Google launches Visual Studio tool for Android game development – Visual Studio magazine


Google launches Visual Studio tool for Android game development

Google released a Visual Studio extension to build gaming apps for Android, targeting C ++ developers.

The Android Game Development Extension (AGDE) is part of the New Android Game Development Kit (AGDK), a set of new and existing tools and libraries for creating full-cycle Android games: development, optimization, launch and iteration. Although it includes C and C ++ APIs, most game development is done in C ++, which provides a high-performance, close-to-the-metal alternative to the Android Kotlin and Java programming languages.

“The Android Game Development Extension (AGDE) allows you to add Android as a target platform in your existing Visual C ++ projects, making it easier to write C / C ++ games for multiple platforms,” Google said.

The Android Game Development Extension (AGDE)
[Click on image for larger view.] The Android Game Development Extension (AGDE) (source: Google).

With the initial launch of AGDE, Google said it was following three key principles

  • Code designed for game development. All libraries have been built and tested with performance in mind using C or C ++ APIs.
  • Reduce fragmentation. AGDK tools and libraries work on many different versions of Android. Most of these features will work on almost any device in use today.
  • Built by Android, for Android. Features will be enhanced by future updates to the Android platform and libraries will offer backward compatibility where possible.

and so he decided to focus on three areas, guided by developer feedback:

  • Integrated workflows
  • C / C ++ game libraries
  • Performance optimization

Unreal Engine mobile team uses AGDE
[Click on image for larger view.] Unreal Engine mobile team uses AGDE (source: Google).

The AGDE Visual Studio tool integrates into the built-in workflow area, along with the game engine integrations and plugins.

Performance tuning includes GPU profiling / debugging, profiling, performance tuning, and guidance including best practices.

Performance optimization
[Click on image for larger view.] Performance optimization (source: Google).

Finally, regarding these C / C ++ game libraries, three new ones have been added to the existing timing and high performance audio libraries:

[Click on image for larger view.] Libraries (source: Google).
  • Game Activity is the foundation of C ++ game development, providing C interfaces for all expected Android events, from screen rotation to app lifecycle. Google said it minimizes development time spent working with Java. Unlike Native Activity, Game Activity is shard compatible and extensible, making it easy to integrate SDKs.
  • In-game text input provides a stable way to use the software C keyboard, which is officially supported and will work on all versions of Android.
  • The game controller is a way to manage the inputs of C game controllers, map their functions and reconnect to the device if necessary.

The new Visual Studio kit and extension were announced at the Google for Games Developer Summit on July 12 and 13, for which over 20 videos from Day 1 are available for on-demand viewing. The Visual Studio extension video is available here.

About the Author

David Ramel is editor and writer for Converge360.

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