Tag Archives: android developers

Meet some of the best indie game devs

Posted by Patricia Correa, Director, Global Developer Marketing

During the month of June we received thousands of submissions for two of our annual developer programs - the Indie Games Accelerator and the Indie Games Festival. These programs support the growth of small games studios on Google Play.

Every year we’re impressed with the art and creativity of the entries. This year was no exception. Many thanks to everyone who submitted their game.

Meet the Festival finalists

Today, we’re announcing the finalists of the Festivals in Europe, Japan, and South Koreadrumroll, please.

Indie Games

Europe

Beat Workers by NaturalPad Games, France

Bird Alone by George Batchelor, United Kingdom

Cats in Time by Pine Studio, Croatia

Figment by Bedtime Digital Games, Denmark

Froglike: The Frog Roguelike by Jimjum Studios, Israel

Garson by Anastasiya Shabunia, Belarus

Gumslinger by Itatake, Sweden

Lyxo by Emoak, Austria

Psychofunk by Tommy Søreide Kjær, Norway

Railways by Infinity Games, Portugal

Sticky Terms by kamibox, Germany

Sweet Sins Superstars by Platonic Games, Spain

Tiny Robots Recharged by Big Loop Studios, Bulgaria

Tofu Drifter by Roach Games, Russia

Towers by JOX Development, Ukraine

Unholy Adventure by Dali Games, Poland

Warplane Inc by Nuclear Games, Russia

Watch Me Stream My Mental Breakdown by Ultaan Games, Poland

Woof: The Good Boy Story by CHPV.GAMES, Russia

Zen Symmetry by 8tbl, Russia

Sign up to attend the European finals.

Indie Games

Japan

3D Chess: NOCCA NOCCA by Curiouspark, Inc.

5colors in Nate by NekodoraSoft

Amabie san by HARAPECORPORATION Inc.

Archer Battle Online by Takuya Fujieda

Cthulhu DreamStairs by Tenyu

ElectriarCode by ELECTRIAR LABO

Escape from the Closed Circle by Hanachiru

Heart of Sengoku by ZEN APP

Leaving Two Tiles Dojo by ScreenPocket

Living in the Ending World by illuCalab.

MAKOTO WAKAIDO’s Case Files “Executioner’s Wedge” by HafHaf-Oden(Sukashiuma-LAB)

Mini Mini Farm by CoffeeBreak

MonohakobiPro by CGO

Mousebusters by Odencat

Numpurr Card Wars by Nukenin

Parasite Days by Zxima

Quantum Transport by ruccho

Super Glitter Rush by tiny cactus studio

Survivor's guilt by aso

Wolf Chess by Baton

Sign up to attend the Japanese finals.

Indie Games

South Korea

Angel Saga by Alchemist Games Inc.

Animal Card Royale by Banjihagames

Animal Doll Shop by Funnyeve

BattleLive: Zombie&Human by PLOTRICK

Box It Up! Inc. by team TAPE

CATS & SOUP by HIDEA

Cats are Cute: Pop Time by kkiruk studio

Detective Mio by 1N1

Dicast: Rules of Chaos by BSS COMPANY

Forest Island by Nanali Studios

Frontier of Fortune by Dotomchi Games Inc.

FUNKYGUNNER by FUNKY5

Group Project Simulator! by Studio806

Gun Tactics by Gimle Games

Hybrid Warrior: Dungeon of the Overlord by Cat Lab

Metro Blossom by The Sane Studio

Portal Dungeon by Oblique Line

Rush Hour Rally by Soen Games

The Way Home by CONCODE

Titan Slayer by Touchholic

Sign up to attend the South Korean finals.

Join the adventure on September 4

This year the three Festivals are virtual, so everyone has the chance to explore the games, meet the developers who made them, cheer them on, and be the first to hear who the winners are.

Expect plenty of fun and some very special surprises. So, don’t miss out. Sign up now to virtually attend the events showcasing the finalists from Europe, Japan, and South Korea. The events are free to attend and will all take place in the same space, so sign up to one and you will be able to teleport to all events!

How about the Indie Games Accelerator?

If you’re interested in knowing which developers are joining the 2021 class of the Indie Games Accelerator, sign up to attend the European Festival, where we will also announce the selected developers.

Indie Games

Meet some of the best indie game devs

Posted by Patricia Correa, Director, Global Developer Marketing

During the month of June we received thousands of submissions for two of our annual developer programs - the Indie Games Accelerator and the Indie Games Festival. These programs support the growth of small games studios on Google Play.

Every year we’re impressed with the art and creativity of the entries. This year was no exception. Many thanks to everyone who submitted their game.

Meet the Festival finalists

Today, we’re announcing the finalists of the Festivals in Europe, Japan, and South Koreadrumroll, please.

