Lumberyard Release Notes – Beta 1.26 (October 2020) - Lumberyard Release Notes

Lumberyard Release Notes – Beta 1.26 (October 2020)

Famed painter Vincent Van Gogh once said that "as long as autumn lasts, I shall not have hands, canvas, and colors enough to paint the beautiful things I see." Ha, Vince! Game artists and developers cannot be constrained by mere seasons. Does Mars have a fall season? Do they sell pumpkin spice lattes in the underworld? In space, can they hear you scream for scarves and Prime Day discounts? To a game professional, "autumn" is just another set of assets and shaders among an infinity to dream up!

With pumpkin spice. But we digress.

It’s time to kick off fall with the release of Amazon Lumberyard Beta v1.26! This time 'round, we’re bringing you some seasonal closure with updates to the PhysX Gem, the White Box Tool, and UI 2.0. We’ve also got some great new features for you terraformers with our Dynamic Vegetation support. And, of course, we’ve made a whole bevy o' smaller improvements – around 150 in all, large and small. So grab a mug of your favorite autumnal beverage, throw a fleece blanket over your shoulders, and let’s review what’s coming to you in Lumberyard 1.26.

Keep sending feedback to our forums and to lumberyard-feedback@amazon.com! For the latest Lumberyard updates, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and our blog.

Looking to get v1.26 of Amazon Lumberyard, or interested in giving it a spin? Download it here.

New to Lumberyard? Watch Learn Lumberyard in 20 Minutes. (And maybe subscribe to our official Lumberyard YouTube channel, too!)

Already a user? Share your feedback in the Amazon Lumberyard forums.

Lumberyard 1.26 Beta Visual Studio Requirements
  • Amazon Lumberyard Beta 1.26 now supports up to Visual Studio 2017 version 15.9.27 or 2019 version 16.7.3, including the Community Edition for both.

  • The minimum required versions are:

    • Visual Studio 2017 (any Edition): version 15.9.14

    • Visual Studio 2019 (any Edition): version 16.2.4


            ly1 26 teaser image

Highlights

Now, let’s review what’s shipping this time around. Here’s a sampling of our favorite new features and improvements found in Lumberyard Beta 1.26.

Community Contributions

As ever, one of the the things that makes Lumberyard great is your code contributions! Before we dig into the official updates, let’s check out some of the great community member submissions we incorporated in 1.26.

  • Contributor vbas-pkfx added enumerations to support PopcornFx vertex formats.

  • Contributor SSPKrolik fixed the visible area (VisArea) component so it works correctly in the Lumberyard Editor.

  • Contributor alex-leleka optimized the blend time for post effects, performing the blend before the GPU frame slush and synchronizing state afterwards. This saves about 0.8 ms per-frame when GPU-bound for PC games, and 0.5 ms per-frame when CPU-bound. Awesome!

  • Contributor dkondrashkin fixed a broken mesh selection in the Scene Settings pane, specifically for level-of-detail texture (LOD) selection.

  • Contributor dkondrashkin also increased performance for users when searching for and selecting particles by enabling particle sorting inside particle libraries. This is enabled through a new setting (in General Settings), and by enabling particle sorting for the Particle Component of the Entity Inspector.

  • Contributor ximura added a test mode to support localization tokens and check to see if all text is localizable.

Thank you for helping us improve Lumberyard 1.26! You rock!

Installation Notes

Important

If you are using Visual Studio 2017, we recommend installing the Visual Studio C++ Redistributables for Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2019 before installing Lumberyard. See Amazon Lumberyard system requirements in the Welcome Guide for installation information.

  • Additionally, if you are using Visual Studio 2017, use the Visual Studio 2019 version of Project Configurator (\dev\Bin64vc142\ProjectConfigurator.exe) to create and switch projects.

First up, usability improvements to the Viewport Interaction Model!

Lumberyard Editor: Viewport Interaction Model

If you’re a level designer or gameplay developer, you probably spend a lot of time working within the Lumberyard Editor’s viewport, positioning entities in your scene just so, and reviewing every new change you’ve made. The Viewport Interaction Model allows you to more easily manipulate the entities in your level, and is an essential tool when you’re building out that big scene or level.

