Seems that steam has decided to finally clean up shop and is getting rid of the Greenlight voting system.
The way Greenlight works is simple, a developer pays a one time fee of $100, from there they are free to upload as many trailers as they like for the general public to vote on.
If they are successful they’re contacted by steam to arrange for their game to be brought into the store proper, however because of the one off fee, Greenlight is often flooded with terrible mind numbing asset flips from developers who just want to make a quick pay check. So how does it work and will the new system prevent this?
You see it works like this! Something, let’s say for example goat simulator, becomes an unpredictable success on steam.
This causes people with little to no development talent to sit up and pay attention, because if that became successful then why can’t something I make?
For 2 reasons actually:
1) You’re trying to ride on the coat tales of a freak storm! Goat simulator became famous for its wacky physics and random humor, if you try and replicate that then you’re just making Goat Simulator and there’s already a Goat Simulator that people have brought so why should they buy another, inferior product? Just because you produced a sub par product and whacked “simulator” on the end doesn’t entitle you to any of that sweet sweet video game money. Now this doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a product to rival Goat Simulator, it just means that it requires time and commitment in order to craft something good, it takes talent.
2) Your Greenlight upload trailer is probably shite. Now that’s not me being mean or trying to demolalize anyone it’s just Greenlight is a little sticky spot on the wall and people are just flinging shit everywhere hoping something sticks. Owing to the fact you only have to make a one off charge and then have unlimited uploads means that it makes the most sense to try and get as many as possible up, actually I’m going to make a little checklist for y’all! Ain’t that nice?
1) No pre-bought assets that you haven’t adapted into your own design. The ever popular “asset-flip” is a real plague on the steam store, the practice of buying assets and then straight up reselling them as your own product, whilst not illegal, is extremely immoral.
2) If your basing the entire theme of your game round one single “joke” concept, ask yourself this, would people be able to get the entirety of this joke from one screenshot? If the answer is yes then probably don’t make the game.
3) Have a consistent frame rate, quite a simple one, as I don’t particularly like having splitting headaches
4) Have the trailers make narrative sense, if I don’t know what you’re offering, chances are I’ll loose interest quite quickly.
5) MS Paint is not cool. Stop it.
6) Buy some good capture equipment, not that hypercam bollocks, come on if you can’t look bothered enough to care then why should I?
Greenlight is not an inherently bad system it’s just a victim of terrible negligence and a retched hive of scum and villainy and with discoverablity of games becoming a real problem on Steam, with 40% of the total library uploaded in the last year alone, I feel that Valve should make some attempt to close the breach.
Enter Steam Direct
So after promising for years, Valve have finally confirmed that steam is getting replaced with Steam Direct, here’s how it’ll work according to Valve: ‘We will ask new developers to complete a set of digital paperwork, personal or company verification, and tax documents similar to the process of applying for a bank account. Once set up, developers will pay a recoupable application fee for each new title they wish to distribute, which is intended to decrease the noise in the submission pipeline’.
All well and good, however there is a discussion for how much that fee would be, with prices ranging from $100 all the way up to a totally ridiculous amount of $5000. This would be a problem for one man studios and might put off some talented indie devs from ever considering uploading.
This leads on to another major problem. This does not in anyway contribute to quality control at all, with developers just paying a single fee per title to get on the front page of steam, it once again leaves itself open to the same type of abuse that Greenlight was subjected too.
However only time will tell!