Train2Game News GameLift now supports C++ and C#

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced that Amazon GameLift now supports games built with any C++ or C# game engine, including Amazon Lumberyard, Unreal Engine, Unity, and custom developed engines. With Amazon GameLift, developers can quickly scale their dedicated multiplayer game servers to support millions of players using AWS’s highly available cloud infrastructure, without investing thousands of hours in upfront engineering. 
AWS also announced that Amazon GameLift includes new matchmaking functionality that intelligently selects the closest available game server based on each player’s location, giving players the lowest possible latency by leveraging AWS’s broad global footprint. Game developers only pay for the compute, storage, and bandwidth resources their games use, with no upfront commitments or monthly contracts. To get started with Amazon GameLift, visit aws.amazon.com/gamelift.

Expectations for multiplayer games have never been higher. Gamers demand short wait times to connect to games, imperceptible server latency, and bulletproof stability. To meet these expectations, game developers have needed to invest thousands of hours of engineering to build systems that manage server infrastructure and scale capacity. 

Amazon GameLift is a managed service for deploying, operating, and scaling dedicated game servers for session-based multiplayer games. With Amazon GameLift, developers simply add the Amazon GameLift SDK to their games, upload their game servers, and launch the service in the AWS Management Console. The service then automatically deploys game servers across the AWS Cloud and starts connecting players to games. 

Amazon GameLift’s new matchmaking functionality continually scans available game servers around the world and matches them against player requests to join games. If low-latency game servers are not available, the service’s autoscaling feature can automatically start one, hundreds, or even thousands of game servers across AWS’s global regions. Autoscaling also eliminates wasted capacity by stopping unused game servers in minutes, lowering Amazon GameLift costs by an average of 50 percent. With Amazon GameLift, developers can be confident that on day one that their multiplayer games can scale to support millions of players, while maintaining the high performance gamers expect.

“The majority of leading game companies use AWS, and our customers have consistently asked us for an easier way to deploy, operate, and scale dedicated game servers for their multiplayer games,” said Chris Dury, General Manager, Amazon GameLift. “We built Amazon GameLift to save developers time and money while delivering world-class experiences for their players. We are excited to now offer Amazon GameLift’s benefits to more game developers by adding support for any C++ and C# game engine.”                        

Gearbox Software, the award-winning developer of blockbuster franchises including Battleborn, Borderlands, and Brothers in Arms, is beginning to deploy Amazon GameLift. “Now that Amazon GameLift is available for all game engines, we’re excited about its potential to help us deliver the lightning-fast, seamless online multiplayer experiences our fans demand,” said Neil Johnson, Technical Director at Gearbox Software.

Independent developer Proletariat uses Amazon GameLift to quickly deploy and manage their multiplayer game servers. “For the team at Proletariat, the choice was pretty simple – hire a team of engineers to spend months building our own cloud infrastructure, or launch our game on Amazon GameLift in a couple of days,” said Seth Sivak, CEO of Proletariat. “Amazon GameLift made it easy for us to inexpensively give our fans world-class online experiences.”

South Korea-based AON Interactive, a mobile game studio, is adopting Amazon GameLift for their next game codenamed, Project Road-99. A real-time, multiplayer racing game, Project Road-99 lets players create and share their own tracks and compete with their friends. “Amazon GameLift is helping AON develop fast, stable multiplayer experiences for our players on mobile devices in any region of the world, with incredibly low latency,” said BR Choi, CEO of AON Interactive. “Amazon GameLift’s ability to smartly match players and instantly scale capacity will help AON give our players the best possible experience, while saving us time and money.”

Developers can start using Amazon GameLift using the AWS Management Console or by downloading the SDK at aws.amazon.com/gamelift

Train2Game News Big numbers at EGX 2016

Over 75,000 gamers attended EGX at Birmingham’s NEC to take part in the biggest and the best gaming show in the UK.
Hosted in partnership with Virgin Media, the show boasted over 200 playable games, the largest showcase of indie games in the world and a host of global first-play exclusives including Bethesda’s Dishonored 2 and Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee.

