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Up Topic General / Help and Questions / Steam Greenlight
- - By scottviger [ca] Date 2016-01-25 22:38
Hello developers,
I'm a fan and i was thinking of a way to help you.
i have a steam greenlight fee licenses and i want to help you get on steam.
i just want to be sure that your are ok with that (be on greelight).
i didn't knew where to put this message..
Please reply to my message at 301scottviger301@gmail.com
Thanks for your answer and don't forget to put all your questions in your reply!
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Parent - - By Newton [de] Date 2016-01-26 00:18
Hey Scott

Yeah, this is the right place to post this, no sweat. We keep the whole development and discussions in the open, there is no package manager working in the shadows ;-)

Wow, that's cool! That'd definitely take care of one hurdle of OC appearing on Steam. However, greenlight has been discussed before. Apart from the fee, another concern was that we have to maintain yet another platform (we were on Desura back then, which was always a hassle) with possibly little visibility because OC is not commercially oriented.

Even though Desura was specially made to include free games as well, it did not feel worth the effort. Steam might be (much much) bigger, but Clonkonaut hat a point there. In my opinion, it is only worth it if we can keep the maintenance work low.

Let's say OC is accepted via Greenlight, do you have an idea what kind of maintenance work will be waiting for us if we want to stay on Steam? (I.e. do we have to integrate Steamworks, do we have to create steam package installers manually?)
Parent - By Newton [de] Date 2016-01-26 00:23

>I.e. do we have to integrate Steamworks


Ah, found out the answer already: No.
Parent - - By Sven2 [us] Date 2016-01-26 01:38

> Please reply to my message at 301scottviger301@gmail.com


Did you send a mail there? Or does the forum send that anyway?
Parent - By Newton [de] Date 2016-01-26 10:21
No and no.
Parent - By Maikel Date 2016-01-26 10:46
It is better to discuss this in the open. Before possibly commencing it is better to have a good plan. Are other open-source games even on steam?
Parent - - By Matthias [de] Date 2016-01-26 11:50
Well to be honest, I'd feel pretty uncomfortable putting OC on steam. As open-source project, its partially a playful construction site where people contribute in irregular intervals. Even quality is a bit wonky at times, but it's fine this way for me (and I bet for most others too), because OC is more project than product. We can and do improve stuff bit by bit at a nice pace and if things go slow, thats not a big deal.
Steam, however, is widely regarded as a platform for products and attracts a community that wants to play the finished game, not build one. So I'm actually opposed to going to greenlight.
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Parent - - By Maikel Date 2016-01-26 11:55
I share this opinion to the extent that we then should be able to use other channels for advertisement of the project. Ultimately we would like to have a player base which exceeds the devs and a few regulars which typically also have at least contributed to the project.
Parent - By Matthias [de] Date 2016-01-26 12:58
Of course. We might also reconsider greenlight in a few years for example, if we feel that the "core game" is polished to a point where we want to actively market it to a broader gaming audience.
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Parent - - By Pyrit Date 2016-01-26 13:03

>Steam, however, is widely regarded as a platform for products and attracts a community that wants to play the finished game, not build one.


Really? What about the ton of unfinished early acces games, or the nth clone of a survive-in-a-forest-game? I think OC has already more to offer than much of the stuff that's on Steam.
Steam is a good way to get more players and contributors and we can't lose anything. There were already many requests for Clonk to go to Steam and now we have an opportunity.
Parent - - By Clonkonaut [de] Date 2016-01-26 13:25

> What about the ton of unfinished early acces games, or the nth clone of a survive-in-a-forest-game?


Those don't really receive high appraisal though. Moreover, I think the presence of such games makes it even harder for OC to go on Steam. People are sensitised to these shitty games being on Steam and even minor flaws can easily make people believe your game is just the same.
Not to mention that on Steam, OC will probably be seen as the nth clone of Terraria.
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Parent - - By Armin [de] Date 2016-01-27 19:32

>OC will probably be seen as the nth clone of Terraria.


