Hmmm: The Green Light Bundle

By Nathan Grayson on October 13th, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

Steam Greenlight isn’t perfect. Not by a long shot. It’s still very much a work-in-progress, and – at the moment – it’s making things harder on some developers than even the old, underdog unfriendly selection process used to. Valve has, however, made one thing abundantly clear: it wants developers to round up outside communities of their own and then take Greenlight by storm. Obviously, that’s far easier said than done, but the Green Light Bundle is – if nothing else – an interesting attempt at making order out of chaos. Better still, it uses the 100 Percent Guaranteed Indie Game Solution To All Life Problems (Including Relationships And Spiders): “When in doubt, bundle.”

In short, Green Light Bundle uses standard indie bundle tactics to draw attention to Greenlight listings. Simply spend whatever you want on a heap of games, and then – if you’re feeling so inclined – upvote them on Greenlight. Or don’t. That part’s your call.

The full package is made up of rotating puzzler Pixel Blocked, third-person multiplayer shooter Omegladon, space puzzler Starlaxis, turn-based Cthuluer Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land, MMO Perpetuum, RTS RPG Dawn of Fantasy, retro action-adventure Oniken, and land-grabbing party game General Conflict. $1 gets you the first three, and the rest enter the picture once you make it into $5 territory.

As far as breaking loose of the Greenlight crowd’s tangled grip goes, it’s certainly among the better – if more basic – ideas I’ve seen. Plus, it gives people a chance to actually play what they’re voting for and make informed decisions, so I’m all for that. Admittedly, this bundle is – at best – an extremely temporary solution to a much larger issue, but it’s cool to see developers putting their heads (and games) together like this. It’s inspiring, really. Never forget: we can overcome all problems with the power of teamwork bundles.

, , , , , , .

50 Comments »

  1. phelix says:

    I don’t really see how bundling spiders will solve my problems.

    • Heliocentric says:

      You misunderstand, it solves spider’s problem with you.

    • Lemming says:

      Easier to vacuum up?

    • Unaco says:

      Think about it: Would you rather have 100 spiders, all in a single ball/bundle, so you can see them and know where they all are? Or 1 spider infront of you, and the knowledge that there are 99 more… somewhere?

      • Premium User Badge

        melnificent says:

        So are you saying because I can see the 1 spider in my bathroom there are 99 more waiting for me to let my guard down and attack?

        • Premium User Badge

          Llewyn says:

          Attack? No, they’re just watching you in the shower.

          • Phantoon says:

            BURN THE HOUSE DOWN NO WHERE IS SAFE

          • Bauul says:

            What’s that? It’s the sound of 99 tiny hairy faps.

          • Prokroustis says:

            This is no joke. I almost crashed the other day when one such wicked creature decided to say hi while I was driving.

  2. Gonefornow says:

    So Steam has pay-what-ya-want now as well.
    There’s one on GoG too, right now, for the Divinity Series.
    And the Indie bundles, of course. They’ll be back.

    Wonder what’s going for pwyw next?

    @eks
    Oh well, maybe it’s going to succeed and influence the collective steam powered minds at Valve to make a move. Thatcould be next.

    • eks says:

      This isn’t official. It’s just a normal indie bundle but the requirement for inclusion is that you are currently on Greenlight.

  3. Shivoa says:

    So buy these games and then go to Steam and click some buttons asking “Would you buy this game if it were available in Steam?”

    Surely ownership of the games means that, no, you (probably) wouldn’t buy them if they were on Steam. You already own these games, PWYW in a bundle no less. Surely we need a new button ‘Valve: If you had put these finished games up on Steam already then I would have purchased this game via your store rather than directly* and so you’d have gotten a 30% cut, but you didn’t so you lost out. Maybe there are other who haven’t purchased this game who would do so, you should put this game on Steam so you can get your cut of their purchases.’

    * For the trust that the payment system is secure; the game will be around for redownload through this known application in years to come; a desire to give Valve more money; or maybe even for potential achievement or cloud save systems that may or may not be in the games at this point but could possibly get patched in and make the Steam version better than any other version (unless the buy direct version also comes with Steam keys – which seems to be quite common). Whatever the reason people have for buying via Steam rather than directly from the developers.

    • Mctittles says:

      It’s all very confusing.

      With greenlight being a market you need to advertise for, before the ACTUAL market it’s bound to bring weird stuff like this.

    • Stromko says:

      I find it strange that the powers that be at Steam don’t just pick up most of these games that are obviously good and finished, the second they’re posted to Greenlight.

      On the other hand, a game like The Expendables 2: The Game is out on Steam immediately, because it comes from a ‘real’ publisher, despite that it is an entirely unnecessary and terrible game.

  4. Enzo says:

    It says that “Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land” is a “turn based RTS”.

    What.

    • Premium User Badge

      yhancik says:

      Real time turns!

    • Persus-9 says:

      This is actually the case with almost all turn based games. It is terribly misleading but time actually continues while you take your turn. I remember the first time I sat down to play a game of Civ and it seemed like hours past but I was content in the knowledge that it wasn’t real time. I figured that after playing a thousand or so turns that maybe each would take a second each to play out so I’d probably not spent more than about 15 minutes or so of real time. But no, when stopped playing I found that all that time I spent deciding what to do and pressing buttons preparing my turns actually pasted in real time as well and it was actually 3am!

