The team behind No Man’s Sky have continued to update and support the game long after other studios might have shut the whole thing down and chalk it up as an unpleasant learning experience. Last year No Man’s Sky Next added major features such as a more comprehensive multiplayer experience, swiftly followed by content that increased biome biodiversity and just generally gave players more to do. Now, Hello Games are signaling that they’re still not done by upgrading the game engine to support Vulkan over OpenGL in what they’re calling a complete overhaul of the graphics API, a precursor to adding VR support in the near future.
Vulkan is a ‘low-level’ graphics API broadly based on OpenGL and the now broadly depreciated AMD Mantle API. This open standard alternative to DirectX12 helps engine developers get more out of graphics hardware while also exploiting the multi-core aspects of modern CPU architectures. Generally speaking, modern hardware will see a substantial performance improvement in the transition to Vulkan, in particular AMD GPUs.
Other significant modifications are also being made to the game engine to bring it up to date with modern expectations, including new V-Sync options and more representative HDR colour modes. These updates will be rolled out to those testing unreleased features through the ‘PC Experimental’ version of the game, and once properly qualified will be pushed as a download to all players.
Key Update Features
OpenGL has been replaced by Vulkan. Many players, particularly players with AMD graphics cards, should see a performance improvement
Revised HDR support, updated output curve in line with advances in HDR calibration
Adaptive and Triple-Buffered V-Sync are now selectable from Graphics Settings
Players with more than one GPU can now select which is used from Graphics Settings
Changing the following settings no longer require restarting:
– Window Mode
– Shadow Detail
– Reflection Quality
The ‘LOADING SHADERS’ load step has been removed, improving the loading experience.
Crash data is gathered via Steam to help us track down and fix issues.
No small number of players were bitterly disappointed by the first iteration of No Man’s Sky. Perhaps, with all these quality of life and content updates (as well as upcoming Virtual Reality support), it may be time to give it another look.