AWS Game Tech Blog

GDC 2016!

The Amazon GameDev team is excited to showcase Amazon Lumberyard and Amazon GameLift at this year’s GDC. We’ve been hearing positive and helpful feedback since our launch last month and will be discussing new features and improvements based on that feedback. Our booth is located in the Main Hall #1224, and we are eager to meet and talk to you.

We are also hosting a Lumberyard Track for Developer Day on Tuesday, March 15, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Room 2000 in the West Hall. Below is the full schedule and descriptions of our sessions. We designed these sessions to help game developers of all levels learn about our tools and services. We hope to see you there!




10:00 am – 11:00 am

Amazon Lumberyard and Amazon GameLift – Building Blocks to Create Great Games and Build Communities

Eric Schenk, General Manager, Lumberyard

Chris Dury, Director, Amazon Web Services

This session introduces the tools and services that will help you build on the shoulders of Amazon commerce, AWS, and Twitch, and make and deliver experiences that garner vibrant communities of passionate fans. We will provide an insider view into game technologies we’re building at Amazon, show examples of game innovations with Twitch and AWS, and introduce the features of Lumberyard and Amazon GameLift. Beginner/Intermediate

Eric Schenk has developed game technology and led game technology teams for the last 20 years. He is responsible for building client and server technology that enables game developers to build great games and content that leverage cloud services. Chris Dury is responsible for building and growing cloud services for game developers, including Amazon GameLift.


11:20 am – 12:20 pm

HDR Rendering in Lumberyard

Hao Chen, Senior Principal Software Engineer, Lumberyard

Take an in-depth look at the HDR rendering pipeline of Amazon Lumberyard. This session will provide an overview about Lumberyard’s rendering pipeline and emerging HDR standards. It will also deep dive into an HDR demo, highlighting content production, lighting, material and post processing techniques that work together to deliver spectacular visuals on the next generation HDR TVs. Beginner/Intermediate.

Hao Chen has led graphics R&D and game engine development for nearly 20 years at a number of game companies, including Bungie, Microsoft, and SingleTrac.


12:20 pm – 1:20 pm (Lunch Provided)

Scale Session-based Multiplayer Games with Amazon GameLift

Chris Byskal, Sr. Software Development Manager, Amazon GameLift

Geoff Pare, Principal Engineer, Amazon Web Services

In this session, Amazon engineers will introduce Amazon GameLift core concepts, complete a step-by-step walkthrough of deploying a multiplayer game to the cloud, and demonstrate rapidly scaling a game based on player demand. Intermediate/Advanced.

Chris Byskal has software development experience spanning the video game and distributed computing fields. His specialties include character animation, gameplay, game engine tooling and high-availability, fault tolerant, distributed systems. Geoff Pare has spent the last 10 years at Amazon building and operating distributed systems. Geoff specializes in infrastructure management at scale, and Amazon GameLift combines his love of gaming with cloud computing. 


1:20 pm – 2:20 pm

Built for Broadcasting

The coming era of game design for interactive live video communities

Brooke Van Dusen, Director of Game Developer Success, Twitch

While it’s tough to argue the influence game broadcasters have had on the success of many of today’s new releases, how does one create a game that’s worth broadcasting? More generally, what does it actually mean to build a game for a live video and chat community?  This session will look at the live video ecosystem, exploring the different ways broadcasters have integrated game systems as a part of their everyday communities and how developers are taking cues from these implementations to design new and unique games for video platforms. Beginner/Intermediate.

Brooke Van Dusen is Twitch’s Director of Game Developer Success, where he works with game studios interested in leveraging the Twitch platform as a central part of their growth and engagement strategies. 



2:40 pm – 3:40 pm

Game Architecture and Component Systems in Lumberyard

Bill Merrill, Sr. Engineer, Lumberyard

Rosen Baklov, Principal Engineer, Lumberyard

As the complexity of building games increases, game developers look to their technology to simplify complex problems and maximize productivity. To provide a solid foundation for the future, we have evolved our approach to engine modules, game systems, and game object components and entities. This talk provides an overview of how we have combined hierarchical data management, modern workflows, advanced asset management, messaging and reflection to enable developers to easily extend and customize Lumberyard. Intermediate/Advanced.

Bill Merrill has been a professional software engineer for the game industry building experience in nearly all areas of game development and technology including pipelines, tools, gameplay systems, physics, networking, optimization, and especially AI and animation. Rosen Baklov is a principle engineer at Amazon. Rosen is the architect of many large systems shared across  game teams, and he’s especially excited to advance Lumberyard’s core systems, pipeline, networking and physics.


4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Building Cloud-Connected Games using Lumberyard’s Cloud Canvas

James Clarendon, Sr.  Software Development Manager, Lumberyard

It’s no longer enough to build a game that has cutting-edge graphics or Hollywood production values.  Customers are looking for games that allow them to connect with friends and community, but game developers are often at a loss as to how to get started building features to fulfill that need. Amazon Lumberyard’s Cloud Canvas empowers developers to leverage services such as databases, data storage, and methods to execute game logic within Amazon Web Services (AWS) without needing to configure or maintain servers.  Cloud Canvas makes these resources accessible to non-engineers and helps content creators incorporate cloud-connected features directly into their game via the Lumberyard visual scripting system. We will provide an overview of the features of Cloud Canvas, including cloud resource management, the designer interface, and a deep dive on how to build your own unique cloud-connected features. Intermediate/Advanced.

James Clarendon has worked as an engineer, designer, and creative lead on titles such as Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, Ghostbusters: The Video Game, Thief: Deadly Shadows, and Deus Ex: Invisible War. He aspires to bridge the gap between design and engineering to enable easy access to the cloud for game designers.

For more information on our Developer Day, please visit the GDC 2016 Conference page.