In Lumberyard 1.26, we’ve made several changes to further improve your experience when positioning entities.

  • Now, when you click an entity, we show the manipulator aligned to the parent space coordinate system, instead of showing it aligned to the local orientation of the entity you’re working with. If there’s no parent, we align the orientation to the world. Bonus: This alignment behavior is now consistent across individual and multiple selections. It works exactly the same if you have one entity selected, or several.

    We provide these modifier key presses to make this easy and immediate:

    • Holding down the Shift key aligns the manipulator to the world coordinate space.

    • Holding down the Alt key aligns the manipulator to the currently selected entity’s local coordinate space.

      Note: Neither modifier key will align with the parent coordinate space since it is the unmodified selection (and which is just the world space if there isn’t a parent entity).

  • Along with the above improvement, we’ve standardized the camera controls in the Viewport Interaction Model to better align with the more standard controls in similar products. Now, you can use the following camera controls:

    • Alt + holding the left mouse button lets you use mouse movement to orbit the camera around a fixed point in the view frustum.

    • Alt + holding the right mouse button lets you use mouse movement to do a dolly-type zoom in and out of the current view.

    • Alt + holding the center (middle) mouse button lets you use mouse movement to pan the camera view left, right, up, and down.

Enable the improved Viewport Interaction Model by opening the Edit menu and selecting Editor Settings > Global Preferences. In this panel, select General Settings > Enable New Viewport Interaction Model.


                  ly1 26 highlights vim

For more details on using the updated Viewport Interaction Model controls, read the documentation here: Working with the Viewport Interaction Model.

Lumberyard Physics: PhysX Gem

The PhysX gem is out of preview and is now officially released! Hooray! Besides all the fit-and-finish work to get it completed, we’ve added some essential features in this release. Check 'em out:

We’ve added joint constraints, accessible through the Lumberyard Editor’s Viewport Interaction Model.

  • Fixed joints let you connect 2 or more components together in a simple, physically enabled rotational relationship. Chain 'em together and see what happens!

    
                        ly1 26 highlights fixedjoint1
  • Hinge joints let you create components that revolve around a set axis. Think: doors. Traps. Things that flap.

    
                        ly1 26 highlights hingejoint1
  • Ball joints enable components to swing around an axis like, you know, a tire swing.

    
                        ly1 26 highlights balljoint1

We liked our new joint constraints so much we made a number of reference samples, and added them to the PhysX Gem. We have the following selection of fine entities for you to peruse:

  • A backhoe. Can you dig it? #dadjoke

    
                        ly1 26 highlights backhoe
  • A wooden carriage. How is it moving without a horse? Oh, that’s right: game physics. Perhaps that hinge constraint is doing all the work…​

    
                        ly1 26 highlights carriage
  • A tire swing using a ball joint constraint. Oh summer, how we miss you!

    
                        ly1 26 highlights tireswing
  • A classic swing. Kinda spooky, don’t you think? Who’s moving it?

    
                        ly1 26 highlights swingset
  • A door with a hinge constraint. Are we inside or outside, here?

    
                        ly1 26 highlights spookydoor

Try them out and let us know what other examples you might like to see!

Lumberyard Physics: NVIDIA Cloth Gem

Now, you can configure wind settings that are shared between NVIDIA Cloth simulations, particles, and other environmental effects using PhysX Force Regions.


                  ly1 26 highlights cloth wind area

You can also preview cloth simulation in the editor to quickly see the results without having to jump in and out of the game.


                  ly1 26 highlights cloth wind area2

Lumberyard Physics: RAD Telemetry Gem

We’ve updated the RAD Telemetry Gem to expose PhysX simulation step statistics so you can get insight into the the performance of your scenes. With it, you can review the number of instances of various types in memory, as well as active processes and other physics-related profiling data. Use this information to fine-tune game performance, particularly in terms of frame rates. To start using it, simply enable the RAD Telemetry Gem through the Project Configuration (see the docs here) to start getting useful details about the performance of your physics components in your game!


                  ly1 26 highlights rad

Terrain Vegetation

We’ve made quite a few improvements to how Lumberyard handles terrain and vegetation in 1.26.

