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Google IO 2014 – Play Games Evolution of our beloved form of entertainment

Google IO 2014 – Play Games: Evolution of our beloved form of entertainment Hi everyone, my names Greg Hartrell. Im the lead product manager for Google Play Games. Thanks for attending this session today. When I started putting this session together, I realized I had the great privilege of seeing a lot of people make games, really fantastic experiences, and watching the joy it brings people.

And I went back, and I looked at what people are doing today in terms of playing games. And I came up with a few portraits of what I see happening today. The first is, by and large, mobile games, still very much a single player experience– the portrait of kids sitting on the couch staring into a screen.

And when I see that, I think whatever that kids playing, theyre never going to remember that moment. And thats weird for me because when I grew, when I was a kid, I remember playing games with others, with family, with friends. And so thats something that I considered bizarre. The console industry, we created another persona.

The original promise of consoles was we take the arcades of old. We bring them into the living room. People would play together, and it was going to be fantastic experience. But what you also observe is still this kind of picture of a guy sitting in a basement staring at a screen.

And if we put a headset on this guy, wed call it, to be fair, we call it social. And if you were to put a headset on and start playing with these types of players, your mileage will vary. If youre like my experience, you may run into a 13-year-old yelling at you, something about your mother. And then there was a brief area that we were very excited about with social games.

And we dont see a lot of these games in their original incarnation. Because I guess sending palette knives to your friends wasnt a thing. But games decided to move away from that and tried to pursue deeper social interactions. And see, this is the deal.

Games, they have so much more potential than this, right? If you think about the experiences you had when you were younger or the positive moments that youve had in playing games with others, you know that they are capable of this. And theres evidence if you look around in the physical world, as well as in the article game world.

So I started pulling up quotes. Quoting Greek philosophers immediately gives you street cred, so I recommend it for everybody. But if you look at Plato, Platos saying something profound here. He says if you play with somebody, you can learn a lot more about them than perhaps any other interaction than you can conceive of. If you want to get more academic, you can quote a guy like Johan Huizinga, who wrote a book called Homo Ludens, which is Latin for man at play, kind of a seminal book in game studies.

And his premise is this. Games arent merely a pastime. They connect us in a way that defines our personas, defines the way our communities form, our cultural norms, and even the way that nation states form, if you want to get very profound about it. And were surrounded, too, and attracted by games and the ability to play games with others. And in that sense, all play has meaning.

And so what these quotes really told me was is like, look. Games are really just fundamentally this thing that we do, this fundamental behavior of being human. We create relationships through them. We express ourselves through them. We come together through them.

And if you look closer, theres really good examples in the physical world where games teach us and connect us in unique and interesting ways. So I looked at retirement communities. For the record, retirement looks awesome. Im reconsidering this whole work thing and skipping to that step.

Theyre constantly playing games. Its card games. Its board games. Its shuffle board. Its bocce ball.

You name it. You can find them playing it. And you could easily dismiss this as theyre just finding a way to pass away time. But its more than that.

What theyre doing is is that theyre finding a way to connect with each other. Sometimes, they dont even know who they are. Its a way for people who just are complete strangers to suddenly find a common bond, get acquainted with each other. This is a screenshot here of, or a picture I should say, of something called the Wall Street Freeze Tag event.

Its been like 9 or 10 years running. The people who live in the neighborhood that is Wall Street in New York, they get together, and they go outside, and they have a freeze tag game. And if youve been in the Northeastern United States, you know that in the winter it gets kind of cold. And so heres an example of games that bring together groups of people to do seemingly inane things, and somehow has the power of drawing them together.

The MIT annual mystery hunt is a little bit legendary. Its been running since 1981. It attracts about 2, 000 students annually across 150 teams. And what they do is they have these puzzles that give them clues that come in sequence that allow them to discover a coin thats hidden around campus.

And your reward for solving all the puzzles and finding the coin is you get to write the puzzles for the next years team. And thats it. And what I love about this chart is it just shows like the intensity, the velocity of all these people wanting to pursue and accomplish those goals and to try to attain something that can be proud of. And I have to bring up the World Cup.

If you havent been inside of a stadium with 100, 000 people, I promise you its the most exhilarating experience youve ever had. And its not just because youre watching and rooting for your team. Hopefully, your team. won.

If your team didnt win, then I refer you to the retirement slide, Italy. But the idea here is that youre not just there to root for the team. You get drawn in to the fact that theres so many people of a like mind, bringing this community of people together in a common bond. And so all of these experiences really just boil down to this. At their best, games bring us together.

And article games, to be fair, have been good at this. We can find moments in article game history where were brought together through meaningful interactions. Theres arcades of old. Theres the modern equivalent of barcades, where a genius said, if I combine alcohol with arcades, Ill have a business. And then theres the living room multiplayer.

We remember games like GoldenEye and current games like, lets say, Mario Cart. And they have the intent and the ability to bring people together in a very small ways. And of course, MMORPGs, which when you play some of these, you sometimes wonder, hey. Im just really in a chat room. And theres this game thing I do on the side, sometimes.

And so if we accept the idea that games are better when were playing together, the question is is can the environment we currently have change. Do we have the conditions necessary to relive and create all of those experiences that I just showed in the physical world? And to me, I think the answer is yes. Because Android and Google Play represent one of the greatest opportunities for us to reach people through our games.

So I want you to consider this. Yesterday, you heard that theres one billion active Android users. Thats not total. Thats 30 day actives. Thats a lot of people.

And three in four of those users are playing games. When you do the table napkin math on that, that might be the largest group of people playing games on any platform ever created. What we also talked about was Google Play Games growing at a tremendous clip. This is our game network for Android iOS and the web.

And we announced yesterday that we added 100 million new users in the past six months. That makes this game network the fastest growing mobile game network ever. With an ecosystem this large, though, you need something like Play Games thats going to connect these users together. And Ill take a moment to thank the developers that have gotten us to this point by integrating Play Games and bringing people together through the games services that we offer. Were seeing great results from titles implementing achievements, leader boards, cross screen cloud saves, and social features, like multiplayer and game gifts.

And well talk about some of the new services in a moment and how they do play into that. So those stats are impressive. And game services are showing promise for a lot of the games that integrate them.

But what this really means is this. You have so many people playing games with these devices that are ubiquitous in your pocket, capable of playing, reaching incredible experiences and entertainment. And you have cloud services that get you global reach.

This is the time for us to make games social again. We believe that games at their best bring people together. And the conditions and opportunity to do so are right now.

Now thats an easy call to action to say. But you have to consider, OK, well, theres nothing magical about a platform and the number of people. There has to be a reason.

There has to be kind of a system in which the way you think about it. So I realize that one way to look at this is you can dissect the way that all of these games kind of take design approaches for reaching people and bringing them together. And they do so roughly in these three buckets. The first is creating new relationships. We help people directly engage each other in games.

And we bring groups of people and this nucleus of people together to play together. We also help people express themselves through games. We feel good when we become competent at a task or when were achieving certain goals. And we want to represent that self to others.

And the last is we can build a sense of belonging. So many people find better motivation through passive forms of social interaction. And games help people identify with and get accepted by a community of people of like mind.

So I want to step through each of these and talk about some stories of where I think weve been effective at this in the industry and talk about how Play Games helps you get there. So Ill go back to board games because I mentioned them earlier, and more specifically, the board game groups that you see today. I think many people will think of the heyday of the golden age of board games, the Monopolies, the Scrabbles, or maybe later, the Settlers of Catan, or in my household, I guess it would be Candy Land.

Queen Frostine is a big deal. But the idea here is that article games had an intent to capture the spotlight. And when you dig a little deeper, you realize that theres tons of these board games groups that are out there that are thriving. This is a screen shot from meetup.com. This group here that brings together all these board game groups has 308, 000 members in 42 countries.

Thats a lot of people. And when you look at the things that people say and kind of the group names that are out there, youre seeing friends and family playing. But youre also seeing complete strangers coming together through this medium. Even this one actual group name that I pulled out says extremely shy, looking for friends. If youre consider to be an introvert, this would be an incredibly– an open invitation to just start playing with others and being an ice breaker for you.

But board games dont just do this because of just groups. Games are effective at this because what they do is theyre in the business of simulating social bonds. And what I mean by this is that we remove the risks, so competition and cooperation in an environment where its safe to be wrong or just to fail. For example, we can create low risk competition and trade offs between people who dont even know each other. Or if you and I are playing a strategy game, theres a reason for us to collaborate, perhaps form an alliance.

And thats a way to kind of break the ice and have two people who dont necessarily know each other start to build a relationship. And the best part is if youre really great this, the experience is a little different every time. And that brings you back and encourages you to keep playing. A phenomenon thats going on right now is this phrase called phygital.

If you havent figured this one out, its physical meets digital board games. And whats really interesting about these is these are basically hybrid board games. They take a physical board. But what they do is they have gameplay assistance through mobile devices. The screenshots that you see up here for an upcoming game.

I think it was a Kickstarter project called . What they do here is really clever. Board games, particularly the ones with miniatures, can have very complicated rules. You might spend two or three hours just teaching somebody how to play. And by then, everybodys bored. But whats great is the tablet acts as the referee.

It knows all the rules. It knows how to take turns. It directs and guides what people will do next.

Theres a little bit of a renaissance here going on in the way that the physical world meets the digital. And when I read what players are saying about these games, its very encouraging. I hear quotes like I can focus on my friends and not on the board. Or there was another memorable one. The guys saying like, hey, I can see my girlfriend and I playing this every night, and which is a testament to how accessible a complicated game can be for a larger audience.

And so this hybrid experience creates that nucleus, the small nucleus of players. And its a great example of how games will continue to bring groups of people together. I want to go back to arcades, as well. The original arcades– I guess Im old enough now to kind of reminisce about this– is that in North America, particularly, they were cultural hangout of sorts.

Friends and strangers would engage in games. It was a relatively simple way for people to hangout and all ages have fun and without spending too much money. And Ill tell you a personal story of mine.

It was in an arcade. I was eight years old. I played a game called Duck Hunt.

And for those of you who remember Duck Hunt, it was a light game. You shot cartoon ducks. No ducks were harmed in the making of that game, Im sure.

And yes, games were violent back then, too. And I was particularly good at this game. I popped in one quarter, and I just kept playing.

And I wasnt losing. I just kept knocking them all down and incrementing every level. And I got to a point where Im like, Im at like level 92.

I wonder if it will go to level 100. And I just kept playing, playing, playing, playing. And I got to level 99, passed it, expecting it to get to level 100.

And to my dismay, they didnt think there was a level 100. It actually just stayed at level 99. The guy didnt code it to have a third digit. And so I gave up. I handed the light gun to a guy who was sitting or standing next to me, rather.

And I turned around. And as an eight-year-old kid, theres a group of 40 people who had been watching me the entire time, this kid thats just cleaning up Duck Hunt, like its nobodys business. And for an eight-year-old kid getting high fives from random strangers, right, and getting cheers, thats a really cool moment. Right? And that was impossible without the way that arcades are set up, because you have friends and your have strangers who are playing together.

Youre kind of co-located. The pattern is theres this nucleus of people who love playing games, and you have the freedom to connect with people in that type of environment. You can meet anybody as long as you have similar interests.

And you make friends in return, and experiences that, well, you can apparently tell everybody for the rest of your life. A game that I think is particularly good at this, simulating that pattern, is one called Ingress. This is made by Niantic Labs.

Its a science fiction theme game, massively multiplayer game, using location and augmented reality. Thats a lot of buzz words. Basically, you choose a faction, the Enlightened and the Resistance, and you try to capture these portals by visiting them with your device and visiting these points of interest, which are basically landmarks in the real world. And as a team captures a set of portals, which you can see by these different dots, you create more surface area and connect them for what your faction controls. You can see here on the screen shot.

The green teams got this amount of surface area covered. Now, one day they zoomed out 100x and the saw this. The green team has this really bizarre and massive surface area. This is covering virtually the entire state of California.

But the bizarre part is in the Northeast corner there, that triangle, thats in the middle of the desert. Theres no cell signal out there. How do you capture something like a point of interest without a cell signal? So the opposing faction rightfully complained and said, look. Theres no way that anybody did this.

They must be hacking it. So the Niantic Labs team investigated this. And it turns out it was actually real. What happened was is that those people from that faction decided to rent a portable cell tower– dead serious. They spend a few thousand dollars.

They drove it all the way out into the Nevada desert. They set it up, popped open the game, captured whatever the point of interest was out there. And this is the part that I love. They took the cell tower down, so now nobody can go back there and recapture the portal. That was really clever.

And so I use this story because Ingress demonstrates like how– what theyre doing, really, is that this is a set of people who are friends or maybe people who are just brought together in this simulated social bond using article games in all of these ways that I described earlier. And its encouraging to see that alive and well. So let me take a step and talk about relationships and what Play Games does to help us build those. If you remember the 90s like I do you, you remember really bad dance music, feel-good group sitcoms, and game called NBA Jam.

And if youve played it on mobile– and you should– youll remember that you missed it. It uses the Play Games multiplayer system to connect users and friends in real-time play with all of the excitement of the arcade. What they take advantage of, though, thats really great is something we call auto matching. And auto matching accesses the hidden social graph of your game.

These are people who are playing right now. So that way, theres always somebody to play with. So it really has that pattern of creating the nucleus of players that are always there. And so whether its strangers or friends, its a wildly fun experience.

Our multiplayer system accesses your social graph. We rank and sort it based on active players or players youve played with recently. It comes in real-time and turn-based multiplayer forms, and we handle the notifications and turns for you and handle all the hard problems like punching through NATs and creating peer-to-peer sessions when it comes to real-time play. If youre interested in a very good example of a turn-based multiplayer game, its 1941 Frozen Front by HandyGames. I recommend you try it out, especially if you like strategy games.

And quick, I mention here too, is for turn-based multiplayer, were adding it to our Play Games C SDK which will be supported by, which will make it even easier for you to implement multiplayer in your title if youre still making games in native code. Another game Ill point out is Quizup. Quizup takes great advantage of our achievements in leader boards. The game encourages you to answer trivia questions with strangers and friends. And leader boards, for those of you who are a longtime game designers, tried and true way of fostering competitions by extending your game play.

And people try to beat each others best scores. Whats great about our social leader boards, though, is Im never going to be number one in the Quizup worldwide leader board. But I can apparently be number three amongst my friends. And if Im really excited about the game, Ill invite them along, so I try to get the number one. Another service that we launched recently was Game Gifts.

This is Eternity Warriors 3 by Glu Mobile– MMORPG hack and slash type of game, really fun experience. Basically, Game Gifts is designed for games that want more lighter weight social interactions. Youre not going to find everybody whos willing to sit down and play a real-time multiplayer game.

But you could convince them to just do a very simple in and out social interaction with a high degree of reward. In this case, they use it to send potions. They give your friends an edge with some set of limits each day. And sending gifts works a lot of the ways that multiplayer does today.

You can use the same social graph. You get your game discovered in the process. But Ill explain the mechanics of this in a little more depth.

You can think of it in three phases. The Game Gift service pops open in Intent, the gift intent that players use to choose up to eight people to send basically a blob of data that represented this in-game object, like a potion or a free life. And when you send it to friends, well store it on our servers for several days while your friends decide what they want to do with it. The receivers, those friends, get notified based on their notification settings.

If they have set you up as a priority notification, itll buzz the phone, and theyll get into the game. And if its an unsolicited notification, then itll show up silently in the shade. Finally, when the receivers ready to consume the gift, they open it up in the Play Games Inbox or the Play Games App, and it will launch your game. And as with multiplayer, if the receiver doesnt have the game, it will redirect them to the Play Store, so they can acquire.

And so if youre in the business of getting incremental installs, this is an acquisition pro-tip for you. I mentioned the Play Games App. This is our consumer experience that kind of aggregates all of this is what your friends are playing and creates that nucleus of player activity that I keep referring to that is so effective.

And like the arcade or the common places where people play, like what Ingress does, Play Games gives you a view of what your friends have played recently and creates kind of that community feel, constantly reintroducing you to your friends and seeing what theyre playing. So after youve long stopped playing a game, you can keep up with what your friends are doing, and you can invite them again. OK, so that covers relationships.

The second part of our model here is expression. Expression is a really interesting thing. Games help you motivate us because we accomplish something. And by accomplishing things, it kind of improves our well being.

We express ourselves through accomplishments. We do so through mastery and gaining confidence. And we enjoy sharing that accomplishment with others.

And theres a lot of real science behind this. It can be boiled down to this, but its a well-known area of study called self-determination theory. Im not going to do self-determination theory injustice in two minutes, but Ill tell your story. Harry Harlow is a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin in 1949.

And he did a study with primates or monkeys to kind of prove what drives and motivates people, or rather monkeys in this specific case, to complete tasks. And he had this interesting set-up where he took two monkeys, and he put their living space– OK, they were cages– and he put a puzzle inside of the cages. And he noticed a couple things.

One is that he would reset the puzzle every day. And each monkey would go and take the puzzle and then start figuring it out and solve it. And they would consistently do this over and over again.

And that didnt really invalidate his experiment. It just kind of like, oh, thats interesting that they would automatically just be drawn to doing some arbitrary task. And then to set up a variable, what he did is he gave one monkey a treat every time that monkey completed the puzzle every day.

And after a time, he took the treat away. And he noticed something really interesting. The monkey that got the extrinsic reward, the treat, stopped solving the puzzle, because he wasnt getting the treat. But the other monkey that was left as the control continued to solve the puzzle every day, as long as he reset it. So what was really interesting here is that the unrewarded monkey found the act of completing the puzzle alone satisfying.

Later, this was proved with humans. Theres something called the over-justification effect. And what it shows us is that the act and the satisfaction of accomplishing something, in gaining mastery, is something that were drawn into. And game design, really good game design, takes advantage of this in really deep ways.

But expression goes deeper than accomplishment. Theres also the desire to express oneself or even escape through a persona. Theres tons of research on MMORPGs that show how people grow attached to their online personas and avatars, showing sense of identity and relationship with the characters that you create and as you interact with others. So I went on to the role-playing section on Google Play, the Google Play Store.

And I was thinking of well-worn fantasy in medieval titles. And it turns out theres a lot of other ways to role-play too. So theres games like Knights N Squires, here, or at the bottom, Star Girl Beauty Queen, which is now my personal favorite. And role-playing is partially really about expressing yourself through personification.

What I love about these games is it shows like whether age or gender, everybody kind of gets attracted into like the doll house effect of these games. And its a way for people to kind of escape from everyday life. And while Im talking about expression, Ill splice this one in. Sometimes you just play games to blow off some steam.

This is best demonstrated by this Japanese table flipping game. Maybe well get some audio here. No? Audio?

Here we go. -Rack up the points. -You see shes beating the table, supposedly getting angry. -Get ready. -Why didnt you get the woman? -Oh, you missed, you missed the mom. OK, so table flipping isnt for everybody. But I think whats important here is that games have a variety of ways of helping people express themselves, either in very personal ways, or as it were, very inane ways. Play Games has a number of tools that help you tap into that sense of accomplishment, help people express themselves to others. And we provide a platform in which you can do it.

The great thing about achievements, for example, is they inform your players of the depth of your game that otherwise you wouldnt have discovered. When I finish playing a game like Hitman GO and Ive completed all the levels, but these achievements give me hints. Theyre almost like a guideline of what else I can do in the game.

And they cause me to play the game differently. They cause me to play it longer in an effort to explore and complete all the content. And in return, weve seen game developers see pretty significant bumps in day over day engagement through great achievement design.

And exposing that information at a platform level is a way that we draw people back in through the Play Games platform. Talking about Google Play Games right now is we now show the world what type of player you are through our new game profile. The game profile is where you earn points in a level and vanity titles from unlocking achievements. And so through your play, your profile evolves. You saw this yesterday in the keynote.

The closer look at my profile here is you can see my profile picture there with my level and the number experience and points that I need to get to the next level. And lets face it. Who doesnt like leveling up? Theres a breakdown of the genres that I play, which I found really interesting when this first came live.

I didnt think of myself as a puzzle game player. But it turns out when you look at the games that I play, that is the type of gamer I am. And if I look ahead, I can compare my profile to other friends. And they may be an action game player or they may play a lot of music games. And that gives me an invitation to talk to my friends and something to compare with.

And as a developer, you can go to Google Play Developer Console today. If you have achievements, you can edit the maximum 1, 000 experience points that you can give out across all of your achievements. Theres no update to your game necessary to help players engage in this type of experience. I mentioned comparing to friends, so this is my friend Tom. And here I can see all the different games that hes played in different genres.

And I can kind of see that oh, hes this really cool arcade player. And he loves playing those types of games. And thats how hes gotten to a higher level than I have. And for the more competitive, it allows you compare that progress amongst the different genres.

