Greenlight

(The Opportunities that this could bring for STK)
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A lot of people want to see SuperTuxKart going on steam greenlight. Here is a summary of the situation and our research on how to that properly.
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A lot of people want to see SuperTuxKart going on steam. Here is a summary of the discussions about problems, opportunities and technical details.
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=== What would we gain by submitting to greenlight ? ===
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== What is steam and how does STK get there? ==
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Steam is a platform that allows people to easily download, try and buy games. It's one of the biggest gaming communities, this would bring more visibility to SuperTuxKart.
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Steam is a platform that allows people to easily download, try and buy games. If a game without a big publisher wants to be listed on steam, it has to apply through steam greenlight. Once game has reached enough support, it will be greenlit and can be published on steam just as any other game.
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=== What are the requirements for Greenlight ? ===
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The main requirement to apply for greenlight is an entrance fee of $100. The details can be found in the official [https://steamcommunity.com/greenlight/faq/#developers FAQ].
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Basically there is an entrance fee of $100, all the details are in the official [https://steamcommunity.com/greenlight/faq/#developers FAQ].
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=== Is there any incompatibility between GPL license and steam ? ===
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== Pros and cons ==
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No, there is several games already on steam that use the GPL as a license.
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For instance FPS [https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=125965803 Warsow] does.
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One of the main issues is that it would not be possible to use Steam API, which means for instance we can't use the Steam Achievement system.
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=== Can we submit a work in progress game ? ===
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=== Pros ===
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To quote greenlight FAQ
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* Steam has one of the biggest gaming communities, so it would bring more visibility to SuperTuxKart.
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''There are two categories in Steam Greenlight: One for mostly-finished games seeking distribution via Steam and one for early builds and concepts that are simply seeking feedback from the community. You can choose the right category for your title when you post.''
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SuperTuxKart would be submitted as an early build.
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=== What are the pros and cons ===
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==== Pros: ====
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* SuperTuxKart will have more visibility.
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* We have already a community that can supports us and helps in the approval process.
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** I don't see this as an advantage we get from steam, it's more a necessity in order to be able to go on steam in the first place.
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* We can improve the game while on steam (since it's submitted as an early access).
* We can improve the game while on steam (since it's submitted as an early access).
** How is this an advantage? We can also improve the game when we are not on steam.
** How is this an advantage? We can also improve the game when we are not on steam.
* Steam allows us to notify users of new releases and makes the update process easier.
* Steam allows us to notify users of new releases and makes the update process easier.
* We might attract mode developers if we are on steam.
* We might attract mode developers if we are on steam.
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* Since STK already has a great community and supporters, there is greater chance for success. Steam, being the largest digital PC game distributor in the world gives us a bigger audience to work with. Going on Steam will potentially increase the game's popularity and budget to make better tracks and content overall.
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* It allows distrubuting or selling DLCs and mods
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* STK downloads don't depend on sourceforge anymore and downloads are much more convinient
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==== Cons: ====
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=== Cons ===
* We have already a community that provides more feedback and requests than we can already handle. Why do we need feedback at this stage - we know exactly what is needed: networking, scripting, better tracks. What we need is more developers and more time, and we lose time by going on steam now. I am not sure that steam attracts an audience of game developers from which we might get more developers, there are probably better platforms where we might try to attract developers from (though that's open for discussion ;) ).
* We have already a community that provides more feedback and requests than we can already handle. Why do we need feedback at this stage - we know exactly what is needed: networking, scripting, better tracks. What we need is more developers and more time, and we lose time by going on steam now. I am not sure that steam attracts an audience of game developers from which we might get more developers, there are probably better platforms where we might try to attract developers from (though that's open for discussion ;) ).
* SuperTuxKart will have more visibility :) We will get many more bug reports, which I am not sure we can handle at this stage (esp. with no established graphical developer). We already have too many bug reports, and in quite a few cases we actually don't even know how to fix the bugs. Not reacting to bug reports (which might be necessary because of timing constraints) gives us a bad reputation.
* SuperTuxKart will have more visibility :) We will get many more bug reports, which I am not sure we can handle at this stage (esp. with no established graphical developer). We already have too many bug reports, and in quite a few cases we actually don't even know how to fix the bugs. Not reacting to bug reports (which might be necessary because of timing constraints) gives us a bad reputation.
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* We can't use Steam API (which means no steam achievement for the game).
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* There are legal issues with the Steam API (see below for details).
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* We would be probably compared to other games however it's not necessarily a bad thing we can gather feedback + there is a lot of indies games on steam, we can't be compared to AAA studios.
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* We would be probably compared to other games. However it's not necessarily a bad thing we can gather feedback + there is a lot of indies games on steam, we can't be compared to AAA studios.
** I see this as a potential bad (to very bad) thing. Atm we always get the bonus of being open source. If we are being compared with some other kart games (not even AAA), the (quite objective) outcome will be that the our graphics are mostly (not all) pretty bad. This might strengthen the perception that open source games have bad graphics (random google results:  http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTExODg , http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1251459). The potential negative votes and perception of STK might damage STK's reputation, and long term prevent a successful steam campaign. Yes, it's early build, but I doubt that esp. some of the very old tracks will find mercy. \Perhaps we should release only new tracks?
** I see this as a potential bad (to very bad) thing. Atm we always get the bonus of being open source. If we are being compared with some other kart games (not even AAA), the (quite objective) outcome will be that the our graphics are mostly (not all) pretty bad. This might strengthen the perception that open source games have bad graphics (random google results:  http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTExODg , http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1251459). The potential negative votes and perception of STK might damage STK's reputation, and long term prevent a successful steam campaign. Yes, it's early build, but I doubt that esp. some of the very old tracks will find mercy. \Perhaps we should release only new tracks?
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== legal issues ==
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=== What would be the right time to announce that ? ===
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=== steam and the GPL ===
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Probably at the same time as "minor" update. Due to the work involved into this, we should probably avoid to do it at the same time as a major release (like 0.9 was).
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Generally, there is no problem with having GPL licensed games on steam, and there already several games on steam e.g. [https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=125965803 Warsow].
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=== Concepts in Steam Greenlight ===
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Super Tux Kart could be submitted in the concept section of Steam Greenlight to gain a bigger following and to receive feedback.
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This isn't directly submitting to Greenlight and could be done before it is submitted to see how our community would react to the game potentially being on steam.  
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Steam Concepts page :http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/browse/?appid=765&browsesort=trend&section=concepts
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One of the main issues is that it is not possible to directly use the steam API, because the GPL forbids linking to non-free libraries (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#FSWithNFLibs). The steam API provides for instance access to the steam achievement system.
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One approach to this would be creating a seperate binary that commucates with STK over the network. Ths would legally work if the distribution with the second binary doesn't count as modified version. See http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#MereAggregation for details.
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=== The Opportunities that this could bring for STK ===
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== Submitting Supertuxkart ==
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Since STK already has a great community and supporters, there is greater chance for success. Steam, being the largest digital PC game distributor in the world gives us a bigger audience to work with. Going on Steam will potentially increase the game's popularity and budget to make better tracks and content overall.
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SuperTuxKart would be submitted as an early build and the games section. The submission will propably happen at the same time as a minor release. Due to the work involved into this, we should probably avoid to do it at the same time as a major release.

Revision as of 14:20, 5 August 2015

Retrieved from "http://supertuxkart.sourceforge.net/Greenlight"

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