Amazon, one of the largest e-commerce companies in the world, has decided to shift its Lumberyard game engine to open source. This 3D game engine has been developing since 2016 and will now be available to anyone worldwide. This move is a big step forward for Amazon, as it will allow game developers to access the same tools used by some of the biggest names in the game industry.
This article will cover all the details about Amazon’s decision and its implications.
Amazon shifts Lumberyard to open source 3D game engine
Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine is a 3D game engine produced by Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Division for creating games for multiple platforms including Windows, Xbox, iOS, and Android. With the release of Lumberyard 1.20, Amazon has made the engine open source under the Apache 2.0 licence. This allows developers to access and modify the source code, providing them with enhanced flexibility in crafting custom gameplay solutions for their games.
The core components of Lumberyard include:
- An asset pipeline editor called Gem.
- An intuitive UI framework called FlowGraph Editor.
- A high-performance rendering system using DirectX 11/12/Vulcan.
- Powerful physics effects using PhysX and ClothFX (a tailor-made cloth simulation system).
Lumberyard is built on a highly scalable architecture that supports small independent teams to large studios and collaboration between development partners like Twitch or AWS (Amazon Web Services). It also features integration with Twitch Interactive services such as Extensions, allowing developers to create custom experiences within Twitch Streams such as polling or leaderboards. This integration also extends to Amazon GameLift so that developers can easily implement competitive gaming experiences by hosting dedicated game servers on their infrastructure in the cloud.
Overall this open source release will provide unprecedented levels of creativity and customization to any game developer looking to take advantage of all Lumberyard has to offer!
Benefits of Open Source Game Engines
Game engines are one of the most critical components of developing a game. For some time, there has been a major emphasis by both developers and publishers to increase access to them to make the development process more efficient. As such, Amazon Lumberyard recently announced that it is making its source code available for free under an open source licence. The move is part of Amazon’s focus on improving the development process and providing cost savings for creators.
Open source game engines offer several benefits that developers may not be aware of. For starters, open source allows developers to control their levels of access as they develop games according to their specifications; this means adjusting features or creating original designs to meet project deadlines efficiently. Additionally, since open source licences can often be customised with additional features or mechanics, developers can create their spin on existing products to create truly unique experiences.
Furthermore, open source makes collaboration easier than ever before. Developers can invite others into their projects much faster than if they had gone through a standard licensing agreement with a publisher; this makes speeding up production times significantly easier since everyone involved will have direct access to the same code which reduces misunderstandings about feature behaviour or how certain functions operate. Finally, with access to multiple platforms (such as Unity), many game engines offer portability across platforms without sacrificing core functionality which can significantly raise marketability across an array of players. All these advantages make game engine development smoother and give users greater control over how they want their games constructed.
Amazon’s Lumberyard is a 3D game engine that was launched in 2020. Its powerful engine offers everything needed to create stunning 3D worlds and immersive experiences. However, in 2021, Amazon announced they are shifting Lumberyard to an open source 3D game engine.
This article will discuss the background and history of the Lumberyard game engine and how it became open source.
Amazon’s History with Lumberyard
Amazon first announced the gaming engine dubbed Lumberyard in 2016. Developed to integrate with its widely used Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform, video game developers widely adopted this engine. It is used in major games such as Star Citizen, Hades, and Gears Tactics.
Created using CryEngine technology, Lumberyard has become a widely popular game engine for its features that allow developers to rapidly create games from start to finish and connect easily with the many AWS services available.
Since then, Amazon has made steady improvements to the engine over the years—notably opening it up for use as an open source solution in 2020. By releasing Lumberyard as an open source product, developers will now have access to the full source code for their projects which can help improve stability and user experience of their projects more quickly.
As of December 2020, 10 million registered users are actively utilising Lumberyard and its wide array of features. This not only allows them to easily integrate AWS into their applications but also makes it easy for them to optimise their applications across various platforms including:
- PC Desktop
- Mac OS X platforms
Why Amazon is Shifting to Open Source
Amazon’s decision to embrace open source reflects the benefits it can offer in developing, growing, and monetizing their software products. By providing access to their code base and other resources, Amazon enables developers worldwide to freely customise, enhance, integrate and innovate on their platforms. In addition, with an open-source approach, developers can create custom solutions that provide enhanced value or meet specific needs for customers.
Open source also fuels rapid scaling and iteration which helps drive product improvements faster than traditional closed-source solutions could achieve. Companies that offer an open source solution have access to a global community of innovative developers who increase their development speed and efficiency with tight feedback loops between code releases. In addition to improving development cycles, open source encourages collaboration among peers, leading to better quality modifications from multiple contributors working together on a project in real-time.
By transitioning Lumberyard from a closed-source commercial product into an open source platform with nearly unlimited opportunities for developer creativity and additionality, Amazon is giving more control back to customers while creating an even larger support network that can help push the boundaries of game engine technology. Additionally, having a strong foundation built upon reliable open-source technologies strengthens Amazon’s competitive edge by allowing its products to be distinguished amongst its competitors quickly and easily as individual solutions become available faster than before with less financial burden imposed on the customer.
Features of Lumberyard
Amazon Lumberyard is a free, open source 3D game engine released in February 2021. It offers a feature set that rivals any other game engine in the market, including physics, animation, visual scripting, AI, audio, and networking. In addition, with its open source licence, developers now can customise and extend the engine to meet their project needs.
