09-02-2016, 19:21 #1
[EN] Amazon Releases Its Own Game Engine For Free - Lumberyard
February 9, 2016
Amazon’s releasing their very own game engine. Lumberyard, as they call it, is based on Crytek’s famous CryEngine, and can be used to develop games for both PC and consoles. It’s also free to download, and comes with “no seat fees, subscription fees, or requirements to share revenue.”
Fees come in only, as Lumberyard’s official page notes, if the game takes advantage of the engine’s integration with Amazon Web Services for multiplayer. Besides AWS, the engine has specific features which target Twitch:
With Amazon Lumberyard’s Twitch ChatPlay, you can use a drag-and-drop visual scripting interface to create gameplay features in as little as minutes that let Twitch viewers use chat to directly impact the game they are watching in real-time. And, the Twitch JoinIn feature within Amazon Lumberyard helps you build games that let Twitch broadcasters to instantly invite their live audiences to join them side-by-side in the game, with a single click, while others continue to watch.
While the engine is based on Crytek’s CryEngine, which Amazon licensed last year, Lumberyard will, as general manager Eric Schenk put it (via Gamasutra), “go in [its] own direction.” He added that at launch, the engine already has components that are not based on CryEngine, including low-latency networking code and “an entirely new asset pipeline and processor.”
It’s particularly noteworthy that the engine is completely free. If you look at its competitors, like Unity, Unreal Engine 4, or even CryEngine itself, for example, all of them come with either a license fee or a royalty fee.
Lumberyard, which is currently in beta, can be downloaded here.
09-02-2016, 19:27 #2
What to do about Amazon and Gaming
Tuesday, February 09, 2016
So Amazon has finally launched Lumberyard (its own gaming engine). This should come as no surprise to anyone as Amazon has been signalling for the last four years that it was building up to get into gaming. Actually, when I say signalling, I mean flashing thousand foot neon signs blasting out the words "We're getting into gaming" ... it has been that subtle.
Of course, I'm sure some execs in some gaming companies are bound to be surprised. They shouldn't be. If they are, they should be truly stunned that they've been getting paid for obviously not doing their job. This would be such a pity given the high calibre and wealth of strategic talent that gaming companies have had access to. However, that said lets go through the basics.
I've previously talked about the use of mapping, how everything evolves and common economic cycles such as peace, war and wonder. The basic structure of peace, war and wonder is as follows (taken from Jan 2013 Revolution post).
Peace - the time of products
Competition is between suppliers of products with constant feature improvement. Whilst disruptive change and new entrants do occur (e.g. a new component of the value chain appears and former products are substituted), the majority of change is gradual and sustaining of those competing companies. It is a time of high margin, increasing understanding of customer needs, the introduction of rental services and relative competition i.e. a jostle for position between giant competitors.
Because of success, inertia to change builds up within those giants whilst the activity itself continues to evolve becoming more widespread, better understood and declining in differential value. In the latter stages customers can even start to question whether they are getting a fair benefit for what they are paying but overall, this is a time of peace in that industrial ecosystem.
War - the shift from products to commodity (+utility)
In war, the successful activity has now become commonplace and "well understood". It is now suitable for more commodity or utility provision. It is suitable for industrialisation and the appearance of these more "linear" solutions i.e. the volume operations of good enough through standard interfaces. However, the existing giants have inertia to this change and so it is new entrants that are not encumbered by pre-existing business models that introduce the more commodity form. These new entrants may include former consumers who have gained enough experience to know that this activity should be provided in a different way along with the skills to do it.
This more commodity form (especially utility services) is often dismissed by most existing customers and suppliers of products who have their own inertia to change. Customers see it as lacking what they need and not fitting in with their norms of operating. However, new customers appear and fairly rapidly the benefits of high rates of agility, innovation (as in genesis of new higher order activities) and efficiency spread. Novel practices and norms of operating also co-evolve and spread.
Customers who were once dismissive start to trial out the services, pressure mounts for adoption. A trickle rapidly becomes a flood. Past giants who have been lulled into a sense of gradual change by the previous peaceful stage of competition see an exodus. Those same customers who were only recently telling these past giants that they wouldn’t adopt these services, that it didn’t fit their needs and that they needed more tailored offerings like the old products have adapted to the new world.
