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Welcome to CloudNovel's official tutorial on how to upload your CloudNovel visual novel game up onto Steam. Before you start, you need to make sure you are over the age of 18, and you have $100 ready to pay the developer fee. Don't worry, once you make your first $1000 in revenue off your steam game, you get refunded back your $100.

We have a visual novel on CloudNovel that has already been uploaded onto the Steam store, and that is High School Otome. Here it is on CloudNovel: 

And here it is on the Steam Store page:

Unfortunately, in order to upload to Steam, you need to learn some coding. There is no button that says "upload your game" where you can just upload a zip file of your entire game package. Steam does have a button in beta where you can upload your game without using a terminal, but unfortunately the size limit is 100mb and most likely your game will be over that size limit. Games made with CloudNovel are at minimum 83mb to start with 0 image and sound files, and a visual novel with 1 scene and 3-5 file will be over 130mb, so this Steam beta feature will not work, you will need to learn coding. 

In this tutorial, we will go in depth and step by step how to exactly upload your visual novel game made with CloudNovel onto Steam. 

Unfortunately Valve's steam works is confidential so I cannot take screen shots of CloudNovel's steam account, but I will walk you through the official video tutorials that Steam gives on their YouTube channel, and point you to the links where you can download Steam CMD and Steam SDK in order to upload your game through Steam Pipe.

Sign up on Steamworks

In order to submit your game onto Steam, you need to sign up for a special account on Steamworks.

Just go through the process of signing up for an account, fill in your tax or company information (if you are a single person choose Sole Proprietorship or LLC if you have a registered limited liability company with your visual novel studio) and wait until you get an email saying you are approved for a Steamworks account. Remember you have to be older than 18 because Steam needs to know your tax information. Obviously that means you have to be an adult, or your game has to be put under your parent's name if you are under the age of 18, and you need to use your parent's tax information.

Pay the $100 developer fee

Here you will need to pay the $100 developer fee for your app. Just go to your Steamworks dashboard, and under "Create a new application" there will be a button that says Pay Product Submission Fee and just pay your fee to create your app. 

Steamworks Tutorial #1 - Building Your Content in Steampipe

What is Steampipe? Steampipe is the upload system that Steam uses to let game developers upload their game packages/zip files onto Steam's network. Watch the video below to get started:

While you watch (or watched) this video, here are some things we want to point out:

In Jason's example, he used game.exe then changed it to SteamworksExample.exe, and for CloudNovel visual novels, our executables are slightly different. 

For Windows it's: nw-app.exe

For Mac it's:

Then after that, Jason walks you through making depots. If you want to support all 3 of CloudNovel's offline platforms, you will need to make 3 depots in total:

  1. Windows 64-bit depot
  2. Windows 32-bit depot
  3. Mac OSX depot (CloudNovel's Mac executable is 64-bit)

These depots will be the special ID for each of these compatible game packages for Windows and Mac OS. 

As you can probably tell in the video, Jason does not tell you how to install Steam CMD, or where to download Steam SDK. Jason skips that, but we will show you how to do that so you don't have to go running through the Steamworks Wikipedia and get lost. Don't worry, we will guide you through it.

Intro to Steam CMD and Steam SDK

First you need to install Steam CMD (short name for Steam Command line). Here is a very helpful page to get started on downloading and installing Steam CMD. 

Installing Steam CMD on Windows

Now, I will show you how to open your Command Prompt on Windows 10 OS.

Search for "cmd" in the search bar at the bottom of your windows navigation menu. Command Prompt should pop up, click on that to open it.

Now, this window should pop up and it should look like this:

Log Into Steam CMD via Command Prompt (Windows)

First, you must log into Steam CMD via Command Prompt. Here is a screenshot from this section on this page:

So go back to your terminal and type the first line of code in, and press enter:

cd C:\steamcmd

After you press enter, type the next line of code:


Now press enter, and you should see this:

You are now officially running Steam CMD.

Download Steamworks SDK

Just download from clicking on the link "here" where we have circled in the screenshot of this page:

Now, go ahead and extract your download zip file:

Go to this file directory:

And continue watching Jason's tutorial where he starts editing the files in the above screenshot (at 4:23):

Jason then continues explaining what those two files mean, one for your app ID and a depot file for each of your depot IDs (windows 64 bit, windows 32 bit, and mac osx 64 bit).

You will need to copy and paste all of the game files that you exported from the CloudNovel download into this folder:

This is what the folder should look like after you copy and pasted all your CloudNovel download files into this content folder:

Run App Build

The last line of code you need to type that actually uploads your game package onto steam is this:


Then copy and paste the location of the app_build_IDHERE.vdf file so the code looks like this:

run_app_build C:\Users\YOUR_USERNAME_HERE\Downloads\steamworks_sdk_146\sdk\tools\ContentBuilder\scripts\app_build_1000.vdf

This is what your terminal should look like:

Then press enter.

That's it, you have now uploaded your game onto Steam!