Indie Games

Europe

Beat Workers by NaturalPad Games, France

Bird Alone by George Batchelor, United Kingdom

Cats in Time by Pine Studio, Croatia

Figment by Bedtime Digital Games, Denmark

Froglike: The Frog Roguelike by Jimjum Studios, Israel

Garson by Anastasiya Shabunia, Belarus

Gumslinger by Itatake, Sweden

Lyxo by Emoak, Austria

Psychofunk by Tommy Søreide Kjær, Norway

Railways by Infinity Games, Portugal

Sticky Terms by kamibox, Germany

Sweet Sins Superstars by Platonic Games, Spain

Tiny Robots Recharged by Big Loop Studios, Bulgaria

Tofu Drifter by Roach Games, Russia

Towers by JOX Development, Ukraine

Unholy Adventure by Dali Games, Poland

Warplane Inc by Nuclear Games, Russia

Watch Me Stream My Mental Breakdown by Ultaan Games, Poland

Woof: The Good Boy Story by CHPV.GAMES, Russia

Zen Symmetry by 8tbl, Russia

Sign up to attend the European finals.

Indie Games

Japan

3D Chess: NOCCA NOCCA by Curiouspark, Inc.

5colors in Nate by NekodoraSoft

Amabie san by HARAPECORPORATION Inc.

Archer Battle Online by Takuya Fujieda

Cthulhu DreamStairs by Tenyu

ElectriarCode by ELECTRIAR LABO

Escape from the Closed Circle by Hanachiru

Heart of Sengoku by ZEN APP

Leaving Two Tiles Dojo by ScreenPocket

Living in the Ending World by illuCalab.

MAKOTO WAKAIDO’s Case Files “Executioner’s Wedge” by HafHaf-Oden(Sukashiuma-LAB)

Mini Mini Farm by CoffeeBreak

MonohakobiPro by CGO

Mousebusters by Odencat

Numpurr Card Wars by Nukenin

Parasite Days by Zxima

Quantum Transport by ruccho

Super Glitter Rush by tiny cactus studio

Survivor's guilt by aso

Wolf Chess by Baton

Sign up to attend the Japanese finals.

Indie Games

South Korea

Angel Saga by Alchemist Games Inc.

Animal Card Royale by Banjihagames

Animal Doll Shop by Funnyeve

BattleLive: Zombie&Human by PLOTRICK

Box It Up! Inc. by team TAPE

CATS & SOUP by HIDEA

Cats are Cute: Pop Time by kkiruk studio

Detective Mio by 1N1

Dicast: Rules of Chaos by BSS COMPANY

Forest Island by Nanali Studios

Frontier of Fortune by Dotomchi Games Inc.

FUNKYGUNNER by FUNKY5

Group Project Simulator! by Studio806

Gun Tactics by Gimle Games

Hybrid Warrior: Dungeon of the Overlord by Cat Lab

Metro Blossom by The Sane Studio

Portal Dungeon by Oblique Line

Rush Hour Rally by Soen Games

The Way Home by CONCODE

Titan Slayer by Touchholic

Sign up to attend the South Korean finals.

Join the adventure on September 4

This year the three Festivals are virtual, so everyone has the chance to explore the games, meet the developers who made them, cheer them on, and be the first to hear who the winners are.

Expect plenty of fun and some very special surprises. So, don’t miss out. Sign up now to virtually attend the events showcasing the finalists from Europe, Japan, and South Korea. The events are free to attend and will all take place in the same space, so sign up to one and you will be able to teleport to all events!

How about the Indie Games Accelerator?

If you’re interested in knowing which developers are joining the 2021 class of the Indie Games Accelerator, sign up to attend the European Festival, where we will also announce the selected developers.

Indie Games

Preparing for Google Play’s new safety section

Posted by Suzanne Frey, VP, Product, Android Security and Privacy

Today, we’re announcing additional details for the upcoming safety section in Google Play. At Google, we know that feeling safe online comes from using products that are secure by default, private by design, and give users control over their data. This new safety section will provide developers a simple way to showcase their app’s overall safety. Developers will be able to give users deeper insight into their privacy and security practices, as well as explain the data the app may collect and why — all before users install the app.

Ultimately, all Google Play store apps will be required to share information in the safety section. We want to give developers plenty of time to adapt to these changes, so we’re sharing more information about the data type definitions, user journey, and policy requirements of this new feature.



What the new safety section may look like:

Images are directional and subject to change

Users will see the new summary in an app’s store listing page. It’ll share the developer’s explanation of what data an app collects or shares and highlight safety details, such as whether:

  • The app has security practices, like data encryption
  • The app follows our Families policy
  • The app has been independently validated against a global security standard

Images are directional and subject to change

Users can tap into the summary to see details like:

  • What type of data is collected and shared, such as location, contacts, personal information (e.g., name, email address), financial information and more
  • How the data is used, such as for app functionality, personalization, and more
  • Whether data collection is optional or required in order to use an app

Images are directional and subject to change

In designing our labels, we learned developers appreciate when they can provide context about their data practices and more detail on whether their app automatically collects data versus if that collection is optional. We also learned that users care about whether their data is shared with other companies, and why.

