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Once I got the opportunity to write a Dev diary, I started to look for a good technical topic... something that was completely different from East India Company. After few candidates the winner was quite obviously: Steam integration!
I have to admit that before this project all I knew about Steam was its reputation, which for some reason is not all that glamorous. Earlier this year we needed to make a decision about the distribution channels and installers to be used. At that stage I cleared my mind and started to evaluate Steam as a completely new system.
Once I started to read the documentation my expectations started to grow. The features that the Steam promises to provide seemed to go on an on. After looking at the example codes and naturally the promises of easy integration I started to get suspicious. "It seemed too good to be true...." at least this is what I was thinking while downloading the SDK. But again, I cleared my mind of doubts and started the integration. Within a few hours the basics of the Steam was bolted on and the "Ingame store" was up and running. I was sold.
In previous projects we have succesfully used the Innosetup for the installers, but encouraged by my first taste of Steam, I started to consider using it for the boxed version too. While studying more about Steam, I continued to see more good sides..
Actually the decision process ended up in two, GO/NO-GO decisions.
1. Internet connection recuired.
- Hmmmm... modern gamers PC that has no broad band connection.
- Definetly: GO
2. Steam account required
- Even longer hmmmmmmmmm... How annoying is that?
- I looked into the stats of online users. At slowest time Steam had 2.2 Million users and peak around 4.5 Million users for the last 48 hours. Conclusion: There are a LOT of people using it and so much much more people having the account allready.
- Most likely: GO
But the biggest bonus is the guarateed best possible first impression. I think that this is the single most important feature that will serve all the different perspectives of steam: Player, Developer, Publisher, Steam. After the automatic update comes the Achievements sytem and after that there is ... etc.
While getting to know the Steam system I learned that it was like each feature had been implemented in such a way that the one who benefits the most, is not the developer, nor the Steam, nor the publisher, but that it truly is built for the Player.
Niittis, lead programmer of the Nitro Games.