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According to Google, the update will be “seeing games being ready to open at least 2 times faster” (thanks, The Verge). The feature to play games whilst they download is part of the Play Asset Delivery (PAD) system, and if games use this system, developers will not even need to do anything to enable it once enabled.
Developers will need to integrate PAD into games, but it will “let Play auto-update your game assets with advanced compression and delta patching”.
PAD works on games larger than 150MB, and “offers flexible delivery modes, auto-updates, compression, and delta patching, and is free to use” Google said. PAD aims to achieve a similar goal to Google’s Play Instant feature, which allowed smaller games to be played before any sort of installation.
This Android 12 feature was revealed as part of the Google for Games Developer Summit 2021, which promises to help developers “catch deep dives full of best practices to help you continue creating great games, connecting with players, and scaling your business”.
Alongside this, Android 12 will give users a new game dashboard that will allow for the extra tools of recording and screen capture.
In other news, Return To Rapture Chapter II, a mod for VR title Half-Life: Alyx, has received a trailer. Expected to release later this year, the mod will feature Big Daddies and Splicers as enemies, whereas the first chapter only included enemies from Half-Life: Alyx.
The first part of the mod was released earlier this year and was solo developed by Wim Buytaert, who now has a team of eight behind them to help with the development of the sequel chapter.
When talking to NME about the original release, Buytaert said: “[BioShock] is the best game I’ve ever played, and I thought it would be a perfect fit for VR.”