The final design is subject to change as we continue working with developers and designing for the best blend of developer and user experiences.

Policy changes to support the safety section

Today we announced new user data policies designed to provide more user transparency and to help people make informed choices about how their data is collected, protected and used.

  • All developers must provide a privacy policy. Previously, only apps that collected personal and sensitive user data needed to share a privacy policy.
  • Developers are responsible for providing accurate and complete information in their safety section, including data used by the app’s third party libraries or SDKs.

This applies to all apps published on Google Play, including Google's own apps.

What you can expect

We want to provide developers with plenty of time and resources to get prepared.

Target Timeline. Dates subject to change.

Starting in October, developers can submit information in the Google Play Console for review. We encourage you to start early in case you have questions along the way. The new safety section will launch for apps in Google Play in Q1 2022.

We know that some developers will need more time to assess their apps and coordinate with multiple teams. So, you’ll have until April 2022 before your apps must have this section approved. Without an approved section, your new app submission or app update may be rejected.

Images are directional and subject to change

If your app’s information is not approved by the time we launch the safety section in Google Play to users in Q1 2022, then it will display “No information available.”

How to get prepared:

  • Visit the Play Console Help Center for more details about providing app privacy details in Play Console, including data type lists and examples.
  • Review how your app collects, protects and shares data. In particular, check your app’s declared permissions and the APIs and libraries that your app uses. These may require you to indicate that your app collects and shares specific types of data.
  • Join a policy webinar and send us your questions in advance. You can register for Global, India, Japan, or Korea sessions.

We’ll continue to share more guidance, including specific dates, over the next few months.

Thank you for your continued partnership in building this feature alongside us and in making Google Play a safe and trustworthy platform for everyone.

Announcing Policy Updates To Bolster Privacy and Security

Posted by Krish Vitaldevara, Director, Product Management

We are always looking to make Google Play a safer and more trustworthy experience for developers and consumers. Today, we’re announcing new policy updates to bolster user control, privacy, and security.

Giving users more transparency into data privacy and security

We’re sharing our new policy for the upcoming safety section in Google Play alongside additional information, like data definitions. Learn more.

Improving advertising privacy and security

We’ve long offered users meaningful controls with advertising ID, like being able to reset their identifier at any time or opt out of allowing the identifier to be used for ads personalization. We’re continuing to add more controls this year.

As we pre-announced to developers on June 2, we’re making a technical change as part of Google Play services update in late 2021. When users opt out of interest-based advertising or ads personalization, their advertising ID will be removed and replaced with a string of zeros. As a reminder, this Google Play services change will be a phased rollout, affecting apps running on Android 12 devices starting late 2021 and expanding to all apps running on devices that support Google Play in early 2022. Also, apps updating their target API level to Android 12 will need to declare a new Google Play services permission in the manifest file in order to use advertising ID.

We will also test a new feature that notifies developers and ad/analytics service providers of user opt-out preferences to help developers implement user choice and add to existing policy restrictions on how advertising ID can be used. When a user deletes their advertising ID, developers will receive a notification so they can promptly erase advertising IDs that are no longer in use.

In addition, we’re prohibiting linking persistent device identifiers to personal and sensitive user data or resettable device identifiers. This policy adds an additional layer of privacy protection when users reset their device identifiers or uninstall apps.

And last, we’re offering a developer preview of app set ID for essential use cases such as analytics or fraud prevention. App set ID is a unique ID that, on a given device, allows you to correlate usage or actions across a set of apps owned by your organization. You cannot use app set ID for ads personalization or ads measurement. It will also automatically reset if all the developers’ apps on the device are uninstalled or none of the apps have accessed the ID in 13 months.

Enhancing protection for kids

As we introduce app set ID for analytics and fraud prevention, we are also making changes to further enhance privacy for kids. If an app is primarily directed to children, it cannot transmit identifiers like advertising ID. If an app’s audience is both kids and adults, then it needs to avoid transmitting these identifiers for kids.

Over the next several months, we’ll share more information for a smooth transition.

Strengthening security

Security is fundamental to enabling privacy across our platform. We’re announcing a few policy updates to help keep user data secure.

First, Google Play remains a safer ecosystem when developers actively maintain their apps. So, we will close dormant accounts if the account is inactive or abandoned after a year. This includes accounts where the developer has never uploaded an app or accessed Google Play Console in a year.

We will continue supporting developers with actively growing apps. We won’t close accounts with apps that have 1000+ installs or have in-app purchases in the last 90 days. Developers whose accounts are closed can create new ones in the future, but they won’t be able to reactivate old accounts, apps, or data.

Second, it’s important for users to have an accessible experience that is secure. So, we’re adding new requirements on how AccessibilityService API and IsAccessibilityTool can be used. These tools help build accessible experiences, which often require access to user data and device functionality. Now, all apps that use the AccessibilityService API will need to disclose data access and purpose in Google Play Console and get approval. Learn more.

