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techbear

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Reply with quote  #1 
As some of you already know (because Steam announced it publicly the same instant they emailed me), Valve has officially offered me the opportunity to sell Artemis SBS on their Steam download service.

What does this mean?

Well, I've begun the process of setting up Artemis for Steam, but it could be a long process.  I've got to put together info, screenshots, and videos.  I've got to study the Steam SDK and the tools it provides.  Most importantly, I've got to figure out pricing, sales, and what it all means for existing customers.

There are lots of questions to answer:
Will I still sell the game separately, on my website, as I have been doing?
Will I still sell a Bridge License?
Will non-steam copies still work with steam copies?
Will I use Steam extras, like matchmaking, or VOIP?  If so, what about those who don't have the Steam version?  Will they get access to those extras?
Should I make a special Steam-only version?

Today I have NO answers for these questions, and I'm sure there are plenty more questions that need to be answered (feel free to reply with your own questions).  I will GET those answers over the next few weeks, and I will try to choose answers that respect existing owners and retain the original vision of Artemis.

Thanks to everyone who voted on the Stream Greenlight page, and thanks to everyone for supporting Artemis over the last three years.
JSpaced

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Reply with quote  #2 
Congratulations on the greenlight Thom!
It feels like Artemis is really starting to take off( pun intended) and you/it deserve it.
Well done

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"Universal law is for lackeys. Context is for kings."
MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #3 
Woot!  Can't wait to hear more about this.  There sounds like there could be a lot of useful things for folks who play over the internet (as opposed to locally).
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Note - this is in no way intended to be an official position of Thom or Artemis, as I am not an official representative of the creator or game.
shurijo

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Reply with quote  #4 
Great work. This is an amazing game and I hope the extra spotlight and increased players/money from Steam helps out with the funding and gives you more energy and motivation to continue this success.

As someone who just recently discovered Artemis (last weekend), I was ready to buy my own license but I had many of those above questions. I'll probably wait until you post the answers to those questions and figure out whether it's best to buy the Steam version or a version from the web site.

Hopefully, it won't matter where the software is purchased, but if there's special Steam functions via their API that enhances the game and there's no downsides, then I may purchase it from Steam. 

An additional question, Any idea on how much work it will take to get Artemis working in Steam? When can we expect to purchase the Steam version? 2, 4, 6 months?

Sophism

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Reply with quote  #5 
Please continue to make the game available on your website.  Setting up LAN games of Artemis works now because one license means six computers can run the game.  On Steam, that means you either have to log into Steam on each computer to download it onto each one before logging off to download it onto the next one, then hopefully be able to run the executable without Steam logged in, OR that I would need to start five new Steam accounts to gift a copy of Artemis to each of them, then make sure all can connect to the internet because offline mode on Steam unfortunately still refuses to work at random intervals.

Changing to Steam-only means that no one can run old versions of the game, since Steam auto-updates in order to launch a game.  Of course, they could run 1.7 or 2.0 because we have a downloadable installer, but any version released Steam-only would be gone forever after the next upgrade.

It also makes for another complication for people running Artemis using wineskin, as you would then need to have a wine installation of Steam to even download the game, rather than letting people download directly as they do now.  It may not sound like a big deal, but it's about twice the steps and time in order to just start the game.

Steam does have a lot of upsides in terms of visibility, ease of use for online players, and especially if you used Steam Workshop to make modding support more enduser-friendly.  But even as someone who has 400+ steam games and rarely buys games that aren't on Steam, I would rather the purchase/installation options that are currently available not just be superceded by a Steam version from here on out.

Maybe Steam could be required to play using officially-supported online services, but offline would still work as it does now?
AdmlBaconStraps

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Reply with quote  #6 
This is just me, but I'd treat the Steam release the same way you treat the iOS version in terms of licencing/charging, etc. You did a great job with how it works there - my *ONLY* complaint there would be version mismatches. Though these have been minor enough not to warrant any serious concern thus far, I think Steam gets a lot more twitchy about these things.

As for the in-game VOIP and other steam options that's easy: Anyone with existing versions from your site can just register it on their steam list. I admit though, I'm not sure how that'd work with those who haven't actually bought a copy as per the bridge licence setup (I'm assuming there'd be some kind of verification process invovled with adding it to steam).

