Google Play Games has been a focal point development piece for Google in trying to make the aspect of mobile gaming on the android platform more engaging for users, and making it easier for developers to give their games more engaging substance through sociable and multiplayer features with easy to use provided tools in the Google Play Games API. Google Play Games seems to better with each update release, and not just for the gamers, but for developers too. Google has just ended the year with a sweet little update to the developer side of Google Play Games with a new publishing API, a new feature to prevent leaderboard tampering and an enhanced Unity plugin. Most of this isn't anything gamers will see on the frontend of things, however they will be able to see the benefits of the new leaderboard tamper protection.
While gamers may not see what goes on behind the scenes, because of this new leaderboard tamper protection that Google has put out there for developers, gamers also won't have to see the worst offenders who cheat the system and mess with the leaderboard scores. Essentially what Google has done with this tool is allow developers to flip a switch and turn on leaderboard tamper protection for new and existing games, which automatically hides leaderboards scores that are suspected to have been tampered with just to gain a high rank standing above other players who legitimately obtained their scores. The leaderboards were a great addition to the Google Play Games services and made for a nice competitive element to games. Anyone who has ever taken a look at some of the leaderboards for their favorite games though have probably come across what seem like obvious cheated rankings. The tamper protection can help to quell(even if only slightly)the use of cheats to better an individuals ranking in any given leaderboard.
When it comes to the new publishing API, developers will now be able to more easily manage leaderboards and achievements on an international level with the automated configuration of Google Play Games services details. Google has begun this process with two of the most key components, leaderboards and achievements. Developers and publishers can have a streamlined process for things like localizing the translation of names on leaderboards for globally launched games as well as translations for the achievements that gamers can obtain. The last tweak Google has made to Play Games services is in regards to the already existing Unity plugin, enhancing it with new and improved features like saved game support, new architecture and updated and improved Unity samples. Developers now will be able to take advantage of the Saved Games feature right from within the Unity plugin itself, while the new Unity Plugin architecture is a push to make it possible for developers to speed up feature development across SDK's. Google is also attempting to make things easier for first time developers to integrate Google Play Games services with the update Unity samples code.