As my game “Blades of the Righteous” is going to be published soon – I want to write a brief article to sum up the effort of integrating the Steam API into the game that perhaps will comfort the developers that are only planning to do so. When I first got access to Steam, I had some worries and concerns. As I look back, I want to address them once again.
First thing first: If you have worries about “not being able to do it” – don’t. SteamAPI integration itself is very well documented and shown in the video manuals. The DLL file is added. You areliterally guided through every step. I wrote my game in C++ – all I needed to do is include some headers, link Steam static library and put a dll into the release folder. There’s also a video how to upload the build of your game to store. (There’s also a script for that so this one is covered absolutely).
Achievements: Steam provides super-easy system to implement game achievements. You don’t need to do much on your side (just make sure to put the right ‘achievement-complete’ calls in the relevant parts of the game). The persistent variables are also provided by Steam: you can save, for example, the total win count for the player (the Steam handles the saving) that will keep through gaming sessions.
Trade cards: I suggest you implement them, since there are going to be people that will want your game just for the cards (your game will also show when someone filters games by trading card support on Steam). Start preparing those as soon as you get the Steam access. Steam gives you guidelines how you need to format them – talk to your designed and start working. In my case it took 3 days to fill all the requirements (and prepare card-specific images and backgrounds). For card support, you’ll need 6 badges (80×80 each), at least 5 emoticons (each 18×18 and 54×54), 5 cards and 5 backgrounds as rewards (1920×1080).
Same thing goes for shop / backgrounds: ideally, while you program, you need someone to start formatting the media / preparing the logos and images.
You’ll want to get the Steam Store Page out there as soon as possible (something that I failed to do) – so start completing the checklist (you will be provided one). Took me about 2 weeks to do everything. On the side of Steam, it takes them about 4 days to review the store page and cards and approve them.
Don not be lazy and register on Google Analytics: you will be able to include the analytics id for data gathering and extra statistics might always come in handy.
Here’s how the final store page looks like: http://store.steampowered.com/app/421140
So yes, if you are planning to put your game out there – it is going to take some effort, but I can guarantee you that it won’t be that hard. Good luck!