Amazon just released the 1.8 Beta version of their Lumberyard game engine, an engine forked from CryEngine. The 1.8 release contains over 234 (um… 235?) improvements, fixes and features, the primary new feature being the Cloud Gems Framework. The new framework is described as:
Lumberyard Beta 1.8’s new Cloud Gems Framework makes it easier for you to build and launch connected game elements, such as dynamic content, leaderboards, and live messages. With the Cloud Gems Framework, you can add a connected feature to your game in as little as 30 minutes, with one engineer, freeing up the rest of your team to think about innovation and player experience.
The Cloud Gems Framework is made up of the Cloud Gem Portal, a web application that lets anyone on your team visually manage your cloud features (e.g. scheduling messages, releasing dynamic content, or deleting a fraudulent leaderboard score), and Cloud Gems – modular packages of discrete functionality and assets that include everything necessary for a developer to include that functionality into their project, including backend and client functionality. Cloud Gems can be used out of the box in production, and they come with full source code in case you want to customize their behavior in whatever way you choose.
Considering Amazon is one of the largest cloud computing companies in the world and the primary profit center behind Lumberyard is selling cloud services, I suppose this new functionality makes a great deal of sense. Another part of this release is an updated UI, as shown in the screen shot below.
Other features of this release include Multiple UV support for meshes, the ability to animate component entities in Track View as well as new GameLift functionality. You can read more about this release in the release notes as well as on the Amazon Dev Blog.