We also announced a new service called Saved Games. This help you stay connected with users by storing their saved progress visually and showing it off. The best part about this is its not just about storing blobs.

You can store many blobs. Its powered by Drive. Theyre up to three megs in size. And players will never have to play level one again in your game across any screen. But what we can also allow you to do now is give us a screen shot or cover image and description and time played.

And we expose those in the Play Games experiences. And so if I go on vacation, and I forgot that Im playing a game like Leos Fortune at the top there, Ill pop open my app, and Ill be like, oh yeah, thats right. I did leave off at a level three. And I remember loving that game. And Im going to continue to play it now.

So it really acts as a digital bookmark, attracting players to come back to your game. And we think its a neat little retention tool. OK, and last, but certainly not least, Im going to talk about building a sense of belonging. Perhaps the best story I can tell here is through the game High School Story, from Pixelberry Studios. Theyre here in the Bay Area and decided that theyd take a strong position on building a feeling of belonging through game design.

This game here, High School Story, started with the notion that growing up in high school years is hard. And fitting in is a general problem for all. And theres a very powerful story by creating a sense of belonging here and helping with the issue of cyberbullying. And this story is really best told by their CEO, Oliver Miao. -We designed High School Story to be about a group of misfits who dont always fit in at their old high school, and theyve come together to design their dream high school.

Because of our story line, we have a lot of players whove told us that the game has given them more self confidence or the ability to feel like they can just be themselves. And so its messages like that that really have encouraged us to continue with these type of story lines. But we were really shocked when we had a message from a player that was much more serious. We had a player reach out to us via our in-game support. And she told us that she was planning to kill herself.

We were surprised, shocked, and scared. We didnt know what to do. We called the suicide prevention hotline. And based on their advice, we urged her to get professional help.

But we also let her know that we were there to listen to her. And over time, after exchange messages with her for about a week, she told us that she was finally getting professional help and that it was because of our game that she was still there. That incident showed us the power of the game and how when players feel connected to a game and to a community, it can make a real difference in their lives. After that, we partnered with the Cybersmile Foundation to create a special cyberbullying story line that teachers players what to do if they or their friends are being bullied.

Players also are given links to Cybersmile. And if they have questions, directly from within the game, theyre connected to Cybersmile counselors. As a result, every week, over 100 of our players get in touch with Cybersmile. These are players who are often being bullied, sometimes self-hurting, or even thinking about suicide.

In fact, they shared with us a story about a player who was on a rooftop, and they were able to talk the player down, get them in touch with their parents, and help get their life back on track. Those type of stories are amazing to us. We started our game thinking that we have a great source of entertainment for players, and if we could, we could help build some community. But knowing that our game has been involved in saving lives, helping people have self confidence, and connecting them to their parents and their friends has been really inspiration to us. So thats a deep topic.

Not every game can claim that they tangibly help people to save themselves from themselves. And whats really fantastic about what Pixelberry Studios is doing is helping raise awareness with their players and recognizing the damage that cyberbullying has on peoples lives. And for those individuals, this games been able to give them that sense that theres somebody out there.

It gives them that feeling of belonging. It helped encourage them to reach out in an environment where they may have otherwise not chosen to. But this isnt just merely because they decided to make a game called High School Story. Its really because their design goals are the reason why they became effective at this. And so when you look at the things that they took into account and talk to them about their game design objectives, they take into account race and gender and, of course, the anti-bullying message that you heard earlier.

So players identify with characters of apparent different ethnic backgrounds. Other players are happy to see no restrictions on dating and relationships in the game, even between genders. And so this goal carriers today as they update the game. To give you an idea of what theyre up to next, theyre going to have this update to create a screen shot about an upcoming feature where they raise awareness of regional and world events and by asking players trivia questions that indirectly inform them of potentially serious issues and things to be in touch with.

And so theyre kind of shifting away from not just the immediate locale of building a community, but engaging a world community. So lets talk about Play Games and what it means to build a sense of belonging. We launched this feature that we call Quests.

And its acknowledging that many highly successful games know how to build and engage a vibrant community of players. And sometimes this takes the form of a weekend challenge to find rare objects. Or in the case of Pixelberry, theyll progress their story through a set of in-game objectives for a period of time. But running these timed events is actually tricky for developers.

And we thought our game services would help. So Quests is a set of APIs that allow you to run these time-based events for your players and reward them without needing to update your game. To do this, developers send us in-game activity data whenever a player successfully accomplishes something in the game, like completing a level, killing an alien, saving a rare black sheep. This tells Quests whats going on in the game.

And developers can use that game activity to create these new quests and run these quests on a regular basis as players achieve the goals. We think its going to be a fantastic tool for re-engagement and retention. And Ill take you through a little bit, very quickly, how it works. First, we start by using our events API and defining events of in-game activities inside of the Play Developer Console. So lets say its a pirate game, and its the number of treasures youve discovered in the game.

You integrate the events in your game and our Quests listener. And signed-in players start sending signals of that in-game activity. You can then use the Developer Console to monitor which activities are being used. So lets pretend for a moment that this treasure mechanic in my pirate game is actually pretty popular and that everybody loves discovering hidden treasure. So I can go into the Play Developer Console, and I can define a quest.

I can use treasures, the events that are being sent to me, as the criteria for completing the quest. So for example, I can create a find 50 treasures this weekend game super secret awesome reward for your trouble. And I publish it. And as players go through that and accept the quest and go through that activity in your game, we automatically aggregate the criteria that you defined in your quest and describe to your game when somebody has accomplished the goal, or whether times up and they have it. And well send a unique reward code, so you can design your game to reward those users every time they complete a quest.

The beauty of this design is you can continue to run Quests without updating your game because its entirely data driven. And were really excited to see whats going on here and what you will do with Quests when it launches in a couple weeks. And those experiences for Quests will show up in the Play Games App by showing players which quests are available for your game and notify them for quests that are about to expire and call them back. While were talking on the topic of gender and designing towards certain types of demographics, Ill mention our game statistics.

When you integrate Play Games into your title, you get access to player activity engagement statistics, just through by virtue of having people sign in. And so we recently updated are stats to include demographic information. You can get a sense of what the ratio of gender is in your game, what countries are the most active, and what age ranges youre attracting. So if youre accomplishing your design goals and getting out to a certain type of audience, this is a great way to confirm that and tune your updates towards those players. So that brings me to the end of this talk.

And so games, at the end of the day, are really about creating these positive moments. I know with your creativity and game design savvy, Google Play Games will help you find the means to connect with users through these tools, creating new relationships, helping people express themselves, and building belonging between people. And this is the set of tools I encourage you to look at when the docs get published in a couple weeks. Saves Games and Quests rolls out with the next set of Play services, along with our Play Games App. And remember this.

Its almost like everybodys playing games now. You have these ubiquitous devices in your pocket and Android and Google Play have helped create an environment where this as possible. At their best, games bring us together.

And mobile games can be great at this again. So my ask to you is go forth and make your games social again. If you want some resources on Google Play Games, you can find them here.

This Is a great time to take a screen shot of the QRcode. And with that, I thank you for your time. Ill be taking– Google IO 2014 – Play Games: Evolution of our beloved form of entertainment Hi everyone, my names Greg Hartrell. Im the lead product manager for Google Play Games.

Thanks for attending this session today. When I started putting this session together, I realized I had the great privilege of seeing a lot of people make games, really fantastic experiences, and watching the joy it brings people. And I went back, and I looked at what people are doing today in terms of playing games.

And I came up with a few portraits of what I see happening today. The first is, by and large, mobile games, still very much a single player experience– the portrait of kids sitting on the couch staring into a screen. And when I see that, I think whatever that kids playing, theyre never going to remember that moment. And thats weird for me because when I grew, when I was a kid, I remember playing games with others, with family, with friends.

And so thats something that I considered bizarre. The console industry, we created another persona. The original promise of consoles was we take the arcades of old. We bring them into the living room. People would play together, and it was going to be fantastic experience.

But what you also observe is still this kind of picture of a guy sitting in a basement staring at a screen. And if we put a headset on this guy, wed call it, to be fair, we call it social. And if you were to put a headset on and start playing with these types of players, your mileage will vary.

If youre like my experience, you may run into a 13-year-old yelling at you, something about your mother. And then there was a brief area that we were very excited about with social games. And we dont see a lot of these games in their original incarnation.

Because I guess sending palette knives to your friends wasnt a thing. But games decided to move away from that and tried to pursue deeper social interactions. And see, this is the deal. Games, they have so much more potential than this, right? If you think about the experiences you had when you were younger or the positive moments that youve had in playing games with others, you know that they are capable of this.

And theres evidence if you look around in the physical world, as well as in the article game world. So I started pulling up quotes. Quoting Greek philosophers immediately gives you street cred, so I recommend it for everybody. But if you look at Plato, Platos saying something profound here.

He says if you play with somebody, you can learn a lot more about them than perhaps any other interaction than you can conceive of. If you want to get more academic, you can quote a guy like Johan Huizinga, who wrote a book called Homo Ludens, which is Latin for man at play, kind of a seminal book in game studies. And his premise is this.

Games arent merely a pastime. They connect us in a way that defines our personas, defines the way our communities form, our cultural norms, and even the way that nation states form, if you want to get very profound about it. And were surrounded, too, and attracted by games and the ability to play games with others. And in that sense, all play has meaning. And so what these quotes really told me was is like, look.

Games are really just fundamentally this thing that we do, this fundamental behavior of being human. We create relationships through them. We express ourselves through them. We come together through them.

And if you look closer, theres really good examples in the physical world where games teach us and connect us in unique and interesting ways. So I looked at retirement communities. For the record, retirement looks awesome. Im reconsidering this whole work thing and skipping to that step.

Theyre constantly playing games. Its card games. Its board games. Its shuffle board. Its bocce ball.

You name it. You can find them playing it. And you could easily dismiss this as theyre just finding a way to pass away time.

But its more than that. What theyre doing is is that theyre finding a way to connect with each other. Sometimes, they dont even know who they are.

Its a way for people who just are complete strangers to suddenly find a common bond, get acquainted with each other. This is a screenshot here of, or a picture I should say, of something called the Wall Street Freeze Tag event. Its been like 9 or 10 years running.

The people who live in the neighborhood that is Wall Street in New York, they get together, and they go outside, and they have a freeze tag game. And if youve been in the Northeastern United States, you know that in the winter it gets kind of cold. And so heres an example of games that bring together groups of people to do seemingly inane things, and somehow has the power of drawing them together.

The MIT annual mystery hunt is a little bit legendary. Its been running since 1981. It attracts about 2, 000 students annually across 150 teams.

And what they do is they have these puzzles that give them clues that come in sequence that allow them to discover a coin thats hidden around campus. And your reward for solving all the puzzles and finding the coin is you get to write the puzzles for the next years team. And thats it. And what I love about this chart is it just shows like the intensity, the velocity of all these people wanting to pursue and accomplish those goals and to try to attain something that can be proud of. And I have to bring up the World Cup.

If you havent been inside of a stadium with 100, 000 people, I promise you its the most exhilarating experience youve ever had. And its not just because youre watching and rooting for your team. Hopefully, your team. won.

If your team didnt win, then I refer you to the retirement slide, Italy. But the idea here is that youre not just there to root for the team. You get drawn in to the fact that theres so many people of a like mind, bringing this community of people together in a common bond. And so all of these experiences really just boil down to this.

At their best, games bring us together. And article games, to be fair, have been good at this. We can find moments in article game history where were brought together through meaningful interactions.

Theres arcades of old. Theres the modern equivalent of barcades, where a genius said, if I combine alcohol with arcades, Ill have a business. And then theres the living room multiplayer. We remember games like GoldenEye and current games like, lets say, Mario Cart.

And they have the intent and the ability to bring people together in a very small ways. And of course, MMORPGs, which when you play some of these, you sometimes wonder, hey. Im just really in a chat room. And theres this game thing I do on the side, sometimes. And so if we accept the idea that games are better when were playing together, the question is is can the environment we currently have change.

Do we have the conditions necessary to relive and create all of those experiences that I just showed in the physical world? And to me, I think the answer is yes. Because Android and Google Play represent one of the greatest opportunities for us to reach people through our games.

So I want you to consider this. Yesterday, you heard that theres one billion active Android users. Thats not total. Thats 30 day actives.

Thats a lot of people. And three in four of those users are playing games. When you do the table napkin math on that, that might be the largest group of people playing games on any platform ever created. What we also talked about was Google Play Games growing at a tremendous clip.

This is our game network for Android iOS and the web. And we announced yesterday that we added 100 million new users in the past six months. That makes this game network the fastest growing mobile game network ever. With an ecosystem this large, though, you need something like Play Games thats going to connect these users together.

And Ill take a moment to thank the developers that have gotten us to this point by integrating Play Games and bringing people together through the games services that we offer. Were seeing great results from titles implementing achievements, leader boards, cross screen cloud saves, and social features, like multiplayer and game gifts. And well talk about some of the new services in a moment and how they do play into that. So those stats are impressive. And game services are showing promise for a lot of the games that integrate them.

But what this really means is this. You have so many people playing games with these devices that are ubiquitous in your pocket, capable of playing, reaching incredible experiences and entertainment. And you have cloud services that get you global reach. This is the time for us to make games social again.

We believe that games at their best bring people together. And the conditions and opportunity to do so are right now. Now thats an easy call to action to say. But you have to consider, OK, well, theres nothing magical about a platform and the number of people. There has to be a reason.

There has to be kind of a system in which the way you think about it. So I realize that one way to look at this is you can dissect the way that all of these games kind of take design approaches for reaching people and bringing them together. And they do so roughly in these three buckets.

The first is creating new relationships. We help people directly engage each other in games. And we bring groups of people and this nucleus of people together to play together. We also help people express themselves through games.

We feel good when we become competent at a task or when were achieving certain goals. And we want to represent that self to others. And the last is we can build a sense of belonging.

So many people find better motivation through passive forms of social interaction. And games help people identify with and get accepted by a community of people of like mind. So I want to step through each of these and talk about some stories of where I think weve been effective at this in the industry and talk about how Play Games helps you get there. So Ill go back to board games because I mentioned them earlier, and more specifically, the board game groups that you see today. I think many people will think of the heyday of the golden age of board games, the Monopolies, the Scrabbles, or maybe later, the Settlers of Catan, or in my household, I guess it would be Candy Land.

Queen Frostine is a big deal. But the idea here is that article games had an intent to capture the spotlight. And when you dig a little deeper, you realize that theres tons of these board games groups that are out there that are thriving.

This is a screen shot from meetup.com. This group here that brings together all these board game groups has 308, 000 members in 42 countries. Thats a lot of people. And when you look at the things that people say and kind of the group names that are out there, youre seeing friends and family playing.

But youre also seeing complete strangers coming together through this medium. Even this one actual group name that I pulled out says extremely shy, looking for friends. If youre consider to be an introvert, this would be an incredibly– an open invitation to just start playing with others and being an ice breaker for you. But board games dont just do this because of just groups. Games are effective at this because what they do is theyre in the business of simulating social bonds.

And what I mean by this is that we remove the risks, so competition and cooperation in an environment where its safe to be wrong or just to fail. For example, we can create low risk competition and trade offs between people who dont even know each other. Or if you and I are playing a strategy game, theres a reason for us to collaborate, perhaps form an alliance. And thats a way to kind of break the ice and have two people who dont necessarily know each other start to build a relationship.

And the best part is if youre really great this, the experience is a little different every time. And that brings you back and encourages you to keep playing. A phenomenon thats going on right now is this phrase called phygital. If you havent figured this one out, its physical meets digital board games.

And whats really interesting about these is these are basically hybrid board games. They take a physical board. But what they do is they have gameplay assistance through mobile devices. The screenshots that you see up here for an upcoming game.

I think it was a Kickstarter project called . What they do here is really clever. Board games, particularly the ones with miniatures, can have very complicated rules. You might spend two or three hours just teaching somebody how to play. And by then, everybodys bored. But whats great is the tablet acts as the referee.

It knows all the rules. It knows how to take turns. It directs and guides what people will do next. Theres a little bit of a renaissance here going on in the way that the physical world meets the digital.

And when I read what players are saying about these games, its very encouraging. I hear quotes like I can focus on my friends and not on the board. Or there was another memorable one. The guys saying like, hey, I can see my girlfriend and I playing this every night, and which is a testament to how accessible a complicated game can be for a larger audience.

And so this hybrid experience creates that nucleus, the small nucleus of players. And its a great example of how games will continue to bring groups of people together. I want to go back to arcades, as well. The original arcades– I guess Im old enough now to kind of reminisce about this– is that in North America, particularly, they were cultural hangout of sorts. Friends and strangers would engage in games.

It was a relatively simple way for people to hangout and all ages have fun and without spending too much money. And Ill tell you a personal story of mine. It was in an arcade. I was eight years old.

I played a game called Duck Hunt. And for those of you who remember Duck Hunt, it was a light game. You shot cartoon ducks. No ducks were harmed in the making of that game, Im sure. And yes, games were violent back then, too.

And I was particularly good at this game. I popped in one quarter, and I just kept playing. And I wasnt losing. I just kept knocking them all down and incrementing every level.

And I got to a point where Im like, Im at like level 92. I wonder if it will go to level 100. And I just kept playing, playing, playing, playing. And I got to level 99, passed it, expecting it to get to level 100.

And to my dismay, they didnt think there was a level 100. It actually just stayed at level 99. The guy didnt code it to have a third digit. And so I gave up. I handed the light gun to a guy who was sitting or standing next to me, rather.

And I turned around. And as an eight-year-old kid, theres a group of 40 people who had been watching me the entire time, this kid thats just cleaning up Duck Hunt, like its nobodys business. And for an eight-year-old kid getting high fives from random strangers, right, and getting cheers, thats a really cool moment. Right?

And that was impossible without the way that arcades are set up, because you have friends and your have strangers who are playing together. Youre kind of co-located. The pattern is theres this nucleus of people who love playing games, and you have the freedom to connect with people in that type of environment.

You can meet anybody as long as you have similar interests. And you make friends in return, and experiences that, well, you can apparently tell everybody for the rest of your life. A game that I think is particularly good at this, simulating that pattern, is one called Ingress.

This is made by Niantic Labs. Its a science fiction theme game, massively multiplayer game, using location and augmented reality. Thats a lot of buzz words. Basically, you choose a faction, the Enlightened and the Resistance, and you try to capture these portals by visiting them with your device and visiting these points of interest, which are basically landmarks in the real world.

And as a team captures a set of portals, which you can see by these different dots, you create more surface area and connect them for what your faction controls. You can see here on the screen shot. The green teams got this amount of surface area covered.

Now, one day they zoomed out 100x and the saw this. The green team has this really bizarre and massive surface area. This is covering virtually the entire state of California. But the bizarre part is in the Northeast corner there, that triangle, thats in the middle of the desert.

Theres no cell signal out there. How do you capture something like a point of interest without a cell signal? So the opposing faction rightfully complained and said, look.

Theres no way that anybody did this. They must be hacking it. So the Niantic Labs team investigated this. And it turns out it was actually real.

What happened was is that those people from that faction decided to rent a portable cell tower– dead serious. They spend a few thousand dollars. They drove it all the way out into the Nevada desert.

They set it up, popped open the game, captured whatever the point of interest was out there. And this is the part that I love. They took the cell tower down, so now nobody can go back there and recapture the portal. That was really clever. And so I use this story because Ingress demonstrates like how– what theyre doing, really, is that this is a set of people who are friends or maybe people who are just brought together in this simulated social bond using article games in all of these ways that I described earlier.

And its encouraging to see that alive and well. So let me take a step and talk about relationships and what Play Games does to help us build those. If you remember the 90s like I do you, you remember really bad dance music, feel-good group sitcoms, and game called NBA Jam.

And if youve played it on mobile– and you should– youll remember that you missed it. It uses the Play Games multiplayer system to connect users and friends in real-time play with all of the excitement of the arcade. What they take advantage of, though, thats really great is something we call auto matching.

And auto matching accesses the hidden social graph of your game. These are people who are playing right now. So that way, theres always somebody to play with. So it really has that pattern of creating the nucleus of players that are always there.

And so whether its strangers or friends, its a wildly fun experience. Our multiplayer system accesses your social graph. We rank and sort it based on active players or players youve played with recently.

It comes in real-time and turn-based multiplayer forms, and we handle the notifications and turns for you and handle all the hard problems like punching through NATs and creating peer-to-peer sessions when it comes to real-time play. If youre interested in a very good example of a turn-based multiplayer game, its 1941 Frozen Front by HandyGames. I recommend you try it out, especially if you like strategy games. And quick, I mention here too, is for turn-based multiplayer, were adding it to our Play Games C SDK which will be supported by, which will make it even easier for you to implement multiplayer in your title if youre still making games in native code.

