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More Google Android Gaming Tools for Apps and Developers

The new tools let apps developers add cool new features, such as realistic physics reactions, to their games.

Google has released some useful new #development features for game #apps developers, including the ability to add realistic physics actions to their games for fans.

The new capabilities were unveiled in a Dec. 11 post on the +AndroidDevelopers Blog.

“In this mobile world, games aren’t just for the hardcore MMOG fan anymore, they’re for everyone; in fact, three out of four people with an Android phone or tablet play games,” the post states. “Today, we’re adding more tools to your gaming toolbox, like the open sourcing of a 2D physics library, as well as new features to the Google Play game services offering, like a plug-in for Unity.”

The open source release of LiquidFun, which is a new C++ 2D rigid-body physics library that includes fluid simulation, will make it easier for developers to add realistic physics to their games, according to the post.

“Based on Box2D, LiquidFun features particle-based fluid simulation,” the post states. “Game developers can use it for new game mechanics and add realistic physics to game play. Designers can use the library to create beautiful fluid interactive experiences.” 

The LiquidFun library is written in C++, so any platform that has a C++ compiler can use it, the post states. “To help with this, we have provided a method to build the LiquidFun library, example applications, and unit tests for Android, Linux, OSX and Windows.”

The latest release of LiquidFun can be downloaded from the LiquidFun project page on GitHub so that games developers can experiment with it in their apps.

For games developers who are using Unity, the cross-platform game engine from Unity Technologies, Google is now making it easier to integrate game services using a new Google Play Games plug-in for Unity, according to the post. “This initial version of the plug-in supports sign-in, achievements, leaderboards and cloud save on Android and iOS. You can download the plug-in from the Play Games project page on GitHub, along with documentation and sample code.”

Changes for games developers are also coming to the Google Play Store in February 2014, according to the post, to make it easier for developers to categorize and market their games apps, the post states. New categories to be introduced, such as Simulation, Role Playing, and Educational, will help customers find the games and help developers match their wares to customers who are seeking them, the post states. “Developers can now use the Google Play Developer Console to choose a new category for their apps if the Application Type is ‘Games.’ The New Category field in the Store Listing will set the future category for your game.”

The new categories won’t change the settings for existing games on Google Play until the new categories go live in February 2014, the post states.

Google is often building tools for games developers to market and commercialize their apps.

In November, Google launched a new inexpensive language translation service to Android developers to help them get their apps translated so they can sell them in other countries. The new service is expected to cost about $75 for a small app to about $150 for a large app for each language translation.

The App Translation Service was previewed in May at the Google I/O developer’s conference and was launched now to help Android developers find new markets for their apps. Many app developers participated in the App Translation Service pilot program earlier this year, including the developers of Zombie Ragdoll, who used the service to launch their new game simultaneously in 20 languages in August 2013.

In July, Google began a push to encourage Android developers to create more games for tablets to attract game players to the popular devices. To help grow that market more, Google released its new Google Play Games app, which lets games players link up with friends online so they can see what they are playing and play together.

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