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Valve's solution for Steam Greenlight's noise: A $100 fee
Valve's solution for Steam Greenlight's noise: A $100 fee
September 4, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi

September 4, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi
Comments
    108 comments
More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Indie, Business/Marketing



Those hoping to get their games voted into a distribution deal on Steam via the recently-launched Steam Greenlight initiative were dismayed to find themselves competing with joke entries such as Half-Life 3 and Minecraft, but Valve has a solution: an entry fee.

Responding to criticism coming from all sides (including our own Mike Rose) that finding legitimate games to vote on was nearly impossible, Valve said today that it will now charge a $100 fee for anyone posting a game on the site, which is $100 more than was being charged previously.

The $100 will be donated to the Child's Play charity, as Valve says that it has "no interest in making money from this, but we do need to cut down the noise in the system."

The company is also addressing discoverability complaints by saying that users will now see "a smaller, manageable list " of "popular games and new games to Greenlight."

Greenlight, an initiative that hopes to suss out which games are worthy of being distributed on the popular Steam service by putting them to a public vote, has been plagued by discoverability problems from day one. The website as it is features no ranking methods at all for users: there was no way to sort by popularity, ratings, or any other factors that might help one find games they want to play.

Hopefully these changes will manage to weed out the noise while still making the smaller games discoverable. We'll be keeping a close eye on the service to find out.


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Comments


Yama Habib
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$100 eh? That's actually...brilliant.

Corentin Billemont
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It has its good and bad sides actually. The good side is obvious (less crap and "jokes") but the bad side can affect some indie devs: they don't necessarily have 100$ to spend on this.
Of course, it can push them to try their luck later (after making sales on other stores, etc) but it's still an expense non-negligeable for smaller devs. Some of them could have had a chance... Some not.

Christopher Brooks
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Maybe the developers who don't have $100 to risk, aren't the ones they're trying to find?

Raymond Ortgiesen
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100 dollars is practically nothing. Even if I was still in highschool trying to hock GameMaker games that's still less than one paycheck from my dish washing job. If you can't figure out how to scrape up 100 dollars for your big chance to get on Steam, then you probably should re-evaluate.

Tom Baird
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If $100 is an issue, then try to find 10 people who will preorder you game for $10. If you can't find 10 people willing to preorder your game (online, or Friends/Family), you are probably not a good candidate for Steam, or Greenlight.

Tyler Overby
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I'm a "starving college student" trying to break into the game biz. I just dropped $400 on an Android Unity license over the weekend, despite my financial hardships.

My point is...if there's a will, there's a way. I found a way, and you can too if you truly want to get your submission considered for the world's largest online desktop game distribution platform.

Keith Nemitz
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How about make it $1000, and if the game is accepted, the money is returned to the developer?

Samuel Green
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Because $1000 isn't a lot of money to a starving developer...

They could make it $50 and it would cut down 95% of the noise. The amount of money doesn't matter. Any pay gate will work.

Bernardo Del Castillo
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I actually like this idea better.
I understand that 1000 is a lot more money, buut... it so happens that as in the app store, although there is a $100 AppStore membership, there is still a flood of scammers and Extremely mediocre games. From what I've seen, any mildly successful iOS game can make that amount from the app store.
I personally dont have an issue with the "quality" of a game, Horrible and unpolished graphics don't mean uninteresting games. The voting system works for that too.

For me the problem lies on the plethora of mobile games that see this as an oportunity to go multiplatform and such:
As much as I love games like Major Mayhem on my phone, I feel there should be a moodulation for the acceptance of this projects. I woudn't present my studio's iOS games to Greenlight, simply because I feel it is not adecuate, we thought of them for a mobile experience, and as much as i want a broader audience, I recognize when I'm not in the right place.
Maybe valve should help other devs recognize that their games are also great in their own law, but not in the right place (at least have some guidelines about it).
In any case.. the payment, i dont see it solving the showcasing issue and I seriously doubt the effect it will have as a noise gate.

Michael Rooney
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@Bernardo and Keith: Greenlight isn't a discoverability platform. Most of the problems with greenlight disappear when you stop viewing it as something that it is not.

