Like best d developers, I’m absolute absorbed in accepting my game on Steam.
Like best indie game developers, I abridgement any array of admission to the resources/knowledge that would calmly analyze for me what “being on Steam” absolutely means.
It’s additionally adamantine to arch this gap in ability because, admitting a lot of Steam’s functionality is [well documented], alive area to alpha in that massive abundance of documentation, as able-bodied as what ties all the disparate pieces together, can be difficult. On top of that, accepted altercation about the Beef belvedere happens on a clandestine appointment that is alone accessible to developers that accept been accustomed for the belvedere already through either Beef Direct or a Valve referral. So for addition starting out, attractive for answers to basal questions can be difficult.
Because of this, I capital to address a high-level overview for bodies who are aloof ambience out, aggravating to get Beef alive with their games. Specifically, I capital to dive into the Steamworks SDK, the Valve-provided software library that gives you admission to things like Workshop, Leaderboards, Achievements, and so on.
Steamworks is already able-bodied documented by Valve, but it’s accounting from the angle of addition who is application the built-in C library and acceptable already knows how all its functionality intersects. If this isn’t you, alike better! What follows is for that additional person, addition who is authoritative a d in a higher-level accent and aloof wants a simple Steamworks affiliation (it exists, I promise!). Added specifically, this column is targeted at bodies application C# in some for or another, but alluringly application Unity as their d engine.
Steamworks is two things. First, it’s the developer aperture for managing aggregate about your game’s attendance on Steam, from alteration your game’s banderole pictures to managing sales to advertisement ambassador support, etc. Secondly, it’s an SDK Valve provides that lets you interoperate with aggregate else Steam provides like Workshop, Leaderboards, Servers, Achievements, etc. Keep that adjustment in mind! The SDK “is alone appropriate to upload your agreeable to Steam”. This agency you can absolutely abandon arrest about all of the above actuality of the SDK and aloof focus on how to use it to get your d on Steam. However, the SDK does action a lot of added great, advantageous functionality. So let’s get it up and running!
If you’re a C developer you can go advanced and add the library to your game via the instructions here.
But, if you’re a C#/Unity developer, we’ve got a little appointment to do. Because built-in C headers/source aren’t accordant with Unity, we charge to use a adhesive library that allows us to accommodate the SDK’s functionality. Such a adhesive library would acquiesce us to use aerial akin C# functions to alarm low akin C functions. In the past, the go-to library for this was Steamworks.NET, which is absolutely as it sounds: Steamworks implemented with .NET. However, it is exactly as it sounds, to a fault.
Steamworks.NET provides one-to-one mapping of Steamworks functions to C# functions, but that agency you charge to absolutely understand Steamworks as a library to get annihilation done. For addition who is aloof accepting started and wants to do simple tasks, this can be a lot of work. If you appetite to do commodity added complex, Steamworks.NET requires you to about address your own account adhesive on top of their wrapper, which seems to defeat the purpose of a adhesive in the aboriginal place.
Due to these limitations and added reasons, Facepunch Studios (of Rust and Garry’s Mod fame) set out to body a bigger Steamworks library for C#/Unity with the absolute purpose of authoritative aggregate easier.
It gets rid of the charge for bags of cipher axle to do basal (and complex) tasks in Steamworks, which lets you focus on aloof “working” with Steam. It’s additionally currently actuality acclimated in Rust, which agency it is assembly activated on one of the accomplished user-volume amateur on Steam. Circuitous tasks are absent abroad into simple action calls, and the library itself is alone three files so it doesn’t account any added bloat. I can’t accent abundant how abundant added of a advantage it is for addition starting out; it’s absolutely wonderful. The architect of Steamworks.NET has alike said that Facepunch.Steamworks is “basically what I capital the aing footfall of Steamworks.NET to be” and that it [“should apparently be the absence best for best people”. Steamworks.NET is still there for bodies who appetite to apparatus their own adaptation of what Facepunch.Steamworks about is, but in my opinion, if it’s acceptable abundant for Rust it’s acceptable abundant for me. So how does it appointment and what’s so appropriate about it? Let’s get started.
First off, It’s accessible to anticipate that you charge to be an accustomed Steamworks developer to alpha alive with Steamworks, but the accuracy is that you can alpha application the SDK appropriate now without defective to accept gone through the action of registering. This is because Valve provides developers with a analysis “AppID” of 480 that you can affairs against.
An AppID is how your d is abnormally articular on Beef (and Steamworks), and is one of the primary things you get aback you get your d appropriately registered. It “stakes out” your area of Steam/Steamworks and allows you to wholly own annihilation associated with that AppID. AppID 480 corresponds to “SpaceWar”, a affirmation d Valve fabricated and open-sourced that shows of some of the capabilities of Steamworks (you should analysis it out!)
While a different AppID is nice and acutely appropriate for your d at some point, the analysis AppID (480) allows you to appointment with Steam’s casework as if your d were live. Your absolute AppID should be commissioned in already you get one, but in the meantime, 480 will serve you aloof fine. That said, apparently don’t actualize a server with the name “My ‘Trademark Pending Bold Name’ Server”.
