Thumb Pulled? 100 More Titles Greenlit

By Ben Barrett on August 29th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

The Greenlight program has hardly been without its detractors. When first announced it seemed as if the indie messiah had arrived, parting the seas of bad games to allow those noble and true forward. Then the waters muddied as its systems and comments sections were overtaken by Steam’s worst trolls. Now it lies as a problematic but necessary tool of indie game development. But perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel: Valve haveĀ announced that a new batch of one hundred titles were being greenlit as of yesterday. This brings the total to a rather respectable 260. Details on some of this number, and what it may mean, within.

The reason given for this huge bump in titles is a need to stress-test the systems used to publish games on Steam and get feedback from a large number of developers on these tools. There’s no mention made to the issues Greenlight has faced or the growing unpopularity of using it, but I wonder if this sort of huge change might help with that too. Part of the problem is the amount of time it can take to actually reach the Steam store. Meanwhile your game lounges in obscurity, your only connection to its “fanbase” the daily deleting of homophobia and death threats from your inbox and comments. That’s going to get anybody down, so speedier acceptance once you’ve passed a certain threshold helps. In fact, this seems to be what Valve’s Tom Bui was hinting at back in July. As Nathan says, how far this will get us is up for debate, but at least it’s something.

Anyway, here’s a complete list of the coverage we’ve given games that were given the go ahead this time:

8BitMMO – Two trailers.
A Walk in the Dark – Two trailers.
Against the Wall – Trailer, words.
Armikrog – Kickstarter.
Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator – Trailer, interview.
Automation – Demo, Flare Path.
Black Annex – Words, trailer.
Bridge Constructor – Free version.
Call Of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land – Wot Adam Thinks.
Chrome Squad – Kickstarter.
City Car Driving – Flare Path.
Cook, Serve, Delicious – Demo.
Damned – Trailer.
Dead Cyborg – Two trailers.
Depth Hunter – Demo impressions.
Dino Run SE – Trailer.
Doorways – Trailer.
Eleusis – Demo thoughts.
Escape Goat – Wot John Thinks.
Forced – Demo impressions.
Gray Matter – Demo and intro video.
Hoodwink – Trailer.
InFlux – Trailer.
Knytt Underground – Trailer and demo.
Legend of Iya – Kickstarter.
Legend of the Knightwasher – Trailer.
Legends of Aethereus – Trailer.
Megabyte Punch – Impressions, trailer and demo.
Mortal Online: The Awakening – Three part diary.
Mutant Mudds – Trailer.
NEO Scavengers – Demo thoughts.
Oniken – Trailer.
Paranautical Activity – Trailers, impressions.
Poker Smash – Trailer.
Rawbots – Kickstarter, trailer.
Ray’s The Dead – Trailer.
Reprisal – Demo and browser version.
Road Redemption – Trailer.
Running With Rifles – Two trailers.
Salvation Prophecy – Trailer.
Signal Ops – Two trailers.
Son of Nor – Kickstarter, trailer.
Soul Saga – Kickstarter.
Super Amazing Wagon Adventure – Trailer.
Talisman Digital Edition – Cardboard Children.
Teslagrad – Demo, trailers.
The Plan – Free version, trailer.
Underrail – Demo and trailer.
WARMACHINE: Tactics – Kickstarter, interview.
Zafehouse Diaries – Wot Rob Thinks.

Things learned writing this post: a lot of games start with Legend or Legends. RPS covers a lot of games. We tag our posts pretty well.

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74 Comments »

  1. baby snot says:

    Anyone playing Artemis regularly? Is there much variation in missions?

    • Artist says:

      Depends. You have the randomized, default mission(s) and the custom community made missions. Overall worth the investment when you have pals to play (and die trying, hehe).

    • slerbal says:

      I play Artemis lots – and it is great fun. One thing I would say though is you should get it direct from the dev as it costs $40 and has no DRM as Thom is happy for one person to buy a copy for all the crew stations. I doubt that will be the case with Steam given the one running version per Steam account.

