Google I/O and Games: Google Play Games and a Look at New Features Coming with Android L

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By Gel Galang | June 27, 2014 12:08 PM EST

Apple may be developing the Metal framework to boost the iOS gaming space, but the Android L may be Google's own step in pushing forward its own gaming edge as new features and additions have been confirmed to head to Google Play Games.

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A Google search page is reflected in sunglasses in this photo illustration taken in Brussels May 30, 2014. Google has taken the first steps to meet a European ruling that citizens can have objectionable links removed from Internet search results, a ruling that pleased privacy campaigners but raised fears that the right can be abused to hide negative information.

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At the Google I/O, the company has unveiled the new features, seen in the video below. But to get a glimpse of these new features, they can be looked at in three ways, the first is that you have a game profile, which becomes a hub for all of the games that a player likes.

Phone Arena illustrates it by comparing someone who had played a lot of a particular game to a newbie to that game, and they would have different levels. This means that when players are getting into multiplayer mode, they know the level of the player that they are facing against.

There will also be Quests, something that is geared more towards the developer rather than the gamers (but something that will benefit the latter immensely as well). For this particular feature, developers will have an easier time developing quests for a game so that the gamers can become engaged to the title. This does complement the first feature, which is also geared towards engagement of the player by leveling up.

The last feature is the saved games, which is an answer to a lot of user requests. For those who have a number of Android devices, Saved Games brings in the option to cross-save your game at any time and any device. In addition, there will even be a screenshot accompanying your save so you know where you left off.

More Support for Games Becoming Tangible

Developers were mostly targeted with the additional functions in the Google Play Games. For instance, the Play Games update is looking at support for the OpenGL ES 3.1 and the Android Extension Pack. These will be the tools needed by developers who want to create high-quality graphics in games for mobile devices.

Beyond the Google Play games new features for developers, Google's Android L is reportedly bringing in support for a gamepad controller. According to Android Community, Google has already acknowledge the need for game controllers, and has already published a Gamepad standards targeted or OEMs, which can be used when creating controllers for the Android games.

This would bring uniformity in the creation of game controllers, but the more interesting aspect here is that Google has also just recently introduced the Android TV. Whether or not this would also be Android's way of dipping in on the ever growing gaming scene in the living room and beyond is still a question in the future, especially as Google slowly raises the curtain on the functionality and uniqueness of its new TV.

Android TV Also Coming

The mention of the controller support that Google is planning to give Android is probably one move that is slated for the Android TV.

As brief as the mention of the Android TV is, tits function is pretty straightforward: any game playable on any Android device will be playable on the Android TV. Pocket Gamer adds that the OS will let you access your Google account and all the contents in it, as the OS will be in the TV and top boxes.

What's new with Google Play Games (via YouTube/Google Developers)

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(Photo: REUTERS / Francois Lenoir )
A Google search page is reflected in sunglasses in this photo illustration taken in Brussels May 30, 2014. Google has taken the first steps to meet a European ruling that citizens can have objectionable links removed from Internet search results, a ruling that pleased privacy campaigners but raised fears that the right can be abused to hide negative information.
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