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New and advanced Google Play tools for game developers

Jonathan Cheung
Tech Lead at Google
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2018 Google I/O
May 8, 2018, Mountain View, USA
2018 Google I/O
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New and advanced Google Play tools for game developers
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About speakers

Jonathan Cheung
Tech Lead at Google
Ignacio Monereo
Business Development, Android Apps and Games, EMEA at Google
David Wiesenfeld
Software Engineer at Google

Jonathan is a tech lead on the Play Console team based in London. He focuses specifically on go-to-market tools which help developers de-risk their launches for maximum success on the Play Store. Jonathan has a master's degree in computer engineering from Imperial College London where he graduated with first class honours.

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Ignacio Monereo works in business development for Android games in the European region. In his role, he provides strategic and tactical advice to mobile game developers across several areas such as product development, distribution and monetization of apps. Prior to joining the Android Apps and Games, he was a strategic partner manager in the Google AdSense and DoubleClick team, focusing on advertising monetization solutions for large publishers in both Spanish and Italian markets. Ignacio has an MBA degree

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About the talk

This session will introduce improvements being made to Google Play and new tools in the Play Console which will help you launch and grow sustainable games on the Play Store.

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Hi, I'm trying to function techlead on the Google Play console. What can I go to market to us? And I'm here today with my colleagues in Nashville, and I'm playing business development team and David project manager on play console excited to talk to you about what play console tools. You can take advantage of one building and managing your games. Fact and the last few years the number of Android players who have installed the game has more than doubled. Players from all around the world and from all different backgrounds enjoying an unprecedented amount

of new gameplay experiences on Android. Asking developers. This is your chance your chance to build new experiences to connect two more players and define success in the market. What do you develop building a fast game will see you soon veteran of the industry. The opportunity is used to grasp. That being said with opportunity comes a degree of wrist. Games development on mobile is an ever-changing landscape and play expectations or mobile games has never been higher. Does more competition than ever before in the marketplace already

1001000000 games live on the Play Store and you games alone in all the time on Google Play. Development costs increasing demands for High Fidelity on mobile games and consumers expecting more feature-rich experiences on mobile. Finally marketing games is getting increasingly more difficult. Use acquisition spending is increasing at a moving towards fewer large alone trees in a single. Yeah. Google Play we understand these problems and want to help you

where we can to bring as much as fast as possible with your games. We have committed the building tools to help you plan and dearest your lunches and to help you maintain and support your games after successful launch. let us take you on a journey from pre to post Malone which will hopefully provide some insights into the some of the exciting tools we have available for you will be covering some existing tools share some interesting anecdotes and best practices and show us some new tools which we feel will help you on your

road to success best pre-launch this place is critical for making sure you are delivering the right experience for your players what did that mean the gameplay experience itself the stability and performance of your game or and the content roadmap you have plans What don't you be going through some areas of focus drink relaunch and also walk through some of these tools. We feel helpful at this stage. Fast and hats most importantly testing. It is crucial to get your

testing strategy right when launching a new game. As you know launching and maintaining games expensive proposition. It is critical to make sure that when you launch your product it will be Savon Godfrey resonate with your players from a game place perspective and have a sustainable roadmap to keep your place invested in your game. Internal testing allows you to publish and distribute your apks and seconds instead of hours. So you can put your daily Bill if your team immediately. It was a picture of Integrations about API

and other third party plugins such as cradle. Finally it benefits from all the Google Play products. You come to love such as in that product support country targeting LVL, and of course the newly announced the Android app bundle. Developers are using this new track to do wrap it it sort of testing for launching new games as well as for adding feed his existing games. For instance. You have to push the daily build a spooky way. And what do they make sure the releases we step off a quality or using at

the experimental billets the group of friends and colleagues in order to play Test new gameplay mechanics. Hear something stink about when using internal testing. It's a great opportunity to focus on stability and bugs in order to judge every release against you for quality if possible. It could also be useful to stop testing on the wide variety of devices so that when you decide to roll out to more players, you can be certain they will receive the quality gameplay experience that you will want them to receive. One of my most used

feature of a game developer is his clothes testing. Close testing is a great opportunity to build a tight-knit community of testis will be able to provide you with valuable feedback before and after launch. Uses converted directly from the play console using email lists or Google Groups via web app as shown in this picture. At once opted-in they can install the game directly from the Play Store. Over 60% of game developers and play already use this feature and I found great success with

it. Let's take a quick look at a case study. Bravo Co where the Game Force is a freedom really took the hot the philosophy of building a strong test at Community for that close test. They focus on recruiting the right stuff even reaching beyond the usual online communities define distort the player. They felt would have The Finity with the theme of their game, which is a military shooter game. As you can see in this picture that went to this Airsoft event and recruited players on site to play that game. During the testing.