UK hands-on exclusives included the recently unveiled PlayStation 4 Pro and blockbuster games such as Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Gears of War 4, Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, Final Fantasy XV, Horizon: Zero Dawn and more – all playable and pre-release. EGX is now securely established as the most important date in the UK calendar for developers to exhibit their latest games and for gamers to experience them for the first time.

EGX has also grown as a place to reveal new games and features, with this year’s show hosting announcements of the next titles from Square Enix Collective and Failbetter Games, and Shovel Knight’s appearance in Yooka-Laylee. Popular elements of the show included multiple eSports stages and tournaments such as the GFinity $100,000 Counter-Strike: GO invitational and the UK’s only Premier Event on the Capcom Pro Tour, as well as the UK Preliminaries for the European Cosplay Gathering.

The show’s official retail partner Amazon offered ultra-fast delivery via Prime Now to the show floor, ensuring that gaming fans could instantly purchase and pre-order games and hardware more conveniently than ever before.

“We’re delighted with the feedback from attendees who loved the introduction of Scan & Buy on the Amazon app for a convenient way to buy and pre-order games and hardware across this leading gaming event“ said Russell Jones, Video Games & Software Category Leader, Amazon.co.uk

“This was the first time we have offered Amazon Prime customers delivery of products via Prime Now direct to any event, and the service which enabled attendees to order games and consoles was very well received.”

It was not just consumers that turned up in huge numbers as media attendance reached record levels. Hundreds of journalists from all sectors of the media were present and the event attracted national coverage from mainstream outlets such as BBC News, Newsbeat and Newsround, The Mirror and the Sunday Times. Hundreds of influencers including YouTube superstars Syndicate, The Yogscast and Outside Xbox were also in attendance to meet and greet thousands of their delighted fans.

Rupert Loman, CEO of EGX’s parent company Gamer Network added, “EGX 2016 was our biggest and best show yet. I’d like to say thank you to all of our partners, sponsors and exhibitors for helping create another outstanding experience for UK gamers – and of course I must thank the community for making the event so special. Next year will be the 10th anniversary for EGX and we are already planning to mark that milestone with something even more spectacular”.

The next EGX event is EGX Rezzed, taking place at Tobacco Dock in London from March 30th to April 1st 2017. Irrational Games founder Ken Levine has already been announced as the keynote speaker, and tickets are now on sale at www.egx.net/rezzed.

Train2Game News Amazon announces midnight Doom deliveries

Doom4Amazon has announced that gamers across the country will be able to get Bethesda Softworks’ DOOM® delivered right to their door from midnight on Thursday thanks to special delivery windows for Prime members.

Fans who can’t wait to get their hands on one of the year’s biggest titles can get the game delivered just as it becomes available at midnight (BST) on the game’s UK release night – Thursday 12 May 2016, using Amazon’s ultra-fast Prime Now delivery service.

Gamers in selected postcodes in London, Surrey, Berkshire, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Portsmouth and surrounding areas who place orders using the Prime Now app for DOOM from 22:00 up to 23:45 on Thursday 12 May can choose to receive their order right to their door from midnight until 02:00, while slots remain available. As well as special editions of the game, controllers and consoles, gamers can also stock up on supplies for their DOOM missions by ordering crisps, soft drinks, pizzas, sweet treats and more to be delivered with the game, keeping them well fuelled as they take on single and multiplayer DOOM missions.

DOOM fans planning an early night can instead choose a delivery on Friday morning, starting with the first delivery window between 08:00 – 10:00. For these special DOOM two-hour delivery windows, delivery comes at no extra cost for Amazon Prime members, as with all two-hour delivery slots on Amazon Prime Now. For more information, please visit http://www.amazon.co.uk/doom

“We’ll be taking orders for DOOM as soon as it appears in our app, from around 22:00 on Thursday, 12 May 2016 and will continue to take orders while stocks last. Orders placed by 23:45 on the night have the option to get their deliveries within the 00:00-02:00 delivery window, while delivery windows remain available. If you prefer, you can place your order to get the game first thing, with delivery windows available from 08:00 onwards throughout release day” says Jason Weston, Director of Amazon Prime Now in the UK.

