When comparing PlayCanvas vs Lumberyard, the Slant community recommends Lumberyard for most people. In the question“What are the best 3D game engines?” Lumberyard is ranked 17th while PlayCanvas is ranked 28th. The most important reason people chose Lumberyard is:
Lumberyard is free and has no royalty charges.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Powerful assets pipeline
Assets and content delivery is very different on a web platform comparing to native. So PlayCanvas challenges best practices to allow developers decide how their content is delivered and in what form.
Async Assets download allows developers to load content as the app goes, instead of asking to download all assets in advance risking users to simply navigate away while staring at loading screens.
Formats for 3D models and textures support covers all the popular tools. And the workflow is as simple as dragging and dropping your files right into the Assets Panel. The cloud will do the rest of the hard work optimizing and converting your files into runtime-friendly and compressed data.
Pro Rendering engine runs on the browser
Has an advanced WebGL renderer that runs in the browser.
Pro Real-time collaborative online editor tool
PlayCanvas has an online editor that lets you build scenes and work with other people in your team in real-time. This is all done through the web browser without having to install any additional software.
Pro Avoids having to download lots of textures for lightmaps
Lightmaps are an efficient way to deliver lighting to your scenes for a long time. But they come with the cost of large textures. PlayCanvas offers a unique solution for a web platform, it renders lightmaps when an app is loading in runtime.
This is faster than downloading MBs of textures. And it's much more convenient: simply switch your light sources to bake, and static models to be lightmapped, and the engine will do the rest.
Pro Friendly and active community
PlayCanvas has Feed as homepage for registered users, listing Dev Logs of other developers. This allows to socialize with other developers like yourself in a twitter-like environment.
More to that, there is also an active forum, where developers help each other to solve their challenges.
Developers of PlayCanvas itself are always looking forward to chat and help the community with any problems that may arise.
Pro Integrated physics engine
PlayCanvas lets users integrate physics in their game rather easily, using the powerful Bullet Physics Engine (ammo.js). Should also be noted that the physics engine is delivered as an optional library, so by default being disabled it does not add any extra download size to your apps.
Pro Open source
PlayCanvas is fully open source and is under active development.
Pro Has a free tier
Engine is free for projects under 200MB and with no more than 2 people on a team. The free tier has no engine restrictions.
Tools are totally free too. There are no special limiting features behind any paywalls, and free users have all the features as paid users.
There are no royalties associated with publishing your apps and games - you've made them, you own them.
It is free to publish to playcanvas.com as well, just by one click in Editor.
Pro Small app size
The engine itself weighs just under 150Kb, and it's always challenged to stay small. There is no extra weight that has to be carried with your app, just your assets and scripts in a runtime-friendly compressed form.
This allows users to engage with your content in matter of seconds, and even just under a second on a good connection.
Pro Has hot code reloading
Real-time link between your launched app and the editor allows the developer to preview and play with their scene without needing to refresh the game after every change in the code to see the updated result.
Pro Cross-platform support
PlayCanvas lets you build games that run in mobile, desktop browsers, and native mobile apps. PlayCanvas can even make games that can run inside mobile social media and instant messenger clients like Twitter and WhatsApp.
Pro No royalty charges and completely free
Lumberyard is free and has no royalty charges.
Pro Free development license, including source code
Full source code for Engine Editor and every tool.
Pro Landscape editor
Sculpting and painting tools for terrain and instanced details.
Procedural generation of terrain.
Pro In-editor 3D modeling tool for fast level prototyping
Very advanced 3D prototyping tool with many modeling features and UV mapping support available. If you want you can build any kind of fully textured static mesh without relying on external tools.
Pro Modular system
To easy add and remove modular functionalities to a project and easy share them.
Modules are called Gems and can contain code and/or assets.
Pro Easy to create full realistic natural environments
Thanks to built in terrain , time of day, ocean and volumetric fog systems. There is also a gfx pack with various environmental meshes , cloud , particles, materials and skyboxes.
Pro Cloud gems
Online oriented plugins composed by both client, server and administration components to easily add various online capabilities without further work (es leaderboards, login, message of the day, downloadable contents).
Since version 1.7 they has been released at a steady rate.
Pro Uses AWS cloud
Other than common aws functionality it supports game specific Game Lift for autoscaling game servers.
Pro New Fbx Importer adds support for every software exporting in fbx
It now works for both static models and animations and support advanced setups(es lods and physics).
Pro Roads and Rivers Tool
Built in support for roads and rivers to ease the design of rich game environments.
Pro Rendering of volumetric fx with full light and shadows support
Global environmental volumetric fog and/or hand placed custom shaped volumes with featuring full lighting and shadows.
