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Steam: Greenlight


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  1. 1. when we shall start presenting TDM on Steam Greenlight?

    • Imediately, classified as the "concept". We will change that on "playable" after going standalone. We need to take advantage of the attention drawn to the greenlight.
    • After going standalone. We dont want to present something that cant be playable at the moment (via Steam).
    • Never. The competition is just too strong.
    • Imediately, classified as the "playable" (DOOM 3 Steam version required). We need to take advantage of the attention drawn to the greenlight.


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TDM ships with two default missions. The Training Mission and St Lucia.

 

Those are "The Dark Mod game".

 

The rest of the mission database is from "the community". Think of them as mods or DLC.

 

I doubt that paradigm is hard to grasp. It's just irksome to ecosystems that rely on adverts.

 

At some point in the future, there may be a larger set of default TDM missions (campaign) which will make

the game vs mods\dlc ratio look more like a conventional game.

 

Maybe the real solution is some sorta banner ad that renders in the mission download screen.

 

And sure, I suppose we could just upload the FM's to Steam itself as long as there's some way to

tell Steam where to install them. It's just a bit of a pain that's all. OTOH, the nice media presentation

you could do with each mission having it's own steam presence would probably gather more attention

that our regular Moddb bumps.

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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Everything that TDM is now is as it should be. Steam isn't being considered in order to change things up, it's just hosting TDM as-is in order to reach a wider audience and give people working on both mod and missions the spotlight they deserve. One concern was, however, that an influx of Steam users would overload the mirrors similar to the period after the mod went Standalone. That would be a reason to include the current mission library in the Steam install, not any sort of problem with the downloader itself. Downloader's fine, works just as well if not better than all level selectors/downloaders in Steam games with level editors. It's sure as shit more efficient than Steam's Workshop: you can select every single FM, go make a coffee and watch some TV and come back with all the game's content on your hard drive, meanwhile on Steam you're having to open and load every single item's page one at a time, clicking subscribe then going back to the list and waiting for it to load all the thumbnails again. Even on fibre it's a nuisance. I'm not saying you ever suggested Steam Workshop, don't get me wrong, I'm just saying that as far as mission downloaders go, TDM has pretty much nailed it.

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If Steamworkshop was that bad, Valve would have changed it already. But apparently it brought $50M to mod makers already, so...

 

You can't be naive and say "we'll use Steam as free platform to gain more users and do whatever we want". There is gotta be a trade off. There are certain things Valve won't let you do, and that's why I suggest reading more about Steamworks (it's a general documentation for Steam, not just Steamworks). There are certain things on Steam people already used to. No need to make negative image just because you unwilling make certain adjustments.

 

Anyhow, if TDM devs can make a list of questions / concerns, I'll ask Valve if it's all ok :)

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If Steamworkshop was that bad, Valve would have changed it already

The fact that Valve didn't changed that system doesn't neccessarely mean it is a good one. If a game is released via Steam, custom contents and mods are normally, too. So you either choose that system or make it in a traditional way, were people download mods seperately and copy them in the respective game folders. And this is, what many modable games do. ETS2, OMSI 2, LS 15 etc... So there are modable games released on steam that do not use Steamworks. And it doesn't do them any harm.

 

And I don't care much on what people expect. They way the in-game downloader works can be simple described on the game page, which should be no deal as it is simple to understand.

 

The idea of using steam is as said to get more publicity, not to adopt to a fouly and not well thought system.

 

 


I would certainly release TDM with only a handful of good maps/missions and then shortly after release the best ones as an update. And then release the rest as a series of updates. But that's just my opinion.

 

Can you explain this a bit further. Which missions are the good ones, and which are those who new players should not see when first playing TDM? And who will be the one to decide upon that.?

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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We have both options. We can bundle all the missions with the core download and push new missions as content updates, or we can continue to bundle just the training mission and St Lucia, and let people use the in game downloader. The people you talk about who can't figure out the in game downloader are not the target audience for this game, to put it mildly.

 

We won't be using steamworks for new missions simply because we won't be getting fm authors to do it that way anyway. It'll continue to be done through this forum. This isn't like skyrim where thousands of people will be making content or mods independently and posting or selling them without us knowing. The chances of someone making a new tdm mission without passing through this forum are nil.

 

We can push new missions as updates or even dlc if we start by bundling everything. That has the advantage that we get an update to give us a bump when new missions come out. There's no question of circumventing Valve's system in a way they'll object to. We're free to add any content to our game that we like, fan created or not. The steamworks system is for fans to publish content for games that doesn't involve the game publisher in any way. We don't need that system, and they already offer dlc and updates as alternative methods for the publisher to offer new content.

 

Lastly, I don't like the idea of starting with only the "best" missions. There is no chance of reaching agreement on what should go on that list, so let's not start the debate. TDM is what it is, and it's pretty good :-)

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Lastly, I don't like the idea of starting with only the "best" missions. There is no chance of reaching agreement on what should go on that list, so let's not start the debate

+100000

Once there's blood in the water ...

