Publishing to the Google Play Store

we have arrived at the fateful moment of the publication on the google play store. I don’t deny that it was an interesting undertaking.

Let’s start by saying that from now on the usual “.apk” files are no longer accepted so you have to switch to the new format that is called App Bundle and their extension becomes “.aab”.

But let’s go in order and see everything you need to make a Unity build for android.

Installation
Let’s start with the installation of Unity, this step is essential to simplify your future work. When you install Unity for the first time or a new version you’re asked if you want to add additional packages to your version of Unity, mainly kits to switch platforms and make builds of your projects for specific devices, consoles, and platforms.

For me in this case is essential to Android Build Support because it will add three essential components to create the builds, namely Software Development Kit [SDK], Native Development Kit [NDK], and the open-source version of the Java Development Kit [OpenJDK].

The next point concerns the switch of the platform. In the build settings, you have to select the platform for which you want to build and go to select the “Switch Platform” button.

Now that I have created and tested the game I can start preparing the official build.
To do this always from the panel of builds we can open the Player Settings, alternatively, just go to Edit>Project Settings>Player.

We start by adding the icon of our application, the name of the game, the name of the company, and the version of the project.

Let’s move on to the other items:

Icon: no other changes are needed
Resolution and Presentation: here I have to define how my app is displayed if it can be in landscape or portrait or both.
Splash Image: It is used to organize the splash screen at the start of the application, you can add your logo or those of the technologies used. To remove those of Unity but you must have a license of Unity linked to your account.
Other Settings: Here we have to start changing some parameters. If we have changed the name of the game and the company, the package name will be formed here and it will be of the type “com.CompanyName.GameName”.
Immediately below is the request for the API level, the new policies of the Google Play Store do not accept API levels below 30, then under “Minimum API Level” I leave everything unchanged but in the field “Target API level” I select “Android 11 API level 30”.

Player Settings>Other Settings section

Let’s go to the Configuration section here we must change the backend scripting from “Mono” to “IL2CPP” and the API Compatibility Level to version “.NET 4.x”.
Finally, we go to add the ARMv7 and ARM64 Target Architectures.
Publishing Settings: this is where we’re going to generate the key that will make our application unique, it’s also essential not to lose it and save the passwords otherwise you won’t be able to update the app.
XR Settings: no other changes are needed

Create a Keystore

In order to publish a game, it is necessary to create this key that will act as a signature of the application and will allow us to modify it later.
To create a new key the procedure is quite simple, you must click on “Keystore Manager” and in the new panel that opens the dropdown menu “Keystore” and select “create new”.

Choose where to save it and then start filling in the required data.

The next time you will only need to select the key in the location where you saved it and enter the password and is a mandatory step to be able to do the build from now on.

Let’s do the build
Let’s go back to our Build Weeks and get ready to do the build, but before that, we need to fix two more things, we need to create an Environment Variable that calls our OpenJDK to update the API level. And add a package that serves to resolve certain conflicts in case they arise during the build.

JAVA_HOME
this step provides to add a system environment variable that allows you to operate the OpenJDK with permissions. To do this you must first find the path where it was installed. To do this just go to Edit>Preferences>External Tools. Here you will find all the paths of SDK, NDK, and OpenJDK select “Copy Path”.

Now we have to go to windows settings and if we start typing the word “Environments” in the search bar we will immediately find what we are looking for.

In the “System Properties” panel we click on the “Environment Variables” button and we should have a screen similar to this one.

Select the item new under System Variables and enter the name JAVA_HOME and the path that we saved before.

External Dependency Manager for Unity

this procedure is much faster we have to install a package but we will need to use it ONLY in case of unity errors during compilation.
Just go to the page of Google API for Unity, I leave the link HERE.
Download the package External Dependency Manager for Unity that we will find under the heading tools at the bottom and import it into our project.
After it has finished compiling all the scripts we will find a new entry under Assets

use this option only in case of a build error

Finally, we can make our build, check the “Build App Bundle” and proceed with the Build button.

Google Play Console

I’ll skip the registration part since it’s very straightforward you’ll be asked for your data and to enter a payment method that you’ll need to do to proceed.
After the initial configurations as a developer, I can finally access the Console.

sorry it is in Italian

Here you will have to select “Create App” and start a series of questionnaires about your application.
Following all the points you should create your store page, say if you use Ads, define the target age of your application, etc...
When you’re done, upload the build you generated and wait for it to load.

Once everything is done, your app will be put into review and then, if there are no problems, it will be uploaded.

Enjoy

project manager by day, unity developer by night