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?