AWS Lumberyard and Amazon GameLift target professional developers and include VR headset and Twitch integration
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has unveiled two new cloud-based game development tools as the company looks to attract a wider range of users to its cloud platform.
The tools are, according to Amazon, built on proven, industry-leading engines already, but AWS decided to add its own code to them, and integrate the tools into its Twitch video platform. The gaming tools will also get AWS messaging, identity, and storage services.
The first, Lumberyard, is a game engine and development environment designed for professional developers, according to evangelist Jeff Barr.
“Lumberyard simplifies and streamlines game development,” wrote Barr.
“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.”
The second platform is called Amazon GameLift, and helps users deploy and scale session-based multiplayer game servers for the games that are being built on 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,” wrote Barr.
“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.”
Both platforms will be integrated closely with Twitch, the live-streaming video platform owned by Amazon.
“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.”
AWS said that in the coming months there will even be support for using virtual reality headsets with the platforms.
Lumberyard and Amazon GameLift are both available immediately, and while Lumberyard is effectively free, users will have to pay for the AWS resources that are used in game development.
Amazon GameLift is launching in the US East (Northern Virginia) and US West (Oregon) regions, and will be coming to other AWS regions as well.