Games on greenlight should already have fans willing to tell Valve that they want that game on Steam. Greenlight is the platform for those fans to communicate with Valve, not nearly as much a platform for games to get new fans.

Jean-Michel Vilain
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Genius idea!
Well if $1000 is too much for a starving dev, then make it $250.

Bernardo Del Castillo
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Well thats fine, then there is no problem with it as it is right now, since there's no intention for the audience to find anything new, in fact the $100 is a bit useless in that sense too. But if this is a Underground Celebrity Showcase @Michael, They should start formulating some sort of editorial line, because I don't know how I'd feel if we had ANGRY BIRDS : SOURCE.

Maybe its fine, after all its just making money.

Steven Christian
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Good idea for cutting down on the joke entries.
I would also like to see different views available ala Windows.
We already have the Thumbnail view, how about single-line details, or multi-line details, including a small blurb?
Details could be the usual: number of players, game style, genre, a of couple words to hook the reader.

Jeremy Reaban
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The trouble with that is many of the details don't seem to be filled in correctly.

I played around with Greenlight last night and I noticed that despite pick "single player", I got a lot of multiplayer games, and RPG seems to include shooters

Steven Christian
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Hopefully the $100 deposit will encourage people to take things more seriously, but at the moment, the more boxes they tick relating the Genre and Features, the more exposure they get when search filters are applied.

Tyler Overby
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@Jeremy

I think the issue there is developers just checking all the boxes at submission. They want their game seen by everyone, after all.

Ron Dippold
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More info on initial discoverability changes. Makes it much smoother. Also makes it clearer that a thumbs down is not a negative hit, just a 'I'm not interested, don't show me this again.'

http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/news/?appid=765

Andrew Wallace
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Brilliant.

Mark Venturelli
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Simple and effective, very good.

Christopher Enderle
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Valve has no interest in making money?!

William Johnson
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Their wallets can only hold so much.

Kyle Jansen
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They already have all of mine...

Aaron Fowler
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I really respect Valve for donating the money to a good cause instead of pocketing it.

Lex Allen
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Looks like I lose a $100 for not being one of the first to submit my game. Probably won't bother since it's unlikely that Steam is going to publish more than a handful of the submitted titles anyway.

I think this will just discourage people from using the service. Couldn't they have just added a "flag this project" button or something?

First, you had to buy a game to register an account. Now, you have to pay $100...

The whole project seems to be rather self-defeating at this point. The community isn't truly approving the games, and now you have to pay $100 which you are most likely to lose since your game probably isn't going to get onto Steam.

Ayayay...

Rik Spruitenburg
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Well, the hope is that if we can get the noise down that we can get the community to approve games. It still looks like $100 well spent to me. I've visited a lot of game's websites after finding them here. Why wait until it's on Steam if the game is done?

Maria Jayne
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If you don't have any belief in your product, why should anyone else?

Kyle Redd
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$100 is too much, especially if there's no way to get it back (assuming your game does not get on Steam). Even $20 would be high enough to kill nearly all of the junk that gets thrown up there by people who don't read the rules first.

At its current level, it's going to hurt some of the one-person studios that are seriously strapped for cash but are making a project they genuinely believe in and on which they are working their asses off.

Adam Rebika
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You don't have to "buy" a game, just to register one, including F2P games.
And $100 isn't *that* much, compared to many other investments in time and money needed to bring a game to the market.

Tom Baird
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Similar to Maria,

If you think it's unlikely Steam is going to publish your game, why are you submitting your game to be published on Steam? Steam is better served by developers who are confident in their submissions, and the quality of their product.

Lex Allen
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Maria Jayne,

You are missing the point. Believe in your game as much as you want. It isn't going to get your $100 back if you don't get approved. Lots of good games don't make it onto Steam.

Aaron Fowler
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@Lex "good" is so subjective. Steam is still a business.

If you don't like the idea of paying $100 (And at the same time have it go towards an excellent cause, not Valve's pockets!) for a chance to make it to the big time via Steam. That's fine. Step aside. There are thousands of others that will gladly pay $100 for the chance.

