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Open 3D Engine Gets New Tools While O3DE Jam Is Announced for This Weekend

by Contributor

The Open 3D Foundation shared several news today, starting with the release of the next version of the Open 3D Engine, a cross-platform open source project based on a fork of Amazon’s Lumberyard engine (itself spun off Crytek’s CryEngine).

O3DE version 23.05 is the result of nearly six thousand code commits that together change over three million lines of code. Front and center is the addition of Material Canvas, a new interface for visual scripting that combines the capabilities of Script Canvas and the Material Editor in a single, powerful tool. With Material Canvas, users of the Open 3D Engine will be able to create custom shaders and generative materials. The Material Pipeline provides easier customization while balancing the performance and quality of the rendering pipeline, and the Asset Browser includes several layout options and an asset inspector panel to optimize asset management.

Physics got a boost in O3DE version 23.05 thanks to the introduction of PhysX 5.1, which can improve simulation performance by up to 15% over PhysX 4. On the animation side, the editor has been improved, the animation asset import has been streamlined, and the AnimGraph now comes with a Performance Visualizer to aid users in optimizing their AnimGraphs.

Landscaping has been made easier with the new paintbrush tool available to sculpt terrain, and there’s also a Terrain Developer Guide that users can read to understand how the terrain system works in the Open 3D Engine.

Developers of VR and XR applications or games will be glad to learn that OpenXR compatible devices are now supported with the OpenXR and OpenXRVk Gems. Mobile developers also got something nice: the Atom renderer now supports half-float, improving performance.

The O3DF also highlighted an enhanced authoring experience. For example, the new version of the MPS (Multiplayer Sample Game) lets developers take a look at reference implementations of client and dedicated server infrastructure while showing examples of integrations with the engine’s various systems, from lighting to audio and more. MPS supports up to 10 players.

Lastly, developers using the Open 3D Engine for robotics simulation can take advantage of the new integration with the Robot Operating System 2, previously available as an early access version. This release of the ROS2 Gem features improved stability and new features.

Another exciting piece of news shared today is the first O3DE Jam, a development jam scheduled for this weekend. You can find more about it here.

The Open 3D Engine project has big partners like Microsoft, Intel, Adobe, Huawei, Amazon Web Services, Niantic, and Tencent’s Lightspeed Studios. It gets major releases on a bi-annual cycle, with the second one for 2023 scheduled to land in October.

The only known game to have switched engine for it is Deadhaus Sonata, an action RPG in development at Denis Dyack’s Apocalypse Studios. You can read my interview with Dyack on Sonata at this URL.

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