Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 24, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 24, 2014
PR Newswire
View All

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Valve: Hold tight, we're not done with Greenlight yet Exclusive
Valve: Hold tight, we're not done with Greenlight yet
September 6, 2012 | By Mike Rose

September 6, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Indie, Design, Exclusive

As both compliments and criticisms of Valve's new Steam Greenlight indie game submission service come pouring in from forums and social media all over the net, Valve is finally managing to dig itself out from underneath the ruckus, dust itself off and get to work making the system exactly what it needs to be.

"The sheer volume of submissions was the biggest challenge, both from legitimate submissions as well as junk," says Valve's UI designer Alden Kroll, one of the people at the helm of the Greenlight initiative which launched last week.

He adds, "As evidenced from the first major updates, pulling in those issues and making discoverability easier and more intuitive were the first things we wanted to address."

Greenlight has been available to utilize by indie developers for nearly a week now, and it has had a good portion of the games industry in a tizzy. On the whole, developers appear to be happy about the system, although search for Greenlight on Twitter and you'll no doubt get to witness a whole other side to the story.

Kroll says that we can expect many more changes to Greenlight over the coming weeks and months. "We always try to build quick iteration into our process for development of new features, and Greenlight will be no different," he explains to Gamasutra.

"We have a huge list of suggestions from customers and the lessons we've learned from shipping, so Greenlight will definitely continue to evolve over the next weeks and months as we tune the system and add valuable features."

While he told us that Valve isn't yet ready to discuss the actual process of moving a Greenlight game from the voting stages to actually being injected into the Steam store, he noted that it won't be long before we hear the first news of a successly Greenlighted title.

"We don't expect this to be a super long process," he noted, adding, "and we always try to make Steam launches non-stealthy."

Gamasutra asked Kroll exactly what developers can do if they don't already have a community or fanbase for their game. Is there any point in submitting to Greenlight if you've not already got a huge amount of legwork behind you?

"Steam Greenlight is as much about building community for your games as it is about getting your game on Steam," he answers.

"We're hoping this can be the foundation and/or amplification for bringing visibility to new development projects, and help developers build a fan base that continues wherever they sell their games."

Related Jobs

Next Games
Next Games — Helsinki, Finland

Senior Level Designer
Magic Leap, Inc.
Magic Leap, Inc. — Wellington, New Zealand

Level Designer
DeNA Studios Canada
DeNA Studios Canada — Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Analytical Game Designer
University of Texas at Dallas
University of Texas at Dallas — Richardson, Texas, United States

Assistant/Associate Prof of Game Studies


Jeremy Alessi
profile image
This is encouraging news.

David OConnor
profile image
Valve are a great company

Jeff Murray
profile image
Good. If we (legitimate developers) are going to be paying for the privilege of putting a game on their website, the least they should do is make sure that it's actually POSSIBLE for a game to get 'greenlit'!!

Greg Quinn
profile image
I agree with the changes Valve is making. If the $100 was in from the start.. I think we'd only be looking now at 250 submissions not 700.

Ron Dippold
profile image
So far so good with the changes, but we haven't, I think, had one thing answered yet - is the previous pipeline still open, where a game like Waves could get on Steam without being Greenlighted? Or have they cut back on that and expect Greenlight to replace it? I think the latter would be quite a loss.

Chris OKeefe
profile image
I think you're right. Sometimes it takes the right person to see the potential of a game and get it moving in the right direction. Community building can be hard and not everyone is suited to it. That doesn't mean that it won't get reviews and circulate after being published on Steam, and actually generate sales.

I tend to feel like consumers are pretty fickle and don't have time to filter through piles of games for something that they will like. They wait for someone to tell them that it's worth playing, and I have always felt like a game being on Steam is, while not as stellar a recommendation as say Rock Paper Shotgun, still an indication that a game is worth the time looking into. I can't say that about Greenlight yet.

Jane Castle
profile image
I think the traditional way of submitting to Steam will remain. They would be foolish to remove it.

Chris OKeefe
profile image
This 100 dollar fee, I'm curious if it is considered to be a service fee or a kind of collateral? Is the developer reimbursed the 100 dollars if the game is greenlit?

Just an honest question.

Bruno Xavier
profile image
The $100 bucks is a donation for charity, no money back.
But there are there almost 700 ppl who didn't pay anything because they submitted their games in first day. Not fair for those coming from now on...