Now I know there are a few exceptions. And I understand where you are coming from. But the fee, for the majority of submissions, would weed out more crap than "good" solid games.

If $100 is too much for Indie developers. They should convince the public that their game is actually "good" and needs to be on Steam. There can be donations, or even start a small fundraising campaign for it.

If that Indie still can't manage to come up with the $100. There's a bigger problem than just the $100.

Scott Newcomb
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"If you don't like the idea of paying $100 (And at the same time have it go towards an excellent cause, not Valve's pockets!)"

@Aaron: Although it is going to a good cause, I really don't mind Valve keeping the money if they had chosen to go that route.

scott anderson
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I agree with Aaron. If you game is good enough to be on Steam, even if you don't want to (or can't afford) the $100 fee, you should be able to easily raise $100 through crowdfunding. For example, FTL was greenlit by Valve after it won IGF and raised $200K (enough to submit to greenlight 2000 times :)) on Kickstarter...

There are exceptions of course, these kind of policies always screw over people in developing countries. But if you're in a first world country with access to the internet and have also developed a game that has a strong enough fanbase to get greenlit, raising $100 should be trivial...

Michael Williams
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So why not just fix the discoverability issues instead of simply scaring away prospective developers to shrink the list of entries? A fee isn't just gonna keep the trolls away--it's also gonna keep a lot of potential legitimate developers away since there's no guarantee whatsoever that they will recoup their money. After all, this $100 isn't a licensing fee that guarantees rights to publish your game--it's a fee you need to pay just to be eligible to compete for votes. And even if you pay your $100, your game can still fail to be voted on due to the poor structure of the system. As an indie developer, that does not sound like an enticing business deal at all.

Tom Spilman
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If you cannot afford $100... it is highly doubtful you have the resources or the motivation to finish a game.

John Purdy
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$100 is also the fee for the Apple App store and the Android Play store, and its the exact same thing, yet developers are more than willing to pay the fee and get their games on these platforms. Both Google and Apple test your game to see if it's worth putting on the app store (Some crap does slip through, especially on Android), so how is it any different or less fair that valve is doing the same.

The only reason anybody would have a problem with it is because they didn't do this from the start, and some might be butthurt over missing the opportunity to get their game on Greenlight for free.

Jacob Germany
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But you're not getting a game on a platform, like the App Store. You're getting a game on a voting site with poor discoverability. Same fee, but extra hurdles to jump.

tony oakden
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it doesn't cost anything to get a game on Android. Also that's a one off $100 fee for IOS not a per title fee. Having said that I personally don't think $100 per submission is unreasonable and I think it will have the intended result

Michael Rooney
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Greenlight isn't a discoverability platform.

John Purdy
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The fee is also one time don't forget, it says right on their website. It's a fee for the account, not the game, and once you pay it you can post and update as many games as you want.

@tony oakden, don't forget about the $25 fee google charges when you set up your developers account. It's not $100, but its a fee nonetheless

Jacob Germany
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@Michael Rooney Every platform is(should be) a discoverability platform. If Greenlight truly is a platform for Valve to determine popularity, that would be much more consistent with the eventual sales data if it had Steam-like discoverability.

In other words, the platform as-is doesn't predict sales at all.

Michael Rooney
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@Jacob Germany: It doesn't have to predict sales accurately. It just has to predict whether or not a game is worth further investigation properly, which the system does do.

It's a way for the community to collectively say, "Hey valve, look here!" not for Valve to tell the community, "Hey community, look here!"

Peter Silk
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People keep saying that Greenlight isn't a discoverability platform. Maybe it isn't. But if it isn't, then why did Valve say in their own announcement for it:

"As well as serving as a clearing house for game submissions, Greenlight provides an incredible level of added exposure for new games and an opportunity to connect directly with potential customers and fans."

That sounds like they want it to be a discoverability platform as well as a Steam vetting service.

Jacob Germany
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"It doesn't have to predict sales accurately. It just has to predict whether or not a game is worth further investigation properly, which the system does do."

Er, wait, what? So you think Greenlight is.. a platform by which Valve does absolutely nothing except pays slightly more attention to some games over other games? I... disagree?

