Amazon releases ‘Lumberyard’ cross-platform 3D game engine
Tue 9 Feb 2016
Amazon has announced the launch of a new cross-platform 3D game engine, integrated with Amazon Web Services and also with the Twitch video streaming platform.
The announcement also details the launch of Amazon GameLift, a new service capable of deploying scalable session-based multiplayer videogames.
Lumberyard, according to screenshots released, has a slick scripting interface. Amazon promises that developers will be able to build worlds, create realistic characters and apply real-time effects.
The beta release today is for the PC and console platforms, but Amazon promise that mobile and VR platforms are on the horizon. However there is no mention in the release of specific support for iOS or other Apple-based platforms.
The editing system includes physics simulation, low-latency networking, scripting systems, terrain generation and character editors.
The company is pushing the platform-agnostic advantages of a central development platform, and particularly the native cloud integration. Vice President of Amazon Games Mike Frazzini is quoted in the report: “Many of the world’s most popular games are powered by AWS’s technology infrastructure platform…When we’ve talked to game developers, they’ve asked for a game engine with the power and capability of leading commercial engines, but that’s significantly less expensive, and deeply integrated with AWS for the back-end and Twitch for the gamer community. We’re excited to deliver that for our game developers today with the launch of Amazon Lumberyard and Amazon GameLift.”
The GameLift service costs $1.50 for each active 1000 participants, on top of standard AWS fees for resources consumed, such as compute instances and bandwidth.
Lumberyard’s drag and drop interface is integrated with the AWS C++SDK, allowing developers to hook into AWS services via straight C++.
Lumberyard’s integration with the Twitch platform enables novel features such as TwitchPlay, wherein non-playing viewers can vote on outcomes, and also the Twitch JoinIn feature, where passive viewers can instantly be invited out of the audience and into gameplay.