Amazon’s Lumberyard Beta 1.3 Arrives Today

    VRFocus reported earlier this month that Amazon would be releasing a new update for its videogame development engine Lumberyard. Lumberyard Beta 1.3 has now gone live featuring over 130 fixes, features and improvements.

    In terms of virtual reality (VR) Lumberyard has ensured support from the word go. Now though both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are supported straight away, with  framework to support other and future devices.

    Another big addition is ‘VR Preview’. Rather than developers going through a long process of viewing VR in the editor, by exporting levels, loading a launcher and enabling VR to look at their work, there’s now a VR Preview button. This gives devs instant access to see their designs in VR, making VR-specific adjustments to their projects right in the editor, reducing iteration time. To add to the efficiency, with VR Preview, users can now debug their VR Flow Graph nodes and see what they’re doing.

    “VR is one of the areas that we are investing in heavily, and you will see more supported devices, many more features, and more performance optimizations in upcoming releases,” states Hao Chen, Graphics Programmer at Amazon Lumberyard in a blog posting.

    None VR related, Lumberyard now includes HDR functionality. The software supports both HDR 10 and Dolby Vision. Both offer the same EOTF curve, called PQ, but HDR 10 is going to be supported in most console hardware and Windows. While Dolby Vision, has the additional ability to pass per-frame meta-data to the TV, so the device can adapt to each scene.

    Like middleware rivals Unreal Engine and Unity, Amazon Lumberyard is free to download and start using start away. There’s currently no subscription fees or revenue sharing requirements, but developers using the software will need to pay for any Amazon Web Services (AWS) services they decide to use.

    VRFocus will continue its coverage of Lumberyard, reporting back with any further announcements.