Welcome to the revitalized GreenWatch, now known as SteamWatch. In these series of articles, we look at the week’s news regarding Steam’s indie scene, developers, and games, all information-based to make sure you all stay informed of what’s transpired in the past week on the Steam platform. Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s news.
Social Interaction Trainer Controversy
Social Interaction Trainer is an indie video game that launched on Steam November 2nd, 2016, and since then the game has been met with a mostly negative reception from Steam users, with the game at the time of writing currently holding a 29% on Steam based on 51 customer reviews. The aim of the game is to learn how to conduct yourself when placed under different situations of social interaction, ranging from social interaction with a spouse, a baby, and a number of others. Additionally, the developer Ryan Jake Lambourn also released two additional games, one called Restricted-RPS – Hope Annihilation Arc, a free to play online multiplayer game, centered around trading cards and money to participate in different matches/games around a nightclub with other players, and there is also the upcoming game of his Whip the Vote.
However, recently, announcements came up on the games’ pages with Ryan Jake Lambourn that they would be taken down from Steam soon. In the posts, it isn’t made entirely clear what had occurred, all that was said was that there was “a disagreement with Steam.” Now early on, the only reason people could come up with for their removal was due to Social Interaction Trainer containing an achievement where, in order to unlock it, you have to donate to the developer’s Patreon, as shown in several user reviews. Later on, on the developer’s Twitter, it was shown to the public that this was not far from the actual reason.
On Twitter, the developer released three different tweets, the first one showing that Steam had automatically blocked a new build of Social Interaction Trainer because, in the build, there was a link leading to the Patreon page. As shown, Steam automatically deny builds with this sort of link present as they don’t want websites that lead to external sites for a financial gain present, in case they may lead to scams.
— Ryan Jake Lambourn (@googumproduce) June 23, 2017
Then, a second tweet was made, showing an e-mail conversation between Ryan and Tom Giardino from Valve, essentially explaining that the link violates some of the rules that Valve set out for developers before distribution of the game begins. With Ryan having that link in his game, he was in violation of the contract, and if a build wasn’t uploaded addressing those issues, the game would be pulled from distribution.
— Ryan Jake Lambourn (@googumproduce) July 12, 2017
At the time of writing, Ryan is trying to work with Valve to see if he can distribute itch.io keys for the games to people that have bought the game so that they can stay up to date with updates coming out.
still waiting on steam employees to tell me if theres a way to give out itchio keys before i take my released games off their store. pic.twitter.com/zA8pmdbiOk
— Ryan Jake Lambourn (@googumproduce) July 14, 2017
Family Cobweb Art Theft
An upcoming game called Family Cobweb, developed by BCH Waves Studio, has caused a minor stir in the community, due to several users discovering that Family Cobweb had actually stolen a piece of artwork from an artist over on DeviantArt, without credit, and additionally went as far as to edit the artist’s signature (that is apparent on the DeviantArt version) out of the version used in the game.
We reached out to the artist for comment, and we got a response back, with RiknaMyoneArt stating:
Thank you for your response. But I don’t know what can I do (about) that. Honestly. And that work was a scholar exercise.
Mission: Escape from Island Asset and Music Theft
Recently, a game called Mission: Escape from Island has launched onto Steam and has currently been met with positive reviews from the community, currently sitting at 84% based on 26 customer reviews. Developed by Falcoware, the game has received positive feedback in regards to the game itself; however, a bad light has recently been shone onto the game.
YouTuber IAmPattyJack did a video showcasing that a tent model in Mission: Escape from Island was lifted from Fallout: New Vegas. In the video’s description, IAmPattyJack also showcases an imgur album showing comparisons of the tent in Fallout: New Vegas and Mission: Escape from Island.
Additionally, YouTuber SidAlpha did his own video on the matter, and in that, he also showcases that not only the tent models were stolen, but so was the menu music for the game, as the menu music for Mission: Escape from Island is the same as the music used in Far Cry.
I hope that everyone enjoyed reading this week’s SteamWatch, be sure to share it around if you did enjoy it, and it will hopefully return next week.