Another game Ill point out is Quizup. Quizup takes great advantage of our achievements in leader boards. The game encourages you to answer trivia questions with strangers and friends. And leader boards, for those of you who are a longtime game designers, tried and true way of fostering competitions by extending your game play. And people try to beat each others best scores.

Whats great about our social leader boards, though, is Im never going to be number one in the Quizup worldwide leader board. But I can apparently be number three amongst my friends. And if Im really excited about the game, Ill invite them along, so I try to get the number one. Another service that we launched recently was Game Gifts.

This is Eternity Warriors 3 by Glu Mobile– MMORPG hack and slash type of game, really fun experience. Basically, Game Gifts is designed for games that want more lighter weight social interactions. Youre not going to find everybody whos willing to sit down and play a real-time multiplayer game. But you could convince them to just do a very simple in and out social interaction with a high degree of reward. In this case, they use it to send potions.

They give your friends an edge with some set of limits each day. And sending gifts works a lot of the ways that multiplayer does today. You can use the same social graph.

You get your game discovered in the process. But Ill explain the mechanics of this in a little more depth. You can think of it in three phases.

The Game Gift service pops open in Intent, the gift intent that players use to choose up to eight people to send basically a blob of data that represented this in-game object, like a potion or a free life. And when you send it to friends, well store it on our servers for several days while your friends decide what they want to do with it. The receivers, those friends, get notified based on their notification settings. If they have set you up as a priority notification, itll buzz the phone, and theyll get into the game.

And if its an unsolicited notification, then itll show up silently in the shade. Finally, when the receivers ready to consume the gift, they open it up in the Play Games Inbox or the Play Games App, and it will launch your game. And as with multiplayer, if the receiver doesnt have the game, it will redirect them to the Play Store, so they can acquire. And so if youre in the business of getting incremental installs, this is an acquisition pro-tip for you. I mentioned the Play Games App.

This is our consumer experience that kind of aggregates all of this is what your friends are playing and creates that nucleus of player activity that I keep referring to that is so effective. And like the arcade or the common places where people play, like what Ingress does, Play Games gives you a view of what your friends have played recently and creates kind of that community feel, constantly reintroducing you to your friends and seeing what theyre playing. So after youve long stopped playing a game, you can keep up with what your friends are doing, and you can invite them again.

OK, so that covers relationships. The second part of our model here is expression. Expression is a really interesting thing. Games help you motivate us because we accomplish something.

And by accomplishing things, it kind of improves our well being. We express ourselves through accomplishments. We do so through mastery and gaining confidence. And we enjoy sharing that accomplishment with others. And theres a lot of real science behind this.

It can be boiled down to this, but its a well-known area of study called self-determination theory. Im not going to do self-determination theory injustice in two minutes, but Ill tell your story. Harry Harlow is a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin in 1949.

And he did a study with primates or monkeys to kind of prove what drives and motivates people, or rather monkeys in this specific case, to complete tasks. And he had this interesting set-up where he took two monkeys, and he put their living space– OK, they were cages– and he put a puzzle inside of the cages. And he noticed a couple things. One is that he would reset the puzzle every day. And each monkey would go and take the puzzle and then start figuring it out and solve it.

And they would consistently do this over and over again. And that didnt really invalidate his experiment. It just kind of like, oh, thats interesting that they would automatically just be drawn to doing some arbitrary task. And then to set up a variable, what he did is he gave one monkey a treat every time that monkey completed the puzzle every day. And after a time, he took the treat away.

And he noticed something really interesting. The monkey that got the extrinsic reward, the treat, stopped solving the puzzle, because he wasnt getting the treat. But the other monkey that was left as the control continued to solve the puzzle every day, as long as he reset it. So what was really interesting here is that the unrewarded monkey found the act of completing the puzzle alone satisfying.

Later, this was proved with humans. Theres something called the over-justification effect. And what it shows us is that the act and the satisfaction of accomplishing something, in gaining mastery, is something that were drawn into. And game design, really good game design, takes advantage of this in really deep ways.

But expression goes deeper than accomplishment. Theres also the desire to express oneself or even escape through a persona. Theres tons of research on MMORPGs that show how people grow attached to their online personas and avatars, showing sense of identity and relationship with the characters that you create and as you interact with others. So I went on to the role-playing section on Google Play, the Google Play Store. And I was thinking of well-worn fantasy in medieval titles.

And it turns out theres a lot of other ways to role-play too. So theres games like Knights N Squires, here, or at the bottom, Star Girl Beauty Queen, which is now my personal favorite. And role-playing is partially really about expressing yourself through personification.

What I love about these games is it shows like whether age or gender, everybody kind of gets attracted into like the doll house effect of these games. And its a way for people to kind of escape from everyday life. And while Im talking about expression, Ill splice this one in.

Sometimes you just play games to blow off some steam. This is best demonstrated by this Japanese table flipping game. Maybe well get some audio here. No? Audio?

Here we go. -Rack up the points. -You see shes beating the table, supposedly getting angry. -Get ready. -Why didnt you get the woman? -Oh, you missed, you missed the mom. OK, so table flipping isnt for everybody. But I think whats important here is that games have a variety of ways of helping people express themselves, either in very personal ways, or as it were, very inane ways. Play Games has a number of tools that help you tap into that sense of accomplishment, help people express themselves to others.

And we provide a platform in which you can do it. The great thing about achievements, for example, is they inform your players of the depth of your game that otherwise you wouldnt have discovered. When I finish playing a game like Hitman GO and Ive completed all the levels, but these achievements give me hints. Theyre almost like a guideline of what else I can do in the game.

And they cause me to play the game differently. They cause me to play it longer in an effort to explore and complete all the content. And in return, weve seen game developers see pretty significant bumps in day over day engagement through great achievement design.

And exposing that information at a platform level is a way that we draw people back in through the Play Games platform. Talking about Google Play Games right now is we now show the world what type of player you are through our new game profile. The game profile is where you earn points in a level and vanity titles from unlocking achievements.

And so through your play, your profile evolves. You saw this yesterday in the keynote. The closer look at my profile here is you can see my profile picture there with my level and the number experience and points that I need to get to the next level.

And lets face it. Who doesnt like leveling up? Theres a breakdown of the genres that I play, which I found really interesting when this first came live. I didnt think of myself as a puzzle game player. But it turns out when you look at the games that I play, that is the type of gamer I am.

And if I look ahead, I can compare my profile to other friends. And they may be an action game player or they may play a lot of music games. And that gives me an invitation to talk to my friends and something to compare with. And as a developer, you can go to Google Play Developer Console today.

If you have achievements, you can edit the maximum 1, 000 experience points that you can give out across all of your achievements. Theres no update to your game necessary to help players engage in this type of experience. I mentioned comparing to friends, so this is my friend Tom.

And here I can see all the different games that hes played in different genres. And I can kind of see that oh, hes this really cool arcade player. And he loves playing those types of games. And thats how hes gotten to a higher level than I have. And for the more competitive, it allows you compare that progress amongst the different genres.

We also announced a new service called Saved Games. This help you stay connected with users by storing their saved progress visually and showing it off. The best part about this is its not just about storing blobs. You can store many blobs. Its powered by Drive.

Theyre up to three megs in size. And players will never have to play level one again in your game across any screen. But what we can also allow you to do now is give us a screen shot or cover image and description and time played. And we expose those in the Play Games experiences.

And so if I go on vacation, and I forgot that Im playing a game like Leos Fortune at the top there, Ill pop open my app, and Ill be like, oh yeah, thats right. I did leave off at a level three. And I remember loving that game. And Im going to continue to play it now. So it really acts as a digital bookmark, attracting players to come back to your game.

And we think its a neat little retention tool. OK, and last, but certainly not least, Im going to talk about building a sense of belonging. Perhaps the best story I can tell here is through the game High School Story, from Pixelberry Studios. Theyre here in the Bay Area and decided that theyd take a strong position on building a feeling of belonging through game design. This game here, High School Story, started with the notion that growing up in high school years is hard.

And fitting in is a general problem for all. And theres a very powerful story by creating a sense of belonging here and helping with the issue of cyberbullying. And this story is really best told by their CEO, Oliver Miao. -We designed High School Story to be about a group of misfits who dont always fit in at their old high school, and theyve come together to design their dream high school. Because of our story line, we have a lot of players whove told us that the game has given them more self confidence or the ability to feel like they can just be themselves.

And so its messages like that that really have encouraged us to continue with these type of story lines. But we were really shocked when we had a message from a player that was much more serious. We had a player reach out to us via our in-game support. And she told us that she was planning to kill herself.

We were surprised, shocked, and scared. We didnt know what to do. We called the suicide prevention hotline. And based on their advice, we urged her to get professional help. But we also let her know that we were there to listen to her.

And over time, after exchange messages with her for about a week, she told us that she was finally getting professional help and that it was because of our game that she was still there. That incident showed us the power of the game and how when players feel connected to a game and to a community, it can make a real difference in their lives. After that, we partnered with the Cybersmile Foundation to create a special cyberbullying story line that teachers players what to do if they or their friends are being bullied. Players also are given links to Cybersmile. And if they have questions, directly from within the game, theyre connected to Cybersmile counselors.

As a result, every week, over 100 of our players get in touch with Cybersmile. These are players who are often being bullied, sometimes self-hurting, or even thinking about suicide. In fact, they shared with us a story about a player who was on a rooftop, and they were able to talk the player down, get them in touch with their parents, and help get their life back on track. Those type of stories are amazing to us. We started our game thinking that we have a great source of entertainment for players, and if we could, we could help build some community.

But knowing that our game has been involved in saving lives, helping people have self confidence, and connecting them to their parents and their friends has been really inspiration to us. So thats a deep topic. Not every game can claim that they tangibly help people to save themselves from themselves.

And whats really fantastic about what Pixelberry Studios is doing is helping raise awareness with their players and recognizing the damage that cyberbullying has on peoples lives. And for those individuals, this games been able to give them that sense that theres somebody out there. It gives them that feeling of belonging.

It helped encourage them to reach out in an environment where they may have otherwise not chosen to. But this isnt just merely because they decided to make a game called High School Story. Its really because their design goals are the reason why they became effective at this. And so when you look at the things that they took into account and talk to them about their game design objectives, they take into account race and gender and, of course, the anti-bullying message that you heard earlier. So players identify with characters of apparent different ethnic backgrounds.

Other players are happy to see no restrictions on dating and relationships in the game, even between genders. And so this goal carriers today as they update the game. To give you an idea of what theyre up to next, theyre going to have this update to create a screen shot about an upcoming feature where they raise awareness of regional and world events and by asking players trivia questions that indirectly inform them of potentially serious issues and things to be in touch with.

And so theyre kind of shifting away from not just the immediate locale of building a community, but engaging a world community. So lets talk about Play Games and what it means to build a sense of belonging. We launched this feature that we call Quests. And its acknowledging that many highly successful games know how to build and engage a vibrant community of players. And sometimes this takes the form of a weekend challenge to find rare objects.

Or in the case of Pixelberry, theyll progress their story through a set of in-game objectives for a period of time. But running these timed events is actually tricky for developers. And we thought our game services would help. So Quests is a set of APIs that allow you to run these time-based events for your players and reward them without needing to update your game. To do this, developers send us in-game activity data whenever a player successfully accomplishes something in the game, like completing a level, killing an alien, saving a rare black sheep.

This tells Quests whats going on in the game. And developers can use that game activity to create these new quests and run these quests on a regular basis as players achieve the goals. We think its going to be a fantastic tool for re-engagement and retention.

And Ill take you through a little bit, very quickly, how it works. First, we start by using our events API and defining events of in-game activities inside of the Play Developer Console. So lets say its a pirate game, and its the number of treasures youve discovered in the game. You integrate the events in your game and our Quests listener.

And signed-in players start sending signals of that in-game activity. You can then use the Developer Console to monitor which activities are being used. So lets pretend for a moment that this treasure mechanic in my pirate game is actually pretty popular and that everybody loves discovering hidden treasure. So I can go into the Play Developer Console, and I can define a quest. I can use treasures, the events that are being sent to me, as the criteria for completing the quest.

So for example, I can create a find 50 treasures this weekend game super secret awesome reward for your trouble. And I publish it. And as players go through that and accept the quest and go through that activity in your game, we automatically aggregate the criteria that you defined in your quest and describe to your game when somebody has accomplished the goal, or whether times up and they have it. And well send a unique reward code, so you can design your game to reward those users every time they complete a quest. The beauty of this design is you can continue to run Quests without updating your game because its entirely data driven.

And were really excited to see whats going on here and what you will do with Quests when it launches in a couple weeks. And those experiences for Quests will show up in the Play Games App by showing players which quests are available for your game and notify them for quests that are about to expire and call them back. While were talking on the topic of gender and designing towards certain types of demographics, Ill mention our game statistics. When you integrate Play Games into your title, you get access to player activity engagement statistics, just through by virtue of having people sign in.

And so we recently updated are stats to include demographic information. You can get a sense of what the ratio of gender is in your game, what countries are the most active, and what age ranges youre attracting. So if youre accomplishing your design goals and getting out to a certain type of audience, this is a great way to confirm that and tune your updates towards those players. So that brings me to the end of this talk. And so games, at the end of the day, are really about creating these positive moments.

I know with your creativity and game design savvy, Google Play Games will help you find the means to connect with users through these tools, creating new relationships, helping people express themselves, and building belonging between people. And this is the set of tools I encourage you to look at when the docs get published in a couple weeks. Saves Games and Quests rolls out with the next set of Play services, along with our Play Games App. And remember this.

Its almost like everybodys playing games now. You have these ubiquitous devices in your pocket and Android and Google Play have helped create an environment where this as possible. At their best, games bring us together. And mobile games can be great at this again. So my ask to you is go forth and make your games social again.

If you want some resources on Google Play Games, you can find them here. This Is a great time to take a screen shot of the QRcode. And with that, I thank you for your time. Ill be taking– Google IO 2014 – Play Games: Evolution of our beloved form of entertainment Hi everyone, my names Greg Hartrell.

Im the lead product manager for Google Play Games. Thanks for attending this session today. When I started putting this session together, I realized I had the great privilege of seeing a lot of people make games, really fantastic experiences, and watching the joy it brings people.

And I went back, and I looked at what people are doing today in terms of playing games. And I came up with a few portraits of what I see happening today. The first is, by and large, mobile games, still very much a single player experience– the portrait of kids sitting on the couch staring into a screen.

And when I see that, I think whatever that kids playing, theyre never going to remember that moment. And thats weird for me because when I grew, when I was a kid, I remember playing games with others, with family, with friends. And so thats something that I considered bizarre. The console industry, we created another persona.

The original promise of consoles was we take the arcades of old. We bring them into the living room. People would play together, and it was going to be fantastic experience. But what you also observe is still this kind of picture of a guy sitting in a basement staring at a screen. And if we put a headset on this guy, wed call it, to be fair, we call it social.

And if you were to put a headset on and start playing with these types of players, your mileage will vary. If youre like my experience, you may run into a 13-year-old yelling at you, something about your mother. And then there was a brief area that we were very excited about with social games. And we dont see a lot of these games in their original incarnation. Because I guess sending palette knives to your friends wasnt a thing.

But games decided to move away from that and tried to pursue deeper social interactions. And see, this is the deal. Games, they have so much more potential than this, right? If you think about the experiences you had when you were younger or the positive moments that youve had in playing games with others, you know that they are capable of this.

And theres evidence if you look around in the physical world, as well as in the article game world. So I started pulling up quotes. Quoting Greek philosophers immediately gives you street cred, so I recommend it for everybody. But if you look at Plato, Platos saying something profound here.

He says if you play with somebody, you can learn a lot more about them than perhaps any other interaction than you can conceive of. If you want to get more academic, you can quote a guy like Johan Huizinga, who wrote a book called Homo Ludens, which is Latin for man at play, kind of a seminal book in game studies. And his premise is this. Games arent merely a pastime. They connect us in a way that defines our personas, defines the way our communities form, our cultural norms, and even the way that nation states form, if you want to get very profound about it.

And were surrounded, too, and attracted by games and the ability to play games with others. And in that sense, all play has meaning. And so what these quotes really told me was is like, look. Games are really just fundamentally this thing that we do, this fundamental behavior of being human. We create relationships through them.

We express ourselves through them. We come together through them. And if you look closer, theres really good examples in the physical world where games teach us and connect us in unique and interesting ways. So I looked at retirement communities. For the record, retirement looks awesome.

Im reconsidering this whole work thing and skipping to that step. Theyre constantly playing games. Its card games.

Its board games. Its shuffle board. Its bocce ball. You name it. You can find them playing it.

And you could easily dismiss this as theyre just finding a way to pass away time. But its more than that. What theyre doing is is that theyre finding a way to connect with each other.

Sometimes, they dont even know who they are. Its a way for people who just are complete strangers to suddenly find a common bond, get acquainted with each other. This is a screenshot here of, or a picture I should say, of something called the Wall Street Freeze Tag event. Its been like 9 or 10 years running.

The people who live in the neighborhood that is Wall Street in New York, they get together, and they go outside, and they have a freeze tag game. And if youve been in the Northeastern United States, you know that in the winter it gets kind of cold. And so heres an example of games that bring together groups of people to do seemingly inane things, and somehow has the power of drawing them together. The MIT annual mystery hunt is a little bit legendary. Its been running since 1981.

It attracts about 2, 000 students annually across 150 teams. And what they do is they have these puzzles that give them clues that come in sequence that allow them to discover a coin thats hidden around campus. And your reward for solving all the puzzles and finding the coin is you get to write the puzzles for the next years team. And thats it.

And what I love about this chart is it just shows like the intensity, the velocity of all these people wanting to pursue and accomplish those goals and to try to attain something that can be proud of. And I have to bring up the World Cup. If you havent been inside of a stadium with 100, 000 people, I promise you its the most exhilarating experience youve ever had. And its not just because youre watching and rooting for your team.

Hopefully, your team. won. If your team didnt win, then I refer you to the retirement slide, Italy. But the idea here is that youre not just there to root for the team. You get drawn in to the fact that theres so many people of a like mind, bringing this community of people together in a common bond.

And so all of these experiences really just boil down to this. At their best, games bring us together. And article games, to be fair, have been good at this.

We can find moments in article game history where were brought together through meaningful interactions. Theres arcades of old. Theres the modern equivalent of barcades, where a genius said, if I combine alcohol with arcades, Ill have a business.

And then theres the living room multiplayer. We remember games like GoldenEye and current games like, lets say, Mario Cart. And they have the intent and the ability to bring people together in a very small ways. And of course, MMORPGs, which when you play some of these, you sometimes wonder, hey. Im just really in a chat room.

And theres this game thing I do on the side, sometimes. And so if we accept the idea that games are better when were playing together, the question is is can the environment we currently have change. Do we have the conditions necessary to relive and create all of those experiences that I just showed in the physical world? And to me, I think the answer is yes.

Because Android and Google Play represent one of the greatest opportunities for us to reach people through our games. So I want you to consider this. Yesterday, you heard that theres one billion active Android users.

Thats not total. Thats 30 day actives. Thats a lot of people. And three in four of those users are playing games.

When you do the table napkin math on that, that might be the largest group of people playing games on any platform ever created. What we also talked about was Google Play Games growing at a tremendous clip. This is our game network for Android iOS and the web. And we announced yesterday that we added 100 million new users in the past six months.

That makes this game network the fastest growing mobile game network ever. With an ecosystem this large, though, you need something like Play Games thats going to connect these users together. And Ill take a moment to thank the developers that have gotten us to this point by integrating Play Games and bringing people together through the games services that we offer. Were seeing great results from titles implementing achievements, leader boards, cross screen cloud saves, and social features, like multiplayer and game gifts. And well talk about some of the new services in a moment and how they do play into that.

So those stats are impressive. And game services are showing promise for a lot of the games that integrate them. But what this really means is this. You have so many people playing games with these devices that are ubiquitous in your pocket, capable of playing, reaching incredible experiences and entertainment. And you have cloud services that get you global reach.

This is the time for us to make games social again. We believe that games at their best bring people together. And the conditions and opportunity to do so are right now. Now thats an easy call to action to say. But you have to consider, OK, well, theres nothing magical about a platform and the number of people.

There has to be a reason. There has to be kind of a system in which the way you think about it. So I realize that one way to look at this is you can dissect the way that all of these games kind of take design approaches for reaching people and bringing them together. And they do so roughly in these three buckets.

The first is creating new relationships. We help people directly engage each other in games. And we bring groups of people and this nucleus of people together to play together.

We also help people express themselves through games. We feel good when we become competent at a task or when were achieving certain goals. And we want to represent that self to others. And the last is we can build a sense of belonging.