That's not what it should do, not what I'm pretty sure is the plan, nor what will it will inevitably be. Because there's no need to crowd-source what could be handled by a small internal team, easily if you don't sales predictors or discoverability. This is Valve we're talking about, not some one-man publisher/platform.

Tom Spilman
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Same price as registration for deploying a game or app on Xbox, WP7, or Windows 8. Still great that the money goes to Child's Play.

Alfe Clemencio
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This is awesome! I would have recommended this myself. Like if you don't have enough confidence in your game to risk $100 on it then that says something. Do you not believe in your game to put that money into it?

Lex Allen
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The problem is that a lot of good games that should be on Steam aren't. You could have what seems like the best game and still lose the hundred bucks due to Steams' elusive approval process. So, confidence is not the issue here. The whole voting thing is just turning into a promotional gimmick at this point.

Alfe Clemencio
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There is having a great game and then how easy is it to sell to gamers. Regardless of how good a game is, if people won't buy it then that is an issue.

Like if your interface looks like a VN.

Matt Robb
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@Lex, the whole voting thing *is* a promotional gimmick. That's the point.

Lex Allen
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@Mike

But it shouldn't be "JUST" a gimmick. The developers should be getting something, too.

Jacob Germany
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Wasn't the idea for Greenlight to not just submit nearly finished games, but even simple ideas? Doesn't this highly discourage that? $100 may not be much to get a game on Steam (potentially), but it seems like quite a bit to test community feedback about the viability of an idea.

Steven Christian
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Unfortunately the Concept section didn't make it in to the initial release and is scheduled to be released at a leter date (I would assume, possibly without the fee).

Aaron Fowler
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@Steven I wouldn't mind the WIP section having a $100 fee either. Just don't charge me again when it gets moved to the "finished" section.

TC Weidner
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It would be an IP nightmare for them to allow "ideas" to go up. Why anyone would want to share a good game idea is beyond me as well. Whats to stop a larger company from just stealing your idea? and worse when game companies do releases games, people can say, hey I said something similar on Valve, nuisance suit.
If a area for ideas do go up, I would expect an EULA that specifies you give up all rights to your idea if you post.

Jacob Germany
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@Steven Ah, thanks for the info.

@TC From what I can tell, no one copies ideas that are in the ideas stage. At least, I don't hear complaints about it. The copying in the industry seems isolated to very popular titles that are then either copied closely in idea or, in the case of Zynga, copied nearly identically and reskinned. I know people are hesitant to present their ideas to the world, but I'm not actually sure there's much of a reason to be so scared of "idea stealing".

TC Weidner
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Multi billion IP business would seem the world doesnt agree with your trusting nature.

Emppu Nurminen
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@Jacob I don't get the function of showing WIP ideas thought.
To be a forum for potential development, it's a bit of a nightmare in pitching-wise. Too vague and roundabout pitches are hard to not get existed about, if heard certain words. Yet after getting the game done, ups, it wasn't the thing people were excited about. Too detailed, and you scare people away and more likely it's more useful for others to steal the ideas, since there is already some meat over the bones.
To be forum for potential investors, wrong audience completely. Maybe an advertisement for crowd-sourcing, but for now Kickstarter (as it is) does the marketing far more better by just having an excising project in there.

Jacob Germany
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@Emppu All I know is that Steam Greenlight was planning to allow concepts as well as beta-level games. Their idea was to determine viability of a game at any stage through the design process.

@TC All I'm saying is that I don't hear about ideas being stolen from untested indie developers. All I hear about are companies like Zynga copying games that do well economically. I think the idea behind the premise is that there is no incentive to copy an idea that might very well fail as probably as any idea you can come up with on your own. Established games with proven track records, however, must have some trait worthy of copying.

Jeremy Reaban
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I was playing around some more with this now and it dawned on me - why I am doing free work for a billion dollar corporation? Okay, maybe not billion, but surely they could afford to hire employees to be doing this work.

Aaron Fowler
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The theory is, that the community, the ones who rate the games, will eventually be the ones who buy the game if it does make it on Steam. That way Steam has a better idea of what people want, instead of just guessing what people would want.

