id Software Explains Choice of OpenGL/Vulkan API
In a recent interview, iD Software explained the reason for their choice of OpenGL/Vulkan API over Microsoft’s DirectX 11/12. The developers recently released the latest title, Doom and in it they made a choice of OpenGL/Vulkan as their go to API.
According to them, while DirectX11/12 might have more driver optimization support from both AMD and Nvidia over OpenGL, the main reason for choosing the somewhat primitive OpenGL development platform was due to its offering of a wide variety of tools and extensions which make the developer’s job easy and has less restrictions.
One of the other key aspects of OpenGL is that it is an API that is not controlled by Microsoft, allowing Linux and MacOS versions of the game to be possible. Below is a quote from iD software’s Axel Gneiting
“Overall we had very little issues developing DOOM with OpenGL. DirectX 11 might have an advantage when it comes to optimizations on driver side, as more effort was put into that over the years by the IVHs compared to OpenGL.”
So why Vulkan and not DirectX 12 when it came to a modern API? After all, Vulkan also has contributions by AMD and has its root in their Mantle API.
According to iD Software, unlike DirectX12, Vulkan API is not locked to just Windows 10 which allows developers to create games supported by older hardware and operating systems like Windows 7 (which is still used by a huge number of people) as well as Linux and MacOS.
Vulkan’s extension mechanism also has fewer restrictions and allows developers to work closely with AMD, Nvidia and Intel for some very specific optimizations for a broader range of hardware.
While right now more games support Microsoft’s latest API DirectX 12, it is clear that the Vulkan API offers some unique benefits, especially for those who game on Linux or have avoided the upgrade to Windows 10 for some reason.