Amazon’s game initiative has expanded from end-user products to engines. The company announced and released today two new tools for game developers, including cloud-driven multiplayer server support.
The Lumberyard engine is a free 3D game engine that is compatible with PC, game consoles, mobile devices, and VR headsets. It is designed with Amazon’s cloud services and Twitch support baked in. Amazon acquired the streaming platform in August 2014 for just short of $ 1 billion.
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The Twitch functions will more readily enable interaction between audience and gameplay. Developers will also be able to include functions that invite viewers into multiplayer games.
Amazon has also announced the GameLift service, which sounds similar to Microsoft’s Azure offering. Developers using the tools will have access to dynamically scaling servers based on player demand.
In the video above, Gunfire Games details how it has experimented with Lumberyard. The studio, which is currently developing Chronos for Oculus Rift, built a playable multiplayer, first-person shooter prototype in three months.
With Unity, Unreal Engine, CryEngine, and now Lumberyard, developers have accessible, affordable tools for tinkering. The move away from expensive licenses opens the door for smaller developers to get their games to market without hefty up front engine costs. This is also the first time we’ve heard Amazon mention anything significant about its Twitch acquisition in the 18 months since that happened.