Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine which was based on CryEngine has been available for some time, but not many games are using it. However, that might change soon as Amazon is rebranding it and opening it up. Now called the Open 3D Engine, it’s become an open-source project and part of the recently formed Open 3D Foundation.
The Open 3D Foundation results from the collaboration of various developers, aiming to support open-source projects designed to improve the capabilities of 3D graphics, rendering, authoring, and development. Created by the Linux Foundation, the Open 3D Foundation was formed by various members including Adobe, Red Hat, AWS, Huawei, Intel, Backtrace.io, the International Game Developers Association, Niantic, Wargaming, and many others.
The new version of the Lumberyard engine, now called Open 3D Engine (O3DE), is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license. According to Amazon, O3DE is different from Lumberyard in many aspects, including “a new multi-threaded photorealistic renderer, an extensible 3D content editor, a data-driven character animation system, and a node-based visual scripting tool.”
In O3DE, developers can create games and simulations using a variety of programming languages, including C++, LUA, and Python. For animators, technical artists, designers, and creators in general, O3DE offers a wide set of built-in tools to work with.
“We’re proud to offer the 3D development community an unencumbered, AAA-capable, real-time 3D engine with one of the broadest arrays of integrated 3D authoring tools in the industry,” said Bill Vass, VP of Engineering at AWS. “We believe that creating a first-class, community-driven, open-source option will revolutionize real-time 3D development, as Linux did for operating systems and Apache did for the web.”
Despite being five years old, not many developers have adopted the CryEngine-based environment for game development. Besides Amazon’s published games, which include New World, The Grand Tour Game, and the now-cancelled Crucible and Breakaway, the only high-profile developer developing games with Lumberyard is Cloud Imperium Games, the developer of Star Citizen and Squadron 42.
Open 3D Engine hasn’t officially released yet, but you can already download a developer preview. The full release is scheduled for late 2021.