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30. July 2019


Amazon have just released beta 1.20 of their Lumberyard game engine.  The release contains over 200 improvements, fixes and features with the biggest features being every day quality of life changes.  The lead two features are improved Asset Processor performance as well as performance improvements to the Event Bus system.

Highlight features from the release notes:

Asset Processor
  • Asset Processor Faster Scanning Mode significantly reduces the time required to analyze the asset cache on startup. This enables Lumberyard to launch more quickly.

Event Bus (EBus) System

EBus performance improvements have reduced the overhead of invoking functions through the EBus API by at least 20% in most cases. Using EBuses to send events between different game systems and components now performs closer to that of calling the event as a raw function call, thus reducing update time.

Audio

Audio has the following new features:

  • Wwise External Sources – You can now use the Wwise external audio source feature to specify a loose collection of audio files to be played back dynamically.

    Note

    The Wwise External Sources feature isn't supported in Wwise LTX.

  • Audio System Component – You can now perform audio operations at a global scope (as opposed to entity scope).

  • Input Streaming Support – You can now stream data from a variety of input sources for playback by the audio system. For example, you can play back the audio stream from a video file.

  • Sound Duration – You can now obtain the duration of a sound at runtime by registering with the AudioTriggerNotificationBus function and overriding the ReportDurationInfo function.

  • Setting the Panning Mode – You can now use the Wwise SetPanningMode method to shift panning between speaker mode (60 degrees) and headphone mode (180 degrees).

Animation Editor

The Animation Editor has the following new feature:

  • Interrupting Transitions – You can now interrupt a transition that is in progress with another transition and smoothly blend into the new state. With this feature, you can quickly blend towards a new state without waiting for a transition to complete. A purple line shows the transition being interrupted. A green line shows the new transition in progress. The ability to interrupt a transition is useful when you want to rapidly interrupt a character attack with another attack, or interrupt a jump with a run forward motion.

Mobile

Mobile has the following new feature:

  • AWS Device Farm Integration – AWS Device Farm can now be used as a deployment target in the Deployment Tool.

PhysX

The PhysX system has the following new features:

  • PhysX Force Region Component – You can use the PhysX Force Region component to specify a region to apply physical force to entities. The component applies force at each frame to any entity that is in the bounds of the region. For example, if an entity moves into the force region of a sphere, force is applied to the entity.

    For more information, see the PhysX Force Region component in the Amazon Lumberyard User Guide.

  • In Script Canvas, you can obtain the value of the net force exerted on an entity by using the On Calculate Net Force method of the PhysX Force Region Generation Notifications node. This callback is invoked when the force region calculates the net force exerted on an object.

In somewhat belated news, Amazon also released Project N.E.M.O, a complete demo game showcasing how to use slices and script canvas.  This is the source of the game data in the video below.

GameDev News


19. June 2019


Amazon have just released beta 1.19 of their game engine Lumberyard.  Sharing a common code base with CryEngine, CryTek and Amazon have taken their game engines in very different directions the last few years.  Lumberyard is free to use, so long as you host your own multiplayer services or use Amazon technologies.

The 1.19 release brings over 150 improvements, but there are two highlight features:

  • 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.

View the full release notes for complete details of this release.  Check out the video below to see the new vegetation system and script canvas improvements in action.  Lumberyard is available for download here, be aware however if you zoom the web page in, the download link goes away…  not the best UX there.

GameDev News


18. May 2019


This year, just before GDC, CryEngine released a stunning video Neon Noir showcasing real-time raytracing in CryEngine without the need for dedicated hardware.   Beyond that, they have been relatively quite about what developments are coming for the veteran game engine.  Thankfully that has changed with the release of their developmental roadmap.


Highlights from the CryEngine blog:

Tool Optimization

In the short term, our main focus is to increase the stability and usability of the engine. This focus is reflected on the roadmap with, for example, the new in-editor project management system coming to 5.6, along with numerous optimizations in all areas including rendering, compilation, and memory footprint. More details about the features included in 5.6 will be mentioned in the release notes.

Schematyc & New Features

These stabilizations and improvements pave the way for our mid to long-term ambitions which will bring exciting new features, tools, and support for additional platforms. These goals will include the rework of the Schematyc system, which will also bring a modern and modular visual scripting framework that will allow you to create your own game logic without the need to code.. The modular behavior of the visual scripting framework will enable other features to take advantage of this system, including, for example, our animation tools.

Ray Tracing

Of course, we will also be looking to integrate the new hardware-agnostic ray tracing technology into the engine, with the aim to make it available in CRYENGINE 5.7. If you want to know more about ray tracing in CRYENGINE, you can follow up on our latest interview with the developers creating Neon Noir, our GDC ray tracing demo. More news on the subject, just stay tuned and keep your eyes on our channels.


The full developmental roadmap is available here and is covered in depth in the video below.

GameDev News


15. March 2019


Amazon have just released Lumberyard 1.18, their free* AAA quality game engine developed on top of CryEngine.  Highlights of this release are improved asset processor start-up speeds, a new PhysX based gem, render to texture support, layer and slice improvements, ragdoll support, animation and UI improvements. 

Details from the Lumberyard blog:

As games head towards shipping, they grow remarkably in scale. What started as a prototype with a few hundred entities and assets is now thousands or 10s of thousands of entities and assets, with hundreds changing every day. Developers can’t slow down – they need new tools to create, organize, and better manage content at scale. That’s where Lumberyard can help.

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.

In addition to these features, we’ve added additional support for NVIDIA PhysX, improvements to the UI system, and more.

You can read the full release notes here.  Lumberyard can be downloaded here.

For more details on Lumberyard and the 1.18 release, watch the video below.  For a hands-on view of Lumberyard in action, check out our earlier video.

* Lumberyard is completely free, but requires you use Amazon services for online support unless you host your own servers.

GameDev News


1. January 2019


2018 was an interesting year in game development.  In this post/video, we take a quick stroll down memory lane and look at some of the key stories as they occurred throughoutGameDev2018 the year. 

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