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AWS Contributes Lumberyard to Linux Open 3D Foundation

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is contributing an updated version of the Amazon Lumberyard game to the Linux Foundation's nascent Open 3D Foundation and renaming it the Open 3D Engine (O3DE).

Released to open source under an Apache 2.0 license, O3DE is based on Lumberyard, but much of it was reportedly re-written. The new version is an open source, real-time, multiplatform 3-D engine designed to enable developers and content creators to build AAA games, cinema-quality 3-D worlds and high-fidelity simulations, without fees or commercial obligations.

The nonprofit Linux Foundation is creating the Open 3D Foundation "to accelerate developer collaboration on 3D game and simulation technology," the foundation says. Its chief aim is to support open source projects "that advance capabilities related to 3D graphics, rendering, authoring, and development."

With this new organization, the Open 3D Foundation is being organized around a clear goal: enable developers to collaborate on building games and simulations, but also to the evolution of the underlying engine. The new foundation's management structure will include a governing board focused on business and budget decisions and a technical steering committee focused on technical strategy and community management. It will be further organized into Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that include a Build/Dev Pipeline, Simulation Engine, Content Creation, Network & Cloud, Presentation, Documentation/Demo, Release, Security and Testing.

"The O3DE community welcomes contributions from all cloud providers, gaming companies, and industries to advance the project," the foundation says.

3-D engines enable developers and content creators to build a range of virtual "experiences," including games and simulations, by providing such capabilities as 3-D rendering, content authoring tools, animation, physics systems and asset processing.

Many developers are seeking ways to build their intellectual property on top of an open source engine where the roadmap is highly visible, openly governed and collaborative to the community as a whole, according to the Amazon Game Tech Team. O3DE introduces a new ecosystem for developers and content creators to innovate, build, share and distribute immersive 3D worlds "that will inspire their users with rich experiences that bring the imaginations of their creators to life."

"We hear from game and simulation developers that they want more choices that allow for collaboration, customization, and creative control in their production pipelines," the team said in a blog post. "Building 3D tooling from scratch can be cost prohibitive, take years to develop, and require significant resources to maintain. These developers end up choosing either to spend critical dollars reinventing the wheel, or to use proprietary solutions that can be difficult to customize."

"We believe that creating a first-class, community-driven, open-source option will revolutionize real-time 3D development, as Linux did for operating systems and Apache did for the web," said Bill Vass, vice president of engineering at AWS, in a statement.

Along with AWS, the long list of founding members of the Open 3D Foundation includes AccelByte, Adobe, Apocalypse Studios, Audiokinetic, Backtrace.io, Carbonated, Futurewei, GAMEPOCH, Genvid Technologies, Hadean, HERE Technologies, Huawei, Intel, International Game Developers Association, KitBash3D, Kythera AI, Niantic, Open Robotics, PopcornFX, Red Hat, Rochester Institute of Technology, SideFX, Tafi, TLM Partners and Wargaming.

These members are contributing funding and resources to the foundation as the initial governing members. Intel, for example, is contributing "a wide array of Intel's advanced photorealistic and high-performance visual technology," said Jim Jeffers, senior principal engineer and senior director of Intel Advanced Rendering and Visualization Architecture, in a statement. That array includes Intel OSPRay and other components in the Intel oneAPI Rendering Toolkit.

The Open 3D Foundation is an initiative "that will empower developers to collaborate and thereby shape the future of 3D visual experiences," said Deborah Bryant, senior director of Red Hat's Open Source Program Office, in a statement.

"Open source technologies are critical to advance sustainability across 3D industries and beyond," said Sebastien Deguy, vice president of Adobe's 3D & Immersive group, in a statement. "We believe collaborative and agnostic toolsets are the key to not only more healthy and innovative ecosystems but also to furthering the democratization of 3D on a global scale."

A developer preview of O3DE is available now on GitHub.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of Converge360.com sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at jwaters@converge360.com.


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