Let’s take a closer look at the features that Lumberyard offers:
Amazon Lumberyard is a free cross-platform game engine that provides developers with extensive tools and features to build high-quality, immersive AAA games. This powerful engine supports all major platforms, including PC, Mac, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
The game engine allows for full access to source code for all platforms. This makes it easy for developers to create the same content on multiple platforms without sacrificing performance or quality. Additionally, with the ability to share code across all supported platforms, developers can reduce their time commitments and save valuable resources.
Lumberyard also boasts a flexible scripting language called Lua, allowing developers to customise the game engine’s behaviour in real time. Furthermore, Amazon Lumberyard supports drag-and-drop asset importing and 3D modelling tools such as Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max.
Amazon Lumberyard is worth exploring if you’re looking for an open source cross-platform game engine with advanced features such as drag-and-drop asset importing and a flexible scripting language.
Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine offers game developers best-of-breed tools coupled with the portability and flexibility to develop and publish games on multiple platforms. One of the main advantages of using Amazon’s Lumberyard is its cloud-connected tools designed to enable real-time collaboration between developers, designers and artists.
Lumberyard’s Cloud Canvas suite of services allows teams to quickly create cloud-connected game features such as leaderboards, tournaments, custom levels and lifecycle management for mobile devices. In addition, by enabling real-time collaboration across multiple platforms, Cloud Canvas makes it easier for teams to ensure uniform experiences across all platforms in their development cycle.
In addition, CloudCanvas’s API library provides low-level networking services that make it easy for developers to connect their games to AWS services such as Amazon ElastiCache and Amazon S3. This enables high performance server architectures such as GameSpaces (dedicated gaming servers) with Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) allowing teams to scale out servers quickly in response to increasing game pressures.
Lastly, game teams benefit from Lumberyard’s pre-built mobile API package, allowing developers to easily integrate their mobile apps into their gaming experience without coding from scratch. This ensures the optimised use of resources when creating a seamless experience for players on desktop or mobile devices. The package also includes a range of features including:
- Push notifications animation support
- Analytics integration and much more!
Visual Scripting Editor
Amazon has brought its free, cross platform, 3D game engine, Lumberyard, to the open source community. This makes it easier for developers of all levels to integrate popular workflows into their games.
The new ‘Visual Scripting Editor’ is one of Lumberyard’s key features, which will help streamline development for everyone involved. Through this interface users can rapidly create gameplay mechanics without writing a single line of code. Furthermore, users can visually build complex systems with ease using flow graphs in the script canvas feature, allowing objects and functions within a game environment to become easily interlinked and interconnected.
The Visual Scripting Editor also allows programmers to access a wide range of APIs – such as C++ and Lua – to integrate these into their existing workflows if desired. In addition, Amazon has started developing the BUI – or Backdraft UI system – which is designed to build efficient user interfaces for games without coding.
Advantages of Open Source Lumberyard
Amazon recently announced that they have shifted their 3D game engine, Lumberyard, to an open source platform. This move has opened up a host of advantages to game developers and studios.
The advantages of open source Lumberyard include faster development times, reduced costs, and improved scalability. Furthermore, open source Lumberyard gives developers access to the source code, enabling them to make modifications and take control over the game engine without relying on Amazon.
Let’s explore these advantages in more detail:
One of the biggest advantages of open source lumberyard software is that there are no large upfront costs, or hidden fees. It is freely available for anyone to use, and can be modified to fit individual project requirements. Furthermore, developers can tailor their game’s engine in any way they wish by incorporating elements from other open source projects, or creating their own using existing tools. This allows developers to create a more custom engine without investing in costly learning resources.
Additionally, with no licensing costs, monthly fees or royalties associated with the Lumberyard game engine, users can keep their production budget under control and on track for release dates. Finally, freight costs and overheads associated with making an engine from scratch are inhibited due to the resourceful library stocked inside Lumberyard’s ready-made platform – these are all cost-saving benefits when using Amazon’s open source game production tool.
Open source development also means that developers can create modular game design, allowing them to easily deploy separate components into different game scenes. This feature makes it easier for gameplay designers to construct sophisticated levels with unique objectives for each player type.
In addition, Amazon announced that AWS will now be more deeply integrated in Lumberyard with more access points throughout the engine. This improves overall performance by providing multiple data sources accessible within the same framework, allowing developers a greater degree of control over their projects. Developers can also share code snippets or settings across multiple projects without needing to find separate solutions or tools for each one.
Open source projects allow developers to easily collaborate on game engine development and improve the engine with public contributions. The access granted to all collaborators allows them to work more effectively and efficiently teaming up with other developers to create a greater end product, with maximum time and code optimization. With open source projects, the engine is constantly evolving, enriching it with added features and better performance. With open source Lumberyard, developers can access an ever-evolving and improved gaming engine without restrictions or commercial licences.
Furthermore, experienced contributors can easily keep track of their contributions and help others by debugging needed issues quicker than ever before. In addition, developers can customise the code per their requirements to create unique user experiences or interactive elements within a game that otherwise would not be achievable from an ordinary game engine. Lastly, developers will benefit from the ease of testing because all code is available for review allowing for rapid experimentation when designing new features for a game or application.
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