Bravoco made sure that they were available 24/7 by social media and especially instant messaging this allow them not only together a very specific valuable feedback also to build connections with individual tests of the game. This dedication to building a strong test Community paid of dividends both during testing and even after lunch and aliaxis what forces of Freedom has now attracted more than 10 million players and Counting. In conclusion, he has some things to think about when using clothes

testing. Create strong, and I've asked Chester Community. Remember this place will be critical in shaping the initial direction of your game. Experiment with new gameplay mechanics in content don't be afraid of negative feedback. Remember your ratings and reviews are still not live at this point. And finally think I think about reaching out to your testicle immunity to get a very specific feedback. This is your chance to ask him. What what what didn't what and how do we improve? next open testing once a game is technically

solid and your man gameplay hurts a built-in. It's time to think about spending your test tomorrow players in preparation for your big launch. Open testing allows your game to be discoverable and it's tollable on the Play Store have a place to find cat too often and install your gay. Play at 1 p.m. To leave ratings until the game fully launches, but can provide Anonymous feedback to the developer at any time. Open testing comes in two flavors, depending on the state of your game. If you don't have a production release already wear the same country as you are running your

test, then uses we be able to install you came directly from the play store without needing too often. We call this early access. Your game will be tagged as unreleased as shown in this image. If you have a production or Lisa ready for instance, you may have suffered once in the same country. You can still continue to use open testing existing users will continue to get updates on the test track a New Uses can Upton via console provided weblink or fruit to cart, which is shown on the screen here at the bottom of the games Details page.

Play softened into an open test in this state will see the game tags as Pizza. So bring together these phones for testing open Channel test and close test you as the developers have control over who can install and play your game. Early Access testing installed and discovered directly from the Play Store and a great way to expand your tester base as well as building tight around your big lunch. Finally open chests. Can you use to continue testing with a wide audience even after your production release?

Utilize TEAS test it to try a new features and tweaks to a game before rolling out to all your players. moving on pre-launch reports can also help develop is INR quality and performance issues prior to Launch. Whenever test APK is uploaded and non-deterministic, but will crawl your game was running on a real physical device in one of our test labs. Game developers. I found a love value in the free don't report 90% of developers. Don't push the production if the report shows issues. Stimulates goes

even further for game developers record and upload the game using Firebase test lab and received a plr report a crash and performance metrics including the all-important frames per second. This allows you to discover rendering issues even Foster and lunch with greater confidence. Halfbrick games developers of titles such as Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride. I found great values in demo loops. David both acute processes around using fiala demo Loops to check for visual glitches crashes

and performance among many other things on the fact that the alarm will automatically run on a wide range of devices in device specs for every test release. So how did they do this? The new game which is the endless Runner has a built-in replay functionality which they use to record and save interesting game runs. Refute few simple lines of code. They can instrument Loops to run on these recorded sessions. Where's before that's a very manual process to pick up that benchmarking. Now,

it's automated for them for every test release. They can look at these metrics and compare them to every previously race to make sure the Day game has no regression sin x performance. Before we move over to launching another important aspect of pre-launch is a plan your strategy around content. As such don't be afraid to test longer and the test earlier consider using longer-term metrics like the 14 and these fatty and what is the predicted future success? Measure the rate of content consumption

during the testing phase. This can be useful for planning ahead so that you have enough content for your place when you launched until your first big update. Also, this phase is a great opportunity to test what sort of Life of events will resonate with your player base so that you can create the contender. You all players will want to perceive. It is also important to consider how different phone to testing. Can you use to achieve different purposes? Or testing trash can be used in unison with each other allow you to Target different experiences

to different groups of testis. For instance. You may want to consider to run your daily billets pocket Panel test right uses to check for regressions at the same time as you're running a large-scale open test with Early Access. Close testing can also be used to find three specific gameplay mechanics select audience before rolling out to production test uses. I'm your production uses. Finally, you should always keep in mind that mobile games development is ever-changing landscape new technologies open up new ways to play and play

expectations on mobile or ever-changing. Remember to continuously the evaluate your processes around development and testing see what works what doesn't what and most importantly do not be afraid of change with that are like to hand over to unless you just want to talk to you about launching games on Google Play. Jonathan hi everyone. I'm Ignacio. I'm part of the team based in London and I have the privilege and honor to work with many game developers like you so let's

