Android game development guides

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These guides describe how to set up, optimize, and distribute Android games using the Android Game Development Kit (AGDK) and Google Play.

The tasks primarily involve using AGDK along with the Android NDK, and either Vulkan or the OpenGL ES graphics APIs. The tasks support using a game engine that already integrates AGDK or developing a new game engine that uses AGDK.

These guides describe game development workflows that use game engine IDEs along with Android Studio, Visual Studio, and optimization tools.

Game distribution and services are covered by Google Play, which provides cross-platform support across Android, Chrome OS, and Windows (through Google Play Games) and a wide range of social, billing, and game play features.

Audience

These guides primarily target intermediate game developers. However, if you're new to developing games, the Android game development basics guide introduces the tools and libraries to get you started.

Tools and libraries

The tools and libraries section contains Android game development products and features, such as the following:

  • AGDK: The core set of Android game development tools and libraries, which includes C/C++ game integration, performance tuning, high-performance audio, and additional features for using or customizing game engines.
  • Android Game Development Extension (AGDE): A Visual Studio extension that allows you to develop games in Visual Studio that include Android as a target platform.
  • Android GPU Inspector (AGI): An advanced graphics and system profiling tool that provides extensive tracing and analysis of individual frames.

Develop with game engines

Some game engines have integrated AGDK components, so you can build Android games without modifying the game engine. For information on using game engines that include these Android development capabilities, see using unmodified game engines.

You can also use AGDK to develop or customize a game engine yourself. See developing or customizing a game engine for more information.

Optimization and best practices

The optimization tasks and best practices section describes how to perform optimization tasks and use best practices that prioritize characteristics, such as performance, battery life, or storage space while targeting the widest range of Android devices and screen types.

Some the optimizations and best practices are:

  • Game modes that target improved performance or battery life
  • Vulkan and OpenGL ES optimizations
  • Android NDK best practices
  • System, GPU, and GPU frame profiling
  • Performance tuning
  • 3D asset optimization

Game services and distribution

The distribute with Google Play section describes how to add cross platform services to your game and then distribute it in the Google Play store. Some of the features include the following:

  • Cross-device play and distribution to Android, Windows, and Chrome OS
  • Saved games in the cloud
  • Integrity protection for multiple platforms
  • Previews games without installation
  • Gameplay during game downloads
  • In-app updates
  • Billing, in-app purchases, and subscriptions
  • User reviews and social engagement