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Cats Aug 2, 2014 @ 9:56am
What's the magic formula?
I've never tried to greenlight a title, so I'm not some dev complaining or anything, but I'm really curious what it takes to have a game greenlight.

I'm primarily interested because, as I've began to follow greenlight, a few games I've really liked haven't been greenlit. Obviously I'm not thinking just because I like a game, it should be greenlit. I just figured the titles I was following met most of the criteria to make a successful campaign.

The couple titles I'm thinking of are both fully released games, very well polished, and as far as I'm aware, they were in the top 50 for the past couple batches, yet they have failed to get greenlit.

Not that it has any bearing on me directly, but what does it take to get a game greenlit, other than having a great looking/playable game with enough yes votes? Does time matter? I'm pretty sure I've seen titles start a greenlight campaign, and then immediately get greenlit on the next batch, but maybe they were just super popular? Can anyone elaborate on the process for me?

Thanks for taking the time to read this!
Showing 1-15 of 25 comments
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Gorlom[Swe] Aug 2, 2014 @ 10:07am 
Time does not matter. infact recently submitted greenlight projects may be greenlit because of "trending".
Successful kickstarter (or indiegogo) campaign helps. Outside press and reviews helps.
General awareness of the game helps. Indie game awards helps a lot.

How do you know the games you were following were in the top 50? did the devs themselves release it or what source do you have for that?

Could you post a comment on your profile what games you've been following that you are suprised did not manage to get greenlit? or maybe a collection? (I'm curious but don't want to derail the thread to make it jsut about them... also unsure about nameing and shameing policy.. technically not shameing but still.)
Last edited by Gorlom[Swe]; Aug 2, 2014 @ 10:14am
Skoardy Aug 2, 2014 @ 10:11am 
To imply there's a sure-fire 'magic formula' that people could share would be to imply there are people who specifically avoiding using it when they submit their game to Greenlight. Whatever criteria Valve use, I'm not sure it's as set in stone as people believe.
Erretter Aug 2, 2014 @ 10:12am 
Very good question. But there are as many answers as there are gamers out there.
I give you mine.

As a game developer:
- Don´t be a first timer.
- Don´t be a one person team
- Don´t use an overused genre (2D jump'n'run or Sandbox anything)

If you follow this formula, my personal formula... you have a 45% chance to get my vote just from this.
The rest of chance-% depends of course on the shown material.
artcepse Aug 2, 2014 @ 10:35am 
Here's a quote from Alden's post yesterday announcing the latest Greenlight batch of 50 games/software:

Originally posted by Alden:
These titles were selected on the same criteria we have been using in the past: Votes in Greenlight give us a hugely valuable point of data in gauging community interest along with external factors such as press reviews, crowd-funding successes, performance on other similar platforms, and awards and contests to help form a more complete picture of community interest in each title.

Speaking only of votes, it's possible Valve also takes into account how a game got into the top 100 or top 50. I suspect a developer that claims they'll give free Steam keys for voting ("Yes", I assume) and gets 10,000 votes as a result... Well Valve may be more reluctant to Greenlight their game since that's an immediate loss of 10,000 sales, assuming the developer follows through with their promise.

But that's just a guess on my part.
Paul Aug 2, 2014 @ 10:39am 
The magic formula is....

make a good game
Erretter Aug 2, 2014 @ 10:39am 
Originally posted by artcepse:
Here's a quote from Alden's post yesterday announcing the latest Greenlight batch of 50 games/software:

Originally posted by Alden:
These titles were selected on the same criteria we have been using in the past: Votes in Greenlight give us a hugely valuable point of data in gauging community interest along with external factors such as press reviews, crowd-funding successes, performance on other similar platforms, and awards and contests to help form a more complete picture of community interest in each title.

Speaking only of votes, it's possible Valve also takes into account how a game got into the top 100 or top 50. I suspect a developer that claims they'll give free Steam keys for voting ("Yes", I assume) and gets 10,000 votes as a result... Well Valve may be more reluctant to Greenlight their game since that's an immediate loss of 10,000 sales, assuming the developer follows through with their promise.

But that's just a guess on my part.
Very logic thought. Interesting! I think you´re right!
Skoardy Aug 2, 2014 @ 10:39am 
Originally posted by artcepse:
Speaking only of votes, it's possible Valve also takes into account how a game got into the top 100 or top 50. I suspect a developer that claims they'll give free Steam keys for voting ("Yes", I assume) and gets 10,000 votes as a result... Well Valve may be more reluctant to Greenlight their game since that's an immediate loss of 10,000 sales, assuming the developer follows through with their promise.
Well, that and maybe the whole 'defeating the entire point of Greenlight' thing, too?
Cpt. Carolina Aug 2, 2014 @ 11:33am 
Polish

Its all about the polish in your presentation and how complete your game looks.

There's no magic formula but there is a minimal showing of presentation for the best chances of success. Your genre, concept, or great idea does not matter if you have nothing to show for it. Most Greenlight submissions fail to show enough polish and look like they were submitted way too early. I don't want to see titles Greenlit if they look like they won't be complete (barely 1/3 of Greenlit titles are released).

I'm talking about the Greenlight submission images that look like they were made in Microsofft Paint. I'm talking about dev's who say "Hey guys, I'm trying to find an artist to redo the look of the game so hang on". I'm also talking about screenshots of empty enviroments with horrible texture work, lighting errors, and glitches.