So many people find better motivation through passive forms of social interaction. And games help people identify with and get accepted by a community of people of like mind. So I want to step through each of these and talk about some stories of where I think weve been effective at this in the industry and talk about how Play Games helps you get there. So Ill go back to board games because I mentioned them earlier, and more specifically, the board game groups that you see today. I think many people will think of the heyday of the golden age of board games, the Monopolies, the Scrabbles, or maybe later, the Settlers of Catan, or in my household, I guess it would be Candy Land.

Queen Frostine is a big deal. But the idea here is that article games had an intent to capture the spotlight. And when you dig a little deeper, you realize that theres tons of these board games groups that are out there that are thriving. This is a screen shot from meetup.com. This group here that brings together all these board game groups has 308, 000 members in 42 countries.

Thats a lot of people. And when you look at the things that people say and kind of the group names that are out there, youre seeing friends and family playing. But youre also seeing complete strangers coming together through this medium. Even this one actual group name that I pulled out says extremely shy, looking for friends.

If youre consider to be an introvert, this would be an incredibly– an open invitation to just start playing with others and being an ice breaker for you. But board games dont just do this because of just groups. Games are effective at this because what they do is theyre in the business of simulating social bonds. And what I mean by this is that we remove the risks, so competition and cooperation in an environment where its safe to be wrong or just to fail.

For example, we can create low risk competition and trade offs between people who dont even know each other. Or if you and I are playing a strategy game, theres a reason for us to collaborate, perhaps form an alliance. And thats a way to kind of break the ice and have two people who dont necessarily know each other start to build a relationship. And the best part is if youre really great this, the experience is a little different every time. And that brings you back and encourages you to keep playing.

A phenomenon thats going on right now is this phrase called phygital. If you havent figured this one out, its physical meets digital board games. And whats really interesting about these is these are basically hybrid board games.

They take a physical board. But what they do is they have gameplay assistance through mobile devices. The screenshots that you see up here for an upcoming game.

I think it was a Kickstarter project called . What they do here is really clever. Board games, particularly the ones with miniatures, can have very complicated rules. You might spend two or three hours just teaching somebody how to play. And by then, everybodys bored.

But whats great is the tablet acts as the referee. It knows all the rules. It knows how to take turns. It directs and guides what people will do next.

Theres a little bit of a renaissance here going on in the way that the physical world meets the digital. And when I read what players are saying about these games, its very encouraging. I hear quotes like I can focus on my friends and not on the board.

Or there was another memorable one. The guys saying like, hey, I can see my girlfriend and I playing this every night, and which is a testament to how accessible a complicated game can be for a larger audience. And so this hybrid experience creates that nucleus, the small nucleus of players.

And its a great example of how games will continue to bring groups of people together. I want to go back to arcades, as well. The original arcades– I guess Im old enough now to kind of reminisce about this– is that in North America, particularly, they were cultural hangout of sorts. Friends and strangers would engage in games. It was a relatively simple way for people to hangout and all ages have fun and without spending too much money.

And Ill tell you a personal story of mine. It was in an arcade. I was eight years old.

I played a game called Duck Hunt. And for those of you who remember Duck Hunt, it was a light game. You shot cartoon ducks.

No ducks were harmed in the making of that game, Im sure. And yes, games were violent back then, too. And I was particularly good at this game. I popped in one quarter, and I just kept playing. And I wasnt losing.

I just kept knocking them all down and incrementing every level. And I got to a point where Im like, Im at like level 92. I wonder if it will go to level 100.

And I just kept playing, playing, playing, playing. And I got to level 99, passed it, expecting it to get to level 100. And to my dismay, they didnt think there was a level 100. It actually just stayed at level 99. The guy didnt code it to have a third digit.

And so I gave up. I handed the light gun to a guy who was sitting or standing next to me, rather. And I turned around. And as an eight-year-old kid, theres a group of 40 people who had been watching me the entire time, this kid thats just cleaning up Duck Hunt, like its nobodys business.

And for an eight-year-old kid getting high fives from random strangers, right, and getting cheers, thats a really cool moment. Right? And that was impossible without the way that arcades are set up, because you have friends and your have strangers who are playing together. Youre kind of co-located.

The pattern is theres this nucleus of people who love playing games, and you have the freedom to connect with people in that type of environment. You can meet anybody as long as you have similar interests. And you make friends in return, and experiences that, well, you can apparently tell everybody for the rest of your life.

A game that I think is particularly good at this, simulating that pattern, is one called Ingress. This is made by Niantic Labs. Its a science fiction theme game, massively multiplayer game, using location and augmented reality. Thats a lot of buzz words. Basically, you choose a faction, the Enlightened and the Resistance, and you try to capture these portals by visiting them with your device and visiting these points of interest, which are basically landmarks in the real world.

And as a team captures a set of portals, which you can see by these different dots, you create more surface area and connect them for what your faction controls. You can see here on the screen shot. The green teams got this amount of surface area covered. Now, one day they zoomed out 100x and the saw this. The green team has this really bizarre and massive surface area.

This is covering virtually the entire state of California. But the bizarre part is in the Northeast corner there, that triangle, thats in the middle of the desert. Theres no cell signal out there.

How do you capture something like a point of interest without a cell signal? So the opposing faction rightfully complained and said, look. Theres no way that anybody did this.

They must be hacking it. So the Niantic Labs team investigated this. And it turns out it was actually real. What happened was is that those people from that faction decided to rent a portable cell tower– dead serious. They spend a few thousand dollars.

They drove it all the way out into the Nevada desert. They set it up, popped open the game, captured whatever the point of interest was out there. And this is the part that I love. They took the cell tower down, so now nobody can go back there and recapture the portal.

That was really clever. And so I use this story because Ingress demonstrates like how– what theyre doing, really, is that this is a set of people who are friends or maybe people who are just brought together in this simulated social bond using article games in all of these ways that I described earlier. And its encouraging to see that alive and well. So let me take a step and talk about relationships and what Play Games does to help us build those. If you remember the 90s like I do you, you remember really bad dance music, feel-good group sitcoms, and game called NBA Jam.

And if youve played it on mobile– and you should– youll remember that you missed it. It uses the Play Games multiplayer system to connect users and friends in real-time play with all of the excitement of the arcade. What they take advantage of, though, thats really great is something we call auto matching. And auto matching accesses the hidden social graph of your game. These are people who are playing right now.

So that way, theres always somebody to play with. So it really has that pattern of creating the nucleus of players that are always there. And so whether its strangers or friends, its a wildly fun experience.

Our multiplayer system accesses your social graph. We rank and sort it based on active players or players youve played with recently. It comes in real-time and turn-based multiplayer forms, and we handle the notifications and turns for you and handle all the hard problems like punching through NATs and creating peer-to-peer sessions when it comes to real-time play. If youre interested in a very good example of a turn-based multiplayer game, its 1941 Frozen Front by HandyGames. I recommend you try it out, especially if you like strategy games.

And quick, I mention here too, is for turn-based multiplayer, were adding it to our Play Games C SDK which will be supported by, which will make it even easier for you to implement multiplayer in your title if youre still making games in native code. Another game Ill point out is Quizup. Quizup takes great advantage of our achievements in leader boards. The game encourages you to answer trivia questions with strangers and friends.

And leader boards, for those of you who are a longtime game designers, tried and true way of fostering competitions by extending your game play. And people try to beat each others best scores. Whats great about our social leader boards, though, is Im never going to be number one in the Quizup worldwide leader board.

But I can apparently be number three amongst my friends. And if Im really excited about the game, Ill invite them along, so I try to get the number one. Another service that we launched recently was Game Gifts. This is Eternity Warriors 3 by Glu Mobile– MMORPG hack and slash type of game, really fun experience. Basically, Game Gifts is designed for games that want more lighter weight social interactions.

Youre not going to find everybody whos willing to sit down and play a real-time multiplayer game. But you could convince them to just do a very simple in and out social interaction with a high degree of reward. In this case, they use it to send potions. They give your friends an edge with some set of limits each day. And sending gifts works a lot of the ways that multiplayer does today.

You can use the same social graph. You get your game discovered in the process. But Ill explain the mechanics of this in a little more depth.

You can think of it in three phases. The Game Gift service pops open in Intent, the gift intent that players use to choose up to eight people to send basically a blob of data that represented this in-game object, like a potion or a free life. And when you send it to friends, well store it on our servers for several days while your friends decide what they want to do with it.

The receivers, those friends, get notified based on their notification settings. If they have set you up as a priority notification, itll buzz the phone, and theyll get into the game. And if its an unsolicited notification, then itll show up silently in the shade.

Finally, when the receivers ready to consume the gift, they open it up in the Play Games Inbox or the Play Games App, and it will launch your game. And as with multiplayer, if the receiver doesnt have the game, it will redirect them to the Play Store, so they can acquire. And so if youre in the business of getting incremental installs, this is an acquisition pro-tip for you.

I mentioned the Play Games App. This is our consumer experience that kind of aggregates all of this is what your friends are playing and creates that nucleus of player activity that I keep referring to that is so effective. And like the arcade or the common places where people play, like what Ingress does, Play Games gives you a view of what your friends have played recently and creates kind of that community feel, constantly reintroducing you to your friends and seeing what theyre playing. So after youve long stopped playing a game, you can keep up with what your friends are doing, and you can invite them again.

OK, so that covers relationships. The second part of our model here is expression. Expression is a really interesting thing. Games help you motivate us because we accomplish something.

And by accomplishing things, it kind of improves our well being. We express ourselves through accomplishments. We do so through mastery and gaining confidence. And we enjoy sharing that accomplishment with others.

And theres a lot of real science behind this. It can be boiled down to this, but its a well-known area of study called self-determination theory. Im not going to do self-determination theory injustice in two minutes, but Ill tell your story. Harry Harlow is a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin in 1949.

And he did a study with primates or monkeys to kind of prove what drives and motivates people, or rather monkeys in this specific case, to complete tasks. And he had this interesting set-up where he took two monkeys, and he put their living space– OK, they were cages– and he put a puzzle inside of the cages. And he noticed a couple things. One is that he would reset the puzzle every day. And each monkey would go and take the puzzle and then start figuring it out and solve it.

And they would consistently do this over and over again. And that didnt really invalidate his experiment. It just kind of like, oh, thats interesting that they would automatically just be drawn to doing some arbitrary task. And then to set up a variable, what he did is he gave one monkey a treat every time that monkey completed the puzzle every day.

And after a time, he took the treat away. And he noticed something really interesting. The monkey that got the extrinsic reward, the treat, stopped solving the puzzle, because he wasnt getting the treat. But the other monkey that was left as the control continued to solve the puzzle every day, as long as he reset it. So what was really interesting here is that the unrewarded monkey found the act of completing the puzzle alone satisfying.

Later, this was proved with humans. Theres something called the over-justification effect. And what it shows us is that the act and the satisfaction of accomplishing something, in gaining mastery, is something that were drawn into. And game design, really good game design, takes advantage of this in really deep ways. But expression goes deeper than accomplishment.

Theres also the desire to express oneself or even escape through a persona. Theres tons of research on MMORPGs that show how people grow attached to their online personas and avatars, showing sense of identity and relationship with the characters that you create and as you interact with others. So I went on to the role-playing section on Google Play, the Google Play Store.

And I was thinking of well-worn fantasy in medieval titles. And it turns out theres a lot of other ways to role-play too. So theres games like Knights N Squires, here, or at the bottom, Star Girl Beauty Queen, which is now my personal favorite. And role-playing is partially really about expressing yourself through personification. What I love about these games is it shows like whether age or gender, everybody kind of gets attracted into like the doll house effect of these games.

And its a way for people to kind of escape from everyday life. And while Im talking about expression, Ill splice this one in. Sometimes you just play games to blow off some steam. This is best demonstrated by this Japanese table flipping game. Maybe well get some audio here.

No? Audio? Here we go. -Rack up the points. -You see shes beating the table, supposedly getting angry. -Get ready. -Why didnt you get the woman? -Oh, you missed, you missed the mom.

OK, so table flipping isnt for everybody. But I think whats important here is that games have a variety of ways of helping people express themselves, either in very personal ways, or as it were, very inane ways. Play Games has a number of tools that help you tap into that sense of accomplishment, help people express themselves to others. And we provide a platform in which you can do it.

The great thing about achievements, for example, is they inform your players of the depth of your game that otherwise you wouldnt have discovered. When I finish playing a game like Hitman GO and Ive completed all the levels, but these achievements give me hints. Theyre almost like a guideline of what else I can do in the game. And they cause me to play the game differently. They cause me to play it longer in an effort to explore and complete all the content.

And in return, weve seen game developers see pretty significant bumps in day over day engagement through great achievement design. And exposing that information at a platform level is a way that we draw people back in through the Play Games platform. Talking about Google Play Games right now is we now show the world what type of player you are through our new game profile.

The game profile is where you earn points in a level and vanity titles from unlocking achievements. And so through your play, your profile evolves. You saw this yesterday in the keynote. The closer look at my profile here is you can see my profile picture there with my level and the number experience and points that I need to get to the next level.

And lets face it. Who doesnt like leveling up? Theres a breakdown of the genres that I play, which I found really interesting when this first came live. I didnt think of myself as a puzzle game player.

But it turns out when you look at the games that I play, that is the type of gamer I am. And if I look ahead, I can compare my profile to other friends. And they may be an action game player or they may play a lot of music games.

And that gives me an invitation to talk to my friends and something to compare with. And as a developer, you can go to Google Play Developer Console today. If you have achievements, you can edit the maximum 1, 000 experience points that you can give out across all of your achievements.

Theres no update to your game necessary to help players engage in this type of experience. I mentioned comparing to friends, so this is my friend Tom. And here I can see all the different games that hes played in different genres.

And I can kind of see that oh, hes this really cool arcade player. And he loves playing those types of games. And thats how hes gotten to a higher level than I have. And for the more competitive, it allows you compare that progress amongst the different genres. We also announced a new service called Saved Games.

This help you stay connected with users by storing their saved progress visually and showing it off. The best part about this is its not just about storing blobs. You can store many blobs. Its powered by Drive.

Theyre up to three megs in size. And players will never have to play level one again in your game across any screen. But what we can also allow you to do now is give us a screen shot or cover image and description and time played. And we expose those in the Play Games experiences. And so if I go on vacation, and I forgot that Im playing a game like Leos Fortune at the top there, Ill pop open my app, and Ill be like, oh yeah, thats right.

I did leave off at a level three. And I remember loving that game. And Im going to continue to play it now. So it really acts as a digital bookmark, attracting players to come back to your game. And we think its a neat little retention tool.

OK, and last, but certainly not least, Im going to talk about building a sense of belonging. Perhaps the best story I can tell here is through the game High School Story, from Pixelberry Studios. Theyre here in the Bay Area and decided that theyd take a strong position on building a feeling of belonging through game design. This game here, High School Story, started with the notion that growing up in high school years is hard. And fitting in is a general problem for all.

And theres a very powerful story by creating a sense of belonging here and helping with the issue of cyberbullying. And this story is really best told by their CEO, Oliver Miao. -We designed High School Story to be about a group of misfits who dont always fit in at their old high school, and theyve come together to design their dream high school. Because of our story line, we have a lot of players whove told us that the game has given them more self confidence or the ability to feel like they can just be themselves. And so its messages like that that really have encouraged us to continue with these type of story lines.

But we were really shocked when we had a message from a player that was much more serious. We had a player reach out to us via our in-game support. And she told us that she was planning to kill herself. We were surprised, shocked, and scared.

We didnt know what to do. We called the suicide prevention hotline. And based on their advice, we urged her to get professional help. But we also let her know that we were there to listen to her.

And over time, after exchange messages with her for about a week, she told us that she was finally getting professional help and that it was because of our game that she was still there. That incident showed us the power of the game and how when players feel connected to a game and to a community, it can make a real difference in their lives. After that, we partnered with the Cybersmile Foundation to create a special cyberbullying story line that teachers players what to do if they or their friends are being bullied.

Players also are given links to Cybersmile. And if they have questions, directly from within the game, theyre connected to Cybersmile counselors. As a result, every week, over 100 of our players get in touch with Cybersmile. These are players who are often being bullied, sometimes self-hurting, or even thinking about suicide.

In fact, they shared with us a story about a player who was on a rooftop, and they were able to talk the player down, get them in touch with their parents, and help get their life back on track. Those type of stories are amazing to us. We started our game thinking that we have a great source of entertainment for players, and if we could, we could help build some community.

But knowing that our game has been involved in saving lives, helping people have self confidence, and connecting them to their parents and their friends has been really inspiration to us. So thats a deep topic. Not every game can claim that they tangibly help people to save themselves from themselves. And whats really fantastic about what Pixelberry Studios is doing is helping raise awareness with their players and recognizing the damage that cyberbullying has on peoples lives. And for those individuals, this games been able to give them that sense that theres somebody out there.

It gives them that feeling of belonging. It helped encourage them to reach out in an environment where they may have otherwise not chosen to. But this isnt just merely because they decided to make a game called High School Story. Its really because their design goals are the reason why they became effective at this.

And so when you look at the things that they took into account and talk to them about their game design objectives, they take into account race and gender and, of course, the anti-bullying message that you heard earlier. So players identify with characters of apparent different ethnic backgrounds. Other players are happy to see no restrictions on dating and relationships in the game, even between genders.

And so this goal carriers today as they update the game. To give you an idea of what theyre up to next, theyre going to have this update to create a screen shot about an upcoming feature where they raise awareness of regional and world events and by asking players trivia questions that indirectly inform them of potentially serious issues and things to be in touch with. And so theyre kind of shifting away from not just the immediate locale of building a community, but engaging a world community. So lets talk about Play Games and what it means to build a sense of belonging. We launched this feature that we call Quests.

And its acknowledging that many highly successful games know how to build and engage a vibrant community of players. And sometimes this takes the form of a weekend challenge to find rare objects. Or in the case of Pixelberry, theyll progress their story through a set of in-game objectives for a period of time.

But running these timed events is actually tricky for developers. And we thought our game services would help. So Quests is a set of APIs that allow you to run these time-based events for your players and reward them without needing to update your game. To do this, developers send us in-game activity data whenever a player successfully accomplishes something in the game, like completing a level, killing an alien, saving a rare black sheep. This tells Quests whats going on in the game.

And developers can use that game activity to create these new quests and run these quests on a regular basis as players achieve the goals. We think its going to be a fantastic tool for re-engagement and retention. And Ill take you through a little bit, very quickly, how it works.

First, we start by using our events API and defining events of in-game activities inside of the Play Developer Console. So lets say its a pirate game, and its the number of treasures youve discovered in the game. You integrate the events in your game and our Quests listener.

And signed-in players start sending signals of that in-game activity. You can then use the Developer Console to monitor which activities are being used. So lets pretend for a moment that this treasure mechanic in my pirate game is actually pretty popular and that everybody loves discovering hidden treasure. So I can go into the Play Developer Console, and I can define a quest.

I can use treasures, the events that are being sent to me, as the criteria for completing the quest. So for example, I can create a find 50 treasures this weekend game super secret awesome reward for your trouble. And I publish it.

And as players go through that and accept the quest and go through that activity in your game, we automatically aggregate the criteria that you defined in your quest and describe to your game when somebody has accomplished the goal, or whether times up and they have it. And well send a unique reward code, so you can design your game to reward those users every time they complete a quest. The beauty of this design is you can continue to run Quests without updating your game because its entirely data driven.

And were really excited to see whats going on here and what you will do with Quests when it launches in a couple weeks. And those experiences for Quests will show up in the Play Games App by showing players which quests are available for your game and notify them for quests that are about to expire and call them back. While were talking on the topic of gender and designing towards certain types of demographics, Ill mention our game statistics. When you integrate Play Games into your title, you get access to player activity engagement statistics, just through by virtue of having people sign in. And so we recently updated are stats to include demographic information.

You can get a sense of what the ratio of gender is in your game, what countries are the most active, and what age ranges youre attracting. So if youre accomplishing your design goals and getting out to a certain type of audience, this is a great way to confirm that and tune your updates towards those players. So that brings me to the end of this talk. And so games, at the end of the day, are really about creating these positive moments.

I know with your creativity and game design savvy, Google Play Games will help you find the means to connect with users through these tools, creating new relationships, helping people express themselves, and building belonging between people. And this is the set of tools I encourage you to look at when the docs get published in a couple weeks. Saves Games and Quests rolls out with the next set of Play services, along with our Play Games App.

And remember this. Its almost like everybodys playing games now. You have these ubiquitous devices in your pocket and Android and Google Play have helped create an environment where this as possible.

At their best, games bring us together. And mobile games can be great at this again. So my ask to you is go forth and make your games social again.

