Jul 20

Updating your games for modern Android


Posted by Tom Greenaway, Senior Partner Developer Advocate

Last year we announced that starting from August 2018 Google Play will require all new apps and games to target a recent Android API level – set to API level 26 (Android 8.0 Oreo), or higher. Additionally, this requirement will extend to updates for existing apps and games starting from November 2018.

Every new Android version introduces changes that bring significant security and performance improvements – and enhance the user experience of Android overall. Updating your games to target the latest API level ensures that your users can benefit from these improvements, while still allowing your games to run on older Android versions.

Simple next steps:

  • Install the Android 8.0 Oreo SDK (API level 26) via Android Studio by navigating to (Tools > Android > SDK Manager > Android SDK > SDK Platforms).
  • Update your game to target API level 26 and see whether your game has any incompatibilities or issues as soon as possible. Update any external dependencies as necessary. Learn more about the incremental changes between versions of Android here.
  • If you are using an advertising network, SDK or plugin which is incompatible with API level 26, reach out to your contacts and find out their timeline for supporting target API level 26. The sooner they’re aware of these changes the better.
  • If you build your game with Unity, support for target API 26 is built into Unity 5.6.5 and beyond. Simply ensure the latest target API level is selected in your Android build settings for Unity (Build Settings > Android > Player Settings). For versions of Unity 5.6.4 and prior, consult this documentation which includes a workaround for versions dating back to 4.3.
  • For games built with Unreal, check your Android platform settings has the “Target SDK Version” set to 26.
  • If you use Cocos2D-X, check the target API level in the gradle.properties file that is generated.

Significant changes to be aware of:

  • Since API 23, we have required permissions be requested at runtime which helps streamline the app install process.
  • Since API 24, apps can no longer dynamically link against non-NDK libraries. If your app (including third-party static libraries) contains native code, you should only be using public NDK APIs.
  • If your game uses Android push notifications, the Google Play Services SDK in your game will need to be updated to version 10.2.1 or above for your game to support API level 26.
  • If your game uses opaque binary blobs (OBB), then your game must check if it can access the directory before attempting to access the OBB files themselves. We recommend explicitly requesting permission for access using the Runtime Permissions API, and gracefully handling cases wherein the permission is not granted. Additionally, add an entry in the manifest for the external storage access:
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" />
    

Moving ahead

Remember, updating the target API level is just the first step – make sure your game is compatible with the behavior changes between your current target API level and API level 26. Check out further guidance on the changes in past versions of Android to help in your migration process. These policy changes are important for moving the Android ecosystem forward and keeping it healthy for our users – and yours.

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Android Developers Blog

Jul 20

Calling European game developers, enter the Indie Games Contest by December 31

Originally posted on Google Developers blog

Posted by Matteo Vallone, Google Play Partner Development
Manager

To build awareness of the awesome innovation and art that indie game developers
are bringing to users on Google Play, we have invested heavily over the past
year in programs like Indie
Corner, as well as events like the Google Play Indie Games Festivals in
North
America and Korea.

As part of that sustained effort, we also want to celebrate the passion and
innovation of indie game developers with the introduction of the first-ever
Google Play
Indie Games Contest
in Europe. The contest will recognize the best
indie talent in several countries and offer prizes that will help you get your
game noticed by industry experts and gamers worldwide.

Prizes for the finalists and winners:

  • An open showcase held at the Saatchi Gallery in London
  • YouTube influencer campaigns worth up to 100,000 EUR
  • Premium placements on Google Play
  • Tickets to Google I/O 2017 and other top industry events
  • Promotions on our channels
  • Special prizes for the best Unity game
  • And more!

Entering the contest:

If you’re based in Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France (coming soon),
Germany, Iceland, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Poland (coming soon), Romania,
Spain, Sweden, Turkey, or UK (excl. Northern Ireland), have 15 or less full time
employees, and published a new game on Google Play after 1 January 2016, you may
now be eligible to enter the
contest. If you’re planning on publishing a new game soon, you can also
enter by submitting a private beta. Check out all the details in the terms and
conditions. Submissions close on 31 December 2016.

The process:

Up to 20 finalists will get to showcase their games at an open event at the
Saatchi Gallery in London on the 16th February 2017. At the event, the top 10
will be selected by the event attendees and the Google Play team. The top 10
will then get the opportunity to pitch to a jury of industry experts, from which
the final winner and runners up will be selected.

Even if someone is NOT entering the contest:

Even if you’re not eligible to enter the contest, you can still register to
attend the final showcase event in London on 16 February 2017, check out some
great indie games, and have fun with various industry experts and indie
developers. We will also be hosting a workshop for all indie games developers
from across EMEA in the new Google office in Kings Cross the next day, so this
will be a packed week.

Get started:

Enter the Indie
Games Contest now
and visit the contest
site to find out more about the contest, the event, and the workshop.


Android Developers Blog

Jul 03

Congrats to the new Android Excellence apps and games on Google Play


Posted by Kacey Fahey, Developer Marketing, Google Play

Join us in congratulating the latest apps and games entering the Android Excellence program on Google Play. This diverse group of apps and games is recognized for their high quality, great user experience, and strong technical performance. Whether you’re interested in learning meditation or a new language, or are looking for a game about butterflies or warships, we’re excited to dive in to these new collections.

Winning apps image

Check out a few of our highlighted apps.

  • Beelinguapp: Learn a new language with this unique app. Read and listen to stories with side by side text of the language you’re learning, while following along with your language as a reference.
  • Fortune City: If you’re looking for a fun app to help manage your personal finances, learn how Fortune City teaches good budgeting habits as you build a prospering metropolis.
  • ShareTheMeal: Feed a child in need with one tap on your phone, or create a team to fight hunger together with your friends, using this app by the World Food Programme.

Test your skills with these highlighted games.

  • Animal Crossing™: Pocket Camp: Take on the role of campsite manager as you collect items to decorate and build your ultimate dream campsite. Meet animals, build friendships and invite your favorite animals over for a fun time.
  • Cash, Inc.: Be the big boss of your business empire in this fun game. Work your way up to join a community of business elites and become the most famous money tycoon.
  • Shadowgun Legends: Save humanity from an alien invader in an epic Story Campaign spanning over 200+ mission on 4 diverse planets. Along the way, customize your character, team up with friends, and become a celebrity of the Shadowgun Universe.

See the full list of Android Excellence apps and games.

New Android Excellence apps New Android Excellence games
Beelinguapp

BTFIT

Fortune City

Letras.mus.br

LingoDeer

Memrise

PicsArt

Pocket Casts

ShareTheMeal

The Mindfulness App

Tokopedia

Trello

VivaReal

Wynk Music
Animal Crossing™: Pocket Camp

Cash, Inc.

Flutter: Starlight

Shadow Fight 3

Shadowgun Legends

War Heroes

World of Warships Blitz

Explore other great apps and games in the Editors’ Choice section on Google Play and discover best practices to help you build quality apps and games.

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Android Developers Blog

Jun 30

Improving discovery of quality apps and games on the Play Store

Posted by Paul Bankhead, Director, Product Management, Google Play

Every day, millions of people come to the Play Store to discover the best apps and games. As part of our continued effort to deliver great experiences to our users, we regularly update the Play Store to help people find and discover safe, high quality, and relevant apps and games.

Over the last year, we’ve been enhancing our search and discovery algorithms’ consideration of app quality and user engagement. This means that apps and games that have high retention rates, low crash rates, low uninstalls, and many other factors, are recommended more often.

Recently, we increased the importance of engagement and app quality in our recommendation systems and users reacted favorably to the changes. With more high quality titles being surfaced in the Play Store’s recommendations, people are playing the games they download more often.

We believe that providing great experiences for our users on Google Play will encourage a healthier, growing Android ecosystem. We encourage all developers to review some of the suggestions in this post and on developers.android.com for guidance and best practices.


Android Developers Blog

Jun 27

Launching the Indie Games Accelerator in Asia – helping gaming startups find success on Google Play


Posted by Anuj Gulati, Developer Marketing Manager, Google Play and Sami Kizilbash, Developer Relations Program Manager, Google

Emerging markets now account for more than 40% of game installs on Google Play. Rapid smartphone adoption in these regions presents a new base of engaged gamers that are looking for high quality mobile gaming experiences. At Google Play, we are focused on helping local game developers from these markets achieve their full potential and make the most of this opportunity.

Indie Games Accelerator is a new initiative to support top indie game startups from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam who are looking to supercharge their growth on Android. This four month program is a special edition of Launchpad Accelerator, designed in close collaboration with Google Play, featuring a comprehensive gaming curriculum and mentorship from top mobile gaming experts.

Successful participants will be invited to attend two all-expense-paid gaming bootcamps at the Google Asia-Pacific office in Singapore, where they will receive personalized mentorship from Google teams and industry experts. Additional benefits include Google Cloud Platform credits, invites to exclusive Google and industry events, and more.

Visit the program website to find out more and apply now.