Place a "Clonky since 1994" label everywhere!
Parent - By Clonkonaut [de] Date 2016-01-27 19:35
"OpenClonk, Tradition since 1994"
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Parent - By Matthias [de] Date 2016-01-26 14:01
Yeah, that's exactly the point. Look how negative you describe an entire category of games in the steam catalogue. Why throw our game in there? And we do have something to lose: The game's "reputation" if you dare call it so and the pontential to get really good first reviews.
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Parent - - By Newton [de] Date 2016-01-26 15:55
I do not understand this fear of getting bad reviews. So what? If 1000 people play the game through Steam and only 1% of the people does not ditch the game for being too unpolished, buggy or incomplete but like it and want to contribute - is this not already a gain?

The goal of attracting attention to OC is to gain more support and contributions, right? That is our business model. Our target group, from this point of view, are simply not gamers who expect a finished product, but tinkerers and modders like us, who like to play video games, but also like to work on, enhance and experiment with games that have potential.

How else would we attract their attention than by showing presence there? If we presented to the players on Steam a game that feels complete, then we mostly only attract attention of gamers that expect the game to be complete. If we present a game that has potential but is obviously and explicitly described as incomplete, that feels like a playground, then we reach exactly our target group.

Reminds me of the story of the stone soup. The soldiers in the story do not try to create a tasty soup right from the start but act as a catalyst for creating it in an iterative process.
Parent - By Matthias [de] Date 2016-01-26 16:41

>I do not understand this fear of getting bad reviews. So what?


Don't mistake my position: I'm not against making ourselves seen, advertisment or encouraging people to join us. I just think for the game and the current state of development, steam in particular is not the right audience. Steam Greenlight isn't asking "hey do you like this project and want to work with them to get it finished?", it's asking "will you download this game from our platform when it is released" - and ultimately, it's releasing on steam that I fear. If we ever want to make an "entrance" on steam, we only got one shot, at least that is how I percieve it. And I, at least, would be sad if we paid money to get on there, and there were 990 (your other 99%) negative reviews and a big red thumb at our game, just to have us sit there and say "yeah well maybe we should have polished X first".
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Parent - By Matthias [de] Date 2016-01-26 16:54
Just to clarify this, because I just noticed there might be confusion about this: Steam Greenlight does not give you the standard store page to update and share details and get in touch with a community from the main pages. Steam Greenlight, essentially, is like kickstarter for steam games. You run sort of a campaign there with the sole goal of getting "greenlit" - that is to get enough attention to get accepted into the main store (Where you THEN get your page and community boards and stuff). Being a campaign, you have to get a lot of things right to pull this off. If you never did, I recommend reading a few posts from devs who tried and either succeeded or failed at greenlight. There's a totally realistic chance of blowing the first few days where you are visible in the lists and then be pushed back into the void of page 317 of the greenlight projects, never to be seen again.
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Parent - - By Isilkor Date 2016-01-26 17:00

> If 1000 people play the game through Steam and only 1% of the people does not ditch the game for being too unpolished, buggy or incomplete but like it and want to contribute - is this not already a gain?


No actually, because then you have 990 people who, when their friends ask them about this one game that looks nice and like a mixture of Worms and Terraria, will reply "oh yeah, I've seen that on Steam but it's a buggy mess and crashes all the time".
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Parent - - By Newton [de] Date 2016-01-26 17:05
Well, that was an exaggerated example. But anyhow, that's X friends of 990 people who heard something of the game vs 990 people who do not even know that OpenClonk exists.
Parent - By Pyrit Date 2016-01-26 17:47
Parent - - By Clonkonaut [de] Date 2016-01-26 17:16
Is our goal here to actually get on Steam or attract (a small amount of) people's attention through a failed Greenlight campaign? To actually succeed in the campaign, we'd need at least more positive than negative reviews.
As Matthias said, getting on Steam is more or less a oneshot.