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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There are plenty of games available on Steam which use their own downloaders to update. Dungeons and Dragons Online and RIFT are two that I have played, and I have no doubt there are many more.

 

Making use of Steam content distribution servers might still be a good idea to take the load off the TDM-provided ones and/or provide better bandwidth, but there is no need to remove any features from the mod in order to do so (unless that is a specific requirement for Greenlight, in which case — forget it, not happening).

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I just wanted to agree with someone above suggesting to bundle Dark Radient in the package, maybe with a tutorial or a few in the folder too. Just something they can find if they poke around.

 

The whole reason I got in this community at all originally was because Dromed was packaged with T2 and I started playing with the editor before I even knew there was a community for it. Can't hurt to get mappers interested and building early.

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What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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If Steamworkshop was that bad, Valve would have changed it already. But apparently it brought $50M to mod makers already, so...

I suppose by that logic you're a big fan of Fifty Shades of Grey, too? Loading individual pages to click on a button is just categorically inefficient. If you want to unsubscribe from all your mods, there isn't a button to get rid of them all, and they're not usually all stored in convenient .pk4s for you to just delete. TDM's system is as tidy as TES plugins: there's no need for change to it.

Anyhow, if TDM devs can make a list of questions / concerns, I'll ask Valve if it's all ok :)

Already done: they've all been answered. I covered everything both BGS and guys in charge of Greenlight had to ask of one another.

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There are plenty of games available on Steam which use their own downloaders to update. Dungeons and Dragons Online and RIFT are two that I have played, and I have no doubt there are many more.

 

Making use of Steam content distribution servers might still be a good idea to take the load off the TDM-provided ones and/or provide better bandwidth, but there is no need to remove any features from the mod in order to do so (unless that is a specific requirement for Greenlight, in which case — forget it, not happening).

 

There are a few games with their own login systems and by-pass of Steam's in-app purchase, but those games from top publishers that have special agreements. You can't expect to pop up on Steam and do the same as a few mighty can do.

 

Again, do you know how to store content as-is on Steam's servers? I don't. And I suspect it's not possible. The only way I know of is to make use of Steam Workshop feature and package each mission as DLC / mod. Which again, eliminates the downloader.

 

Or you can package all missions and release TDM as normal game that doesn't require any extra external downloads. This way any new missions released will be downloaded using downloader, and since it's not going to be whole a lot of missions, no one will overload your servers. Eventually you can push new missions as an update.

 

Also, I would be surprised if you can't have player browse and read up on already downloaded (the ones that should be bundles with TDM release) missions before playing them.

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There are a few games with their own login systems and by-pass of Steam's in-app purchase, but those games from top publishers that have special agreements. You can't expect to pop up on Steam and do the same as a few mighty can do.

:huh: Where on Earth did you get login systems from? We're talking about whether or not to use the current mirrors and risk an overload on release, or use Steam servers and post newly released FMs as updates.

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:huh: Where on Earth did you get login systems from? We're talking about whether or not to use the current mirrors and risk an overload on release, or use Steam servers and post newly released FMs as updates.

 

I am referring to general attitude some people exposing about unwilling to adjust to what Steam requires. Yes, there are some games that do things non-Steam way, but generally there is a reason behind it and not everyone can do such things on Steam.

 

I already said there is no way to store missions on Steam servers without resorting to Workshop / DLC format (which means you can't use in-game downloader as is).

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I already said there is no way to store missions on Steam servers without resorting to Workshop / DLC format (which means you can't use in-game downloader as is).

But there is. It's entirely possible for it to be released as St Lucia and the training mission. Were somebody to verify their game cache, it would install St Lucia and the training mission. The other option is to include every mission and add new ones via free product updates that change the master copy on Steam for all future installs. Again, very, very simple.

 

Here's a possible scenario. Game installs with the wonderful, sublime, timeless Quinn Co. campaign. Somebody uses the in-game downloader which will work in tandem with Steam to download the endlessly praised classic that is Exhumed. The copy Steam has only installs Quinn Co, and now you've gone ahead and downloaded another mission it doesn't recognise! What's a Steam client to do?! Nothing. Steam makes sure you have every file on its checklist of the master copy. It does not remove the additional content. Since TDM works by way of plug-ins, nothing would be registered as amiss by Steam were you to add a few more .pk4s via the downloader. If there were edits to the base game, they would be reverted upon either verifying your game's integrity or installing an update.

