Android Game Options

This section outlines the different options available to you that control how your Android game projects will be compiled. The different sections are:

 

General

General Android Game Options 1The first part of the General section is dedicated to the Product Information and the Build Settings. You should fill in the Product information, which includes the projects Display Name, its Package information, which consists of a Domain, Company and Product. The package information can only be made up of letters from A-Z and numbers 0-9, with no symbols or other special characters at all, nor should it have uppercase characters. These details will then be used to generate a Package ID with the format "com.company.myappname".

You then need to set the Build Tools as well as the Target, Minimum and Compile SDK versions.

NOTE: There is also an option for the "Support Library" version to use. From GameMaker Studio v2.2.4 and above, this is no longer required and any values used here will be ignored. The setting is maintained for use with legacy projects that require an earlier runtime than 2.2.4.

The Build Tools (and Support Library if required) are used when GameMaker Studio 2 builds your game for the Android target and should be set to appropriate values based on the tools you have installed using Android Studio.

You can select from one of the predefined target settings by clicking on the Pre-populate SDK values to chosen API level button, which will open a list of different APIs to choose from. Selecting any one of them will populate all the SDK files with appropriate values which you can then use or edit as required.

NOTE: You must have installed the appropriate APIs in the Android SDK Manager or through Android Studio for your projects to compile correctly.

Android General Options Part 2

The second part of the General section covers the CPU Architectures to build for, with the following options available (you can select all of them or only those that you require, but note that each one will add to the final size of the compiled apk):

After setting that up you can select the different Orientations that your game can be run on for the best user experience. The available options are:

Finally you have the following miscellaneous options:

You can also set the Android Sleep Margin here. This option is related to reducing stuttering when running your game on specific systems. Basically, if your game is running faster than your room speed GameMaker Studio 2 will "sleep" for the remaining time, but this sleep can be quite inaccurate and you can often end of sleeping for longer than necessary, causing your frame to take longer which causes stuttering. To get around this we can sleep for less time, then sit in a tight loop for the remainder of the time to make it more accurate - although the problem with sitting in a loop is that it causes CPU usage to increase, which in turn can cause your CPU temperatures to rise and your device to use more battery. By default, this value is set to 4, and in 99.99% of the cases you'll be fine with this, but for low end devices or for devices with a lot of background processes running this may not be an ideal solution and a value of 5 up to 10 may be required. Note though that this is very much a device specific configuration and what works on your build device may not be appropriate for another user, and as such if in doubt leave it set to 4.

 

Adaptive Icons

Android Adaptive Icons OptionsAndroid 8.0 (API level 26) introduced adaptive launcher icons for your games, and these icons can display a variety of shapes across different device models. To deal with this, you are required to supply a number of foreground and background images for your icons to be displayed at different sizes. These icon sizes are:

You can supply each forground and background image individually, or you can choose to Generate Icons From File. This means that GameMaker Studio 2 will generate the required icon images from a base (XXXHDPI) file. You need to supply one image each for the foreground and background and then click the button labeled Generate, and the Icons will be created for you. Images should all be in *.png format.

It's important to understand that your adaptive icons may be masked on any given device and so you also have the option to see how they'll look along with these masks from the Preview Adaptive Icons menu:

Android Adaptive Mask PreviewNote that this is simply a preview of how the icon could look with the selected mask, and the setting will not affect how the icons are exported and displayed, as that is up to the device and OS the game will be run on. Also note that these icons are not created for you as part of the image generation done when using the Project Image Generator tool.

 

Graphics

Android Graphics OptionsHere you can change the following details related to how your game will be displayed, with the following options are available:

Finally there is the option to set the size of the texture page. The default (and most compatible) size is 2048x2048, but you can choose from anywhere between 256x256 up to 8192x8192. There is also a button marked Preview which will generate the texture pages for this platform and then open a window so that you can see how they look. This can be very useful if you wish to see how the texture pages are structured and to prevent having texture pages larger (or smaller) than necessary. For more information on texture pages, please see here.

NOTE: Be aware that the larger the size of the texture page, the less compatible your game will be with different browsers and devices.

 

Icons

Android Icons OptionsThis section permits you to add the various Icon images that your project will need for the different store pages and devices. All icon images should be created as 24bit *.png files of the appropriate sizes given.

It is worth noting that GameMaker Studio 2 has a Project Image Generator tool which can be used to automatically create all the images required for all the different target platforms your game is being compiled to. If you use this tool, you should revise the images created to ensure that they are what you require. The tool will generate Icons as well as Images (see the section below).

 

Images

Android Images OptionsHere you can set the Border Colour that will be used as the background for splash screens that are not set to fill the full screen. You can also add Splash Screens to your final game file, for both landscape and portrait modes, which will be shown while the game loads on the device. This screen should be a 24bit *.png file, and is recommended to be the same size as the first room (or view) of your game. If you require that the splash screen be shown for a specific time then you can also set it here from 0 to 10 seconds (the default time of 0 means that it will only show for the duration of the asset loading). You can also set how the splash screen should be displayed from the following options:

Finally you can set the Banner Image for the game on Android TV devices, which is also a 24bit *.png.

 

Packaging

Android Packaging Options

One of the features of using Google Play for your Android games is the ability to licence your games. This means that your games will be controlled by Google so that only people that have downloaded it through their market will be able to play the game, thus avoiding illegal copies of your product from getting distributed.

To activate this function in your game, you must first flag the Enable Google Licensing box and then copy your Public Key into the box labelled Google Licencing Public Key. This licence can be found by going to your Google Play Developers Page and then selecting the game you wish to edit. Once on the game profile page, scroll down to the section titled "Services & APIs" and there you should find the Public key that is needed for this functionality to be enabled.

Once activated, if anyone who is not authorised to posses your game tries to play it, they will be shown a pop-up message box that will inform them that the Licence cannot be found on their device, and then give them the option to retry and test again, or exit the game.

Another feature of Licensing is that your game can then use APK Expansions. This is a way to bypass the 50MB maximum application size imposed by Google Play (and only Google Play). It will create your game in two parts: a small *.apk file and a larger *.zip file which will hold all your games assets, both of which are uploaded to the store. When the user first runs your game, the zip will be downloaded and unpacked. You can find further details of this option here.

Finally, you have the option to prepare the final app package as an Android TV game (you should only tick this if your game conforms to the Android TV guidelines).

 

Permissions

Android Permission OptionsFrom this tab you can change some of the permissions that your game may request within the Android Manifest. GameMaker Studio 2 will allocate permissions automatically as required based on the functions the game uses, however you may find you require a permission for your game that hasn't been correctly assigned (for example, when you use custom extensions) in which case tick the requisite permission box.

The list below outlines those permissions that are available:

NOTE: If you are not sure that you need these, you should probably just leave them un-checked by default and let GameMaker Studio 2 deal with the permissions for your game.

The Android Permissions secton also has an area where you can inject permissions into the Android Application Tags in the Androidmanifest.xml. You can find a full list of available tags from the Android documentation here:

It is worth noting that for target API 28 and above, you will no longer be permitted to use any external web calls using "http" - "https" is required instead - unless you add the following tag:

android:usesCl

 

Social

This section is for enabling different Social features in your Android game. The following options can be chosen: