My two cents about Lumberyard after a bit of evaluation and research.

What is this Wall of text about

I wanted to give my most sincere opinion trying to not be as rude as a non native english speaker could be, sometime, for the lack of proper use of language.

I made some researchs online and catch various opinions on the subject and tried to understand the point of view of people about lumberyard, why they love or hate it and why they do or don’t adopt it.People like to speculare a lot but no one really asks for answers especially to the right people.I will try to do some exreme speculations but also many open question and do it here as the main point of contact between community and developers and let’s see what happens.

Many of my supposition will be surely provocations ,but I’m not just trolling around just caring for a more healty game dev business and want to do be able to take informed decisions.

Some speculation are strongly fictionous theories found around over the net they are not prophecies take it as a grain of salt.They serve as an exercise of devil’s advocacy to brainstorm issues at a more deeper level if the product cannot be attached by any of these question it mean the product is in a good solid general state.It happens when you analyze a product to make this kind of exercizes just to check that everythig is ok.

Sorry in advace for the wall of text typos, grammar and whatever else.

Lets Start

I strongly believe that Lumberyard is a great project and could be a viable option for many developers and not just for the crazy royalty free license deal, but because it is studied around the cloud and Twitch in a combination that could make the real difference in modern entertainment and represent one of the most interesting niches available today.

If possible the royalty free licensing is indeed the least appealing aspect actually because is overshadowed by other licensing aspects I will probably cover later.

I think that streaming especially if more interactive, the e-sport , professional gaming and influencers in general are the real big thing today.
Newest features are very good ones lightweight component entity, ebus,reflection and code generation, twitch metastream all very good additions, but figuring out what is good to use is hard with a lot of legacy code.

Streaming is by far more trendy than vr and will be for for quite few years to come while vr will find it hard to truly express its potential in the short-term relegated to be a toy for few and not a real game changer for some while especially in the hours spent developing vs entertain ratio.

Streaming boosts the replayability aspects of the game and skyrocket the development vs enterteinment time ratio.

An engine that helps achieve this goals is very in my personal taste.

High risks.

Said this I recognize the choice of start learning today Lumberyard as a very risky choice and asking around to people many other feel the same about it as adopters number also suggests.

Amazon is not directly in games by so long and engine development is way far from its core business and it is no good.

even if game market is appealing, growing and with good margins engine ones is stagnating for all but few players.

There are a lot of fears, founded and possibly unfonded about this project and they starts with the way Amazon has managed its communication of intents.

Many people simply don’t understand Amazon plans and what you don’t understand you start to fear it’s a very human behaviour that hasn’t been accounted with proper communication.

The overall perception is that no one know really what Amazon is doing.

First of all people don’t understand how Amazon hope to stay profitable as an engine with a so slow and sparse adoption.

Why bought CryEngine just to make games when they could just license it or Unreal Engine or whatever else and could buy almost everyone and everything for its games?

Why to make cloud sdk available on just its engine if its final scope is to rent cloud infrastructures?
Why they don’t make every twitch and cloud services easely consumable from any engine with open source sdk so whoever would add them in its engine can and Amazon could mantein main engine versions themself?

Lumberyard has been released free but why?Not for starving competitors as there is no actual price war as you can use almost any engine for free today. So why this move? Are they just playing blindly some dominated strategy obfuscated by how good some other players are doing?

Is the deal a real good deal Can i base a sustainable business about its use? Are they just missing the point of view of mass market developers and are failing miserably with the risk of terminating the free license and rework the business model?

Some percieve the license as more restrictive than actual Cryengine V with more string attached about the online infrastructure and this is just one opinion…others say that Cry engine license is the worst as you can just make games, but both are not so convincing in the end while most people are sold about open source + royalities even if it means to pay a lot if the game is successfull.

Cryengine is indeed a kind of a plus for Lumberyard as actually it can share lot of learning material with CE so gives you a bit of spreading to your learning investment to lower the risk.
Code is diverging at any moment so this initial advantage will soon fade out.

it is also both a competitor as features some more advanced visuals newer editor tech(i would have preferred a .net one personally,but however qt looks fare more advanced and easy to modify than the lumberyard version of sandbox).

Cryengine is also percieved as even more riskier at the moment and many are just wandering who will buy Crytech assets when/if it will go bankrupt because this will also interest Lumberyard indirectly.
Maybe the same Amazon could open an european studio for ex crytech employee and catch them all like pokemons…who really knows?!?

Generally people hates to not know…really hates it especially when big companies are involved so speculation get larger and larget and becomes true cospiracy theories.

In this situation other solution seems to be a more easy choices as not hidden in strange fogs as many just use them and having more material available for development purpose and at least not in a beta stage that is a huge plus.

Is user tutelated by the license or just Amazon?

What happens if Lumberyard is not supported anymore?

In that case the license doesn’t really cover you as you risk they terminate your license before the engine exits the beta phase way before you ship a registered product with it(covered by the license).

Apart from good faith and common sense there are no actual warranties for middle and small developers in the license, they could just be leaved eating the dust.