I'm not saying indie dev's should try to outdo AAA studio games in graphics, that's suicidal. I'm saying have an art style that makes the game look 'whole' and ONLY finish areas of the game where you wan't to take screenshots of. Show a complete part of the game!

In a perfect world, Greenlight would have games that are near completion or at the very least, have a working prototype. That is because Greenlight for many developers is there main source of publicity. If you still need to develop a game for years after you submit a title, then... well... alot people will forget about the title by the time it comes out.

Examples

Note how titles like Bulb Boy, Routine, Nelly Cootalot, were Greenlit immediatly. Each shows an established art style, and have a well made trailer. Bulb Boy also had a very nice demo. Trailers and demos take a long time to make, but they are worth it, because they earn alot of votes and show your team is competant. They earn a voter's trust.

TL;DR : Show polished, finished examples of your work (in screenshots and videos.)

Oh yeah, and spell check your description. Srsly.
Last edited by Cpt. Carolina; Aug 2, 2014 @ 11:35am
Cleril Aug 2, 2014 @ 12:18pm 
Originally posted by Erretter:
Very good question. But there are as many answers as there are gamers out there.
I give you mine.

As a game developer:
- Don´t be a first timer.
- Don´t be a one person team
- Don´t use an overused genre (2D jump'n'run or Sandbox anything)

If you follow this formula, my personal formula... you have a 45% chance to get my vote just from this.
The rest of chance-% depends of course on the shown material.

I only have the "be a one person team" checked.

I kind of doubt that has anything to do with being greenlit. Plenty of Greenlit games were one man projects. I don't see what that has to do with anything.

"I would totally vote yes on this game if it were made by more than one person!"

That doesn't make any sense to me.
Qon Aug 2, 2014 @ 12:26pm 
Magic formula:
Good game in a high demand niche with little competition
Good presentation of the game
Media and social media coverage
Luck
Gorlom[Swe] Aug 2, 2014 @ 12:56pm 
Originally posted by Qon:
Magic formula:
Good game in a high demand niche with little competition
Good presentation of the game
Media and social media coverage
Luck
Good interaction on the Greenlight page
Not being trigger happy with the delete post button.
Gorlom[Swe] Aug 2, 2014 @ 1:00pm 
Originally posted by Cleril:
Originally posted by Erretter:
Very good question. But there are as many answers as there are gamers out there.
I give you mine.

As a game developer:
- Don´t be a first timer.
- Don´t be a one person team
- Don´t use an overused genre (2D jump'n'run or Sandbox anything)

If you follow this formula, my personal formula... you have a 45% chance to get my vote just from this.
The rest of chance-% depends of course on the shown material.

I only have the "be a one person team" checked.

I kind of doubt that has anything to do with being greenlit. Plenty of Greenlit games were one man projects. I don't see what that has to do with anything.

"I would totally vote yes on this game if it were made by more than one person!"

That doesn't make any sense to me.
It's not that he judges games differently based on how many devs are working on it. It's that he has percived a (false) corrolation between the scope/size/subjective quality of the games and the number of devs, and has thusly become prejudice against one man dev teams.
It's not cause (one man dev) and effect (Erretter voting no)
It's cause (one man dev) and effect (the game is not likely to be large (or whatever) enough to appeal to Erretter) producing a secondary effect (Erretter voteing no)
That doesn't mean Erretter automatically votes no on one man dev team productions.
Last edited by Gorlom[Swe]; Aug 2, 2014 @ 1:02pm
Erretter Aug 2, 2014 @ 1:17pm 
Oh god. Learn to read ppl srsly.

Those three points I listed are things that SHOULD NOT be done imho.
And again: this is my personal thought.

If I see any of the listed 3 points in a greenlight game it´s an automatic NO-vote from me.

Regarding the one-man-point. I prefer swarm intelligence. Everywhere. Everytime. It´s proven that swarm intelligence is ALWAYS better than single persons thought.
So a team is always making a better product then a single person. This is one of the reasons, why Steam is using greenlight, does this ring a bell now? Swarm intelligence is the shiiiit maaan.

And yeees there are exceptions, I know. Don´t throw them at me now, I´m talking IN GENERAL. In general a team is better then a single person.
Last edited by Erretter; Aug 2, 2014 @ 1:26pm
Gorlom[Swe] Aug 2, 2014 @ 1:26pm 
Originally posted by Erretter:
If I see any of the listed 3 points in a greenlight game it´s an automatic NO-vote from me.
really? my bad then. I did not expect you to be quite so shallow.

Regarding the one-man-point. I prefer swarm inteligence. Everywhere. Everytime. It´s proven that swarm intelligence is ALWAYS better than single persons thought.
So a team is always making a better product then a single person.
Individial peersons are intelligent. Mobs are stupid. Proven again and again throughout history.

I belive there is also a saying about too many chefs spoiling the broth or soup?

And yeees there are exceptions, I know. Don´t throw them at me now, I´m talking IN GENERAL. In general a team is better then a single person.
So my post stands?
Cpt. Carolina Aug 2, 2014 @ 1:34pm 
It is more difficult for one man developer teams but it deponds on the scope of the project. If your game is small enough, it can be done.
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Date Posted: Aug 2, 2014 @ 9:56am
Posts: 25