  • Legacy Terrain. The LegacyTerrain runtime code has now been moved completely into the LegacyTerrain Gem, and the deprecated APIs have been removed. For teams that don’t use the legacy terrain system, compiling it out is now as easy as excluding the Gem from the project.

  • Dynamic Slice support in Dynamic Vegetation. In Lumberyard 1.26, we’ve extended the Vegetation Asset List to the Dynamic Vegetation system, so now each asset in the list can be one of the following:

    • A “Vegetation” asset

    • An “Empty Space” placeholder

    • A “Dynamic Slice” asset

      These can be mixed-and-matched in any way you like. We designed the new Dynamic Slice support to spawn inanimate collision-enabled objects in your scenes such as rocks and other fixed obstacles, which are combinations of meshes and PhysX colliders. However, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination, the technical requirements of your game, and a hard limitation to the system where the spawned dynamic slices can’t include vegetation layer spawners within them.

      
                              ly1 26 highlights dynamicslicesupport
  • PhysX Collider Surface Tag Emitter. The new PhysX Collider Surface Tag Emitter enables planting dynamic vegetation on PhysX Collider surfaces. This provides a more efficient option to the Mesh Surface Tag Emitter when trying to plant vegetation on arbitrary mesh surfaces.

    
                        ly1 26 highlights physxcollider

White Box Tool

Have you been enjoying the White Box Tool introduced in 1.25? With 1.26, this popular feature leaves the experimental release phase and is now available as a full preview version!

(Not familiar with the White Box Tool? It’s Lumberyard’s new geometry instancing tool to help you add temporary scene elements and details without having to import or manage assets.)

To deliver our preview version, we’ve made the following updates:

  • Vertices are now easier to select, as we’ve added better visual feedback as to their location. Move more quickly through sculpting geometry with less eyestrain!

    
                        ly1 26 highlights vertextrans1
  • Now, you can translate a vertex by clicking the left mouse button on a vertex, and then dragging it.

    
                        ly1 26 highlights vertextrans2
  • And flip a vertex quickly by holding Ctrl + Shift to show all hidden edges, then clicking the right mouse button on the hidden edge.

    
                        ly1 26 highlights flipedge

Get all the details in the documentation here!

Lumberyard UI 2.0

We’ve been working throughout this release to finalize the new Lumberyard UI and incorporate your feedback – over 75 suggestions and requests – into polishing the experience.

Here are a few of the changes we made. (Check out the rest on the Lumberyard Beta 1.26 Bug Fixes page.)

  • We’ve added all-new Application icons which make the Lumberyard applications stand out, and provide a more consistent look-and-feel. Check 'em out:

    Updated icons! We hope you like 'em.

    
                        ly1 26 highlights ui20 1
  • Also, check out your Start Bar in Windows: we’ve added previews for Lumberyard’s windows which display the name of the active widget in that window. Like to have several windows open at once? No problem! You can now jump between each window without having to reopen your minimized window to find out what you were working on in each.

  • We’ve improved the overall user experience in several Lumberyard tools along the course of finalizing UI 2.0. This includes changes to Particle Editor, Terrain texture layers, Script Canvas, Animation Editor, and the Preferences settings page. (See the screenshots below.)

    The new look for the Terrain Texture layers Editor.

    
                        ui20 changes terrain texture layers
  • As an example, we updated the Terrain Texture layers to support a more stable layout. This means the table grids now have the proper table layout and size. We cleaned up the main table view, which used to appear in collapsed state, and required a certain amount of manual dragging and positioning. We also cleaned up the fonts (size and color) to improve legibility and help you get better information at a quick glance, and added anti-aliasing support so your eyes didn’t get injured on any pixel edges. (That’s an artist’s joke!) On top of that, we made the thumbnail view more reliable and consistent.

    We applied this rigor across the various editors, tools, and components in Lumberyard, and we really hope you like the results!

    And check out the Particle Editor!

    
                        ui20 changes particleeditor
  • As with the Terrain Editor (and many other Lumberyard editors and components), we’ve overhauled the Particle Editor user experience as well. Consistent application of Qt widgets make everything cleaner and more visually stable, and allow for better extensibility if you choose to build atop it yourself for your own Lumberyard tools.