      Of course should you like it I recommend getting your friends to buy copies direct from Thom too – he is a one man band and really does an amazing job of supporting the title.

      Also the Android and iOS clients (not yet updated to the new 2.0 version) are really good and they all fit together seamlessly. We generally have one laptop running the server on the big tv, a second client on the same laptop for one station and a mix of laptops and tablets for the other stations.

      Although it is a computer game, the same room social nature of it makes it feel more like a boardgame.

      Typical missions can be 20 minutes to an hour. A crew of 3 is minimum really, and 5-6 is ideal though the Communications officer doesn’t usually have a lot to do other than taunt enemies and press Red Alert.

      Hope that helps :)

      I meant to add the URL for Artemis: http://www.artemis.eochu.com/

      • OrangyTang says:

        I have to disagree – my experience has been very different.

        After leaving Artemis for a while and trying to re-download to get the latest version I found that the purchase/download url had changed, so I could no longer download any version (even old ones). I ended up buying it again which is not great.

        While in theory desktop/Android/iOS builds can work together, in practice we couldn’t get the iOS version to talk to any other version without it crashing on connect. Desktop and Android versions are (still) crashy and can leave your game unplayable which sucks when you scupper a multiplayer game so you have to restart amid everyone’s groans.

        On top of that there’s very little meaningful randomness in the missions, and getting fan-made missions to work is a right pain, and usually not worth it.

        I love Artemis, I really do – it’s an experience that no other game is providing right now. However in terms of implementation and content it’s so hugely lacking. It could be truly great, but it’s being held back by sloth-like progress and (I suspect) poor programming.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      As slerbal says above, it can be a lot of fun. I can’t stress enough though, you really need people to play it with. I have a group of friends to play with, and the six of us always have a great time for hours. That said, I can’t imagine it being any fun at all if you don’t have a group you can imagine yourself playing with.

  2. Donners says:

    Dominions 3 is the most exciting of the batch, for me. I have played it for years, but I’m thrilled that others will be introduced to an outstanding TBS game.

    • Molay says:

      Same here for me! Well, not exactly the same, but I’m very excited as well to see it get on steam. I think it very well deserves to be exposed to the public! I hope this will get some more attention for the game and cause the MP community to grow :)

      It’s a bit disappointing though that Dom4 hasn’t been submitted for greenlight yet, as it’s coming out fairly soon. I hope they manage to get that on steam as well in a reasonable amount of time.

    • wodin says:

      Dom 4 will be a must buy…

  3. pkt-zer0 says:

    Aces Wild not on the list. Or covered by RPS, either. Wot a shame.

    Seriously though, it’s a surprisingly good game. Best ninja- and dog-puncher game for sure.

  4. Bluenose says:

    Darkout and Bridge Constructor were the two I was really looking out for.

    • frightlever says:

      Have you played Darkout? I dipped a toe after getting it in a bundle and it came across as a fairly annoying, non-intuitive variation on Terraria. I see there’s been an update since then but I haven’t tried it lately.

      • Bluenose says:

        I’ve played a fair amount. It’s getting better, but I did need extensive advice from a youtube tutorial to get to grips with the interface (Splattercat made it, if I recall correctly). It’s shaping up to be a good game, but there is some way to go yet.

  5. B1A4 says:

    Oniken yes, Drox operative no?

    Me no likey.

  6. Paul B says:

    For us RPGers, I hope Driftmoon will eventually find Greenlight success (It’s worth reading John’s Wot I Think on it).

  7. Liquidoodle says:

    This probably explains why my project Will to Survive suddenly jumped from 60% of the way to the top 100 to 90% of the way. Nice.

  8. Stuart Walton says:

    Signal Ops looks like my cup of tea. It’s already out on GoG too.

