Currently developing GearBlocks. I guess you could say I'm an industry veteran (in other words, I'm old ;)). After having worked as a programmer in "AAA" games for around 15 years, I decided to try an experiment, could I develop and release my own game? Jury's still out on that, but things are going pretty well so far.

RSS Steam Game Festival

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Phew, it's been a busy time lately! I decided it would be a good opportunity to take part in the upcoming Steam Game Festival from June 9th to 14th. So for the past few weeks I've been working towards getting ready for that, and there's still a lot more to do.

I'm excited that soon the GearBlocks store page will be live on Steam, and a new updated demo build will be playable there during the festival!

Saved game changes

The first thing to mention is that I've removed support for the legacy save format, which means that saved games / constructions from demo builds prior to the most recent version (0.5.7362) will no longer load. You can still convert older saves into the new format by loading them into demo version 0.5.7362 and saving them back out.

I have also changed the saved game / construction folder structure slightly, so that all files for each save are now held in their own sub-folder (existing saves are converted over to this new folder structure). Also, each save now has an additional meta data file (for name, description, and tags).

I've modified all the save / load UI screens to allow the name, description, etc. to be entered / viewed when saving or loading, for example:-

All this was necessary for the next step...

Steamworks integration

Given that the GearBlocks demo will soon be up on Steam, I really wanted to take advantage of the platform from the get go, and utilise Steam Workshop in some way.

The first step was to get Steamworks integrated and initialised. I'm using the excellent Facepunch Steamworks .NET implementation (https://github.com/Facepunch/Facepunch.Steamworks), which seems to support everything I need, and I found it to be really easy to use!

Next I implemented code for publishing saved constructions to the Workshop, and spawning subscribed (and downloaded) constructions, also modifying the construction spawner UI to support these operations:-

Finally, I built a basic browser screen to query and view all items currently uploaded to Steam Workshop, and to allow you to subscribe / unsubscribe to them:-

There's a lot more work left to do for this screen, e.g. query sorting and filtering options, up / down voting of items, etc. but this has the bare bones functionality for now.

Also I plan on adding Workshop support for saved games, which should be relatively quick to do now, saved games already have meta data so they're basically good to go.

Steam store page

Before the festival starts, I also need to get my store page ready for prime time, as this will link to the demo and give people an opportunity to wish-list the game. I still have plenty more work to do on this, but I've done most of the graphical assets now. I'm not going to reveal any of these just yet, but you may have already noticed the new and improved logo!

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