There’s no denying the popularity of Steam’s Greenlight service, but it’s certainly not without issues. I don’t have a (huge) beef with the user voting, that’s just people being people, for good and bad. No, my problem is that some publishers and developers seemingly slip through the cracks, while those with several popular games already on Steam still have to drag each new release through Greenlight! Where’s the logic in that, Valve?
Since people prefer (and encourage) positive thinking, I’m gonna start with the positive side of Greenlight, before delving into the issues that have been nagging me for a while now. For someone like me who takes great pride in putting ‘undiscovered’ indie games into the spotlight on this very site, Valve’s service has proven quite beneficial. I mean, where else are you going to find information on such a vast amount of game submissions in one easy-to-navigate location, both WIP and already released ones?
It’s also proven a great tool for several developers in terms of getting some much-needed PR simply by putting up a Greenlight page, as this article on Eurogamer mentions, so while some have labeled Greenlight a ‘failed experiment’, I would not go that far. Now, I did mention that on the actual voting side of things, that’s just a case of people being people and taste in video games is – for the most part – very subjective. Yet I can’t help but wonder why titles that have received critical acclaim across the board from reviewers and fans alike, have to go through the tedious process of gathering votes. It’s incredibly puzzling.
Another problem with the service and one that I’ve already brought up is that even well-established developers sometimes get pushed towards Greenlight instead of Valve cutting them some slack. “Faith”, Valve. Look it up.
And that's a big ole "No" from Steam on Primordia. Groan.
— Dave Gilbert (@WadjetEyeGames) November 10, 2012
Apparently, four Blackwell games, Gemini Rue and Resonance, all of which have proven quite popular on Steam, doesn’t carry enough weight with Valve, because Wadjet Eye Games still got flat-out rejected when submitting Primordia. The fact that it only took little over two weeks before it was greenlit should make Valve realize that there’s money to be made here, right? Doesn’t seem like it, as the upcoming fifth Blackwell game has been given a ‘maybe’ at this time, so chances are that it too shall have to pass through Greenlight. I’m aware that Blackwell Epiphany is still a WIP, and based on that I kinda understand Valve’s response, but at the same time, not so much.
Greenlight has grown quite a bit, including the infamous $100 submission fee now in place, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Whether or not Valve will tweak it further towards perfection remains to be seen, but now it’s time for something completely unrelated: Kickstarter picks!
Rex Rocket (Kickstarter) $1,952 of $6,000
This one tells the tale of a computer gone insane, which is something we’ve seen before, except… the whole thing is wrapped in an old-school package. According to the developer, Rex Rocket is “paying tribute to classic NES games like Mario, Mega Man, and Metroid” – not exactly small names to associate your game with, but who knows, maybe they’ll pull it off?
The Realm Game (Kickstarter) £30,688 of £195,000
From a crazy computer to a young girl in search of a cure for her sick mother, The Realm Game is a point ‘n click adventure in which you control a young girl and… wait for it… a stone golem, of all things! How’s that for an odd couple?
Oh, and have you heard that the Gateways editor might be released next month? It also seems that fans of Hotline Miami, everyone’s favorite murder/puzzle sim, are in for a treat, come May, including… Linux support! Speaking of Linux, and to wrap things up, the trio of zombies in Three Dead Zed recently made the jump to that platform too, in search of delicious human brains (and to save a bunch of cats).