Selling an RMVX Axe game on steam?

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Starmage

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Hi guys! Not that I have a game right now that I can sell, but I just wanted to ask a few questions. I just bought RMVX ace along with DLC's such as DS Resource packs , DS+ and other DLC's like music. I was actually thinking of maybe trying my current skills in creating a commercial game with this engine. xD

So for my questions.

1. Where do I start if I want to sell an RPG maker game on steam? How does the partnership form?
2. Will I still be allowed to sell an RPG maker game that uses the DLC's mentioned above? Nothing more, nothing less?
3. How about scripts? If you're using a certain script, does it forbid you from making the game commercial? Or are there any scripts that are DLCs?
4. If you are to form a partnership with steam, do they fully test your game? do they require you to have a completed version ready for downloading?

Thank you for any response. I'm genuinely curious because I've seen lots of amazing RPG maker games being sold on Steam and I was wondering what would happen if I try doing it myself in the future. :)
 

Tuomo L

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1. You register your account at Steamworks.
2. The DLC have TOS usually in them that tells if they're commercially usable.
3. Scripts usually have terms in them that tells if they're commercially usable.
4. They don't. Steam is NOT your beta testing team. They will just see that the game starts out and your gamepad functions among other things like that on technical side, as well as Steam cloud synchronization if you have put in the game that you use them. You need a propper testing team.
 

Starmage

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1. Hmm, I shall book-mark it asap. :)
2. Oh, but I've checked the readme files within the DS resource dlc packs and I can't find any specific mention of their usability in commercial games. :(
3. I guess I'll check the TOS on the scripts as well.
4. Right, my bad. xD I was just curious if they were actually THAT strict of looking into the game first before anything else. xD So I believe it all falls in the hand of the author to have a proper testing team.

Thanks so much for your Insight, @Tuomo L! ^_^
 

Kes

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[move]Commercial RPGMaker Discussion[/move]

If you have bought dlc (i.e. Resource Packs) they can be used in a commercial game. Other assets that you have found e.g. here in the Resources section, should have the TOS in the first post.

I would second the necessity of properly testing your game before releasing it anywhere, not just Steam. Steam does no QA.
 

Starmage

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Hello Kes! And thanks for moving it to the right forums. :)

I see, so I can use DLCs for commercial games, that is nice to know. Thanks so much for the infos! :D

Yeah, I guess it is indeed my responsibility to test the game's functionality first before releasing it. :)
 

Shaz

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Don't just test it yourself - get as many other people to test it as possible. The more people you have, the greater the chance they will discover any bugs lurking around. Of course there is always a chance the game will be released with bugs that no testers have found (which is why you need as many people to look at it as possible), so be prepared to spend a good amount of time shortly after release just finding and fixing bugs, and helping people get the game running on their specific home-grown hardware.
 

Starmage

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Hello Shaz! You're indeed right. :) Testing a game by yourself can be tedious x(( I do hope that I can find amazing people to test a *supposed* commercial game that I'll make in the future. ^_^
 

Matseb2611

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If I may recommend also, when testing, it's a good idea to test on an ongoing basis, rather than all at the end. Like once you've made the first act of your game, or however much you wish, send that to testers, get their feedback, make some changes, then remember to have the same part playtested again in the future after you've done more of the game, because whilst fixing some bugs, it's very easy to create more of them in the process, and if the same section is not playtested again, those new bugs will stay.

Also, if you're going commercial, I'd definitely recommend to find a publisher/distributor who has connections and can promote your game, if you're not so good at it yourself (or if you simply don't have the time).
 

Starmage

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Hi @Matseb2611 ! You're right, I shall keep your advise in mind. It is indeed best to test your game all through-out (not just in the end), cause I've made that very mistake of only testing upon completion on one of my games. x(( There are also some events that may conflict to the new added events, so yah. That makes a lot of sense. :) Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and advise Matseb2611.

Wow, I can also see that you have some wonderful commercial games released! :D (y) I'm going to check them out! ^_^

(Also, is Steam counted as a good publisher/distributor? or are they different?)
 

