Get Bridge Constructor Free (For A Positive Click)

By Jim Rossignol on November 28th, 2012 at 3:00 pm.


Headup Games are trying an interesting tactic to get more Steam Greenlight up votes for their game, Bridge Constructor: they’re giving it away for free. Expressing their frustration at not getting into the Greenlight top 100, the company have suggested that people might like to vote them up in exchange for getting the game entirely for no pennies (and DRM free). It’s a bold and brave move, and you can see from it just how important getting on to Steam is for companies like Headup, that they’ll give their product away to Greenlight voters in order to get noticed. It’ll be interesting to see whether anyone else employs similar tactics to get those vital upvotes as competition hots up.

After all, Steam is continuing to grow as a market, and recent peaked with six million concurrent users over Thanksgiving weekend. PC Gaming/Dead, etc.

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55 Comments »

  1. Screamer says:

    Is that lorry leaving skid marks in the air?

  2. felisc says:

    Is the truck bungie jumping in this screenshot ?

  3. mr.ioes says:

    I loved the old bridge builder!
    Hope this one is just as good or even better. In any case, upvote on greenlight incoming.

    • Myarin says:

      It’s worth noting to everyone that you don’t actually have to vote to get the game, they’re not holding it for ransom or anything (which would be kinda underhanded and annoying like those “offers” sites, to me).

      It’s all based on the honor system, so think of it as a free game no matter what, with the chance to make somebody’s day if you feel like doing that too. :)

    • tehfish says:

      My thoughts exactly :D

    • cybrbeast says:

      If you liked the old Bridge Builder you should check out the Bridge Project as it’s by the same developers.

      http://www.chroniclogic.com/bridgeproject.htm

  4. djarcas says:

    Ugh, this game is complete ass. Compared to the earlier games like Pontifex, it’s really not very good (much prettier, but forces you into building bridges THEIR way, and not featuring any of the Pontifex II features like drawbridges, etc)

    • mzlapq says:

      Are you talking about Bridge It?
      This game is not by the developers of Pontifex.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        The fact that it’s not that game is what allows him to compare it to that game.

        This seems like a game that’s only interesting because it’s free. I doubt there’d be an article on it otherwise.

        • Neurotic says:

          Chris Livingston loved it over on PCG yesterday, in one of (if not the only) Sim-Plicity that he actually enjoyed.

          • UmmonTL says:

            It brings nothing new to the table except for “slightly” better graphics and only when compared to other free games. I have played halfway through and there was maybe one slightly challenging bridge, I saw no level editor and was annoyed by control issues several times.

            In Pontifex you already had varying vehicles, even trains, multiple lanes, drawbridges, etc. and that was many years ago. Admittedly it needed work in the control scheme but Bridge it and Bridge Project seem to be superior to this game in every way.

      • jonfitt says:

        Bridge It just came up on Greenlight for me. I had no idea bridge construction was a genre!

    • Carra says:

      It doesn’t “suck ass”. It’s not innovative in any way either though.

      It’s somewhat like the original, free Bridge Builder with prettier graphics.

    • cybrbeast says:

      You are looking for the Bridge Project, it’s by the creators of Pontifex

      http://www.chroniclogic.com/bridgeproject.htm

  5. trjp says:

    If you want to see how important Steam is – esp to smaller developers – read this

    http://www.coldbeamgames.com/3/post/2012/11/november-26th-2012.html

    I’m not sure giving-away games so you can then sell them on Steam is entirely wise tho.

    It would help if more Greenlight games had demos I reckon – disappointingly few have done that and it’s a massive selling tool IMO

    Much better than ‘giving away’ your game – either directly or through bundles etc.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      RE: giving it away to benefit sales…
      See McPixel for the working strategy.

    • UmmonTL says:

      For such a mediocre title this stunt just netted them a lot of free PR. Personally I would never even look at this thing if it wasn’t free. I still can’t see it selling when you look at it’s competition but I’d say for getting attention they made the right move.