“It’s been well over a decade since the last big DOOM release and we want to make sure local fans get their hands on the latest edition of the game in super quick time with our midnight deliveries so they can head into single and multiplayer battles with fellow DOOM fans across the globe as soon as the game is available. Gamers can also take advantage of the food and drink products available for delivery using Prime Now and receive their copy of the game with crisps, soft drinks and more to help them tackle the latest instalment of the iconic game.”

Customers placing their first order of £30 or more on Prime Now are eligible for a £10 discount using the code 30PRIMENOW at checkout. For more information about the promotion. www.amazon.co.uk/30primenow

All Prime members can immediately download the Prime Now app, available on iOS and Android devices, to find eligible delivery postcodes and request notification when the service is available in their area. Customers can also visit http://www.amazon.co.uk/primenow to learn more about Prime Now and discover eligible delivery postcodes.

DOOM order information:

• Orders Begin: Thursday, 12 May 2016, 22:00

• Last Order for Deliveries from Midnight: Thursday, 12 May 2016, 23:45

• Late-Night Delivery: Begins at midnight and runs until 02:00 Friday, 13 May 2016 2016

• Release-Day Delivery: Begins at 08:00 and runs up until midnight on Friday, 13 May 2016

Train2game News SDKBOX launches Amazon IAP

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SDKBOX today launched Amazon In-App Purchasing (IAP) within its revolutionary live game operations platform. Starting today, Cocos developers will be able to enable frictionless Amazon payment options such as in-game currency, expansion packs, upgrades, and more for purchase within apps.

Kai Zhao, Head of Operations for SDKBOX, said: “We are continuing to expand our platform leadership with seamless access to key services such as Amazon’s In-App Purchasing API. Cocos developers will be able to enable fast, easy purchasing to increase engagement and monetization within their apps.”

SDKBOX supports industry-leading services for mobile game production and operations, including analytics, user acquisition, monetization, advertising, compliance and more. A recent 2.0 update brought new capabilities including receipt verification for in-app purchases, live ops controls, cloud-based game configuration management and more.

With the addition of Amazon IAP to the SDKBOX platform, Cocos developers can enable simple, secure, and trusted 1-click purchase experiences, resulting in increased engagement and conversion rates for purchases within apps.

Over 700,000 registered developers leverage the award-winning Cocos2d-x open-source game engine, which currently features over 50,000 published titles to date, including some of the world’s top grossing games like Clash of Kings, Puzzle & Dragons, Monster Strike, Fantasy Westward Journey Mobile, Big Fish Casino, The Legend of Mir 2, and The King of Fighters’ 98. SDKBOX is dedicated to enabling simple and easy to integrate services, like Amazon IAP, for Cocos developers worldwide.

For more information on Amazon IAP for SDKBOX, please visit www.sdkbox.com

Train2Game News Amazon Game Engine

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Amazon Web Services Announces Amazon Lumberyard — a Free, Cross-Platform, 3D Game Engine Integrated with AWS and Twitch.

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced Amazon Lumberyard, a free, cross-platform, 3D game engine for developers to create the highest-quality games, connect their games to the vast compute and storage of the AWS Cloud, and engage fans on Twitch. Amazon Lumberyard helps developers build beautiful worlds, make realistic characters, and create stunning real-time effects. With Amazon Lumberyard’s visual scripting tool, even non-technical game developers can add cloud-connected features to a game in minutes (such as a community news feed, daily gifts, or server-side combat resolution) through a drag-and-drop graphical user interface.