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Android Developers Blog

May 13

Announcing the winners of the Google Play Indie Games Festival in San Francisco; Indie Games Contest coming soon to Europe

Posted by Jamil Moledina, Google Play, Games Strategic Lead

Last Saturday, we hosted the first Google
Play Indie Games Festival in North America, where we showcased 30 amazing
games that celebrate the passion, innovation, and art of indies. After a
competitive round of voting from fans and on-stage presentations to a jury of
industry experts, we recognized seven finalists nominees and three winners.

Winners:
bit bit blocks
Presented by Greg Batha
Bit Bit Blocks is a cute and action-packed competitive puzzle game. Play with your friends on a single screen, or challenge yourself in single player mode. Head-to-head puzzle play anytime, anywhere.
Numbo Jumbo
Presented by Kaveh Daryabeygi, Wombo Combo
Numbo Jumbo is a casual mobile puzzle number game for iOS and Android. Players group numbers that add together: for example, [3, 5, 8] works because 3+5=8.
Orbit – Playing with Gravity
Presented by Chetan Surpur & Eric Rahman, Highkey Games
ORBIT puts a gravity simulator at the heart of a puzzle game. Launch planets with a flick of your finger, and try to get them into orbit around black holes. ORBIT also features a sandbox where you can create your own universes, control time, and paint with gravity.


Finalist nominees:

Antihero [coming later in 2016]
Presented by Tim Conkling
Antihero is a “fast-paced strategy game with an (Oliver) Twist.” Run a thieves’ guild in a gas-lit, corrupt city. Recruit urchins, hire thugs, steal everything – and bribe, blackmail, and assassinate your opposition. Single-player and cross-platform multiplayer for desktops, tablets, and phones.
Armajet [coming later in 2016]
Presented by Nicola Geretti & Alexander Krivicich, Super Bit Machine
Armajet is a free-to-play multiplayer shooter that pits teams of players against each other in fast-paced jetpack combat. Armajet is a best in class mobile game designed for spectator-friendly competitive gaming for tablets and smartphones. Players compete in a modern arena shooter that’s easy to learn, but hard to master.
Norman’s Night In: The Cave [coming later in 2016]
Presented by Nick Iorfino & Alex Reed, Bactrian Games
Norman’s Night In is a 2D puzzle-platformer that tells the tale of Norman and his fateful fall into the world of cave. While test driving the latest model 3c Bowling Ball, Norman finds himself lost with nothing but his loaned bball and a weird feeling that somehow he was meant to be there.
Parallyzed
Presented by David Fox, Double Coconut
Parallyzed is an atmospheric adventure platformer with unique gameplay, set in a dark and enchanting dreamscape. You play twin sisters who have been cast into separate dimensions. Red and Blue have different attributes and talents, are deeply connected, and have the ability to swap bodies at any time.

Finalists nominees and winners also received a range of prizes, including Google
I/O 2017 tickets, a Tango Development kit, Google Cloud credits, an NVIDIA
Android TV & K1 tablet, and a Razer Forge TV bundle.

Indie Games Contest coming to Europe

We’re continuing our effort to help indie game developers thrive by highlighting
innovative and fun games for fans around the world. Today, we are announcing the
Indie Games Contest for developers based in European countries (specific list of
countries coming soon!). This is a great opportunity for indie games developers
to win prizes that will help you showcase your art to industry experts and grow
your business and your community of players worldwide. Make sure you don’t miss
out on hearing the details by signing up
here for updates.

As we shared at the festival, it’s rewarding to see how Google Play has evolved
over the years. We’re now reaching over 1 billion users every month and there’s
literally something for everyone. From virtual reality to family indie games,
developers like you continue to inspire, provoke, and innovate through
beautiful, artistic games.


Android Developers Blog

May 01

Top Ten Best PC Games of November 2013

Top Ten Best PC Games of November 2013

This month featured the release of few of the most amazing titles i was looking forward to since a long time, One of them being Batman: Arkham Origins.  After the success of the first too titles this was one of the titles i could not wait to play and i must admit despite a few bugs, the game didn’t disappoint me that much and lived up to pretty much what i expected out of it.  Besides Batman, i was also looking forward to call of duty: Ghosts.  COD Franchise is an unbelievable franchise, I cannot imagine any game series where almost all the titles have been super hits. For me, this was the most amazing gaming experience of the month.  Anyhow, to break it down for you, Take a look at the complete list of ten of the best top PC Games i have played this month (November 2013).  

Note: The below list of Top Ten Best PC Games of November 2013 might include titles released earlier as well.  I have included them as i got a chance to play them this month.

