The advent of Microsoft's DirectX 12 API is probably one of the biggest developments in game programming this year, but the benefits of the new programming model aren't always 100% obvious when looking at the finished product on a screen.
At Microsoft's Build conference last week, Chinese developer Snail Games showed a demonstration of its Cryengine-based King of Wushu running on DX12. Despite presentation partner Nvidia's claims that jaws would drop and that the performance improvements were "stunning," there isn't much of a visible difference between the two APIs in the YouTube video. See for yourself:
Now, we don't want to imply that there's no difference—the game clearly picked up a couple FPS from the change, and it looks like the engine can maintain more character models on the screen at the same time, but it'd be hard to name the underlying API just looking at the demo footage.
The real benefits of DirectX 12 should come once game developers have had time to build entire games based on new fundamental assumptions made possible by a better API.
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