In this series I’ll document the steps taken to get a game made with Phaser up and running on Steam, from the Greenlight process to publishing. This will also include steps to integrate your game with Steam services like leaderboards and achievements.
Keep in mind that the only reason this series deals with the Phaser framework is because that’s the one we used. Most of the steps will be very similar, if not identical, to the ones you’d have to take on another framework. So this isn’t really a general guide but more of a diary documenting the way we decided to do it. That said, I’ll still mention some alternatives I find relevant along the way.
If you’re using Phaser and are reading this, there’s a good chance this is one of your first games and you want everything to be as cheap as possible. As our budget is basically zero, the Steam Greenlight fee (€90 or $100 US) would be a considerable risk for us at this point. So we opted to use the help of a publisher that contacted us. This allowed us to get our game on Greenlight without having to pay anything upfront, in exchange for a (not very small) percentage of the profits. It may not seem like a good idea to give away such a large portion of your profits when so much of it is already going to the Steam store, but it is a good choice when you can’t afford the fee. If you’re in a similar situation, look around for a publisher that may give you a good deal.
After the Greenlight page was up, our publisher advertised our game at a few different places, but mostly on Twitter and through Steam key giveaways of their other games. It’s hard to tell how much this actually helped, but I’m sure it would have been much harder to get greenlit. Some users have been vocal about our publisher’s more aggressive advertising tactics on Twitter, but they seem to work.
While it may be hard to tell how much the publishers helped, we have to keep in mind that the most important part of their job comes after the game has launched.
If you opt to do it yourself, you’ll have to use the social media to your advantage and try to get those votes flowing. It’s also a good idea to have active discussions and updates on the Greenlight page to keep the users interested.
That’s it for the first part of this series. Again, this was just a quick introduction and didn’t really focus on the actual game, but the next parts will differ in that aspect. Next I’ll be looking at the changes we had to make to our interface to make it more PC-friendly, and avoid making the player feel like they’re playing a cheap port of a mobile game.