Publishing on Steam - monetization options?

  • I have a C2 game that I want to try publishing on Steam. The game was originally developed for mobile, with interstitial ads and in-app purchases.

    So what monetization options can I use on Steam?

    Can I still show interstitial ads in a PC game, is it common for indie games on Steam?

    Can I offer my game for free with IAPs? Does Steam have its own IAPs system, or should I use some third-party solution (like Paypal)?

  • So what monetization options can I use on Steam?

    Paid game

    Free with microtransactions

    Paid DLC

    Some games also offer a subscription service, but I think that require some special arrangements with Steam

    Can I still show interstitial ads in a PC game, is it common for indie games on Steam?[/quote]

    No, you can't have ads in Steam games, it's against the agreement you have to sign.

    Can I offer my game for free with IAPs? Does Steam have its own IAPs system, or should I use some third-party solution (like Paypal)?

    Yes, you can have IAPs, and yes Steam has it's own system for microtransactions that uses the Steam Wallet.

    You can't use third party payment systems, as again it's against the agreement you have to sign.

    For more details, sign up as a Steam partner and check out the docs: partner.steamgames.com/home

  • Would you need yet another plug in order to use the Steam api aside from what's available from the official plug?

  • OddConfection Thank you for the detailed answer! Is there a C2 plugin that supports microtransactions? The only plugin I found is this one, but it only has two actions - Activate achievement and Activate overlay.

    newt , is that the official plugin you are referring to?

  • Steam4C2 plugin has more features than the Greenworks one. I use the full version myself.

    Full version: scirra.com/store/construct2-plugins/steam4c2-2545

    Basic version: scirra.com/store/construct2-plugins/steam4c2-basic-2546

    Unfortunately there aren't any direct ways to do IAP/microtransactions with the plugin at the moment, but it has been requested and the developers have said it will be added in the future.

    However, if you add items via DLC, you can use the plugin to open the store page for the DLC and/or add the DLC to the cart ready for purchase, all within the Steam overlay.

    Alternatively, you can set up microtransactions on a website using the Steam WebAPI and open that from the game.

  • dop2000

    Yeah Greenworks for C2, and C3.

    OddConfection

    Wasn't aware of the Steam WebAPI. I'm like wtf aren't we using that?

    I mean that's what we do do.

    We don't do C++, we don't do mobile native.

    We do html.

  • Alternatively, you can set up microtransactions on a website using the Steam WebAPI and open that from the game.

    You mean like opening a webpage in an iframe inside the game window? I guess I will also have to make some API calls from the game to retrieve the status of purchases?

    If I choose to sell a DLC pack (say, new levels for the game, just a simple text file), how will my game recognize that the DLC is purchased? Will it be installed in the same directory? Can I simply check if the filename exists in the home directory?

    Sorry if my questions are silly, I have zero experience with all these..

  • dop2000

    > Alternatively, you can set up microtransactions on a website using the Steam WebAPI and open that from the game.

    You mean like opening a webpage in an iframe inside the game window? I guess I will also have to make some API calls from the game to retrieve the status of purchases?

    An iframe or separate window, whatever works best for your game, but you'll need a secure server to send the API calls.

    You would save the results of transactions to the server and then retrieve that data from the server.

    If I choose to sell a DLC pack (say, new levels for the game, just a simple text file), how will my game recognize that the DLC is purchased? Will it be installed in the same directory? Can I simply check if the filename exists in the home directory?

    Steam4C2 has a condition for checking DLC is owned by the player, so you could just include everything in the default build and enable things if DLC ownership is true.

    But, yeah, it could just be a simple text file, that installs to the same directory (you set the path for subdirectories on Steam) and you check that it exists. We actually do it this way for one of the non-Contruct 2 games I've worked on.

    Sorry if my questions are silly, I have zero experience with all these..

    They aren't silly. I'm not hugely experienced with this myself, but I do have access to the Steam documentation and developer boards.

    I probably can't go into much more detail as a lot of Steam stuff is under NDA, but once you're a Steamworks partner and have access to the developer forums there are a lot of more knowledgeable people than me who are happy to help with any specific issues you get stuck on.

    Out of interest, what's the game you're working on? Is it something that could sell without DLC or microtransactions?

    newt

    Wasn't aware of the Steam WebAPI. I'm like wtf aren't we using that?

    I mean that's what we do do.

    We don't do C++, we don't do mobile native.

    We do html.

    You need a secure server to do all the important game related things like transactions, achievements and leaderboards, but yeah it might be a better option for some people.

  • OddConfection Thank you!

    Here is my game, I'm not sure if this is something that will sell well on Steam, but I'm willing to try:

    construct.net/en/forum/construct-2/your-construct-2-creations-23/planet-o-tron-free-demo-releas-136566

  • They should probably just set Steam up to allow for web games.

  • OddConfection Thank you!

    Here is my game, I'm not sure if this is something that will sell well on Steam, but I'm willing to try:

    https://www.construct.net/en/forum/construct-2/your-construct-2-creations-23/planet-o-tron-free-demo-releas-136566

    It's a good looking game, just make sure you do a landscape version and properly adapt it for PC play or your game will be panned as a bad mobile port.

    Average indie games on Steam sell about 50 copies in the first month or they did earlier this year, probably lower now.

    To beat the average, you need to do targeted marketing at your player niche.

    A couple videos worth looking at:

    gdcvault.com/play/1024976/Let-s-Be-Realistic-A

    gdcvault.com/play/1024974/Know-Your-Market-Making-Indie

  • Oh, I didn't think about the screen orientation. Modifying the game for landscape would be an enormous task... Can I keep it in portrait and allow windowed mode only (no fullscreen)?

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  • Most of my games are portrait 450 x 800 ( scale outer ) with an HD 1920 x 1080 layout. And game is set to scroll to 960,540 ( middle of layout). So gameplay happens in a 450 x 800 area in the middle.

    If you have a background that covers the layout and in your case all you need are some extra stars in the background you can allow full screen in landscape mode and it works perfectly fine. All you have to do is create a 450 x 800 colored square guide on the bottom layer, move your stuff into that area, delete the guide layer and you're done. Hopefully that is the case, I don't know the exact setup of you game. If object positions are hard-coded and all that needs to be redone then more work of course

    Basically gameplay stays within that 450 x 800 window in the middle, but it has stuff on each side too to cover the full screen area

  • Oh, I didn't think about the screen orientation. Modifying the game for landscape would be an enormous task... Can I keep it in portrait and allow windowed mode only (no fullscreen)?

    The problem is the trailer and screenshots will show as portrait, and that's what you'll be judged on.

    If you're able to expand the background as BadMario outlined, that will go a long way to seeming more like a PC game.

  • You can also change the background to an image in the index.html.

    That will allow you to not change anything in game but the display window.

    It will still look like a portrait game if you don't get the background just right however.

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