Amazon has launched a new video game engine it's calling Lumberyard. The e-commerce giant says its free, cross-platform, 3D game engine will allow developers to make top-notch titles and tap into its bevy of web services (for a fee, of course).
Lumberyard is packed with hundreds of features including cloth physics, character and animation editors, a particle editor, a UI editor, audio tools, weather effects, vehicle systems, perception handling, camera frameworks and more. Amazon even says developers can add cloud-connected features like community news feeds, daily gifts and server-side combat resolution in minutes using a drag-and-drop interface.
As you'd expect, Lumberyard is fully integrated with Twitch. With the Twitch ChatPlay feature, viewers can use the chat interface to directly impact the game they are watching someone play in real-time. For example, a developer could make a game that lets Twitch watchers vote on game outcomes using simple chat commands. Another feature called Twitch JoinIn lets Twitch broadcasters invite viewers from their audience to play alongside them on-the-fly.
Amazon also detailed a new managed service for deploying , operating and scaling session-based multiplayer games called GameLift. The company promises it'll reduce the time required to create multiplayer back-ends from thousands of hours to just minutes.
Available as of today in beta, Lumberyard allows developers to build both PC and console games with support for mobile titles and virtual reality platforms coming soon. Lumberyard is free to use, including the source code. Amazon stresses that there aren't any seat fees, subscription fees or requirements to share revenue. Should a developer want to use AWS services, however, standard fees will apply.
GameLift, meanwhile, is priced at $1.50 per 1,000 Daily Active Users on top of the standard AWS fees for AWS services consumed.
If you're serious about creating that game you've already dreamed of or are an established developer looking to broaden your horizons, Lumberyard may be worth a look.