Steam Greenlight Adds Non-Game Software Support

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.

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24 Comments »

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  1. remote says:

    Still no LA-MULANA. Greenlight is worthless.

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      On the bright side, gog.com is now selling it!

    • MrNash says:

      Maybe they just think the game is actually a word processor. Now could be the time to resubmit! =D

    • PixelProspector says:

      When Steam had greenlit 21 games a few days ago I was wondering as well why La-Mulana wasn’t part of it. I mean it has a somewhat big fanbase, got pretty good reviews, appears already in 77 collections (including my greenlight picks collection) and has received ~800 comments… Because of that I assume the amount of votes is pretty high and I think it will be greenlit soonish. Everything else wouldn’t make sense….

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        Ninja Dodo says:

        (edit: reply fail… meant to reply to general thread, not this post specifically)

        When the more popular/crowd-pleasing games have all been Greenlit games with a smaller but still significant following are inevitably going to get the go ahead, unless they stop doing monthly approvals.

      • Jabberwocky says:

        They’re just popping the top games off the list. If you’re a developer and your game is in the top 100, it tells you what position your game is in. My game went from 55 to 34 when the last batch of games were greenlit, sliding up 21 spots. So even if La-Mulana wasn’t accepted this time, it moved closer to the top of the list too, and will probably be accepted soon.

        • grundus says:

          Forgive me for being an idiot but does this not mean that eventually every game will be Greenlit?

          • eks says:

            Not as long as as there are games added faster then they are being accepted.

          • The Random One says:

            Even assuming we are certain that is exactly how Valve’s arcane procedures go, no. New games are being submitted all the time, so if your game is not getting votes because it’s crap new games with larger fan bases will constantly pass you on the standings.

            EDIT: Ninja’d, but my post is obviously the best one. Notice how I use the word ‘arcane’ and make a snide remark towards Valve because I has opinion. I’m keeping it here.

          • JBantha says:

            “eks says:

            Not as long as as there are games added faster then* they are being accepted.”
            Adding to what The Random One said: not only that but Greenlight is just a tool to tell Steam what we gamers what to see on store.
            The final word is and will always be Valve’s. So in a certain way it does not matters if your game is forever on the top 100. If steam doesn’t consider it a Steam worthy addition, it might get forever stuck waiting to be greenlit.
            It may be an odd case, but it is just and example.

            *than instead of then

        • InternetBatman says:

          What is your game on greenlight?

          • Jabberwocky says:

            It’s called Salvation Prophecy. I don’t want to litter up the RPS comments section with greenlight links, but clicking on my name links to my website, and you can get to greenlight from there if you want to check it out.

  2. Bishop says:

    Better get your concepts up quick before another $100 fee is added to remove all the Half Life 3 concepts.

  3. PixelProspector says:

    What do you think of an official “RPS Greenlight Collection”? In my opinion it would be a good idea…

    • frightlever says:

      “What do you think of an official “RPS Greenlight Collection”?”

      That’d be 90% of the viable games on Greenlight.

      • phelix says:

        The other 10%, of course, being troll entries and LAYERNET bizarreware.

  4. Shivoa says:

    Speaking of well-oiled machines, it’s weird that Steam still doesn’t treat DLC as an optional component to a game but rather a mandatory patch. I guess that kinda fits with Steam’s ‘all patches are mandatory’ policy for base games but it also means that, because I decided to pay a bit more and buy some additional content for some Steam games, my download sizes have ballooned for content I neither need nor want to play some games when I am away from my home computer (or if I was to delete and redownload in the future). Yes, I’m talking about soundtrack ‘DLC’ and the curse of offerings that include WAVs that can push the DLC to take several times the space as the actual game to which they’re attached. Attached and impossible to not download when you want to grab the game from Steam.

    How hard would it be to get an advanced option tickbox when selecting to install a game where you can choose the DLC to include? For that matter, why do we have this opt-in beta process rather than just being able to select a patch version (with a warning if you select the beta head) and let Steam update to the version we’ve chosen? Wouldn’t that be great (for a company that knows well the desires of communities for specific patches of a game thanks to the CS community and differing opinions on which version got it just right).

    • The Random One says:

      Thanks for the heads-up, now I’ll know not to buy soundtrack bundles from Steam. I’d prefer to get them straight from the musician anyway.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Patches are not mandatory in Steam. Right click the game, go to properties, then to updates, then enable “do not automatically update this game.” I do it with quite a few games that have a nasty habit of releasing huge patches frequently.

      Also, having a bunch of players with differently patched versions has to be a tech support nightmare.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        FYI: that option does not always work. Some single-player games eventually bypass it and update anyway. That’s been a recurring problem for years and Valve have simply been ignoring it for whatever reason.

  5. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    Quick! Someone try to get a new digital distribution service client greenlit on Steam!

    Yo dawg, we heard you like digital distribution…

    • The Random One says:

      I’m wondering if you could actually do that, or if Steam remembered to put some sort of non-compete clause on Greenlight.

      Let’s put glorioustrainwrecks.exe on it!

  6. pupsikaso says:

    I happened to notice this yesterday evening. There were only 5 entries into the Concept category. I wasn’t sure what that was but it was kinda obvious the intention.
    However those entries? I thought at first I was being cleverly trolled. They are beyond bad. They are simply completely ignorant. They are what you would get if you asked a school kid what kind of game he’d want to make.

    • The Random One says:

      Agreed. Considering that problem when Greenlight launched, and the reason for the ill-advised fee, was an abundance of poorly thought out projects (also outright trolling, but you get my point) it seems strange that they’d waive the fee precisely for entries for which having nothing to show for the game would not be suspicious. It would seem better for them to waive the fee for games that present a demo and outright ban unfinished games. Or, at least, unstarted ones.

      Sometimes I think the people responsible for Greenlight forget what it’s for and dream they’re somehow competing with Kickstarter.