My stint with Steam integration

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This is my unfinished stint with Steam integration of our Jolly Rogers: Pirates Rumble (JRPR in-short).

Summary of Jolly Rogers: Pirates Rumble – JRPR is a couch co-op multiplayer game that our studio, Aavega Interactive has been working on since a year now. We have developed the project on Unity and we are targeting the project release on PC, Xbox and Nintendo Switch in the upcoming months.

Couple of us started working on Steam integration of Jolly Rogers: Pirates Rumble since a couple of weeks now. During the course of the project we have had to buy and integrate plugins for Unity. One of the plugins we are using is Text Mesh Pro in some areas of UI for stylized text and as it so happens, it decided to throw in some errors while I was making a build to upload onto Steam. After a quick search on the forums, I had to downgrade the Unity version and do a clean re-import of the plugin. One of the many other bumps that we faced so far.

One of the other tasks assigned to me was to integrate Steam Achievements. Apparently (to my dismay) there was no way to test Steam achievements without publishing the title on Closed Beta. Once build goes to Closed beta stage, we had to wait out couple of days for Steam keys to test the achievements. Our team wanted to record a gameplay trailer for promotions and to my horror the published build refused to run after integrating Steamworks SDK. I ended up having to strip all the Steamworks related files from the project in order to make a playable build while trying to figure out where exactly we went wrong. It so happens that the code we wrote for achievements ended up as a mess and was in-turn crashing the game. Next step, as you would have probably guessed was to remove the achievements codes from the project and rework to get it up and running once the trailer was done which was successful! Post this phase one of us implemented the BGM across different modes while I was working on the bug fixes.

With the BGM and bug fixes finally in place, I updated the Steam build and published the build exactly the same way as I had previously and behold! The Steam download process refused to update, another bump was encountered. After lot of forum search and contact with Steam support, I found that the issue lied in an incorrect bundling of the build with the depot in the Steamworks dashboard because of which depot was not downloading after the update.

After fixing all the dashboard settings, I configured the Steam publishing pipeline in my PC in order to have a smooth update delivery process. There have been no issues faced henceforth *fingers crossed*

What has your experience been with Steamworks integration? Would you have done something different? What do you think is the best practice for integration?

Pallav Panda
Team Aavega Interactive 

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