Amazon has had its stakes in the game world for over seven years now and yet the tech giant is seeking its root further down in the games to one-up rivals like Unity3D, Unreal and Stingray. The company just launched a new powerful game engine called Lumberyard that will enable developers to create games for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Furthermore, Amazon’s Lumberyard is free to download, royalty-free without and any subscription charges.
Lumberyard is a plan to channel its users to Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is a cloud platform by the internet company. The Amazon’s game engine integrates attractions like Twitch, which was acquired in 2014 for $970 million. The current version is in the beta mode while mobile gaming and VR support will also be integrated in the coming months.
Apart from Twitch, Amazon is also putting Gamelift on full display along with Lumberyard. Gamelift is also a part of company’s larger AWS services, which offers backend support for games and helps developers scale up audience and integration multiplayer feature in the game, much like Facebook’s Parse service, which will be discontinued next year.
Amazon has been steadily growing its gaming regime and it was only matter of time when the company launched its own game development software, and Lumberyard fulfilled the vague prophecy. Acquisition of Twitch, Double Helix games serviced as a precursor to the mounting interest of the company dominate global gaming market.
As to the rumors of Amazon might use its Fire TV and Fire Tablet line to go head to head with consoles and mobiles phones, the facts are not out in the open yet. It is true that Amazon is moving aggressively, but that doesn’t mean the tech icon is not careful. Twitch, which is a leading social video platform for gamers with 100M+ unique users per month, is a solid example, which is a tempting offer for developers to integrate into their games, by switching to Lumberyard.
We forgot to mention Lumberyard’s amazing graphic capabilities in the bottom line, but Amazon’s version of game development software is packing some serious guns. If all that for any chance fails (Speaking of Twitch… impossible) to lure the developers, Gamelift’s strong community elements, like news feeds, leaderboards and in-game messaging draws the final nail into the deal.
Autodesk’s Stingray was rolled out last year, so it is still fresh and burning hot among the game dev forums. Autodesk is a household name for 3D devs as it is the proud owner of elite 3D art software like 3D Studio Max, Maya, AutoCad and Zbrush. These 3D creation tools have set milestones that are evident on their sales sheet.
Autodesk character designing and animation tools rule the game industry, so when Stingray came into the scene, game studios around the world were literally scratching their heads because the game had been completely changed because no one has done 3D imaging better than Autodesk. The initial reviews outlined painted a positive picture that Stingray is, in fact, lightweight and powerful.
Unlike Amazon, Autodesk showed no sign of any interest in the game development arena, but since the announcement of Stingray during Game Developers Conference (GDC) Europe 2015, the company is already long way from home. The free online FBX Character Generator tool was simply a smart move and acquisition of Bitsquid finally came as a huge alert for likes of Unity3D and Unreal.
Stingray is built on the data-driven architecture of the Bitsquid engine and offers a comprehensive set of latest platforms for making 3D games. Just like Gamelift, Twitch, AWS; Autodesk also has an upper hand when it comes to importing and exporting contents between Stingray and other Autodesk products. Moreover, 3D models can be edited and updated in a hassle-free trans-program workflow.
Some of the best features of Stingray include powerful physics shaders, advanced particle effects, post processed visual effects, lightmap baking and a high-performance reflection system. Moreover, it includes rendering solutions as Beast (which was taken away from Unity3D 5.0 and now makes more sense why?), HumanIK, Navigation, Scaleform Studio (UI technology built on Scaleform), FBX, Audiokinetic Wwise and NVIDIA PhysX.
Autodesk Stingray supports multiple platforms that include, but is not limited to Apple iOS, Google Android, Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8, Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft XboxOne. In short, with Stingray in town, Unity Technologies and Epic’s Unreal Engine would have to make a run for their money, once Autodesk gets it fully loaded.