While Serious Engine has always supported modding, distributing and download mods always involved cumbersome manual work. Authors had to find file hosting sites to upload their mods to, and distribute that information somehow to the users. Users had to download the files and manually install them.
With Steam Workshop we have one single hub hosting all the custom content for the game. Mod authors can upload all their work easily, directly from the editor. While users can easily select which mods they want to subscribe to and automatically have it downloaded by the game and kept updated automatically.
This document assumes that you know how to create content in Serious Editor, and describes just how to prepare it and upload it to the Steam Workshop. If you don't even know how to create the content in the first place, you can get a lot of info from this wiki's. A collection of various articles is listed on the Main Page. It is suggested that you start from SED3/Hello World.
Before uploading, you should prepare the following:
- Title for the item as you want it to appear in the Workshop. Make sure it is unique, i.e. that no content with that same name already exists on the Workshop.
- Description text explaining what your item is about. You can use same [formatting markup] as in Steam GameHub discussions.
- Thumbnail image for your new workshop item. It must be a JPEG file, and it is best to make it square.
- Actual content packaged into a .gro file. To learn how to do that, see SED3/Packing Content for Distribution. If you are making a new level or player model, make sure you include any needed .nfo files.
When you have it all ready, start Serious Editor and choose "File>Upload content to Steam" from the menu.
Note that at this point, you will have to wait for a bit for the editor to connect to Steam and see if you already have some uploaded content. If you have uploaded multiple items before, this may take a while. You should see a progress bar in the lower right corner.
You should now see the dialog like the one on the right. Now:
- Input the texts and files you have prepared in the previous section.
- Choose appropriate tags for your item. It is a good idea to check all tags available and tick all that are applicable, so that users can search for your mod via different criteria.
- Choose visibility for your item. If it is Private (as is default), you will have a chance to check how your item appears in the workshop before anyone else sees it and fix some of its data before you publish it.
- Press Publish and wait while it uploads.
If your .gro file is big, this may take a while. Unfortunately, we don't have any upload progress info from Steam, so we cannot show any meaningful progress bar. Sorry about that, but there is nothing we can do about it at the moment.
IMPORTANT: If your item is uploaded as Private, you can see it by going to the [Workshop web page] (make sure you are logged into the site with your Steam account), and clicking on Your Workshop Files link on the right side. You will have to publish it from there before it appears on the global list. Note, however, that you can give the URL of the item's page to anyone and they can still see it and subscribe to it. This is useful if you want to beta-test your item!
Note that this upload dialog does not expose all options that you have for presenting your item to the users. Once the item is uploaded, you can go to the item's page in the Workshop and add or edit additional media describing it. You can add more screenshots, or even videos, or edit text and title.
You cannot edit tags or the thumbnail image from that web interface, but you can change them by updating from Serious Editor. See below.
Once uploaded, your Workshop item is not frozen in time. You may decide to upgrade, improve or fix it. You can change any of the things that you have initially uploaded, like title, .gro file, thumbnail, etc. to do that:
- Choose "File>Upload content to Steam" from the menu again. The same dialog as before will appear.
- Select the Packages button (see image on the right).
- Select the item you want to update. Its current data will be loaded into the dialog.
- Change the info that you wanted to change.
- Press Publish and wait for it to upload.
It will upload only the things that are different. If you have not changed the .gro, it will not upload it again.
When you do that, all the users that have already subscribed to your item will receive a new version of it the next time they run the game.
You might note strange filenames for the content file and thumbnail. These are temporary files where Serious Editor has downloaded your item to be able to compare whether something is different. If you don't change these, they won't be uploaded again.
Users that want to download your items have to simply visit the [Workshop web page] and subscribe to all items they like. The next time they launch the moddable version of the game, the items will be downloaded and can then be used in the game.
Note: In case a user subscribes to two or more mods that change the same item (e.g. a gold pistol and a replacement revolver), the results will be undefined. To allow users to more easily switch between such items, and to generally allow temporary removal of items from the game, without needing lengthy re-downloads, we have implemented in-game menu to disable/enable items. Please find it in the Extras menu in the moddable version of the game.
Hints, Notes and Known Problems
- Steam servers currently limit the maximum size of a workshop item approximately 200MB.
- Yes, we know that it would be better if Steam client would download the items without you having to launch the game first. Valve is aware of this problem too, and we hope that they will add this feature soon.
- If you subscribed to some items, but have not yet fully downloaded them, do not attempt to invoke the upload menu in the editor! There is a bug that will make the editor block infinitely. You should start the game first and wait for all items to download first. Or go to the [Workshop web page] and unsubscribe from those items.