It would defeat the purpose if Valve hired people to decide which games would be on Steam or not... oh wait... that's how it was.

Kevin Cardoza
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From my understanding, they did have employees doing this work and everyone bitched about that process being too secretive and how they didn't approve the kind of games they wanted on there.

Maria Jayne
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Nice, money has a unique way of cutting out timewasters. The childs play charity donation is a nice touch too.

I was going to say an indie developer would appreciate that money back if the game makes it onto steam but to be honest, I think even the poorest indie wouldn't miss it knowing their game has been accepted on steam. Which only encourages better quality submissions.

Pallav Nawani
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Would've been nice if they'd done this earlier.

Now our game is lost within noise already.

Ujn Hunter
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Is it possible to promote it yourself? Can't you share your link to have people vote for you? Don't rely on people stumbling across your game by accident. Promote it.

Michael Rooney
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You're supposed to promote it yourself. People were expecting that Greenlight would be a means for customers to find their game, which it isn't. It's a means for Valve to find games their customers want.

Craig Page
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Only 756 games, taking up almost 30 pages. How could anything get lost in that? :)

Jeffery Wilson
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I suggest sort them by the number of days on Greenlight. You can skim newer games and still provide a managiable number of entries to view.

Todd Boyd
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Sigh... why couldn't they have just made it $1? Literally ANY cost would have been a decent-enough deterrent.

Kevin Cardoza
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I disagree. $1 would be a decent-enough deterrent for joke submissions. But it wouldn't be for all the half-assed ideas that haven't actually had much work done on them yet, or the illegal ripoffs. $100 ensures you are serious about delivering a game to the service.

TC Weidner
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you mean they have no gatekeeper at all, no quick editorial check? please... nothing but excuses and lame "quick fixes" that will never work.
I was taught, if you are not going to do it it right, dont do it at all. Sure wish this was taught to more people.

Simas Oliveira
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I don't think you understand the purpose of Greenlight, good sir. Valve is doing that to actually HELP people get their game into Steam, people who otherwise would have no chance at all. And yet you crap all over it, as it not being perfect right away somehow violates one of your constitutional rights. Entitled much?

TC Weidner
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you got to be kidding me, You really fall for this gimmick? really? A company cares about one thing... profits. Valve is out to help Valve, what part of corporate culture and ethics dont you get? Its the reason this country and world is in the shape that it is, actually.
If Valve was really concerned about helping independents and allowing new inroads for the lil guy, I would think they would at least put a few resources towards this, instead we get these 100 buck fixes and this hodge podge free for all.
my god its scary how easily people are manipulated by marketing and PR.

Tom Baird
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The idea is that by helping independents, they help themselves as well, since more popular indie games on Steam means happier Indies and happier Valve.
Sometimes things can be mutually beneficial.

And since this service is to help discoverability for Valve, and not Users, a gatekeeper requirement would be ridiculous.

The Gatekeeper for Steam is their Approval process. That process is currently overloaded, and so in comes Greenlight to allow User ranking of pre-approved apps, which in turn helps optimize their approval process to focus on apps with consumer interest. This helps streamline the process for serious indie developers, and reduces the negative impact of 'submit and forget' crap on the overall submission process flow.

Instead of just throwing more bodies at the problem (more testers for approval), they are trying out a new method to solve the root of the problem (The bulk of submissions being low quality, but still needing to be run through, and clogging approvals).

Having to approve the pre-approved apps just duplicates the problem that Greenlight intends to solve, and creates even more wasted time than was there initially.

I think you are confusing the point of Greenlight and expecting an entirely different service than the one they are providing.

Edit:
"I was taught, if you are not going to do it it right, dont do it at all. Sure wish this was taught to more people."

What a load of garbage. Almost the entirety of human progress is based on experimentation and trying things out to see what works. If you only do things that are already guaranteed correct, you end up just retreading the foot steps of people who are smarter and more innovative than you. The evolution of ideas is based on trying before discarding, which inherently means you make mistakes. The important part is to learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others, and to be able to adapt and evolve your initially buggy ideas. In short, what you were taught is entirely counter to progress and learning, and is a good methodology to end up never creating anything of any value.