    • Javier says:

      Great concept, very poor execution. I can’t honestly recommend it. I have to warn though that I didn’t get very far into it. I doubt it will get much better later on, most of the problems being on the mechanics, but…

  9. Saul says:

    I wrote some thoughts on the ramifications of the 100-game Greenlight. Also, I’ve attached a screenshot of our Greenlight page, so you can have a look “behind the curtain” if that tickles your fancy: http://www.seethroughstudios.com/2013/08/yay-but-hmm-the-ramifications-of-the-100-game-greenlight/

    (Our game on Greenlight is “Particulars”, by the by. We’re a lot closer to the top than we were before yesterday, but would still appreciate your vote!)

    • HadToLogin says:

      No clicky, no vote’y :(

    • MaXimillion says:

      You should probably tell your web guy that your site is completely blank when browsing with NoScript.

      • trjp says:

        In fairness, the entire Internet should be blank if you do that

        It’s 2013 – the best you should expect is “For fucks sake turn-off NoScript”

        Static HTML is for Homepages :)

        • FriendlyFire says:

          Actually, no. Most pages display just fine using NoScript. It’s usually when you want to interact with the site (menus, forms, etc.) that you need to enable JS. Some sites are surprisingly resilient to not having any scripting, to the extent where the entire site is usable.

        • MaXimillion says:

          But that’s all the site has, static content. I’ve nothing against JavaScript for things that actually require it, but displaying static content certainly isn’t one of those.

        • mwoody says:

          Exactly, it’s 2013 and as an IT professional, I can confirm that the threat of rootkits that can punch through antivirus software like tissue paper has never been higher. I use NoScript and have absolutely no time for the 1% or so of sites that are unusable with it installed (or, more commonly, make it extremely difficult to determine which of the 30 addresses they access need be unblocked to view a page – looking at you, Kotaku).

        • jrodman says:

          It’s 2013, and with each passing year it gets easier and easier to do progressive enhancement. The javascript libraries get more capable, the browsers get more capable. The general state of the art in javascript development advances. Hacks who have no idea what they’re doing but happen to be able to get some javascript to work sometimes are not being much hired as compared to seasoned developers who know javascript.

          If your page comes up blank when javascript is disabled, you’re back in 1998 when web development was done by someone who learned it 2 months ago.

        • rustybroomhandle says:

          If anything can be learned from this discussion, it’s that it is 2013.

      • Saul says:

        I’ll mention it.

    • Shuck says:

      Yeah, I had a similar response to the news. Scarcity is what makes Steam valuable to developers (and players, to some degree). Announcing 100 at once rather than several announcements of a smaller number of games may give the impression that Valve has pulled their thumb out, but it isn’t doing developers or players any favors – developers suffer when their games don’t stand out, and players can’t easily parse lists that long. This is the more general problem of adding a great deal more games to Steam at once – if the game isn’t on the front page, it’s going to get lost, unless the game can build up a sizable following outside Steam that it directs to Steam, like the Greenlight process. Which, as a developer hoping for a boost in sales, rather defeats the purpose of being on Steam in the first place. And since the game discovery tools in Steam are rather poor, adding a flood of games isn’t very useful for players, either.

      • Saul says:

        All true. But I was chatting to one of the devs who was just greenlit, and he was still much happier to be onto Steam than not. His game has been sitting in purgatory on Greenlight for about a year now (the game is Automation). His view is that an open, more competitive Steam with less individual attention is still better than the way the system has been working (ie. not very well). I’m inclined to agree. I’m looking forward to the “multiple externally curated stores” model that Gabe talked about a while back.

        Also remember that although 100 games were greenlit, that doesn’t mean they’re all showing up on Steam at the same time. Plenty of them are still in development, and even the finished ones will most likely be staggered so that they all get at least a moment in the sun.

    • Kubrick Stare Nun says:

      I got your game from the Groupees’s bundle. I liked it, it’s some really ambitious shit. I wish the best of luck for you. :)

      • Saul says:

        Thanks!

        When you have an unusual game like ours it’s really hard to cut through the noise to find your audience. But the positive responses we have gotten when someone does get their hands on the game are keeping us going. Really appreciate it!

