As part of its Google for Games Developer Summit 2021 event, Google today announced the release of the Android Game Development Kit (AGDK), a set of tools and libraries to help developers create, optimize, and release high-quality Android games.
“In this initial launch, we’re focusing on covering three major areas where we heard a lot of feedback from our developer community: Integrated workflows, C/C++ game libraries, and performance optimization,” Google’s Scott Carbon-Ogden writes. “The AGDK tools and libraries work across many different Android versions. Most of these features will work on almost any device in use today.”
As part of that first area of improvement, Google has released an Android Game Development Extension (AGDE) so that developers using Microsoft’s Visual Studio can add Android as a platform target; you can learn more about this extension in the AGDE session at the Games Developer Summit. Google is also building plug-ins for game engines like Unity.
Google is also working to bridge the gap between C/C++, the programming languages most often used for games, and Java, which is still the primary language for Android developers. The AGDK provides C game libraries that minimize the use of Java and the Java Native Interface (JNI), which provides a bridge between the two languages and makes games easier to build, debug, and maintain. A new Game Activity provides C interfaces for the most commonly needed Android events and is compatible with popular Android developer features like fragments. There are also new Game Text Input and Game Controller libraries.
Finally, Google worked to optimize the performance of Android-based games with an Android GPU Inspector, AGDE profilers, and an Android Performance Tuner for developers.