AH Google IO 2014  (2 of 4) Google Play Games 2

Google Play Games Nearby Multiplayer is Ready to Go

October 17, 2014 - Written By Phil Bourget

Previously, we’ve covered some of the new APIs in the latest update to Google Play Games and the developer console.  The biggest one of interest was the real-time multiplayer, and the second was nearby, peer-to-peer multiplayer.  Well, since we published that piece, we have seen some people be able to use the new multiplayer features, and now we have confirmation from Android Developers, via their Google+, that nearby multiplayer now will be available to use in games on Android devices.

So, we covered the new APIs, and how they would smooth out the kinks in both nearby and across-the-planet multiplayer scenarios.  Both involve, first and most necessarily, the developer implementing the new APIs in their app’s/s’ code so they are there to be used.  Real-time multiplayer uses each individual device to connect to every other device, and route information through the app instead of the Play Games servers (which causes a delay and lag in feedback on players’ ends).  The nearby multiplayer is a rather nifty one, and reminds us of the days when you pick up a controller on your console then offer your friend the other one to duke it out or team up.  That same functionality, inviting the nearby, is what constitutes the other API.

It lets you send an invitation to nearby players and friends to log onto the game to either team up or play competitively.  You can then either team up, if the game allows, or go head-to-head (and add as many ‘-to-head’s as you might need for the situation).

The good news to take from this is that the new way to play multiplayer is here and ready to run.  The stagnant news is that you have to wait for your favorite multiplayer games to get updated by their developers.  The bad news is that some developers might not do the little change to update their apps to let people globally play smoother online and have a better competitive multiplayer experience.  The best news though, to round this out, is that some developers have already implemented these APIs.  If you’ve tried out these APIs, how did it go?  Think this is the way that mobile online gaming should be? Which games would most benefit from these APIs?  LEt us know down below.