The news in brief: Simulation developers can now create 3D content with the new Open 3D Engine (O3DE) Linux editor and engine runtime, and a new Debian package and Windows installer provide a faster route to getting started with the engine.
O3DE’s first major release: Stable 21.11
Today, the Open 3D Foundation (O3DF) and its members including Adobe, AWS, Huawei, Intel, and Niantic announced the O3DE Stable 21.11 release of the Apache 2.0-licensed Open 3D Engine project. Since the formation of O3DF and launch of the O3DE Developer Preview in July 2021, over 250 developers from a wide range of industries have contributed over 2,182 pull requests and 1,801 issue; developer features have also been added along with improved stability and performance to ensure that O3DE is ready for use in live games and simulations. In addition, O3DE now has a Windows installer to give users an accelerated onboarding experience as well as Linux support to bring O3DE to an even wider community of users and contributors. Developers can get started by downloading the installer from o3debinaries.org or cloning the source repository from GitHub.
In July, we formed the Open 3D Foundation and released the Developer Preview of Open 3D Engine—a modular and extensible engine free from commercial license requirements that includes a multi-threaded photorealistic renderer, a 3D content editor, a server authoritative networking stack with native cloud integrations, and a programmable asset processing pipeline. The Developer Preview gave the community early access to a source-only version of the engine in order to evaluate the core set of capabilities, provide feedback on the project, and begin contributing to O3DE’s development and governance.
With today’s release, developers can build 3D games and simulations, or a customized game engine on a stable foundation with support from the O3DE community and O3DF. Developers using Linux can now install a native version of the engine with the Debian-based Linux package distribution. Teams using Windows can get started even faster with a verified Windows installer. This release also adds new developer features such as performance profiling and benchmarking tools, an experimental terrain system, a Script Canvas integration for the multiplayer networking system, and an SDK to facilitate engine customization with platform support for Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android. In addition to core engine capabilities, Open 3D Foundation members have contributed new capabilities to O3DE through the extensible Gem system. Kythera released an update to their artificial intelligence Gem to add support for pre-built O3DE SDK, enabling creators to include AI behaviors in their games and simulations. Cesium released a geospatial 3D tile extension. PopcornFX released a Gem for particle visual effects. The Gem system has also been extended to enable external Gem repositories, making it even easier to add capabilities from third party contributors.
“With the first major release of the engine, developers and content creators can get started faster—and have confidence that the core components of the engine are stable and supported,” said Royal O’Brien, GM of Digital Media and Games for the Linux Foundation. “Engine builders, 3D simulation developers, and metaverse developers can use O3DE’s open standards and wide range of content creation tools to build the multiplatform 3D experiences of the future, today.”
To get started, developers can get the source code from GitHub and begin extending components of the engine, developing new content workflows, and building platform specific runtime binaries. Teams who have been working with the Developer Preview of O3DE can pull the latest changes from GitHub, and access the development branch for the latest code changes and work-in-progress features. Content creators can get the new Windows installer or Debian package to begin building games and simulations using the engine’s 3D authoring tools. Users can also enable built-in cloud integrations to add capabilities such as player authentication, metrics and telemetry, and multiplayer server hosting to their games and simulations.
Q1. What is included in the latest release of Open 3D Engine?
The O3DE Stable 21.11 release provides a stable, extensible foundation for game and simulation developers to build 3D experiences and custom 3D engines. The new Windows installer lets teams get started with the engine without programming experience or the need to build the engine from source. Preview support for Linux as both an authoring and runtime platform opens up new gaming and non-gaming use-cases while also providing a more streamlined workflow for building experiences. This release also includes an experimental terrain system, improvements to the engine synchronization system, new networking capabilities in Script Canvas, updates to the game object prefab system, performance profiling and benchmarking tools, and an SDK to facilitate engine customization with platform support for Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
Q2. What can developers expect now that O3DE for Windows is out of Developer Preview?
Developers can be confident in adopting core systems of O3DE for Windows that have been hardened and have moved out of ‘Preview’ or ‘Experimental’ status for use in upcoming games or 3D experiences.
Q3. Does the Open 3D Foundation hold an annual event for developers?
Yes. In October 2021, the Open 3D Foundation held its inaugural O3DECon event, with 36 sessions hosted by members of the Foundation. With over 250 attendees, the event brought together game studios, simulation developers, 3D artists, spatial technology providers, and a wide range of other community members. The event will be held annually in October each year. In October 2021, we also kicked off the first O3DE game jam with the theme ‘The World Outside’ to encourage community members to build content. Check out game jam progress via Twitter and on our Discord.
Q4. How can my organization support the O3DE project?
Any organization can participate in the O3DE open source project. However, organizations become members of the Open 3D Foundation because they want to take an active role in supporting the growth and evolution of the overall O3DE ecosystem. If your organization is interested in joining, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you shortly.