Reminder on Payments policy

As we shared earlier in July, after careful consideration of feedback from both large and small developers, we are giving developers an option to request a 6-month extension until March 31, 2022 to comply with our Payments policy.

For more resources

Thank you for helping us make Google Play an even more trustworthy platform for everyone.

Android Game Development Extension is now available to all Android game developers

Posted by Lily Rapaport, Product Manager

After more than a year in closed beta, we are happy to announce that Android Game Development Extension (AGDE) is now available for all game developers to download. This milestone release of Game Tools from the Android Studio team meets game developers where they are; AGDE adds Android as a platform target to Microsoft Visual Studio, making it easier to target Android with existing multi-platform Visual Studio game projects.

AGDE is part of the Android Game Development Kit, which includes both libraries and tools that support making great games on Android. AGDE is best suited for game developers that develop primarily on Microsoft Windows using Visual Studio to write C/C++ code. Game developers that do not fall under these criteria, but are using C/C++, should use Android Studio to develop for Android.

Alongside the release of AGDE 2021.1, we recently published case studies on how our partners, Epic Games and Electronic Arts found success using AGDE.

We built AGDE as part of our effort to address game developers facing issues in targeting Android with their cross-platform workflows. At the top of the list of issues was developers’ preference to remain in a single IDE instead of maintaining multiple projects for different platforms. AGDE enables this for game developers using Visual Studio by removing the need to switch between IDEs when switching between platforms. In addition, we wanted to solve pain points around existing Visual Studio tools for Android that are often dated or suffer from integration issues. Our team is committed to having AGDE support the latest versions of the Android SDK, and NDK as well as providing updated tools easily accessible from Visual Studio. Finally, we wanted to bring you quick access to some of the most useful Android Studio capabilities, built into AGDE. Therefore, we invested in creating seamless integrations to our most popular tools, such as Studio profilers, logcat, and the Android SDK and device manager. Overall, these features are designed to make you more productive in your day-to-day game development workflow.

Build with AGDE

After downloading and installing AGDE in a Visual Studio project, you can treat Android development as you would any other platform.

  • AGDE integrates with MSBuild to compile and link C++ code for Android.
  • Project build settings are configured using the standard Visual Studio property system. After the MSBuild process, AGDE uses Gradle to complete the build and package the project. This Gradle stage can be used to integrate Android libraries containing Java or Kotlin code into the final application bundle.
  • The Android SDK manager provides access to additional tools and frameworks to assist with building Android games.
  • The Android Virtual Device (AVD) manager allows you to launch directly into emulator snapshots so that you can have a repeatable test environment.

Debug with AGDE

AGDE supports deploying to, running on, and debugging with both an Android emulator and a physical device. Debug sessions run inside Visual Studio, using its standard interface for breakpoints, tracing and variable inspection.

  • AGDE interfaces with LLDB for debugging support.
  • Register views, and disassembly of native code allow you to set a breakpoint, and step right into the disassembly of your OpenGL. The assembly view shows the assembly in-line with the current C++, allowing you to step into or over each instruction as they are executed. This is useful for building context and understanding what is running on your device.
    gif demonstrating AGDE supports deploying to, running on, and debugging with both an Android emulator and a physical device.
  • The memory view shows the current values within a block of memory. As we step through the running game, AGDE in Visual Studio automatically highlights the areas of memory that have changed. In the screenshot below we show where in memory the view matrix has changed, as indicated by the red text.
  • Sometimes when debugging isn’t enough to figure out what is going on, we know that having access to the logs can be helpful to dig deeper. The logcat tool allows for searching and filtering logs to pinpoint exactly the data you want.

Profile with AGDE

AGDE integrates with a standalone version of Android Studio Profilers. This profiler can be launched from Visual Studio and attached to a running game session.

  • The Android Studio Profilers display real time usage statistics for CPU, memory, network, and energy.
  • We added support for native memory sampling. Now you can better understand where your memory is going and how to optimize your game for a broader reach of devices.
gif demonstrating how AGDE integrates with a standalone version of Android Studio Profilers.

Integrations

We know everyone has a unique build setup and there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. That is why we are investing in making AGDE compatible with various tools commonly used by game developers.

  • We partnered with Epic Games to integrate with Unreal Engine (UE 4.26.1+) to provide a seamless Android experience for Unreal Engine game developers.
  • We are working with Sony Distributed Build System (SN-DBS) to enable SN-DBS users to leverage the power of distributed builds for Android with AGDE (coming soon)
  • AGDE is compatible with Incredibuild, a distributed build tool.

Getting started

Download AGDE 2021.1 and see our documentation for additional details. To help you get to know AGDE quickly, we put together a few samples that demonstrate different ways you can use AGDE to configure your project.

Visual Studio IntelliSense features are compatible with AGDE. All current Android CPU architectures are supported: both ARM and Intel in 32-bit and 64-bit.