AWS is also announcing Amazon GameLift, a new service for deploying, operating, and scaling session-based multiplayer games. With Amazon GameLift, Amazon Lumberyard developers can quickly scale high-performance game servers up and down to meet player demand, without any additional engineering effort or upfront costs.

Amazon Lumberyard is free, and available today in beta for developers building PC and console games, with mobile and virtual reality (VR) platforms coming soon. Amazon GameLift has a small per-player fee, plus for both Amazon GameLift and Amazon Lumberyard, developers pay standard AWS fees for AWS services used. To learn more about Amazon Lumberyard, visit http://aws.amazon.com/lumberyard.  To learn more about Amazon GameLift, visit http://aws.amazon.com/gamelift.

Building technology capable of making the highest-quality games is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. Game developers either have to spend several years creating the more than 20 significant technology components that are needed to build the highest-quality games (such as real-time graphics rendering, world and character editors, animation systems, physics simulation, low-latency networking, particle systems, scripting systems, terrain generation, and more), or they have to invest in commercial game engines that are expensive and do not include native integrations with Twitch or cloud back-end technologies (like AWS). And, as live, multiplayer games have risen in popularity, game developers have also had to invest thousands of hours to build and manage the back-end infrastructure needed to connect their games to the cloud and support high volumes of fluctuating player traffic. Amazon Lumberyard is the only game engine that gives developers a combination of free, feature-rich development technology, native integration with the AWS Cloud to make it easier for developers to create live and multiplayer online games, and native integration of Twitch features that help developers connect their games to the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers. By starting game projects with Amazon Lumberyard, developers are able to spend more of their time creating differentiated gameplay and building communities of fans, and less time on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of building game engine components and managing server infrastructure. And, with Amazon GameLift, developers can be sure that on day one, their live, multiplayer games can scale to support millions of players, while maintaining the high performance gamers expect.

“Many of the world’s most popular games are powered by AWS’s technology infrastructure platform,” said Mike Frazzini, Vice President of Amazon Games. “When we’ve talked to game developers, they’ve asked for a game engine with the power and capability of leading commercial engines, but that’s significantly less expensive, and deeply integrated with AWS for the back-end and Twitch for the gamer community. We’re excited to deliver that for our game developers today with the launch of Amazon Lumberyard and Amazon GameLift.”

With Amazon Lumberyard, game developers can:

·         Create the highest-quality games—Amazon Lumberyard helps developers build rich, engaging, world-class games—from a full-featured editor, to native code performance and stunning visuals, and hundreds of other features like performant networking, cloth physics, character and animation editors, particle editor, UI editor, audio tools, weather effects, vehicle systems, flocking AI, perception handling, camera frameworks, path finding, and more. Developers also have full access to Amazon Lumberyard source code, making it easy to customize the technology to create differentiated gameplay.

·         Build live, online features in minutes— Live, online games enjoy higher engagement and retention than offline games. Amazon Lumberyard’s visual scripting tool, with its drag-and-drop graphical user interface, makes it easy to build connected game features that access AWS services, such as DynamoDB, Lambda, and S3. In minutes, game designers can create features such as granting a daily gift or sending in-game notifications without having to write a single line of code. Amazon Lumberyard also comes integrated with AWS’s C++ SDK to provide developers access to dozens of AWS services through native C++ code, the most common language used to make games.

·         Reach and engage fans on Twitch— Amazon Lumberyard is integrated with Twitch so that developers can build gameplay features that engage the more than 1.7 million monthly broadcasters, and more than 100 million monthly viewers on Twitch. With Amazon Lumberyard’s Twitch ChatPlay, developers can use a drag-and-drop visual scripting interface to create gameplay features that let Twitch viewers use chat to directly impact the game they are watching in real-time. For example, with Twitch ChatPlay within Amazon Lumberyard, a developer could build a game that lets viewers on Twitch control a character or vote on game outcomes using chat commands like “up,” “down,” “live,” or “die.” And, the Twitch JoinIn feature within Amazon Lumberyard helps developers build games that allow Twitch broadcasters to instantly invite their live audiences to join them side-by-side in the game, with a single click, while others continue to watch.