> If we present a game that has potential but is obviously and explicitly described as incomplete, that feels like a playground, then we reach exactly our target group.


I agree with Matthias here. Steam isn't that target group. Steam is a platform for gamers, not coders. While there will be coders on Steam, the vast majority of people just want to play things. It's not easy to actually explain these things through Steam (people would have to read the store / campaign page). Even Greenlight isn't designed to work as a hiring platform. You can either enter your game as a finished product or as a concept / new project that needs community feedback. Later, you cannot change the category.
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Parent - - By Newton [de] Date 2016-01-26 23:17
I wasn't aware that Greenlight requires a campaign and is more like Kickstarter than let's say, Desura. Since I do not sense a lot of enthusiasm for Steam, I do not think we can pull it off, at least not now.

But speaking of Desura... My impression was that on Desura, the gamers were very forgiving and well-meaning towards the project. Whether this was a characteristic inherent to that community, I can not say of course. But the simple fact that our game is free (really free) makes people much more forgiving towards unpleasentries in our game, also on Steam. Or perhaps particularly on Steam because it is quite the commercial platform and the gamers are used to pay for everything on there - and if it is free, there must be a catch (-> free to play). This is just a wild assumption of course.

Anyway, most of us here are on Steam, so while the platform itself might not be made for tinkerers, a subset of the users are people who not only like to play games but also make games.

Also, I feel that you guys cling to my grossly exagerated example of "1% of the people will actually like the game" too much. Let me say here, that actually, I find OpenClonk quite playable already with quite a lot of content. We do not constantly have to compare ourselves to the level of content in Clonk Rage, you know.
Parent - By Zapper [de] Date 2016-01-26 23:31

>I find OpenClonk quite playable already with quite a lot of content


I have bought way more broken games on Steam already (broken netplay with lags/desyncs, completely unable to start on windows, ...). OpenClonk is pretty decent already.
Parent - By Clonkonaut [de] Date 2016-01-27 00:10

> Whether this was a characteristic inherent to that community, I can not say of course.


That was my (purely subjective) impression of that platform. It felt like being kind of targeted towards 'other' OS users and OSX / Linux users are actually quite forgiving if a game even attempts to run on their systems. ;)

> Also, I feel that you guys cling to my grossly exagerated example of "1% of the people will actually like the game" too much.


I wasn't trying to. Still, I wanted to point out that for a game to be grenlit, positive reviews should outrank negative ones (so more than 50% positive to begin with).

I totally agree that OC has a lot to offer right now and demands nothing because, yes, it's free! I also don't think that Steam is out of the question per se. Personally, I would like to have at least some more polishing in the game before going on Steam. Currently, gamepad support is out (meh), splitscreen is broken (meh), network save games fuck up (meh). Also, we have just begun with really getting nice content that looks good and starts to fit (still, some of our buildings look disgusting).

> We do not constantly have to compare ourselves to the level of content in Clonk Rage, you know.


I agree!
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Parent - - By PeterW [gb] Date 2016-01-26 20:10 Edited 2016-01-26 20:12
It's not very honest to go into something expecting to waste the time of 99% of people. Especially if Valve is among them. After all, we have no intention to make what they are looking for (games they can sell), so this would be just about abusing their system to gain attention.
Parent - - By Newton [de] Date 2016-01-26 23:22
Whether or not we are wasting Valve's time if we do not sell our game on their platform is something we should leave for Valve to decide. They mention explicitly in their greenlight FAQ that it is possible to release games on Steam that are free.
Parent - By PeterW [gb] Date 2016-01-27 10:09
Hm, okay - I sort-of assumed that the "launching on Steam" part would always mean selling. Reduces it to the "finished" part. *If* we do a Greenlight pitch, I think it shouldn't be for OpenClonk as a project, but for a specific (possible future) OC release.
Parent - - By Sven2 [us] Date 2016-01-26 23:58
I'm with Newton/Zapper here and think it should be fine to release OC on Greenlight. But I also think it should be a more stable version (e.g. maybe 7.2). I don't think we need "more features" for a Greenlight release. You can always release an updated version if you pay again I assume?