We appreciate any feedback on things you like, and issues or features you would like to see. If you find a bug or issue, feel free to file an issue. Learn more about Android game development, and follow us -- the Android Studio development team ‐ on Twitter and on Medium.

Microsoft and Visual Studio are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

Android Game Development Extension is now available to all Android game developers

Posted by Lily Rapaport, Product Manager

After more than a year in closed beta, we are happy to announce that Android Game Development Extension (AGDE) is now available for all game developers to download. This milestone release of Game Tools from the Android Studio team meets game developers where they are; AGDE adds Android as a platform target to Microsoft Visual Studio, making it easier to target Android with existing multi-platform Visual Studio game projects.

AGDE is part of the Android Game Development Kit, which includes both libraries and tools that support making great games on Android. AGDE is best suited for game developers that develop primarily on Microsoft Windows using Visual Studio to write C/C++ code. Game developers that do not fall under these criteria, but are using C/C++, should use Android Studio to develop for Android.

Alongside the release of AGDE 2021.1, we recently published case studies on how our partners, Epic Games and Electronic Arts found success using AGDE.

We built AGDE as part of our effort to address game developers facing issues in targeting Android with their cross-platform workflows. At the top of the list of issues was developers’ preference to remain in a single IDE instead of maintaining multiple projects for different platforms. AGDE enables this for game developers using Visual Studio by removing the need to switch between IDEs when switching between platforms. In addition, we wanted to solve pain points around existing Visual Studio tools for Android that are often dated or suffer from integration issues. Our team is committed to having AGDE support the latest versions of the Android SDK, and NDK as well as providing updated tools easily accessible from Visual Studio. Finally, we wanted to bring you quick access to some of the most useful Android Studio capabilities, built into AGDE. Therefore, we invested in creating seamless integrations to our most popular tools, such as Studio profilers, logcat, and the Android SDK and device manager. Overall, these features are designed to make you more productive in your day-to-day game development workflow.

Build with AGDE

After downloading and installing AGDE in a Visual Studio project, you can treat Android development as you would any other platform.

  • AGDE integrates with MSBuild to compile and link C++ code for Android.
  • Project build settings are configured using the standard Visual Studio property system. After the MSBuild process, AGDE uses Gradle to complete the build and package the project. This Gradle stage can be used to integrate Android libraries containing Java or Kotlin code into the final application bundle.
  • The Android SDK manager provides access to additional tools and frameworks to assist with building Android games.
  • The Android Virtual Device (AVD) manager allows you to launch directly into emulator snapshots so that you can have a repeatable test environment.

Debug with AGDE

AGDE supports deploying to, running on, and debugging with both an Android emulator and a physical device. Debug sessions run inside Visual Studio, using its standard interface for breakpoints, tracing and variable inspection.

  • AGDE interfaces with LLDB for debugging support.
  • Register views, and disassembly of native code allow you to set a breakpoint, and step right into the disassembly of your OpenGL. The assembly view shows the assembly in-line with the current C++, allowing you to step into or over each instruction as they are executed. This is useful for building context and understanding what is running on your device.
    gif demonstrating AGDE supports deploying to, running on, and debugging with both an Android emulator and a physical device.
  • The memory view shows the current values within a block of memory. As we step through the running game, AGDE in Visual Studio automatically highlights the areas of memory that have changed. In the screenshot below we show where in memory the view matrix has changed, as indicated by the red text.
  • Sometimes when debugging isn’t enough to figure out what is going on, we know that having access to the logs can be helpful to dig deeper. The logcat tool allows for searching and filtering logs to pinpoint exactly the data you want.

Profile with AGDE

AGDE integrates with a standalone version of Android Studio Profilers. This profiler can be launched from Visual Studio and attached to a running game session.

  • The Android Studio Profilers display real time usage statistics for CPU, memory, network, and energy.
  • We added support for native memory sampling. Now you can better understand where your memory is going and how to optimize your game for a broader reach of devices.
gif demonstrating how AGDE integrates with a standalone version of Android Studio Profilers.

Integrations

We know everyone has a unique build setup and there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. That is why we are investing in making AGDE compatible with various tools commonly used by game developers.

  • We partnered with Epic Games to integrate with Unreal Engine (UE 4.26.1+) to provide a seamless Android experience for Unreal Engine game developers.
  • We are working with Sony Distributed Build System (SN-DBS) to enable SN-DBS users to leverage the power of distributed builds for Android with AGDE (coming soon)
  • AGDE is compatible with Incredibuild, a distributed build tool.

Getting started

Download AGDE 2021.1 and see our documentation for additional details. To help you get to know AGDE quickly, we put together a few samples that demonstrate different ways you can use AGDE to configure your project.

Visual Studio IntelliSense features are compatible with AGDE. All current Android CPU architectures are supported: both ARM and Intel in 32-bit and 64-bit.

