Amazon is hosting a game tech event for game devs tomorrow

    
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Amazon is hosting a game tech event for game devs tomorrow

Amazon Games’ John Smedley appears to be pretty fired up about an event that Amazon Web Services is hosting. It’s called The Digital Download, and it promises to be an informative event for game devs. Or it’s just a very large advertisement for AWS technology in the style of a time share sales pitch get-together. One or the other, or possibly both.

The Digital Download will feature Q&As with developers like Bethesda, Ubisoft, Epic Games, and Capcom among others, as well as over 15 technical demos to get a look at what AWS offers game devs. The event, as its name suggests, will be a digital one, starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 20th.

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overbyte

This feels like Amazon trying to respond to Epic’s latest announcements about their free multiplayer SDK for all game platforms including unity and lumberyard and the matching services.

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JoeCreoterra

Actually it’s the talks they were going to give at GDC

ozarubaba
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ozarubaba

After all their cancelled and failed games, I wonder what the title of the event will be?

“How not to develop online games?”

“How not to make a MMORPG?”

lol

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Arktouros

Amazon doesn’t want to be in game design.

What Amazon wants to be in is providing the development tools for game design, specifically engines (Lumberyard) and utilizing AWS (Amazon Web Services) to connect everything up. Many companies have the engine or they have the servers but very few if any have both and so they want to get into that business.

ozarubaba
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ozarubaba

So, you’re saying, all the games they tried and failed to develop, were to test their tools or something like that?

That isn’t what you’re saying is it?

Why did they even spend money trying to develop those games if it wasn’t to try and make them successful?

Or maybe, after failing so much, they droped it, and focused on the tools?

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Dug From The Earth

Its called proof of concept.

They acquire or create a dev team to make games as an example to other studios how their engine and services can be useful.

The game doesnt need to be a financial success. It just needs to prove that their technology works the way they say it does.

Basically

ozarubaba
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ozarubaba

that’s crazy …

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Bruno Brito

Not really. You see, developers and suits are wired differently than customers, so they see the games in a different light.

We see a game, they see potential for other games who can be way better and successful.

You don’t need to be an artist to sell paper and pen, yet you’ll have quite a lot of artists buying your paper and pen if those paper and pen are well suited for their craft.

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Arktouros

As Dug said it’s not really to test their tools but really to show an example of what their tools can do.

You invest money into developing game examples that others might try to develop and then show how using their engine and services together gives you a unique advantage over existing options. They need working examples show casing the technology though which means developing games. If they make their money back great.

Why would anyone do that? Because like most engine creators they get a cut of the profits down the line on the things other people make. It essentially puts all the risk on other people to design/develop and invest in making a game and then if they’re successful Amazon gets a cut. If they fail then Amazon risked little cause they already had the engine developed.

I don’t want to end up like an ad for Lumberyard/AWS, but they’re doing a lot of things interesting from a technical perspective. However they need basic examples showing it off. Designing a game and having rave reviews from tons of customers about how combat utilizing AWS for combat calculations feels so great would be huge as a selling point kinda thing.

ozarubaba
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ozarubaba

I thought the engine was open source?

Anyway, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone doing that before, ever

The other thing is, whether it’s true or not (I’m not saying it isn’t) they blew their credibility in the process.

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JoeCreoterra

HeroEngine did.
Reality Engine did.
Unreal Engine 4 did. (Unreal and Paragon)

It’s actually pretty common in the industry when we build tech as you need to build tools and process for actual game development and not just some random tailored process. Also you want to have a good demo usage showing what can be done, and if you have the backing and a game can come out of that it’s even better.

ozarubaba
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ozarubaba

I’ve been following and playing MMOs, particularly MMORPGs for many years, and this is the first I hear of this kind of stuff.

To take the example of New World, there was extensive coverage in the media, including on massivelyop.com, and long before it even launched.

I played in the closed beta more than a year before it launched.

And each article, each bit of news was focused on how Amazon was entering the online gaming industry, how there was a new “player”, how they had such important financial resources, synergies with platforms like Twitch, and how we could expect exciting new and ground breaking entertainment.

I don’t think I ever read anything anywhere or ever heard of anyone ever saying what you guys are saying here and now.

Again, I’m not saying it isn’t true, I’m sure it it, but I’m surprised cause this was never mentioned and was for sure not the focus of any coverage and now it’s like “oh yeah, it was always meant to be like this, everyone knows it”.

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JoeCreoterra

Having worked in engine tech/tools for decades now I can tell you that nobody actually wants to fail. A lot of the time the initial goal is to build a game but as time goes on you realize licensing the tech is a much better proposition for the company. Other times you attempt to create a game to prove the overall content pipeline and development with the engine but turn it into a demo in the end. Sometimes it’s a pivot to license in order to keep the company alive with income while continuing to work on the game but then the licensing angle is a much better and stable source of revenue. For example the team building Reality Engine were attempting to build a game and eventually licensed while giving the source to the game free with a license as a proof of concept.

I mean just look at the team that built Slack… they were actually building an MMO game and built Slack as a tool to communicate in a distributed environment. At one point they realized what they had and pivoted and are now basically the standard.