The Nuts and Bolts of Publishing Vizard Apps to the Steam and Oculus Stores

August 30, 2022

Sado Rabaudi

Here is a brief overview of publishing Vizard applications to both the Oculus and Steam stores.

Publishing to the Steam Store: 

Set up an account

First, sign up for a Steamworks account (you can use your existing Steam account to login if you have one). 

Next, sign up to become a VR content developer.

Please note: There is a $100 submission fee for each product you wish to distribute.

Fill out all the forms and make the payment.

Once you fill out the onboarding form information. It will take around 2-7 days for your information to be verified. 

Prepare a store in which to feature your application 

Create a new game. There will be a blank game listed as "YOUR GAME HERE (0000000)." Click on this to create a new game. 

Edit the store page to add images, basic info, trailers, etc. When done, click “publish”. 

Change settings for game

Click on your game and go to “Edit Steamworks Settings” to change the name, operating system, choose the default installation folder and upload your depot. 

When done click on the “publish” tab, check for any publishing issues with the “prepare for publishing” button  and then click “publish to Steam” .

Create and upload build 

In Vizard, go to File- Publish as exe to create your executable file. See this page in the documentation for information on publishing an executable. 

Download the Steam SDK from here https://partner.steamgames.com/doc/sdk

Extract the folder and navigate to “ContentBuilder\scripts” folder (steamworks_sdk_155\sdk\tools\ContentBuilder\scripts) and open the "app_build_1000.vdf" file using notepad.

Change the AppID to your game's appID (this is at the end of the URL after you publish your game). 

Change the depot ID to your depot ID. This is the 6-digit number next to the game title at the top of the depot page in Steamworks Settings. 

Open the depot_build_1001.vdf" file using notepad.

Replace the depot ID number with the Depot ID for your game.

Place all your Vizard files in the "Content" folder in Steamworks SDK.

Create depot folders and place all application files in there, that then go in the “build” folder. 

You can either use the Steamcmd.exe tool to upload your build, or directly upload a .zip file of the build in your Steam Dashboard by going to Steampipe- Builds- “Upload depots as zip” .

To use the Steamcmd.exe tool, navigate to "\sdk\tools\ContentBuilder\builder" and double click on Steamcmd.exe.

If needing to login type login <account_name> <password>.

You may also need to enter a Steam Guard code, which you may receive in an email.

Next, type “run_app_build” followed by the location of the "Scripts" folder. 

Lastly, type in the name of the "app_build" vdf folder and press “Enter”.

Your build will then be packaged and uploaded to the Steam Depot.

Log back into Steamworks and go to the “Build” tab (under Steampipe- Builds).

Change build live branch to “default” and click “Preview Change” .

Click “Set Build Live Now” and then “OK”.

At this point you can install and test your game (it is not available for the public yet).

Go back to Steamworks dashboard and click on “Mark Ready for Review”. 

Once your game has been approved you can click on your game and choose “View Release Options”. 

Choose “Prepare for Release”.

Finally, click “Publish” to publish your game on Steam.

Publishing to the Oculus Store:

When publishing from Vizard to Oculus, the process is similar to publishing for the Steam store. While previously you needed to use the .zip option for Oculus, now you will save as .exe. Here is the page again in the Vizard documentation on publishing an exe

Before you can publish to Oculus, you must first create an account and sign up as a developer. 

Make sure the firmware, runtime, and hardware are correctly configured and tested.

To package your app you can either use the Oculus Developer Hub or the Command Line Tool.

For using the Oculus Developer Hub: 

Download and install the application from here.

On your Oculus headset, go to Settings - System - Developer, and turn on the USB Connection Dialog option. Or, you could open the Oculus mobile app, select your headset, and select  the Developer Mode option. 

Connect the headset to your computer with a USB-C cable and click “Allow” when asked to allow access to data (you can also use ADB over wifi). 

Next, allow USB Debugging and choose “Always allow from this computer”. Your headset should now show up in the device manager. 

To create a new app, click on the “App Distribution” tab and then click “Manage Developer Center” to open the developer dashboard (or navigate there directly).

Click Create New App and choose “Rift”. 

Click on “Start Submission” and fill in the information requested.

In the Oculus Development Hub, click again on “App Distribution” and you should see your new app in the list. Click on that and click “Upload” to upload your builds. 

Fill in the information and click to find the link to your build directory and launch file.

For using the Command Line Build Utility 

  1. Go to this link and download the latest version.
  2. Locate your ovr-platform-util.exe file.
  3. Open Windows Command Prompt by typing “cmd” in the search bar.
  4. Change directory using cd command to the location of your ovr-platform-util.exe file: cd <File path to ovr-platform-util.exe> (i.e. cd C:\Users\Worldviz\Downloads\) and Press Enter.
  5. Use the command below: ovr-platform-util upload-rift-build --app-id <AppID> --app-secret <App-Secret> --build-dir <Path-to-build-dir> --launch-file <Path-to-launch-file> --channel <Release-Channel> --version <Build-Version>.
  6. You can find the App ID and the App Secret on the API page of your app on the Developer Dashboard.

You can also check the guidelines for getting approved on the Oculus store here.

Once it passes a series of tests for the Alpha build, you can download and test your application and then proceed to uploading a Beta, Release Candidate and Production version.

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