Amazon Free Game Engine ‘Lumberyard’ Is Now In Beta
So, what’s it bringing to the table?
Based in C++ and giving access to its wealth of tools and libraries, the Lumberyard engine is going to be providing an interesting free alternative to other engines out there. Lumberyard is made up of popular technology from AWS, Twitch, and Double Helix (The visual technology of Lumberyard is based in CryEngine, which is known for its beautiful graphical detailing). Whilst other engines say they are free to develop, releasing a game publicly with them usually has some costs or revenue sharing involved. Lumberyards unique selling points are that there are “no seat fees, subscription fees, or requirements to share revenue”. You only pay for the AWS (Amazon Web services) you choose to use. This does mean you won’t be able to use third party alternatives to the AWS features on offer, although they do stipulate you can build your own and use these.
Other selling points are the programming-light interface feature:
“With Amazon Lumberyard’s visual scripting tool, your designers and engineers with little to no back end experience can add cloud-connected features to a game in as little as minutes (such as a community news feed, daily gifts, or server-side combat resolution) through drag-and-drop visual scripting.”
Twitch is heavily integrated into the engine, and support for console and PC is currently available, with mobile to follow in due course. For budding developers or experienced game makers wanting to know more you can download the beta to try out now (it’s just under 10gb).
Having had experience of the Amazon game submission process, I was a little on the fence hearing they had gone one step further. However, I think this is looking to be a viable AAA alternative to Unity and co. With the powerhouse of Amazon behind it and the open stance its taking, this could prove to be one to watch for the future as its community and support grows.