Amazon GameLift, a new managed service for deploying, operating, and scaling session-based multiplayer games, reduces the time required to create multiplayer back-ends from thousands of hours to just minutes. With a few quick steps in the AWS Management Console, developers can deploy game servers across the AWS Cloud, start connecting players to games, and scale capacity up and down to meet player demand. Developers can also identify operational issues using Amazon GameLift’s real-time reporting of game server capacity and player demand.  With Amazon GameLift and Amazon Lumberyard, developers can create multiplayer back-ends with less effort, technical risk, and time delays that often cause developers to cut multiplayer features from their games.

“Amazon has been a great partner and we are deeply excited about both Amazon Lumberyard and Amazon GameLift,” said Josh Atkins, Vice President of Creative Development, 2K Games. “The integration of a fantastic game engine with amazing cloud services presents a wonderful opportunity for both independent developers and established publishers.”
          
“Developing and maintaining a back-end infrastructure for multiplayer games requires a lot of time, resources, and expertise that are beyond the reach of many developers,” said Chris Jones, Chief Technology Officer, Obsidian Entertainment. “Amazon GameLift removes much of that burden from the developer, allowing them to focus their energy on bringing their great game ideas to life.”
                                  
Amazon Lumberyard is available for download in beta for PC and console game developers. The Amazon Lumberyard engine is free to use, including source. There are no seat fees, subscription fees, or requirements to share revenue. Standard AWS fees apply should developers choose to use other AWS services.

Amazon GameLift is available at launch in the AWS US East (N. Virginia) and US West (Oregon) Regions, with additional Regions coming soon.  Amazon GameLift costs $1.50 per 1,000 Daily Active Users plus the standard AWS fees for AWS services they consume.

Train2Game News Marmalade Event

Marmalade#include is a cosy, informal winter meetup in London for indie developers to share in the magic of mobile game development.

Marmalade have pulled together an interesting lineup of speakers who want to share their knowledge and experience with you, helping you make your projects better and your games fly.

#include is split into 2 parts – Making Games and Selling Games. The event will be taking a close look at what makes games successful, from tech to toolkits to platforms, analytics, services, and discovery on stores. Confirmed so far are speakers from Amazon, Microsoft, Nomad Games, Lemon Moose Games, GameSparks, Ukie, Develop Magazine, and many more to come.

Attend #include for a great day of listening, learning and knowledge sharing with the indie dev community. Win great prizes in the #include challenge (theme ‘Bah! Humbug!’), enjoy a free lunchshare and then some beers at the end of the day!

Sign up here: http://bit.ly/10mJnU0 Tickets are £10 which is fully refunded at the event.

Train2Game News Amazon Phone

Amazon FireAmazon is getting into the smartphone market with its freshly revealed Fire Phone, the company announced this week.

Engadget reports the phone will pack support for a 3D interface with Dynamic Perspective head-tracking system that can be used in games.

The gadget packs a 4.7 inch Gorilla Glass display with HD resolution screen, a 13 megapixel camera, dual stereo speakers, a quad-core 2.2GHz processor, Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM.

It also includes Amazon’s free Mayday customer support service, unlimited cloud storage for photos, and Firefly – a feature that uses Fire Phone’s camera to recognize a variety of items, such as games, books, DVDs, CDs, bar codes, URLs, phone numbers, QR codes, and more.

Fire Phone will be priced at $200 for the 32GB version and $300 for the 64GB, but note that’s with a vaild AT&T contract – off-contract the devices will cost an additional $450. Pre-orders can be put down directly through Amazon starting today.

Reports of an Amazon smartphone emerged earlier this year, around the unveiling on new microconsole Fire TV.

Train2game News: Thief modding competition

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Square Enix and Amazon.com Inc., in collaboration with a host of gaming partners including AMD and the team behind The Dark Mod, today announced the ultimate THIEF mod contest in celebration of the upcoming reboot to one of the most renowned stealth franchises in gaming history.

