Broadcasting gameplay from a Demo App to the Steam Store can be beneficial. For instance, it can be a great way to show future fans content in the game prior to its launch and may encourage Steam customers to try out the demo for themselves.
This document will outline the steps to successfully stream a demo to your Steam store page. Streaming a demo to the Steam store is different in a few area than streaming the base game. This document will outline those differences.
Demos on Steam have separate appID from their base games. They do not have their own Steam store page and instead are discovered by users by search, by download demo appearing on the base game store page or the Demo Content Hub
or being part of Steam Next Fest type events.
Learn more about setting up a Demo here
Demo Streaming Consideration
Since Demos do not have their own store page, you cannot use the Demo appID for setting up your stream. The Demo appID will not automatically appear on the base game store page. Even though you are streaming demo content, you must indicate that you are streaming the base game to Steam Broadcast. The other important consideration is using a Steam account which is allowed to play the base game. The Steam account can acquire the base game a few ways:
- It is a member of the Steamworks Partner Group with access to the game.
- Has a license for the game either via purchase or a product key, if the game is released.
- Has a release override license for the game if the game is unreleased.
The Steam Broadcast servers will prevent streaming of content which the Steam user account is not permitted to play. This is a general safeguard to prevent unintentionally leaking game content via Steam broadcast.
You cannot use the Steam Client built-in broadcasting feature to Stream demo gameplay to the Steam Store, because the client will use the Demo appID. Since the Demo appID does not match the base game appID, it will not appear on the base game Steam store page. If you intend to stream Demo gameplay to the Steam store, you will need to use 3rd-party streaming software.
The following actions are required:
- Setup the prerequisite for your streaming account as outlined by the requirements section.
- Allow the streaming Steam account permissions to broadcast onto the Base Game store page as outlined here. This permission is granted either using a Steam Event or until it's removed from the Special Settings of the Store Page Edit and the store page is then re-published.
- You need to use external software to stream a demo to Steam, thus you need to prepare your streaming Steam account's RTMP Server and Token as defined here. Remember to setup the Broadcast appID to your base game's appID, not your demo appID.
- Do not play the Demo app using the same Steam Account you plan to use for broadcasting. Why? Playing a game in the Steam library will inform the Broadcast system of the AppID the account is playing. The broadcast system will prefer the game being played by the library over the AppID value configured on the Broadcast configuration page. If you want to play the demo app then use a different Steam account than the one used for broadcasting.
There are many existing software packages that let you stream your game to a platform like Steam. We are going to give a quick example of using an open-source option called OBS (Open Broadcaster Software).
Steps for using OBS to setup a stream to Steam. Your OBS version may have a slightly different user interface, however, the overall steps should be the same.
- Start running the Demo app, so it is ready for OBS to capture content.
- Define a scene. You can name it anything.
- Setup a source for OBS to capture video and audio content. OBS has a default source called 'Game Capture'. Create a new one with any name you want.
- On the properties window for you new game capture, set the mode to 'Capture Specific Window' and choose in the window your running demo. You can close the properties window at this point as game is ready to capture.
- Open "Settings" in the Control Panel.
- Go to the 'Stream' configuration tab. Choose 'Custom Streaming Server' from the Stream type drop-down. This is where you enter the upload server and upload token that is found on the broadcast upload settings page. This configuration needs to be set when logged in as the account you plan on streaming to Steam with.
- Go to the 'Output' configuration tab. Choose 'Advanced' from the output mode. Make sure to specify keyframe interval parameter to 2, as that is a critical requirement for uploading streaming content to Steam. The other settings defaults will be fine. More details on Steam's requirement for those other setting can be found here.
- You are set for streaming. You can close the setting panels and start streaming. You can return to the broadcast upload settings page while logged in as the streaming account to see statistics about your broadcast, any diagnostic error messages, and to find a link to the stream on Steam Community.