Google announced Play Games at last year's I/O conference (hard to believe it's already been a year), and this year the company stepped it up a notch. They're integrating new features into the app, which includes a new Game Profile feature that exists and a sort of unified leaderboard with achievements and the like. Naturally, this lets users compare how they play with their friends. Nothing like a little competition, right?

Also coming to Play Games are a couple of new game services called Quests and Saved Games. They're both fairly straightforward, but here's the gist:

  • Quests: Allows developers to integrate time-based goals into their games without having to update the app each time. The Android Developer's site gives the example of weekend challenges, or daily missions. Neat.
  • Saved Games: This saves players' game progress across devices, and displays the total time played along with a cover image. Kind of like Steam, but for mobile games.

Game devs are also getting access to more tools, like Game Stats and a C++ SDK, for, you know, dev stuff.

As of the upcoming L release preview, games will also be able to support Open GL ES 3.1, the Android Extension Pack (for improved graphics), and a standard for gamepads. Finally! That'll make it even easier for games to gain Android TV integration.

All this stuff will be available soon – some almost immediately in the Play Games app, and others in the L dev preview.