    The updated Preferences menu.

    
                        ui20 changes preferences
  • We’ve upped our game – and yours too, we hope! – with the tabbed window experience. Now it’s easier for you to select docked windows and drag them around. Window spaces now have a cleaner layout to show more content.

    Combine windows cleanly into a single tabbed view.

    
                        ui20 changes overflowtabs
  • We’ve made changes to improve readability and visibility when menu overflow occurs across the Editor, including toolbar overflows on the top of the Editor and on the bottom of the viewport, and tabbed window overflows when the window size is small. This will help you access the tools and functions easier, as the UI now adjusts automatically to allow more elements and content.

    Or dock them with each other to control your screen real estate!

    
                        ui20 changes sxsdockingtabs
  • We’ve updated the console to have both a Dark mode and a Light mode. Both the Dark and Light mode palettes for the scrollbar and font have been updated to have a better color contrast, improving readability.

    Choose your allegiance: Light, or Dark mode?

    
                        ui20 changes lightdarkmode
  • Do you use Perforce (P4V) for game production collaboration? We have updated the experience inside Lumberyard for easier integration, and better awareness of connection status. You can toggle P4V connectivity, as well as easily access the settings and status all in one place.

    Connected to source control? It’s easy to check, now!

    
                        ui20 changes perforce
  • No more need to open up every Lumberyard window to find the correct window — just use taskbar preview (if you’re developing in Windows).

    Ah, there you are, Entity Inspector.

    
                        ui20 changes taskbarpreview

Lastly, we’ve been working with our Docs team to roll out initial versions of the Lumberyard UI Extensions Guide and the associated Lumberyard UI 2.0 API Reference. Both of these new guides are still in development, and further additions and improvements to them will be rolled out after the release, but for now, take a look and tell us what you think.

GameLift Gem

Good news! We’ve upgraded our GameLift Gem to support version 3.4.0 of the GameLift C++ Server SDK, which includes a number of stability and performance improvements. This SDK is bundled with Lumberyard 1.26.

Documentation

Last but not least, we heard everyone loud and clear on adding more documentation for new users onboarding to Lumberyard for the first time! Our docs team took some time to dig into starting a game from scratch, and has released the first chapters in the new Welcome Guide series of tutorials, which will help you build your first simple game and acclimate yourself with Lumberyard. More chapters will follow throughout the year, focusing on more advanced scripting and physics, AI, audio, and in-game UI.


                  coop logo

Get started by creating "Flyin' the Coop", a very simple game (at this time) of fowl play. To quote our doc manager, a former professional game reviewer: "Well, it captures the experience of being a chicken well enough, I suppose. It’s educational, too? And it’s free. 3 out of 5 stars." Maybe you’re the one to make it amazing, dear reader?

(Frankly, he just REALLY likes the chicken.)


                  ly1 26 highlights docs chicken time

Check out the first batch of Welcome Guide Tutorials, and then hop on the forums to let us know what else you’d like to see us add!

Feature Deprecations and Removals

(Note on usage: An Amazon Lumberyard feature that is marked as "deprecated" is no longer under development and will be removed from the product at a later date. Features marked as "removed" are no longer present or supported in the noted version.)

The following features have been deprecated with Lumberyard v1.26 and will be removed in a following release.

CryPhysics

  • CryPhysics will be deprecated in a future release. CryPhysics will be deprecated in a future release. In Lumberyard 1.26, CryPhysics can be optionally disabled with a macro for compilation. Almost all CryPhysics features will have functional equivalents provided as a PhysX implementation. The current exception is CryVehicles, which will be removed entirely. (For details on what has changed in CryPhysics for this release, read Lumberyard 1.26 Changes and Improvements.)

Cloud Gem Portal

  • The Cloud Gem Portal remains deprecated in Amazon Lumberyard release v1.26, and will be removed in a coming release.

Note

The Dynamic Content management part of the Cloud Gem Portal will be migrated into a new user experience. We will not deprecate this feature without suitable replacement functionality for Dynamic Content management.

Resource Compiler Image Tool

  • The Resource Compiler Image tool has been removed in Amazon Lumberyard release v1.26.

More Information