Amazon have released the latest iteration of Lumberyard Beta 1.8, which is purported to contain over 234 improvements, fixes and features. The biggest addition however is the Cloud Gems Framework, framework designed to help users work with netcode without too much frustration.
The Cloud Gems Framework makes use of Amazon Web Services and Amazon claim that with Cloud Gems, cloud-connected features can be put together in 30 minutes by a single engineer. It's a bold claim, and could change the process of developing online games, although the framework is still now and will be iterated on further in later releases.
In a blog post on their site, Amazon outline the reasoning behind the cloud focus:
"As AWS, we are fortunate to work with many of the industry’s best game studios, from the earliest pioneers in mobile and social, like Supercell and Zynga, to PC and console developers with galaxy-sized ambitions, like Cloud Imperium and Leslie Benzies’ Everywhere. We’ve seen developers harness the cloud for innovation and growth, connecting players together at a scale that was previously impossible, enabling new forms of competition and gameplay, and giving their teams deep and real-time insights into what their players like – and don’t like – about their games.
Customers tell us that as important as the vast compute and storage of the cloud is to their successful games today, the cloud will become even more critical to the creativity and scale of the next generation of games. The amount of developer demand for connecting global audiences, using mass compute to push creativity, and building more social and multiplayer features, made “deeply integrated with AWS” a founding pillar of Lumberyard."
Amazon also explain that this focus on AWS means you can focus on making your game good rather than struggling with the cloud elements like multiplayer, social features and live content updates. This makes sense, as the AWS is a big moneymaker for Amazon anyway, and something that will continue to be developed away from any Lumberyard activity, so why shouldn't they make use of it here?
The Cloud Gems Framework is being shipped with three sample Cloud Gems, which are explained in more detail on the blog post, and more are on the way.
Also in Lumberyard 1.8, more streamlining has happened to the UI/UX, meaning the information architecture in the Lumberyard Editor should be cleaner. There's mobile and console support for the multiplayer support, language support in the UI editor and root motion animation support in the FBX importer, among many other changes.