Google announced their “Game Center” competitor at I/O today, “Google Play Game Services”, as it’s dubbed, will allow Android, iOS and web developers to build in realtime multiplayer, social features, achievements, and leaderboards into their games, and will also allow storing game saves and settings in the cloud.
A select few titles for Android already have the features included, these include World of Goo, Super Stickman Golf 2, Beach Buggy Blitz, Kingdom Rush, Eternity Warriors 2, and Osmos.
The cross-platform gaming service will also build in Google+ integration for tracking of high scores, achievements, and more.
- Achievements that increase engagement and promote different styles of play.
- Social and public leaderboards that seamlessly use Google+ circles to track high scores across friends and across the world.
- Cloud saves that provide a simple and streamlined storage API to store game saves and settings. Now players never have to replay Level 1 again.
- Real-time multiplayer for easy addition of cooperative or competitive game play on Android devices. Using G+ Circles a game can have up to 4 simultaneous friends or auto-matched players in a game session together with support for additional players coming soon.
Any developer launching a game on the Google Play store has access to game services, though Google isn’t requiring it’s use. “We won’t make it a mandatory exercise, or have any certification process around it,” Google lead product manager Greg Hartrell told Engadget today. “We create fantastic services that allow developers to create these great game experiences, and help promote their discovery, help retain their users and keep them engaged.”
Google Play Game Services is available for use by developers starting today.