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Vulkan is an application programming interface (API) which runs on lots of different platforms from desktop computers to small mobiles.
If you don’t know, APIs are the backbone of software development: they are frameworks which mean that developers don’t have to reinvent code to do the same things over and over again.
When an API runs on multiple platforms, it means you can port an application from one operating system to another much more quickly too.
Vulkan is an API designed to improve performance for games, replacing the older Open GL and Open GL ES standards.
Created by the non-profit Khronos Group, it’s also designed from the ground up to support mobile, delivering high-quality graphics on limited hardware.
It’s worth thinking about how games re developed at the moment if you want to understand this.
Open GL and Open GL ES sound like the same thing – but in fact, they’re quite different, with Open GL targeting desktop devices and Open GL ES aimed at mobile.
It’s not straightforward to take a desktop game built with Open GL and simply port it to Open GL ES to run on mobiles.
This is why in the past you’ve had game titles created for desktop computers which only appear in heavily cut-down versions on mobile – if they ever appear at all.