You have created a modification or patch for Gothic 1 or 2? Or want to test out a new game idea or have a free game? You want to reach thousands of players via Spine? Then this tutorial will help you with the first steps on how to get your project on Spine.
To be able to publish a project on Spine, you need the Spine client and a project ID. The project ID has to be manually created by me (Daniel “Bonne” Bonrath). So in order to get your project on Spine, you first need to contact me. You can do this on Discord, via e-mail, private message @ World of Gothic or you post in the release thread @ World of Gothic. It helps to tell a little about your project, but usually you’ll get an answer within 24 hours (most of the time way faster).
The request should contain the
- project name (in all release languages if there are multiple ones)
- the team if not known due to a previous release on Spine
- your Spine user name (if you want to manage it yourself)
If you just want your project to be added, but you don’t want to take care of uploading and managing your project yourself, we also need some metadata. This includes:
- release date
- game type (Gothic 1, Gothic 2, Gothic 1 & 2, Game)
- mod type (Total conversion, Enhancement, Patch, Tool, GMP, Full Version, Demo, Play Testing)
Managing your project
When your project has been added to the database and you’ve been unlocked as team member, you can start managing your project. Therefore the management menu exists at menu bar => Developer => Management.
When opening the dialog you see all the project you have access to on the left side. Selecting a project will allow to edit it and inspect some statistics.
The general settings contain the basic metadata displayed in the database. This contains the release date, the game type and the mod type. For mods (total conversion or enhancement) and games you can also enter the duration of the mod. For patches this obviously doesn’t make sense.
With the Enabled checkbox you can release/unrelease the project which will add/remove it to/from the database for all players.
Since version 1.20 it’s also possible to configure a feedback e-mail address and discussions URL.
Players of your project will be able to send you feedback from their library if you provide a feedback e-mail address. You will just receive the e-mail and no informations about the sender (except the player adds the name to the message). So usually there is no way to reply.
You can also add an URL to your community to get it touch with your players. This can be your Discord server, your own forum or e.g. for modifications your thread @ World of Gothic.
Since Spine 1.34 it is possible to define keywords that help people to discover your project. The name in all languages is automatically added there, so you only need to add specific hints there. Separate them via “;”. Abuse of the keywords feature (adding many unrelated keywords) will cause a ban of the functionality for the whole team.
In the Mod files tab you can upload new files and raise the version number. In order to trigger the automatic update of your project you need to increase the version number. Introduced in Spine 1.20 you will get asked if savegames of the previous version are compatible with this new version. This hint is then displayed in the new history on the info page of the project and in the update notification. Also new in Spine 1.20 is the possibility to enter a changelog. The changelog is optional and will be displayed in the update info and on the info page. It will try to display a changelog in the user’s language if available and fall back to English otherwise. If neither of them is available, no changelog will be displayed.
To add a file, click the +, to remove the selected click the -. When adding, select the file on your disk and enter the target path relative to the installation folder. In case of Gothic and you want to e.g. add the .mod file, just enter Data/modvdf.
Introduced with Spine 1.19 it’s also possible to update a complete folder. Just select the folder you want to use as source. Be aware that Spine then will automatically delete all files from Spine (when pushing the update) that are in Spine, but not in the selected folder. So make sure it contains all necessary files. Spine will also only update the files that really changed (hash change) to reduce upload time for you and download time for your players.
Via upload you can then upload your changes. This includes new and deleted files and metadata changes (changed language).
The language possibilities are:
The All option will unlock this file for every language version while the others will only be accessible by the specified language.
If you want to test your project on Spine with others and not directly release to the public, you can unlock users in the User Management tab. Every user in the right list will be able to download the project from the database, everybody else (except team members) won’t be able to download it. So by selecting a user in one of the lists and clicking the arrows you can easily add/remove testers.
In the statistics tab you can see all statistics that have been collected for your project.
The Downloads section contains the overall downloads over all your releases and the downloads per version.
The Player section shows the active players. The first entry shows the complete amount of (registered) players that played your mod via Spine. The other two entries show how many players played during the last 24 hours and the last 7 days, so they show the recent activity.
The Play Times statistics show the minimum, maximum, average and medium time your players played your project. Additionally you can see the same stats for the sessions. A session is from one game start to the moment the game is shutdown. Short sessions for a bigger project might be caused by some crash or other problems in the project.
For projects that include achievements you will be able to see minimum, maximum, average and median time until the achievements have been unlocked.
In this tab you can configure the achievements of your project and upload icons for them.
Read more about how to add achievements here.
In this tab you can configure leaderboards for your project.
Read more about how to add scores here.
If your project supports custom statistics, you can have a look into the results here.
For play testing projects it is possible to configure a feedback survey. This will be displayed after every game session and a player can modify the given answers whenever he likes to.
In the surveys tab in the management you will see a list of all available surveys including question and answer count. Each survey is for a specific project version and a language. That way you can get feedback to specific features you want to be tested in this version.
The default language is English and that’s the one you should always provide except your project is only available in another language and you want to just get feedback in that language. If multiple languages are supported it will request the player’s language and fallback to English if the player’s language has no survey. If neither the player’s language nor English are supported, no survey will be displayed.
Surveys can only be edited while they’re not released. They will only be visible for players when released. You can also delete surveys, but of course you will lose all answers then.
You can see all answers for your surveys. As for data protection all answers are anonymous.