The new entrants are rapidly becoming the new titans. The former giants have old models that are dying and little stake in this future world. There is little time left to act. The cost to build equivalent services at scale to compete against the new titans is rapidly becoming prohibitive. Many past giants now face disruption and failure. Unable to invest, they often seek to reduce costs in order to return profitability to the former levels they experienced in the peace stage of competition. Their decline accelerates. This stage of competition is where disruptive change exceeds sustaining, it has become a fight for survival and it is a time of War with many corporate casualties. This period of rapid change is know as a punctuated equilibrium.
Wonder - the time of genesis.
In wonder, the activity that is now provided by commodity components has enabled new higher order activities and things that were economically unfeasible a short while before now spread rapidly. Nuts and bolt beget machines. Electricity beget Television. These new activities are by definition novel and uncertain. Whilst they are a gamble and we can’t predict what will happen, they are also potential sources of future wealth. Capital rapidly flows into these new activities. An explosion of growth in new activities and new sources of data occurs. The rate of genesis appears breathtaking. For an average gas lamp lighter there is suddenly electric lights, radio, television, teletyping, telephones, fridges and all manner of wondrous devices in a short time span.
There’s also disruption as past ways of operating are substituted – gas lamps to electric lights. These changes are often indirect and difficult to predict, for example those that are caused by reduced barriers to entry. The fear that the changes in the previous stage of war (where past giants fail) will cause mass unemployment often lessens because the new industries (built upon the new activities we could not have predicted) will form.
Despite the maelstrom it is generally a time of marvel and of amazement at new technological progress. Within this smorgasbord of technological delights, the new giants are being established. They will take these new activities into the peace phase of competition. It is a time of Wonder, growth and of bountiful creation of the novel and new.
This pattern of peace, war and wonder repeats throughout history whenever activities evolve to become commodity components of other higher order systems. In the case of gaming, many of the components of the value chain are suitable for industrialisation to commodity (+utility) components.
The time of war is upon us in gaming
The time of war is upon us in gaming and many components of the gaming value chain are ripe for shifting from product to commodity (+utility) forms. Amazon is a master of this game.A master? Yes. There is a specific ecosystem model called Innovate-Leverage-Commoditise (ILC) that is designed for use when an activity shifts from product to commodity (+utility). It's incredibly powerful, about a decade old and you can read about it here. Amazon appears to be an expert at this. The net effect is always rapid increases in efficiency, innovation and customer focus.
09-02-2016, 19:28 #3
So, what does this mean for a gaming company? Well, if you're a game designer then it's fabulous - this is going to make your life so much easier and give access to a compelling market. For the independents, the small company players and the users it's going to be great because it's going to become all about the gameplay and the content. You'll see an explosion of new ideas, new & shared content, new forms of gameplay and the barriers to entry will come tumbling down. Whoot!
But if you're a gaming company CEO which depends upon on or sells a differentiated game engine or gaming middleware or any of those others who've relied on barriers to competition then it means your company is toast. This doesn't mean you can't make money but you've lost this game already and you need to adapt to either designing games on AWS or finding another route. However, what's most likely going to happen is that you're going to first dismiss this move by Amazon and for the next 10 years you're going to be convinced that you were right as Amazon grows to about 3-5% of the gaming market. You're going to see new practices emerge in gaming (co-evolution of practice) but you're going to keep on telling yourself how your gaming engine / middleware / whatever is better. In the following five years everything is going to go to hell in a hand-basket. There is almost nothing you can do, your company will have huge amounts of inertia to the change, your execs will be convinced of their rightness and you are going to lose. Of course, if you plan to retire before that point - well fair game. Your shareholders lose and that's their lookout.
Now, whilst I say there is nothing that YOU can do about this, doesn't mean there is nothing that can be done about it. Problem is, unless you've already got a counter play ready to launch then to get yourself into this position clearly indicates you lack the ability to anticipate which means you certainly don't have situational awareness and gameplay down pat. You may have done well in the past but that was up against equal competitors. You're no longer up against that, Amazon will tear you to pieces. You've never faced a beast like this.
I know every exec wants to fight and feels that they are a chess master but if you were then Amazon wouldn't be playing this game against you. This doesn't mean however that you can't still make oodles of money but you've got to be honest with yourself. First a couple of things not to do and then we'll get onto what you should do.
Don't run off to emerging markets: parts of your industry are getting industrialised into commodity components by a platform play. Running away into emerging markets will only lay the groundwork for those markets to be industrialised next. You'll just waste lots of cash.