TC Weidner
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please, the whole thing reminds me of the scene in caddyshack in which the club allows the caddies to swim in the pool for 15 minutes.

You really think at the end of the day Judge Smails is looking out for ya?

Raymond Ortgiesen
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I'm as paranoid schizophrenic as the next guy, but if you connect Valve's greenlight to the corporate plutocracy and a reasonable defense of the idea with brainwashed sheeple - you might want to re-think your approach.

Simas Oliveira
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Well, since you are already defensive and all, there's no point in arguing anymore, but all has been said anyway, mutual benefit, overloaded approval process, Valve's track record and transparency about what Greenlight is and what it is not. No need to tell me and other's we are suckers for big corporations PR. If you think that little of it, most likely it is not for you, that's my point. And if it really is not for you, then there's no need to get overly upset about it.

TC Weidner
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Upset? Im not upset, I see it for what it is and what it isnt. As I said, Caddyshack 15 minutes in the pool

Judge Smails: It's easy to grin / When your ship comes in / And you've got the stock market beat. / But the man worthwhile, / Is the man who can smile, / When his shorts are too tight in the seat.

TC Weidner
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@Tom --I was taught, if you are not going to do it it right, dont do it at all. Sure wish this was taught to more people."

Its pretty sad you dont even understand the moral of the saying. It has NOTHING to do with trying to be perfect from the get go, it has to do with not half assing something. My god do I really need to spell that out... I guess I do..

Ron Dippold
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@Raymond I am completely goddamned sick of zombie games, can we get some sheeple games? Let's have some true terror.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutraís Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Craig Page
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This doesn't actually fix the discoverability problem, since all the games that were previously submitted for free are still there. All the $100 fee does is slow down the discoverability problem, and probably deters a lot of legitimate game submissions too.

Damir Slogar
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I hope Apple implements similar system. $100/submission would not only get rid of lot of crappy apps but decrease the review times as well.

Lex Allen
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Isn't the $99 annual fee enough? I guess not because there really is a lot of crap on the app store, but if you continue to increase fees, it really is going to cut indies out of the market at some point.

Adam Bishop
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A few things strike me here. First, Greenlight is not about helping USERS find your game. Greenlight is about helping VALVE know about games that aren't currently on their service for which there is (or will be) a sizeable market. Greenlight doesn't need discoverability tools, that's your job as the developer. You want people to find your Greenlight page? Then make sure people know about your game!

So many people seem to want someone else to make their game big for them. It's not Valve's job to get your game out there, that's YOUR job. If you can't figure out how to get people interested in your game, if you can't find ways to direct them to your Greenlight page without needing Valve to do it for you, why would Valve possibly believe that your game is likely to be a commercial success on their platform?

$100 is a complete non-barrier for anyone who is serious about making a commercially viable game. Are you making a game that has the kind of production values that a commercial PC game needs? Are you planning on having ANY marketing budget for that game post-release? Are you serious about making a game that can compete with what already exists on Steam's service, that could show up on the front page and look like something that potential players will get excited about? Then you have $100 to get your game on Greenlight. If you don't have enough confidence in your game or your ability to get people interested in it to spend $100 to help get it on Steam, then maybe your game was never going to have much of a shot of getting released on Steam to begin with.

Simas Oliveira
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Well said! I'd expect that on other internet corners, but am quite surprised to see such negativity and entitlement from people around these parts.

TC Weidner
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so according to you, its about money. Big surprise. If you dont have money to market your game dont apply. Whats the point of this whole exercise again? I thought it was about exposure for the lil guy, for that diamond in the rough, not that game with the best marketing budget. What you support is basically what we already have.

Stephen Chin
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I agree; Greenlight is a marketing tool just like sending out promos to gaming websites. It's a website for non-web savvy developers. It's a tool. It's not a cure-all for getting your game published. People still need to market their games, still need to be realistic about what's going on. Even if a project does get greenlight, it just means you have the same amount of money you had before... except you now have to deliver.