It just happened before if you look at the huge potential of Project Anarchy just to name the biggest one as Intel was behind it it just disappeared over the night.

No one forces Amazon to stuck with Lumeberyard internally itself if the engine doesn’t end to be a wise investment or their games will not go as they expect.

they may really decide to not mantein it anymore or not release it to the public maybe to integrate some proprietary tech they cannot ship to licensee and don’t want to mantein 2 forks.

If they don’t use it anymore no one will do or atleast is what the license seems to suggest to wha have read it.

The license doesn’t account for this possibility in a way that could be satisfing for a little sized studio.
Products that will fail to represent some tangible value at that moment in time will be in very bad waters renegotiating a new license.

Amazon Development force can be moved away to other more profitable sectors of its hugely ramified structure of core and complementary business.

Why Amazon hasn’t make things more clear and made everyone more covered with more warranties in its license?

Is this just an half assed deal just to experiment a bit with some expendable third party developer?

Are licensee just here to make feedback and bugfixes or third party developers big or small could really hope into an everyone wins scenario?

I think that Amazon lacked that bit of suspension of disbelief you need to have the guts to start any risky adventure.

They are working hard with great effort, but hard work is not enough it is not an option doesn’t make you a winner just make you able to start play others are not rolling their thumbs.

Disruptive Move.

Lumberyard move hasn’t been as disruptive as Amazon wants us to believe.

It played a bit softly in communication and too conservative as someone that has playing by itself in a leading position and is just marking business territory and not as one that is year after others just trailing and needing to be really proactive player in a very dynamic market.

So Lumberyard have to really decide what is its role in the engine market and state it clearly and play their best hand as soon as possible as actually it is all and nothing, just pure huge potential in the people’s perception.

Unity opened the dances with a real disruptive move of making game engines available to the casual developer masses.

Then Epic opened the Pandora’s Box of opensourcing AAA engines to everyone the most disruptive move in the market so far.

Amazon as big as it could be is just reacting and in the more subtle and misleading way possible as they aquired some bad habits both with cry engine source from Crytech.

Lumberyard need a different hook as free as beer isn’t working as no one really needed another free engine it is nothing new.

Open Sourcing

Why Amazon hasn’t make one more step and used a license like Unreal and tooking the open source boat? Hasn’t it played well for Unreal?No small developer seems to fear how Unreal managed the subject.

Unreal hasn’t been very production ready in the first year we could consider it as beta as Lumberyard is now maybe something less.Look how many contributions it had since then and adoption is going great.Unreal business model is something that anyone can understand even a child

More clear statements of intentions card on the table is the fist step to gain more trust.

Let’s get complicated.

Nothing is really public or disclosed clearly with Lumberyard starting from the roadmap or the lack of github or other social coding platform support of any kind even if we got the source.

I immagine something like :

“I’m Amazon and I will give you my source code for your and other thousand people eyes only, read it alone at night like a triller about a murder and don’t spoil that the butler did it and please don’t try to make any pull request on github as we don’t have it as we don’t care so much about your fixes as we love copy pasting lines manually so we just accept contributions by the forum…yes seriously the forum…we are the biggest company in the world, but we love web 1.0 and hate you” :slight_smile:

(sorry I couldn’t resist).

All just to make only collaboration harder or there are other reasons?

Lua Editor

Lack of a proper open source approch is evident in many parts, but the thing that make me very sad has been the new lua editor as it is as very well made to be so young as a very poor investment choice.(Also Project Anarchy has a non open sourced lua editor…)

Doing it the hard way without external help with no better license and limiting it in scope to Lumberyard users against the wide audience of lua user base and first of all not having any evident addedd value from a business/final user point of view against more mature bsd and mit licensed code editors all around the world.

Someone please explain me this.Cannot you just add features to someone else production ready project?

Final Words

I hope for Amazon that me and other people that hasn’t jumped ship so far are just to open our eyes to a clearly understandable truth and finally see your clever plan or I really hope that this feedback reach Amazon in some way so it can reconsider some goals and priorities and focus on gain some trust from developer and let them be first class players in this project instead of passive watchers of how one big entity can achieve minimum gains with maximum effort.

Just immagine trowing a marketplace now without a strong positive feedback from userbase.

Things can be done and have to be done, but just after people is ready to jump and the project future is put in a safe.

The most easy users to aquire seems to be CryEngine V users most of them just wait that Amazon shows some effort in rendering techniques research and development and put more community love.
I don’t know if the new multithread render is enough as they have hi expectatin set from CryEngine that on the rendering part never deluded.

More content is required , blogs, talks and tutorials from evangelists and influncers more than Amazon employees.

Amazon doesn’t even released internal jam submissions and this is a bit of a shame (just few shots just to let people know).

Greetings

Hope my intent with this huge post is really clear and that Amazon doesn’t hate me for the critics and continue to ship my orders.

I’m very interested in the tech and invested some time evaluating and exposing the concerns I collected on the subject.

p.s. at least opensource the editor so people can submit a replacement for the the infamous mfc color picker :slight_smile:

Hi Binky I expect that lack of information make your work as Community Manager harder too so you totally know what I meant.I understand that probably there is no single employee that can personally answer at the most sensitive questions.