  10. Grover says:

    What’s with everyone complaining about Greenlight on RPS? This is the best it’s ever been for indie games and Greenlight/Steam is no small part of that.

    Not fast enough greenlights for indie devs? It’ll never be fast enough because Valve needs some form of quality control and that takes time; someone has to play through these and make sure they aren’t a complete bamboozle. Or at least someone should be.

    Automation only gets you so far if you want to maintain a level of quality.

    • Iamerror says:

      I doubt Valve play through the games to test for ‘quality’, that’s ridiculous given how subjective interactive media is [not to mention ignores how games like Revelations 2012 ever made it onto the service].
      This is probably more of a reaction to the dismissal of Greenlight by the media and certain big name indies due to the difficulty of getting through onto Steam, and a reaction to the growing nonsensical media narrative of the new consoles somehow being ‘more indie friendly’ than PC.

      • HadToLogin says:

        Valve doesn’t check games in terms of gameplay, not even sure if they try to run game.exe.

        That’s the beauty and the curse of open-platform.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Valve isn’t concerned with quality control. They have no dedicated testers, and they only grudgingly test third-party games when they receive an overwhelming number of complaints about poor quality.

      Greenlight is a complete fucking mess, and Valve suddenly releasing 100 games (many of which have already been available outside of Steam for months) isn’t magically going to make the system run any cleaner.

      • mwoody says:

        I’ve read the articles and the comments, and I still just don’t understand people’s issues with Greenlight. Valve is a closed store, like any closed store, and the only reason they’re successful as opposed to some everything-goes shit store like Android is a somewhat discerning eye when it comes to submissions.

        If anything, my only complaint about Greenlight is that they allowed in too many games, and this avalanche certainly enforces that.

        • Shuck says:

          The problem is, that as far as we can tell, there is no discerning eye. It’s a popularity contest based on whatever resources developers are able to muster completely outside the Greenlight process (plus some sort of secret methodology applied by Valve). What happens inside Greenlight itself is completely insufficient to get a game approved. So as a system, it’s pretty broken. Not to mention that this list contains games that don’t (and may never) actually exist, while it ignores games with significant followings.

  11. Secundus says:

    please read my gimmick twitter account to get an idea of why so few greenlight games are ever approved https://twitter.com/GREENLIGHTGOLD

  12. Malibu Stacey says:

    Mutant Mudds got Greenlit. Wonder which game people will bitch about not being on Steam now on here.

    Too late…a new challenger has already entered.

  13. BobbyDylan says:

    Where’s Doorkickers?

  14. rustybroomhandle says:

    This batch caused our game to jump up a good 20% or so up the ranking.

    Although all this talk in the article about homophobia and death threats – this has not hit us. We have not deleted any comments, and what’s there is mostly polite, bar one or two weirdos. Seriously, 18 pages of it http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=150210424

  15. dethtoll says:

    How have I not noticed Oniken before?

  16. Kaira- says:

    Shad-
    Shadow of the Eternals? What the fuck? Haven’t they failed to raise the money via kickstarter not once but twice?

    • slerbal says:

      Yeah I was wondering about that – surely it should be a prerequisite to actually be making the game before you get Greenlit? They announced it was dead in the water and still the dead horse got Greenlit. Weird.

      Still I guess all that means in practice is that there is a slot for them on the store should they ever make the game.

      • trjp says:

        Greenlight is a popularity contest – we’ve complained in the past when they skipped around people’s views and so here they’re not doing that – which is nice.

        No guarantee these games will ever see Steam – they just have a slot ready if they

        a – get finished
        b – agree a deal with Valve to sell the game

        I’ll be amazed if 1/3 of these games appear on Steam in the next 12 months tho – check my Charts and stats to see how many already Greenlit games haven’t appeared yet – some of which have been Greenlit almost a year

        The data
        http://shrewdlogarithm.com/greenlight.htm

        The charts!!
        http://www.shrewdlogarithm.com/glchart.html

        • qrter says:

          I actually forgot that Project Zomboid has been greenlit, two weeks short of a year, according to your chart.