talk about counting your game. I'm pretty sure that by now you have tested and tested your game on your hundred percent confident or let's say at least 95% confident that mean he's ready both from the back-end and front-end to receive a lot of users. That was well, your customer teams are ready to Manchester Community great new life events or deal with the feedback is lots of fun to have a lunch date. I need to steal the scary write. So well that clean the play team in the play console. You have some tools that will help you to

reach those levels of confidence for the lounge party. We can talk about three in particular. We going to talk about device catalog pre-registration country targeting. Let's look at that mean for the detail. So device catalog this picture is very popular. And the reason is because it helps you make better decisions when prioritizing back fix. I'm delivering the right experience for each device has launched last year. We have seen that 66% of developers are using it on a monthly basis. We all

know that Android is an incredibly reset assistant with hundreds of Manufacturers and thousands of devices. So let's turn this into an opportunity and try to deliver the best experience based on relevant factors such as SOC Ram or CPU. But during these promises there's one key thing to remember which is essentially to think big. I'm what I mean by thing big is just let's try to include as many devices by default as possible. Streaming devices should be a temporary measure until some of these bags are fixed. Let's look at the device data page.

Diesel diesel page is a feature that allows you to review individually thousands of devices identify relevant criteria that has an associate or CPU new filtering methods. For example, the screen size on an application binary interface as well since last year. We are at the unsupported reason so you can very quickly identify why a device isn't supported by your game. Lafayette wanted to highlight also some interesting information that the device littlepage is providing. Essentially the number of active devices in

this in this particular game the average rating on the revenues generated by in-app purchases are subscriptions in the last month. So what some of the developers are saying about this? So this is how Legends are mobile developer from Barcelona. They actually a very popular game responsables, which was launched in 2014. And since then they have seen more than 30 million in sales. And what is more important more than two billion bottles played by the players. So these are legends 2 or 3 times a week. They

check the device catalog are essentially they do three things. The first one they exclude those devices that they do not meet the minimum requirements in order to deliver a great user experience then second they isolate the box and then third they prioritize device support on as well these back fixes. So thanks to these future digital. Legends has seen an increase in the user experience and ratings as well on the overall quality and performance of the game. So you conclusion. I wanted to highlight three things to remember.

So the first one Bank Bic and support as many devices as possible second. If we have to exclude some devices try to the temporary way so we can fix all those backs and increase our chances to reach a bigger audience and then last use the device ID to page to get very relevant information such as for example that supported reason or the average revenues or average rating. I'm with these let's move on to the next functionality feature pre-registration. We all know that in gaming creating excitement before even launched is increasingly

critical and popular. So the pre-registration feature has two benefits as a player. It's clear. You can pre-register and then when the game is long, you will receive a notification to install the game. We all know that in certain type of games multiplayer social games competitive games in general is critical to have a very early or get get on early into into the game. However from a developer perspective I can see that there's two main benefits here. The first one is you can start marketing early and capture the audience interest as well

by morning during the pre ridge count. We have any indication of the influx at users of users that loaned are we can plan ahead not only from a server-side but also like marketing. But let's look at a case study. Next song is a Korean developer and the creator of some popular games in particular Durango White Lines, which was launched in Korea 25th of January 2018, six weeks before launching the game and during this time. They saw 2.5 million pre-registration users out of those 2.5 million users rewrite users

46% We're coming from the play pre-registration feature. And what is very interesting to hear is that the day 7 conversion meaning from launch date until the date of the first week the conversion for play three, Rich users was about 70% which is 7 times higher than the other sources. Tuskegee human the head of Latin relationships Google pre-registration is essentially a very effective marketing tool. So how is next when using four other games? So next time has Lounge 20 games in 2017 and has used the pre-registration featuring

10 games last year 50% They saw a 50% conversion from previous users to actually uses downloading these up this game. They have seen also that the CPI eyes are quite lower the 60% lower in pre-launch dining post-launch. This has led to the decision to allocate the marketing budget 50% to the pre-launch state rather than impulse Lounge. So far, the pre-registration pilot has been very successful in 2017. We've seen number such as more than 50 developers using this functionality as

well 200 million players registering and 100 million players actually downloading those games and then a total of 400 Lounge across both small and big developers in did this is exciting. But what is even more exciting is to do that today? We are announcing that three rich is becoming available to all developers very soon. What are the some of the things that we need to take into account if we want to have a good experience with three Rich? So three things as well that I wanted to remember. So the first is allows some time to build excitement. So in between 3 to 6 weeks is

enough in order to gather all this audience interest might as well use all the channels that you have available. You know the tube is that excitement for example media communities forms your own website and across all these channels make sure that you have a clear action in this in this case pre-register Google Play. With this in mind, let's jump into the last two. We just got to be targeting is a very powerful tool and essentially it allows two things. So first we can have different trucks for country and then we can

run separate clothes open test or production in a specific geography. This is very useful inventions for soft Lounge in processes where for example, we want to have one particular region in production to test user acquisition or monetization. Secondly ski during lunch because we can use the states roll out their geography and leave me is that you can control the rollout in different countries and then monitor which users are getting into the app. These allows us to test server performance or user feedback. So let's look at how some developers are using this functionality.

