By Nathan Grayson on October 18th, 2012 at 9:00 am.
Have you recently tried to make a game for submission to Steam Greenlight, only to realize it wasn’t actually a game at all – but instead a piece of ruthlessly efficient productivity software? Well then, you’re in a far better place than me. My aspiring Greenlight submission turned out to be a toaster. Sadly, there’s no category for that. Your software, though, can now enlist the aid of a community more numerous than the number of stars that can be seen through the thick clouds of smog in the sky. Well, potentially, anyway. Also, remember that pesky $100 Greenlight fee? Valve’s introduced a “Concept” category to help devs sorta kinda get around it.
Valve explained the concept behind Concepts as follows:
“Developers of games or software that are early in their development or creative process can now post their early work to start building a community and getting feedback from prospective customers. Concepts can be posted for free, but the voting on these items serves only to give the developer data and feedback and does not lead toward getting the game distributed on Steam.”
Meanwhile, friends’ favorites and news are now displayed semi-prominently on Greenlight’s front page, which is a helpful baby step in organizing the mighty crowdsourcing behemoth into something more manageable.
So these are definitely solid improvements – slight though they might be in the grand scheme of things. Concepts seem well-integrated enough into Greenlight’s overall structure, too, so that’s encouraging. That said, this does once again allow for a flood of “jokes” and pretenders – even if they are walled off from the main event. But then, Steam itself didn’t become a well-oiled machine over night (never mind that, in some ways, it still isn’t) and neither will Greenlight. These things take time. Fingers crossed that whatever’s waiting at the finish line ends up being worth all the effort.