AWS Game Tech Blog

Announcing Amazon Lumberyard 1.26

Has it been three months already? When we launched Lumberyard 1.25, summer had just kicked off — and now, here we are at the start of autumn. So, let’s usher in a new season of game development with the release of Amazon Lumberyard Beta 1.26!

So, how did we spend our sunny days? Glad you asked! We’ve been inside and hard at work, preparing a number of significant improvements. The big ones include:

  • Major updates to Dynamic Terrain and Landscape Canvas, including multiple customer-requested improvements
  • The GA release of the PhysX Gem, which also includes support for new joint types (PhysX-enabled joints, along with some great samples) and customizable wind settings, along with full CryPhysics feature parity
  • A complete preview release of UI 2.0, with over 75 updates and developer documentation for building UI 2.0 extensions
  • Improved GameLift support, including integration of the GameLift 3.4.0 C++ SDK as well as updated mobile platform support (iOS and Android) and server logging
  • Fixes and improvements to Setup Assistant and the Project Configurator
  • RAD Tools support for physics simulation telemetry
  • An updated and streamlined Viewport Interaction Model
  • Several usability improvements to the White Box Tool
  • The first chapters of the Lumberyard Welcome Guide written tutorial series

Get started building a game with 1.26! Looking for a few more details? Read on. (For the full set of changes, read the Amazon Lumberyard Beta 1.26 Release Notes.)

Lumberyard 1.26 Update Deep Dive

You asked for improvements to our terrain and vegetation instancing tools, and we responded! For Dynamic Terrain and the Landscape Canvas, all the legacy Terrain runtime code are now available in the LegacyTerrain Gem, and APIs associated with the old terrain model have been deprecated. On top of that effort, we added support for vegetation with dynamic slices and extended the Vegetation Asset List to implement this approach. Now, any asset in the list can be straight-up vegetation, or it can include a dynamic slice with rocks, sand, and other visual scene elements to instantiate and manage as you like, speeding up your work in building out believable, beautiful environments. Finally, the new PhysX-based Collider Surface Tag Emitter offers a more efficient option to the Mesh Surface Tag Emitter, making the addition of arbitrary vegetation and scene decoration simpler and more reliable to perform. Even as the weather grows colder, your levels can blossom faster and richer!

The PhysX Gem (previously in preview) is now generally available, and CryPhysics is marked for deprecation. Concerned? Fear ye not, as all CryPhysics-based features and APIs have been switched seamlessly to use PhysX instead. If you’re worried, you can still use CryPhysics by setting ENABLE_CRY_PHYSICS to “true” in your project configuration. The updated PhysX Gem also adds support for new joint constraints (fixed, ball, and hinge). We’ve prepared example assets and rigs of the new joints in the Gem for you to play with, because we know a good experience with new features “hinges” on having some toys to try out first. (Ed: We’re very sorry for that pun.) Lastly, shared wind settings are now available for cloth dynamics and simulations using PhysX Force Regions. (See the release notes for more details.)

We also have a full preview rollout of UI 2.0! To get it ready as the new default experience for Lumberyard, we’ve incorporated over 75 customer-suggested improvements and sanded off all the rougher edges. (Thank you for your feedback, as it’s been tremendously helpful!) Plus, our team has rolled out the Lumberyard UI Extension Guide and the associated Lumberyard UI 2.0 API Reference. Note that both of these new guides are still in development, and further additions and improvements to them will be continuously published after the release.

Speaking of documentation, we’ve developed the first tutorials (with more planned) focused on getting new users up and running with Lumberyard 1.26 and above. Our first set has been added to the Lumberyard Welcome Guide. It focuses on creating a very simple game from scratch in your first day with Lumberyard, familiarizing you with basic tools, concepts, and workflows in a hands-on way. As we continue to develop these tutorials throughout the year, we want your feedback: Jump on the Lumberyard forums and let the team know what kind of tutorials would have helped you on your first day using the service! The ultimate goal is to have a rich set of “Day One” tutorials that will guide new game developers through Lumberyard’s key features to deliver a simple, working game.

Beyond the above, the White Box Tool has been moved out of the experimental release phase, with more controls and support for per-vertex operations in the UI such as flipping and extrusion, as well as providing better feedback to the user when creating new geometry. This handy convenience tool for instancing useful geometry – especially when combined with improvements we made this release around entity manipulations in the Viewport Interaction Model’s Component Mode — just got a fair bit easier to use!

We’ve updated the model for viewport interactions in VIM’s Component Mode, adding parent and local space grid snapping to reduce frustration and pixel-hunting. The camera controls now match industry standards. As a result, day-to-day work with your level and slice components should be faster and more fluid.

Last but not least, we have addressed customer feedback around GameLift Gem integration, and Lumberyard now supports the latest GameLift C++ SDK, 3.4.0.

Again, for complete details about this release, read Lumberyard 1.26 Release Notes.

The Lumberyard team is excited to share this update with you as we finish out 2020 and continue our march to make Lumberyard an awesome multi-platform game development environment. Please check out Lumberyard 1.26 and share your feedback in the Lumberyard forums. We are listening!

Getting Started

To get started with Amazon Lumberyard, please visit the Lumberyard webpage to download the service. To learn more about Lumberyard, check out our tutorials on YouTube and on the Lumberyard Tutorials page. You can also find Lumberyard on GitHub. Full source is available there, as well as the ability to contribute back to Lumberyard.

As we continue to improve our service, we want to thank everyone in the community who have made suggestions to help us offer a better product every release. Keep sending feedback to the forums and to lumberyard-feedback@amazon.com.

For the latest Lumberyard updates, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and our blog.