The war game in Ukrainian developer and behind the game World of Warships Blitz. They lost this game in January 2018 to 12:00 and the game has already seen more than 3 million in something Google play a hundred million ships destroyed and more than 15 million plane shot down. So incredible numbers as well on that side, which is the marketing who is the marketing manager in wargaming and he told us that they use the country targeting during the soft launch. Jones. Took about six months and they divided in three stages States. They sell like

a few number of countries underwears testing things like stability. So cross rates motivation lifetime value in CPI, and then engagement which is user engagement and duration of the games. When a second state they open up to a few are more countries and their testing mostly server capacity and ensuring the stability of the game a little. 30 States. They were open apps already more countries across all continents with it in turn off testing monetization mostly. Leslie during this whole process

wargaming was testing as well and monitoring the ratings on the reviews and reacting based on the user feedback. Twinkle Lucien regarding country targeting just things to remember today. So the first one is like we can use to Country targeting during self launch, but also doing the open and closed beta tests are processes as well as during even like future update or post Lounge. And the second thing is I'd launch planned ahead. What is going to be the roller to the different countries so I can download the game and enjoyed

quickly, but without any issues and with these I would like to call my colleague David. Thank you. Thanks Ignacio. I'm David product manager on play console go-to-market tools and Google play games services. Now we're moving on to post-launch. At this point you've developed her game tested with a growing cohort of testers had a good launch day and a strong launch week and the dustless pedaling. What are the things that you can be thinking about next? 3 post-launch activities that we're going to focus on our growing your audience to

get as many people as possible playing a great game engaging your players by delivering a great experience. They want to keep coming back to and earning money so you can keep running your game or build your next one. Let's start with audience growth. Players are becoming harder and more expensive to acquire and retain game developers. Like you are using lots of different strategies to acquire users UA is coming but so are other less tractable methods cross-promotion and other games leveraging YouTube influencers, utilizing social channels third-party website marketing. I'm

sure you have other great message to you track clicks and insults from ads but players to install your app organically from the Play Store who may get there safe by search after reading about your game on a third-party website or a black box full accounting for the majority of insoles for most Developers. Using the new Tools in organic acquisition insights report in play console. You can snap see the breakdown of how many new installers have access to your hair listing either via search or by browse in the Play Store. Most users find games in Google Play using search

and with this tool you can dive deeper into search and see the specific Search terms the drive users to your game organic acquisition insights reports is coming soon for all Developers. the developers we talked to you are excited to use these insights in order to assess the acquisition strategies change their store listing a screenshot to reflect with our users are looking for and even optimized in a pond boarding experiences to ensure that it references the features and benefits that the users find most appealing visit powerful new tool that I hope you'll

explore to find out more about organic acquisition insides. You can go to this talk tomorrow morning. Next we'll talk about Google Play instant growing your game involves getting uses excited about it and a great way to do that is to give him a quick and easy way to experience it for quick background. We launched in synapse a tire last year and since then we've been very busy there more than a billion devices that support in synapse and we've improved our tooling to make building and snaps even easier and as you may have heard, we now that we're bringing in

synapse the games at GDC six weeks ago. And as of today Google Play instant is now available to all game developers. So why should you consider making an innocent game isn't games allow players to try your game before installing it and make it easy to install the full game at the end of the Ensign game experience using the install prompt API be able to try a game before installing is a hit with players and after publishing their instant game Mighty battles has seen a 19% increase in acquisition rate. So what's the difference between

in synapse and instant games is a Dap the internet Frameworks. So it better Nate than meets the needs of game developers. Like you do three things to change with increased the size limit to 10 megabytes. We've been able to Progressive download of executable code and assets using the splits and size API and very importantly you got a full support for native code and integrating with game engines and opengl. This means you can use the same code base and tools as your full game to build your instant game. And by creating and it's a game you open up a lot of surfaces

