Star Citizen space sim moves to Amazon Lumberyard game engine

Star Citizen, the new brainchild of Wing Commander Chris Roberts, blasted into the gaming scene with its unique crowdfunding system and ambitious and unique spin on the space sim genre. If you have been sold on the idea, and maybe even put in money yourself, and have been waiting for that 1.0 release, you might have to wait a bit longer. Already four years in the making, developer Cloud Imperium Games just revealed that the game has switched from CryTek's CryEngine to Amazon's fresh new Lumberyard game engine.

In the game development world, switching game engines, which are basically the technological foundations of a game, this late into development is almost career suicide. Then again, Star Citizen is technically still in the alpha development stage anyway. But even more insane is the idea of ditching a piece of technology that is years old and has already been used in triple A games, including Far Cry, for something that's barely a year old and has yet to prove its chops in the industry.

Fortunately for Star Citizen (and Amazon indirectly), the Lumberyard game engine was actually spun off CryEngine, which meant CIG didn't have to start from scratch. Lumberyard also offered some features relevant to Star Citizen that off the shelf engines like CryEngine didn't. In particular, integration with the AWS cloud platform and Twitch, both of which are owned by Amazon, comes with the package.

CIG says that the migration has already been in progress for a year now but they finally made the switch public in the Alpha 2.6 version that they just released. It's the first release to be based on Amazon Lumberyard and, at least for players, the transition should be seamless. Star Citizen Alpha 2.6 also has some goodies to distract gamers from that otherwise unknown migration, the biggest of which is the addition of the Star Marine FPS module

Star Citizen currently holds the biggest crowdfunding raised, currently standing at $139 million and growing. It has become the poster boy for CryEngine and is bound to be an even bigger ambassador for Lumberyard. Whether it will be Lumberyard's biggest testimony, however, remains to be seen when Star Citizen gets its actual gold release.

SOURCE: Star Citizen (1), (2)