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Old 06-22-2012, 01:03 AM   #1
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The Steamworks Situation

Steamworks is an API intended to help with developing and publishing a game or mod. If Valve gives you access, it means that your game/mod will be distributed by Steam and will have access to features like achievements and matchmaking, among other things. Essentially, though, if we were granted access, it'd mean you could update or install Fortress Forever using Steam just as you would update or install a commercial Valve title. Unfortunately, Valve never contacted us about being included when they were inviting other Source mods to be part of the program.

After a lot of uncertainty surrounding the issue, we now have something definitive. This is the last correspondence with Valve we have had regarding Steamworks. I replied and asked for some clarification but have gotten no response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valve
Thank you for submitting “Fortress Forever” for potential Steam distribution. We have taken a look at the information provided and determined that Steam is not a good fit for distribution. It is our company policy not to provide specific feedback on a submission but we would like you to consider Steam distribution for your future products.
The way I see it, this can mean one of a few things:
  1. Fortress Forever is ineligible for Steamworks for some specific reason

    Reasons could include things like:

    • We need to be on the 2007 engine to be eligible for Steamworks support
      • I don't believe this is a requirement for Steamworks, as I think a mod has gotten Steamworks support while on the 2006 engine
    • We are not popular/established enough to be eligible for Steamworks support
      • If the mods that have received Steamworks support are any indication, this (hopefully) shouldn't apply to Fortress Forever. We've been actively developing the game for almost 5 years and have maintained a small but loyal playerbase

    Whatever the reason, though, it seems like if there is some requirement that we do not meet, then it'd be nothing but beneficial for them to let us know what that is so that we could work on those specific aspects and re-apply.

  2. Valve has some sort of grudge against this mod specifically and/or doesn't want it to "compete" with TF2

    While this would make for a good pity party/movie plot, I don't think there is any evidence to support this.

  3. Valve is moving away from supporting mods in general

    Unfortunately, I think this is the most likely answer. Mod support from Valve has been getting increasingly small over the past years. Here's a select few things that point to this:

    • Zero mods have received Steamworks support since around 2009
    • When using Create a Mod in Source SDK to create a 2007 (OB) engine mod, it gives you source code that doesn't compile because it is missing files. This has been the case for a while and has not been fixed
    • The 2009 engine update has not received mod support (the Portal 2 engine with Mac support); it seems likely at this point that it never will
    • Mods are somewhat buried in the Steam store (as a "fun" game, try to find Fortress Forever's Steam store listing without searching for it directly), and the Steamworks mods have been removed from the Library tab if they are not installed
    • The hlcoders mailing list, where you used to be able to get responses from Valve employees about Source mod programming, has been almost entirely abandoned by Valve

Essentially, this boils down to the fact that we probably won't be getting Steamworks support. However, Steamworks support isn't as big of a deal as it once was and is more likely to get worse for mods over time (due to #3 above) rather than better. It seems unclear at this point if getting on Steamworks would even increase FF's visibility in the Steam UI.

I'd love to be proven wrong and see Valve release updated tools and a new mod-supported engine version. In the meantime, though, we'll keep plugging away at improving Fortress Forever. With Steamworks no longer in the picture, we must make our own way forward, meaning that community support is as necessary as it's ever been. If you'd like to help us out with anything, let us know on the forums.

Also, be on the look out for a new patch in the near future (give or take a few soon's).
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeek. View Post
Also, be on the look out for a new patch in the near future (give or take a few soon's).
Stop... Valve time!
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:26 PM   #3
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looks like its time to look into making your own auto updater.
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:35 PM   #4
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ok so it looks like were going at it alone

i agree with the autoupdater idea, but i am the 99% who loves the game but cant program worth a shit therefore i am useless just bitching about something i cannot assist in solving. i can however give ideas...

there has been a lot of discussion about the autoupdater idea and if i understood squeek correctly in the couple convos we had about it months ago, he said something along the lines of it would be too complicated or take too much time / resources that we dont have at this point in time.

aside from the updater issue, kube has already basically taken care of all the immediate update issues in his server.... (pyro nerf, no soldier 2ndary nades), so the gameplay is improved while at the same time still true to default 2.4 values without going all TALOS'd out.

kube should just make his server the main pub, and keep it up to date with the latest values and gameplay fixes on the agenda for optimized ff pub play. We could also have kube set those same values on a pickup server.

