Amazon Sumerian – AR/VR Engine Preview Released

Today we check out the just released Amazon Sumerian, a server solution and web based editor for creating AR and VR solutions.

You can check it out and sign up for the preview here:

Sadly… not a game engine, or at least, not targeted towards games, even though their is a Javascript based API


Abhijit Bhattacharjee says:

this may make sense for the various online instructors who may prefer to have something different or who may not be interested to be the presenter. plus this can be used as a demonstrator who takes questions directly from viewer.

David Cherrin says:

Thanks for sharing. Been looking for an easy AR web service that works with mobile.

Niraj Gandhi says:

Lets wait and watch how it goes..

Scouser 19 says:

Dude do you know anything about Armory Engine? According to its website “Armory is an open-source 3D game engine with full Blender integration, turning it into a complete game development tool. The result is a unified workflow from start to finish, making you work faster. No more jumping between different applications to constantly export data from one to another.”

Look at this: /watch?v=2-xkLH5FjPw

Ginnie Winnie says:

Death by a thousand cuts? Last I heard Amazon was suffering from losses year after year, but apparently they can still find the resources to build more and more platforms. I guess they’re betting on these platforms exploding in popularity before they bleed too much green.

I’m still not sure if VR is going anywhere, I think it depends heavily on people owning VR peripherals and I haven’t noticed these very expensive face-monitors gaining lots of traction (I’ve used a poor-man’s adaptation with a smart phone and played some Wind Waker in Dolphin’s VR, it was pretty neat but not mind-blowing, more of a mellow “hey that’s pretty neat”, until the face hugger got really uncomfortable, heavy, and sweaty; I haven’t felt any itch to go back to that.) As for AR, it’s a cheap trick, there seems to be not enough processing power in the world to make it look right, and the gimmick’s appeal wears down very quickly–it was what drew people to Pokemon GO, and once the gimmick’s appeal faded and people realized the game itself was a shallow immitation of the real Pokemon games, it took a sharp nosedive in popularity. Nintendo’s been toying with this for some time now, and ultimately, nobody gives a damn about AR, nobody bought the 3DS for AR capabilities (even with 3D vision supplementing it), and even now people complain that once they became accustomed to the 3D effect (similar in functionality to VR anyhow), the gimmick wore off and it wasn’t quite so amazing anymore. Not to mention you have to look at the screen at a very particular angle to make it work, and as you’re pushing your thumbs into the buttons the angle changes and the illusion is dropped so extra care must be taken to ensure you keep the illusion going.

So in both cases VR is annoying, either by being uncomfortable on your head for extended periods of play, or by being uncomfortable to see due to the angle, and the gimmick’s appeal is not long-lasting. That’s a very poor combination which inevitably leads people to opting out of these experiences to get to the meat and potatoes of the media that’s ultimately, at best, seasoned by VR or AR. So in my opinion, I think a lot of these guys are riding on a fad: Unity, probably UE4 (haven’t checked), Amazon, I think even Godot has added this feature into 3, and I’ve also seen an implementation of Love2D explicitly for VR; it’s a hot feature right now and I suppose they’re just giving people what they think they want right now.

In any case I doubt it’s very expensive to implement these features into some kind of software package, which might explain their sudden prevalence in everything; most of the work is enabled by the device’s tracking of its own orientation, beyond that AR needs some concept of an anchor to keep track of where it is in the world (along with a camera to see said world), and VR needs to render things once for each eye. That’s pretty much the extent of it. But hey, for those people who seem to really like VR and AR, it’s a stone’s throw away to enabling these features, and so long as they’re optional, then I guess there’s no harm in including them.

I think AR has a little more potential than VR does particularly outside of gaming; for example if I could walk down the road and get an easy understanding of what businesses might be ahead of me using some AR map software, maybe it could be handy (assuming it doesn’t drain my battery considering it’s using both the camera and GPS.) After seeing Microsoft totally fuck up Conker for their AR gaming experience, I think it took a slight hit, though not nearly as hard as Microsoft got it for fucking up Conker god damn it. Whatever game they were trying to make looked a little silly anyway; you effectively have to create the game without having any idea of what a person’s area will look like, in other words the level will never be known ahead of time and you have to account for any possible case; this gimps the design of your game, your game becomes more of a ‘virtual interactive experience’ than anything resembling a game, not to mention having to correct for when the game no longer understands where it’s supposed to be in the world making any attempt at gameplay ethereal in nature; you either ignore the real world which makes AR moot, or you make a game that has very loose rules as to where anything needs to exist in space. I think there have been attempts at creating virtual pets for AR but you can get the same effect without AR so why pretend there’s anything really there. You know what’s better than an AR pet? A real pet!–those you can actually make skin contact with and form a real bond with, kids will learn some real lessons in caretaking, yadda yadda; much more valuable experience. I just don’t see a bright future in AR for gaming. Maybe you could setup some kind of ARG using AR and leave virtual clues to find for other people to solve whatever mystery is afoot. Notice how a lot of my AR ideas revolve around geolocation, along with Pokemon GO relying heavily on it. AR by itself is boring but if you can associate it with some real place in life then it can be made much more interesting. But again, this combination is very battery unfriendly, so people are discouraged from having these experiences too often lest they not have access to their device halfway into the day.

OTOH, VR is purely for immersion, and IMO it’s hard to get immersed into something when you have a hot TV strapped to your face. Whatever the approach is in the future for getting connected to the matrix, I hope it’s a little more complex than head tracking and giving your eyes two different images. I want to be able to fully experience this virtual world. As of today the only thing that can get me to a similar state is drugs, and those are illegal; I guess people don’t make very good tax cattle when they’re busy being high, which raises an interesting question: will they ban the full-body VR experience too?

Todor Imreorov says:

no gltf = epic fail

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