Friday, May 17, 2013

Google Play Game Services for Android setup tutorial

  1. Your app must use Google APIs instead of Android SDK.
  2. You must use a signed release build for testing, with the same SHA entered into the google play console.
  3. You must import the google-play-services_lib project into eclipse.  Just grabbing the lib is not good enough.


Step 1: Get the google-play-services_lib
  • Use the Android SDK Manager to download "Google Play services".  
  • Right click in the Package Explorer window and select Import.
  • Under "Android" select "Existing Android Code Into Workspace". Click next.
  • Under "Root Directory" click browse and select [android-sdk-dir]/extras/google/google_play_services/libproject/google-play-services_lib.
  • Make sure "Copy projects into workspace" is selected.  You want a copy of the version downloaded from google.

Step 2: Link your project to the google-play-services_lib
  • Right click your project and select properties
  • Select "Android"
  • Make sure "Google APIs" is selected.
  • Under library click "Add" and select google-play-services_lib
  • Also set the lib project as a reference.  Right click your project, go to project references, and make sure google-play-services_lib is selected.  Otherwise it won't export with your retail build.

Step 3: Set up the google play console.
  • Go to and sign in
  • Click the control pad icon to go to the new Google Play Game Services page.
  • Click "Add a new game" and fill out the details.
  • Select your new game, and click on "Linked apps".
  • Add a new android app and link to your store entry.
  • Click the "Authorize your app now" button after saving.
  • Enter your SHA1 signing certificate.  You won't be able to change this later.  To find your key, export a signed retail apk from eclipse and sign with the key that you use for publishing.  At the end of the process it will tell you the SHA1.
Step 4: Add yourself as a tester

  • Go to the google play games console for your app and click testing.
  • Add your google account as a tester.
If you skip this step you will see this in the logcat console:
Unable to retrieve 1P application 1234567890 from network
Unable to load metadata for game

Step 5: Set your app id in the manifest.
  • Grab your app's id from the google play console.  If you select the controller icon and then select your game you will see something at the top that looks like YourAppName - 1234567890
  • In your project in eclipse open res/values/strings.xml.
  • Add: <string name="app_id">1234567890</string>
  • Open your manifest file, and add this inside your application node: <meta-data android:name="" android:value="@string/app_id" />

Step 6: At program launch, make sure the player has Google Play Services installed.
Call this function on launch, and then again in onResume.  The first time it will send the player to the store for the package.  When the player comes back in to your app we will grab ahold of it.

// determine if the user has google play services installed.
//  if not, try to install it.
// should be called in onResume so we know that it got installed.
   public void validateGooglePlayServices()
        int checkGPServices = GooglePlayServicesUtil.isGooglePlayServicesAvailable(mActivity.getApplicationContext());
        if (checkGPServices !=
        mServicesAvailable = false;        Dialog gpsDialog = GooglePlayServicesUtil.getErrorDialog(checkGPServices, mActivity, 1);
        if (gpsDialog != null) {;
        mServicesAvailable = true;        }

Step 7: Create your GamesClient
private GamesClient mGamesClient = null;
private String mScopes[];
public void initClient()
if (!mServicesAvailable) return;Vector scopesVector = new Vector();
        mScopes = new String[scopesVector.size()];
        GamesClient.Builder gcBuilder = new GamesClient.Builder(mActivity, this, this);
        gcBuilder.setGravityForPopups(Gravity.TOP | Gravity.CENTER_HORIZONTAL);
        mGamesClient = gcBuilder.create();

Step 8: Following the official guide
The rest of the implementation is fairly straight forward. 

Step 9: Testing
  • Export a signed release build
  • Uninstall your app from your device
  • Install your new apk using [android-sdk-dir]/platform-tools/adb install yourgame.apk
  • Launch the game, and watch the log cat window in eclipse.