- Sep 30, 2004
Amazon is contributing its Lumberyard game engine to open source, and it will be known as the Open 3D Engine.
Amazon's Lumberyard game engine is going open-source. The engine is part of the Linux Foundation's Open 3D Foundation project for 3D technology availability to the public.
The engine had previously been available for "free" use before, but now Open 3D Engine will be royalty-free and open for modification. A developer preview version of Open 3D Engine (primarily an engine-experience preview, not exactly designed for content generation yet,) is available as of yesterday on GitHub.
This engine has a strange history of being an offshoot of CryEngine acquired for Amazon to make its game studio projects, but has since been rewritten from scratch. Unfortunately for Amazon, almost all of its projects have met with troubled development cycles (some blaming Lumberyard, though it's probably easier to point to a wide variety of other failure points as well as just general disinterest from gamers in products Amazon was pushing in its bid to enter the gaming market.) As mentioned, you could have had the previous Lumberyard to work with before if you wanted to build your own game, but it seemed to only ever have Amazon's own studios using it (a search on YT for Lumberyard user projects turns up few user cases even though it has been available since 2016 in different forms.)
Still, this is a very powerful engine being road-tested on projects like the MMO New World, and versions of it were also used in the racer The Grand Tour Game, the beta-canceled hero shooter Crucible, the Smash-style fighter Coffence, Chris Roberts' impressive-yet-ever-in-development Star Citizen, and the action-RPG Deadhaus Sonata. (Industry veteran Denis Dyack vouches for Open 3D Engine, which may or may not be a good thing...?) Amazon AWS cloud + Twitch features are still a part of Open 3D Engine, (which I assume is Amazon's interest in this going wide?) but it has plug-in "Gems" hooks for modular service attachment to your development project. O3DE is multi-platform for PC/Mac/Linux, console (Xbox/PS, with Switch support planned,) VR, and mobile platforms.
New to the Lumberyard/O3DE project will be the "Atom Renderer", a modern renderer that supports PBR materials, raytracing, and global illumination. Atom is compliant with Vulkan/Metal/DirectX12 and supports Forward+ rendering, with deferred rendering to be included as well. As of 2021, Lumberyard/O3DE will also include a new AzNetworking networking stack for low-latency, encryption/compression, highly performant online sessions.
Could be something, but...