Don't try to out innovate Amazon : forget it. You won't be fighting Amazon but Amazon and its entire ecosystem. You might have good engineers and designers but your gameplay will be nowhere near the level you need for this. You'll just waste lots of cash.
Don't build a cloud / digital service to rival : forget it. By the time you get up and running, especially if you try to work with others in your industry (who will all try and differentiate by bringing a product mindset to a commodity war) then your ecosystem will be far behind Amazon. Even skilled players who are on the ball like Microsoft struggle against Amazon. Even Google have a torrid time. You're almost certainly not Google. You'll just waste lots of cash.
Don't cut costs : when it gets gloomy later on people often try and do this. It almost always kicks off the death spiral. If you get to this point then either you or someone before you has really messed up badly.
Ok, there's actually lots of things you don't want to do but the above are some basics. Don't try and innovate, don't run off to emerging markets, don't cut costs and don't try and build a cloud / digital service to rival. You'll be tempted to. Consultants and your own people might well argue for it. This is not where you want to go. You will lose.
But where should I go then?
Rule 1: Ditch the ego! You have to get over any ego and accept you're out. Now the question is how to get out of the game in the best way.
Rule 2: Don't panic! You've got ten years before the punctuated equilibrium really kicks in and everyone starts noticing which means you've 2-4 years to extract yourself from the problem before questions start appearing and life gets a little more difficult.
Rule 3: Find a mug sucker future visionary! You certainly want to be putting effort into marketing and PR to promote your company and increase sales. You're going to flog divest the company so you want to make it look as though it's the future promote its future credibility. The good news is there is always a bigger mug future visionary out there somewhere. By all means talk up emphasise the importance of building a digital / cloud rival and emerging markets and then "reluctantly sell your future facing company" to another who can drive it off the cliff maximise the opportunity. Don't leave it too late, you don't want to do an EMC as opportunity waits for no-one.
It's way better to ditch the problem now and maximise the return, possibly then reinvesting capital into creating a new game company designed to run on Amazon than it is to think you can fight this change. You could tell yourself you'll adapt to using Amazon but parts of your own organisation will fight you all the way. Many good companies with even stronger dominant positions and vast revenue streams have stood where you are standing - IBM, HP, Dell, Cisco, VMware - they hit the same play, they were warned and they fluffed their lines followed a different path. They're not daft people and they had brilliant engineers but they lacked the gameplay. Unless you are ready (i.e. right now) with your counter because you planned this years ago then you're already losing future ground.
There is nothing special about your market, there is no magic way to differentiate, it's not a unique relationship business, you don't know your customers better, it's not your brand and there is nothing special about this play. You're either ready or not. If you're not, follow the rules and get out.
Alas, the chances are that you won't. You'll convince yourself that you're different, that you can play the game, that you do understand your market better and ... in ten years I'll be using you as an example of what happens when you get it wrong. BUT what about steam? Well, if you give up all pretence of differentiation, work together in unison, focus on building on SteamOS, focus on using Source 2 ... then maybe ... just maybe ... this time.
Nah, you'll never do it. You'll just try and start differentiating again. It's a tough game, play it well or at least, play what you can as well as you can.
09-02-2016, 19:37 #4
Lumberyard + Amazon GameLift + Twitch for Games on AWS
by Jeff Barr | on 09 FEB 2016
Building world-class games is a very difficult, time-consuming, and expensive process. The audience is incredibly demanding. They want engaging, social play that spans a wide variety of desktop, console, and mobile platforms. Due to the long lead time inherent in the game development and distribution process, the success or failure of the game can often be determined on launch day, when pent-up demand causes hundreds of thousands or even millions of players to sign in and take the game for a spin.
Behind the scenes, the development process must be up to this challenge. Game creators must be part of a team that includes developers with skills in story telling, game design, physics, logic design, sound creation, graphics, visual effects, and animation. If the game is network-based, the team must also include expertise in scaling, online storage, network communication & management, security.
With development and creative work that can take 18 to 36 months, today’s games represent a considerable financial and reputational risk for the studio. Each new game is a make-or-break affair.
