The Future of Android Games, Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality

Mobile gaming has come a very long way since the introduction of crude & simple games like Snake and Pong which were available on early Nokia phones. Mobile processors and graphics are now as powerful as desktop computers were just a few years ago. Older generations still remember lugging around a Game Boy or Game gear and begging their parents for another game. New generations literally have access to 100’s of thousands of games on their mobile device.

In short, mobile gaming has exploded in just a few years time. In the month of July 2016 there were 63.1 million arcade games downloaded & games in the “strategy” category generated $195M revenue. In a recent study over 37% of mobile app users with 30 minutes of free time choose to play games over any other activity. We’ve all seen it and we’ve all done it ourselves, whether its waiting for an appointment or sitting at the airport, we pull out our mobile device and jump into a quick game to kill the time.

So what does all of this mean for the future of android gaming? For starters, the massive amounts of revenue and user interest in android gaming has bolstered continuous innovation and fierce competition in the global marketplace. For example, just 12 months ago, top executives were saying they didn’t see any major benefit to augmented reality. With the release of Pokemon Go and estimates citing as much as $500 million in revenue in just 60 days, I think we can all agree augmented reality is here to stay.

Virtual reality is another area that has been picking up steam in recent months. You can now buy virtual reality headsets at local gas stations for a mere $30. Or if you’re on a budget you can purchase Google Cardboard for as little as $7.00. There are still only a limited number of VR enabled games but that number is increasing daily. Not only that, as more and more people experience VR we are sure to see a blockbuster release sooner or later.

Let’s take a look at some real life examples of recent game releases. Dawn of Titans which was recently released on Google Play was in development for over 2 years. This is akin to the development cycle of a mid-level PC game release on Steam. The game features mass controlled troops, world building elements and impressive graphics. A few years ago this would be considered a major release for the Android platform. These days this is just another drop in the massive pond. With over 2.4 million apps and games currently listed on Google Play it’s become harder and harder to stand out. This is actually good news for gamers as developers are working harder and faster to create new innovative titles to attract users.

I firmly believe that both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) titles are going to gain more traction in 2017. Major developers who can pump out triple A content can’t be left in the dust while indie developers pump out AR and VR enabled games. They will be forced to port existing titles and come up exciting new ways to interact with the mobile devices.

There are many gimmicky games available that utilize the phones microphone, gyroscope, camera and accelerometer. However, these sensors combined with AR and VR could bring a whole new experience to gamers. Imagine walking through a recreated 3D world that represents your neighbourhood, immersed in full virtual reality, and using your phone as a targeting device to defend against waves of zombies. This is already possible with the technology that is available, it just needs to be packaged in a user friendly way that people can enjoy.

Combining meticulous graphics with well thought out virtual reality experiences would be impressive indeed. If you’re familiar with PC based virtual reality demo’s you already know how immersive the experience can be. It’s only a matter of time before these same experiences make their way to our mobile devices en masse. And to think, only 30 years ago we were playing Mario on our beloved Nintendo consoles. Let’s not even mention the Virtual Boy that burned your eyes after 2 minutes of playing tennis. Android games and mobile games in general have come a long ways since then and they will continue to push barriers even further in the near future.

Singleplayer Games

What are “Single player Games”? Singleplayer games are games that are meant for just one person. Only one person can play that game… all alone… all by themselves. For people that may be socially shy or awkward, don’t speak the majority language for that game or are too young to interact with others, this can be a great thing.

With singleplayer games, there is no need to worry about predators, stalkers, youth seeing nudity, hearing language, being bullied, harassment, verbal abuse, losing content, or having to interact with others. You can just enjoy playing your game without a care in the world. So you really don’t have to worry about much of anything since these games are just for one person.

Just because you may be the only one playing the game, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to be cautious of. While most negative things about all types of gaming come from some of the actual real-life people on those games, some of the negative things are from the type of games and the types of games for the wrong person.