If you want some resources on Google Play Games, you can find them here. This Is a great time to take a screen shot of the QRcode. And with that, I thank you for your time. Ill be taking– Google IO 2014 – Play Games: Evolution of our beloved form of entertainment Hi everyone, my names Greg Hartrell. Im the lead product manager for Google Play Games.

Thanks for attending this session today. When I started putting this session together, I realized I had the great privilege of seeing a lot of people make games, really fantastic experiences, and watching the joy it brings people. And I went back, and I looked at what people are doing today in terms of playing games. And I came up with a few portraits of what I see happening today.

The first is, by and large, mobile games, still very much a single player experience– the portrait of kids sitting on the couch staring into a screen. And when I see that, I think whatever that kids playing, theyre never going to remember that moment. And thats weird for me because when I grew, when I was a kid, I remember playing games with others, with family, with friends.

And so thats something that I considered bizarre. The console industry, we created another persona. The original promise of consoles was we take the arcades of old. We bring them into the living room. People would play together, and it was going to be fantastic experience.

But what you also observe is still this kind of picture of a guy sitting in a basement staring at a screen. And if we put a headset on this guy, wed call it, to be fair, we call it social. And if you were to put a headset on and start playing with these types of players, your mileage will vary.

If youre like my experience, you may run into a 13-year-old yelling at you, something about your mother. And then there was a brief area that we were very excited about with social games. And we dont see a lot of these games in their original incarnation.

Because I guess sending palette knives to your friends wasnt a thing. But games decided to move away from that and tried to pursue deeper social interactions. And see, this is the deal. Games, they have so much more potential than this, right?

If you think about the experiences you had when you were younger or the positive moments that youve had in playing games with others, you know that they are capable of this. And theres evidence if you look around in the physical world, as well as in the article game world. So I started pulling up quotes. Quoting Greek philosophers immediately gives you street cred, so I recommend it for everybody.

But if you look at Plato, Platos saying something profound here. He says if you play with somebody, you can learn a lot more about them than perhaps any other interaction than you can conceive of. If you want to get more academic, you can quote a guy like Johan Huizinga, who wrote a book called Homo Ludens, which is Latin for man at play, kind of a seminal book in game studies. And his premise is this.

Games arent merely a pastime. They connect us in a way that defines our personas, defines the way our communities form, our cultural norms, and even the way that nation states form, if you want to get very profound about it. And were surrounded, too, and attracted by games and the ability to play games with others.

And in that sense, all play has meaning. And so what these quotes really told me was is like, look. Games are really just fundamentally this thing that we do, this fundamental behavior of being human.

We create relationships through them. We express ourselves through them. We come together through them. And if you look closer, theres really good examples in the physical world where games teach us and connect us in unique and interesting ways. So I looked at retirement communities.

For the record, retirement looks awesome. Im reconsidering this whole work thing and skipping to that step. Theyre constantly playing games.

Its card games. Its board games. Its shuffle board.

Its bocce ball. You name it. You can find them playing it. And you could easily dismiss this as theyre just finding a way to pass away time.

But its more than that. What theyre doing is is that theyre finding a way to connect with each other. Sometimes, they dont even know who they are. Its a way for people who just are complete strangers to suddenly find a common bond, get acquainted with each other. This is a screenshot here of, or a picture I should say, of something called the Wall Street Freeze Tag event.

Its been like 9 or 10 years running. The people who live in the neighborhood that is Wall Street in New York, they get together, and they go outside, and they have a freeze tag game. And if youve been in the Northeastern United States, you know that in the winter it gets kind of cold. And so heres an example of games that bring together groups of people to do seemingly inane things, and somehow has the power of drawing them together. The MIT annual mystery hunt is a little bit legendary.

Its been running since 1981. It attracts about 2, 000 students annually across 150 teams. And what they do is they have these puzzles that give them clues that come in sequence that allow them to discover a coin thats hidden around campus. And your reward for solving all the puzzles and finding the coin is you get to write the puzzles for the next years team. And thats it.

And what I love about this chart is it just shows like the intensity, the velocity of all these people wanting to pursue and accomplish those goals and to try to attain something that can be proud of. And I have to bring up the World Cup. If you havent been inside of a stadium with 100, 000 people, I promise you its the most exhilarating experience youve ever had. And its not just because youre watching and rooting for your team.

Hopefully, your team. won. If your team didnt win, then I refer you to the retirement slide, Italy. But the idea here is that youre not just there to root for the team.

You get drawn in to the fact that theres so many people of a like mind, bringing this community of people together in a common bond. And so all of these experiences really just boil down to this. At their best, games bring us together.

And article games, to be fair, have been good at this. We can find moments in article game history where were brought together through meaningful interactions. Theres arcades of old. Theres the modern equivalent of barcades, where a genius said, if I combine alcohol with arcades, Ill have a business.

And then theres the living room multiplayer. We remember games like GoldenEye and current games like, lets say, Mario Cart. And they have the intent and the ability to bring people together in a very small ways. And of course, MMORPGs, which when you play some of these, you sometimes wonder, hey. Im just really in a chat room.

And theres this game thing I do on the side, sometimes. And so if we accept the idea that games are better when were playing together, the question is is can the environment we currently have change. Do we have the conditions necessary to relive and create all of those experiences that I just showed in the physical world? And to me, I think the answer is yes.

Because Android and Google Play represent one of the greatest opportunities for us to reach people through our games. So I want you to consider this. Yesterday, you heard that theres one billion active Android users.

Thats not total. Thats 30 day actives. Thats a lot of people. And three in four of those users are playing games. When you do the table napkin math on that, that might be the largest group of people playing games on any platform ever created.

What we also talked about was Google Play Games growing at a tremendous clip. This is our game network for Android iOS and the web. And we announced yesterday that we added 100 million new users in the past six months. That makes this game network the fastest growing mobile game network ever. With an ecosystem this large, though, you need something like Play Games thats going to connect these users together.

And Ill take a moment to thank the developers that have gotten us to this point by integrating Play Games and bringing people together through the games services that we offer. Were seeing great results from titles implementing achievements, leader boards, cross screen cloud saves, and social features, like multiplayer and game gifts. And well talk about some of the new services in a moment and how they do play into that. So those stats are impressive. And game services are showing promise for a lot of the games that integrate them.

But what this really means is this. You have so many people playing games with these devices that are ubiquitous in your pocket, capable of playing, reaching incredible experiences and entertainment. And you have cloud services that get you global reach. This is the time for us to make games social again.

We believe that games at their best bring people together. And the conditions and opportunity to do so are right now. Now thats an easy call to action to say. But you have to consider, OK, well, theres nothing magical about a platform and the number of people.

There has to be a reason. There has to be kind of a system in which the way you think about it. So I realize that one way to look at this is you can dissect the way that all of these games kind of take design approaches for reaching people and bringing them together. And they do so roughly in these three buckets.

The first is creating new relationships. We help people directly engage each other in games. And we bring groups of people and this nucleus of people together to play together. We also help people express themselves through games.

We feel good when we become competent at a task or when were achieving certain goals. And we want to represent that self to others. And the last is we can build a sense of belonging.

So many people find better motivation through passive forms of social interaction. And games help people identify with and get accepted by a community of people of like mind. So I want to step through each of these and talk about some stories of where I think weve been effective at this in the industry and talk about how Play Games helps you get there. So Ill go back to board games because I mentioned them earlier, and more specifically, the board game groups that you see today.

I think many people will think of the heyday of the golden age of board games, the Monopolies, the Scrabbles, or maybe later, the Settlers of Catan, or in my household, I guess it would be Candy Land. Queen Frostine is a big deal. But the idea here is that article games had an intent to capture the spotlight. And when you dig a little deeper, you realize that theres tons of these board games groups that are out there that are thriving. This is a screen shot from meetup.com.

This group here that brings together all these board game groups has 308, 000 members in 42 countries. Thats a lot of people. And when you look at the things that people say and kind of the group names that are out there, youre seeing friends and family playing. But youre also seeing complete strangers coming together through this medium.

Even this one actual group name that I pulled out says extremely shy, looking for friends. If youre consider to be an introvert, this would be an incredibly– an open invitation to just start playing with others and being an ice breaker for you. But board games dont just do this because of just groups. Games are effective at this because what they do is theyre in the business of simulating social bonds. And what I mean by this is that we remove the risks, so competition and cooperation in an environment where its safe to be wrong or just to fail.

For example, we can create low risk competition and trade offs between people who dont even know each other. Or if you and I are playing a strategy game, theres a reason for us to collaborate, perhaps form an alliance. And thats a way to kind of break the ice and have two people who dont necessarily know each other start to build a relationship.

And the best part is if youre really great this, the experience is a little different every time. And that brings you back and encourages you to keep playing. A phenomenon thats going on right now is this phrase called phygital. If you havent figured this one out, its physical meets digital board games. And whats really interesting about these is these are basically hybrid board games.

They take a physical board. But what they do is they have gameplay assistance through mobile devices. The screenshots that you see up here for an upcoming game. I think it was a Kickstarter project called . What they do here is really clever.

Board games, particularly the ones with miniatures, can have very complicated rules. You might spend two or three hours just teaching somebody how to play. And by then, everybodys bored. But whats great is the tablet acts as the referee. It knows all the rules.

It knows how to take turns. It directs and guides what people will do next. Theres a little bit of a renaissance here going on in the way that the physical world meets the digital.

And when I read what players are saying about these games, its very encouraging. I hear quotes like I can focus on my friends and not on the board. Or there was another memorable one.

The guys saying like, hey, I can see my girlfriend and I playing this every night, and which is a testament to how accessible a complicated game can be for a larger audience. And so this hybrid experience creates that nucleus, the small nucleus of players. And its a great example of how games will continue to bring groups of people together.

I want to go back to arcades, as well. The original arcades– I guess Im old enough now to kind of reminisce about this– is that in North America, particularly, they were cultural hangout of sorts. Friends and strangers would engage in games. It was a relatively simple way for people to hangout and all ages have fun and without spending too much money. And Ill tell you a personal story of mine.

It was in an arcade. I was eight years old. I played a game called Duck Hunt. And for those of you who remember Duck Hunt, it was a light game. You shot cartoon ducks.

No ducks were harmed in the making of that game, Im sure. And yes, games were violent back then, too. And I was particularly good at this game.

I popped in one quarter, and I just kept playing. And I wasnt losing. I just kept knocking them all down and incrementing every level. And I got to a point where Im like, Im at like level 92.

I wonder if it will go to level 100. And I just kept playing, playing, playing, playing. And I got to level 99, passed it, expecting it to get to level 100. And to my dismay, they didnt think there was a level 100.

It actually just stayed at level 99. The guy didnt code it to have a third digit. And so I gave up. I handed the light gun to a guy who was sitting or standing next to me, rather.

And I turned around. And as an eight-year-old kid, theres a group of 40 people who had been watching me the entire time, this kid thats just cleaning up Duck Hunt, like its nobodys business. And for an eight-year-old kid getting high fives from random strangers, right, and getting cheers, thats a really cool moment. Right?

And that was impossible without the way that arcades are set up, because you have friends and your have strangers who are playing together. Youre kind of co-located. The pattern is theres this nucleus of people who love playing games, and you have the freedom to connect with people in that type of environment. You can meet anybody as long as you have similar interests.

And you make friends in return, and experiences that, well, you can apparently tell everybody for the rest of your life. A game that I think is particularly good at this, simulating that pattern, is one called Ingress. This is made by Niantic Labs. Its a science fiction theme game, massively multiplayer game, using location and augmented reality. Thats a lot of buzz words.

Basically, you choose a faction, the Enlightened and the Resistance, and you try to capture these portals by visiting them with your device and visiting these points of interest, which are basically landmarks in the real world. And as a team captures a set of portals, which you can see by these different dots, you create more surface area and connect them for what your faction controls. You can see here on the screen shot. The green teams got this amount of surface area covered. Now, one day they zoomed out 100x and the saw this.

The green team has this really bizarre and massive surface area. This is covering virtually the entire state of California. But the bizarre part is in the Northeast corner there, that triangle, thats in the middle of the desert. Theres no cell signal out there.

How do you capture something like a point of interest without a cell signal? So the opposing faction rightfully complained and said, look. Theres no way that anybody did this.

They must be hacking it. So the Niantic Labs team investigated this. And it turns out it was actually real. What happened was is that those people from that faction decided to rent a portable cell tower– dead serious.

They spend a few thousand dollars. They drove it all the way out into the Nevada desert. They set it up, popped open the game, captured whatever the point of interest was out there.

And this is the part that I love. They took the cell tower down, so now nobody can go back there and recapture the portal. That was really clever. And so I use this story because Ingress demonstrates like how– what theyre doing, really, is that this is a set of people who are friends or maybe people who are just brought together in this simulated social bond using article games in all of these ways that I described earlier.

And its encouraging to see that alive and well. So let me take a step and talk about relationships and what Play Games does to help us build those. If you remember the 90s like I do you, you remember really bad dance music, feel-good group sitcoms, and game called NBA Jam. And if youve played it on mobile– and you should– youll remember that you missed it.

It uses the Play Games multiplayer system to connect users and friends in real-time play with all of the excitement of the arcade. What they take advantage of, though, thats really great is something we call auto matching. And auto matching accesses the hidden social graph of your game. These are people who are playing right now.

So that way, theres always somebody to play with. So it really has that pattern of creating the nucleus of players that are always there. And so whether its strangers or friends, its a wildly fun experience. Our multiplayer system accesses your social graph. We rank and sort it based on active players or players youve played with recently.

It comes in real-time and turn-based multiplayer forms, and we handle the notifications and turns for you and handle all the hard problems like punching through NATs and creating peer-to-peer sessions when it comes to real-time play. If youre interested in a very good example of a turn-based multiplayer game, its 1941 Frozen Front by HandyGames. I recommend you try it out, especially if you like strategy games. And quick, I mention here too, is for turn-based multiplayer, were adding it to our Play Games C SDK which will be supported by, which will make it even easier for you to implement multiplayer in your title if youre still making games in native code.

Another game Ill point out is Quizup. Quizup takes great advantage of our achievements in leader boards. The game encourages you to answer trivia questions with strangers and friends.

And leader boards, for those of you who are a longtime game designers, tried and true way of fostering competitions by extending your game play. And people try to beat each others best scores. Whats great about our social leader boards, though, is Im never going to be number one in the Quizup worldwide leader board.

But I can apparently be number three amongst my friends. And if Im really excited about the game, Ill invite them along, so I try to get the number one. Another service that we launched recently was Game Gifts. This is Eternity Warriors 3 by Glu Mobile– MMORPG hack and slash type of game, really fun experience.

Basically, Game Gifts is designed for games that want more lighter weight social interactions. Youre not going to find everybody whos willing to sit down and play a real-time multiplayer game. But you could convince them to just do a very simple in and out social interaction with a high degree of reward.

In this case, they use it to send potions. They give your friends an edge with some set of limits each day. And sending gifts works a lot of the ways that multiplayer does today.

You can use the same social graph. You get your game discovered in the process. But Ill explain the mechanics of this in a little more depth.

You can think of it in three phases. The Game Gift service pops open in Intent, the gift intent that players use to choose up to eight people to send basically a blob of data that represented this in-game object, like a potion or a free life. And when you send it to friends, well store it on our servers for several days while your friends decide what they want to do with it. The receivers, those friends, get notified based on their notification settings. If they have set you up as a priority notification, itll buzz the phone, and theyll get into the game.

And if its an unsolicited notification, then itll show up silently in the shade. Finally, when the receivers ready to consume the gift, they open it up in the Play Games Inbox or the Play Games App, and it will launch your game. And as with multiplayer, if the receiver doesnt have the game, it will redirect them to the Play Store, so they can acquire. And so if youre in the business of getting incremental installs, this is an acquisition pro-tip for you. I mentioned the Play Games App.

This is our consumer experience that kind of aggregates all of this is what your friends are playing and creates that nucleus of player activity that I keep referring to that is so effective. And like the arcade or the common places where people play, like what Ingress does, Play Games gives you a view of what your friends have played recently and creates kind of that community feel, constantly reintroducing you to your friends and seeing what theyre playing. So after youve long stopped playing a game, you can keep up with what your friends are doing, and you can invite them again. OK, so that covers relationships. The second part of our model here is expression.

Expression is a really interesting thing. Games help you motivate us because we accomplish something. And by accomplishing things, it kind of improves our well being.

We express ourselves through accomplishments. We do so through mastery and gaining confidence. And we enjoy sharing that accomplishment with others. And theres a lot of real science behind this. It can be boiled down to this, but its a well-known area of study called self-determination theory.

Im not going to do self-determination theory injustice in two minutes, but Ill tell your story. Harry Harlow is a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin in 1949. And he did a study with primates or monkeys to kind of prove what drives and motivates people, or rather monkeys in this specific case, to complete tasks.

And he had this interesting set-up where he took two monkeys, and he put their living space– OK, they were cages– and he put a puzzle inside of the cages. And he noticed a couple things. One is that he would reset the puzzle every day. And each monkey would go and take the puzzle and then start figuring it out and solve it.

And they would consistently do this over and over again. And that didnt really invalidate his experiment. It just kind of like, oh, thats interesting that they would automatically just be drawn to doing some arbitrary task. And then to set up a variable, what he did is he gave one monkey a treat every time that monkey completed the puzzle every day. And after a time, he took the treat away.

And he noticed something really interesting. The monkey that got the extrinsic reward, the treat, stopped solving the puzzle, because he wasnt getting the treat. But the other monkey that was left as the control continued to solve the puzzle every day, as long as he reset it.

So what was really interesting here is that the unrewarded monkey found the act of completing the puzzle alone satisfying. Later, this was proved with humans. Theres something called the over-justification effect. And what it shows us is that the act and the satisfaction of accomplishing something, in gaining mastery, is something that were drawn into. And game design, really good game design, takes advantage of this in really deep ways.

But expression goes deeper than accomplishment. Theres also the desire to express oneself or even escape through a persona. Theres tons of research on MMORPGs that show how people grow attached to their online personas and avatars, showing sense of identity and relationship with the characters that you create and as you interact with others. So I went on to the role-playing section on Google Play, the Google Play Store.

And I was thinking of well-worn fantasy in medieval titles. And it turns out theres a lot of other ways to role-play too. So theres games like Knights N Squires, here, or at the bottom, Star Girl Beauty Queen, which is now my personal favorite.

And role-playing is partially really about expressing yourself through personification. What I love about these games is it shows like whether age or gender, everybody kind of gets attracted into like the doll house effect of these games. And its a way for people to kind of escape from everyday life. And while Im talking about expression, Ill splice this one in.

Sometimes you just play games to blow off some steam. This is best demonstrated by this Japanese table flipping game. Maybe well get some audio here. No? Audio?

Here we go. -Rack up the points. -You see shes beating the table, supposedly getting angry. -Get ready. -Why didnt you get the woman? -Oh, you missed, you missed the mom. OK, so table flipping isnt for everybody. But I think whats important here is that games have a variety of ways of helping people express themselves, either in very personal ways, or as it were, very inane ways. Play Games has a number of tools that help you tap into that sense of accomplishment, help people express themselves to others.

And we provide a platform in which you can do it. The great thing about achievements, for example, is they inform your players of the depth of your game that otherwise you wouldnt have discovered. When I finish playing a game like Hitman GO and Ive completed all the levels, but these achievements give me hints. Theyre almost like a guideline of what else I can do in the game.

And they cause me to play the game differently. They cause me to play it longer in an effort to explore and complete all the content. And in return, weve seen game developers see pretty significant bumps in day over day engagement through great achievement design. And exposing that information at a platform level is a way that we draw people back in through the Play Games platform. Talking about Google Play Games right now is we now show the world what type of player you are through our new game profile.

The game profile is where you earn points in a level and vanity titles from unlocking achievements. And so through your play, your profile evolves. You saw this yesterday in the keynote. The closer look at my profile here is you can see my profile picture there with my level and the number experience and points that I need to get to the next level. And lets face it.

Who doesnt like leveling up? Theres a breakdown of the genres that I play, which I found really interesting when this first came live. I didnt think of myself as a puzzle game player. But it turns out when you look at the games that I play, that is the type of gamer I am. And if I look ahead, I can compare my profile to other friends.

And they may be an action game player or they may play a lot of music games. And that gives me an invitation to talk to my friends and something to compare with. And as a developer, you can go to Google Play Developer Console today.

If you have achievements, you can edit the maximum 1, 000 experience points that you can give out across all of your achievements. Theres no update to your game necessary to help players engage in this type of experience. I mentioned comparing to friends, so this is my friend Tom. And here I can see all the different games that hes played in different genres.

And I can kind of see that oh, hes this really cool arcade player. And he loves playing those types of games. And thats how hes gotten to a higher level than I have.

And for the more competitive, it allows you compare that progress amongst the different genres. We also announced a new service called Saved Games. This help you stay connected with users by storing their saved progress visually and showing it off.

