Some thoughts about getting your game Steam ready..

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namastaii
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Some thoughts about getting your game Steam ready..

#1 Post by namastaii » Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:17 pm

I'm not really going to post this under questions or anything because it isn't important and it's more for conversation purposes.
Anyhow,

~Does anyone have experience putting a game on steam? What are the steps? Do you pay the 100 dollars first and then post content and people vote for it or something right? And once it gets enough thumbs ups then you can post the actual game? How does that work exactly?

~And have any of you used the achievement feature? Would it be best to implement that stuff after the game is done or just implement it as you go (when you're still developing in early stages and such)

~Another thing.. How complicated is it to set up a game that you can update on steam? And is it automatic or ...how does that work? I think someone tried to explain it to me before but I didn't really understand. lol

--

I've also seen a lot of negative comments on Steam games because a lot of the Steam community hates visual novels 'infesting' the site apparently lol That's a little scary.

I assume it'd be a good idea to have a system to update the game instead of uploading a whole new one if your game has a lot of content and you need to improve on or add stuff..

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Re: Some thoughts about getting your game Steam ready..

#2 Post by Zetsubou » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:59 pm

namastaii wrote: ~Does anyone have experience putting a game on steam? What are the steps? Do you pay the 100 dollars first and then post content and people vote for it or something right? And once it gets enough thumbs ups then you can post the actual game? How does that work exactly?
IIRC, it's something like:
-Pay $100 to become a developer
-Enter your financial details, so they know who to pay sales and such to
-Create an entry for your game on greenlight. You'll need screenshots, the game's description, and you'll need to create some promotional images (Valve give you a "capsule" with images of certain sizes which your promotional art should adhere to)
-Once you have your greenlight sorted, you can make it public, and people start voting for it

I didn't handle a lot of the greenlight process for Sickness, so sorry if I've missed something there.
But as for releasing updates and such, that I'm more clear on.
~And have any of you used the achievement feature? Would it be best to implement that stuff after the game is done or just implement it as you go (when you're still developing in early stages and such)
Worry about that after you've been greenlit, but before you release your game.
That way you can test it yourself, and you'll know what's needed.
~Another thing.. How complicated is it to set up a game that you can update on steam? And is it automatic or ...how does that work? I think someone tried to explain it to me before but I didn't really understand. lol
After your game has been approved, you login to partner.steamgames, where you have a list of your games.
Each game will have a checklist of things that need to be done before the game can be released.
This includes creating a depot, adding system requirements, screenshots, etc.

To upload your game, and later updates, you use Steampipe.
There's documentation on partner.steamgames for how to set this up.
Basically you download the tools, extract your game into a certain directory, and modify the available scripts to point to your game and depot.
Then you run the build script and it will upload your game.
You then login to partner.steamgames, go to the depots, select the build to make live, and follow the prompts.

Updates follow the same steps.
You delete the files in your builds directory, replace them with the updated version, then run the build script and set the new build to be live.

It'll all take some time to get your head around, and you shouldn't expect to fully understand any of this until you actually start playing around with the Steam developer dashboard, tools, etc.
But your game won't be visible to the public until you explicitly make it so, and you'll be able to see/test things before then, so don't worry about not getting it right on the first go.

You can also give other people permission to upload builds, change the store listing, etc. for your game, so if you are ever well and truly stuck, that fallback is there.
I assume it'd be a good idea to have a system to update the game instead of uploading a whole new one if your game has a lot of content and you need to improve on or add stuff..
Steampipe is very good about this. Only the files that have changed will be updated.
For example, I have dozens of rpa files of varying sizes.
If I update an image, and that image is compiled into a 10MB rpa file, then only that rpa file will be updated.

You'll be told how big the update is for your users when you go to make a new build live.
It tells you the size of the current build, new build, and the size of the update.
I've also seen a lot of negative comments on Steam games because a lot of the Steam community hates visual novels 'infesting' the site apparently lol That's a little scary.
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Circadian Loop, My Heart Grows Fonder + VN writing commissions

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Re: Some thoughts about getting your game Steam ready..

#3 Post by firecat » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:17 pm

one thing the guy above forgot to tell is that you are legally (USA law) signing a contract. you will take full responsibility in both your reputation as a developer and credit card. any and all actions you take will be blame on you, valve will not help with anything, they are in the business of making money, the only thing you have is a page on their store.
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Re: Some thoughts about getting your game Steam ready..

