SDL Adds A DirectX 12 Renderer Backend

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 7 June 2022 at 05:02 AM EDT. 9 Comments
LINUX GAMING --
Somewhat surprisingly, the open-source SDL library that is widely used by games for cross-platform handling and abstracting of various software interfaces has added a Microsoft DirectX 12 renderer.

A DirectX 12 renderer was added to SDL on Monday and can work on the Windows target (sans WinRT support not being wired up). This renderer has feature parity to SDL's existing DirectX 11 renderer.


You may be wondering why someone would bother working on a DirectX 12 renderer for SDL... It's because the developer ultimately hopes to see Xbox GDK (Game Development Kit) support within SDL. In turn this would allow SDL to be used for building games for the Microsoft Xbox Game Pass for PC on Windows 10/11, Xbox consoles, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate cloud gaming support. So in turn this would ultimately enhance the portability of SDL and potentially make it a more attractive open-source library for use by cross-platform game/engine developers.

Xbox GDK APIs were previously private / protected under NDAs but over the past year Microsoft has been opening up GDK more on GitHub as well as publishing code samples, making SDL2 support for the Xbox Game Development Kit a possibility in the future.

Those interested in Direct3D 12 renderer support for SDL can see this pull with all the interesting technical discussion. It was mentioned though that this back-end may be removed or reworked once SDL's new GPU API is completed in the future.
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