As For me I focused my core business on small 2d Html5 games, but I wanted to learn something more advanced and cool in my free time, that is quite limited, to run a side project.

The plan is to do a cloud powered(small scope possibly not realtime) and streaming enhanced prototype at home and possibly acquire some founds to be able to startup a full time team to develop it further.

As you notice its just a huge risk for me, in any case and learning and documentations really needs to be great to make the initial prototypation work as fast as possible.

As the project will require time, I need that Amazon to rests committed for very long, or at least, that I will be able to use the source for this project even if the free license get terminated so a proper license is a key factor here.

My true hope are the 3 very big first party games that Amazon Game Studio is developing as anyone has the potential to succed and remain sustainable for many years to come so I also expect outstanding online performances and full twitch integration at a deeper level than any game not made from a company leader of cloud computing services.

These games will call for a wide support way after the release and the fact that dota2 got a full engine overhaul years after initial release could be a good rough estimate metric of the jump forward that Lumberyard can do thanks to its first party games and how online games also very successfull ones need a constantly updated engine to stay on top.

So I really hope to stay around and learn it soon at a good pace.

P.s. Documentation is also a problem in my own framework for html5 games now I’m feeling how bad of an idea was to delay it and not documenting it properly during development.It is of a very small size codebase compared to Lumberyard and written from just one person on top of a very simple engine in a simpler language and it is just so painful to document as you need to jump all over the code for hints.

I can see your points well.

LY is still in its infancy. It still has a ways to go to get competitive with engines like UE4, CryEngine or Unity.

The License for LY is the least restrictive of making types of games. CryEngine is limited, UE4 is limited. Unity is limited. LY has no limitations on any type of game you want to make.

The source is freely available in the current release installer so I don’t get why they would need GitHub. GitHub has nothing to offer really besides just another place to get code. They already have a wiki it just needs more information so having documentation is two places would make it more difficult to maintain.

At this time in my honest opinion LY team needs to concentrate on is the engine and documentation of the engine not media relations and social networks. The engine is in need of some fine tuning and defiantly in need of documentation.

Not enitrely sure what you mean by u nity being limited but I don’t use it, so not worried personally.

I get the cryengine thing basically, but I do use UE4 and while I have no tether to it, it is amazing engine, but yes of course, there is that 10% royalty fee which LY does not have.

I assume thats what you meant ?

No big deal, I just wanted some clarification, to be fair to ue4 :slight_smile:

I am using LY, its just that I dont think I can transfer some things over even if I wanted to ( think: terrain scale).

cheers

I’m confident too indeed i’m still reading the documentation… these last ones are my personal considerations I’m very optimist also because I think that it’s better for everyone if this engine succed there is always a need for more research and development in this field especially public one so it is in everyone interest to support this project at least just for the benefits for the entire industry.

I have seen a video of Breakaway Its the kind of game I always dreamed to make It is very fun to watch and i bet it is addicting to play.

It is the perfect answer to people saying this engine is limited to first person shooters.

@Binky_LY lol right on.

NOW 1.7 is availalble!

@Binky_LY i know you said dont hold you to it lol, but couple of days have past and its weighing on my emotion of not seeing 1.7 lol

Hey @Gamely, you have some very valid points in here, that you for the detailed feedback. We have a very detailed roadmap, that we aren’t quite ready to share publicly. I, as a Community Manager, know more than anyone how the lack of information can drive fear, and that is something we are continually working on. You will begin to see more and more information, better tools (and Community tools), and more evangelists come forward over the coming months. Amazon is committed to Lumberyard, but more committed to helping developers succeed. Thanks again for the thoughtful post with your feedback. I hope you stick around, I feel like you’re gonna make something really cool.

Source source code available for free is one thing and the possibility to use it freely is another as for what you can do with source code.

As for collaboration, Github : Forum as Jet : Feet it isn’t just a web space for hosting code as you are stating.

Great to hear that @Binky_LY . I am really looking forward to that documentation update (especially API ref.) I really don’t want to switch over to another engine just because of that. So I decided to wait until 1.7 update and see how things are gonna turn out.

Thank you for the hard work you are putting in as Community Manager. It is really appreciated. I wanted you to know that :wink:

I was using the alternative definition of “a couple” =) . 1.7 should be coming very soon @Cstudios15.

Thanks @arch! Agreed, we’re working on a ton of documentation and tutorial updates and additions.

Thanks @Gamely, you nailed it. I’m confident in Amazon’s commitment to Lumberyard, but of course I’d say that. :wink: Breakaway, one of the first party games being developed by Amazon Game Studios using Lumberyard and the Twitch and AWS integration is a testament to what can be done. When that game releases you’ll see some of the answers you are looking for, at least I hope.

Please keep your feedback coming. I know I say this a lot, but it’s true. It’s the feedback from all of you, actual users, that helps us plan, drive forward, and deliver on the promises of Lumberyard.

Thanks @TAN, I really appreceate that.