A Look At The Many Different Vulkan Engine/Renderer Projects On GitHub
Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 4 December 2016 at 09:34 AM EST. 6 Comments
There have been many small GitHub projects the past several months aspiring to be a good, open-source Vulkan game engine, but many of them don't tend to see commits too often or don't come close to realizing their dream. In my usual weekend "fun" of digging through GitHub looking for fascinating Vulkan projects of interest, I decided to provide a quick overview on some of the more promising Vulkan open-source engine projects.

With Vulkan being less than one year old and many of these Vulkan game engine projects simply being the work by one or a few independent developers in their spare time, many of them aren't capable of doing much yet but some have experienced more early success than others. Here are some of the Vulkan-using game engines or renderers that have been catching my interest.

Kaleido3d aims to be a "cross-platform 3D renderer" that currently has a working Vulkan back-end while its Direct3D 12 and Apple Metal back-ends are still a work-in-progress. Kaleido3D is written in C++11, designed with multi-threading in mind, and has Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, and Linux as support targets. There is some documentation via the GitHub site and a few samples of basic rendering by the engine so far, but not much more than basic Vulkan demos.

Vikr is an OpenGL 4.3 and Vulkan graphics renderer. This experimental graphics engine is being done for research and academia experimentations by its developer. The OpenGL support is "90%" done while the Vulkan code less so and there are also plans for DirectX 12 and Metal code paths. This renderer is MIT/licensed.

Cliter is a 2D arcade game but is still making use of Vulkan. Clither is written in C89 and Vulkan and aims to be a re-implementation of the popular mobile Slither.io arcade game.

VulkanSponza is a "playground" project by well known Vulkan developer Sascha Willems. This German developer is using Vulkan Sponza as an experiment with deferred Vulkan rendering and making use of Crytek's Sponza scene. Neat stuff for those wanting to play with deferred rendering for Vulkan.

Noxime Core appears to still be in its early stages but this Vulkan-based engine aims to be "extremely well scaling" up to at least 8~12 cores, support OpenAL and VoiP, and support a wealth of modern graphical features.

VULK is a Vulkan 3D engine written in Python with C bindings and making use of SDL2. It's designed to be easy-to-use, modular, and a complete offering.

Yave is short for Yet Another Vulkan Engine. This Vulkan engine is coded for C++14 and is further along than some of the other early projects:

vkQuake is likely the most well known open-source Vulkan project right now and actually usable, running Quake over Vulkan. But vkQuake hasn't seen too many further commits in the past few months since it became really usable.
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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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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