  6. Salt says:

    The wonders of Greenlight.

    This scheme virtually guarantees that the people clicking the “I would buy this game if it appeared on Steam” button, actually wouldn’t. After all, they now have a free copy of the game. I enjoy the subversive nature of what they’re doing, though. Out-gaming Valve’s gamification of games selling.

    A similar thing happens in the majority of cases anyway. A developer is meant to drive their fans to the Greenlight page in order to register their desire to buy the game. But surely if you’re a fan of the game and want to buy it, you’d have already bought it directly from the developer. So again, the people clicking “I would buy this” actually wouldn’t.

    Sophie Houlden recently presented a much more straightforward means of gauging interest: Let people actually buy games through Greenlight.

    • wccrawford says:

      Spot on. Let them put actual money down and you’ll change the whole voting thing, and it’ll no longer be so easy to game it.

      Unfortunately, this means they’d have to pick a price for the game now, or Steam would have to pick some amount ($5?) as a minimum you could put down to pre-order the game. I actually kind of like the latter idea, and it works well for GameStop.

      • Myarin says:

        Hear hear. I’d even set it at just $1, all you need is a tiny amount of money to filter out everybody who isn’t serious (aka the “lowtax method”).

        Steam should run Greenlight like Steam, instead of like Farmville. That’s basically the way it sounds to me. Right now, Zynga-esque viralism would totally destroy Greenlight if anyone with the resources cared to massively troll it, as far as I can tell.

        Make Greenlight’s transactional dynamics match the rest of the store, and the entire proposition starts making more sense.

        • bear912 says:

          Oh man, it would be awesome to have to pay to get your favorite free mods voted onto Steam, wouldn’t it?

          • The Random One says:

            Yeah, much more fair to leave it to the people who created and distributed the mod for free to pay to put it on Steam.

    • lordcooper says:

      Maybe I’m missing something here, but isn’t she essentially saying that games should be put on Steam so they can prove they deserve a place on Steam? Seems a little bizarre to my sleep deprived self.

      E: Looking through the list of games she’s made doesn’t really inspire confidence in her objectivity either. It seems to be almost solely populated by gamejam entries and half finished digital toys that really shouldn’t be on Steam anyway.

      • Salt says:

        Kind of, yeah. The main Steam store would remain a tightly controlled walled garden, with Greenlight becoming much more like the iOS app store (i.e. a garden with slightly easier to climb walls).

        For a fee anyone can add their game to Greenlight, where it would be available to buy. If you buy a game from Greenlight it’d be just like you bought it from the “real” store: it’ll appear in your games library, keep itself updated, all that stuff. Every so often the top performers on Greenlight can be scooped off and added to the main Store where they’ll get free publicity and the ability to feature in Steam Sales.

        Greenlight becomes the “overcrowded” marketplace, and will inevitably feature a whole load of poor quality games. Just like YouTube contains millions of low quality videos, and the iOS app store contains tons of useless apps. The main store can remain as curated and controlled as Valve want, while they also lend their infrastructure to smaller developers (and profit from it).

        Probably they would want to put a maximum file size limit on Greenlight, so someone’s 100GB project being sold for $5 doesn’t lose them money. They’d also need to have some bare minimum of control to remove copyright infringement or whatever else they deem “inappropriate”, but YouTube has shown that to be an attainable goal even when dealing with orders of magnitude more content.

        • KDR_11k says:

          So basically XBLa and XBLIG? XBLIG is a total ghetto with sales so low that even quality devs have trouble making the 100$ fee back.

      • Llewyn says:

        I don’t quite follow your edit. Are you suggesting that because she’s made some games which, in your and possibly also my opinion, aren’t up to very much her opinions on how Greenlight’s working out are somehow less valid than those of RPS commenters who’ve made none at all?

        • lordcooper says:

          I’m suggesting that someone who creates those kinds of games has significantly more to gain from what she is proposing than Joe Gamer, which likely renders her less than impartial and objective. In a roundabout way, yes.

