Google Publishes Construction Kit for Game Developers
Anyone who designs games for the Android operating system can look forward to another useful helper. Google is now supporting developers with the Android Game Development Kit (AGDK). It contains tools and libraries that facilitate the implementation of new games and protect against programming errors and performance problems.
Focus On Compatibility and Timeliness
The first version of the AGDK focuses on three important things:
- The libraries were primarily tested with regard to performance with C and C ++ APIs. C and C ++ are programming languages that are mainly used in system programming. They combine advantageous features such as portability and efficiency. “API” (Application Programming Interface) describes a so-called programming interface - a set of commands, functions, protocols and objects to create software or to interact with an external system.
- Google wants to keep the libraries compatible with Android across several versions and update the kit regularly.
- The main focus is also on integrated workflows and the connection of separate systems in order to improve the data transfer between different platforms.
In the long term, Google would like to enable the development of Android games in the environment used by the users, a so-called IDE. This is an integrated development environment. It contains a collection of programs with which software development can work with as few media breaks as possible. Developers should have to switch between various tools as rarely as possible.
Reduced Effort, Fewer Bugs And Better Performance
Many games are written in C ++. However, Java is often still used for the development of Android games. To make both programming languages compatible, developers use a Java Native Interface (JNI). This standardised application programming interface is used to call up platform-specific functions in Java. However, this approach requires a lot of effort, harbours large risks for errors and has a negative impact on performance. That is why the Android Game Development Kit aims to support developers in creating and adapting game engines. For this purpose, Google provides game libraries for the C programming language in order to reduce the use of Java and JNI. A game engine is a framework for PC games. It controls the process including display and is also often used as a development environment.
Integrated workflows and downward compatibility ensured via the libraries are intended to enable smooth work. The code is designed directly for the development of games, and fragmentation (the disorganised breakdown of memory into areas that are occupied by data) is reduced. At the forefront of all of this is the vision of an Android-native experience - i.e. the conception of applications that have been specially developed on and for this operating system. Most of the functions are compatible with almost all common devices across various Android versions.
Stringent User Experience
A game development extension ensures a consistent experience. For this purpose, Android was added as a platform to Visual Studio, the integrated development environment for high-level programming languages from Microsoft.
Thanks to collaboration with the developers, Android tools and libraries are already available in various game engines. Special plug-ins are used in places where this is not (yet) possible. The game libraries provided are intended to support the creation and optimisation of these engines. This not only makes developing the games, but also eliminating possible programming errors and maintenance easier. Google will focus on the basic activity and input classes for now. But more and more functions and interfaces to Android should be available via the libraries in future.
Stability and performance problems should be recognisable at an early stage in the future. An update for the Android GPU Inspector, AGI for short, helps. This tool enables analyses of the cooperation between the developed software and the graphics units of the smartphone. Additional monitoring is possible via the Android Profiler. It provides real-time data on the extent to which an app is using resources such as CPU and battery. In addition, the Android Performance Tuner helps to identify performance problems.
Carefree Game Development
The new Android Game Development Kit supports game developers in the areas of performance, compatibility and the elimination of programming errors. However, with Indemnity Insurance for Digital Professions from exali, you are comprehensively insured against errors, especially in the area of data protection, competition and copyright violations or claims for compensation on the part of your customers. In the event of a fine, the insurer examines the damage event at its own expense, pays justified claims and fends off unjustified claims on your behalf. The optional First-Party Cyber and Data Risks Insurance (FPC) add-on also protects you from incalculable risks such as hacker attacks or other cybercrime.
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Vivien Gebhardt is an online editor at exali. She creates content on topics that are of interest to self-employed people, freelancers and entrepreneurs. Her specialties are risks in e-commerce, legal topics and claims that have happened to exali insured freelancers.
She has been a freelance copywriter herself since 2021 and therefore knows from experience what the target group is concerned about.