Where the last two Lumberyard releases were all about introducing new foundational systems (such as EMotion FX and Script Canvas), our next two releases will focus on optimizing those systems and making the engine easier to use overall. Today, we’re excited to roll out the first of these releases with Lumberyard Beta 1.13.
Thanks to your feedback, we’ve added over 200 improvements in this release with an emphasis on stability and ease of use. We’ve also included new Cloud features that help you focus on creating great gameplay experiences without the need for expert engineers. Here are some highlights:
1. Cross-gem Communication
Cloud gems make it easy to build popular cloud-connected features, such as dynamic content, leaderboards, and daily messages. Now, with 1.13, you can expose their API operations to one another and use each other’s backend services. In other words, you can now combine Gems to enable more complex functionality in your games.
For example, use the Message of the Day Gem with the Text to Speech Gem to send procedurally voiced messages to your players. Leverage the Player Account Gem with the Leaderboard Gem to remove scores from fraudulent accounts, reducing player dissatisfaction. Or if you want to get fancy: combine In-game survey with Text to Speech to generate voiced surveys, then get spoken feedback from players using the Speech Recognition Gem. These are just some of the combos we can think of—we can’t wait to see what you come up with.
2. Text to Speech Customizability
We also made improvements to the Text to Speech Cloud Gem itself. This includes support in the Cloud Gem Portal for additional SSML (Speech Synthesis Markup Language), which gives you more precise control over timbre and language accents. For example, you can use the American English voice to speak French phrases. We also made improvements to management features, such as improved filtering and speech package management.
With the ability to manipulate the timbre, tone, and pacing of the generated speech audio using SSML, this Gem provides a flexible, cost-effective solution to voicing characters in your games—whether it’s for creating ambient crowd chatter or for providing placeholder lines for animated cutscenes.
3. PhysX Gem (preview)
This release also introduces a preview of the NVIDIA PhysX Gem, which will help you create realistic effects such as collision detection and rigid body dynamics simulation. By enabling the Gem in the Project Configurator, you can add the following components to your entities:
- PhysX Collider – Provides collision response by linking the entity’s PhysX Mesh Shape or shape component with its assigned PhysX Rigid Body Physics motion type.
- PhysX Mesh Shape – Provides the geometry of the collision area.
- PhysX Rigid Body Physics – Defines the entity as a rigid object and allows you to choose the motion type.
For more information, see PhysX System in the Amazon Lumberyard User Guide.
4. Sample Updates
Finally, as we move Lumberyard away from its legacy systems, we’ve begun the process of updating our sample projects. In this release, all the characters in Starter Game are now using EMotion FX, our new animation system. We’ve also added a dedicated project that demonstrates several kinds of physics setups to help you understand the physics features of Lumberyard. Plus, there’s also a sample level that shows you how to use many types of PhysX rigid bodies, including boxes, spheres, capsules, convex meshes, and static triangular mesh objects exported from FBX. Have a specific sample you want updated? Let us know on the forums.