Today, in a post on the Android Developers Blog, Google announced two new tools that might be of interest to quite a few of the game developers out there. Among the releases is a new open-source 2D physics library called LiquidFun and a Unity plugin for adding Google Play Games support. These releases coincide with the news of additional game categories coming to the Play Store in February, which we covered earlier today.

LiquidFun is a rigid-body physics library that does particularly well with fluid mechanics. It's based on Box2D, a popular open-source 2D physics engine written in C++ that has found its way onto quite a few platforms and spawned a few similar engines over the years. Like Box2D, LiquidFun is highly portable and already has support and sample code for Android, Linux, OS X, and Windows.

For the Unity developers in the audience, you can be pretty excited for the new Google Play Games plugin. In this first release, the plugin adds access to the Google Play Games API for sign-in, achievements, leaderboards, and cloud saves. Both Android and iOS are already supported, and this code is also open-source. Given the popularity of Unity, this should lead to a significant uptake in the number of games sporting the Play Games badge.

If you're interested in using either of these tools, start up your IDEs and check out either projects' github repositories for more details!

Source: Android Developers Blog

Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

  • HellG

    Well as we are at it, Is there's a way for google to provide a "unified" support for all GPUs? I never got why game developers have to make the game compatible with all these GPUs? shouldn't they just use OpenGl ES like how game developers on PC just make their game compatible with Directx for example?
    What's the problem? And what solution can google come up with to ease the process of making games for android?
    (Game Developers Please Get On Board)

    • Thomas’

      OpenGL *is* the unified support for GPUs. Sure, GPUs may have additional features and manufacturer may have slightly different OpenGL implementations, but basically it's already like this.

      On the PC market it's not different - developer need to add stuff for ATI and nVidia separately.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      The classic complaint had to do with resolution/aspect ratio differences. When nVidia came in, they added their own layer of extra things on top of OpenGL ES which allow for massive performance optimizations, but that additional layer is still proprietary. Qualcomm does the same thing. It's legitimate, in a sense, but it does cause these extra problems with compatibility.

      Remember, these are still technically the early days. It'll get better, in time.

      • Cheeseball

        Take note, the "extra layer" that was mentioned are treated like the PC/Mac's version of "OpenGL Extensions", which are basically additional optimization and shader techniques that may be vendor specific.

        Like Cody says, because they're extensions, they're legal to use although that may mean that some devices would run a game slower than others.

  • NickAVV

    Sweet! I'm working on a Unity game right now and I was wondering how difficult it would be to implement Play Games. Glad to hear the answer will now be "not"

  • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

    This seems more likely to have been the news the "This week in Android development" video hinted at - more categories are great, but the video they were recommended was very much a games developer video - I'd think the physics engine is more of a big deal than categories - right? EDIT: and in fact - yes - the engine was what the video was hinting at - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Khngnjhnpjo

  • Andrew

    While we're on the subject of Google Play Games, can anyone tell me why virtually no developers enable cloud saves, even when achievements etc are present? I assume Google hosts the save files, so I don't understand why nobody uses them.

    • Pete Van Wattingen

      This is really the only feature I want. I can't count the amount of times I have had to start over in world of goo and eventually just stop playing games on android altogether.

    • nehpets

      This*1000. I've stopped playing several games after getting a new tablet because I'm not going to start over.

    • Eric Jones

      If you would like to support a developer that has used cloud save, check out Reaper. It's a fun game, and the cloud save works great. I've been sending emails to developers letting them know that I would have purchased their game, but it didn't support cloud save, so I chose another game instead.

  • guest

    Can we get the game somewhere ?

  • ginobili

    Nice, i was starting to develop Android games in Unity

  • Android Developer

    How about a nice Java-based engine on Android, like AndEngine and LibGdx ?
    Wish they made this thing possible. They could even make it cross platform like on LibGdx.

  • John Smith

    AWESOME! is it possible to simulate lava blobs with it ?