Just six months after the launch of the Google Play Developer Publishing API, Google has added the Google Play Game Services Publishing API to automate the configuration and publishing of game services resources. The first two resources available through the API are achievements and leaderboards. After integration, developers can pull data from spreadsheets, CSV files or content management systems to automatically update in-game achievements and leaderboards.
The services available through the API are similar to services available through the Google Play Developer Console. Google anticipates use of the API in conjunction with the Google Play Developer API. The new API complements the Google Play Developer API because it automates maintenance features that become cumbersome and manually intensive as a game grows in participation, age and complexity.
"Achievements are the most used feature in Google Play Game services for us," Keisuke Hata of Square Enix, an early tester of the new API, commented. "As our games support more languages, achievement management has become increasingly difficult. With the Game Services Publishing API, we can automate this process, which is really helpful. The Game Services Publishing API also comes with great samples that we were able to easily customize for our needs."
Users can access the RESTful API directly via HTTP. Through the API, developers can configure achievements and leaderboards, and upload images associated with such resources. Google has provided a sample app to demonstrate the new API and its functionality. For more detailed information, visit the API reference.
Mobile continues to expand in both use and complexity. To keep up, game developers must automate as many processes as possible. The original Google Play Developer Publishing API aimed to automate configuration and publishing to the Play store. The Play Game Services Publishing API takes automation to the resource level and automates leaderboard and achievement configuration. A simple use scenario involves language translation. Instead of manually updating achievement and leaderboard language, the new API can automatically pull translation data from a third-party data source and update a game's achievements and leaderboards accordingly. While Google has started with achievements and leaderboards, expect it to add more resources soon.