Inside Steamworks – Steam Basic Info
Inside Steamworks – Steam Basic Info is the first of a series of BRINDIE guides to help indiedevs setup and optimise their Steam store presence
The first thing you do once you have been granted developer access to Steamworks is to build your Steam Store Page. As we mentioned before, the store page editor is quite complex. This is why we now debut Inside Steamworks, a collection of detailed BRINDIE guides where we analyse each section and tab in your Steamworks account. For this guide, we will take a closer look at Basic Info.
The Basic Info tab is available in Steamworks – Store Presence – Edit Store Page.
Steam Basic Info requires the first steps to configure the presentation of your indie game’s Steam store page. It is composed of 16 sections. While few of them are mandatory, filling in additional details grants you more opportunities to display your game on Steam.
Steam Basic Info – Game Name, Developers, Publishers & Franchises
The first Basic Info section allows you to fill in the name of your game, studio, publisher and franchise, if any. Only the name of your game is mandatory. Adding the Developer, Publisher and Franchise allows you to build additional developer, publisher and franchise pages on Steam. You may add multiple developers, publishers and franchises.
If you self publish your game, the Publisher’s name is the same as your Developer name.
You can also add your Franchises – a very underused but useful feature to list your games. A franchise is a set of titles that are built in the same fictional universe, gameplay style, or intellectual property. Some great examples are Assasins Creed or Half Life.
Steam Basic Info – External Links
The next Steamworks store page section allows you to add external links. You may add a game website/ landing page, an external forum or stats collection, a manual and a metacritic entry.
Steam Basic Info – Social Media Links
The most recent feature Valve added for the Steam Store Page editor is the ability to add social media links. You can add your official YouTube channel, Facebook page, as well as your Twitter and Twitch accounts.
Steam Basic Info – Search Keywords
Search Keywords are any relevant keywords that players can type to search for your game. These are typically the name of your game in various combinations and with various typos a player might make. They can also creatively describe your game.
TIPS! Pendula Swing appears as a result when you type “American Roaring 1920s”. The search keywords are quite important and you can experiment with them. They are also complemented by the HASHTAGS aka Popular user-defined tags for your game, which can be added directly from the Steam Store page by you and by your fans. The keys and hashtags are crucial for the Steam algorithms to determine the relevance of your game for players. Therefore, an optimised keywords list allows you to show your game to anyone interested in a genre, a type of game, or simply a game with a certain subject or visual style, such as the Roaring 20s.
Steam Basic Info – Supported Platforms
This section allows you to define the platforms your game works on. You can choose between Windows, Mac OS X and Linux + Steam OS. You will have to define minimum and recommended system requirements for all the platforms you chose.
TIPS! Of course its great to make the game available for all platforms. But this also means preparing three builds whenever you update, not just one. The Mac and Linux communities are small but also since there are fewer developers who cater to them, they can also be much more dedicated.
TIPS! Adding minimum system requirements technically means that you should research and make sure your game runs on older computers. Many indies don’t afford that so the usual practice is to search for games that are similar to yours and hope the same system requirements accommodate your game as well. The community is usually quite quick to point out any potential problems.
Steam Basic Info – Release Date
The next step is to fill in the release date. To publish your store page, Valve requires you to set a date. However, this section allows you to hide it and/ or customise it. If you check “Coming soon”, you get access to several ways in which to display your release date, including a custom string.
TIPS! Some developers use the custom string in Release Date as a short marketing text – you can get creative! It seems there is no character limit for this field as of now.
Steam Basic Info – Adult Content
If your game has any sort of Adult content, you need to specify that as well. This is done from another section in Steamworks, called the Mature Content Survey.
Steam Basic Info – Supported Languages
Supported languages allows you to display the languages in which your game is currently localised. Here you can check Interface, Full audio and Subtitles. This means that you can even have a game that’s partially localised. For example, you can have audio in English, but subtitles in English and Spanish and Chinese.
Keep in mind that Valve checks every game submission and will deny publishing games that do not reflect correct localisation. So you cannot check any language in this section if you don’t have a localised build ready for approval.
TIPS! Over 60% of players use Steam in another language than English. Steam algorithms prioritise showing games in a user’s language, so localising games is very important to boost your visibility on Steam.
Steam Basic Info – Genres
You are required to select a primary game genre. However, you may choose additional genres. Steam categorises games in 11 genres, but you may add additional genres using hashtags, directly from your published Steam store front.
Steam Basic Info – Players
The Players selection defines the number of players that can enjoy your game simultaneously. You must choose at least one, but may use multiple of the following: Single-player, Multi-player, Online Multi-player, Local Multi-player, MMO, Co-op, Online Co-op, Local Co-op, Shared/Split Screen, Cross-Platform Multiplayer.
Steam Basic Info – Supported Features
This section refers to the Steam Features for which you have added support in your game. These are: Steam Achievements, Captions, Steam Workshop, In-App Purchases, Steam Cloud, Stats, Steam Leaderboards, Async Game Notifications. You may also indicate if your game Includes level editor, the Source SDK, or the Commentary feature.
Steam Basic Info – Controller Support
If your game has Virtual Reality or Controller support, you can set that up as well. Steam offers support for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality. Of course, controller support includes the Steam controller, which has its very own checkbox.
Controller support means if you game can partially or entirely with a controller instead of a keyboard. Full controller support includes all situations in which players can be, such as when typing something, ie a character’s name.
Steam Basic Info – 3rd Party DRM
By default your game will feature Steam’s DRM, but you can also add a 3rd party DRM system.
Steam Basic Info – 3rd Party Accounts
If your players can create an account for your game outside Steam, you may also add support for 3rd party accounts. For example, you may require an agreement to a 3rd party EULA, or a 3rd party player account, like Ubisoft does.
Steam Basic Info – Legal Lines
You may use the Legal Lines section to add information about your copyright and trademark. This will appear in your store page below Requirements and will be highlighted as legal information.
Steam Basic Info – Support Contact Info
You must provide at least one way for your players to get support. You may choose between website, e-mail or phone support.
TIPS! Adding more than one way to contact support is usually viewed as a sign of good customer service. This information will also be displayed on the Steam Support page.