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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. 

GameDev News General News Programming Design Art Totally Off Topic


19. December 2018


Amazon have just released beta 1.17 of the Lumberyard game engine, a Amazon developed fork of the seminal CryEngine.  If you are interested in learning more about Lumberyard be sure to check out our previous hands-on video.  This new release contains over 70 improvement, fixes and changes including many quality of life changes, especially in regards to slices (Lumberyard prefabs).

Details of the 1.17 beta from the release notes:

  1. Improved Slice Override Visualization – Now when using the entity outliner, you get a quick visual queue where you’ve made your changes. Changes to a slice entity are now highlighted in orange to notify you at a glance that something has been edited and should be saved or reverted.
  2. WYSIWYG Slice Editing – Manipulate slices by dragging and dropping entities onto each other or pulling them out from a slice to remove them. This more intuitive workflow will help you work faster and accomplish tasks that would have taken several clicks in the past.
  3. Save Dialog Box details on Edits – All details are now presented if you click on the advanced save option. If you’re dealing with many slices, there are now filter controls that help you default to added/removed entities.
  4. Updated Entity Outliner Search/Filtering Options – There are now options to sort alphabetically ascending/descending with additional toggles to scroll to a selected slice and/or expand the hierarchy.
  5. Editor Only Status – Set an entity as editor only and it will not show up in game / at runtime. This is helpful when working across disciplines or teams to drop in markers guiding developers on changes or areas that need lighting addressed.

As well as the following fixes:

Cinematics

The cinematics system has the following fixes:

  • The Track View editor no longer stops working when you use the redo and undo functionality.
  • The redo and undo functionality now works properly in the Curve Editor.
  • The up and down buttons now work properly in the Key Properties dialog box.
  • You can no longer erroneously use quotation marks in the file prefix. Previously this prevented the Render Output tool from generating screenshots and videos.
  • The Simple Motion component is now removed when you remove the Actor component from an entity.
  • The Render Output tool is now disabled when you're in game mode.
  • You can now extend or shorten a looped motion track.
  • Keys on a compound track now report values for subtracks.
  • When you deselect a sequence, it no longer erroneously appears in the Sequence drop-down list.

Slices

Slices have the following fixes:

  • Duplicating slice instance entities is now more stable.
  • Various performance improvements include serializing slices, decreasing the slice save time, and increasing system reliability.
  • Slices now have improved container serialization.
  • The zoom to selection functionality (keyboard shortcut Z) is now unified between the Entity Outliner and the viewport.
  • You can now save slices that have splines with deleted points.
  • Cubemap assets now save properly to nested slices.
  • You can now create an instance from a nested slice within a slice.
  • Component dependency sorting no longer misidentifies objects as being incompatible when a component provides the same service twice.
  • You no longer need to restart the editor to view changes to nested slices.
  • Entering a rotation value in one of the axis fields no longer modifies all of the axes in the viewport.
  • Material and texture asset reference fields are now detectable as an override when you modify these fields from the source slice data.
  • The Thumbnailer component is now self-compatible.

UI Editor

You can now push a new slice instance into a UI slice.

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