Amazon Lumberyard Is A Free CryEngine Spin-off

Amazon have launched their own free game engine based on Crytek’s CryEngine, fancied up to focus on online games. It’s an interesting idea with an awful name: Amazon Lumberyard. It’ll simplify setting up online stuff and fancy features like ‘Twitch Plays’ for devs, is the idea, tied into Amazon’s various server hosting services and Twitch (Amazon bought ’em for $970 million, remember).

No, I don’t get whether it’s meant to be some sort of ‘lumber is made into paper which becomes books which we started with’ joke or something?

Lumberyard is an offshoot of CryEngine, going in its own direction now with new tools and tech, including netcode from Killer Instinct devs Double Helix Games (who Amazon also own). Devs don’t have to pay to use Lumberyard, but will be locked into using Amazon Web Services for online stuff (unless they want to host their own servers – they can’t use Amazon’s rivals, basically). It’s clearly made for online games, but devs can use it for whatever.

Over on the Twitch side of things, Amazon mention built-in support for things like ‘Twitch Plays‘ and letting stream viewers directly join the streamer’s server.

What does this mean for those of us who simply play games? Well, what do most technological announcements mean for us? Not much until we see what comes of them. But I know some of y’all like pontificating over the technology behind games. Heck, I myself am distracted today by wondering quite what’s going on with the baguettes my local bakery has started making. I think maybe it was under-proofed, and using sourdough is throwing off what would be a respectable baguette de tradition. Of course, I know nothing about baking. And yet look at me!

Anyway, technical details are over here if you’re curious.

Seriously though, Lumberyard?


  1. Matt_W says:

    When I saw that name, I immediately thought of this. I’m not sure it was well thought through. Maybe Amazon hopes it can clearcut the competition and starve them of oxygen.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Well, it looks like it’s the free kind of “free”, which doesn’t bode well with the competition to start with.

      Now, i know there are always caveats, but i guess they’re more competitive than Crytek. Not that the latter would have avoided implosion if it wasn’t for Amazon’s cash.

  2. ChrisGWaine says:

    I though the name is a reference to the rainforest

    • Boozebeard says:

      It’s not exactly a positive connotation though.

      • Don Reba says:

        It is if you hate nature so much you are willing to build your own rocket to get away from it.

  3. Wulfram says:

    It’s where you make the stuff to put in your Fire?

  4. Geebs says:

    Amazon Lumberyard is the name of the heroine in my forthcoming Young Adult fiction series about a woodcutter’s daughter caught in a love triangle with a cryonics specialist and a pirate. Watch for the first instalment, “Shiver, Me Timbers” – in bookshops, soon!

  5. MadMinstrel says:

    So they’re making a reference to the deforestation of the Amazon basin then? That’s kind of sad. Sort of makes me want to avoid this engine.

  6. Don Reba says:

    Lumberyard is an offshoot of CryEngine, going in its own direction now with new tools and tech.

    I can imagine what the tools are called: bulldozer, chainsaw, gasoline.

  7. LionsPhil says:

    I am disappointed the “technical details are over here” link is not about baguettes.

    Not really sure where Amazon are going with this, although the FAQ does say they’re working on their own game too. Presumably one full of “community”…things…hanging off of their cloud-shaped stuff.

  8. RaunakS says:

    Have a gander at the LumberYard Service Agreement (link to, some fairly concerning matters seem to popping about there. Section 57.10, in particular, seems to be rather specifically ominous:

    I wonder what Amazon knows that it isn’t telling us.

    • RaunakS says:

      Since RPS ate my tags, this is what was said in the License:

      57.10 Acceptable Use; Safety-Critical Systems. (…) However, this restriction will not apply in the event of the occurrence (certified by the United States Centers for Disease Control or successor body) of a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization.

  9. Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

    It may be where I am geographically (isle of man), but twitch has always been a hideous experience. I regularly watch LoL streams and the LCS league, and it defaults you to twitch, which is a stuttery, buffery pile of shite. Soon as I switch over to YouTube it’s fine. I guess what I’m saying is that I hope that either Amazon fix their servers, or that this bombs horribly so that future games don’t end up supporting it.

  10. TWChristine says:

    I think “Amazon Canada” would’ve been a better name, while still getting the same idea across.

  11. DrakeDwarf says:

    At a peek I thought it was some sort of indie game, maybe some sort of horror-cross-environmentalism thing.

    I didn’t expect the actual Amazon company to have something to do with it!