Top Ten Best PC Games of November 2013

10. Fifa 14 – An amazing game, the only reason why i have put it in number ten of the Top Ten best PC Games of November 2013 is because i am not a very huge fan of sports game, Moreover compared to other Fifa titles i liked controls in this better

09.  Lego Marvel Super Heroes – A Lot of Superheroes to choose from, this was a fun experience but didn’t have much of a storyline to play around with.

08.  State of Decay – Undoubtedly one of the top best Zombie Survival games available this November 2013.

07. Path Of Exile – I will be the first one to admit i don’t like Role Playing Game much but this is one of the greatest releases this month.

06.  Metro: Last Night – Much better than Metro 2033, it was a good experience and enjoyable in comparison to its previous installment.
Call of Duty

05.  NBA 2K14 -  After missing out a lot of basketball titles, i decided to give this one a go.  It really brings might faith back to the NBA series as i thoroughly enjoyed the gameplay.
04. Battlefield 4 -  I only started playing this game series when Battlefield 3 was released, the fourth one truly lives up to its expectation and the graphics are just phenomenol.
03.  Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag – You are the pirate in this game and have a lot of missions on the sea which are fun to play and really drew me into this game.
02.  Batman Arkham Origins: As i said earlier, despite bugs this game is just awesome, especially the fight sequences.
01.  Call of Duty: Ghosts – Undoubtedly one of the most superb, first person shooter the world has to offer.  With that being said, most of the gamers will agree with this being at the no. 1 spot of the top ten best pc games of November 2013.
What are your thoughts about the   Top Ten Best PC Games of November 2013?

Gaming,Cricket,WWE and lots more

Apr 18

Games at Google I/O ’14: Everyone’s Playing Games

By Greg Hartrell, Product Manager, Google Play games

With Google I/O ‘14 here, we see Android and Google Play as a huge opportunity for game developers: 3 in 4 Android users are playing games, and with over one billion active Android users around the world, games are reaching and delighting almost everyone.

At Google, we see a great future where mobile and cloud services bring games to all the screens in your life and connect you with others. Today we announced a number of games related launches and upcoming technologies across Google Play Games, the Android platform and its new form factors.

Google Play Games

At last year’s Google I/O, we announced Google Play Games — Google’s online game platform, with services and user experiences designed to bring players together and take Android and mobile games to the next level.

Google Play Games has grown at tremendous speed, activating 100 million users in the past 6 months. It’s the fastest growing mobile game network, and with such an incredible response, we announced more awesome enhancements to Google Play Games today.

Game Profile

The Play Games app now gives players a Game Profile, where they earn points and vanity titles from unlocking achievements. Players can also compare their profile with friends. Developers can benefit from this meta-game by continuing to design great achievements that reward players for exploring all the content and depth of their game.

Quests and Saved Games

Two new game services will launch with the next update for Google Play Services on Android, and through the Play Games iOS SDK:

  • Quests is a service that enables developers to create online, time-based goals in their games without having to launch an update each time. Now developers can easily run weekend or daily challenges for their player community, and reward them in unique ways.
  • Saved Games is a service that stores a player’s game progress across many screens, along with a cover image, description and total time played. Players never have to play level 1 again by having their progress stored with Google, and cover images and descriptions are used in Play Games experiences to indicate where they left off and attract them to launch their favorite game again.

We have many great partners who have started integrating Quests and Saved Games, here are just a few current or upcoming games.

Google I/O 2014
I/O Livestreams
I/O Bytes Videos
+Android Developers

Apr 11

Announcing Open Registration and Exhibitors for Google Play Indie Games Festival in San Francisco, Sept. 24

Posted by Jamil Moledina, Google Play, Games Strategic Lead

To celebrate the art of the latest innovative indie games, we’re hosting the
first Google
Play Indie Games Festival in North America on September 24th in San
Francisco. At the festival, Android fans and gamers will have a unique
opportunity to play new and unreleased indie games from some
of the most innovative developers in the US and Canada, as well as vote for
their favorite ones.

Registration
is now open and the event is free for everyone to enjoy.

We’re also excited to announce the games selected to exhibit and compete at the
event. From over 200 submissions, we carefully picked 30 games that promise the
most fun and engaging experiences to attendees. Fans will have a chance to play
a variety of indie games not yet available publicly.

Check out the full list of games selected here
and below.