The best part about this is its not just about storing blobs. You can store many blobs. Its powered by Drive. Theyre up to three megs in size. And players will never have to play level one again in your game across any screen.

But what we can also allow you to do now is give us a screen shot or cover image and description and time played. And we expose those in the Play Games experiences. And so if I go on vacation, and I forgot that Im playing a game like Leos Fortune at the top there, Ill pop open my app, and Ill be like, oh yeah, thats right. I did leave off at a level three.

And I remember loving that game. And Im going to continue to play it now. So it really acts as a digital bookmark, attracting players to come back to your game. And we think its a neat little retention tool. OK, and last, but certainly not least, Im going to talk about building a sense of belonging.

Perhaps the best story I can tell here is through the game High School Story, from Pixelberry Studios. Theyre here in the Bay Area and decided that theyd take a strong position on building a feeling of belonging through game design. This game here, High School Story, started with the notion that growing up in high school years is hard. And fitting in is a general problem for all. And theres a very powerful story by creating a sense of belonging here and helping with the issue of cyberbullying.

And this story is really best told by their CEO, Oliver Miao. -We designed High School Story to be about a group of misfits who dont always fit in at their old high school, and theyve come together to design their dream high school. Because of our story line, we have a lot of players whove told us that the game has given them more self confidence or the ability to feel like they can just be themselves. And so its messages like that that really have encouraged us to continue with these type of story lines. But we were really shocked when we had a message from a player that was much more serious. We had a player reach out to us via our in-game support.

And she told us that she was planning to kill herself. We were surprised, shocked, and scared. We didnt know what to do. We called the suicide prevention hotline. And based on their advice, we urged her to get professional help.

But we also let her know that we were there to listen to her. And over time, after exchange messages with her for about a week, she told us that she was finally getting professional help and that it was because of our game that she was still there. That incident showed us the power of the game and how when players feel connected to a game and to a community, it can make a real difference in their lives. After that, we partnered with the Cybersmile Foundation to create a special cyberbullying story line that teachers players what to do if they or their friends are being bullied. Players also are given links to Cybersmile.

And if they have questions, directly from within the game, theyre connected to Cybersmile counselors. As a result, every week, over 100 of our players get in touch with Cybersmile. These are players who are often being bullied, sometimes self-hurting, or even thinking about suicide. In fact, they shared with us a story about a player who was on a rooftop, and they were able to talk the player down, get them in touch with their parents, and help get their life back on track. Those type of stories are amazing to us.

We started our game thinking that we have a great source of entertainment for players, and if we could, we could help build some community. But knowing that our game has been involved in saving lives, helping people have self confidence, and connecting them to their parents and their friends has been really inspiration to us. So thats a deep topic. Not every game can claim that they tangibly help people to save themselves from themselves. And whats really fantastic about what Pixelberry Studios is doing is helping raise awareness with their players and recognizing the damage that cyberbullying has on peoples lives.

And for those individuals, this games been able to give them that sense that theres somebody out there. It gives them that feeling of belonging. It helped encourage them to reach out in an environment where they may have otherwise not chosen to. But this isnt just merely because they decided to make a game called High School Story.

Its really because their design goals are the reason why they became effective at this. And so when you look at the things that they took into account and talk to them about their game design objectives, they take into account race and gender and, of course, the anti-bullying message that you heard earlier. So players identify with characters of apparent different ethnic backgrounds. Other players are happy to see no restrictions on dating and relationships in the game, even between genders.

And so this goal carriers today as they update the game. To give you an idea of what theyre up to next, theyre going to have this update to create a screen shot about an upcoming feature where they raise awareness of regional and world events and by asking players trivia questions that indirectly inform them of potentially serious issues and things to be in touch with. And so theyre kind of shifting away from not just the immediate locale of building a community, but engaging a world community. So lets talk about Play Games and what it means to build a sense of belonging.

We launched this feature that we call Quests. And its acknowledging that many highly successful games know how to build and engage a vibrant community of players. And sometimes this takes the form of a weekend challenge to find rare objects.

Or in the case of Pixelberry, theyll progress their story through a set of in-game objectives for a period of time. But running these timed events is actually tricky for developers. And we thought our game services would help.

So Quests is a set of APIs that allow you to run these time-based events for your players and reward them without needing to update your game. To do this, developers send us in-game activity data whenever a player successfully accomplishes something in the game, like completing a level, killing an alien, saving a rare black sheep. This tells Quests whats going on in the game.

And developers can use that game activity to create these new quests and run these quests on a regular basis as players achieve the goals. We think its going to be a fantastic tool for re-engagement and retention. And Ill take you through a little bit, very quickly, how it works. First, we start by using our events API and defining events of in-game activities inside of the Play Developer Console.

So lets say its a pirate game, and its the number of treasures youve discovered in the game. You integrate the events in your game and our Quests listener. And signed-in players start sending signals of that in-game activity.

You can then use the Developer Console to monitor which activities are being used. So lets pretend for a moment that this treasure mechanic in my pirate game is actually pretty popular and that everybody loves discovering hidden treasure. So I can go into the Play Developer Console, and I can define a quest. I can use treasures, the events that are being sent to me, as the criteria for completing the quest. So for example, I can create a find 50 treasures this weekend game super secret awesome reward for your trouble.

And I publish it. And as players go through that and accept the quest and go through that activity in your game, we automatically aggregate the criteria that you defined in your quest and describe to your game when somebody has accomplished the goal, or whether times up and they have it. And well send a unique reward code, so you can design your game to reward those users every time they complete a quest. The beauty of this design is you can continue to run Quests without updating your game because its entirely data driven.

And were really excited to see whats going on here and what you will do with Quests when it launches in a couple weeks. And those experiences for Quests will show up in the Play Games App by showing players which quests are available for your game and notify them for quests that are about to expire and call them back. While were talking on the topic of gender and designing towards certain types of demographics, Ill mention our game statistics. When you integrate Play Games into your title, you get access to player activity engagement statistics, just through by virtue of having people sign in. And so we recently updated are stats to include demographic information.

You can get a sense of what the ratio of gender is in your game, what countries are the most active, and what age ranges youre attracting. So if youre accomplishing your design goals and getting out to a certain type of audience, this is a great way to confirm that and tune your updates towards those players. So that brings me to the end of this talk. And so games, at the end of the day, are really about creating these positive moments. I know with your creativity and game design savvy, Google Play Games will help you find the means to connect with users through these tools, creating new relationships, helping people express themselves, and building belonging between people.

And this is the set of tools I encourage you to look at when the docs get published in a couple weeks. Saves Games and Quests rolls out with the next set of Play services, along with our Play Games App. And remember this. Its almost like everybodys playing games now.

You have these ubiquitous devices in your pocket and Android and Google Play have helped create an environment where this as possible. At their best, games bring us together. And mobile games can be great at this again.

So my ask to you is go forth and make your games social again. If you want some resources on Google Play Games, you can find them here. This Is a great time to take a screen shot of the QRcode. And with that, I thank you for your time.

Ill be taking– Google IO 2014 – Play Games: Evolution of our beloved form of entertainment Hi everyone, my names Greg Hartrell. Im the lead product manager for Google Play Games. Thanks for attending this session today.

When I started putting this session together, I realized I had the great privilege of seeing a lot of people make games, really fantastic experiences, and watching the joy it brings people. And I went back, and I looked at what people are doing today in terms of playing games. And I came up with a few portraits of what I see happening today.

The first is, by and large, mobile games, still very much a single player experience– the portrait of kids sitting on the couch staring into a screen. And when I see that, I think whatever that kids playing, theyre never going to remember that moment. And thats weird for me because when I grew, when I was a kid, I remember playing games with others, with family, with friends.

And so thats something that I considered bizarre. The console industry, we created another persona. The original promise of consoles was we take the arcades of old. We bring them into the living room. People would play together, and it was going to be fantastic experience.

But what you also observe is still this kind of picture of a guy sitting in a basement staring at a screen. And if we put a headset on this guy, wed call it, to be fair, we call it social. And if you were to put a headset on and start playing with these types of players, your mileage will vary. If youre like my experience, you may run into a 13-year-old yelling at you, something about your mother. And then there was a brief area that we were very excited about with social games.

And we dont see a lot of these games in their original incarnation. Because I guess sending palette knives to your friends wasnt a thing. But games decided to move away from that and tried to pursue deeper social interactions.

And see, this is the deal. Games, they have so much more potential than this, right? If you think about the experiences you had when you were younger or the positive moments that youve had in playing games with others, you know that they are capable of this. And theres evidence if you look around in the physical world, as well as in the article game world. So I started pulling up quotes.

Quoting Greek philosophers immediately gives you street cred, so I recommend it for everybody. But if you look at Plato, Platos saying something profound here. He says if you play with somebody, you can learn a lot more about them than perhaps any other interaction than you can conceive of. If you want to get more academic, you can quote a guy like Johan Huizinga, who wrote a book called Homo Ludens, which is Latin for man at play, kind of a seminal book in game studies.

And his premise is this. Games arent merely a pastime. They connect us in a way that defines our personas, defines the way our communities form, our cultural norms, and even the way that nation states form, if you want to get very profound about it. And were surrounded, too, and attracted by games and the ability to play games with others.

And in that sense, all play has meaning. And so what these quotes really told me was is like, look. Games are really just fundamentally this thing that we do, this fundamental behavior of being human. We create relationships through them.

We express ourselves through them. We come together through them. And if you look closer, theres really good examples in the physical world where games teach us and connect us in unique and interesting ways.

So I looked at retirement communities. For the record, retirement looks awesome. Im reconsidering this whole work thing and skipping to that step. Theyre constantly playing games. Its card games.

Its board games. Its shuffle board. Its bocce ball.

You name it. You can find them playing it. And you could easily dismiss this as theyre just finding a way to pass away time. But its more than that. What theyre doing is is that theyre finding a way to connect with each other.

Sometimes, they dont even know who they are. Its a way for people who just are complete strangers to suddenly find a common bond, get acquainted with each other. This is a screenshot here of, or a picture I should say, of something called the Wall Street Freeze Tag event. Its been like 9 or 10 years running. The people who live in the neighborhood that is Wall Street in New York, they get together, and they go outside, and they have a freeze tag game.

And if youve been in the Northeastern United States, you know that in the winter it gets kind of cold. And so heres an example of games that bring together groups of people to do seemingly inane things, and somehow has the power of drawing them together. The MIT annual mystery hunt is a little bit legendary.

Its been running since 1981. It attracts about 2, 000 students annually across 150 teams. And what they do is they have these puzzles that give them clues that come in sequence that allow them to discover a coin thats hidden around campus.

And your reward for solving all the puzzles and finding the coin is you get to write the puzzles for the next years team. And thats it. And what I love about this chart is it just shows like the intensity, the velocity of all these people wanting to pursue and accomplish those goals and to try to attain something that can be proud of. And I have to bring up the World Cup. If you havent been inside of a stadium with 100, 000 people, I promise you its the most exhilarating experience youve ever had.

And its not just because youre watching and rooting for your team. Hopefully, your team. won. If your team didnt win, then I refer you to the retirement slide, Italy. But the idea here is that youre not just there to root for the team.

You get drawn in to the fact that theres so many people of a like mind, bringing this community of people together in a common bond. And so all of these experiences really just boil down to this. At their best, games bring us together. And article games, to be fair, have been good at this. We can find moments in article game history where were brought together through meaningful interactions.

Theres arcades of old. Theres the modern equivalent of barcades, where a genius said, if I combine alcohol with arcades, Ill have a business. And then theres the living room multiplayer. We remember games like GoldenEye and current games like, lets say, Mario Cart.

And they have the intent and the ability to bring people together in a very small ways. And of course, MMORPGs, which when you play some of these, you sometimes wonder, hey. Im just really in a chat room. And theres this game thing I do on the side, sometimes.

And so if we accept the idea that games are better when were playing together, the question is is can the environment we currently have change. Do we have the conditions necessary to relive and create all of those experiences that I just showed in the physical world? And to me, I think the answer is yes. Because Android and Google Play represent one of the greatest opportunities for us to reach people through our games. So I want you to consider this.

Yesterday, you heard that theres one billion active Android users. Thats not total. Thats 30 day actives.

Thats a lot of people. And three in four of those users are playing games. When you do the table napkin math on that, that might be the largest group of people playing games on any platform ever created. What we also talked about was Google Play Games growing at a tremendous clip.

This is our game network for Android iOS and the web. And we announced yesterday that we added 100 million new users in the past six months. That makes this game network the fastest growing mobile game network ever.

With an ecosystem this large, though, you need something like Play Games thats going to connect these users together. And Ill take a moment to thank the developers that have gotten us to this point by integrating Play Games and bringing people together through the games services that we offer. Were seeing great results from titles implementing achievements, leader boards, cross screen cloud saves, and social features, like multiplayer and game gifts.

And well talk about some of the new services in a moment and how they do play into that. So those stats are impressive. And game services are showing promise for a lot of the games that integrate them.

But what this really means is this. You have so many people playing games with these devices that are ubiquitous in your pocket, capable of playing, reaching incredible experiences and entertainment. And you have cloud services that get you global reach.

This is the time for us to make games social again. We believe that games at their best bring people together. And the conditions and opportunity to do so are right now.

Now thats an easy call to action to say. But you have to consider, OK, well, theres nothing magical about a platform and the number of people. There has to be a reason. There has to be kind of a system in which the way you think about it.

So I realize that one way to look at this is you can dissect the way that all of these games kind of take design approaches for reaching people and bringing them together. And they do so roughly in these three buckets. The first is creating new relationships. We help people directly engage each other in games. And we bring groups of people and this nucleus of people together to play together.

We also help people express themselves through games. We feel good when we become competent at a task or when were achieving certain goals. And we want to represent that self to others. And the last is we can build a sense of belonging.

So many people find better motivation through passive forms of social interaction. And games help people identify with and get accepted by a community of people of like mind. So I want to step through each of these and talk about some stories of where I think weve been effective at this in the industry and talk about how Play Games helps you get there. So Ill go back to board games because I mentioned them earlier, and more specifically, the board game groups that you see today.

I think many people will think of the heyday of the golden age of board games, the Monopolies, the Scrabbles, or maybe later, the Settlers of Catan, or in my household, I guess it would be Candy Land. Queen Frostine is a big deal. But the idea here is that article games had an intent to capture the spotlight. And when you dig a little deeper, you realize that theres tons of these board games groups that are out there that are thriving.

This is a screen shot from meetup.com. This group here that brings together all these board game groups has 308, 000 members in 42 countries. Thats a lot of people. And when you look at the things that people say and kind of the group names that are out there, youre seeing friends and family playing.

But youre also seeing complete strangers coming together through this medium. Even this one actual group name that I pulled out says extremely shy, looking for friends. If youre consider to be an introvert, this would be an incredibly– an open invitation to just start playing with others and being an ice breaker for you. But board games dont just do this because of just groups.

Games are effective at this because what they do is theyre in the business of simulating social bonds. And what I mean by this is that we remove the risks, so competition and cooperation in an environment where its safe to be wrong or just to fail. For example, we can create low risk competition and trade offs between people who dont even know each other.

Or if you and I are playing a strategy game, theres a reason for us to collaborate, perhaps form an alliance. And thats a way to kind of break the ice and have two people who dont necessarily know each other start to build a relationship. And the best part is if youre really great this, the experience is a little different every time. And that brings you back and encourages you to keep playing. A phenomenon thats going on right now is this phrase called phygital.

If you havent figured this one out, its physical meets digital board games. And whats really interesting about these is these are basically hybrid board games. They take a physical board. But what they do is they have gameplay assistance through mobile devices.

The screenshots that you see up here for an upcoming game. I think it was a Kickstarter project called . What they do here is really clever. Board games, particularly the ones with miniatures, can have very complicated rules. You might spend two or three hours just teaching somebody how to play.

And by then, everybodys bored. But whats great is the tablet acts as the referee. It knows all the rules.

It knows how to take turns. It directs and guides what people will do next. Theres a little bit of a renaissance here going on in the way that the physical world meets the digital.

And when I read what players are saying about these games, its very encouraging. I hear quotes like I can focus on my friends and not on the board. Or there was another memorable one. The guys saying like, hey, I can see my girlfriend and I playing this every night, and which is a testament to how accessible a complicated game can be for a larger audience.

And so this hybrid experience creates that nucleus, the small nucleus of players. And its a great example of how games will continue to bring groups of people together. I want to go back to arcades, as well.

The original arcades– I guess Im old enough now to kind of reminisce about this– is that in North America, particularly, they were cultural hangout of sorts. Friends and strangers would engage in games. It was a relatively simple way for people to hangout and all ages have fun and without spending too much money. And Ill tell you a personal story of mine.

It was in an arcade. I was eight years old. I played a game called Duck Hunt. And for those of you who remember Duck Hunt, it was a light game.

You shot cartoon ducks. No ducks were harmed in the making of that game, Im sure. And yes, games were violent back then, too.

And I was particularly good at this game. I popped in one quarter, and I just kept playing. And I wasnt losing. I just kept knocking them all down and incrementing every level.

And I got to a point where Im like, Im at like level 92. I wonder if it will go to level 100. And I just kept playing, playing, playing, playing. And I got to level 99, passed it, expecting it to get to level 100. And to my dismay, they didnt think there was a level 100.

It actually just stayed at level 99. The guy didnt code it to have a third digit. And so I gave up. I handed the light gun to a guy who was sitting or standing next to me, rather.

And I turned around. And as an eight-year-old kid, theres a group of 40 people who had been watching me the entire time, this kid thats just cleaning up Duck Hunt, like its nobodys business. And for an eight-year-old kid getting high fives from random strangers, right, and getting cheers, thats a really cool moment.

Right? And that was impossible without the way that arcades are set up, because you have friends and your have strangers who are playing together. Youre kind of co-located. The pattern is theres this nucleus of people who love playing games, and you have the freedom to connect with people in that type of environment. You can meet anybody as long as you have similar interests.

And you make friends in return, and experiences that, well, you can apparently tell everybody for the rest of your life. A game that I think is particularly good at this, simulating that pattern, is one called Ingress. This is made by Niantic Labs. Its a science fiction theme game, massively multiplayer game, using location and augmented reality. Thats a lot of buzz words.

Basically, you choose a faction, the Enlightened and the Resistance, and you try to capture these portals by visiting them with your device and visiting these points of interest, which are basically landmarks in the real world. And as a team captures a set of portals, which you can see by these different dots, you create more surface area and connect them for what your faction controls. You can see here on the screen shot.

The green teams got this amount of surface area covered. Now, one day they zoomed out 100x and the saw this. The green team has this really bizarre and massive surface area.

This is covering virtually the entire state of California. But the bizarre part is in the Northeast corner there, that triangle, thats in the middle of the desert. Theres no cell signal out there. How do you capture something like a point of interest without a cell signal? So the opposing faction rightfully complained and said, look.

Theres no way that anybody did this. They must be hacking it. So the Niantic Labs team investigated this.

And it turns out it was actually real. What happened was is that those people from that faction decided to rent a portable cell tower– dead serious. They spend a few thousand dollars. They drove it all the way out into the Nevada desert.

They set it up, popped open the game, captured whatever the point of interest was out there. And this is the part that I love. They took the cell tower down, so now nobody can go back there and recapture the portal. That was really clever. And so I use this story because Ingress demonstrates like how– what theyre doing, really, is that this is a set of people who are friends or maybe people who are just brought together in this simulated social bond using article games in all of these ways that I described earlier.

And its encouraging to see that alive and well. So let me take a step and talk about relationships and what Play Games does to help us build those. If you remember the 90s like I do you, you remember really bad dance music, feel-good group sitcoms, and game called NBA Jam. And if youve played it on mobile– and you should– youll remember that you missed it. It uses the Play Games multiplayer system to connect users and friends in real-time play with all of the excitement of the arcade.

What they take advantage of, though, thats really great is something we call auto matching. And auto matching accesses the hidden social graph of your game. These are people who are playing right now.

So that way, theres always somebody to play with. So it really has that pattern of creating the nucleus of players that are always there. And so whether its strangers or friends, its a wildly fun experience. Our multiplayer system accesses your social graph.

We rank and sort it based on active players or players youve played with recently. It comes in real-time and turn-based multiplayer forms, and we handle the notifications and turns for you and handle all the hard problems like punching through NATs and creating peer-to-peer sessions when it comes to real-time play. If youre interested in a very good example of a turn-based multiplayer game, its 1941 Frozen Front by HandyGames.

I recommend you try it out, especially if you like strategy games. And quick, I mention here too, is for turn-based multiplayer, were adding it to our Play Games C SDK which will be supported by, which will make it even easier for you to implement multiplayer in your title if youre still making games in native code. Another game Ill point out is Quizup. Quizup takes great advantage of our achievements in leader boards. The game encourages you to answer trivia questions with strangers and friends.

