Amazon has released its own free and open-source game engine

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Last year, Kotaku reported that Amazon brought Crytek back from the brink of death in a $50 to $70 million licensing deal involving Crytek proprietary CryEngine technology. As interesting and surprising as the report was, most people ended up forgetting all about it, but Amazon decided to give us a bit of reminder on Tuesday by announcing something called Lumberyard, a free and open-source game engine that uses both CryEngine for graphics. The service also uses a new AWS service called GameLift, which allows developers to make use of Amazon’s own cloud platform for their games.

Amazon has a surprise: it’s built a free, open-source 3D engine for game developers called Lumberyard. Built for “AAA” games, the engine integrates the company’s AWS cloud platform deeply to provide server-side processing. Lumberyard is a full game studio; you can build and design levels, create your visuals, animate characters, generate particles, engineer audio, handle weather and AI and basically everything else you can imagine. It provides both the infrastructure for the multiplayer component of the game as well as the tools to build the game itself. The game engine uses Cryengine for graphics, which can generate ‘photo-realistic’ worlds — it’s best known for being the engine behind the PC-crippling Crysis games. A new AWS service called GameLift is integrated into the app to provide scalable multiplayer architecture without requiring deep infrastructure skills. The company touts that using GameLift means developers don’t need to spend “thousands of hours” building out this infrastructure, instead promising it takes just a matter of minutes. The new platform also offers deep Twitch integration, so developers can build in impressive new features to games. Twitch ChatPlay developers can build features that allow observers to join in with game streams by voting on levels or the game’s direction and Twitch JoinIn lets broadcasters instantly invite viewers to join them in-game.

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