    • JackShandy says:

      Maybe it stands for Real Turn Strategy.

    • MaXimillion says:

      I read up to that point and then closed the page, whoever’s running the bundle is clearly incompetent.

  5. Alexrd says:

    So, will projects from Steam Greenlight have a DRM free version available, or will all of them be Steamworks?

    • trjp says:

      Greenlight isn’t a DD service – games on there aren’t on Steam so they’ll come in some other form right now.

      Whether you will get a Steam key IF they are accepted (which at the current rate is fucking unlikely) is one of those piece of string questions…

    • zeroskill says:

      Steamworks isn’t manditory to sell you games on the platform. The big majority of games on Steam don’t use Steamworks.

      • Alexrd says:

        Unfortunately that’s not true.

        • lordcooper says:

          Yes it is.

        • trjp says:

          It’s true that many games on Steam will run, once installed, without the Steam client running.

          It’s not true that this in any way counts as ‘DRM-Free’ – although as I’ve said a million times now, I don’t consider “you can only play your games on one PC at a time” to be a massive limitation (but it IS DRM)

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            You’re 100% correct, but wait for the inevitable “Steam isn’t DRM” shitstorm to happen.

          • Premium User Badge

            Rise / Run says:

            If the game doesn’t check whether or not Steam is running (or if you are offline) you could (in theory) concurrently play your games on an infinite number of PCs. That said, I’m not sure how one would do such a thing. Or at least I’m unsure how I would given my limited dexterity and attention bandwidth. Maybe if they are those fake time turn-based games.

            M

          • Bauul says:

            Of course Steam is a form of DRM (that’s what it was invented for along with Half-Life 2, after all), it’s just not nearly as draconian as the kind that gave the notion the bad reputation it has.

  6. trjp says:

    Is it just me or is including a bonus which is DLC for a game you have to buy separately which isn’t on Greenlight just a bit bonkers???

    This is the 2nd Greenlight Bundle of course – and the last one had more goodies for me – but that Cthulu game is actually REALLY good despite it’s bizarre genre choice…

    • KDR_11k says:

      I got that Cthulu game out of an Android bundle but the touchscreen controls are rather wonky since it rarely reacts to presses on anything. Guess I could try the PC version but I prefer games portable.

      • Premium User Badge

        Dare_Wreck says:

        Then throw it on a laptop?

      • trjp says:

        Worked fine on 2 Android tablets and my S3 phone – I think you might have a crap Android device :)

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Awesomenauts DLC? WTF?

  7. malkav11 says:

    I applaud the idea, but I’m not actually interested in any of the games in the bundle except Perpetuum, which has a subscription fee and since I don’t like Eve I probably wouldn’t actually enjoy Perpetuum, and CoC: The Wasted Land, which I already own on two other platforms and have zero need to rebuy on PC.

  8. MythArcana says:

    And as Valve claps their hands, RPS come running with a write-up.

    • lordcooper says:

      Because this was totally a Valve initiative…

    • Snakejuice says:

      RTFA before posting, please.

    • Prokroustis says:

      Nathan is an undercover Valve employee besides. He will be posting an exclusive preview of HL3 on RPS besides. It is known.

      edit: besides, this is totally not absurd, besides.

  9. ShineyBlueShoes says:

    I wish they would at least give you a Desura key for these in case they never get green lighted. DRM free is great and all but having to keep track of all of these files for games that I can’t even remember what they are can be challenging.

    I also find it very odd that anyone who pays $5 gets Awesomenauts DLC but not the game itself?

    • BurningPet says:

      But which game devs would want to submit that one game who they know will carry the entire bundle on their back?

      In most of the cases they just better off not do a bundle and sell normally, or do a “pay what you want” themselves rather than splitting the revenues that were generated mainly thanks to them with additional 7 teams and the bundle team.

      oops – that was meant for ZephaniahGrey

  10. ZephaniahGrey says:

    These guys putting together bundles need to work harder to find at least ONE really good game to include. The value of a bundle is kinda lost when there’s nothing in it you want. It’s like finding a REALLY great deal on a 12 pack of sewer covers. It might be an amazing offer, but unlikely to appeal to many.

    • dE says:

      People will skin me alive for even thinking it, but truth be told – there aren’t that many great indie games around. Especially if you’re really tired of Puzzle Platformers. Chances are, whenever a bundle with good to great Indie games comes around, people own most of them anyway.
      So it’s either having lots of repeats or bundles including less known games, most of which – well to put it nicely – require quite a bit of self-induced enthusiasm to play and enjoy. Still, the humble bundle has consistently good quality and every once in a while, Indie Royale hits a goldmine too. Good thing there are so many bundles to chose from, so it’s just a matter of picking the one that is best for your tastes (or amount of enthusiasm you can muster).

      • Vinraith says:

        Most great indie games are niche, and have never been included in a bundle for that reason. Your statement would be more accurate if you said “there aren’t that many great mainstream indie games.”

        • dE says:

          mainstream indie
          Oh dear, give me a second.

          There, there… all better. Thanks for the laugh, nearly died from it too.

  11. uggron says:

    Ah, the 100% GIGSTALPIRAS.