Gory platformer Butcher channels Doom and Quake

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Doom was never a fully 3D game of course, using various tricks to convince you that you weren’t shotgunning foul hell demons on a flat plane. But that shaky third dimension has been entirely done away with for Transhuman Design’s Butcher, a gory platforming shooter channeling Doom and Quake. Before we go any further.

If Butcher rings a bell, that’s probably because of the free prototype that King Arthur’s Gold/Soldat developer Transhuman Design released some time ago. The game appears to have come on a long way since then, with flashier pixel art and visual effects, and extra features not present in the prototype. Here’s a quick rundown, from the newly minted Steam page:

  • Ultra-violent uncompromising carnage in the spirit of Doom and Quake (chainsaw included)
  • Skill-based gameplay mechanics
  • Release your inner artist, paint the walls with (permanent) blood (up to 4 million pixels available to be painted per level)
  • Use the environment (saws, hooks, lava pits, animals and other) to brutally dispose of your enemies
  • Choose from an array of weapons (featuring classics like chainsaw, railgun and the deadly grenade launcher)
  • Adorn more than 20 levels with the insides of your enemies
  • Soak in the dark atmosphere reinforced by a wicked, heavy soundtrack (while you kick corpses around)
  • Die painfully: melt in lava, become piranha food, get crushed by heavy doors… and more!

It’s pretty violent, in other words. Butcher is due out “Fall 2016”, so quite soon.

Amazon launches Lumberyard, a cross-platform 3D game engine that’s free to use

Amazon has launched a new video game engine it’s calling Lumberyard. The e-commerce giant says its free, cross-platform, 3D game engine will allow developers to make top-notch titles and tap into its bevy of web services (for a fee, of course).

Lumberyard is packed with hundreds of features including cloth physics, character and animation editors, a particle editor, a UI editor, audio tools, weather effects, vehicle systems, perception handling, camera frameworks and more. Amazon even says developers can add cloud-connected features like community news feeds, daily gifts and server-side combat resolution in minutes using a drag-and-drop interface.

As you’d expect, Lumberyard is fully integrated with Twitch. With the Twitch ChatPlay feature, viewers can use the chat interface to directly impact the game they are watching someone play in real-time. For example, a developer could make a game that lets Twitch watchers vote on game outcomes using simple chat commands. Another feature called Twitch JoinIn lets Twitch broadcasters invite viewers from their audience to play alongside them on-the-fly.

Amazon also detailed a new managed service for deploying , operating and scaling session-based multiplayer games called GameLift. The company promises it’ll reduce the time required to create multiplayer back-ends from thousands of hours to just minutes.

Available as of today in beta, Lumberyard allows developers to build both PC and console games with support for mobile titles and virtual reality platforms coming soon. Lumberyard is free to use, including the source code. Amazon stresses that there aren’t any seat fees, subscription fees or requirements to share revenue. Should a developer want to use AWS services, however, standard fees will apply.

GameLift, meanwhile, is priced at $1.50 per 1,000 Daily Active Users on top of the standard AWS fees for AWS services consumed.

If you’re serious about creating that game you’ve already dreamed of or are an established developer looking to broaden your horizons, Lumberyard may be worth a look.