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Diamond Partner Q&A: Google's Mark Mandel has the tools to help you make great games

At GDC 2019, attendees will have the opportunity to interact with an array of sponsors who help fuel the games industry, including our Diamond Partners, whose support plays an integral role to the success of GDC.

To get you a better idea of what Diamond Partner Google is bringing to GDC, we reached out to developer advocate Mark Mandel for a quick chat about what he and his colleagues will be helping devs with on the show floor! You can read our full Q&A with him below: 

Could you please introduce yourself and your role at Google?

Absolutely! My name is Mark Mandel and I'm a developer advocate for Google Cloud, focusing on Gaming.

My job is essentially to be the emissary between Product Management and Engineering at Google Cloud and the game developers who use our products and tools for building multiplayer, connected games, gaming analytic platforms, machine learning in games and more.

Within the gaming industry I'm probably best known for founding the open-source, dedicated game server hosting and scaling platform Agones, that I've been working on for the past year, in collaboration with Ubisoft and several other game studios.

Google's got a lot going on at GDC this year - game servers with Google Cloud, building games for Android, what's a session or technology that you personally are excited about?

Google's definitely got a lot going on at GDC this year. We have the Mobile Developer Day on Monday, Google Cloud has a Cloud Developer Day all day Wednesday, as well as a variety of other sessions happening throughout GDC and at our booth. More announcements are to come, so make sure to sign up for our mailing list, which will keep people up-to-date as we get closer to GDC.

Unsurprisingly, I am very excited for our Google Cloud Developer Day on Wednesday, particularly our sessions around Agones and Open Match.

Not only do I think they are innovative solutions to custom matchmaking and dedicated game server hosting and scaling, I think it's important to note how they've been built transparently, as open-source, in collaboration with other gaming companies, such as Unity and Ubisoft.

Coming from the wider technical community, I've seen how open-source has become the dominant force, which is something we’ve yet to really see mirrored within the games industry. At the same time, as I interact with a variety of game development studios, I see multiple engineering teams building almost identical tools over and over again. Open-source is a fantastic opportunity to collaboratively build stable foundations that we can all use to build bigger and better games in the future, ensuring none of us have to reinvent the wheel yet again.

Google has a track record of building amazing open-source projects and working hand-in-hand with other companies to ensure the project’s success for all involved. Examples such as Tensorflow, Kubernetes and more show our dedication and enthusiasm for open and transparent innovation — and this is just as true when developing backend game solutions. At Google Cloud, we want to support game backends anywhere they want to be run, and that is why open-source is so important to us.

Outside of the Google sessions, I'm delighted to see the multiplayer roundtables return to GDC this year. As the range of online and connected games continues to grow, the dependency that studios will have for engineers who can build and support backend services for those games, will also continue to grow. It's wonderful to see GDC support the advancement of games infrastructure operators and developers who are an integral part of building online, connected games.

What are some of the advantages of bringing together Google's different technology options when making your game? 

Google has a unique, and diverse ecosystem of tools and platforms to help create, connect and scale games. From developing game clients on Android, building game backends on Google Cloud, marketing through Google Play, Google Ads or YouTube, monetizing through Google Admob, or using machine learning on platforms such as Firebase, to magnify the impact of your game — Google has a product that meets your game development needs.

Google also fosters a culture of inclusion and empathy, and that comes through in our engagement with customers as well. We deeply care about making their games successful! I'm regularly told by game studios that one of the main reasons they choose to work with Google is because of the level of engagement and understanding all our support staff — from account managers to engineers — bring to the table.

What kinds of questions should developers come with when they show up at Google's GDC booth?

We love hard problems, so come to the booth with your impossible dreams and difficult game challenges. We would love to work with you and help find solutions.

We also love feedback. If you have ways in which you think our gaming products can be improved, we would love to hear about them.

We look forward to seeing you all at the Game Developers Conference!

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For more details on GDC 2019 visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via FacebookTwitter, or RSS.


Connecting the Global Game Development Community