Posted by Bret Hudson February 9, 2016
"Another game engine?" is being said within many minds and verbally across the world today as Amazon takes its first steps into world of game development tools. Let's slow down and see what Amazon has to offer before the world dismisses it. With Amazon GameDev, Amazon plans on helping developers accomplish feats by providing tools targeted at specific tasks not targeted by other major game engines. That's why we're not feeling the fatigue of more game engines, but are excited to see how the tools perform in today's market.
First up is Amazon Lumberyard, a cross-platform, 3D game engine, rivaling Unity and Unreal Engine. Lumberyard is based off of Crytek’s CryEngine, allowing for stunning games to be built with stellar graphics and features. Lumberyard uses C++ as its programming language, and is open sourced, so developers can come in and make the tool their own. The second part of Amazon GameDev is AWS for Game Developers, which integrates neatly into the Lumberyard engine. AWS, for those who are unfamiliar, is Amazon Web Services, which allow web applications around the world to utilize real-time cloud computing on reliable Amazon servers.
Amazon GameLift is the AWS solution for game developers. AWS is popular because of its great pricing schemes (pay as you go) as well as its scalability. You add more on when you need it, and all of this is done with minimal engineering know how. Multiplayer games, online highscore boards, chats, and just about any other online feature in games are possible using GameLift, and Amazon boasts that designers with no backend experience can come in and implement cloud-based features within minutes. That highscore board? Minutes. Insanity!
Lumberyard is not only integrated with AWS/GameLift, but also has Twitch integration to help developers utilize the platform. Developers can use built in functionality to add Twitch chat command support to their games, allowing streamers to have their experience influenced by the chat, which can be seen in games such as Choice Chamber and CityStream. Another Twitch feature allows "broadcasters to instantly invite their fans into the game."
While there's much, much more to talk about, we're going to leave our article short to give you the juicy bits of Amazon's announcement. More updates will be coming soon from the Amazon GameDev Blog.