And leader boards, for those of you who are a longtime game designers, tried and true way of fostering competitions by extending your game play. And people try to beat each others best scores. Whats great about our social leader boards, though, is Im never going to be number one in the Quizup worldwide leader board. But I can apparently be number three amongst my friends. And if Im really excited about the game, Ill invite them along, so I try to get the number one.

Another service that we launched recently was Game Gifts. This is Eternity Warriors 3 by Glu Mobile– MMORPG hack and slash type of game, really fun experience. Basically, Game Gifts is designed for games that want more lighter weight social interactions. Youre not going to find everybody whos willing to sit down and play a real-time multiplayer game. But you could convince them to just do a very simple in and out social interaction with a high degree of reward.

In this case, they use it to send potions. They give your friends an edge with some set of limits each day. And sending gifts works a lot of the ways that multiplayer does today. You can use the same social graph. You get your game discovered in the process.

But Ill explain the mechanics of this in a little more depth. You can think of it in three phases. The Game Gift service pops open in Intent, the gift intent that players use to choose up to eight people to send basically a blob of data that represented this in-game object, like a potion or a free life. And when you send it to friends, well store it on our servers for several days while your friends decide what they want to do with it.

The receivers, those friends, get notified based on their notification settings. If they have set you up as a priority notification, itll buzz the phone, and theyll get into the game. And if its an unsolicited notification, then itll show up silently in the shade. Finally, when the receivers ready to consume the gift, they open it up in the Play Games Inbox or the Play Games App, and it will launch your game.

And as with multiplayer, if the receiver doesnt have the game, it will redirect them to the Play Store, so they can acquire. And so if youre in the business of getting incremental installs, this is an acquisition pro-tip for you. I mentioned the Play Games App. This is our consumer experience that kind of aggregates all of this is what your friends are playing and creates that nucleus of player activity that I keep referring to that is so effective. And like the arcade or the common places where people play, like what Ingress does, Play Games gives you a view of what your friends have played recently and creates kind of that community feel, constantly reintroducing you to your friends and seeing what theyre playing.

So after youve long stopped playing a game, you can keep up with what your friends are doing, and you can invite them again. OK, so that covers relationships. The second part of our model here is expression.

Expression is a really interesting thing. Games help you motivate us because we accomplish something. And by accomplishing things, it kind of improves our well being. We express ourselves through accomplishments.

We do so through mastery and gaining confidence. And we enjoy sharing that accomplishment with others. And theres a lot of real science behind this. It can be boiled down to this, but its a well-known area of study called self-determination theory.

Im not going to do self-determination theory injustice in two minutes, but Ill tell your story. Harry Harlow is a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin in 1949. And he did a study with primates or monkeys to kind of prove what drives and motivates people, or rather monkeys in this specific case, to complete tasks. And he had this interesting set-up where he took two monkeys, and he put their living space– OK, they were cages– and he put a puzzle inside of the cages. And he noticed a couple things.

One is that he would reset the puzzle every day. And each monkey would go and take the puzzle and then start figuring it out and solve it. And they would consistently do this over and over again. And that didnt really invalidate his experiment.

It just kind of like, oh, thats interesting that they would automatically just be drawn to doing some arbitrary task. And then to set up a variable, what he did is he gave one monkey a treat every time that monkey completed the puzzle every day. And after a time, he took the treat away. And he noticed something really interesting. The monkey that got the extrinsic reward, the treat, stopped solving the puzzle, because he wasnt getting the treat.

But the other monkey that was left as the control continued to solve the puzzle every day, as long as he reset it. So what was really interesting here is that the unrewarded monkey found the act of completing the puzzle alone satisfying. Later, this was proved with humans. Theres something called the over-justification effect.

And what it shows us is that the act and the satisfaction of accomplishing something, in gaining mastery, is something that were drawn into. And game design, really good game design, takes advantage of this in really deep ways. But expression goes deeper than accomplishment.

Theres also the desire to express oneself or even escape through a persona. Theres tons of research on MMORPGs that show how people grow attached to their online personas and avatars, showing sense of identity and relationship with the characters that you create and as you interact with others. So I went on to the role-playing section on Google Play, the Google Play Store. And I was thinking of well-worn fantasy in medieval titles.

And it turns out theres a lot of other ways to role-play too. So theres games like Knights N Squires, here, or at the bottom, Star Girl Beauty Queen, which is now my personal favorite. And role-playing is partially really about expressing yourself through personification. What I love about these games is it shows like whether age or gender, everybody kind of gets attracted into like the doll house effect of these games. And its a way for people to kind of escape from everyday life.

And while Im talking about expression, Ill splice this one in. Sometimes you just play games to blow off some steam. This is best demonstrated by this Japanese table flipping game. Maybe well get some audio here.

No? Audio? Here we go. -Rack up the points. -You see shes beating the table, supposedly getting angry. -Get ready. -Why didnt you get the woman? -Oh, you missed, you missed the mom. OK, so table flipping isnt for everybody. But I think whats important here is that games have a variety of ways of helping people express themselves, either in very personal ways, or as it were, very inane ways.

Play Games has a number of tools that help you tap into that sense of accomplishment, help people express themselves to others. And we provide a platform in which you can do it. The great thing about achievements, for example, is they inform your players of the depth of your game that otherwise you wouldnt have discovered. When I finish playing a game like Hitman GO and Ive completed all the levels, but these achievements give me hints.

Theyre almost like a guideline of what else I can do in the game. And they cause me to play the game differently. They cause me to play it longer in an effort to explore and complete all the content.

And in return, weve seen game developers see pretty significant bumps in day over day engagement through great achievement design. And exposing that information at a platform level is a way that we draw people back in through the Play Games platform. Talking about Google Play Games right now is we now show the world what type of player you are through our new game profile. The game profile is where you earn points in a level and vanity titles from unlocking achievements.

And so through your play, your profile evolves. You saw this yesterday in the keynote. The closer look at my profile here is you can see my profile picture there with my level and the number experience and points that I need to get to the next level. And lets face it.

Who doesnt like leveling up? Theres a breakdown of the genres that I play, which I found really interesting when this first came live. I didnt think of myself as a puzzle game player. But it turns out when you look at the games that I play, that is the type of gamer I am. And if I look ahead, I can compare my profile to other friends.

And they may be an action game player or they may play a lot of music games. And that gives me an invitation to talk to my friends and something to compare with. And as a developer, you can go to Google Play Developer Console today. If you have achievements, you can edit the maximum 1, 000 experience points that you can give out across all of your achievements.

Theres no update to your game necessary to help players engage in this type of experience. I mentioned comparing to friends, so this is my friend Tom. And here I can see all the different games that hes played in different genres. And I can kind of see that oh, hes this really cool arcade player. And he loves playing those types of games.

And thats how hes gotten to a higher level than I have. And for the more competitive, it allows you compare that progress amongst the different genres. We also announced a new service called Saved Games. This help you stay connected with users by storing their saved progress visually and showing it off.

The best part about this is its not just about storing blobs. You can store many blobs. Its powered by Drive. Theyre up to three megs in size.

And players will never have to play level one again in your game across any screen. But what we can also allow you to do now is give us a screen shot or cover image and description and time played. And we expose those in the Play Games experiences. And so if I go on vacation, and I forgot that Im playing a game like Leos Fortune at the top there, Ill pop open my app, and Ill be like, oh yeah, thats right. I did leave off at a level three.

And I remember loving that game. And Im going to continue to play it now. So it really acts as a digital bookmark, attracting players to come back to your game. And we think its a neat little retention tool. OK, and last, but certainly not least, Im going to talk about building a sense of belonging.

Perhaps the best story I can tell here is through the game High School Story, from Pixelberry Studios. Theyre here in the Bay Area and decided that theyd take a strong position on building a feeling of belonging through game design. This game here, High School Story, started with the notion that growing up in high school years is hard.

And fitting in is a general problem for all. And theres a very powerful story by creating a sense of belonging here and helping with the issue of cyberbullying. And this story is really best told by their CEO, Oliver Miao. -We designed High School Story to be about a group of misfits who dont always fit in at their old high school, and theyve come together to design their dream high school. Because of our story line, we have a lot of players whove told us that the game has given them more self confidence or the ability to feel like they can just be themselves. And so its messages like that that really have encouraged us to continue with these type of story lines.

But we were really shocked when we had a message from a player that was much more serious. We had a player reach out to us via our in-game support. And she told us that she was planning to kill herself. We were surprised, shocked, and scared. We didnt know what to do.

We called the suicide prevention hotline. And based on their advice, we urged her to get professional help. But we also let her know that we were there to listen to her.

And over time, after exchange messages with her for about a week, she told us that she was finally getting professional help and that it was because of our game that she was still there. That incident showed us the power of the game and how when players feel connected to a game and to a community, it can make a real difference in their lives. After that, we partnered with the Cybersmile Foundation to create a special cyberbullying story line that teachers players what to do if they or their friends are being bullied.

Players also are given links to Cybersmile. And if they have questions, directly from within the game, theyre connected to Cybersmile counselors. As a result, every week, over 100 of our players get in touch with Cybersmile. These are players who are often being bullied, sometimes self-hurting, or even thinking about suicide.

In fact, they shared with us a story about a player who was on a rooftop, and they were able to talk the player down, get them in touch with their parents, and help get their life back on track. Those type of stories are amazing to us. We started our game thinking that we have a great source of entertainment for players, and if we could, we could help build some community.

But knowing that our game has been involved in saving lives, helping people have self confidence, and connecting them to their parents and their friends has been really inspiration to us. So thats a deep topic. Not every game can claim that they tangibly help people to save themselves from themselves.

And whats really fantastic about what Pixelberry Studios is doing is helping raise awareness with their players and recognizing the damage that cyberbullying has on peoples lives. And for those individuals, this games been able to give them that sense that theres somebody out there. It gives them that feeling of belonging.

It helped encourage them to reach out in an environment where they may have otherwise not chosen to. But this isnt just merely because they decided to make a game called High School Story. Its really because their design goals are the reason why they became effective at this.

And so when you look at the things that they took into account and talk to them about their game design objectives, they take into account race and gender and, of course, the anti-bullying message that you heard earlier. So players identify with characters of apparent different ethnic backgrounds. Other players are happy to see no restrictions on dating and relationships in the game, even between genders. And so this goal carriers today as they update the game.

To give you an idea of what theyre up to next, theyre going to have this update to create a screen shot about an upcoming feature where they raise awareness of regional and world events and by asking players trivia questions that indirectly inform them of potentially serious issues and things to be in touch with. And so theyre kind of shifting away from not just the immediate locale of building a community, but engaging a world community. So lets talk about Play Games and what it means to build a sense of belonging. We launched this feature that we call Quests. And its acknowledging that many highly successful games know how to build and engage a vibrant community of players.

And sometimes this takes the form of a weekend challenge to find rare objects. Or in the case of Pixelberry, theyll progress their story through a set of in-game objectives for a period of time. But running these timed events is actually tricky for developers. And we thought our game services would help.

So Quests is a set of APIs that allow you to run these time-based events for your players and reward them without needing to update your game. To do this, developers send us in-game activity data whenever a player successfully accomplishes something in the game, like completing a level, killing an alien, saving a rare black sheep. This tells Quests whats going on in the game. And developers can use that game activity to create these new quests and run these quests on a regular basis as players achieve the goals. We think its going to be a fantastic tool for re-engagement and retention.

And Ill take you through a little bit, very quickly, how it works. First, we start by using our events API and defining events of in-game activities inside of the Play Developer Console. So lets say its a pirate game, and its the number of treasures youve discovered in the game. You integrate the events in your game and our Quests listener. And signed-in players start sending signals of that in-game activity.

You can then use the Developer Console to monitor which activities are being used. So lets pretend for a moment that this treasure mechanic in my pirate game is actually pretty popular and that everybody loves discovering hidden treasure. So I can go into the Play Developer Console, and I can define a quest. I can use treasures, the events that are being sent to me, as the criteria for completing the quest.

So for example, I can create a find 50 treasures this weekend game super secret awesome reward for your trouble. And I publish it. And as players go through that and accept the quest and go through that activity in your game, we automatically aggregate the criteria that you defined in your quest and describe to your game when somebody has accomplished the goal, or whether times up and they have it.

And well send a unique reward code, so you can design your game to reward those users every time they complete a quest. The beauty of this design is you can continue to run Quests without updating your game because its entirely data driven. And were really excited to see whats going on here and what you will do with Quests when it launches in a couple weeks. And those experiences for Quests will show up in the Play Games App by showing players which quests are available for your game and notify them for quests that are about to expire and call them back.

While were talking on the topic of gender and designing towards certain types of demographics, Ill mention our game statistics. When you integrate Play Games into your title, you get access to player activity engagement statistics, just through by virtue of having people sign in. And so we recently updated are stats to include demographic information. You can get a sense of what the ratio of gender is in your game, what countries are the most active, and what age ranges youre attracting. So if youre accomplishing your design goals and getting out to a certain type of audience, this is a great way to confirm that and tune your updates towards those players.

So that brings me to the end of this talk. And so games, at the end of the day, are really about creating these positive moments. I know with your creativity and game design savvy, Google Play Games will help you find the means to connect with users through these tools, creating new relationships, helping people express themselves, and building belonging between people. And this is the set of tools I encourage you to look at when the docs get published in a couple weeks. Saves Games and Quests rolls out with the next set of Play services, along with our Play Games App.

And remember this. Its almost like everybodys playing games now. You have these ubiquitous devices in your pocket and Android and Google Play have helped create an environment where this as possible. At their best, games bring us together.

And mobile games can be great at this again. So my ask to you is go forth and make your games social again. If you want some resources on Google Play Games, you can find them here. This Is a great time to take a screen shot of the QRcode.

And with that, I thank you for your time. Ill be taking– Google IO 2014 – Play Games: Evolution of our beloved form of entertainment Hi everyone, my names Greg Hartrell. Im the lead product manager for Google Play Games. Thanks for attending this session today.

When I started putting this session together, I realized I had the great privilege of seeing a lot of people make games, really fantastic experiences, and watching the joy it brings people. And I went back, and I looked at what people are doing today in terms of playing games. And I came up with a few portraits of what I see happening today.

The first is, by and large, mobile games, still very much a single player experience– the portrait of kids sitting on the couch staring into a screen. And when I see that, I think whatever that kids playing, theyre never going to remember that moment. And thats weird for me because when I grew, when I was a kid, I remember playing games with others, with family, with friends. And so thats something that I considered bizarre. The console industry, we created another persona.

The original promise of consoles was we take the arcades of old. We bring them into the living room. People would play together, and it was going to be fantastic experience. But what you also observe is still this kind of picture of a guy sitting in a basement staring at a screen.

And if we put a headset on this guy, wed call it, to be fair, we call it social. And if you were to put a headset on and start playing with these types of players, your mileage will vary. If youre like my experience, you may run into a 13-year-old yelling at you, something about your mother.

And then there was a brief area that we were very excited about with social games. And we dont see a lot of these games in their original incarnation. Because I guess sending palette knives to your friends wasnt a thing. But games decided to move away from that and tried to pursue deeper social interactions. And see, this is the deal.

Games, they have so much more potential than this, right? If you think about the experiences you had when you were younger or the positive moments that youve had in playing games with others, you know that they are capable of this. And theres evidence if you look around in the physical world, as well as in the article game world. So I started pulling up quotes. Quoting Greek philosophers immediately gives you street cred, so I recommend it for everybody.

But if you look at Plato, Platos saying something profound here. He says if you play with somebody, you can learn a lot more about them than perhaps any other interaction than you can conceive of. If you want to get more academic, you can quote a guy like Johan Huizinga, who wrote a book called Homo Ludens, which is Latin for man at play, kind of a seminal book in game studies.

And his premise is this. Games arent merely a pastime. They connect us in a way that defines our personas, defines the way our communities form, our cultural norms, and even the way that nation states form, if you want to get very profound about it. And were surrounded, too, and attracted by games and the ability to play games with others. And in that sense, all play has meaning.

And so what these quotes really told me was is like, look. Games are really just fundamentally this thing that we do, this fundamental behavior of being human. We create relationships through them. We express ourselves through them.

We come together through them. And if you look closer, theres really good examples in the physical world where games teach us and connect us in unique and interesting ways. So I looked at retirement communities.

For the record, retirement looks awesome. Im reconsidering this whole work thing and skipping to that step. Theyre constantly playing games.

Its card games. Its board games. Its shuffle board. Its bocce ball. You name it.

You can find them playing it. And you could easily dismiss this as theyre just finding a way to pass away time. But its more than that. What theyre doing is is that theyre finding a way to connect with each other.

Sometimes, they dont even know who they are. Its a way for people who just are complete strangers to suddenly find a common bond, get acquainted with each other. This is a screenshot here of, or a picture I should say, of something called the Wall Street Freeze Tag event. Its been like 9 or 10 years running.

The people who live in the neighborhood that is Wall Street in New York, they get together, and they go outside, and they have a freeze tag game. And if youve been in the Northeastern United States, you know that in the winter it gets kind of cold. And so heres an example of games that bring together groups of people to do seemingly inane things, and somehow has the power of drawing them together. The MIT annual mystery hunt is a little bit legendary. Its been running since 1981.

It attracts about 2, 000 students annually across 150 teams. And what they do is they have these puzzles that give them clues that come in sequence that allow them to discover a coin thats hidden around campus. And your reward for solving all the puzzles and finding the coin is you get to write the puzzles for the next years team. And thats it.

And what I love about this chart is it just shows like the intensity, the velocity of all these people wanting to pursue and accomplish those goals and to try to attain something that can be proud of. And I have to bring up the World Cup. If you havent been inside of a stadium with 100, 000 people, I promise you its the most exhilarating experience youve ever had.

And its not just because youre watching and rooting for your team. Hopefully, your team. won. If your team didnt win, then I refer you to the retirement slide, Italy. But the idea here is that youre not just there to root for the team.

You get drawn in to the fact that theres so many people of a like mind, bringing this community of people together in a common bond. And so all of these experiences really just boil down to this. At their best, games bring us together. And article games, to be fair, have been good at this. We can find moments in article game history where were brought together through meaningful interactions.

Theres arcades of old. Theres the modern equivalent of barcades, where a genius said, if I combine alcohol with arcades, Ill have a business. And then theres the living room multiplayer.

We remember games like GoldenEye and current games like, lets say, Mario Cart. And they have the intent and the ability to bring people together in a very small ways. And of course, MMORPGs, which when you play some of these, you sometimes wonder, hey. Im just really in a chat room. And theres this game thing I do on the side, sometimes.

And so if we accept the idea that games are better when were playing together, the question is is can the environment we currently have change. Do we have the conditions necessary to relive and create all of those experiences that I just showed in the physical world? And to me, I think the answer is yes. Because Android and Google Play represent one of the greatest opportunities for us to reach people through our games. So I want you to consider this.

Yesterday, you heard that theres one billion active Android users. Thats not total. Thats 30 day actives.

Thats a lot of people. And three in four of those users are playing games. When you do the table napkin math on that, that might be the largest group of people playing games on any platform ever created. What we also talked about was Google Play Games growing at a tremendous clip.

This is our game network for Android iOS and the web. And we announced yesterday that we added 100 million new users in the past six months. That makes this game network the fastest growing mobile game network ever. With an ecosystem this large, though, you need something like Play Games thats going to connect these users together.

And Ill take a moment to thank the developers that have gotten us to this point by integrating Play Games and bringing people together through the games services that we offer. Were seeing great results from titles implementing achievements, leader boards, cross screen cloud saves, and social features, like multiplayer and game gifts. And well talk about some of the new services in a moment and how they do play into that. So those stats are impressive. And game services are showing promise for a lot of the games that integrate them.

But what this really means is this. You have so many people playing games with these devices that are ubiquitous in your pocket, capable of playing, reaching incredible experiences and entertainment. And you have cloud services that get you global reach. This is the time for us to make games social again.

We believe that games at their best bring people together. And the conditions and opportunity to do so are right now. Now thats an easy call to action to say. But you have to consider, OK, well, theres nothing magical about a platform and the number of people.

There has to be a reason. There has to be kind of a system in which the way you think about it. So I realize that one way to look at this is you can dissect the way that all of these games kind of take design approaches for reaching people and bringing them together.

And they do so roughly in these three buckets. The first is creating new relationships. We help people directly engage each other in games. And we bring groups of people and this nucleus of people together to play together. We also help people express themselves through games.

We feel good when we become competent at a task or when were achieving certain goals. And we want to represent that self to others. And the last is we can build a sense of belonging. So many people find better motivation through passive forms of social interaction.