The concern I have is that it's a self-contained game and it's relatively hard for players to "get involved". I feel that lots of people are just playing some offline rounds, maybe they like the game, but then they're done. On Steam this would be even worse because there's no direct way for players to get in touch with us.

So I think there should be ways for people to do more from within the game. For example:

1. Players don't know/don't care about our forums. In Mario Maker, after you've played a level, there's always the "comment" and the "star" buttons. You can write something (in Mario Maker you can also paint something :)) and/or you can give a "plus vote" for a level. The comment page loads automatically for anyone in the game evaluation screen and shows the most recent comments. I think it would be cool to have that for our evaluation screens. The comment screen should also be accessible directly from the scenario start dialogue and from the main menu in the game. Comments could be stored in the league DB simply associated by filename.

2. Players don't know that there's editing options. So we should have an Editor button in the main screen that just leads to the scenario selection dialogue. After you selected a scenario, it simply starts in editor mode where people can push around stuff. But I don't think it would be that much work to do. The Editor screen could also contain helpful buttons such as a link directing to the wiki for help or a button you can press to open your user path in the file manager.

Naturally, we'd need to do some minor improvements so our normal editor mode is sufficient to build something simple.
Parent - By Clonkonaut [de] Date 2016-01-27 00:13
Copying the MiiVerse, that's quite something!
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Parent - - By Matthias [de] Date 2016-01-27 02:01
I like the ideas with commenting and rating. But if I had to form my version of an ad-hoc vision of that, I'd actually go even further and allow browsing, downloading and maybe uploading of oc-content directly from the game menu (because if they dont know the forums they dont know the ccan). This discussion could maybe go into a seperate thread?
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Parent - By Sven2 [us] Date 2016-01-27 02:33
Yeah of course that would be cool. But that's a lot of work to implement. Having a bit of web integration for commenting would be relatively low-effort.
Parent - - By Matthias [de] Date 2016-01-27 02:44
Just to be extra sure I want to repeat what I said above: You can't "release on Greenlight". You can submit your game to greenlight (which costs money) and then do one of two things:
* One, orchestrate a campain, tend to the project site, answer questions, look at the messages, advertise the campaign all over social media to get attention where you answer messages again (which is a lorry full of work).
* Two, do nothing and just pray to the lords of kobol that your project gets enough views and isn't pushed out by newer titles too soon and is getting enough thumbs up.
There is no (obvious) rule when you get greenlit, but reading the one or the other article about it suggests they really put a lot of effort in.

We ourselves even lack the possibility to advertise the campaign to a broader range of people because we have no social media following which we could activate. But we could start there: Create a twitter account, link our blog posts there, create a facebook page and use our personal accounts to share them from there. We could do that on each new blog post. I'm positive that this would get us a lot more attention, maybe some subscribers we could activate later and maybe even some hobbyist devs.
And it costs no money. We didn't even update cost-free desura properly, having a nealy invisible project site which costs money will not help.
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Parent - By ala [de] Date 2016-01-27 09:19

>create a facebook page


Shadow did that a year ago - it is about both OC and Clonk Rage though.
It's regularly maintained by shadow (ocassionally by me and scaba) and has about 75 likes. I'd say that's a start :)
Parent - - By ala [de] Date 2016-02-22 11:19
Seeing that this is still valid I'd like to ask one question to all of you:
How far should Clonk evolve before we are confident in taking such a step as submitting it to steam, WiiU or something different. What are the goals we want to achieve before that?
Parent - By Maikel Date 2016-02-22 12:23 Edited 2016-02-22 14:24
I am happy if we have tested and finalized the current control scheme, also for gamepads. Added to that have a set of bug-free scenarios which are fun to play (especially some of the older melees should be redone). The missions should be completed, as well for the tutorials.

