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Releasing games on Steam

Releasing games on Steam
by on (#217762)
HOW IN THE LIVING CABOODLE ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO RELEASE A GAME ON STEAM?!?!?

please?
Re: Releasing games on Steam
by on (#217764)
Here are the steps as I understand it:

  1. Produce a nontrivial, working game for PC.
  2. Provide a way to receive revenue.
  3. Fill out the Steam Direct form and pay the 100 USD fee.

Some of those steps can be broken down further with practical business considerations:

1a. Make sure you can complete the game. You'll need enough money to pay your programmers, artists, composers, and quality control for any game larger in scope than the low-effort "fake games" that have become common on Steam.
1b. Ensure your game works on a wide variety of PCs, with both integrated and discrete GPUs, and all supported versions of Windows (currently 7, 8.1, and 10), as well as at least one of GNU/Linux or macOS. Porting to more than one PC operating system and having a low-detail option help keep your game flexible enough to reach a wide range of devices.
2a. Consider forming an LLC or S corporation. This costs a bit but helps to manage risk in certain scenarios involving errors and omissions. If you go this route, you'll need a bank account and tax ID for your company.

If you're just starting out, you might be able to make up these costs by first selling smaller games on Itch before Steam, as rainwarrior recommended, as Itch has smaller setup fees.


EDIT: Pyramid style (summary up front, then details); remove suggestion to try to publish on PlayStation 4 in parallel
Re: Releasing games on Steam
by on (#217766)
You make a game, you register on steam, you pay the fee and you release it.
Re: Releasing games on Steam
by on (#217781)
tepples wrote:
  1. Save 20,000 USD or more from your day job. You'll need this to begin paying your programmers, artists, composers, and quality control (see step 4) for any game larger in scope than the low-effort "fake games" that have become common on Steam. This may be a substantial hurdle for residents of countries whose currency has an unfavorable exchange rate with the United States dollar; because your profile's Location field contains fiction, I cannot assess how much this might affect you.
  2. Form an LLC or S corporation.
  3. Create a bank account and tax ID for your company.
  4. Ensure your game works on a wide variety of PCs, with both integrated and discrete GPUs, and all supported versions of Windows (currently 7, 8.1, and 10), as well as at least one of GNU/Linux or macOS. Porting to more than one PC operating system and having a low-detail option help keep your game flexible enough to reach devices other than PCs and Xbox One consoles.
  5. Obtain a static IPv4 address for your corporate office. This is usually part of business-class Internet service, and availability of business-class Internet service for a home office varies from place to place. ISPs in some areas aren't set up for working from home.
  6. Follow the steps at Steam Direct.
  7. Follow the steps at PlayStation Partner Registration.

???
Where did all of this come from?

To release a game on steam, there is a small upfront fee, and a relatively small amount of submission approval process to go through.

Literally NONE of these other steps are a requirement (except step 6, which you should read instead of this list). A few of them might be a requirement for becoming a licensed developer for PS4, but that doesn't seem to be the question that was asked.
Re: Releasing games on Steam
by on (#217783)
I thought those steps were implicit in the need to 1. produce a game that's nontrivial (see your post in the previous topic) and 2. receive payment while insulating your personal finances from those of the game. I have written my previous reply in pyramid style.
Re: Releasing games on Steam
by on (#217784)
My comment in that other thread was a response to a different question, which was 100% not "how do I publish a game on Steam."

As a side note, is there some reason your edited posts are exempt from the "edited" marker that everyone else's gets when they edit it?
Re: Releasing games on Steam
by on (#217785)
A post edited before others reply doesn't get the edit date. A post edited by a user who is an administrator doesn't get the edit date. This behavior of phpBB 3 differs from phpBB 2, which always produces an edit date when a user edits his own post even if he is an administrator. I don't know whether this lack of edit date in phpBB 3 kicks in at administrator, global moderator, or just moderator.

Have my edits improved my previous post? Or is it still a mess?
Re: Releasing games on Steam
by on (#217786)
Publishing on itch.io is free and dead easy. Very little to fill out, and no approval process.

Publishing on Steam is only a little bit harder than this. There is more to fill out, and if you want to do things like achievements and trading cards or other integration it's a bit of work but still almost trivial compared to any console submission process.

tepples wrote:
  1. Produce a nontrivial, working game for PC.
  2. Provide a way to receive revenue, and preferably insulate the game's finances from your own in case the worst happens.
  3. Fill out the Steam Direct form and pay the 100 USD fee.


I don't think all of step 1 is required. There are plenty of trivial games on Steam. I think they do run your executable once just to make sure it runs, but there is really very little oversight with this. Step 2 you need a bank account, and some tax info, but that's about it. You don't have to set up a company for it, you can act as a sole proprietorship in your own name and use your personal bank account and tax information. So really, step 3 is the only step worth mentioning IMO, these details are all available there anyway.

If you want to discuss that stuff I said in the other thread that you linked (and then apparently unlinked) I think that's a completely different topic, i.e. publishing on a modern gated console, and the upfront costs of commercial game development (and how Bob took a very wrong approach). BUT STILL even if that was the question, step 1 is still just to make the game. Setting up a corporation or a static IP or saving an arbitrary amount of money etc. is an unimportant detail. All of that can be worked out when you need to, and if you're just starting a game now the specific requirements like that are absolutely going to be different by the time you're finished. Just make the game on a platform you have access to now.