AWS re:Invent Top 10 Announcements for Game Developers
Author: David Holladay, Head of AWS Game Tech Marketing
We have just returned from this year’s hybrid AWS re:Invent which saw a much-needed return to in-person attendance along with a virtual presence for those that could not join in Las Vegas. With more than 50 launches and announcements of new services and major features, the following is a tailored list of those most relevant for game developer workloads. Watch the full Adam Selipsky Keynote here for even more announcements and information.
- Open 3D Engine Stable 21.11 Release – Open 3D Engine (O3DE) is an open-source, real-time 3D development engine for building high-fidelity games and simulations. O3DE provides a multi-threaded renderer, a physics system, networking capabilities, and a suite of content-authoring tools for building interactive 3D experiences with full source control and nonrestrictive licensing. With O3DE, you can provision and integrate with AWS services to provide multiplayer servers, authentication and identity systems, and asset management. O3DE is well suited to support a broad spectrum of use cases, from AAA-quality games to digital twins and cinema-quality 3D worlds. The engines modular architecture and ability to be used as an SDK provide complete flexibility to customize core engine capabilities to suit genre- and industry-specific application requirements.
- Join the Preview – Amazon EC2 C7g Instances Powered by New AWS Graviton3 Processors – These instances are going to be a great match for building game servers and other compute-intensive workloads: HPC, batch processing, electronic design automation (EDA), media encoding, scientific modeling, ad serving, distributed analytics, and CPU-based machine learning inferencing.
- New – Amazon EC2 G5g Instances Powered by AWS Graviton2 Processors and NVIDIA T4G Tensor Core GPUs – The general availability of Amazon EC2 G5g instances extends Graviton2 price-performance benefits to GPU-based workloads including graphics applications, graphics workstations, and machine learning inference.
- Use New Amazon EC2 M1 Mac Instances to Build and Test games for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV – The availability (in preview) of EC2 M1 Mac instances lets you access machines built around the Apple-designed M1 System on Chip. If you are a Mac developer and re-architecting your games to natively support Macs with Apple silicon, you may now build and test your apps and take advantage of all the benefits of AWS.
- Outposts Servers for on-location compute: AWS Outposts servers, a part of the AWS Outposts family, provide local compute and networking services for sites with space and capacity constraints. For game customers, this means you can bring your game closer to your players with low-latency, local data processing to power your game backend. Learn more.
- AWS Local Zones expansion – AWS plans to launch more than 30 new AWS Local Zones in major cities around the world. New AWS Local Zones will be available starting in 2022 in over 21 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, India, Kenya, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, and South Africa, and join 16 Local Zones across the US, helping you bring your game closer to players around the world with even lower latency. Learn more.
- New serverless options for three analytics services for games – AWS announced three new serverless options for its suite of analytics services that make it easier to analyze game and player data at any scale without having to configure, scale, or manage the underlying infrastructure. A new serverless option for Amazon Redshift automatically sets up and scales resources in seconds, giving customers the ability to run high-performance analytics workloads on petabytes of data without having to manage data warehouse clusters. A new serverless option for Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK) quickly scales resources to vastly simplify real-time data ingestion and streaming. Amazon EMR now provides a serverless option for customers to run analytics applications using open-source big data frameworks like Apache Spark, Hive, and Presto without having to provision, manage, and scale the underlying infrastructure.
- Amazon launches SageMaker Canvas – Amazon launches SageMaker Canvas, a visual, no-code interface to build accurate machine learning models. Amazon SageMaker Canvas provides an intuitive user interface to quickly connect to and access data from disparate sources, and prepare data for building ML models. SageMaker Canvas leverages powerful AutoML technology from Amazon SageMaker, which automatically trains and build models based on your dataset. This allows game developers to scale out the number of people that can build models by enabling business analysts to create accurate machine learning (ML) models and generate predictions using a visual, point-and-click interface, no coding required. Learn more.
