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Lumberyard Release Notes – Beta 1.9 (April 2017)

Lumberyard Beta 1.9 adds new features, improvements, and fixes. As we continue to improve Lumberyard, we want to thank everyone in our developer community. Without your participation in the forums, your messages, and your bug reports, Lumberyard 1.9 wouldn't be as strong as it is. Keep sending your feedback to lumberyard-feedback@amazon.com. If you haven't spoken up in the forums yet, we would love to have you. You can also keep up with new changes by following our blog and leave comments to let us know what you think.

Highlights

Here's a sampling of the new features found in Lumberyard 1.9.

Choose an Express or Custom Lumberyard Installation

When you launch the Lumberyard Setup Assistant, you are offered a choice between an express or custom installation. The express option installs only the required software so that you can quickly launch the Lumberyard Editor. Choosing the custom option goes through the original setup experience so that you can install third-party software and SDKs.

If you have a modified setup, you may not see the installation options. For example, the options are not presented if you have selected capabilities that require SDKs or if you do not have a Visual Studio version selected.

Rate Lumberyard and Provide Feedback

We love hearing from our customers, so we've made it easier for you to rate Lumberyard and provide feedback to the Lumberyard team. An in-editor feedback feature allows you to submit your rating and feedback after a few days of using the editor and tools.

Starter Game Sample

The Starter Game sample allows you to see how Lumberyard systems are used together to make a game. Starter Game is a small, third-person game that is built with the Lumberyard component entity system. In addition to component entities, Starter Game demonstrates bipedal locomotion, voxel-based global illumination, the time of day system, and more. In this sample, you play as Jack, a robot that has crashed on a distant planet. Jack can explore the world and must defend himself against enemy robots that occupy the planet. You can use Jack or any other assets in the Starter Game sample to prototype your own projects. For more information, see Starter Game Sample.

Cloud Canvas Updates: Cloud Gem Player Account and AWS SDK Upgrade Script

Lumberyard Beta 1.9 introduces the following updates for Cloud Canvas:

  • The Cloud Gem Player Account provides a standalone player authentication and management solution that you can customize. For example, you might require a game key when players register or need to store additional metadata for players. You can require a game key by using Amazon Cognito's presignup Lambda trigger, implementing the validation in the Lambda function, and passing the game key along with the signup request.

  • Lumberyard has added an upgrade script that you can use to customize the version or services of the AWS Native SDK that you are using. You can also use the upgrade script to install prebuilds of all services that are included with Lumberyard. Access the upgrade script in the \Tools\AWSNativeSDK\Upgrader\Upgrade.py directory.

A couple things to note:

  • If you are changing a version, you must also update the version in the SetupAssistantConfig.json file (located in the \dev directory).

  • If you are adding services, you must also add the services in the aws_native_sdk_shared.json and aws_native_sdk_static.json files (located in the \dev\_WAF_\3rdParty directory).

For more information, see Cloud Canvas.

New Features and Improvements for the Particle Editor

The Particle Editor for Lumberyard Beta 1.9 introduces dozens of new features, usability improvements, and OS support that enable you to create stunning visual effects for your game. This includes the following:

  • Reconfigurable emitter hierarchies

  • GPU features

  • Five new emitter types

Lumberyard is deeply integrated with AAA to small studio teams. As a result, our roadmap is guided by working with our customers. The Particle Editor is a prime example of the constant communication and feedback from these customer relationships.

For more information, see Particle Effects System.

SpeedTree 8 Comes to Lumberyard

SpeedTree 8 for Lumberyard is a procedural vegetation modeling program that takes advantage of the native Lumberyard vegetation tools. You can use SpeedTree 8 for Lumberyard to create and quickly iterate on trees, bushes, exotic alien foliage species, and other plant life. The SpeedTree modeler provides a simple workflow to generate complex foliage and export directly to Lumberyard, allowing you to create faster than ever. And, it's free!

You can download the free, full-feature version of SpeedTree 8 for Lumberyard here.

For more information, see Using SpeedTree 8 for Lumberyard.

Blend Layer Updates

Blend layer 2 now has RGB specular color and a smoothness slider.

Test Code Changes with Amazon GameLift Local

This client-side debugging tool emulates a test set of the Amazon GameLift API on your local development machine. It lets you test iterative code changes without needing to upload and run your game server on Amazon GameLift instances. You can use Amazon GameLift Local on Windows and Linux devices to test game clients and servers that use the Amazon GameLift SDKs. Amazon GameLift Local is available in the Server SDK download. For more information, see Testing Your Integration.

New Virtual Reality Features

Lumberyard Beta 1.9 adds the following features for virtual reality:

  • The Virtual Reality Project sample now includes the following Lua scripts:

    • teleport – Uses the left or right controllers and an input event in order to handle teleporting.

    • controller – Modifies the transform for the attached entities. This is accomplished by using the transform of the left or right motion controller that is relative to the attached camera.

    • raycast – Uses terrain or navigation mesh to perform a ray cast and returns the cast location.

    • instantvr – Drives the logic that is used in the instantVR slice.

  • An instantVR slice provides a starting point for you to build VR projects with controller tracking, teleport functionality, and the ability to generate a navigation area.

  • A VR Islands level demonstrates how to create and customize a level with the instantVR slice.

For more information, see Virtual Reality and VR Islands Level.

Added Support for Features in the UI System

With the UI Editor you can build, visualize, and customize user interface elements such as menus, buttons, and the heads-up display (HUD). Lumberyard Beta 1.9 adds support for the following features in the UI system:

Lua

  • All UI system buses are now exposed to Lua.

  • You can now use the Lua Script component on UI elements.

  • The UI system bus API operations were updated to use AZ types rather than legacy types. For example, color parameters now use the AZ::Color type.

  • Lua scripts now run in the UI preview mode.

Slices

  • You can now use slices in the UI Editor.

  • The UI Spawner component now supports dynamic slices.

  • Slices replace the UI prefabs, which are now deprecated.

UI Editor

  • A UI canvas compiler has been added.

  • The editor now supports font kerning.

For more information, see UI System.

Physically Based Shading (PBS) Reference Material Gem

Lumberyard Beta 1.9 includes a collection of 36 physically based referenced materials packed into an Asset Gem. We removed precooked .dds files and assets from the \dev\engine\materials\pbs_reference directory. In their place, you can now use the source .tif files in the Asset Gem. Normal maps are now correct and use preset=NormalsWithSmoothness. The Asset Gem is now active by default in the SamplesProject and newly created projects.

New Comment Component

The Comment component allows long-form text comments to be added for component entities. When enabled, the Comment component displays a dialog box that expands based on the size of the comment that is entered. For more information, see Comment Component.

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