A Matter of
Murder

Antihero
(coming soon)

AR Zombie
(coming soon)

Armajet
(coming soon)

Armor Blitz
(coming soon)

Bit Bit Blocks
(coming soon)

1979 Revolution:
Black Friday
(coming soon)
Coffee Pot
Terrarium
(coming soon)
Crayola® Worlds for Tango
(coming soon)
Dog Sled Saga
(coming soon)

Endless Mine
Futurable 1.
Summer City
(coming soon)
Gunhouse
(coming soon)

HoloGrid: Monster
Battle
(coming soon)
Hovercraft:
Takedown

HOVR
(coming soon)

Maruta 279
(coming soon)

Norman’s Night In:
The Cave
(coming soon)
Numeris
Orbit – Playing with
Gravity

Parallyzed
Psychic
(coming soon)

Riptide GP:
Renegade

Roofbot
Sand Stories
(coming soon)

SmashWars VR:
Drone Racing

ThreeSwipes
Rainmaker:
Ultimate Trading

Zombie Rollerz
(coming soon)
Coming soon

Fans will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite games at the
festival, along with an authoritative panel of judges from Google Play and the
game industry. They include:

  • Ron Carmel, Co-founder of Indie Fund; co-creator of World of Goo
  • Hyunse Chang, Business Development Manager at Google Play
  • Lina Chen, Co-founder & CEO of Nix Hydra
  • David Edery, CEO of Spry Fox
  • Maria Essig, Partner Manager, Indies at Google Play
  • Noah Falstein, Chief Game Designer at Google
  • Dan Fiden, Chief Strategy Officer of Funplus
  • Emily Greer, CEO of Kongregate
  • Alex Lee, Producer, Program Manager, Daydream & Project Tango at Google
  • Jordan Maron, Gamer and independent YouTuber “CaptainSparklez”

We are also thrilled to announce that veteran game designer and professor
Richard Lemarchand will be the emcee for the event. He was lead designer at
Crystal Dynamics and Naughty Dog, and is now Associate Chair and Associate
Professor at the University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts,
Interactive Media and Games Division.

The winning developers will receive prizes, such Google Cloud credits, NVIDIA
SHIELD Android TVs and K1 tablets, Razer Forge TV bundles, and more, to
recognize their efforts.

Join us for an exciting opportunity to connect with fellow game fans, get
inspired, and celebrate the art of indie games. Learn more about the event on
the event
website.


Android Developers Blog

Apr 06

Introducing new Android Excellence apps and games on Google Play

Kacey Fahey, Developer Marketing, Google Play

Congratulations to the latest apps and games featured in the Android Excellence program on Google Play. As a reminder, these collections are refreshed every three months and recognize apps and games that set the bar for high quality, great user experience, and strong technical performance.

If you’re looking for some new apps, here are a few highlights.

  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC: Capture, edit, and share your photos with the power of Lightroom on your mobile device. Use presets for quick and easy edits, or dive in with the advanced editing tools.
  • Seven – 7 Minute Workout Training Challenge: Use this app to fit seven minute workouts into your busy lifestyle. Grab your phone, or even your Wear OS device to work out anywhere and anytime. Keep it up to earn achievements and join the 7 Club for even more support.
  • SoloLearn: Learn to Code for Free: Learn one of many new coding languages by joining a community of millions. Tap in to the 24/7 peer support, or create your own lessons to become a community influencer.

Here are a few of our favorite new games joining the collection.

  • CodyCross: Crossword Puzzles: Try this game for a fun new style of crossword puzzles. Play for free on adventure mode or subscribe for special themed packs, varying difficulty levels and fresh content added weekly.
  • MARVEL Contest of Champions: Play with your favorite Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villians in iconic locations from the Marvel Universe. Assemble your team of champions to play through the exciting storyline and even build alliances with your friends.
  • Orbital 1: Test your skills in this real-time multiplayer game with beautiful 3D graphics. Collect and upgrade fighters and weapons to build out your perfect squad for quick battles and new daily quests.

See the full list of Android Excellence apps and games.

New Android Excellence apps New Android Excellence games
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC

Dashlane

Holstelworld

iCook

Keeper Password Manager

Keepsafe Photo Vault

Mobisystems OfficeSuite

PhotoGrid

Runtastic Results

Seven – 7 Minute Workout Training Challenge

SoloLearn: Learn to Code for Free

Tube Map

WPS Office

Angry Birds 2

Azur Lane アズールレーン

CodyCross

Into the Dead 2

Little Panda Restaurant

MARVEL Contest of Champions

Orbital 1

Rooms of Doom

Sky Dancer Run

Sling Kong

Soul Knight

Explore other great apps and games in the Editors’ Choice section on Google Play and discover best practices to help you build quality apps and games.

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Android Developers Blog