Built for Builders: AWS and Open 3D Engine – Stable 21.11 Release
Back in July, we announced the Developer Preview release of Open 3D Engine (O3DE), the successor to Amazon Lumberyard, as a founding member company of the Linux Foundation’s recently launched Open 3D Foundation (O3DF). Our goal with O3DE, a AAA-capable, cross-platform open source 3D engine licensed under Apache 2.0, was to seed the Open 3D Foundation with an extensible, modular foundation for building games, virtual worlds, simulations, and even other engines. Today, we are excited to share the news that the Open 3D Foundation has released a new version of O3DE – the Stable 21.11 Release (version 21.11). This release is now available for developers and content creators, furthering us on our mission to make free, world class 3D rendering tools accessible to everyone.
Today’s release is the culmination of a growing open source community comprised of our team here at AWS, 25 other partner organizations in the Open 3D Foundation, and impassioned contributors who share the vision of increased choice for collaboration, customization, and creativity in 3D application development. Since the launch of the O3DE Developer Preview, the Lumberyard team has been focused on improving common creator workflows related to gameplay mechanics and look development, reducing the time that it takes to get started with the engine, and learning what it means to contribute to a new open source project team.
Stable 21.11 Release
- Windows installer
- Ubuntu Editor, packaged tar binaries, client runtime, and project manager
- Terrain System (Experimental)
- JSON serialization support for Script Canvas Editor Assets
- Script Canvas prefab compatibility
- Color Grading LUT generation in Editor
- Viewport focus mode for prefabs
- Network Scripting (Preview)
- Remote gem management and dependency tracking
The Stable 21.11 Release of Open 3D Engine includes a new Windows Installer, support for authoring applications for Linux with editing tools that run on Debian-based distributions, a new viewport focus mode for prefabs, remote gem management and dependency tracking, an experimental terrain system, and a preview of network scripting capabilities. In addition to contributing these new capabilities and systems to the engine, our team has also been working on improving the overall user experience for the engine’s Day 1 and Week 1 workflows through the O3DE Rev the Engine program, governed by the UI-UX Special Interest Group (SIG). For a complete list of new features and capabilities in the Stable 21.11 Release contributed by community members and foundation partners, you can view the full release notes.
A shift in our development process
The move from working on an internal game engine to being contributors to an open source project has been a shift in how we think about development. Over the past several months, our team here at AWS has had the opportunity to work with partners and community members alike to solicit feedback on the way that we think about our role as a foundation partner. Since launching the Open 3D Foundation, the O3DE community has established new mechanisms, processes, and community structures through the formation of and operation of special interest groups to govern the different component areas of the engine. Feedback from the community and partners is a key component of how we prioritize our work for O3DE. Through the ‘’Request for Comment’ processes, we proposed features like:
- Support for Linux as an editor and client runtime platform
- A terrain system
- Exposing networking capabilities to Lua and Script Canvas
- Material and Lighting Shaders
When we were considering the features that we wanted to start on for this release, the feedback we got most consistently from our early adopters were asks for a Windows Installer, support for Linux, and a native Terrain system. We’ve made progress on all of those, and one of the benefits of being an open source project now is that we’re able to deliver features to the community faster and earlier through the development branch on GitHub. With 21.11, developers can get started using the engine more quickly with pre-built binaries for Windows and Debian-based Linux distributions. As you try out the latest builds, we invite you to share your feedback with our team in the O3DE Discord server or by filing issues on GitHub.
Looking ahead to 2022
2021 has been a learning experience for our team as we took on this shift into operating in a more collaborative, open way. We are excited about how we have been able to grow with the Open 3D Engine community as partners in the foundation, and today’s release is an important step forward in improving the stability and usability of O3DE – but we’re far from done!
As we look ahead to 2022, one of our team’s major focuses will be on improving performance in O3DE. We’ve started adding additional benchmarking capabilities to the engine so that we can profile engine performance and systems across a variety of devices, and we’ll continue to invest in improvements as we move ahead on development. We’ll also be continuing to improve the getting started experience for O3DE, with workflows that are tailored to the development of non-gaming simulations and digital twins as well as more art-driven, creative pipelines for studios. This means creating new tools for shader and animation authoring, and reducing the time it takes to get a build onto a mobile device, among other possibilities.
Considering for the future
- Mac OS Editor, Installer, Project Manager
- Terrain performance & editor functionality
- Linux ARM support for AWS Graviton
- Prefab overrides and scriptable asset pipeline
- Shader Canvas tool
- OpenXR Gem
- Networking enhancements: Bandwidth prioritization for specific entities, Game specific custom handshake negotiation, In-editor experience improvements (ctrl+g)
- Engine tick system improvements
- ROS 2 integration for robotics simulations
This release is an important step in providing a game and simulation development platform that anyone can leverage to quickly build even more amazing games and real-time simulations, and we look forward to what comes next! Will you join us?
Read more on the Open 3D Engine initiative at docs.o3de.org.