players can experience instant games directly from ads in the play games off arcade by a link. You can send it with the messaging app. And of course in the Play Store. While we're on the topic of Google Play instant, we need to touch back just for a moment on launching tools pre-reg is very successful program and we're bringing the instant games to play Source pre-registration feature now players that. Juicer can get a sneak preview of your game. And when you promote. Stration through social media email or on your website users will be able to play instantly from any Android device

is an awesome way to introduce your game to the world. To learn more about instant games you attend the session on Thursday. Next we'll get engagement. Android vitals is designed to help you identify issues at scale. You can create a better more fluid more optimized and more engaging experience for your players. There are a number of do vitals features launching including benchmarks for all titles and new vitals including start of time which were discussing the Android vital session earlier this afternoon. A particular interest for game developers

like you are stability and Battery vitals stability vitals include and ours and crashes and batteries included stuck way clocks and excessive wake-ups. We are now showing his vitals against a bad behavior threshold exhibiting bad behavior and vitals will negatively affect the user experience in your game and can result in bad ratings for discoverability in the Play Store for rendering and start of time movies are informative at this point. It was a new vitals benchmarks. You can see how you stack up against similar games. It's important to know that I didn't

read vitals is a powerful tool not just wrap developers, but for game developers to using vitals game developer clue who's game Subway Surfers just passed 1 billion and souls on Google Play was able to make drastic improvements to their and our rate. We're just seeing it from round 2% to below 0.1% So to help you insure your users enjoy playing your game. How did you see me thinking about using vitals in your day today? Keep an eye on and ours crashes wakelocks and wake up, which would be easier with the notifications and alerts built into

play console and use the vitals dashboard as part of your tool kit to pay sound problems. Now we wanted to share with you something we've been working on is not ready for General consumption yet that's coming. But we were said to be working to bring liveops to play. We are creating new experiences in the store and in the play games app to show players the events that are happening now in their games. This is proving very popular with players, and we're going to continue exploring in this direction. And finally, let's move on to revenue. Google play his hat subscription since

2012, but they've mostly been the domain of subscription for Access apps games typically monetize through eye peas and ads or a paid games but a number of developers have been experimenting with subscriptions, and we wanted to share their experiences. You may be wondering what's the business case of adding subscription when I already have IP. Developers removing subscriptions report an increase in engagement and retention not just for the subscribers before their overall user base as well. As you can see from Monster Strike experience with mon pass. many including scopely alternative

minimal cannibalization of IEP resulting an incremental gains to overall Revenue driven by both subscriptions and i a p Another developer restaurant successful subscription is network in Legendary game of Heroes VIP loyalty program. This program has proved popular as you can see. It's created a new Revenue stream for Legendary game of Heroes with strong positive impact on overall Revenue. 32 best practices and using subscriptions to provide value to players loyalty programs for high-value users and a new

access point Dupree me experience for traditional naan buyers. The target audience will influence how you choose to design your offering. Some examples of a VIP loyalty program features include exclusive or exclusive or early access to content special in game VIP status and title or a bonus payout with each purchase. This is most popular subscription to time. We seen so far as you can see from ludy's Jurassic World the game employment here. Developers have also found the subscriptions can be effective in converting traditional non virus. These players are

motivated by getting a good Financial deal. You can see networks implementation care, which is a VIP loyalty program aimed at these tradition lawn buyers. Of course as with any monetization system be aware of potential downsides and keep a close pulse of fair player feedback at Community sentiment. To help you with your subscription program Google Play has a very robust subscriptions infrastructure with a lot of Rich features. We support you with billing tools and analytics inside reports throughout the entire user funnel and we can take care of you sample

subscription features such as flexible billing free trials account hold so you can focus on testing and implementing an effective in game subscription design. To learn more about subscriptions you watch the recording of This secession from earlier this afternoon. We've gone through some of the tools you can take advantage of post-launch. But as we draw to a close, I want to lose back to the beginning of our talk and call out testing again. It's good to always be testing a person to have this can be tricky for games as game. Some games need users to be on

the same version to function properly, but think about how you can effectively use plays testing tracks. What is a Dupree lawn to ensure your updates live up to the Quality Bar set for your game. The wrap-up. We've discussed a number of tools and play console. You can use in various stages of your games life cycle. There's a lot going on in Mobile gaming right now with fantastic game are gross Lowe's of high-quality games being released and lots of competition. It's your own fault as you keep raising the bar higher and higher in terms of Graphics story and gameplay.

Hold on. We're excited to see what you're able to build neck. And where gaming goes from here the tools we talk to you through today can help you along your journey in a few cookie places and give you some abilities and insights you can leverage to help you succeed. We'd also love to hear your feedback on the session. Thanks for your time. We're around for this today, and you can also check out the sandbox over here. Thank you.

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