For all i care we just really need 1 strong running pub server, and 1 consistent pickup server...

We should start beta testing in kubes server again frequently on the weekends and keep improving the game more often.... Then have organized votes to change values / gameplay in the forums after beta testing....

Any other quick fix ideas?
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:34 PM   #5
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I think we need 2 pub servers... One euro, one US. Ideally, we would have many pub servers all around the world with their own "nationality" player base (A South American server, a Russian server, a server in Japan etc). Ive always thought of trying to get FF to appeal to the non-english "market" but it's easier said than done.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiFiDi View Post
looks like its time to look into making your own auto updater.
we already have this through desura
http://www.desura.com/mods/fortress-forever

edit: well, sorta
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:20 PM   #7
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i mean a real one... desura sucks ass, mine won't even update FF...

2 mods that do it are coh mods but i bet its possible to do for a source game as well. to my knowledge you just hook the download up to website so it just acquires it from your website. you could ask how these guys did it and see if its possible to do here. having one will greatly improve the mod as a whole as you can update it more. the one on desura really doesn't count plus it leaves you relying (desura, and) on everyone to use desura and for me it doesn't even work so i can't use it. coming up with an auto updater i think is a huge step towards this mods independence from steam to me a vital step if were ever gonna get past steamworks.

i would say after 2.5 released start looking into an auto updater so you can get patches out quicker. it would go along way towards keeping the game afloat.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:52 PM   #8
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http://steamcommunity.com/greenlight/

Is this worth a shot?
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:25 PM   #9
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Most likely doesn't apply to mods. Technically, we already have a Steam store listing.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:25 PM   #10
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Submit it for greenlight though, it's worth a shot.
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:33 AM   #11
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:03 AM   #12
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Holy fuck, this community...

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Old 07-13-2012, 01:24 AM   #13
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeek. View Post
Most likely doesn't apply to mods. Technically, we already have a Steam store listing.
Still, worth a shot. And really FF is a standalone game now that the Source SDK Base is free.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:38 PM   #15
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Holy fuck, this community...
steam greenlight please!!!!111
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:58 PM   #16
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I don't think any mod has full steamworks support.

There are mods on steam, but I don't think any of them have the sdk integrated.

They don't give steamworks to mods at this point.

They really have dropped the ball on mod support, though. You can't even create mods on the 2009 engine. But forget 2009, this is 2012.

Could you imagine what the mod community could do with some of the Portal/L4D/TF2 code?

CS:GO would be a great one to give the code for, or at least its engine codebase. All the graphical enhancements of the Portal 2 (or later, tbh) along with CS/TF2/L4D multiplayer as a "base" would do wonders for mod developers. The bot code in CS:GO is the bot code from L4D2. The multiplayer code is CS/TF2. Creating a mod based off CS:GO (or something like that) would be badass.

I'm babbling, I'll stop now.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:13 PM   #17
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Yeah, that's pretty tragic. Ah well. : - (

Thanks for the work you put in anyways, jon.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:44 PM   #18
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It's weird to think that Valve is cutting down on mod support when Team Fortress (Quake mod) and Counter-Strike (Half-Life mod) (the latter being the most played online FPS of all time no doubt, I can't even start to imagine how much money has CS garnered over the years) are one of their hugest bombs. What the duck?

edit: Also Garry's MOD
double edit: Come to think of it, Valve would be NOWHERE without community mods.
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:58 PM   #19
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Yes, but the fact that they're SOMEWHERE now means they think they can abandon mods. And, well, they're mostly right. sadface.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:07 AM   #20
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Steam alone makes them a bajillion dollars. Dumb businesses and their money.
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