  7. webwielder says:

    Please enjoy these bridge building escapades by Christopher “Funniest Man In Game Writing and He Only Does it For Fun” Livingston: http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/11/25/sim-plicity-i-am-a-bridge-builder/

    • The Random One says:

      I did. I literally laughed out loud. Thank you, kind sir or madam.

    • UmmonTL says:

      You should mention that the game he plays is not this game. This game has no suspension bridges, boats, tanks, trains or a level editor.

  8. DutchDrunk says:

    They’re really building a solid foundation for future customers with nice stuff like this.

  9. Uthred says:

    Greenlight is in theory a decent idea but the current execution is woeful, its a glorified popularity contest with a self-perpetuating cycle which gurantees a narrower and narrower selection of games e.g. there arent a lot of, say, visual novels on Steam – which means they get less votes – which means theres less of them – less fans = less votes, repeat. Even something rudimentary like a “Top X in Genre X” would help quality game in under-represented genres rise above the wave of shoddy fps’ etc.

  10. Didden says:

    I’m waiting for the ‘Ferry Crossing’ constructor. But it is clear, Steam has become like the massive supermarket chains, who control the manufacturers. They decide what goes on the shelves, and getting special treatment, costs.

    Greenlight is stupid. Just put the damn game on Steam already and stop trying to control access. If its good, people will buy it. If not, they won’t.

    • Surlywombat says:

      I feel some controls are preferable to allowing anything and everything on there (which you seem to be suggesting), I think steam greenlight is an admirable compromise.

      • The Random One says:

        Control, what for? If I wanted a massive corporation to tell me what games I can or can’t play through their service I’d have a console. (Which I do, actually.)

        • fooga44 says:

          Because most games are shit, one look at greenlight and you know why valve hasn’t greenlighted many of them – i.e. it would effect their brand/reputation if absolute garbage was allowed to compete with developers that put in real effort.

  11. Lurid says:

    Pontifex was better. This is like a shallow replica.

  12. I am Grand says:

    TL;DR… Anyone got an abridged version of this article?

  13. Radiant says:

    How do I vote for this game from within the steam client?
    I feel like a thief.

  14. Hahaha says:

    Anyone actually played this yet or are the fanboys just doing what they do?
    How does is stand up to the chronic logic stuff? I can’t see how you can screw it up to badly.

    http://www.chroniclogic.com/main.htm because they are good

    EDIT
    In response to the comment about one way to build things, yeah Pontifex basically had one optimal way to build things that’s the way these games normally work. Bridge It demo was showing the same.

    • Aravean says:

      I am one of the Chronic Logic developers. Thanks for all the Pontifex mentions, we appreciate it! Bridge It the sequel to Pontifex and is currently on Greenlight as well, if you have any questions about it ask in the discussions: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=109414835

    • dawatticus says:

      Played through a bunch of the maps there, it’s not quite up there with the Chronic Logic stuff – it feels a little less “physicsy” but its not bad. Definitely worth a vote.

    • Hahaha says:

      Excellent, vote cast, had fun destroying my creations with the earthquake in the demo.

      Cheers Dawatticus, going to check it out now.

      Aravean why such a low quality video?

      • Aravean says:

        Video was low res to fit on the web site and I can’t find the original higher res one. Will have to make a new one to get higher quality. The Add-on pack video is better but would not make sense up there :(

  15. TechnicalBen says:

    Greenlight still fails. Searching the word “bridge” brings up an imitation (or just plain old similar) game. Searching the Devs name “Headup” also returns just one other game. Greenlight is as broken as Planetside 2.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I think the search function is a bit janky, but I got 7 or 8 entries for bridge including this game.

      • The Random One says:

        Try “bridge constructor”?

        Also, I wish I could open greenlight pages on Steam. I don’t know why it doesn’t work when I try to open them through steam: and I can’t enter URLs on Steam.

  16. Lethys says:

    Steam is to indie games what Johnny Carson was to comedians in the 70s and 80s.