Amazon ships Lumberyard 1.25
Monday, July 20, 2020 | Written by Jim Thacker
Amazon has released Lumberyard 1.25, the latest beta of the game engine and development environment, and UI 2.0, a "cleaner and more consistent" new user interface with support for 4K monitors.
The version also includes a preview of Landscape Canvas, a new node-based landscape authoring system, and an experimental new gem for setting up white box test environments.
Other changes include GPU support in the Nvidia Cloth Physics Gem, support for reusable subgraphs in the Script Canvas visual programming system, and updates to the EMotion FX character animation system.
User Interface 2.0: A more consistent modular user interface based on Qt
The main function in Lumberyard 1.25 is UI 2.0: a “cleaner and more consistent” user interface design that was created using the industry standard Qt library and follows the “modern UI principles”.
The visual differences between UI 2.0 and the old UI are pretty subtle – you can see a comparison above – but Amazon notes that a primary goal of the work was to create a set of modular, reusable UI components.
Not only does this mean that consistency is maintained between the main editor and the sub-tools and extensions, but developers can also use the UI 2.0 Qt widget library to create consistent interfaces for their own custom tools.
The new user interface can also be properly scaled on 4K and other high-resolution displays and supports the setup of multiple monitors. The older user interface is still available in the editor, but may not be supported in Lumberyard 1.26.
Experimental new white box test and landscape authoring systems
Technical artists will also receive an experimental new white box tool gem that can be used to sketch 3D proxy networks to perform quick tests on level designs or physics systems.
Networks created in this way can be saved on the hard disk in the native file format of the white box system or exported as OBJ files as templates from which the final assets are created in third-party DCC tools.
The toolset is still under development and is currently only available on Windows 10.
The version also includes a technical preview of Landscape Canvas, a new node-based landscape authoring tool based on the dynamic vegetation system introduced in Lumberyard 1.19 last year.
The node groups correspond to the types of components available in the dynamic vegetation system, so that users can create landscape resources through visual programming rather than coding.
Content previously created for dynamic vegetation is backward compatible. Landscape Canvas automatically creates a diagram from existing layers.
Update to visual programming, material physics and character animation
Script Canvas, Lumberyard's visual programming system, has also been updated to include support for Script Canvas functions: the equivalent of chart instances or subgraphs.
The system enables users to pack entire sections of a diagram into individual function nodes with user-defined inputs and outputs, which can then be reused more easily across projects.
Other changes affect GPU support in the new fabric simulation system added in Lumberyard 1.23. It is based on Nvidia's fabric technology and is based on CUDA. A compatible Nvidia GPU is therefore required.
Lumberyard's character animation system, EMotion FX, also offers several new features, including the option to preview animations assigned to motion nodes and the option to force animation updates when a character is not visible to the camera in the game.
There are also a number of minor updates, bug fixes, and outdated features, including the old terrain model and the Cloud Gem portal. A full list of changes can be found using the links below.
Availability and system requirements
Lumberyard 1.25 is available now. The editor runs under Windows 7 and higher.
The engine can be used for free to develop offline and local multiplayer games, including source code access. Online games must use Amazon Web Services, which are charged at Amazon's standard AWS rates.
Read a full list of new features in Lumberyard 1.25 in the online release notes
Visit the Lumberyard product website
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