Pro Very Flexible Base Shader with many built in techniques
Tessellation and Displacement.
Various Parallax Mapping techniques(POM siluette).
Translucency and Sub surface scattering.
Advanced uv transformation and animation.
Pro Flexible uber shaders with cache and hot reloading
You can modify shaders while testing the game.
Shader files are modular and annotated to setup the material editing gui and filter out mutually exclusive options. All shader permutation are compiled almost instantly from the asset processor and cached for later use.
Pro Advanced VR support and VR Samples to bootstrap your project
Advenced stereoscopic reprojection to save rendering time.
Pro Total Illumination v2 Realtime GIobal Illumination
Realistic looking lighting bounces.
It doesn't require long offline precomputation times like other static and dynamic GI solutions based on lightmaps or other similar techniques.
Pro Built-in Twitch support even by visual scripting
You can create games that react to keywords entered in a designated Twitch channel and let streamers to invite targeted viewers into their game sessions on demand with ease.
Pro Very lightweight and scalable entity component system
Multiple entity contexts, reflection, serialization, replication, script binding, event bus (EBus) messaging, fully cascading prefabs (slices).
Every reflected property can be fully exposed in the editor with a customizable gui control and can be animated in the built in animation tools.
Pro Specular reflection antialiasing
Implements the most recent technique available (published in 2017) from Anton Kaplanyan.
Pro Amazon has announced 3 in house games using it developed from Amazon Game Studios
As a proof of how much Amazon is committed to the project.
The first game Breakaway (e-sport and streaming oriented fast paced MOBA) is actually in beta stage.
Pro WWise LTX Audio
It is still possible to use the non LTX version with few changes.
Pro Lua scripting with the built-in IDE
Built-in Lua editor with remote debugger to debug Lua scripts running in any device.
Pro Cutting edge character shaders
Has skin shaders with subsurface scattering and weighted wrinkle maps, eye shaders with refraction parallax, hair with anysotropic specular reflections, etc.
Pro Advanced in-game UI with 2D and 3D placing
The UI uses the entity component system so it's fully modular and easily expandable. The UI is easily skinnable and supports border scaling images (scale 9). Powerful layouting system supporting multiple screen resolutions. Being based on the entity system every property can be fully animated.
It is elegantly managed in a separate entity context so it doesn't get messed up with other kind of entities and their components like in other engines, but it's fully decoupled communicating with entities in other context on specific event buses.
Pro Every aspect of the engine is made with scalability in mind
Multiple grain of control over any kind of engine setting and various kind of Lod systems. Settings can be grouped and applied in batch.
Pro Cinematic multitrack tool with full featured animation editing
Animation Spline editor supporting huge range of keyframing and tangent editing tools.
Pro Virtual file system with live reload on any device
Optimized versions of assets can be streamed live to any device connected over the network.
This makes possible to implement asset types that hot reloads reducing drastically the time to test new content and little changes on device.
Pro Is the first engine to feature SpeedTree 8
Pro Full HDR renderer path with output support for HDR tv standards
Updated renderer pipeline to leverage the full spectrum of precision, luminosity and image processing features of the latest HDR tv.
Pro Implements the state of the art for Temporal Antialiasing from NVIDIA Research
Special iteration of Temporal AA to battle the ghosting issue omnipresent in engines using other Temporal AA techniques.
Pro High quality free assets packs
Amazon made available a selection of triple A quality scenes filled with high quality assets.
Pro Perforce versioning system pre-integrated with the tools
Perforce also comes with a free version for a limited number of team members.
Pro Order independent transparencies
A must for problematic things like hair , vegetation and scenes with complex solid transparent objects(es glass of water with ice cubes).
Pro Slices a very powerful nested prefab system with hierarchical property inheritance
Modular workflow and flexible cascaded propagation of changes.
Con Private projects are only available for premium users
The free tier does not support any private projects. Instead, all the code and assets will be hosted openly. While not a problem for open source games and for developers who intend to make an open source game, it can be a deal-breaker for teams who want to keep their code and assets private.
Con No collision offset
Con Not many tutorials
Con Some Legacy systems are still incompatible or not fit well with the new entity component system.
At first it is common to try a feature and then understand that it is meant to work with the legacy system and not with the newest one.
Legacy systems get replaced or updated to work well with the new entity component system in every new version, but there is still some work to do.
One example for all Flow Graph visual scripting is meant for the legacy entity and Script Canvas is the visual scripting conterpart for the new entity system, but it is still not available at the moment.
Con No source code repository with updated development branch (requests for Github support currently pending)
You need to wait up to 30 or 60 days for fixes as they are shipped with the next official release.
There is no comfortable way to submit fixes and changes to the engine as the forum is the only tool for sharing code.