Amazon shook up the gaming industry today with the announcement of a new game engine and development tools and the most surprising thing is that they won’t charge you a penny to use it in your game.
Given the name Lumberyard, this engine is surprisingly impressive. It is heavily based on Crytek’s Cryengine with several upgrades and additions from Amazon. It is expected that the two engines will become more distinctive from each other as they are updated. For now developers can write their games in C++ and utilize Amazon Web Services for features such as online multi-player or Twitch broadcasting. There is even potential for more cloud-powered games like Microsoft’s Crackdown 3 which uses their own Azure server network (For the record, developers can choose to use Amazon Web Services for cloud features or use another service such as Azure or RackSpace). Amazon has even included the amazing net code created by Double Helix for Killer Instinct.
Amazon has also announced a companion product known as GameLift for managing server based online games such as MOBAs or MMOs. The cost is reasonable at $1.50 for every 1,000 daily users but GameLift is only available for games that use the new Lumberyard engine. New features are coming such as a particle editor and something called CloudCanvas which allows for new events to be introduced into online games. Imagine unleashing a storm of acid rain or a herd of ninja zombies into your MMO’s capital city.
Amazon wants their new engine to reach a wide variety of platforms. As of today developers can download a beta version of Lumberyard and begin developing a game for PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4. Support for mobile game development is coming soon.
We believe it is a great thing when the art of game making becomes more accessible to aspiring developers. We can’t wait to try out some games with this engine and tell you all about it.