Amazon Lumberyard is a cross-platform video game development engine that connects to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud. Amazon Lumberyard is based on technology from AWS, CryEngine game software, the Twitch social video game platform and the Double Helix game studio. Lumberyard supports game development for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, iOS and Android platforms. The service also supports virtual reality games for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and OSVR.
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Amazon Lumberyard tools allow game developers to create virtual characters, environments and effects. The developer can use a drag-and-drop interface to perform a variety of actions to improve a player's experience, such as create leaderboards and other dynamic content. AWS does not require a game developer to sign up for an AWS account to use Lumberyard for game development. A developer can run a game on local servers, if preferred. Amazon provides developers with free access to the Lumberyard C++ source code.
Amazon Lumberyard is free, but an IT team pays for charges that other AWS tools incur, as well as a Daily Active User fee. Lumberyard connects with Twitch to allow an end user to connect with others during gameplay and to see real-time statistics. An AWS account is required to use certain Lumberyard features, including Cloud Canvas and Amazon GameLift. Cloud Canvas is a suite of AWS tools unique to Amazon Lumberyard that allows a developer to build cloud-connected features into a game.
Cloud Canvas includes the Cloud Gems Framework for common prepackaged game features, tools to manage AWS resources, authentication methods and flow graph nodes, which open up communication from the game to services like Amazon DynamoDB and Amazon Cognito. An AWS account holder, or administrator, authorizes team access to Cloud Canvas through AWS Identity and Access Management. The admin can grant or restrict access as needed, giving specific permissions to development, test and release teams.
The Amazon GameLift service integrates with Lumberyard to deploy, operate and scale dedicated instances for multiplayer games. GameLift provides a software development kit that attempts to reduce engineering time and more quickly match players in available game sessions.