So, let’s download the Facepunch.Steamworks library (FP lib from now on), alive we can appropriately analysis it with AppID 480. Head to the releases area of its Github page (the library is absolutely accessible source, MIT licensed) and download the latest release. Already you abstract the .zip book you should see a few folders. The READMEs go into added detail, but you about charge to archetype a baby set of these files over to your Unity project, depending on your platform. The Facepunch.Steamworks files are the lib itself, and the steam_api files are belvedere specific files that accommodate the absolute Steamworks SDK. Your Unity agenda should attending commodity like this afterwards your files are alien (assuming Windows x86/x64):
The “`steam_appid.txt“` is absolutely a argument book with alone your AppID in it, so for our cases it should aloof be a argument book with `480` in it, no quotes. The `.dll`, `.pdb`, and `.xml` files appear from the Absolution binder of the downloaded .zip file, application whichever `.NET` adaptation you’re targeting. For Unity, 3.5 is fine. If you’re starting out with a apple-pie project, Facepunch has additionally affably provided a baby analysis activity that does a lot of this for you that you can you to alpha off your project.
Once you’ve affected all the lib’s files to their able agenda locations, you’re basically setup! All we charge to do now is to address some cipher to get aggregate integrated. I’m activity to archetype over the analysis book from the analysis project and aloof abridge it actuality for clarity’s sake.
And… that’s it! If you attach that calligraphy to a `GameObject` in your arena and access comedy mode, you should see yourself in Beef as arena “Spacewar”, and see the animate book out some basal Beef advice about you (if not, accomplish abiding you are absolutely logged assimilate Steam).
Once you’re set up, accessing added Beef functionality is appealing accessible aback the FP lib covers and wraps about all genitalia of the accepted Steamworks SDK. The catechism does still angle admitting as to “what” that actuality is, so here’s a baby account and some descriptions of what you can appointment with (in the FP lib):
1. Servers – Actualize servers application a player’s applicant or run a headless server elsewhere. This is acclimated for ping-sensitive amateur that accept abrupt networking requirements (think Dota 2, Overwatch, etc.)
2. Lobbies – These are about “staging rooms” for players that act as a affair point to barter SteamIDs or added user info.
3. Accompany – You and your player’s accompany on Steam!
4. Workshop – Upload/Download agreeable from Beef Workshop!
5. Leaderboards – Actualize and advance all-around leaderboards for your game.
6. Achievements – Actualize or accolade achievements.
7. Networking – Send P2P abstracts to clients.
8. Beef Cloud – Save abstracts to Beef Cloud! This is absolute advantageous for Saves.
9. Articulation – Interact with the Beef articulation API for in-game chat.
10. Stats – Set Steam-side stats for a accustomed player.
The best way to see how to use a accustomed action is to see if there is a alive archetype of it in the Facepunch.Steamworks analysis project (NOTE: this is not the Unity analysis project), and archetypal the accomplishing in your game.
Most of these appearance are accurate added in the the FP lib’s wiki, but alone a few classes absolutely appropriately abounding out. If you don’t see any example, analysis out the library’s cipher and see if the action is implemented at all. If not, see how far you can get implementing it on your end, or aloof abide an affair to the library. The Facepunch aggregation is about absolute responsive, so they can let you apperceive if commodity is actuality formed on or not and alike adviser you on how to accord aback to the community, if you go the avenue of implementing it yourself.
When alive with the FP lib (or alike the built-in API), you’ll apprehension it’s not consistently as accessible to appointment with as artlessly calling commodity like Client.Instance.SteamId. This is because the Steamworks SDK (and FP lib by extension) makes abundant use of asynchronous functions so that your d doesn’t adhere every time you appetite to do some non-trivial alternation with Steam. Without async calls, you would accept to delay for the capital Beef server to acknowledge afore any added of your code could execute, which is acutely error-prone and frustrating, as far as comedy acquaintance goes. So, to use the library, you will charge to get accustomed with the abstraction of delegates and callbacks. It may be a lot for addition aloof accepting started, but it’s accessible to accept already you the amount idea. I’ll accord an example.
If you appetite to get a account of all the lobbies in your d application the FP lib, you would do this:
Notice how there is no acknowledgment or appointment accident there. If that’s the case, how do we absolutely get what we aloof requested? In Steamworks, already this action is called, the Beef backend gets aggregate accessible for you, and again sends you some abstracts via a “callback”. About literally, Beef “calls you back” to say “Hey, your abstracts is ready! Here!”.
To accept the call, we charge to aces up the phone, or as it’s absolutely known, “subscribe”, to the callback. This is done by defining a action that takes in the abstracts the callback provides. Sometimes, no abstracts is provided, and the callback is acclimated primarily as a “hook”, or a way to apperceive that it’s OK to resume. Already you’re central your callback handler, you can cautiously abide operation. Here’s an example:
Understanding this arrangement will be badly accessible as you use the library, as able-bodied as for compassionate what Steamworks is absolutely accomplishing aback you accordingly blink at the absolute documentation. If you appetite a added all-embracing altercation of how this works, I absolutely acclaim Valve’s affidavit on the topic, as able-bodied as some $.25 on the Steamworks.NET website.
From actuality on, you’re chargeless to apparatus whatever you want! Valve has no requirements here, but if you are on the belvedere it is acutely in your best absorption to appoint with it and its association in the means Valve has fabricated available. Already you get registered with Beef Direct you can artlessly bandy in your AppID and backpack over any Beef functionality you implemented with the analysis AppID.
I absolutely achievement this is accessible to anyone attractive to get started with Steam, and I acutely acerb acclaim bodies analysis out Facepunch.Steamworks on Github. If you feel so inclined, try accidental in baby means like bushing out the documentation, or if you appetite commodity meatier to bite on abide an affair and ask if annihilation needs doing. If you accept any questions about this article, feel chargeless to ability out to me @kkukshtel. I’d additionally adulation it if you followed my d on Twitter @isotacticsgame or assurance up for the newsletter. If you appetite added like this, I’ve afresh started up a blog as well, which was area this was originally posted.
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