There are plenty of horror games, games with nudity, language, intense topics, intense scenes, smoking, drugs and alcohol, gambling with real life money, suggestive themes, blood and gore, games that have violence, etc., that are just for one person.

You really need to look at the game’s website, social accounts, videos, pictures, description, tags and especially the reviews. You need to gather all the information on the game you’re thinking about buying, whether for yourself or someone else.

If the game is on Steam, Humble Bundle, or some similar websites; they will show you the description, videos by that company, pictures, user and non-user tags, user reviews, website, company, and social accounts. However, if you’re on the game’s website, they might not show everything you need to know to decide whether to buy the game or not.

The least some game companies will show is a very short sales pitch description, a small amount of pictures (5 at best), a video or two by them, and their social accounts. The most they will show is an informative description, pictures by them and users, user reviews, videos by them and their social accounts. I’m not going to get into the good and bad in gaming and how to tell if the game is good or not in this article, that’s another article.

Now you’d think all games would have a singleplayer mode and then add other modes later. After all, it’s somewhat easier to have players play by themselves and create a new world or file than it is to pay so many dollars a month or year to host a server, have the troubles of getting and keeping the server up, and then having players actually connect to the server. At the beginning, you would think some games will add a Singleplayer mode before they add Co-Op or Multiplayer mode right? WRONG!

There are lots and lots of games that only have Multiplayer mode, Co-Op mode, and any other mode that is not Singleplayer. Some games are just meant for Multiplayer, like MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online). It is possible to play multiplayer games with more than one person on one computer in the same room, but most people call that Local Multiplayer or Local Co-Op. This allows you to play with someone on the same computer in the same room.

You couldn’t play with someone from Sweden if you’re in the USA on Local Multiplayer or Local Co-Op. You have to go online for that. It’s the same as how you talk to people all over the world from Twitter, Facebook, Discord, Skype, etc., which are all online. If your internet is down, you cannot talk to anyone on those platforms because it’s not online.

There are many different types of games and game modes for different people. You can get a game that is strictly singleplayer or a game that has both singleplayer and multiplayer and just play singleplayer for the time being. Some people like the game and not the multiplayer part so they only play the singleplayer part. I recommend starting with singleplayer and then getting a game later that has both so you can ease into multiplayer versus getting thrown into multiplayer.

Some Interesting Features of Google Play Game Services

Google has launched many services for their Android users. Google Play Games is one of the services that can be availed by an Android user in order to save their game progress and compete with their friends using the Google+ social media. Since its inception, the platform has grown into a mature system and allows the users to undertake a lot of activities which will be unfurled in the paragraphs below.

Features of Google Play Game Services that are interesting:

The basic functionality of Google Play Games is just like the Apple Game Center. This social game feature allows cloud saves, public leaderboards, multiplayer, anti-piracy and achievements to be recorded. These features are a great addition to the game developers, as per the reports of a Mobile App Development Company, as they allow the game developers to use the Play Games SDK with their game and they do not have to develop the features themselves.

Some of the salient functions of the service are:

·Achievements: The games we play contain many achievements which can be unlocked as we progress. These features keep the game interesting, but many developers refrain from adding these features as they fear that the large size of the resulting game will discourage people from downloading it. With the Achievements feature of Google Play Games, the developer can use the achievements to their advantage without having to add them to their original game itself, says a prominent Android App Development Company.

·Saved Games: Cloud Saves are another great feature of the Google Play Services. We often face software issues and other issues with our phone and there are times when we change our phone. By doing so, we lose all our progress in games that we used to play and have to start from scratch. The cloud save feature makes sure that our game progress is linked to our Gmail id and we can resume gameplay from where we left, always.

·Quests and Leaderboards: Another interesting feature is the availability of quests and leaderboards. The leaderboards tell us how we are performing in comparison to our social circle in Google +. Quests are online competitions and challenges which allow us to play multiplayer using our device.

So, start using Google Play Game Services and enjoy these features as you venture into the digital world to prove your mettle.This is all about how Google Play Game services is helping the users take their Android games to the social media by the use of Google+ network.