Outside of those as the major concerns, I don't think there's a lot you need to worry about. Frankly, I see no reason why you shouldn't be able to mix'n'match steam/non steam/iOS/Google Marketplace versions
janx

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Reply with quote  #7 
another interesting wrinkle with Steam, is that it doesn't let you play the game if you're not online.

For folks running on an isolated switch, at say a convention. that'd kill it.


Tango_Kilo

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Reply with quote  #8 
Steam does have an 'offline mode' but it is a bad joke. Unless you have fired a particular game up within the last few days it won't work.
Heenicks
Reply with quote  #9 
I'd like to know if there's going to be a discount for people that have already bought it (similar to the upgrade discount you could get on this site). I just bought Artemis last month but I feel like a steam version would suit me better - though, I'd be willing to buy it again 

As for the price point, me and a friend were discussing it a few weeks ago so here's a suggestion: launch the game for $7, and have an optional 6 pack costing $40. The only drawback being that it is possible to have two computers launch the same game from the same account in offline mode, albeit very time consuming to set up. If you're considering utilizing steam features (ones that don't work in offline mode) hardly anyone would bother to put the same account offline on multiple computers anyway.

Above all else make sure that when you're creating the steam store page, stress that the game is meant for 3-6 people. Too many people buy things on steam because they look interesting, and then complain and troll when they didn't read the page properly, and thought they'd be able to play it by themselves.
Stonefish

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heenicks
stress that the game is meant for 3-48 people

[smile]
Heenicks
Reply with quote  #11 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonefish
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heenicks
stress that the game is meant for 3-48 people

[smile]


Oh yeah, that 
Sorry, I've only been able to play it a few times with friends.

3-48 works, so would 'more than two' or just noting that the game is in no way built for single player.

AdmlBaconStraps

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
I'd like to know if there's going to be a discount for people that have already bought it


I'm not sure how that's relevent in any way? You can just add it to your steam list like with ANY other game..

Quote:
launch the game for $7, and have an optional 6 pack costing $40


Someone mentioned this in another threat. Total +1 to this idea

Quote:
If you're considering utilizing steam features (ones that don't work in offline mode) hardly anyone would bother to put the same account offline on multiple computers anyway.


I don't get why people are so up in arms about offline mode and online features working.. If it's in offline mode you would all be in the same room and the online features (the only relevent ones being chat and voip) are completely irrelevent. Given the best purchasing options are looking like either individual licences like with the app store or as a gifting pack of 6 bridge stations (if not both) if you're playing online I can't see any reason why you wouldn't be covered..
Heenicks
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdmlBaconStraps
Quote:
I'd like to know if there's going to be a discount for people that have already bought it


I'm not sure how that's relevent in any way? You can just add it to your steam list like with ANY other game..


If Thom adds steamworks extras, then I'd want to play it through steam for those benefits (Achievements, Trading Cards, Matchmaking, Big Picture Mode, Steam Workshop, etc.)

Even without any extras, there'll be automatic updates, an installer free setup, potentially better download speed, and the ability to redownload at any time and as many times as necessary.

I don't know, it might just be a personal thing, but I'd prefer it to the point that I'd pay for it at full price again just for the convenience. That being said, Thom offered a discount for 2.0 if you'd bought the old version, so I was just wondering if there'd be a similar discount for a steam key if you own the DRM free version.

Also, I didn't think of this before, but Big Picture Mode seems perfect for the Captain/server.
AdmlBaconStraps

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Reply with quote  #14 
I haven't done much playing around with adding games to steam manually, but shouldn't steam pick up on the fact that you're adding a steam game?
janx

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdmlBaconStraps
I don't get why people are so up in arms about offline mode and online features working.. If it's in offline mode you would all be in the same room and the online features (the only relevent ones being chat and voip) are completely irrelevent. Given the best purchasing options are looking like either individual licences like with the app store or as a gifting pack of 6 bridge stations (if not both) if you're playing online I can't see any reason why you wouldn't be covered..


The problem is, if you're doing an offline lan party, you may be doing a variation of what I do:

set up a switch
connect my computers plus some friends' PCs
plug in my USB sticks and run the game of the USB sticks that I prepared with the same files/mods setup

No internet, no logging into steam

A Steam version of the game may make setting up like this impossible.  it may require a seperate user to have installed the game per PC.

It certainly requires being connected online (if not very recently).

For one person with one PC, Steam's probably just fine.

It adds problems when considered from the LAN party play mode that Artemis was originally designed for.
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