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There comes a time in every game developers life where they want to share their creation with the rest of the world. Leadwerks provides tools that make it easy to get your game in front of an audience.  Whether you want to publish a complete polished game or a basic demo doesn't matter.  Just select the File > Publish menu item in the main menu to open the Publish window.

Attached Image: publish window.jpg

The publish dialog has three choices available.
  • Steam Workshop: This option will publish your game to Steam Workshop. Games that are uploaded with this method are available to play for free with Leadwerks Game Launcher. Leadwerks Game Launcher is a separate application that can be downloaded for free from Steam. If you would like your friends to try your game they can just install Leadwerks Game Launcher and click on your game, without downloading zip files or installers.
  • Update Workshop Game: If you have already uploaded your game and you want to update it, then use this option.  The update will be sent out to everyone playing your game.
  • Standalone: This option exports your game and all required assets into a freely distributable package. You can share the game with anyone you like without the use of Steam, or make your own installer.  You will need to host the files on your own site or upload it to a file storage service like DropBox or Google Drive.

Select the option you want and press the Next button.

Steam Workshop

If you select this option, the next screen will say "Publish to Steam Workshop" and look like the image below.  Fill in the name of your game first. Then browse for an image that represents your game. This image will be shown in Steam Workshop, the Leadwerks website, and Leadwerks Game Launcher.  Next  choose the visibility mode. You can set it to private so that only you can see it, to 'Friends-only' or public. Friends-only means that only the people on your Steam friends list will be able to download your game. The public option will make the game available to anyone on Steam.  Give a description for your game (this can be changed in Steam later on). Finally, there is an option to only include files that are used by the game.  When this is enabled, Leadwerks will scan files and determine which files are actually used in the game.  Otherwise, all asset files in your project will be included.

Attached Image: publish to steam.jpg

When the Publish button is pressed, Leadwerks will package all assets up and then upload the game to Steam.  After successfully uploading your game, its Workshop page will be opened in the Steam client.

Attached Image: steam.jpg

Your project files cannot be recovered from the copyright-protected game, so be sure to back up your project regularly.

Update Workshop Game

If you select this option the next screen will say "Update Workshop Game" and look like the image below.  Leadwerks will attempt to detect which game your are updating based on the project name.  If you have multiple games published, just make sure you're updating the right one by selecting it in the dropdown list at the top of the window.  You can change the preview image to a new one if you want to.  If you only want to change the game's preview image, without uploading a new version of the game, then check the Update preview image only at the bottom of the window.  If you enter a comment on the update, it will be displayed in your game's list of updates.  This is a good place to note what additions or fixes you made to the game.  This will not affect the game's description on its Workshop page.  Press the Publish button when you are ready and your changes will be uploaded to Steam.

Attached Image: update workshop game.jpg

Publish Standalone Game

When this option is selected the next screen will say "Publish Standalone Game' and look like the image below. By default it will package your game files up and save it to your desktop with the name of your project.  You can also choose which file extensions are to be included and whether only used files should be included.  Press the Publish button and Leadwerks create a new folder containing your game's executable, along with one or more encrypted zip files containing the game's asset files.

Attached Image: publish standalone game.png

Your game's files can be published to a digital distribution service like Steam or Desura, or you can make an installer using an external tool.

Conclusion

This concludes the tutorial series on using Leadwerks Editor.  You've now explored every aspect of the editor and learned a ton about computer graphics and how games work. In the next series of lessons we will delve into Lua scripting and the basic concepts that form the logic of games.


14 Comments

How do you get the Leadwerks Game Launcher to publish? Also if I publish, can friends that don't have leadwerks still play my games???

snowman0674, on 22 May 2015 - 03:25 AM, said:

How do you get the Leadwerks Game Launcher to publish? Also if I publish, can friends that don't have leadwerks still play my games???
You need a beta key to access it.  I'll send you one.

If you publish a game to Workshop, I will send you some more beta keys to give to your friends.  They only need the game launcher app, which will be free.
Hello,

Thank you for doing these tutorials. They are absolutely out of this world and I never would have been able to use the program without them. After spending a couple hours going back and forth between the program and these How-To's I have no doubt that within a few days time, I'll be on my way to screwing up some great ideas, then fixing it to create somethin really cool.  Thanks again & See you on STEAM!

Matt
If you are making a standalone installer, Inno Setup is one good option.  It's free and easy to use:
http://www.jrsoftware.org/isinfo.php

Since OpenAL needs to be installed on the user's computer, you can just include the OpenAL installer.  Add this code to the end of the Inno Setup script and it will automatically install OpenAL silently on the user's computer, in a post-install step:
[Run]
Filename: "{app}\oalinst.exe"; Parameters: "/s"; StatusMsg: Installing OpenAL...

Josh Klint, on 23 May 2015 - 06:26 AM, said:

You need a beta key to access it.  I'll send you one.

If you publish a game to Workshop, I will send you some more beta keys to give to your friends.  They only need the game launcher app, which will be free.

Hi, can you send me one beta key for my teammate?
HI can you send some beta keys
Done.

theonlysnowflake, on 22 May 2015 - 03:25 AM, said:

How do you get the Leadwerks Game Launcher to publish? Also if I publish, can friends that don't have leadwerks still play my games???
Your game will appear in the game launcher automatically.  Your friends can download it for free and play your game.
Encrypted key when I try to access the ZIP files? what's the password?
Hi

Leadwerks is royalty free
So if I want to sell my game, is the Steam Workshop the way to go about it?
I ask be-cos of this comment:
"Games that are uploaded with this method are available to play for free with Leadworks Game Launcher"

MadCat, on 28 January 2016 - 04:08 AM, said:

Hi

Leadwerks is royalty free
So if I want to sell my game, is the Steam Workshop the way to go about it?
I ask be-cos of this comment:
"Games that are uploaded with this method are available to play for free with Leadworks Game Launcher"


Nope, you can only publish your game for free in Steam Workshop for others to test and get feedback. If you want to sell your game on Steam you must publish it on Greenlight. Here is the link: https://steamcommunity.com/greenlight/
I keep trying to publish my game as a standalone but whenever I try to play it, the tutorial level comes up instead. How do I fix this?
If using lua, look at the main.lua script to see what map you are loading via Map:Load(). You may need to change it from the "start.map" to your map name. Also, its better idea to post questions like this inside the forum rather on a page that maybe no one will notice for days/weeks.
In addition to OpenAL, players may also need Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015.
http://www.leadwerks.com/werkspace/topic/16052-vcruntime140dll-missing/

Also, Leadwerks does not include steam_appid.txt as part of the Publish process so you'll need to copy that yourself if you use Steam functions or your program will crash.  The file should have 480 in it for games that have not been Greenlit.