        • slerbal says:

          Nice to see some analysis – thanks for sharing that :)

        • Caiman says:

          One of the most ridiculous is Black Mesa. It was released nearly a year ago, Greenlit shortly afterwards, and yet still nothing. Is the dev team dragging their feet? Is there a problem integrating it into Steam? Surely it can’t be that difficult, judging from how quickly some greenlit titles have subsequently appeared on the store.

  17. Frank says:

    Eh, they’re doing it quickly enough for me now. Out of the 25 games I marked as favorites, only 7 are left, and they’re all in development except the generically named “Zombies.” (which is now #31) and girls like robots (which has only been on PC a few months, I think, and is free as a Flash game on adult swim now anyways).

  18. ghling says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that greenlight is kind of becoming to big?
    I don’t want to say that I’m not happy for the indie devs who can sell their games on steam, but it has already become so big that it is nearly impossible to keep track of new games, greenlit games, released games (not only the ones from greenlight but all steam releases) without spending hours in steam every day. At least for me, greenlight is a section where I vote for some games I found elsewhere on the internet and not a section where I would look for some new games. And the more games there are, the more difficult it gets to find anything in greenlight or steam itself, once all of those games get releases.

    • trjp says:

      I think this 100 is partly a clean-up – all of those games have been extensively voted-on – are popular (compared to the other 1250ish games) and so on.

      That cleans-house a bit for the next 100 and so on.

      People do remove games from Greenlight – recent disappearances include RobF’s DRM and qrth-phyl – sadly.

      I also note that a game called “The Jimmy Saville Murders” lasted 17 days on Greenlight before being removed – so that $100 doesn’t stop bad taste either?

      Next-up – I’m guessing Valve might put a time-limit on games being on GL – they said they had no plans to do this but I agree there are too many right now – and what’s the point of being on there more than a year?

  19. KDR_11k says:

    Yay, Bunny Must Die got its long overdue approval.

  20. Turkey says:

    I kinda wish Greenlit meant that the game was just around the corner and ready to ship. When it’s 5 months later and there’s not even a profile page on steam I sometimes forget that the game even existed, and my urge to impulse buy it has usually evaporated.

  21. Mitthrawn says:

    Megabyte Punch, Teslagrad, and Paranautical Activity all seem great. Anyone else have any recommendations? Those are the few that jump out at me. Want to try some/get hyped but that is a lot of games to sift through.

  22. Excelle says:

    I have mixed feelings about this batch. It’s great to see Delver’s Drop on there, and god knows Paranautical Activity more than deserves to stop getting kicked in the face.

    But where are titles like Tiny Barbarian DX, an excellent platforming hack and slash that’s been languishing in Greenlight for ages? Unique games like Sokobond (that I played at Eurogamer) and nostalgia fests like Spud’s Quest.

    I’ve used Greenlight a lot, but a very small fraction of things I’ve voted for have actually made it onto Steam, and there’s no indication if they’re even close. Makes me feel a little ineffectual – I do my best to promote such things via YouTube, but I’m hardly advertising to thousands of people (or even hundreds!).

    • Baines says:

      Mount Your Friends was supposedly in the top 100 before recent set of approvals, but skipped over by Valve. That’s annoying, as it is one of the titles I’d actually buy. (Most of the Greenlight games I care about, I already own from elsewhere.)

  23. sinister agent says:

    Yay, they’ve finally let Salvation Prophecy in! That’s a year overdue, that is. A lovely wee game, and very impressive for such a tiny, tiny team.

  24. David Bliff says:

    Running With Rifles is great, check it out!

    • wodin says:

      Cracking game…great fun even single player..reminds me of the old shooters from years ago..Commando think it was called..

  25. Yaksha says:

    Greenlit is becoming too much of a random popularity contest while the gems keep hidden away. Still no Metal Dead also.

    Steam would be better off with a dedicated Indie section for finished games so we don’t have to buy these greenlit games that are most of the times available somewhere else.

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