We appreciate any feedback on things you like, and issues or features you would like to see. If you find a bug or issue, feel free to file an issue. Learn more about Android game development, and follow us -- the Android Studio development team ‐ on Twitter and on Medium.

Microsoft and Visual Studio are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

Android Game Development Extension is now available to all Android game developers

Posted by Lily Rapaport, Product Manager

After more than a year in closed beta, we are happy to announce that Android Game Development Extension (AGDE) is now available for all game developers to download. This milestone release of Game Tools from the Android Studio team meets game developers where they are; AGDE adds Android as a platform target to Microsoft Visual Studio, making it easier to target Android with existing multi-platform Visual Studio game projects.

AGDE is part of the Android Game Development Kit, which includes both libraries and tools that support making great games on Android. AGDE is best suited for game developers that develop primarily on Microsoft Windows using Visual Studio to write C/C++ code. Game developers that do not fall under these criteria, but are using C/C++, should use Android Studio to develop for Android.

Alongside the release of AGDE 2021.1, we recently published case studies on how our partners, Epic Games and Electronic Arts found success using AGDE.

We built AGDE as part of our effort to address game developers facing issues in targeting Android with their cross-platform workflows. At the top of the list of issues was developers’ preference to remain in a single IDE instead of maintaining multiple projects for different platforms. AGDE enables this for game developers using Visual Studio by removing the need to switch between IDEs when switching between platforms. In addition, we wanted to solve pain points around existing Visual Studio tools for Android that are often dated or suffer from integration issues. Our team is committed to having AGDE support the latest versions of the Android SDK, and NDK as well as providing updated tools easily accessible from Visual Studio. Finally, we wanted to bring you quick access to some of the most useful Android Studio capabilities, built into AGDE. Therefore, we invested in creating seamless integrations to our most popular tools, such as Studio profilers, logcat, and the Android SDK and device manager. Overall, these features are designed to make you more productive in your day-to-day game development workflow.

Build with AGDE

After downloading and installing AGDE in a Visual Studio project, you can treat Android development as you would any other platform.

  • AGDE integrates with MSBuild to compile and link C++ code for Android.
  • Project build settings are configured using the standard Visual Studio property system. After the MSBuild process, AGDE uses Gradle to complete the build and package the project. This Gradle stage can be used to integrate Android libraries containing Java or Kotlin code into the final application bundle.
  • The Android SDK manager provides access to additional tools and frameworks to assist with building Android games.
  • The Android Virtual Device (AVD) manager allows you to launch directly into emulator snapshots so that you can have a repeatable test environment.

Debug with AGDE

AGDE supports deploying to, running on, and debugging with both an Android emulator and a physical device. Debug sessions run inside Visual Studio, using its standard interface for breakpoints, tracing and variable inspection.

  • AGDE interfaces with LLDB for debugging support.
  • Register views, and disassembly of native code allow you to set a breakpoint, and step right into the disassembly of your OpenGL. The assembly view shows the assembly in-line with the current C++, allowing you to step into or over each instruction as they are executed. This is useful for building context and understanding what is running on your device.
    gif demonstrating AGDE supports deploying to, running on, and debugging with both an Android emulator and a physical device.
  • The memory view shows the current values within a block of memory. As we step through the running game, AGDE in Visual Studio automatically highlights the areas of memory that have changed. In the screenshot below we show where in memory the view matrix has changed, as indicated by the red text.
  • Sometimes when debugging isn’t enough to figure out what is going on, we know that having access to the logs can be helpful to dig deeper. The logcat tool allows for searching and filtering logs to pinpoint exactly the data you want.

Profile with AGDE

AGDE integrates with a standalone version of Android Studio Profilers. This profiler can be launched from Visual Studio and attached to a running game session.

  • The Android Studio Profilers display real time usage statistics for CPU, memory, network, and energy.
  • We added support for native memory sampling. Now you can better understand where your memory is going and how to optimize your game for a broader reach of devices.
gif demonstrating how AGDE integrates with a standalone version of Android Studio Profilers.

Integrations

We know everyone has a unique build setup and there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. That is why we are investing in making AGDE compatible with various tools commonly used by game developers.

  • We partnered with Epic Games to integrate with Unreal Engine (UE 4.26.1+) to provide a seamless Android experience for Unreal Engine game developers.
  • We are working with Sony Distributed Build System (SN-DBS) to enable SN-DBS users to leverage the power of distributed builds for Android with AGDE (coming soon)
  • AGDE is compatible with Incredibuild, a distributed build tool.

Getting started

Download AGDE 2021.1 and see our documentation for additional details. To help you get to know AGDE quickly, we put together a few samples that demonstrate different ways you can use AGDE to configure your project.

Visual Studio IntelliSense features are compatible with AGDE. All current Android CPU architectures are supported: both ARM and Intel in 32-bit and 64-bit.

We appreciate any feedback on things you like, and issues or features you would like to see. If you find a bug or issue, feel free to file an issue. Learn more about Android game development, and follow us -- the Android Studio development team ‐ on Twitter and on Medium.