Beginning today, the THIEF and modding communities are challenged to put their imagination to the test. Whether it’s creating a new heist for Garrett or reworking a classic level from the series, Square Enix and Amazon are looking for fans to submit entries in one of two categories; either a short video playthrough of a mod they’ve created, or a pitch for a mod they would like to create.

Once submitted, all entries will be voted on by the community, members of the Thief development team, and members of The Dark Mod team.

One winner from each of the two categories will be chosen and will receive a host of prizes from key partners, including:

o    A high-end gaming rig from AMD which includes an AMD Radeon R9 290X graphics card
o    An all-expenses paid trip to E3 2014 with Square Enix
o    Steam code for all Square Enix Games with the matching Prima Guide
o    A bundle of game development books on Kindle
o    An Amazon Kindle DX

In addition, every entrant to the competition will also receive a free digital version of Thief: Gold (1999) courtesy of Amazon.com.

For more information on how to enter and the full list of categories and prizes, visit www.amazon.com/thiefcontest

For information on how to create a mod, along with all the tools needed, visit TheDarkMod.com

Closing date for entries is April 14, 2014.

Full Terms and Conditions apply

Train2Game News: Amazon leaks GTA V for PC

Grand Theft Auto V Amazon has added fuel to the rumour mill and listed GTA V for PC for pre order. This adds to many strong rumours the port is coming.

The PC version of the high selling Grand Theft Auto V went live on France and Germany’s Amazon pages and I am sure they will get a strong worded letter from developers Rocksteady asking for this not to happen again. Amazon France has already taken the product down. Neither page had a release date for the game so there wasn’t too much damage done.

Multiple industry sources had already said a PC version of GTA5 would happen, and they said by 31st March 2014 – roughly six months after the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. Grand Theft Auto 4, by comparison, added a PC version eight months after the console release.

With the game being all but confirmed for PC what does this mean for an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 port? Will it happen so they can take advantage of the higher processing power or will Rockstar start work on something else? Time will tell.

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 09.08.13

Call of Duty Black Ops IIIt’s the end of the week and time for the industry news round up!

The epic climax of Activision and Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II Downloadable Content (DLC) Season Pass culminates with Apocalypse. Available first on the Xbox Live online entertainment network from Microsoft on August 27, the game’s fourth and final DLC Pack delivers four thrilling, diverse multiplayer maps and the all-new wildly creative Zombies experience – “Origins”. In addition one of my favourite bands, Avenged Sevenfold, will be again lending their musical talent to the game with their song, Shepherd of Fire, from their upcoming album Hail to the King, featuring in the opening cinematic.

Marvelous Games, the European division of the Harvest Moon publisher MarvelousAQL, has today unveiled more details on RunBot – the first title to emerge from the recently announced five-game publishing agreement with Touch Racing Nitro developer Bravo Game Studios. Due for release worldwide on iOS on August 22nd, RunBot is a brilliant Parkour/freerunning twist on the endless runner genre, offering phenomenal 3D visuals across a constantly evolving course.

Sources say that Amazon is working on producing its own android based games console, for release later this year possibly around the US thanksgiving season. There’s no real news about what the console will consist of, other than ‘it’s coming’, but given that Amazon has a pretty healthy stock of games and a download service already in place, it could already be one up on the Ouya, whose exclusive developers have been struggling to turn a profit on the system.

The Suikoden Revival Movement has launched the next phase of its campaign entitled ‘Operation Blinking Mirror.’ Between December 10 and December 12, 2013, the Suikoden Revival Movement will be inundating Konami Japan with Suikoden-related paraphernalia such as letters, artwork, cosplay photographs and sculptures. Operation Blinking Mirror – an ode to a teleportation device found throughout the series – has launched its own Facebook page where fans can find out more.

Finally videos have surfaced from Microsoft and Sony unboxing the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. You can view the Xbox One – here and the PlayStation 4 – here.