Amazon Lumberyard is a free, cross-platform 3D game engine developed by Amazon Game Tech. It is based upon Crytek’s Cryengine. This AAA game engine is written in C++ and Lua. Lumberyard develops games for the PC, Mobiles and consoles i.e., Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The most prominent feature of the engine is its integration with AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Twitch. Lumberyard is designed for performance, modularity, and productivity.

The engine was first launched in February 2016 with GameLift, a service that deploys and hosts multiplayer games. In March 2018, the beta version of engine was released that can be used to build games for Windows, PS4 and Xbox One. The beta 1.3 version included Virtual reality so it supported the devices like HTC Hive and Oculus Rift (both being the Virtual Reality Headsets).

Lumberyard is based upon CryEngine, means it offers the same gorgeous 3D environments and real-time effects. Never-the-less many significant developments have been made upon the engine. As the Amazon developers continue to make upgrades in the engine, it can go further away from CryEngine. Some of these upgrades include The Component Entity System, Fur Shadding, Modular Gems, Script Canvas and many others.

Lumberyard is free to use: No royalties, no license fee and no upfront cost. But it is free only if you are making a single player or local-only multiplayer game. For online multiplayer game, developers have to pay the fee for AWS (Amazon Web Services). Using AWS developers can build and host their games on Amazon’s servers. As stated by Amazon, the engine is designed for effortless compatibility with AWS. In addition to AWS, Lumberyard includes twitch integration. Twitch Chatplay allows developers to interact easily in real-time with the viewers into the gameplay. On August 2017, the source code of the engine was made available for public on Github under proprietary license.


  • Character Animation
  • State-of-the-art lightening and soft shadow
  • Screen space reflections
  • 3D water quality
  • Offline rendering
  • Multicore support
  • Realistic physics
  • High quality environmental audio
  • Data driven sound system
  • Motion blur and depth of field
  • Particle Editor
  • Cloth Physics
  • Weather Effects

Games Developed on Lumberyard

New World
New World

Some Other Useful Resources

Here's our list of top five game programming books you should read.

Game Engine Black Book: DOOM: v1.1

The book Game Engine Black Book: DOOM: v1.1 is just a masterpiece from Fabien Sanglard as it describes not only the details of how the code works, but also some interesting history and trivia. The description of hardware capabilities, audio/video interfaces, and design decisions behind them is quite interesting.

If you're not a programmer the book is still interesting - it explains lots of neat tricks, plenty of photos, quotes, and backstory about how the game was developed.

Game Programming Patterns

With over 85% 5-start reviews on Amazon, readers agree that Robert Nystrom's Game Programming Patterns is a must have for any software developer. It has a crystal clear look at how to be the benevolent architect of a very complicated software/game without getting lost.

The author presents the architecture of a game in an easy to understand matter not from an academic perspective but from experience. The book contains code examples written in C++, well organised and written so cleanly that it feels like pseudo-code.

Beginning C++ Through Game Programming

With Beginning C++ Through Game Programming, Michael Dawson builds your knowledge from the ground up. This book not only is easy to understand and teaches well, but it is focused on the very subject to learn C++ for game programming.

When it comes to game programming, C++ is the name of the game.

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made

This is highly recommend book for anyone who likes history of videos games, or just likes good stories. Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made captures the complexity of game development that anyone can pick up and enjoy.

If you have even a passing interest in gaming be sure to pick this one up. (reader's comment)

Foundations of Game Engine Development - Volumes 1, 2

The volume 1 of the book discusses the mathematics needed by engineers who work on games or other virtual simulations. The volume 2 explores the vast subject of real-time rendering in modern game engines.

The book is packed with great C++ code snippets and examples. You have tried-and-true methods that can be incorporated into any game engine and source code is not specific to any API or framework.