Amazon just announced a new contender in the game engine market: Amazon Lumberyard. Currently in beta, this free, cross-platform 3D engine (with visuals based on CryEngine) features the usual contingent of promises: the ability to build beautiful worlds, make realistic characters, and create “stunning real-time effects.” But there’s also something else. Lumberyard, it seems, is all about connectivity.
According to Amazon, developers will be able to connect their games to “the vast compute and storage of AWS Cloud,” add cloud-connected features in “minutes” with the help of the drag-and-drop graphical user interface, and engage fans on Twitch.
The last bit is obviously the most interesting. There’s a "Twitch Chatplay" feature that lets the game interact with viewers in real-time, meaning spectators might be able to vote on outcomes or gift power-ups to the broadcasters. Rather like Twitch Plays Pokemon, one might imagine. Amazon Lumberyard also includes a Twitch JoinIn feature that will allow for multiplayer games where Twitch broadcasters can instantly invite viewers to join them side-by-side in a session.