Steamworks Documentation
Steam Next Fest - Tips
Steam Next Fest is a great time to get your unreleased game in front of potential players and start building your audience. What follows are some tips you may find useful for how to go about interacting with fans, making sure your game is visible, and how to get the most out of your participation in Steam Next Fest.

Your Demo

  • Put a link on your demo home screen to where players can submit feedback - Make it easy for players of your demo to give you feedback. Put a button right there on your main menu of your demo, or in the pause menu, or both. It can link to a specific Steam sub-forum, your Discord channel, a bug tracker tool, your own forums, or wherever you want to collect feedback from players.
  • Indicate on your demo home screen if you will deactivate the demo, and when - Many players download demos with the intention of playing after the fest ends, so communicate to players if you plan to deactivate your demo after Steam Next Fest ends so that they can prioritize playing it accordingly.
  • Create a sub-forum for demo feedback - Within your base game's Steam discussion forums, you can create new sub-forums. You can create one for the purposes of player feedback and discussions about your demo.
  • Make sure your demo is clearly listed on your store page - When you release your demo, make sure you also have the demo button added to your base game's store page. You do this under the "Edit Store Page > Special Settings". Once you've added your demo there, make sure the box is checked that says "display above purchase options" to make it show up prominently on your store page.
  • Plan ahead for Build Review - Build review takes time, so make sure you set aside enough time for Steam to review your build and for you to address any feedback provided by review.

Live Streaming

  • Test live streaming a few times - There are a lot of little bits to configure, so chances are good that it will take you a few attempts to get live streaming to work correctly. Best to try all that out well in advance of the Next Fest to make sure that your scheduled live stream time goes smoothly. Learn more: Setting Up A Stream. If you plan on streaming the Demo of your game, be sure to check out Broadcasting a Game Demo to the Store Page, as it works differently from regular livestreams.
  • Turn on broadcast chat by default - When you set your live stream to appear on your store page, you can configure the chat window to be open by default. Do this and players will know that you are there and available to chat with them. Engage: take questions from the chat and answer them in your live stream. Ask questions of your audience. Tell them stories. Be playful. Learn more: Broadcast Moderation.
  • Use a streaming tool that supports RTMP - This will give you more control over your stream and let you show your webcam so players know you are there. For common streaming issues see: Broadcasting FAQs or Broadcasting Game Demos.
  • Schedule time to be present and live - For Next Fest, you have the opportunity to schedule up to two hour-long spots for your game to appear on the official schedule. Use this as an opportunity to highlight your game, chat with fans, and show what it's like to play your game. Read more about scheduling live streams.
  • Be sure to start your livestream event on the hour (e.g., at 2:00 and not 2:30) - failing to start your livestream on the hour may cause schedule visibility issues.

Visibility within Steam Next Fest

  • Set your demo live in time for press preview - Valve will be sharing the list of participating games with a list of press outlets 10 days prior to the start of Next Fest. If you release your demo by that date then those press can potentially try out your demo.
  • Set your demo live in time for Next Fest - Steam Next Fest only includes games with demos, so please be sure to set yours live ahead of the start of the Next Fest.
  • Check your tags/categories - Steam Next Fest is organized based on the categories you selected when you registered (up to 2 categories per game) and then based on the store tags applied to your game. If you don't select any categories, your game will not appear in Next Fest! Check out the developer preview page to see where your game is set to appear, and then consider the categories and sections that exist within Next Fest. You may want to add or remove some store tags from your base game to make it show up in more relevant sections of Next Fest.

Live Q&A Sessions

Members of the Steam Business Team periodically host live Q&A sessions to answer developers' questions about registering for and getting the most out of Steam Next Fest. Future Q&A sessions will be communicated as they are scheduled. Please access all previous session recordings via this YouTube playlist.

Need Help?

Contact us here if you have questions regarding Steam Next Fest.