Microsoft and Visual Studio are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

Plan for success on Google Play with Reach and devices

Posted by Lauren Mytton, Product Manager, Google Play

Google Play has over 2.5B monthly active users, distributed across the world, using many different devices. How do you make the most of this opportunity?

The concept of quality reach

The foundations for your game’s (or app’s) success on Google Play are its reach and its quality:

  • Reach: Can a player access your game?
  • Quality: Does the player experience good quality when playing your game?

To unlock the opportunity for any single user on Google Play, you need both: every user must be able to access your game, AND have a good technical experience when playing it.

This is the ideal state of quality reach.

Why quality reach is foundational to your game’s success

When you have quality reach, your game development, marketing budgets, and growth strategy can be lined up to reinforce each other, because you acquire users for whom your game performs well, and your engagement and retention strategies have higher ROI for users with good experiences.

If you have poor quality reach, you can inadvertently acquire users whom you will not be able to engage and retain. Any spend to acquire these users is likely to be wasted. But the bigger problem is that poor quality reach makes it harder for you to acquire users for whom your game does perform well, since Android vitals and user ratings may affect your game’s discoverability and conversion in the Play store.

Another scenario to keep an eye on is missed reach. Unlike poor quality reach, it may not hurt your ability to acquire users who can access and enjoy your game. However it still limits your game’s scale and possibly also its ROI.

How you achieve quality reach

There are three types of decisions that determine your quality reach:

  • Devices: the device specs you build for and target
  • Geographies: the countries, languages or localization you offer
  • Testing and optimization: what you plan for and prioritize during development and pre-launch

You make these decisions when you develop and publish a game for the first time, and you continue to make them with every new release over the lifecycle of your game. You also need to think about these decisions outside your release cycle, since the Play ecosystem is constantly changing, which means your quality reach will also change over time, even if you do nothing.

However these decisions can be very hard. They require you to answer, or predict the answers to, two questions:

  1. Where are my users?
  2. Where are my issues?

These questions are challenging because of the scale and diversity of users on Google Play, both technically and geographically. Not only that, but these decisions may be made at different points in time, across both business and technical teams. How do you get them to line up?

How Reach and devices can help

We’re launching a new tool in Play Console called Reach and devices to help with these challenges. Reach and devices is a data and insights tool that helps you to plan for quality reach, by helping you understand or predict the distribution of your users and your issues across the Google Play ecosystem.

Reach and devices takes data about your app and its peers and presents it in new ways, to help you answer these questions. It also makes it easier to get all the relevant teams in your organisation on the same page.

Key features:

  • Distribution and trends of user and issue metrics, starting with install base, crash rate and ANR rate (more metrics to come)
  • Metric breakdowns by key attributes including Android version, RAM, SoC, OpenGL ES version, Vulkan version and screen metrics (with more to come)
  • Peer data so you can spot opportunities in your current game, or even plan your next game
  • Country-level filtering for more precise launch and expansion planning
  • Export all data for bespoke analysis

We’ve received great feedback during closed beta from developers who have found it useful in a variety of ways:

  • Deciding what device specs to support
  • Spotting optimization opportunities
  • Assessing the ROI of addressing issues
  • Narrowing down the root cause of technical issues

Get started

Visit g.co/play/reachanddevices for more information or go straight to Play Console to check it out.

Plan for success on Google Play with Reach and devices

Posted by Lauren Mytton, Product Manager, Google Play

Google Play has over 2.5B monthly active users, distributed across the world, using many different devices. How do you make the most of this opportunity?

The concept of quality reach

The foundations for your game’s (or app’s) success on Google Play are its reach and its quality:

  • Reach: Can a player access your game?
  • Quality: Does the player experience good quality when playing your game?

To unlock the opportunity for any single user on Google Play, you need both: every user must be able to access your game, AND have a good technical experience when playing it.

This is the ideal state of quality reach.

Why quality reach is foundational to your game’s success

When you have quality reach, your game development, marketing budgets, and growth strategy can be lined up to reinforce each other, because you acquire users for whom your game performs well, and your engagement and retention strategies have higher ROI for users with good experiences.

If you have poor quality reach, you can inadvertently acquire users whom you will not be able to engage and retain. Any spend to acquire these users is likely to be wasted. But the bigger problem is that poor quality reach makes it harder for you to acquire users for whom your game does perform well, since Android vitals and user ratings may affect your game’s discoverability and conversion in the Play store.

Another scenario to keep an eye on is missed reach. Unlike poor quality reach, it may not hurt your ability to acquire users who can access and enjoy your game. However it still limits your game’s scale and possibly also its ROI.

How you achieve quality reach

There are three types of decisions that determine your quality reach:

  • Devices: the device specs you build for and target
  • Geographies: the countries, languages or localization you offer
  • Testing and optimization: what you plan for and prioritize during development and pre-launch

You make these decisions when you develop and publish a game for the first time, and you continue to make them with every new release over the lifecycle of your game. You also need to think about these decisions outside your release cycle, since the Play ecosystem is constantly changing, which means your quality reach will also change over time, even if you do nothing.