#4 Post by namastaii » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:59 pm

Thanks a lot :) That was very detailed. I understand better now.
firecat wrote:one thing the guy above forgot to tell is that you are legally (USA law) signing a contract. you will take full responsibility in both your reputation as a developer and credit card. any and all actions you take will be blame on you, valve will not help with anything, they are in the business of making money, the only thing you have is a page on their store.
Noted.

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Re: Some thoughts about getting your game Steam ready..

#5 Post by SundownKid » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:27 pm

namastaii wrote:I'm not really going to post this under questions or anything because it isn't important and it's more for conversation purposes.
Anyhow,

~Does anyone have experience putting a game on steam? What are the steps? Do you pay the 100 dollars first and then post content and people vote for it or something right? And once it gets enough thumbs ups then you can post the actual game? How does that work exactly?

~And have any of you used the achievement feature? Would it be best to implement that stuff after the game is done or just implement it as you go (when you're still developing in early stages and such)

~Another thing.. How complicated is it to set up a game that you can update on steam? And is it automatic or ...how does that work? I think someone tried to explain it to me before but I didn't really understand. lol

--

I've also seen a lot of negative comments on Steam games because a lot of the Steam community hates visual novels 'infesting' the site apparently lol That's a little scary.

I assume it'd be a good idea to have a system to update the game instead of uploading a whole new one if your game has a lot of content and you need to improve on or add stuff..
1) If you dont make a deal with a publisher then you have to pay $100 and go through Greenlight. The upside is that by going through Greenlight you get to keep more of the profit. The downside is that you need to hire a marketer or self-promote your game to pretty much start from scratch with no fanbase. Though Greenlight approval is pretty easy these days.

2) Achievements are fine to implement after the game is done. All it is is adding some lines of code and making the achevements in the control panel.

3) It's easy, you do it using the same process you upload it to Steam with in the first place and the entire thing is automatic.

It has a bit of a learning curve but that's because it has some confusing code stuff you have to wade through. After you watch the documentation it's the same process every time so it's not that hard.

As far as negative comments... well if you are confident in the quality of your game then they shouldn't faze you as they would be unwarranted. The basic fact is that visual novels have sold hundreds of thousands of copies on Steam and they are undisputably games that belong on Steam. If youre not.. maybe you should ask for feedback before releasing on Steam.

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Re: Some thoughts about getting your game Steam ready..

#6 Post by namastaii » Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:11 pm

I'm going to be asking for lots of feedback before I release anything :) I just need to finish up a few things and I plan on posting something that explains everything and has screenshots and what not. I just don't like doing that stuff too early.

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Re: Some thoughts about getting your game Steam ready..

#7 Post by Rossfellow » Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:09 pm

VNs in general, especially ones that have anime aesthetics, tend to be troll magnets. You'll inevitably get those comments going "Weaboo Reading Simulator", but pay those no heed. There's definitely a market in Steam.

Of course, feedback before you release it there is a lot better. Get some playtesters and pass out some demos first, and see if there are glaring issues that need fixing.
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Re: Some thoughts about getting your game Steam ready..

#8 Post by namastaii » Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:18 pm

Well good thing my game isn't very anime-ish then lol

It's more of...a simulation I guess. More game play than actual reading

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Re: Some thoughts about getting your game Steam ready..

#9 Post by gekiganwing » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:10 am

namastaii wrote: It's more of...a simulation I guess. More game play than actual reading
It's good to consider the balance of story and interaction. Think about whether your product will appeal to fans who prefer to enjoy a story with pictures, fans who prefer a constant focus on gameplay, or somewhere in between.
namastaii wrote:Well good thing my game isn't very anime-ish then lol
Your art aesthetic can't appeal to everyone. It will need to appeal to someone. Therefore, consider who will enjoy your drawings. Do you (and your audience) like abstract or realistic 2D drawings? How about 3D polygon art? Retro game sprites? Any other style that you can think of?

Off-topic: If you ask me, "anime-esque" is a vague phrase at best. As I said in the recent past, it can include products as varied as Nobuyuki Fukumoto's recent series such as Akagi, and Junko Mizuno's Cinderalla. Also, for what it's worth, there was once a Fist of the North Star visual novel, and one based on classic Gundam.

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Re: Some thoughts about getting your game Steam ready..

#10 Post by namastaii » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:49 am

It's balanced. It's just not the typical 99% of the time reading except for 5 menu choices like most visual novel games I've played.



In the end, all that really matters is if the people involved in the project like the outcome. The experience is more important to me than who likes my stuff or not honestly.

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