Edit: ideally the F-menu is bigger/better and allows to change more things switch controls and even change key assigments.
Parent - By Zapper [de] Date 2016-02-22 13:19
Additionally to what Maikel said, it would be really cool to have some mod-management integration in the fullscreen menu
Parent - By Clonkonaut [de] Date 2016-02-22 15:04 Edited 2016-02-22 15:08
Overall gameplay has improved a lot with 7.0 and the frustation level eased. That's good! It has been mentioned in this thread that Greenlight is a one-time-only chance, so we might not want to blow it.

We should assess what OC has to offer without overly glorifying our efforts (which have been high nonetheless). Right now, OC is a single player game with occasional multiplayer. We offer a couple of hours of single player content. The best way to advertise our game would probably be to stress a little more on that than on multiplayer features. We can't just tell everyone that we offer great multiplayer rounds with super-duper competitive aspects and as soon as you go into the network screen there are 0 games. Furthermore, you cannot simply host one because most likely no one will be able to join (because of ports). However, I have played a few games on Steam that required port forwarding, so that's not a no-go per se.
I think if we really are honest, OC is at first a single player game and being one makes it hard to compete on a platform which focuses on online multiplayer gaming. Not impossible but a little harder. Moreover, a few hours of gameplay isn't great. I don't want to undermine our efforts but really, it's not great. You can argue that OC holds potentially endless hours of fun and while that might be true, coming from a player-only (and not developer) perspective, you can't see that. There is no good way to customise scenarios except the few scenario parameters. Replay value is low. Editing things into scenarios is cumbersome and will feel like unintelligible hacking to a lot of players just because you have to open stuff in text editors.

As I already said, multiplayer isn't our strongest feature. Even worse, coming from a lot of nicely working online games, our multiplayer will appear broken to a lot of people (lags??ß OMFG how can a game with bad graphics lag?). On a platform like Steam, you have zero to no chance to tell people why multiplayer in OC is like it is (and the explanation doesn't make you feel better when your game lags, anyway). Even more worse, some (online) features are simply broken. While runtime join is something you don't necessarily need, multiplayer savegame resumption is something that will be ridiculed. "Online coop" is broken without a save feature. People that are not experienced developers often spend a couple of hours solving some of our missions and forcing them to do it in one go when playing with friends is something they won't understand.

In the past, splitscreen was a unique feature in Clonk. I think, OC could really stand out against other Steam games if local coop was supported. But, as you probably know, it's broken. :(

My personal list of 'Features For Greenlight' would be:

- Working gamepad support
- Working splitscreen support
- Working network savegames
- Possibly thinking about improving single player experience / replay value / playing time
- Nice to have: An easy development tool at least for Windows users that allows for slight scenario modifications
- Nice to have (what Zapper said): Mod-management

Of course, I cannot say if any of these features would turn the odds in our favour or if we might even succeed without them.
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Parent - - By Anonymous [at] Date 2016-08-01 18:05
I do not want to bring up the whole discussion about steam again, but I just noticed that Battle for Wesnoth got greenlit. Maybe you could have an eye on how the wesnoth devs act on the steam plattform? If OpenClonk ever wants to try to get greenlit on steam, one might be able to learn a bit from the experiences of Battle for Wesnoth.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=729138129
http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=44366&sid=948d402b70182e09381a3af452e1c22d

(Personally I am following the development of Clonk since Clonk Planet. OpenClonk looks really good, keep up the good work!)
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Parent - By Clonkonaut [de] Date 2016-08-01 22:14
That's nice. It's good to see a free game like this on Steam. Gives me hope for OC.
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Up Topic General / Help and Questions / Steam Greenlight

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