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Google Brings Developers New Play Games ‘Player Analytics’ Tools

September 9, 2015 - Written By Justin Diaz

With Google Play Games, Google launched a series of new tools back in March called Player Analytics that allowed developers to keep a closer eye on player interaction and manage the success of their game while also giving them a way to optimize player engagement. Today Google is announcing a couple of new additions to this tool set aimed at making things even easier and helping developers to have a better understanding of different player elements. These will be coming in the form of two new reports called the Player Time Series Explorer and the Events viewer, both of which Google states will be rolling out to the Play Games developer console sometime later this week.

Starting with the Events Viewer, developers will now be able to make themselves a customized report based on the events they have in their game. Events can often range from contests to special timed events that offer players the chance to engage with limited time content, and the new Events Viewer makes it possible for developers to create a report to show how and when players are engaging with these events, as well as compare various data like how often players might be entering a contest, how often they’re winning and how often they came close to winning a contest.

Alongside the new Events Viewer report is the new Player Time Series Explorer, which is aimed at giving developers a way to analyze what players are doing in the first few critical minutes of starting gameplay. For gamers this starting moment can mean a difference between continuing to pick up the game and play it on a consistent basis, or to uninstall it for any number of reasons. As an example, with the Player Time Series Explorer, if there’s a high rate of difficulty for players early on in the game causing a negative experience, developers can manage this by scaling the difficulty back or adding in tools or tutorials to help players through this challenging portion of the game. This new report also details what happens before players spend money for the first time in-game as well as what happens before players churn, both of which developers can access from a pre selected list of questions. Using this tool developers can also see granular details if they hover over specific events like when a player spends money.

In addition to these two new reports, Google has also added in a new Player Stats API which developers can use to tailor the gaming experience for players based on player progression, spend, and engagement elements. For instance, if a game has some players which spend a significant amount in-game developers can use the Player Stats API to see these details and set up offerings of free rewards and gifts as a perk for the higher amount of spend. Lastly, Google is improving iOS support by adding in improved Cocoa Pods support. This according to Google will make it easier for developers to configure Play Games services in Xcode. They have also taken the most recent build of the C++/iOS SDKs and built them on the Google Sign-In Framework which brings in support for Google apps authentication.