For AAA publishers and indie Kickstarter teams alike, Lumberyard will release for free and charge for Amazon’s server services.
With the advent of game engines and an increasing demand to get the toolbox out there for independent developers to use, creating games has become more of a service than the games-as-service mentality could ever hope for. Amazon looks to buy into the field by presenting Lumberyard, a free multi-platform 3D game engine that will allow for AAA-quality games production through the power of Amazon Web Services. More importantly, the AWS Cloud.
Lumberyard is an engine built upon Crytek’s CryEngine, and is currently operable for developing on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. iOS and Android support will be coming soon, followed by Mac and Linux. Oculus Rift support is also in the pipeline. The engine is based on a native C++ source code, which is provided for free and in full to all users. Because of its similarity to CryEngine (which will splinter developmentally as each engine grows), creators will have access to the photorealistic 3D environments, particle effects, environmental rendering technologies, immersive character creation tools and real-time gameplay editing.
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It’s the focus on Twitch and live engagement that makes Lumberyard interesting. The Twitch ChatPlay feature allows you to create gameplay that Twitch chat can interact with in real-time. Similar to current Twitch plays official games, you can implement bonuses, penalties or other troll-based mechanics into the streamer’s gameplay broadcast. Additionally, Twitch streamers can opt to add a viewer into their game by having Twitch JoinIn bring players into streamers’ games at the click of a button.
It’s interesting to see just how fluid Lumberyard is for creators. Even if you don’t need online cloud server support with AWS, Amazon doesn’t require a fee. Additionally, the engine is supported (and encouraged) for animation film projects. With Amazon purchasing Double Helix away from Microsoft, one must wonder if we’ll see a game using the engine pop up between now and the end of E3 2016.