Sauteed_Onion

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I've read that Steam is pretty much good to get you "out there".
Your true goal is to be a stand alone Distributor, or maybe join with other people, on your own distribution platform. Steam will be catering to people looking to spend like $0.99 on a game, or getting it for at least 25-50% off. This isn't a bad thing necessarily but you're also competing against triple AAA companies, (don't let that scare you, their games suck big time mostly). I would not skip steam, but use it as a Starmage Stepping Stone so to speak. Get a fan base if you can, and see where it takes ye. You may be putting some beans and fish on the table and getting some extra cinnamon rolls on the way to the day job from it. Maybe more. Who knows meow.
 

Starmage

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Hi @Sauteed_Onion ! Wow, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom regarding this. :) I see, so steam can also become a means of exposure for your game. But in the end, it all comes down to a developer's independent means of selling the game. :D I really am glad to be able to start knowing a few of the important things when it comes to selling a commercial RPG maker game. ^_^

I do see lots of RPG-maker games released now on steam (I've also found lots of commercial RPG-maker games that are being sold on their own hosting-sites.)

Hmm, I'll keep what all of you have said in mind. :) I do hope that I can get a decent amount of fan-base in the future if ever I start creating my own commercial RPG maker game. xD

For now. I'll focus my energy on getting better at the RMVXace engine, since I'm relatively new to the engine itself. ^_^
 

Sauteed_Onion

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Just to be meowing it on the real, I never released a game yet, but from what I've gathered this is the success route. Steam really is basically saying hi to the internet.. and it's huge. If you're in there, chances are you're gonna be getting Youtubers playing your game and thrashing the tiniest details, and you'll have Youtubers that play it and totally love it. Hey, there is a couple of let's players here on this forum even that would probably reach through their monitor to play your game, when it's ready to be tested. @Foreverwhere seems like a husband/wife combo? Maybe boyfriend/girlfriend? I dunno, but I loved watching a few of them. And @Leon Kennedy has a huge let's play watcher base, something like 1.7k subscribers and over a million views of his videos. And he is an expert critic from what I can tell.. He even critiqued his own game.

-Edit
OH yeah, @CleanWater had some guy rip his game because they were basically racist or something, but it totally flopped on the guy who tried to insult his game, because Clean's game sales went up a lot. So even if you get a few people chipping at you and trying to make it seem like you don't got what it takes, reality is often totally different. I'm rooting for you already Starry. Meow.

This forum is an amazing resource in itself, I consider myself blessed for it. I'd really recommend paying attention to @Matseb2611 also, he's got an amazing little catalogue building up. And also, please feel free to come talk about tasty food and good music on my profile page meow. It encourages me.
 

Kes

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Just to be clear - Steam is not a publisher, it is a platform for distribution. A publisher will help you get better exposure which, given the saturation of the market, is essential these days.

tbh, if you haven't even started your game yet, you don't need to be spending time and energy at this stage looking for one. Instead focus all your attention on developing the game and only start thinking about a publisher a bit further down the line. Until you have something to show what the game is like, and what the quality is, no reputable publisher will be much interested. Too many games never get completed for them to be spending time looking at very early proposals.
 

Nekonron

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tbh, if you haven't even started your game yet, you don't need to be spending time and energy at this stage looking for one.

Seconded. Alhough I don’t foresee Steam Direct being replaced anytime soon, it takes months or even years to finish a game and things might change by then.

Also, Steam isn’t a magic bullet but at the same time it would be foolish to not put your game on it.
 

bgillisp

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tbh, if you haven't even started your game yet, you don't need to be spending time and energy at this stage looking for one. .

Thirded. I've been working on my game for 3.5 years and now that it is getting close to done, I'm just *starting* to consider if I should use a publisher or not. But, this way, if I do decide to use one, by the time I get around to contacting them I can show them the finished game, not just a proof of concept that might never be finished.

After all, I heard somewhere that around 95 - 99% of all indie games never get finished.
 

Matseb2611

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Thank you very much for the compliments and you're welcome. :) Yeah, as others have mentioned, Steam is just a platform to sell your game on, but it would help to have someone who will actively promote your game. Steam has a huge customer-base, so there are likely going to be a lot of people who can potentially enjoy your game. But it's still important to do the promotions so that those people can find your game (why publisher is important) and be enticed to buy it (this is where a good trailer, screenshots, front cover come in).

