McPixel has exploded onto Steam and is the first game to reach Valve's storefront through the Greenlight process. There's a feature about the indies and Steam coming later, courtesy of Nathan who has been visiting Fantastic Arcade where he was witness to a Valve panel all about Greenlight. I didn't go to Fantastic Arcade but I did wake up at 7.30 this morning, endure the difficult commute from my bed to my computer and put on my Serious Journalist Hat. Primed and ready, I sent a list of very important and serious questions to Sos Sosowski about being the Armstrong of indies: the first man on Greenlight.
RPS: Is being the first game processed through Steam Greenlight the most important event of your life?
Sosowski: Haha, well, perhaps not as much being the first, as getting on Steam at all! It is a great achievement for every indie developer! After several failed attempts of submitting to Steam by pitching the game directly to Valve, I saw the Greenlight announcement, and thought 'This! This is just perfect!'. At some point I realised that McPixel would have never made it through Valve's QA process, or any QA process at all. Just think about it. You launch the game, and there's a Brain Damage warning, then there's a guy pissing on dynamite and he blows up, then a giant rock falls onto him crushing him, then he assaults an old man reading a book and kicks a baby in the butt. And that's before the game even starts! And then.. well, then it really starts!
RPS: Hmmmm...most QA departments I know hate babies' butts and literate old men. They would approve. Do you have any understanding as to the arcane machinations that led to McPixel being first?
Sosowski: Well, it is the only 100% finished and already published game from the 10 that got greenlit from what I can tell. I guess that's what led to it!
RPS: If Steam were a comment thread under a blogpost, would you actually write 'first' there? If not, what would you write?
Sosowski: That totally crossed my mind. But when McPixel was launched on Steam I got into "WOoooooooowoOOOOOoOooOOOoOooo12!!1!!!111!!1!!!!! IT'S ON!" mode and totally forgot about that.
RPS: Does this mean McPixel is officially the most loved indie game in the world, ever? The people have spoken, or at least they have clicked on a button.
Sosowski: Haha, I don't think that's the case. It's more of recognised than loved. The game kind of shoves the McPixel logo over 1000 times in your face during a usual playthrough, so it won't let you forget about itself easily :) .
RPS: I think 'what was the first game on Steam Greenlight' will be a pub quiz question in years to come. How does it feel that McPixel is going to be the answer to a question in an imaginary pub quiz that as of now only exists in my mind? Pretty good, I bet.
Sosowski: Man, it's going to be a million dollar question in "Who wants to be a Millionaire'. That is because no one will remember the answer :)
RPS: How did you celebrate? A particular drink, dance or dinner? By exploding?
Sosowski: I celebrated by replying to 346367345676 emails I got as soon as it was out. But seriously, I did not have any time to even think about how to celebrate! But I plan to do so during the weekend. There's a local gaming expo called Poznan Game Arena. I didn't have a budget for a stand there, but I will just put on my McPixel outfit again, take a ghettoblaster with McPixel theme recorded on the tape and roam the expo making sure everyone knows McPixel is out on Steam!
RPS: Was there any communication with Valve during the process, or did you find out when everybody else did?
Sosowski: I actually kept shamelessly nagging Valve about McPixel even during the Greenlight voting. I tried different approaches of pitching McPixel to them before and during Greenlight. One time I wrote a 'terribly business email' describing advantages of putting McPixel on Steam and I was awfully serious throughout it and in the end I included this "chart that sums all the advantages"
RPS: It's a compelling argument.
Sosowski: Other than that, I got to know around the time everyone else did.
RPS: Thanks for your time!