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Bringing Mobile Game to Steam
Over the years, we’ve seen many games that were originally developed for mobile make the leap to PC though Steam. As a result, we’ve seen some games make the transition successfully while others flop. The key differences seem to be in how deeply the developer considers the PC audience and adapts the game for the format. None of these are hard-and-fast rules, but are simply some observations we have from games we’ve seen release on Steam.

In addition to these suggestions, you might want to check out James Vaughan’s CDG talk about bringing the game Plague from mobile to PC: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1021963/Evolving-Plague-Inc-Taking-a

Context

PC gamers appear to prefer longer-form experiences that they can sink some time into. Whether that is experiencing a story unfolding or getting better at a puzzle or hard level. The bite-size pieces of content that typically do well on mobile (because you can play while waiting for the bus) don’t seem to do as well on PC.

Resolution

Consider the format of the screen. Do your art assets hold up when viewed on a high-resolution desktop monitor? Is the game re-shaped to fill the aspect ratio of monitors and make use of the whole screen? Is your interface reasonably sized on various resolutions? Can customers adjust resolution to make sure it fits natively on their monitor?

Input

Most people don’t have a touch-screen monitor, so it’s important to consider how your input model changes and how you can make use of keyboard and mouse in a natural-feeling way. Game controllers are also often worth considering, and the Steam Controller API makes it easy for you to write a controller integration once that works for a huge variety of controllers.

Business Model

Some key formats for monetization on mobile are not received very well by players on PC. For instance, PC players seem less willing to put up with microtransaction configurations that hold back gameplay or progress unless you pay. We’ve seen some games that have had that kind of format on mobile switch to a premium model on PC where all the content is unlocked and unrestricted, which seems to work a lot better.

Additionally, there are more options on PC to sell additional content such as through DLC or expansions.

User Generated Content

The PC brings some great opportunities for integrating user-generated content into the gameplay experience. If you have ways that your players can create content that improves other players’ experiences, then you can create a tighter connection between players and benefit from a larger pool of content available in your game. This can range from simple things like encouraging screenshot-moments or much more complex things like a level editor or ship builder that shares creations to the Steam Workshop.