Also yeah, I'll reinforce what others have said about completing the game first, or at least getting it to near completion stages before worrying too much about finding a publisher (though it is good you're considering the long-term aspects of game development from the get go already).

And finally, yeah, as @Sauteed_Onion said, don't be put off by critics, as they too intentionally or unintentionally promote your game and give it visibility, so there's good even in that (I had one of my non-RM games get sort of roasted by Jim Sterling, but since he's a popular Youtuber, I am pretty sure that brought a fair bit of attention to that game).
 

Starmage

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@Sauteed_Onion - Wow!! What you said really inspired me to rid myself of all fear when it comes to commercial RPG-making! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement Sauteed! ^_^ Yes, I have actually watched a few RPG-maker games that are being played on youtube, I'll also check out the videos of those talented users you just mentioned! :) To be honest, the awesome commercial games that I'm seeing around steam and in this site are what inspired me to try my hand on my own. (That is of course, doing my best to make it as good as ever. xD)

@Kes - That makes sense indeed. So it will only be right if I focus all of my energies right now on building up the game's story, mechanics, gameplay and etc. to produce a quality content. You guys are right. Searching for a publisher can wait, building up the game is far more important at this very moment. Thank you so much you guys! :)

@Matseb2611 - I see! But coming from ya'll who've successfully submitted your own games out there, I'm going to take note of this all. ^_^ Thanks so much once again! :D

I'm currently on the works of brainstorming the game's plot and overall mechanics. ^_^ Thanks so much guys, this inspired me a lot and gave me hope for the future. ;)
 

Studio Blue

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Thank you for the mention @Sauteed_Onion! We are a husband and wife team who offer professional critiques of people's RPG Maker projects.

@Kes is absolutely, 100% correct. When you're starting an indie game project, the most important thing is to work on completing it. Get a solid demo out, one that has been critiqued, peer reviewed, and beta-tested to build up hype. Then focus on completing the game and fixing all the issues your critiquers find, as well as the myriad of bugs you'll encounter. Then, once you've made it as perfect as you can, start to worry about putting it up on Steam Direct or whatever other distribution medium you plan to use.
 

Starmage

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Hello @Foreverwhere ! Got it! :D I will do my best to produce a polished product that can be critiques, reviewed and tested before I start worrying about the distributing mediums. ^_^ Thank you so much! Also, you just earned a subscriber! :)
 

Bricabrac

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A personal caveat: consider using different platforms like http://itch.io/ or Gamejolt to promote your game instead of Steam. They're more niche, and it will be easier to find people there who care about your project.

Always keep in mind who your audience is and how you can reach it. What are the core themes of the story? Would it appeal anime lovers, for example? Are there other games similar to yours, so you can look for fan community and connect with them?

As other people before me said, Steam is an over-saturated platform at the moment - and most importantly, it caters to a very large, diverse audience. Not everyone there is gonna like your game.
Some people there won't understand the appeal of a classic RPG Maker game - they'll call your game lazy and bad because they've seen many generic RPG Maker games on Steam, and have come to associate the engine with "bad games". Or they simple won't like it because they don't like RPGs at all!
This is a sad truth, but you don't need to worry: those people are not your audience. You gotta market your game to people you already know might be interested in it.

Marketing is super important if you hope to earn some bucks, but it's a full-time job. Don't worry about it right now - but at the same time, start letting people know that your game exist, even outside of the RPG Maker community. Don't wait to have perfect screens to share: people love to see how a game evolves over time.
Twitter is a good platform for indie devs - post your screens there and try to use hashtags like #indiedev and #screenshotsaturday. But most importantly, interact with other people and support each other.

If your game is very good, a publisher might be interested in it - they will help with marketing, bureaucracy and such in exchange for a cut of your profits.
I don't think there are many that focus on RPG Maker games. Don't think about it for now.

This all sounds tiring. I know. Marketing is tiring. But you sound strong-willed and eager to learn, so I hope you will have success! Good luck!
 
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