Digital Designer and World Builder

Amazon Lumberyard 1.18-1.19 in 2019

Amazon Lumberyard 1.18-1.19 in 2019

Recently I decided to relook again at Amazon Lumberyard, after giving it a try back in 2018, hearing about the Engine being updated from gamesfromscratch he reviewed 1.18 & 1.19. I finally decided to install it again.

TL;DR

  • Build times are still long
  • Good there is a channel Relaunch on Youtube to provide better instruction
  • Some minor tools and interaction improvements. e.g. Script Canvas, Vegetation tools. Faster Asset Processor.
  • Game is still geared towards AAA teams yet to see how a solo or indie can take advantage of it
  • Still pushing hard on the AWS Cloud which is where Amazon would get return on investment through the engine.
  • Not sure hot to use it to tie together with Twitch and Games.

Something Familiar

I previously blogged about Amazon Lumberyard 1.15 I was all surprised seeing a familiar engine. There seems to be some improvement to the tools in the game engine, and it still runs on my old DELL Precision Laptop. Mostly its small workflows and Interaction improvement such as Slices

On the community side I like there is a Youtube channel relaunch to help users with YouTube tutorials. They have also release a getting started video that talk about how to get it setup. Though Lumberyard requires a large Hard Drive like 25 GB.

There are some cool features in these 2 releases from the Release Notes mostly its tools improvements to the Script Canvas and Vegetation tool (Which the older Cryengine tools likely to get deprecated someday)

Amazon Lumberyard 1.19 Release

  • New Dynamic Vegetation System. Procedurally generate a diverse and detailed biome in minutes instead of manually placing and painting in vegetation. Lumberyard’s new vegetation components support a wide range of artistic expressions and fine-grained control over the scale, density, and distribution in your biomes. You can also improve runtime performance by configuring segments of vegetation to be placed or removed at runtime based on player location and gameplay events.
  • Major updates to Script Canvas. Create even more dynamic behaviors and gameplay without having to code or rely on expert engineers. We’ve made major improvements to Script Canvas, introducing support for containers such as arrays and maps, new Script Events that enable you to send events between graphs and scripts, and new graph validation and debugger features so you can find, diagnose, and fix invalid graphs more quickly. We’ve also made workflow improvements to make it even easier add, configure, and organize nodes in your graphs.

docs.aws.amazon.com/lumberyard/latest/releasenotes/lumberyard-v1.19.html

Amazon Lumberyard 1.18 Release

Here are three ways Lumberyard 1.18 can help you scale:

  • Component Entity System Layers. As levels get bigger and more complex, you need more and more people to edit the content – game designers, audio designers, artists. To help bigger teams work together, we’ve introduced layers to the Component Entity System. Layers are a way to organize levels so your team can work asynchronously on different parts of the same level.
  • Fast Analysis Mode. As your game grows to thousands of assets, processing those assets can take a long time when starting up Lumberyard. By enabling the Fast Analysis Mode, the Asset Processor can now skip checks on unchanged dependencies, helping you launch Lumberyard faster. In one game with over ten thousand assets, we saw an 85% reduction in the time it takes to launch Lumberyard!
  • External references for AnimGraphs. Creating large complex animation graphs for AAA characters can be difficult to manage, maintain, and scale. But with external references, you can now break up the animation graph into smaller pieces, simplifying them, and allowing multiple team members to work on them simultaneously. You can also reuse these smaller graphs on other characters, accelerating the time it takes to get new characters up and running.

docs.aws.amazon.com/lumberyard/latest/releasenotes/lumberyard-v1.18.html

Amazon Struggles to Advance in Games.

Recently there were a bunch of layoffs at Amazon games studio, despite launching 1 racing game The Grand Tour. But even with some of the success and strong backing from Amazon they are still struggling to make a dent in the Games Industry.

There was also a cancelled game Breakaway that was suppose to be a multiplayer E-Sports. Some of the developers say Lumberyard is the problem, maybe due to its beta nature and it being and old Cryengine base they are starting from which was very hard to use. I am not sure if teams there will affect the Lumberyard Development.

I wonder if they are still trying to figure out how to monetize their idea of connecting twitch users and game creators. It’s a neat idea looking back at the initial concept where Lumberyard integrates with AWS and Twitch. It was suppose to have direct game controls with streamers and viewers.

I feel Amazon has not realised the daunting task of maintaining a Game Engine and making games at the same time. Maybe the could have followed Unreal and Cryengine business models of having an Asset Store and Royalty fees. They could be waiting for Star Citizen to launch not sure if it will so that it can pay for their servers. Which is Amazon primary Business.

Old video of their Lumberyard Announcement. Ambitious.

It was a huge and ambitious platform idea. Connecting Gamers, Game Devs and Game Streamers.

Not sure if Lumberyard would still have traction.

At GDC they were still touring things like Slices and the AWS Cloud integrations, which they hope game developers would utilize.

Looking at the last 2 releases while I am glad that not much has change and it seems good they still some of the old Cryengine Gems around.

This game engine is geared towards AAA development and less of indies. I think there is no Asset store so it is more costly in time to get things up and running despite the engine being free. Perhaps there need to be more success stories of how indies can use it besides the big game titles.

I am learning Unity and Unreal in my spare time. mostly due to it having more tutorials and workflows. I think Amazon Lumberyard has a lot of potential. Its the only cryengine fork that has mobile support.

www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-struggles-to-advance-in-videogame-industry-11560769200

www.gamesindustry.biz/amp/2019-06-18-lumberyard-at-heart-of-amazon-game-studios-development-woes

techraptor.net/content/amazon-game-studios-struggling-due-to-lumberyard-engine

www.pocketgamer.biz/news/70998/report-amazon-may-let-its-studios-use-engines-other-than-lumberyard-as-tech-issues-build/

Thanks for reading this blog Article

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Teh William, Weiqing

1Nakata: A Digital Designer / Animator / Developer. Wizard Apprentice Storyteller. World building my Imagination, creating worlds one picture at a time.

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