8 Bit Artist sample featuring Real-Time Multiplayer and Nearby Connections

Clone this repo:


  1. 7f49ee1 Merge pull request #2 from claywilkinson/master by Clayton Wilkinson · 6 years ago master
  2. d29b64a Merge branch 'master' of https://github.com/claywilkinson/8bitartist by Clayton Wilkinson · 6 years ago
  3. a540d20 Updating 8 bit Artist to use Play Services 10.2.0 by Clayton Wilkinson · 6 years ago
  4. efe3612 Updating 8 bit Artist to use Play Services 10.2.0 by Clayton Wilkinson · 6 years ago
  5. d264afa README by Sam Stern · 8 years ago

8 Bit Artist

8 Bit Artist is a fully-featured multiplayer game demonstrating the Real-time Multiplayer and Nearby Connections APIs.

Game Summary

8 Bit Artist is a multiplayer drawing game where the artist has very limited resources: 4 colors and 10x10 pixel canvas. The artist is given a word which he/she attempts to draw. It is the job of the other player(s) to guess what is being drawn as fast as possible. Points are awarded for guessing quickly, and players take turns drawing. There are two multiplayer game modes, each with the same gameplay but leveraging a different API:

Real-time Multiplayer Mode ("Online" Mode)

8 Bit Artist can be played with 2-4 players anywhere in the world using the Play Game Services Real-time Multiplayer API. After signing in with your Google account, press the Play Online button to being matchmaking. You can select people you know, or use automatching to find random players that are online. In this mode players can leave the game at any time but you cannot join or re-join a game that is already in progress. This mode also uses the Achievements API, which rewards players for achieving certain in-game milestones.

Nearby Connections Mode ("Party" Mode)

In party mode, you can play 8 Bit Artist against 2+ people with devices connected to the same WiFi network. In this mode there is no need to sign in with Google and there is no server involved. Instead, the devices connect directly over WiFi and send messages to each other over the local network. In this mode the game has a "hop-in, hop-out" experience. One player is the game "host" and initiates the game with the Host Party button. All other players can join the game with the Join Party button. Non-host players can join and leave the game at any time, as long as the host does not end the game their scores are remembered even after a disconnection. There is also no theoretical limit to how many players can join in Nearby Mode, however the UI may not support displaying individual scores for very large numbers of players.

Set Up

The following steps will show you how to import, build, and run this sample app. These instructions assume you want to enable all features of the sample application. If you are only interested in Nearby Connections and not interested in Sign-in with Google, Real-time Multiplayer, or Achievements, you can skip directly to Step #2 (Android Studio).

1 - The Developer Console

First, set up a project and link your app in the Developer Console. For more information, visit:


Make sure to take note of the Package Name and App ID from this step.

Second, create the following five achievements in the Developer Console:

NameIncremental?# of Steps
5 TurnsYes5
10 TurnsYes10
Started a GameNoN/A
Guessed CorrectlyNoN/A
Got One WrongNoN/A

Make sure to record the Achievement ID for each created achievement, you will need them in later steps.

2 - Android Studio

Import the Project

Open Android Studio and click File > Import Project. Select the directory where you cloned the code from this repository.

Modify Ids

First, open AndroidManifest.xml and change the application package name to the package name you used in the Developer Console.

Next, if you completed Step 1 and enabled Play Game Services for this sample, open res/values/ids.xml and replace each instance of REPLACE_ME with the appropriate value. For app_id this is your game's app ID from the Developer Console, and for each of the achievement_* values it is the ID of the achievement you created with the matching name.


Build and run the game. You will need to run the game on a physical Android device with Google Play Services installed. It is recommended to build and run the game from Android Studio, however you can also build manually by running ./gradlew build in the project directory and then installing the resulting application with adb install <APK_LOCATION>.


  • To use Party Mode, your devices must be on the same WiFi network and the network must have multicast enabled.

  • Make sure to sign your apk with the same certificate as the one whose fingerprint you configured on Developer Console, otherwise you will see errors.

  • If you are testing an unpublished game, make sure that the account you intend to sign in with (the account on the test device) is listed as a tester in the project on your Developer Console setup (check the list in the "Testing" section), otherwise the server will act as though your project did not exist and return errors.