Have you tried using Project Configurator? You can enable gems and define new projects from there. It's an application you can generally find in dev/Tools/LmbrSetup.
Ultimately you will need to compile to build code changes and make release builds but you can do so without installing all of VS2015. It is certainly easier with VS2015 however. :)
This is technically possible though is a bit complex. Lumberyard on Windows uses the VC++ compiler/VS Build Tools to compile so while you can forego the IDE and the bulk of the standard VS install you'll still need MS VS 2015 Build Tools, VS C++ Build Tools, and additional libs like Windows 10 SDK and MFC/ATL support.
From there you can build via command line using lmbr_waf. lmbr_waf build_win_x64_vs2015_profile should work just fine.
Lumberyard doesn't let me create a new project.But it lets me create a new level. I was even able to import custom fbx models. I thought that might be enough until I tried to create water volume.
It says water volumes are gems and need compilation.
Hmmm. may be just may be this wont work without the vs 2015 community edition after all!
I did try the configurator. Most of the gems doesn't need compilation but this water volume gem needs compilation.
I am going to install VS2015 with c++.
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