The first of those is called Amazon Lumberyard, which according to Amazon is “a free, cross-platform, 3D game engine for developers to create the highest-quality games, connect their games to the vast compute and storage of the AWS Cloud, and engage fans on Twitch.”
By introducing Lumberyard, Amazon is aiming at boosting its near $1 billion acquisition Twitch, which it acquired last year. Through its live-streaming video platform, Amazon hopes to bring in new gamers to benefit from its multiplayer services hosted on its cloud computing platform.
Developers can design 3D games using various tools on offer through Lumberyard, which makes it easier even for beginners to use its cloud platform with an easy to use interface.
The second game development tool announced by Amazon is called GameLift, which allows the”game developers to quickly scale their session-based multiplayer games to support millions of players with AWS’s highly available cloud infrastructure” according to Amazon.
Developers building the session based multiplayer games will benefit from Amazon’s GameLift as this service offers quick scaling of session-based multiplayer games. “You don’t need to invest in building, scaling, running, or monitoring your own fleet of servers. Instead, you pay a small fee per daily active user (DAU) and the usual EC2 On-Demand rates for the compute capacity, EBS storage, and bandwidth that your users consume.”
The game development tools are available starting today, with Lumberyard being launched in the beta version. Developers designing games for PC and console can start using the services from today, where as those focusing on mobile and virtual reality platforms have to wait until the services support these platforms. Developers have to shell out a small fee for using both Lumberyard and GameLift. This includes the AWS fees for utilising the services offered on the cloud platform.
Amazon Lumberyard is developed on the lines of CryEngine, a popular and similar game engine designed by game developer Crytek.
The new game development services launched by Amazon works closely with Twitch. Amazon says,
In order to take this trend even further and to foster the establishment of deeper connections and stronger communities, games built with Lumberyard will be able to take advantage of two new Twitch integration features. Twitch ChatPlay allows you to build games that respond to keywords in a Twitch chat stream.
Even though Amazon charges a nominal fee for both Lumberyard and GameLift, it is promoting the former as a free service with the developers only having to pay for the use of AWS platform.
This could mean good news for developers as other services such as Unity, Unreal Engine 4, and CryEngine charge binding fees for using the services.