships to New Missions to the Resource Management System… CIG say they’ll have some additional details going live later this week.

Alpha 3.18 is making further progress towards a release to Evocati on PTU. The first build will be a short Persistent Entity Streaming test to make sure the basics are working. There are a few issues still to resolve in order to make this test successful, so hang tight for more news on this front soon.

Now, let’s see what’s going on this week:

On Tuesday, the Narrative team will supply a post on Spectrum detailing this month’s Galactapedia Update.

Wednesday will have the latest Roadmap Update alongside an explanatory Roadmap Roundup.

Thursday, Inside Star Citizen will be a special end of the quarter follow-up on all the features of 3.18 we’ve discussed so far, with new info and new answers to questions folks had after watching.

On Friday, we have Star Citizen Live but no confirmation of times or content for that… the AI episode was delayed last week so it could well be that.

Are you going to support DLSS3? It looks promising.

Silvan CIG

We are very interested in DLSS, but as already said many times we need Vulkan first.

Once that’s in and working we will reevaluate the situation and you will hear more from us about it.

Also: SC is mostly CPU bound so DLSS won’t give you any benefit at all in a CPU bound scenario at the moment since DLSS optimizes the rendering speed of the GPU.

The higher the resolution we have to render the more benefit any upscaling techniques will give you.

Once we better optimized the CPU side of things and we hit the GPU limit more and more this will become more of an interest for us.

They went onto say:

Vulkan been in development in parallel along Gen12.

It is to be expected that it won’t take long to have a first vulkan version running once Gen12 is complete.

Talking about CPU Utilization

Currently when playing SC, If you look at all the CPU cores you will see that one or two cores have a much higher utilization than any other cores.

These are the main thread and render thread orchestrating the whole engine.

With Gen12 and Vulkan we will get rid of the render thread.

What’s left is the main thread which we’re always trying to optimize.

It’s not as easy as it sounds since the game keeps developing so any optimization we’re doing will be eaten up by something else.

They went onto say

All other cores are being used by various systems like physics, networking, background loading and much more but have lots of gaps.

See the attached image i’ve created with my amazing Paint skillz!xP

Your CPU performance is determined by the slowest thread, which is usually the MainThread.

We will get rid of the RenderThread eventually with Gen12&Vulkan.

Our goal is to parallelize more and more work from the MT, so all cores are evenly distributed in work.

This means as time progresses our engine will keep scaling better the more cores you have.

There was a follow up question: will the main thread ever be multi core ?

Yes and No.

There will always be one thread orchestrating the engine (Let’s call it the Main Thread)

It makes sure that all other threads will be getting stuff to do. In an ideal world this would cause a 100% CPU utilization on all cores.

Unfortunately game engine parallelization is extremely complex, hard to maintain and causes lots of bugs (and headaches for us programmers! :P).

Our engine is already quite well parallized, but nowhere near optimized since we’re still heavily in active development.

As time goes on i’m very confident that we will reach an optimal state where the Main Thread won’t be an issue anymore.

Are you still planning to do a deep dive into Gen12 and the changes being brought into 3.18 when we are nearer to its release?

Yes! Just give me a bit more time 

 I’m putting all my time and effort into getting it done for the next patch!

Ask the devs – little to no reaction from actual devs?

Why are there almost no reactions of devs on questions that people ask here? Doesn’t that make it kinda useless to even have this section? Most of the time other people from the community just answer the questions with their theories/knowledge? I get that the developers are busy etc., but some interaction would be nice.

It is encouraged to interact with the community by CIG, but reality is always no matter what we say it’s taken as promise or completely taken out of context, so we have to be VERY careful.

I once stated my opinion how i would like to implement VR into StarCitizen and the next days there were articles like: “SC VR wants to be better than Half-Life Alyx”

I don’t really care but if you read the comments under those articles people think it actually reflects the truth and it’s coming directly from Chris Roberts, which is …. sad since it can hurt our reputation.

You can only do nothing wrong if you stay absolutely silent. Sad but true.

Apart from that most of us are actually quite busy at work so there’s little time to do anything in this regard. Usually devs do this in their spare time.

That being said only the most passionate devs with a thick skin will interact with the community.

I hope this will change once we have proven our worth to the world that we can actually deliver what we promise(d).

Personally, i’m working hard for this and i won’t ever give up talking to you guys

Boom, thats it for your updates today! CitizenCon is incoming, we could have a load of Gen12 updates in 3.18, hopefully they will be relatively meaningful.