The Android game development space could be getting richer in the months ahead. In a recent blog post, Google introduced several new tools aimed at mobile game developers, with the express goal of offering resources for richer casual gaming experiences. With a new physics library, a plug-in for cross-platform development and new game categories for the Google Play store, the company's latest effort to enable application developers appears to open some promising opportunities.
Key among the tools Google has introduced is LiquidFun, a C++ 2D physics library based on Box2D and designed to help developers add more realistic physics to their games. It can also be used by designers to build "fluid interactive experiences," Google noted. The company shared example applications and unit tests for the library as well, and it highlighted the fact that any platform with a C++ compiler can benefit from it.
In addition to LiquidFun, Google Play Games also launched a new plug-in for Unity, a popular cross-platform game engine. The first version of the plug-in supports features such as leaderboards and cloud saves across Android and iOS. Developers will also be able to market their games under several new categories – including Simulation, Role Playing and Education – in the Play Store starting in February 2014.
These changes are the latest in a series of offerings from Google designed to enrich the Android development landscape and entice developers. In November, the company released an inexpensive app translation service to all developers. Earlier in the year, Google released its Google Play Games app, which is designed to help players connect online and compare achievements. As these services entice new developers to work in the Android ecosystem, development teams can also benefit from tools like static analysis software to help them catch errors in their code and develop a familiarity with new languages or application demands. With rich opportunities available in mobile game development, the Android marketplace will be a must-watch destination in 2014.
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