It's basically like a game-specific Kickstarter (sans funding) really.

Jacob Germany
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If every company simply wants to support the "winners" and doesn't worry about discoverability, then how exactly are winners supposed to be found?

"So many people seem to want someone else to make their game big for them."

I don't think it's about wanting other people to do "the work for them". That's kind of a condescending assumption. I think it's about the idea that, no matter what local support you've gathered and bring over to Greenlight, Valve has a much larger population from which they could get a sample size for their project. Not using that larger sample size is foolish.

To put it in terms of statistics and research, the platform as-is is unlikely to correlate highly with sales data if the votes come only from pre-established fan-bases.

The put it more simply, if a not-as-good game drums up quite a bit of support through active networking and the like, it could seem quite a bit better on Greenlight than a really-well-designed game by a single developer who simply doesn't have the resources or time to invest into building a fan base.

Matthew Harmon
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I hope they do not allow sorting by "popularity." That will immediately destroy any usefulness this concept might have had. Once you can sort by "popular", the human herd-mentality snowball effect will take over and you no longer have any real data.

Jeremy Alessi
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Seems fair enough to me. Even a poor indie has (or should have) $100 to invest in their next project.

Steven Christian
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Seeing as it's a once-off fee I guess it's an investment in their future..

Jean-Michel Vilain
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I have no problem with this change. It's a good solution, even though I prefer Keith Nemitz's idea.

And the money will go to... CHILDS PLAY ! C'mon ?!!

What's better:
-using your money to help hospitalized children get video games.
-using your money to provide food and medical care to children who got nothing, no hospital and no food.

Ridiculous.

Adam Bishop
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I think Child's Play is a good choice. One thing it does is avoid starting big arguments about politics. If they'd said the money was going to Oxfam, for example, that would have started an Internet firestorm about how Valve was politicising game development, people would refuse to submit their games because they don't support the charity, etc.

Also, I really dislike this idea of ordering people's suffering and trying to determine whose suffering is worthwhile and whose isn't. Yes, it's terrible that there are children who don't have access to food or medicine, but it's also pretty terrible to be a 6 year old with a terminal illness who has to spend a huge part of their life in a hospital. And that 6 year old's pain isn't somehow diminished because someone somewhere might be feeling a different kind of pain. So if we can help brighten up what can often be a bleary existence for those 6 year olds by giving them something fun to look forward to? I think that's a very valuable cause.

Aaron Fowler
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Why try and compare the two? I think they're both good causes. And helping one, is a lot better than not helping either.

Jean-Michel Vilain
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Adam, I'm talking about saving human lives and making earth's future better, not ordering people's suffering.
FYI, Hunger kills more people than AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis combined :
http://www.wfp.org/content/wfp-says-hunger-kills-more-aids-malari
a-tuberculosis-combined

We give money to make children hospitalization more comfortable, while millions of people are dying, because they don't have food (and of course they don't have an hospital). It's hard for me to hear such things and I wanted to share that feeling.

Gnoupi i
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Kinda agree with Adam on that on the politcal aspect.

Also, Valve is a video game company, and this service is about promoting video games. It does make sense to donate to a charity which is related to video games.

Either way, giving to charity isn't the end goal. It's mostly here to prevent people from saying that Valve feeds on indie devs by taking their money just for getting on Greenlight. By using charity, it neutralizes the "greedy" aspect which could have come from the 100$ barrier. But that wasn't the goal to begin with.

Ben Schlessman
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I think GL should remain free, and instead, if a developer wants to fork over $100, then Valve will immediately review their game. Apple has hundreds of thousands of submissions, and they only charge $99 per YEAR (not game), and they have staff review your game.

A hundred bucks for the likely chance that your game will get downvoted into oblivion does not sound appealing. A hundred bucks for the guarantee that your game will be accepted/rejected directly by Valve is a better solution, although still not quite as good as Apple's.

Adam Bishop
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"A hundred bucks for the likely chance that your game will get downvoted into oblivion does not sound appealing."

If you think your game is likely to be downvoted into oblivion why would Valve want to release it on Steam to begin with?

