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) RULES OF THIS GROUP: 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.
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 RULES OF THIS GROUP: 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.