Amazon has released its very own engine, Lumberyard, which is completely free of subscription and royalty fees.
Lumberyard is based upon the foundation of Crytek’s CryEngine, and can be used to create triple-A titles for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Amazon has licensed official tools for the latter consoles from Sony and Microsoft.
Mobile compatibility will reportedly be added in the future, and Amazon is currently testing support for the Oculus SDK internally.
Lumberyard will generate revenue through the use of Amazon’s Web Services server technology, which comes pre-built into the tool. AWS is the only third-party cloud service supported by the engine, but developers who wish to build their own infrastructure can do so freely.
For multiplayer titles, Lumberyard also includes networking code from Killer Instinct developer Double Helix, which aims to reduce latency. Amazon acquired Double Helix in 2014. CloudCanvas, which allows devs to create online in-game events, is also included.
Another Amazon-owned firm contributing to Lumberyard’s toolset is Twitch. Support for the company’s livestreaming platform comes as standard with the engine, as does engine-level ChatPlay, which enables the creation of ‘Twitch Plays’ titles – where the audience watching a stream can directly control the game. A separate feature is JoinIn, which allows viewers to immediately enter the multiplayer match of the person they are watching.
Amazon has also revealed GameLift. The service, based on AWS, is exclusive to developers building using Lumberyard and allows them to deploy and operate server-based online titles. The optional service is priced at $1.50 for every 1,000 daily users.
Lumberyard is currently available, for free, in a beta form. The engine’s source code is also freely available.