Google Play Games gets serious with saved games, controllers, and profiles

June 26, 2014
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Several new major products have just been announced at Google I/O 2014, but behind the scenes, Google is also revealing some changes to its supporting services. One that would excite both gamers and developers alike are the new features for Google's online gaming platform, preparing Google Play Games for the arrival of Android L and Android TV.

Compared to some other online gaming networks, Google Play Games is relatively new, having been announced only last year. So it isn't a bit surprising that it is only now that Play Games is implementing the idea of game profiles. This type of "meta-gaming", as Google calls it, allows players to hoard badges and titles by unlocking in-game achievements, pretty much like how Steam does it for PC games. And to ensure that those achievements are kept for posterity's sake, Google is adding a new Saved Games service, that will track and record a game's progress through different screens.

Most of the new features in the upcoming Play Games update are naturally meant for game developers and publishers, like improved game statistics and C++ SDK. Some other highlights of this release is support for the new OpenGL ES 3.1 standard as well as the new Android Extension Pack or AEP. In a nutshell, this will allow developers to bring desktop-quality of graphics to mobile devices, provided the hardware can take the punishment of course. Both of these will be arriving via the Android L Developer Preview.

Last but definitely not the least, Google has formally acknowledge the existence and need for game controllers. They have published a Gamepad standard that OEMs can use when making such controllers, which will definitely help developers support a common game controller standard in their masterpiece. The timing of this new feature isn't a coincidence. This gamepad standard undoubtedly ties in with Google's revelation of Android TV, which can also function as a gaming device for a big screen.

Some of these new features will roll out only later together with the Android L preview, but some, like Saved Games and Quests are already being used in updated versions of games on Google Play Store right now, including Asphalt 8: Airborne, Heroes of Camelot, and Robocop.

SOURCE: Google


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  • ROBERT PRESTI

    problem is no games! all that power just to play the same old crappy mobile games! just like the ouya no devs made any games and the ones they did make SUCKED!!!

    • Walkop

      That was Ouya.

      This is Google.

    • batman

      No games? Did I read that post correctly? Man, poor gameless human. How or who introduced you to this world of tech, some brutal twisted sadistic incarnation of a hideous hole from Gargoyles and Troll Gimps pray on 2G networked keypad mobile phone users with 20MB allowance with knowledge of a 50 game app store that he can’t access or download anything!
      I bring good news and guidance for this depraved spirit.
      Buy an Android tablet from anywhere and say, “I WANNA PLAY GAMES”. And games you will have beyond your swelling head like a Bolt of lightening will split you 3 ways from combustion.

    • Juan Carlos Torres

      There are games that do support *some* of these new features. As mentioned, those included in that grid will have Game Profiles, Quests, and Saved Games.

      The Gamepad standard is something for OEMs to also comply with, so I can imagine it will take some time before actual products do come out (there are already 3rd party game controllers with varying support).

      The OpenGL ES 3.1 and AEP support will, of course, only come when Android L is released and available for devices. The benefit of announcing it this early is that developers can already plan ahead and prepare. One example is Epic Games, as can be seen here: http://androidcommunity.com/nvidia-tegra-k1-dovetails-with-unreal-engine-for-demo-20140626/ (hope the URL works)