However these decisions can be very hard. They require you to answer, or predict the answers to, two questions:

  1. Where are my users?
  2. Where are my issues?

These questions are challenging because of the scale and diversity of users on Google Play, both technically and geographically. Not only that, but these decisions may be made at different points in time, across both business and technical teams. How do you get them to line up?

How Reach and devices can help

We’re launching a new tool in Play Console called Reach and devices to help with these challenges. Reach and devices is a data and insights tool that helps you to plan for quality reach, by helping you understand or predict the distribution of your users and your issues across the Google Play ecosystem.

Reach and devices takes data about your app and its peers and presents it in new ways, to help you answer these questions. It also makes it easier to get all the relevant teams in your organisation on the same page.

Key features:

  • Distribution and trends of user and issue metrics, starting with install base, crash rate and ANR rate (more metrics to come)
  • Metric breakdowns by key attributes including Android version, RAM, SoC, OpenGL ES version, Vulkan version and screen metrics (with more to come)
  • Peer data so you can spot opportunities in your current game, or even plan your next game
  • Country-level filtering for more precise launch and expansion planning
  • Export all data for bespoke analysis

We’ve received great feedback during closed beta from developers who have found it useful in a variety of ways:

  • Deciding what device specs to support
  • Spotting optimization opportunities
  • Assessing the ROI of addressing issues
  • Narrowing down the root cause of technical issues

Get started

Visit g.co/play/reachanddevices for more information or go straight to Play Console to check it out.

Plan for success on Google Play with Reach and devices

Posted by Lauren Mytton, Product Manager, Google Play

Google Play has over 2.5B monthly active users, distributed across the world, using many different devices. How do you make the most of this opportunity?

The concept of quality reach

The foundations for your game’s (or app’s) success on Google Play are its reach and its quality:

  • Reach: Can a player access your game?
  • Quality: Does the player experience good quality when playing your game?

To unlock the opportunity for any single user on Google Play, you need both: every user must be able to access your game, AND have a good technical experience when playing it.

This is the ideal state of quality reach.

Why quality reach is foundational to your game’s success

When you have quality reach, your game development, marketing budgets, and growth strategy can be lined up to reinforce each other, because you acquire users for whom your game performs well, and your engagement and retention strategies have higher ROI for users with good experiences.

If you have poor quality reach, you can inadvertently acquire users whom you will not be able to engage and retain. Any spend to acquire these users is likely to be wasted. But the bigger problem is that poor quality reach makes it harder for you to acquire users for whom your game does perform well, since Android vitals and user ratings may affect your game’s discoverability and conversion in the Play store.

Another scenario to keep an eye on is missed reach. Unlike poor quality reach, it may not hurt your ability to acquire users who can access and enjoy your game. However it still limits your game’s scale and possibly also its ROI.

How you achieve quality reach

There are three types of decisions that determine your quality reach:

  • Devices: the device specs you build for and target
  • Geographies: the countries, languages or localization you offer
  • Testing and optimization: what you plan for and prioritize during development and pre-launch

You make these decisions when you develop and publish a game for the first time, and you continue to make them with every new release over the lifecycle of your game. You also need to think about these decisions outside your release cycle, since the Play ecosystem is constantly changing, which means your quality reach will also change over time, even if you do nothing.

However these decisions can be very hard. They require you to answer, or predict the answers to, two questions:

  1. Where are my users?
  2. Where are my issues?

These questions are challenging because of the scale and diversity of users on Google Play, both technically and geographically. Not only that, but these decisions may be made at different points in time, across both business and technical teams. How do you get them to line up?

How Reach and devices can help

We’re launching a new tool in Play Console called Reach and devices to help with these challenges. Reach and devices is a data and insights tool that helps you to plan for quality reach, by helping you understand or predict the distribution of your users and your issues across the Google Play ecosystem.

Reach and devices takes data about your app and its peers and presents it in new ways, to help you answer these questions. It also makes it easier to get all the relevant teams in your organisation on the same page.

Key features:

  • Distribution and trends of user and issue metrics, starting with install base, crash rate and ANR rate (more metrics to come)
  • Metric breakdowns by key attributes including Android version, RAM, SoC, OpenGL ES version, Vulkan version and screen metrics (with more to come)
  • Peer data so you can spot opportunities in your current game, or even plan your next game
  • Country-level filtering for more precise launch and expansion planning
  • Export all data for bespoke analysis

We’ve received great feedback during closed beta from developers who have found it useful in a variety of ways:

  • Deciding what device specs to support
  • Spotting optimization opportunities
  • Assessing the ROI of addressing issues
  • Narrowing down the root cause of technical issues

Get started

Visit g.co/play/reachanddevices for more information or go straight to Play Console to check it out.