Amazon’s Lumberyard Engine Receives a Tech Demo

Amazon has unveiled its own AAA gaming engine dubbed Lumberyard during the GDC 2016 event, and the product was definitely received with open arms by developers. Based on Crytek’s CryEngine, Lumberyard has recently received its first tech demo that shows off exactly what developers will be able to achieve with it. The tech demo’s main character is named Rin, and she is placed in a lush wooded environment. Since Amazon’s engine is based on CryEngine, the demo is definitely pleasing to the eye, but we’ll just have to wait and see how popular it will become. Amazon’s  Lumberyard is a free, cross-platform, 3D game engine that allows developers to link their products to AWS Cloud and Twitch.

This means that games developed using Lumberyard can potentially reach more than 1.7 million monthly broadcasters and over 100 million monthly viewers using Twitch. Other highlights of Amazon’s Lumberyard apart from its visuals include native code performance and a fully featured editor, but developers will just have to take a closer look at this engine in order to discover all of its features. Even though it’s definitely not as powerful as CryEngine V or Frostbite 3, Lumberyard could still come in handy for devs who are looking to create lighter, less demanding games. You can have a look at the tech demo below.

Amazon to Remove Lumberyard Restrictions in Event of a Zombie Outbreak

Amazon recently announced their powerful Lumberyard game engine yesterday. Packing a number of powerful features building on the CryEngine, it is also completely free for developers to use, with the only costs occurring should the developer wish to make use of any cloud services provided by Amazon. Of course, such a tool wouldn’t be released without any controls on its use, whether to protect Amazon’s interests or otherwise.

Checking the small print reveals that Amazon has placed restrictions on the acceptable use of the Lumberyard game engine. Contained in clause 57.10 of the AWS Service terms, it is stated that “The Lumberyard Materials are not intended for use with life-critical or safety-critical systems, such as use in operation of medical equipment, automated transportation systems, autonomous vehicles, aircraft or air traffic control, nuclear facilities, manned spacecraft, or military use in connection with live combat.”

Seems pretty sensible, after all using a game engine for many of those purposes would be foolhardy and potentially dangerous. However, should humanity be at risk of a zombie invasion with naught but a game engine to save themselves, Amazon have us covered in the second half of the clause.

“this restriction will not apply in the event of the occurrence (certified by the United States Centers for Disease Control or successor body) of a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization.”

Very niche case for allowing deviation from the terms and conditions, but it’s nice to see Amazon have both humanity’s best interests (and humour) in mind when providing their service. Makes you wonder what other hidden gems are contained within the countless T&C documents that exist for services both online and in reality.

Amazon Releases AAA Game Engine For Free

Game developers can choose from a huge array of tools including Unity, Unreal Engine 4, Game Maker Studio and more! The latest addition comes from Amazon and allows for complex visuals to create absolutely breathtaking AAA releases. The Lumberyard engine adopts an open source philosophy meaning it’s free to download, and features a comprehensive editor. Furthermore, the source code is deeply integrated with AWS and Twitch to provide unlimited possibilities. It’s important to note that the source code is fully customizable, and there’s no seat fees, subscription fees or requirements to share revenue. The only payment comes from the AWS services you choose to use.

In regards to Twitch functionality, Amazon claim the engine:

“…is integrated with Twitch so that you can build games that engage with the more than 1.7 million monthly broadcasters, and more than 100 million monthly viewers on Twitch. With Amazon Lumberyard’s Twitch ChatPlay, you can use a drag-and-drop visual scripting interface to create gameplay features in as little as minutes that let Twitch viewers use chat to directly impact the game they are watching in real-time. And, the Twitch JoinIn feature within Amazon Lumberyard helps you build games that let Twitch broadcasters to instantly invite their live audiences to join them side-by-side in the game, with a single click, while others continue to watch.”

The source code is native C++ used on over 90% of PC and console development projects. This should make the engine extremely easy to use to those with industry experience. On another note, Amazon’s Lumberyard includes an exclusive free version of Audiokinect’s advanced sound engine and authoring tool for PC games. This means you can create rich and professional soundscapes for a wide range of titles. Overall, this is a wonderful set of tools, and it’s great to see this being provided at zero cost. If you’re a professional developer, or wanting to hone your skills, it’s certainly worth a look!