VkNeo: Open-Source Doom 3 Now Has A Vulkan Renderer

Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 11 August 2017 at 05:30 AM EDT. 13 Comments
A few days back I wrote about an open-source Vulkan renderer coming for Doom 3, yes, the classic id Software video game. That Vulkan renderer for the id Tech 4 engine is now available.

Dustin Land of id Software has been working on the "vkNeo" project in his spare/personal time as a Vulkan renderer for Doom 3 BFG / idTech4, which was open-sourced a few years back. This is along the same lines as the vkQuake open-source port of the original Quake to running on Vulkan.

Doom 3 can easily run on nearly any modern PC these days with its classic OpenGL renderer, but now with Vulkan the game can run at 500+ frames per second in simple areas or 150~300 FPS in the more demanding areas of this first person shooter.

The Doom 3 Vulkan code was open-sourced over night via vkDOOM3 on GitHub for those interested. Land commented, " It was written as an example of how to use Vulkan for writing something more sizable than simple recipes. It covers topics such as General Setup, Proper Memory & Resource Allocation, Synchronization, Pipelines, etc."

How much code did it take to write for a Vulkan renderer for Doom 3? The Vulkan renderer code roughly comes in at 11,178 lines, not counting the SPIR-V/shaders.

Do note that VkNeo/vkDoom3 is listed as Windows-only for now. But fear not as Robert Beckebans has already communicated he plans to pull this Vulkan renderer into his RBDOOM-3-BFG code-base, which does support Linux (and working benchmarking support too) and has seen commits as recently as two weeks ago. RBDOOM-3-BFG is one of the rare progressing open-source projects around the open Doom 3 code-base with ioDoom3 sadly not having seen any commits in about two years. Another open-source Doom 3 code-base with Linux support that has at least seen commits back in April is Dhewm3. Once there is working Vulkan Doom 3 on Linux, there will be some benchmarking for fun.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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