 

If you add in a file that isn't part of Steam's master copy it doesn't do a single thing to it when you download an update or verify your game's integrity. If something you do makes a base change to a file included in Steam's master copy, it will revert it back to the copy that it has on file in the event of an update or intentional reversion by the player. Now again: since TDM is plugin-based and reads entirely from the .pk4s you have installed and vanilla assets the map maker used, it's not an issue. Any changes made to the base install as a result of the mission downloader would not even change until an update is released. All that would happen at most is an installed mission needing to be uninstalled and reinstalled to fix any discrepancies an update would cause.

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The other option is to include every mission and add new ones via free product updates that change the master copy on Steam for all future installs. Again, very, very simple.

This is what I would vote for, since it means the advertised download size on Steam accurately represents the total needed to start playing FMs, and it takes the load off the privately-run servers and possible results in better download speeds. There might be a few die-hard Steam-hating FM authors who refuse to allow their missions to be distributed in this way, but even they might change their mind if it was explained that Steam is just functioning as a distribution mechanism and has nothing to do with DRM.

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I am referring to general attitude some people exposing about unwilling to adjust to what Steam requires. Yes, there are some games that do things non-Steam way, but generally there is a reason behind it and not everyone can do such things on Steam.

 

I already said there is no way to store missions on Steam servers without resorting to Workshop / DLC format (which means you can't use in-game downloader as is).

As much as I like Steam Workshop for skins and small addons to my games - it is not comfortable nor practical for the format of The Dark Mod.

 

I frankly stand by the developer's position, at the very least they know better than us how to do it.

It is a platform for both map creators and simple players. It must be accesible to everybody.

 

What you mentioned about Steamworks - not needed for a singleplayer game. It's usually adopted on that for multiplayer games where tying your account to Steam allows for monetization, statistics and whatnot.

But once again I think that the system that already exists is great already.

 

If there is any confusion, we can write a Steam Guide to help people find their way around the Mission Downloader's features.

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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I just wanted to agree with someone above suggesting to bundle Dark Radient in the package, maybe with a tutorial or a few in the folder too. Just something they can find if they poke around.

 

The whole reason I got in this community at all originally was because Dromed was packaged with T2 and I started playing with the editor before I even knew there was a community for it. Can't hurt to get mappers interested and building early.

 

This is so true. I still remember being a child and using the Age of Empires 2 editor just because it was easy to access and learn. Including Dark Radiant might be a smart step to make people curious about it and it might recruit people with mapping experience for the project. This might even be the best outcome of a steam release, not the large amount of new players, but new people contributing to the game.

And I also agree that TDM shouldn´t try to do everything to adapt to steam, but to use it as a possibility and a chance. Core elements of the game should never be changed just to make a steam release possible, as this project is already successful so far and doesn´t need to sacrifice parts of its identity and hard work many people put into it to simply fulfill requirements.

Edited by Cookie
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When you're set to release, you'll show up in upcoming for a little while, and also be in new releases for a fair bit afterwards. A lot of people will jump on from that and Greenlight alone, but yeah people who play Thief or Splinter Cell or whatever will end up being recommended TDM, see that it's free and hopefully give it a go!

Thanks. That's cool. :) Especially as the Thief titles are often on sale, and might have attracted some people by now.
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But there is. It's entirely possible for it to be released as St Lucia and the training mission. Were somebody to verify their game cache, it would install St Lucia and the training mission. The other option is to include every mission and add new ones via free product updates that change the master copy on Steam for all future installs. Again, very, very simple.

 

 

But, no, there is not a way to store missions as pk4 files (or any files for that matter) on Steam servers and have TDM download it directly from Steam servers. Anything that goes on Steam servers needs to be authored into depots and Steam app will be the one downloading it in the form of DLC or updates.

 

As I already said, the best way to go about it is to release with all missions, and have new missions downloaded using usual way of TDM from your servers, not from Steam servers. Once critical mass of new missions is accumulated, you can push it as free updated to reduce load on your servers.

 

I don't see another way of doing it, unless you have the capacity to serve swarm of users who will download missions from your servers upon release.

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there is not a way to store missions as pk4 files (or any files for that matter) on Steam servers and have TDM download it directly from Steam servers.

I never said there was, that was someone else suggesting to use Steam servers as a mirror, which no, not viable.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Haven't read all pages of this thread but I think going to Steam is a very good idea. The more people you reach the more likely people are creating new content for the game. This is not just about new maps. It's about mapping tutorials, guides, walkthroughs, artworks and more. Just look at the Steam Community pages from other games. In my opinion The Dark Mod should ship as a package with the training mission and St. Lucia (plus maybe one or two other missions, there could be a vote about the missions). For other missions I think Steam Workshop is the way to go. There is no need to manage new missions by administrators. Just let the map makers upload them to the workshop and the community can download them from there. They can rate the missions and write comments about it, too. So the TDM team just have to worry about the main game. All additional missions are handled by the community.

 

Another thing is SteamVR. It is not important now but what if VR is "the thing" in a few years? From what I know it should be easy to use and a VR mode for TDM could be nice in the future.

Edited by LordSavage
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