How we got Steam Deck Verified
This is a short story about how we got the coveted Steam Deck Verified die for our game The Unexpected Quest. Moreover, none of us even held it in our hands your Steam Deck.
The first thing I want to note is that these are all my personal opinions, based only on my experience. And it is quite possible that in your case they may not ride. So, this article is only for a general understanding of the issues, not a detailed how-to guide.
Valve has added only one of our games to its Steam Deck Compatibility list. Obviously, it includes games that have reached a certain “weight” in Steam. And most likely, this happens at the moment when you are allowed to make a badge, cards and other items for sale. After that, the Steam Deck Compatibility Review page will be available to you, it’s hard to miss, so you’ll find it.
It is worth saying Thank you valves for Proton, it takes away a huge amount of body movement to adapt the game to their platform. Almost anything runs, especially if it uses standard engines, SDKs, etc. We had to cut only a small piece of code, sharpened for the integration of wallpapers in Windows. And that, as far as I understood, he was simply not performing his functions, and not coloring the game or doing some other obscene things.
We are currently working on the Linux version of the game (test system – Manjaro). And there is hope that this will allow you to completely get rid of emulation on the Steam Deck and switch to native operation.
At the very beginning, we got a Playable die. Thanks should be said Unreal Engine. Since he did most of the work for us, if you don’t create game, then everything will work. But the game had to be refined.
The first and most important thing is that the game must work from a gamepad. With us, due to the specifics of the genre, it is very difficult to do this – point and click manager. It is good that at the beginning of the development they made a virtual cursor, and all control can be run through it. Moreover, UE allows you to make a layer that emulates a mouse for the rest of the game. I wrote once and forgot. Of the “features”, we added only the slowing down of the cursor when flying over active objects. They tried to do sticking, but the result was not very good, either the hands are crooked or one of the two.
The second important thing is the lack of a keyboard. If you need to enter text, the Steamworks SDK (since version 1.52 search showFloatingGamepadTextInput) it is possible to call a virtual keyboard. How did we test it without a device? Start in Big Picture mode, pick up the gamepad and test. 😼 If the keyboard appears – everything is fine, it will also be on the device. In normal mode, the game does not show the virtual keyboard.
Yes, and another trick with the controller. You can connect an external gamepad to the Steam Deck. And Unreal Engine distributes control from different gamepads to different players. In general, when the external controller was connected, control was completely disconnected from the built-in one. I had to be a little shamanic, but I wrote about it in a separate article.
Screen resolution and frame rate. The piece is important, but we are lucky. The game always runs in Borderless Window mode at native resolution. First, VSync was enabled, then they switched to the frame limit. There were no questions about this at the valve, they threatened a little and that was it.
Most of the work was done with fonts and localization. The problem with the fonts is that they are small! And even at one and a half times the scale of the UI, they were small! You increase the size and the layout of the UI starts to go. If work on small screens was included in the UI requirements first, there would be fewer problems. But at first we didn’t even think that Switch and Steam Deck would exist! And after you enlarge the font, it becomes bigger on the desktop. Sum… According to the results, the most time was spent on the UI.
With localization, everything turned out to be both a little more complicated and a little easier. It is more difficult in terms of paper: it was necessary to reconnect localists, conclude contracts, etc. The fact is that the texts should not mention the mouse, clicks, keyboard, etc. And we initially tried to avoid them in our texts, so we almost did not have to correct the Russian localization. But here are good English translators who replaced our neutral “click” with “click” instead of “press”. We did not check it, and the “clicks” scattered to other localizations.
In addition to the texts, icons of buttons and sticks from the XBox Controller were inserted. It’s good that Valve doesn’t require only icons from the gamepad, so we made universal texts that had buttons from the keyboard and from the gamepad at the same time.
By the way, Valve support is very responsive. That is, guys don’t get mad at your game. We asked to accompany the review with screenshots of curved places and a detailed description of how it should look and work. They explained that we do not have a Steam Deck and are working blindly. As a result, we were bombarded with shots, short videos and detailed comments. Special thanks to Gaben for such organization of work!
Well, if you have a Steam Deck, then send it to me or you can try our toy at this link: