Amazon has released Lumberyard 1.25, the latest beta of the game engine and development environment, introducing UI 2.0, a “cleaner and more consistent” new user interface with support for 4K monitors.
The release also includes a preview of Landscape Canvas, a new node-based landscape authoring system, and an experimental new Gem for setting up white box test environments.
Other changes include GPU support in the Nvidia Cloth physics Gem, support for reusable sub-graphs in the Script Canvas visual programming system, and updates to the EMotion FX character animation system.
UI 2.0: a more consistent modular UI built on Qt
The headline feature in Lumberyard 1.25 is UI 2.0: a “cleaner and more consistent” user interface design, built using the industry-standard Qt library and following “modern UI principles”.
The visual differences between UI 2.0 and the old UI are fairly subtle – you can see a comparison above – but Amazon notes that a key goal of the work was to create a set of modular, reusable UI components.
As well as ensuring consistency between the main editor and sub-tools and extensions, that means that developers can use UI 2.0’s Qt widget library to create consistent interfaces for their own custom tools.
The new UI also scales properly on 4K and other high-res displays, and supports multi-monitor set-ups. The legacy UI is still available in the editor, but is due to be deprecated in Lumberyard 1.26.
Experimental new white box testing and landscape authoring systems
Technical artists also get an experimental new White Box Tool Gem, intended for sketching out 3D proxy meshes in order to perform quick tests on level designs or physics systems.
Meshes created in this way can be saved to disk in the white box system’s native file format, or exported as OBJ files as templates from which to create the final assets in third-party DCC tools.
The toolset is still in development, and is currently only available on Windows 10.
Its node groups correspond to the component types available in the dynamic vegetation system, enabling users to create landscape assets through visual programming rather than coding.
Content previously authored for Dynamic Vegetation is backwards-compatible, with Landscape Canvas automatically building a graph from existing levels.
Update to visual programming, cloth physics and character animation
Script Canvas, Lumberyard’s visual programming system, also gets an update, adding support for Script Canvas Functions: its equivalent of graph instances or sub-graphs.
The system enables users to package entire sections of a graph into single function nodes with custom inputs and outputs, which can then be reused more easily across projects.
EMotion FX, Lumberyard’s character animation system, also gets a few new features, including the option to preview animations assigned to motion nodes, and the option to force animation updates when a character is not visible to the in-game camera.
There are also a number of smaller updates, bugfixes, and deprecated features, including the old terrain model and the Cloud Gem Portal. You can find a full list of changes via the links below.
Availability and system requirements
Lumberyard 1.25 is available now. The editor runs on Windows 7 and above.
The engine is free to use for developing offline and local multiplayer games, including source code access; online games must use Amazon Web Services, charged at Amazon’s standard AWS rates.
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