Bindless Deferred Decals in The Surge 2
Philip is a graphics and engine programmer at Deck13 Interactive GmbH since 2006. He worked on over 14 released games on six different platforms and most recently on the upcoming Action-RPG ‘The Surge 2’ for PS4, Xbox One and PC. He’s mainly working on the rendering part of Deck13’s inhouse engine FLEDGE since the early days of Deck13. He holds a masters degree in Computer Science.
This talk will be about the practical implementation of bindless deferred decals in Deck13’s upcoming game ‘The Surge 2’. With the availability of flexible and unbounded descriptor sets in modern rendering APIs such as D3D12 and Vulkan, we gain some new optimization opportunities to a common rendering problem such as decal rendering. In previous APIs, decals were almost required to use the rasterization pipeline and therefore accepting severe limitations in flexibility and performance. Now we can render decals with all their inherent complexities in a single compute dispatch or fullscreen quad, because we don’t need to bind a fixed set of textures and other resources to the pipeline.
This approach enables us to cull and render decals using a clustered deferred rendering system and keep as much work as possible in flight on the GPU. Therefore we can also profit from established optimizations such as GCN loop scalarization and fast-path optimizations. The Surge 2 uses decals for more than decorative elements such as graffiti. It furthermore opens up new possibilities for artists to texture a level. By moving many features from our old material blending system to the decalling system, environment artists can now use decals for layering complex materials on top of each other.