- AWS price reduction for data transfers out to the Internet – Effective December 1, 2021, AWS is making two pricing changes for data transfer out to the internet. The first 100 gigabytes per month of data transfer out from all AWS Regions (except China and GovCoud) will be free. In addition, the first terabyte of data transfer out of Amazon Cloudfront, the first 10 million HTTP/S requests, and the first 2 million CloudFront Functions invocations will be free. Free data transfer out from AWS Regions or CloudFront is no longer limited to the first 12 months. These changes will replace the existing data transfer and CloudFront AWS Free Tier offerings, and AWS customers will see these changes automatically reflected in their AWS bills going forward. For game customers, this represents a meaningful reduction in AWS bills for use cases such as game servers, game backends or game streaming.
- AWS Well-Architected Framework – Game Industry Lens – Announced the day before re:Invent, the AWS Well-Architected Framework – Game Industry Lens helps cloud architects build secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure for their game backend. Based on five pillars — operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization — Well-Architected provides a consistent approach for customers and AWS Partners to evaluate architectures, remediate risks, and implement designs that deliver business value. In the Game Industry Lens we focus on how to design, architect, and deploy your games workloads in the AWS Cloud. We define components, explore common workload scenarios, and outline design principles that help you to apply the Well-Architected Framework. We recommend that you begin designing your architecture by considering the best practices and questions from the AWS Well-Architected Framework whitepaper. This document provides supplemental best practices for games industry customers.
In addition, we had three outstanding customer-led breakout sessions that are now available on-demand (registration required):
- How Sony Interactive Entertainment Launched PlayStation 5 – Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) is a global leader in interactive and digital entertainment that is responsible for creating the world-renowned PlayStation brand and family of products. This session explores how SIE prepared for the launch of PlayStation 5 (PS5) against the backdrop of a global pandemic. Learn how SIE delivered PS5 without downtime to millions of players around the world using a coordinated-operations planned response program and a robust, scalable, and secure infrastructure using AWS services, including Amazon EKS, Amazon EC2, Amazon Route 53, and Amazon CloudWatch.
- Riot Game at the edge: Launching VALORANT with AWS Outposts – Riot Games develops, publishes, and supports some of the most player-focused games in the world, including League of Legends, one of the world’s most played PC games and a key driver for the explosive growth of esports. In this session, learn how Riot Games orchestrated the successful global deployment of its latest 5v5 character-based tactical shooter, VALORANT. Using AWS services, including AWS Outposts and AWS Global Accelerator, Riot rapidly deployed and scaled game servers to millions of players around the world and reduced latency by up to 20 milliseconds to provide players with a seamless real-time gaming experience.
- How Epic Games developers Fortnite faster with a build farm on AWS – Epic Games is a leading interactive entertainment company and provider of real-time 3D creation technology. Epic is also the creator of Fortnite—one of the world’s most popular games, with over 350 million accounts. In this session, learn how with the help of AWS, Fortnite entertains players around the world, years after its initial release in 2017. By migrating its internal build farm from on premises to AWS services, including Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3, Epic drastically improved development iteration times and its rapid release cycle to continually deliver fresh content to players.
The AWS product teams also led two breakout sessions now available on demand:
- Introducing O3DE: An open-source, real-time 3D development engine – Open 3D Engine (O3DE) is an Apache 2.0-licensed multi-platform 3D engine that enables developers and content creators to build AAA games, cinema-quality 3D worlds, and high-fidelity simulations without any fees or commercial obligations. O3DE includes a modern, physically based renderer, a complete animation authoring system, and a node-based scripting tool for content creator workflows. In this session, learn how game and simulation developers can leverage over 30 fully matured and integrated 3D authoring tools, a growing open-source community, and strong integrations with AWS services for greater innovation, better performance, and lower cost of operation to build immersive worlds and simulations.
- Game worlds to real worlds: Simulation at scale with AWS – 3D creation tools are well known for creating immersive game worlds that transport players into other dimensions. In this session, explore how developers are using this same technology to simulate virtual environments and study outcomes that would be too difficult, dangerous, or expensive to evaluate in the real world. Learn how Lockheed Martin and CAE used AWS, Unity, and Unreal to create massive-scale simulations of real-world environments with millions of dynamic objects to increase situational readiness for scenarios ranging from natural disasters to cyber threats.