Image Credit: TechHive
Mobile gaming hasn’t yet fully embraced the concept of multiplayer games – it’s a mostly single player experience, although leaderboards and stats tables do give you a chance to compete with other players to a certain degree.
Google’s Android platform is a popular place for mobile gamers, featuring hundreds of thousands of apps designed for the player in you on the aptly named Google Play Store. Some of these do offer local multiplayer sessions, as well as titles that offer turn based or remote play multiplayer titles, but nothing close to what you might find on the big games consoles, just yet.
With this in mind, Google is going out of their way to try to implement more fully rounded, traditional multiplayer features into their Play Games Android gaming framework, by way of making the framework available from the design phase and up.
Essentially the update is a series of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), the software components that make this multiplayer feature possible. Also included in the update are better leaderboards, quests of the day that expire after a certain time, achievements and other as yet undisclosed features.
While the APIs don’t allow or include matchmaking or server based multiplayer a la PC and console, they do work locally on a set formula – similar to the Nintendo DS and its StreetPass feature, where users could exchange data from a short distance away.
Of course, StreetPass was designed by Nintendo in Japan with the close quarters of the packed Tokyo transit system in mind, better suited for places with a dense population of course. The system has fared reasonably well outside of Japan, so it’ll be interesting to see how Google’s take on ultra-local multiplayer will take off.
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Android users can detect and challenge other users, provided they are using an Play Games title, and challenge them to local multiplayer from a short distance. Google describes the feature as the ability to “invite others nearby into the same game when starting a multiplayer session,”.
Co-operative play is available as well as competitive play on some games, and Google is currently plugging the feature at the source link below, on their Google+ page. Take a look and see if you’re interested.
Source: Android Developers Google+