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Indie Gamedev Greenlight

Don Parsons / October 31, 2014 at 9:16 AM / Gaming, Gaming News

Greenlight as a process has numerous issues, among them being buried in Steam, a process that makes no sense to anyone and a lack of proper updating. However, that is not what we are here to discuss at this time beyond in how it impacts the story here.

Given the hidden process of Greenlight and the fact that a lot of games stall out at a certain interest level, game developers have attempted to come up with different ways to promote their game. Sometimes that is through other game shops like Greenman Gaming, Indiestand, Desura, Gamersgate, and so forth. Sometimes, it is via promoting it on social media, getting out and talking a lot and doing whatever you can. Oftentimes, it is a mixture of various things that small business’ everywhere are known to face – trying to run and work on your product while promoting it.

That makes it all the more understandable that the people who are working to get greenlit would push the boundaries of what might be acceptable. With a process that fails to work in many cases, it does make sense that someone like Eugene Ivanov, founder of Iosoftware, would create a facebook group like Indie Gamedev Greenlight to help push games forward. The focus of Indie Gamedev Greenlight, at least at first, was to force vote games up the Greenlight ladder and share status and stories on Greenlight to an extent to get worthy projects out of the slow lane and onto Steam.

The original rules for the group were pinned at the top in a featured post saying the following (on October 24th)
1) STRICTLY no off-topic
2) Look through the posts, you MUST vote for ALL games submitted here.
3) After you voted for all others’ games, you can submit your greenlight projects.
4) you should post updates about your projects with screenshots of greenlight stats.

Greenlight Vote For Us

The 2nd rule in particular caught some attention as it seemed to be against the spirit of Greenlight but it does not that it would violate the rules strictly. The group doesn’t carry a massive weight having grown up to about 370 members now, but that can get a game moving some in theory. However, and this matters a lot, Greenlight is a subjective process by Valve in most cases and it’s supposed to be based on community interaction ideally. As one might expect, they weren’t particularly happy with this group’s existence.

Commenting on the group and its method the Valve representative said “Clearly this is not the feedback we are seeking from Greenlight. We do track these sorts of things and folks ‘going this route’ will likely not find the results they may have hoped for.” The quote here hints that Valve may blacklist games that are posted here or make it more difficult for them to get approval regardless of actual support for the game.

Perhaps responding to that, or to private concerns from Valve, Eugene updated the rules of the group on October 29th to say the following
This group is a place to showcase your games. We don’t ban for your honest wish to spread the word about your project.
1) STRICTLY no off-topic
2) Look through the posts, vote for games you like.
3) After you viewed and voted for others’ projects (your choice which ones), you can submit your greenlight projects.
4) you should post updates about your projects. What you did to promote it, and if it was successful.
5) we DO ban for showing hatred, intolerance, or discrimination. Please respect each other!

These set of rules appear to be more in line with what in theory Valve approves of in building a community interest and only voting on games that you are interested in. The previous set of rules though may hang over the group as an anchor-weight due to the perception of gaming the system that may stay in Valve headquarters.

Despite that, the Indie Dev Group is a vibrant group with plenty of people posting games, updates and sharing stories about greenlight. Perhaps, instead of being a way to get onto Greenlight faster by force voting, it will be one that allows them to focus, and share their projects more.

Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.

  • WhiteNut

    Honestly, this feels very much like cheating the system to push bad games through the green light process. If your game has to rely on vote pooling like this then your game probably isn’t worth buying (of course this isn’t always the case, some good games have died to lack of visibility). I do hope steam puts an end to this before any of the games can actually be approved.

  • james kelly

    yah techraptor should stop shilling to load steam with more crap games

  • coboney

    My view is there are some good games caught in greenlight as the system is badly designed as it works right now. I was trying to present a balanced view by discussing why a developer of even a good game might go to this type of length rather than presuming that instantly whatever game it is, is bad. There are undoubtably junk on greenlight – however Steam still allows junk in from people and lets Strategy First spam them with awful stuff.

    Was it breaking the spirit of the system – yes and that does cause some potential concerns. The rules of the group have changed though for whatever that may mean and the projects in that group tend not to be spam ones and such from my quick view of them. I may not be interested in all, or most of them but it does seem to be that way.

    Another issue is how much control Steam has of the PC gaming market in many ways right now. It functions not just as a retailer but also as a wholesaler effectively with keys going to places like Green Man Gaming.

  • Fatherless

    The folks in the Indie scene think of themselves as Davids taking on Goliaths, and resultingly never developed an ethos of self-restraint. An Indie gets himself or herself into a marginal position of power, and is still convinced that his or her own relative powerlessness to someone else justifies whatever mistreatment he or she can dish out ton someone below them.

    You’ll notice is always gender, sexual orientation, gender indentity, and maybe race, as an afterthought. Notice they completely neglect class. There’s no room for it anymore.

    So you end up with the spectacle of upper middle class pricks blogging about their own oppression from the cold, hard slopes of their in-laws’ ski lodge.

  • Umm, did I get this right. They couldn’t get people to vote for their games (probably cause their games are shit) so they made a group and are trying to force their way through greenlight. As if with recent developments and allegations the indie scene rep isn’t damaged enough.

  • BlixKrogg

    Why not simply use tiers? Keep games that haven’t been approved through the Greenlight process off the front pages and segregate them in a section designed specifically as a “buyers beware” kind of thing. Make it known that these games haven’t been approved yet, but allow them to be available for sale and download. If it gets enough of a purchase volume, then get it greenlit.

    Democracy can work wonders, folks. We don’t always need the rules to be set up where the gatekeepers dominate entirely.