Google I/O: Game Services for Android, iOS & The Web

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At Google I/O, Google rolled out a new set of games services for crossplatfrom gaming. The new Google Play Game Services include achievements, leaderboards, and cloud saves which are designed to work across Android, iOS, and Web platforms. Real-time multiplayer capabilities are also included, but — at this point, anyway — only for Android. A handful of Android games have already been outfitted with the services, starting today. 

The realtime multiplayer features on Android currently support up to four players, with support for more reportedly on the way. The mulitplayer features include voice chat, along with “matchmaking” for connecing you with other players on Google+.

The achievements are meant to increase engagement and spark different styles of play. The leaderboards track high scores, while the cloud saves make it possible to store game saves and settings online.

One of the intentions behind the service is to let users switch between phones and tablets without losing their game states.

‘Everyone Loves Games’

“Everyone loves games,” proclaimed Hugo Barra, VP of product management for Android, in announcing the services during the keynote. Unfortunately, though, a demo of the multiplayer capabilities failed for technical reasons.

Any developer posting a game on Google Play can use the new Google Play Game Services, which also include an application programming interface (API) for preventing game piracy by allowing the developer to make sure the game was purchased on Google Play. The API is aimed at encouraging developers to publish more games on Android.

Android games that are already using the new services include World of Goo, Super Stickman Golf 2, Beach Buggy Blitz, Kingdom Rush, Eternity Warriors 2, and Osmos.

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