And games help people identify with and get accepted by a community of people of like mind. So I want to step through each of these and talk about some stories of where I think weve been effective at this in the industry and talk about how Play Games helps you get there. So Ill go back to board games because I mentioned them earlier, and more specifically, the board game groups that you see today. I think many people will think of the heyday of the golden age of board games, the Monopolies, the Scrabbles, or maybe later, the Settlers of Catan, or in my household, I guess it would be Candy Land.

Queen Frostine is a big deal. But the idea here is that article games had an intent to capture the spotlight. And when you dig a little deeper, you realize that theres tons of these board games groups that are out there that are thriving. This is a screen shot from meetup.com. This group here that brings together all these board game groups has 308, 000 members in 42 countries.

Thats a lot of people. And when you look at the things that people say and kind of the group names that are out there, youre seeing friends and family playing. But youre also seeing complete strangers coming together through this medium.

Even this one actual group name that I pulled out says extremely shy, looking for friends. If youre consider to be an introvert, this would be an incredibly– an open invitation to just start playing with others and being an ice breaker for you. But board games dont just do this because of just groups.

Games are effective at this because what they do is theyre in the business of simulating social bonds. And what I mean by this is that we remove the risks, so competition and cooperation in an environment where its safe to be wrong or just to fail. For example, we can create low risk competition and trade offs between people who dont even know each other. Or if you and I are playing a strategy game, theres a reason for us to collaborate, perhaps form an alliance.

And thats a way to kind of break the ice and have two people who dont necessarily know each other start to build a relationship. And the best part is if youre really great this, the experience is a little different every time. And that brings you back and encourages you to keep playing. A phenomenon thats going on right now is this phrase called phygital.

If you havent figured this one out, its physical meets digital board games. And whats really interesting about these is these are basically hybrid board games. They take a physical board. But what they do is they have gameplay assistance through mobile devices.

The screenshots that you see up here for an upcoming game. I think it was a Kickstarter project called . What they do here is really clever. Board games, particularly the ones with miniatures, can have very complicated rules.

You might spend two or three hours just teaching somebody how to play. And by then, everybodys bored. But whats great is the tablet acts as the referee. It knows all the rules.

It knows how to take turns. It directs and guides what people will do next. Theres a little bit of a renaissance here going on in the way that the physical world meets the digital. And when I read what players are saying about these games, its very encouraging.

I hear quotes like I can focus on my friends and not on the board. Or there was another memorable one. The guys saying like, hey, I can see my girlfriend and I playing this every night, and which is a testament to how accessible a complicated game can be for a larger audience. And so this hybrid experience creates that nucleus, the small nucleus of players.

And its a great example of how games will continue to bring groups of people together. I want to go back to arcades, as well. The original arcades– I guess Im old enough now to kind of reminisce about this– is that in North America, particularly, they were cultural hangout of sorts. Friends and strangers would engage in games. It was a relatively simple way for people to hangout and all ages have fun and without spending too much money.

And Ill tell you a personal story of mine. It was in an arcade. I was eight years old.

I played a game called Duck Hunt. And for those of you who remember Duck Hunt, it was a light game. You shot cartoon ducks. No ducks were harmed in the making of that game, Im sure.

And yes, games were violent back then, too. And I was particularly good at this game. I popped in one quarter, and I just kept playing.

And I wasnt losing. I just kept knocking them all down and incrementing every level. And I got to a point where Im like, Im at like level 92. I wonder if it will go to level 100. And I just kept playing, playing, playing, playing.

And I got to level 99, passed it, expecting it to get to level 100. And to my dismay, they didnt think there was a level 100. It actually just stayed at level 99. The guy didnt code it to have a third digit.

And so I gave up. I handed the light gun to a guy who was sitting or standing next to me, rather. And I turned around.

And as an eight-year-old kid, theres a group of 40 people who had been watching me the entire time, this kid thats just cleaning up Duck Hunt, like its nobodys business. And for an eight-year-old kid getting high fives from random strangers, right, and getting cheers, thats a really cool moment. Right? And that was impossible without the way that arcades are set up, because you have friends and your have strangers who are playing together.

Youre kind of co-located. The pattern is theres this nucleus of people who love playing games, and you have the freedom to connect with people in that type of environment. You can meet anybody as long as you have similar interests. And you make friends in return, and experiences that, well, you can apparently tell everybody for the rest of your life.

A game that I think is particularly good at this, simulating that pattern, is one called Ingress. This is made by Niantic Labs. Its a science fiction theme game, massively multiplayer game, using location and augmented reality. Thats a lot of buzz words. Basically, you choose a faction, the Enlightened and the Resistance, and you try to capture these portals by visiting them with your device and visiting these points of interest, which are basically landmarks in the real world.

And as a team captures a set of portals, which you can see by these different dots, you create more surface area and connect them for what your faction controls. You can see here on the screen shot. The green teams got this amount of surface area covered.

Now, one day they zoomed out 100x and the saw this. The green team has this really bizarre and massive surface area. This is covering virtually the entire state of California. But the bizarre part is in the Northeast corner there, that triangle, thats in the middle of the desert. Theres no cell signal out there.

How do you capture something like a point of interest without a cell signal? So the opposing faction rightfully complained and said, look. Theres no way that anybody did this.

They must be hacking it. So the Niantic Labs team investigated this. And it turns out it was actually real.

What happened was is that those people from that faction decided to rent a portable cell tower– dead serious. They spend a few thousand dollars. They drove it all the way out into the Nevada desert. They set it up, popped open the game, captured whatever the point of interest was out there. And this is the part that I love.

They took the cell tower down, so now nobody can go back there and recapture the portal. That was really clever. And so I use this story because Ingress demonstrates like how– what theyre doing, really, is that this is a set of people who are friends or maybe people who are just brought together in this simulated social bond using article games in all of these ways that I described earlier. And its encouraging to see that alive and well. So let me take a step and talk about relationships and what Play Games does to help us build those.

If you remember the 90s like I do you, you remember really bad dance music, feel-good group sitcoms, and game called NBA Jam. And if youve played it on mobile– and you should– youll remember that you missed it. It uses the Play Games multiplayer system to connect users and friends in real-time play with all of the excitement of the arcade.

What they take advantage of, though, thats really great is something we call auto matching. And auto matching accesses the hidden social graph of your game. These are people who are playing right now. So that way, theres always somebody to play with. So it really has that pattern of creating the nucleus of players that are always there.

And so whether its strangers or friends, its a wildly fun experience. Our multiplayer system accesses your social graph. We rank and sort it based on active players or players youve played with recently.

It comes in real-time and turn-based multiplayer forms, and we handle the notifications and turns for you and handle all the hard problems like punching through NATs and creating peer-to-peer sessions when it comes to real-time play. If youre interested in a very good example of a turn-based multiplayer game, its 1941 Frozen Front by HandyGames. I recommend you try it out, especially if you like strategy games. And quick, I mention here too, is for turn-based multiplayer, were adding it to our Play Games C SDK which will be supported by, which will make it even easier for you to implement multiplayer in your title if youre still making games in native code.

Another game Ill point out is Quizup. Quizup takes great advantage of our achievements in leader boards. The game encourages you to answer trivia questions with strangers and friends.

And leader boards, for those of you who are a longtime game designers, tried and true way of fostering competitions by extending your game play. And people try to beat each others best scores. Whats great about our social leader boards, though, is Im never going to be number one in the Quizup worldwide leader board. But I can apparently be number three amongst my friends. And if Im really excited about the game, Ill invite them along, so I try to get the number one.

Another service that we launched recently was Game Gifts. This is Eternity Warriors 3 by Glu Mobile– MMORPG hack and slash type of game, really fun experience. Basically, Game Gifts is designed for games that want more lighter weight social interactions. Youre not going to find everybody whos willing to sit down and play a real-time multiplayer game. But you could convince them to just do a very simple in and out social interaction with a high degree of reward.

In this case, they use it to send potions. They give your friends an edge with some set of limits each day. And sending gifts works a lot of the ways that multiplayer does today. You can use the same social graph. You get your game discovered in the process.

But Ill explain the mechanics of this in a little more depth. You can think of it in three phases. The Game Gift service pops open in Intent, the gift intent that players use to choose up to eight people to send basically a blob of data that represented this in-game object, like a potion or a free life. And when you send it to friends, well store it on our servers for several days while your friends decide what they want to do with it.

The receivers, those friends, get notified based on their notification settings. If they have set you up as a priority notification, itll buzz the phone, and theyll get into the game. And if its an unsolicited notification, then itll show up silently in the shade. Finally, when the receivers ready to consume the gift, they open it up in the Play Games Inbox or the Play Games App, and it will launch your game. And as with multiplayer, if the receiver doesnt have the game, it will redirect them to the Play Store, so they can acquire.

And so if youre in the business of getting incremental installs, this is an acquisition pro-tip for you. I mentioned the Play Games App. This is our consumer experience that kind of aggregates all of this is what your friends are playing and creates that nucleus of player activity that I keep referring to that is so effective. And like the arcade or the common places where people play, like what Ingress does, Play Games gives you a view of what your friends have played recently and creates kind of that community feel, constantly reintroducing you to your friends and seeing what theyre playing. So after youve long stopped playing a game, you can keep up with what your friends are doing, and you can invite them again.

OK, so that covers relationships. The second part of our model here is expression. Expression is a really interesting thing. Games help you motivate us because we accomplish something. And by accomplishing things, it kind of improves our well being.

We express ourselves through accomplishments. We do so through mastery and gaining confidence. And we enjoy sharing that accomplishment with others. And theres a lot of real science behind this. It can be boiled down to this, but its a well-known area of study called self-determination theory.

Im not going to do self-determination theory injustice in two minutes, but Ill tell your story. Harry Harlow is a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin in 1949. And he did a study with primates or monkeys to kind of prove what drives and motivates people, or rather monkeys in this specific case, to complete tasks. And he had this interesting set-up where he took two monkeys, and he put their living space– OK, they were cages– and he put a puzzle inside of the cages. And he noticed a couple things.

One is that he would reset the puzzle every day. And each monkey would go and take the puzzle and then start figuring it out and solve it. And they would consistently do this over and over again. And that didnt really invalidate his experiment.

It just kind of like, oh, thats interesting that they would automatically just be drawn to doing some arbitrary task. And then to set up a variable, what he did is he gave one monkey a treat every time that monkey completed the puzzle every day. And after a time, he took the treat away. And he noticed something really interesting.

The monkey that got the extrinsic reward, the treat, stopped solving the puzzle, because he wasnt getting the treat. But the other monkey that was left as the control continued to solve the puzzle every day, as long as he reset it. So what was really interesting here is that the unrewarded monkey found the act of completing the puzzle alone satisfying. Later, this was proved with humans.

Theres something called the over-justification effect. And what it shows us is that the act and the satisfaction of accomplishing something, in gaining mastery, is something that were drawn into. And game design, really good game design, takes advantage of this in really deep ways.

But expression goes deeper than accomplishment. Theres also the desire to express oneself or even escape through a persona. Theres tons of research on MMORPGs that show how people grow attached to their online personas and avatars, showing sense of identity and relationship with the characters that you create and as you interact with others. So I went on to the role-playing section on Google Play, the Google Play Store. And I was thinking of well-worn fantasy in medieval titles.

And it turns out theres a lot of other ways to role-play too. So theres games like Knights N Squires, here, or at the bottom, Star Girl Beauty Queen, which is now my personal favorite. And role-playing is partially really about expressing yourself through personification. What I love about these games is it shows like whether age or gender, everybody kind of gets attracted into like the doll house effect of these games.

And its a way for people to kind of escape from everyday life. And while Im talking about expression, Ill splice this one in. Sometimes you just play games to blow off some steam. This is best demonstrated by this Japanese table flipping game.

Maybe well get some audio here. No? Audio? Here we go. -Rack up the points. -You see shes beating the table, supposedly getting angry. -Get ready. -Why didnt you get the woman? -Oh, you missed, you missed the mom. OK, so table flipping isnt for everybody.

But I think whats important here is that games have a variety of ways of helping people express themselves, either in very personal ways, or as it were, very inane ways. Play Games has a number of tools that help you tap into that sense of accomplishment, help people express themselves to others. And we provide a platform in which you can do it. The great thing about achievements, for example, is they inform your players of the depth of your game that otherwise you wouldnt have discovered.

When I finish playing a game like Hitman GO and Ive completed all the levels, but these achievements give me hints. Theyre almost like a guideline of what else I can do in the game. And they cause me to play the game differently. They cause me to play it longer in an effort to explore and complete all the content.

And in return, weve seen game developers see pretty significant bumps in day over day engagement through great achievement design. And exposing that information at a platform level is a way that we draw people back in through the Play Games platform. Talking about Google Play Games right now is we now show the world what type of player you are through our new game profile. The game profile is where you earn points in a level and vanity titles from unlocking achievements.

And so through your play, your profile evolves. You saw this yesterday in the keynote. The closer look at my profile here is you can see my profile picture there with my level and the number experience and points that I need to get to the next level.

And lets face it. Who doesnt like leveling up? Theres a breakdown of the genres that I play, which I found really interesting when this first came live. I didnt think of myself as a puzzle game player.

But it turns out when you look at the games that I play, that is the type of gamer I am. And if I look ahead, I can compare my profile to other friends. And they may be an action game player or they may play a lot of music games.

And that gives me an invitation to talk to my friends and something to compare with. And as a developer, you can go to Google Play Developer Console today. If you have achievements, you can edit the maximum 1, 000 experience points that you can give out across all of your achievements. Theres no update to your game necessary to help players engage in this type of experience. I mentioned comparing to friends, so this is my friend Tom.

And here I can see all the different games that hes played in different genres. And I can kind of see that oh, hes this really cool arcade player. And he loves playing those types of games. And thats how hes gotten to a higher level than I have.

And for the more competitive, it allows you compare that progress amongst the different genres. We also announced a new service called Saved Games. This help you stay connected with users by storing their saved progress visually and showing it off. The best part about this is its not just about storing blobs. You can store many blobs.

Its powered by Drive. Theyre up to three megs in size. And players will never have to play level one again in your game across any screen.

But what we can also allow you to do now is give us a screen shot or cover image and description and time played. And we expose those in the Play Games experiences. And so if I go on vacation, and I forgot that Im playing a game like Leos Fortune at the top there, Ill pop open my app, and Ill be like, oh yeah, thats right.

I did leave off at a level three. And I remember loving that game. And Im going to continue to play it now.

So it really acts as a digital bookmark, attracting players to come back to your game. And we think its a neat little retention tool. OK, and last, but certainly not least, Im going to talk about building a sense of belonging. Perhaps the best story I can tell here is through the game High School Story, from Pixelberry Studios. Theyre here in the Bay Area and decided that theyd take a strong position on building a feeling of belonging through game design.

This game here, High School Story, started with the notion that growing up in high school years is hard. And fitting in is a general problem for all. And theres a very powerful story by creating a sense of belonging here and helping with the issue of cyberbullying.

And this story is really best told by their CEO, Oliver Miao. -We designed High School Story to be about a group of misfits who dont always fit in at their old high school, and theyve come together to design their dream high school. Because of our story line, we have a lot of players whove told us that the game has given them more self confidence or the ability to feel like they can just be themselves. And so its messages like that that really have encouraged us to continue with these type of story lines.

But we were really shocked when we had a message from a player that was much more serious. We had a player reach out to us via our in-game support. And she told us that she was planning to kill herself. We were surprised, shocked, and scared.

We didnt know what to do. We called the suicide prevention hotline. And based on their advice, we urged her to get professional help. But we also let her know that we were there to listen to her. And over time, after exchange messages with her for about a week, she told us that she was finally getting professional help and that it was because of our game that she was still there.

That incident showed us the power of the game and how when players feel connected to a game and to a community, it can make a real difference in their lives. After that, we partnered with the Cybersmile Foundation to create a special cyberbullying story line that teachers players what to do if they or their friends are being bullied. Players also are given links to Cybersmile. And if they have questions, directly from within the game, theyre connected to Cybersmile counselors.

As a result, every week, over 100 of our players get in touch with Cybersmile. These are players who are often being bullied, sometimes self-hurting, or even thinking about suicide. In fact, they shared with us a story about a player who was on a rooftop, and they were able to talk the player down, get them in touch with their parents, and help get their life back on track. Those type of stories are amazing to us.

We started our game thinking that we have a great source of entertainment for players, and if we could, we could help build some community. But knowing that our game has been involved in saving lives, helping people have self confidence, and connecting them to their parents and their friends has been really inspiration to us. So thats a deep topic.

Not every game can claim that they tangibly help people to save themselves from themselves. And whats really fantastic about what Pixelberry Studios is doing is helping raise awareness with their players and recognizing the damage that cyberbullying has on peoples lives. And for those individuals, this games been able to give them that sense that theres somebody out there. It gives them that feeling of belonging.

It helped encourage them to reach out in an environment where they may have otherwise not chosen to. But this isnt just merely because they decided to make a game called High School Story. Its really because their design goals are the reason why they became effective at this.

And so when you look at the things that they took into account and talk to them about their game design objectives, they take into account race and gender and, of course, the anti-bullying message that you heard earlier. So players identify with characters of apparent different ethnic backgrounds. Other players are happy to see no restrictions on dating and relationships in the game, even between genders. And so this goal carriers today as they update the game.

To give you an idea of what theyre up to next, theyre going to have this update to create a screen shot about an upcoming feature where they raise awareness of regional and world events and by asking players trivia questions that indirectly inform them of potentially serious issues and things to be in touch with. And so theyre kind of shifting away from not just the immediate locale of building a community, but engaging a world community. So lets talk about Play Games and what it means to build a sense of belonging. We launched this feature that we call Quests. And its acknowledging that many highly successful games know how to build and engage a vibrant community of players.

And sometimes this takes the form of a weekend challenge to find rare objects. Or in the case of Pixelberry, theyll progress their story through a set of in-game objectives for a period of time. But running these timed events is actually tricky for developers.

And we thought our game services would help. So Quests is a set of APIs that allow you to run these time-based events for your players and reward them without needing to update your game. To do this, developers send us in-game activity data whenever a player successfully accomplishes something in the game, like completing a level, killing an alien, saving a rare black sheep.

This tells Quests whats going on in the game. And developers can use that game activity to create these new quests and run these quests on a regular basis as players achieve the goals. We think its going to be a fantastic tool for re-engagement and retention. And Ill take you through a little bit, very quickly, how it works.

First, we start by using our events API and defining events of in-game activities inside of the Play Developer Console. So lets say its a pirate game, and its the number of treasures youve discovered in the game. You integrate the events in your game and our Quests listener.

And signed-in players start sending signals of that in-game activity. You can then use the Developer Console to monitor which activities are being used. So lets pretend for a moment that this treasure mechanic in my pirate game is actually pretty popular and that everybody loves discovering hidden treasure. So I can go into the Play Developer Console, and I can define a quest.

I can use treasures, the events that are being sent to me, as the criteria for completing the quest. So for example, I can create a find 50 treasures this weekend game super secret awesome reward for your trouble. And I publish it. And as players go through that and accept the quest and go through that activity in your game, we automatically aggregate the criteria that you defined in your quest and describe to your game when somebody has accomplished the goal, or whether times up and they have it.

And well send a unique reward code, so you can design your game to reward those users every time they complete a quest. The beauty of this design is you can continue to run Quests without updating your game because its entirely data driven. And were really excited to see whats going on here and what you will do with Quests when it launches in a couple weeks. And those experiences for Quests will show up in the Play Games App by showing players which quests are available for your game and notify them for quests that are about to expire and call them back.

While were talking on the topic of gender and designing towards certain types of demographics, Ill mention our game statistics. When you integrate Play Games into your title, you get access to player activity engagement statistics, just through by virtue of having people sign in. And so we recently updated are stats to include demographic information. You can get a sense of what the ratio of gender is in your game, what countries are the most active, and what age ranges youre attracting.

So if youre accomplishing your design goals and getting out to a certain type of audience, this is a great way to confirm that and tune your updates towards those players. So that brings me to the end of this talk. And so games, at the end of the day, are really about creating these positive moments. I know with your creativity and game design savvy, Google Play Games will help you find the means to connect with users through these tools, creating new relationships, helping people express themselves, and building belonging between people. And this is the set of tools I encourage you to look at when the docs get published in a couple weeks.

Saves Games and Quests rolls out with the next set of Play services, along with our Play Games App. And remember this. Its almost like everybodys playing games now.

You have these ubiquitous devices in your pocket and Android and Google Play have helped create an environment where this as possible. At their best, games bring us together. And mobile games can be great at this again. So my ask to you is go forth and make your games social again.

If you want some resources on Google Play Games, you can find them here. This Is a great time to take a screen shot of the QRcode. And with that, I thank you for your time. Ill be taking–

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