Ben Schlessman
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Because customers vote with their wallets, not some silly arbitrary like/dislike system.

Joy Zimba
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I am with you Ben Schlessman on this one. I think the process should have remained free or be it $100 for a Valve review as you suggested - although I understand why putting a fee works for Valve and the current situation.

One of the things I have noticed is how the Steam community in being established tends to only go for what fits its current tastes.

That's fair enough but in this process users (or more accurately fan bases) of certain kinds of games are being deterred by the Steam community's attitude (via comments) on such games. This reflects negatively on the games and negativity spreads- might be encouraging even more downvoting on specific titles even from unaligned/on-the-fence users.

These 'other' games are most likely bringing new paying customers or old Steam users like myself who just weren't seeing 'our kinds of games' onto Steam. Greenlight opening up the submissions process like it has, has the potential for this albeit relatively unquantified, more pocketed markets to come to the Steam party and have their say as much as the established community.

A game may not look as polished or even be in the same genre as the next Greenlight submission slotted next to it but if it is a game has fans and potential customers lined up for it - isn't this the kind of game Valve wants to find and put on Steam?

I have seen games with good buyer reviews at other sites getting 'trashed' in this submission process and as Schlessman mentioned getting 'downvoted into oblivion'. The fans came in and voted but a small fan base doesn't stand too much of a chance against the pre-established community that is Steam.

In the end Valve themselves might have to do a whole lot more deciding and wading themselves - with Greenlight only answering the 'easy and more obvious questions on the test paper' (which Valve could do themselves) and taking none of the risks in choosing titles based on potential (the real question).

By the time things straighten out, Indies might have long decided to save themselves $100 and being publicly trashed - and invest it in a meatier and more polished sequel to their Desura and Gamersgate release- after all they and their communities probably might have a fighting- and dare I say friendlier- chance there.

Raymond Ortgiesen
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The 100 bucks is a one time fee for your account, not by game.

Jose Striedinger
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EXCELLENT. The $100 fee is not so much, is like the perfect amount and it can assure that only dedicated and passionate developers propose games.

Nice move Valve!

Silvio Carrera
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I think it's really expensive for and indie developer... They should make something like 100$ and you'll be able to post three games or 100$ for a year or something like 100$ and you get your money back if you game gets picked...

Steven Christian
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I think that you missed the point that it's a once-off fee and then you can post whatever games/ideas you like.

Rob Wright
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So let me see if I understand this....

Valve launches Greenlight on Steam for indie devs. It's free and open and anyone can enter. So people reward Valve with this open system by submitting jokes, bogus games and crap, leading people to complain that the submission library is just too big with not enough quality control.

Valve responds by implementing a one-time-only $100 entry fee to cut out the crap, and people complain it's too expensive and Valve is overcharging poor indie devs. Valve responds by saying hey, the $100 fees will all be donated to a good cause -- Child's Play! -- and people STILL complain about the charity choice and the fact that THEY don't get the charitable donation write-off themselves.

Oh, and all of this has taken place IN THE FIRST WEEK. Is this a fair recap?

Garrett Mickley
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As a one man team developer, still in college, and working a job that barely covers everything, I still support this. If I had a complete game that was ready to be put on Steam, I'm very confident that I could find 10 people willing to loan me $10 to get it up there in exchange for something like a favor, a free copy of the game, or something else.

Anyone who's complaining about this obviously isn't creative enough to figure out how to come up with $100. Plus it's going to charity, so deduct it from your taxes.

Bob Charone
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this is going to suck for people who actually want to play games made with pirated versions of Game Maker by 8-year olds

C B
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Why can't somebody make a YouTube video promoting their game, and then at the end of the video, tell them to vote it up on Greenlight? Or make a Facebook group for it, or just tell a BUNCH of people about it. It's not like companies make a movie and then put it in a theater without telling anybody first. If people come to Greenlight and they know what they're looking for, they're gonna find it.

If you just upload a game and that's it, then yeah, you only have a 1 in 700+ chance of being noticed. And yeah, that's the way it should be. It doesn't cost anything to make a YouTube video and act like you're excited to play your own game.


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