New AWS Game Services
Today I would like to tell you about a pair of new AWS products that are designed for use by professional game developers building cloud-connected, cross-platform games. We started with several proven, industry leading engines and developer tools, added a considerable amount of our own code, and integrated the entire package with our Twitch video platform and community, while also mixing in access to relevant AWS messaging, identity, and storage services. Here’s what we are announcing today:
Lumberyard – A game engine and development environment designed for professional developers. A blend of new and proven technologies from CryEngine, Double Helix, and AWS, Lumberyard simplifies and streamlines game development. As a game engine, it supports development of cloud-connected and standalone 3D games, with support for asset management, character creation, AI, physics, audio, and more. On the development side, the Lumberyard IDE allows you to design indoor and outdoor environments, starting from a blank canvas. You (I just promoted you to professional game developer) can take advantage of built-in content workflows and an asset pipeline, editing game assets in Photoshop, Maya, or 3ds Max for editing and bringing them in to the IDE afterward. You can program your game in the traditional way using C++ and Visual Studio (including access to the AWS SDK for C++) or you can use our Flow Graph tool and the cool new Cloud Canvas to create cloud-connected gameplay features using visual scripting.
Amazon GameLift – Many modern games include a server or backend component that must scale in proportion to the number of active sessions. Amazon GameLift will help you to deploy and scale session-based multiplayer game servers for the games that you build using Lumberyard. You simply upload your game server image to AWS and deploy the image into a fleet of EC2 instances that scales up as players connect and play. 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.
Twitch Integration – Modern gamers are a very connected bunch. When they are not playing themselves, they like to connect and interact with other players and gaming enthusiasts on Twitch. Professional and amateur players display their talents on Twitch and create large, loyal fan bases. 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. For example, the audience can vote to have the player take the most desired course of action. Twitch JoinIn allows a broadcaster to invite a member of the audience into to the game from within the chat channel.
These services, like many other parts of AWS, are designed to allow you to focus on the unique and creative aspects of your game, with an emphasis on rapid turnaround and easy iteration so that you can continue to hone your gameplay until it reaches the desired level of engagement and fun.
Support Services – As the icing on this cake, we are also launching a range of support options including a dedicated Lumberyard forum and a set of tutorials (both text and video). Multiple tiers of paid AWS support are also available.
Developing with Lumberyard
09-02-2016, 21:20 #5
Amazon Lumberyard is a free, cross-platform, 3D game engine for you to create the highest-quality games, connect your games to the vast compute and storage of the AWS Cloud, and engage fans on Twitch. Includes full source.
File Size: ~10GB
Woodland Asset Package
A collection of game ready wilderness assets you can use to build a forest scene or populate your own levels with vegetation and other natural features as might be found in a woodlands scene.
File Size: ~1.5GB
Beach City Asset Package
A collection of character, prop, and level assets with a 1950’s America beach city theme, with a side serving of Zombies. You can use these assets to prototype using Lumberyard, or just to test Lumberyard features. This is packaged with sample game code and a level (Beach City NightTime) featuring the assets set in a dark and stormy night.
File Size: ~4.8GB
Legacy Game Sample (CryEngine GameSDK)
The Legacy Game Sample (CryEngine GameSDK) contains all the code for a first-person shooter game, including complex animated characters, vehicles and game AI. A sample level is provided, utilizing the woodland sample assets. The code in this sample represents the most complete way to make a game today, but as we improve our workflows and underlying systems to make it even easier to build games, we will not be updating this Sample. Instead we will be introducing new samples. It is recommended that developers use this as a reference for how to write code using the legacy internal systems in Lumberyard.
File Size: ~3.5GB
10-02-2016, 08:02 #6
Aria2 Download Results:
size | avg speed | file 9.5GiB| 78MiB/s|lumberyard-1.0-143307e-pc.zip 1.4GiB| 45MiB/s|lumberyard-1.0-143307a-assetcollection-woodland.zip 4.5GiB| 60MiB/s|lumberyard-1.0-143307a-pc-beachcity.zip 3.3GiB| 57MiB/s|lumberyard-1.0-143307a-pc-legacysample.zip
size | avg speed | file 9.5GiB| 106MiB/s|lumberyard-1.0-143307e-pc.zip 1.4GiB| 112MiB/s|lumberyard-1.0-143307a-assetcollection-woodland.zip 4.5GiB| 106MiB/s|lumberyard-1.0-143307a-pc-beachcity.zip 3.3GiB| 109MiB/s|lumberyard-1.0-143307a-pc-legacysample.zip
Última edição por 5ms; 10-02-2016 às 08:04.