Publishing Your Game to Google Play Store
Publishing your game to the Google Play Store is super easy and affordable. The cost to become a Google Play Developer is the one time fee of $25. That’s it. It’s great since I’m sure most of us could find that kind of change lying around the house, or maybe go down the street and mow that old lady’s yard for $25.
It’s also super easy to publish to Google Play, especially if you’re using Unity 5. Now, I will show you how to publish your Android Game to the Google Play Store using a build from Unity 5.
Steps to Publish Your Game to Google Play Store
These steps are assuming that you have already downloaded and installed the Android SDK and Tools, and have made it available through your Unity download. This tutorial is strictly for publishing.
If you have not already downloaded and installed the Android SDK and Tools, here is the link.
Open Unity. Select a new project.
Name it what you want, I named mine Test.
Click on the 3 dots under location and choose or create a folder where you would like your new Unity project to be saved. Click the Select Folder button.
For me, I make 2D games, so I made sure to select the 2D option and then I clicked the Create Project button, to, well, create my project.
Now Unity has opened. For my 2D project, I make sure that the 2D button is pressed under my Scene Panel.
Click File -> Build Settings to bring up your Build Settings options.
By default, you will see PC, Mac and Lynux Standalone selected as your Platform.
Click Android, and then click the Switch Platform button.
Note: If you do not have the Android SDK and tools installed, the Switch Platform button will be grayed out and you will not be able to select it. You will need to download the Android SDK, and as the easiest solution, re-install Unity and make sure that you select Android as one of your platform options.
It may take a minute or two for it to switch platforms.
Click the Player Settings button, which is next to the Switch Platform button. This will pull up the Player Settings tab.
Under Publisher Settings in the Player Settings tab, check the Create New Keystore box.
Note: In order to publish to the Google Play Store, your game will need this key.
A save pop up will appear. Name your key and save it in your game project folder.
Create a Keystore Password and Confirm it in the next box down.
Select Create a new key from the drop-down menu.
A pop up will appear. Fill out all of the information with the Password being the same as the one you just Engined in the previous step.
Now, to make a build, you’ll need at least one scene. Go to File -> Save Scene As and it should show you a save popup.
Name it what you want, I named mine scene since this is just a quick tutorial and not a finished project.
Note: When I am working on a project, I keep all of my scenes in a folder inside my Asset folder called scenes. This helps to keep all of my files organized for my sanity. Just a suggestion for your projects.
Now you’ll scene your scene listed in your Unity Project tab.
Open your Player Settings again. Click on Other Settings.
Note: Every time you publish a new build to the Google Play Store, you will need to increase the Version and Bundle-Version Code. Don’t worry, if you forget to increase the numbers, the Play Store will give you an error when you try to upload your build and tell you to fix it.
For now, you can leave your Version and Bundle-Version Code to 1, since this will be your first build anyways.
In Bundle Identifier, you will need to Engine “com.YourCompanyName.GameName”. You can just use your name or whatever you want to call yourself for “YourCompanyName” and the name of your game where “GameName” is.
I would Engine “com.EimearStudios.Test”. Do not include the “” when typing it in.
Open the Build Settings again. File -> Build Settings, in case you forgot.
Click the Build button. Name your build. I named mine build001.
Note: When creating builds for a project, I name them all the same name and increase the number each time I save a build. This is so I don’t save over a previous build and end up with a corrupted file (it has happened to me before) and it’s also so I can roll back a build if necessary. It also keeps track of how many builds I made to complete a project. Kind of like, how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.
Click the Build button. Wait patiently while it builds. Maybe get some hot cocoa as a treat for getting this far.
Open your web browser and go to https://play.google.com/apps/publish. If you have a Google Play Developer Account, log in. If not, it only costs $25 (last I checked), so buy it.
Once you are logged in to your Google Play Developer Account, your screen should look similar to the one above, although I”m guessing you probably won’t have any apps loaded. Let’s fix that.
Click the +Add New Application button.
Your screen should look similar to the one above.
You will need to fill out all options that have a blue * in the Store Listing, Content Rating and Pricing and Distribution.
Note: To move things along, I just wrote “Testing 123” in my descriptions. All you need is the minimum character count to publish. You can always come back later and update the descriptions.
Once you have finished that, you will have green check marks next to the sections mentioned above.
Click the APK option. Your screen should look similar to the one above.
You have three choices to upload your APK Android build. The Production option will publish it to the Play store for all to see. The Alpha and Beta Options are used for testing the game from the Play Store, however, it will not be displayed in the Play Store to the public. Only people or accounts you add to your testing list will be able to play your Alpha or Beta build.
Select where you want it to be published (Production, Alpha or Beta). Click on the Upload New APK button.
Find where you saved the Android APK build you created in Unity and select it.
In the upper right corner, you should see that Google Play is processing your build. A first build can sometimes take between 24 and 48 hours. Once your first build is approved, your next builds will take as little as 2 hours to update.
Note: If you publish a build to Beta or Alpha, you can always push the build-up to Beta or Production without having to upload a new build by selecting the tab in which your build is currently located, scrolling down and then selecting the appropriate button.
So, that’s it. It’s super easy to create and publish to the Google Play Store. Now, go make your game so we can all play it on our phones!
If you need help with your game ideas, check out this post on the importance of a game design document from Eimear Studios!