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Graeme- Coarse Gentleman Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:00pm
Incorporating crowd funding/investment into voting
There is a massive problem facing Greenlight right now. A problem that is greatly in need of a solution.
Regardless of a games quality, authenticity, or originality we see dozens of people throwing it a “Yes” for no real reason, spamming the comments with “VALVE GREENLIGHT THIS” among other things.
We see these games get through Greenlight despite the developers not updating the project for months. We see these games that have clearly been ousted as scams come up in the “100 Games Greenlit!” collections.
We see these “games” that are clear knockoffs of other games pass through the system in a matter of weeks.
These, among others, are major issues with Greenlight. We can lay the blame on these voters who can not read a simple question; “Would you buy this game if it were available on Steam?”
These voters who hand out yes votes like santa hands out presents are ruining Greenlight and polluting Steam with these knockoff, low quality, and cheap titles.
So, what can we do to solve this?
I propose a Greenlight crowd funding system of sorts. Not only would this seriously reduce the number and/or effectiveness of “yes” spammers and trolls, it would also financially benefit Valve and the developers in question.
Plan outlined as follows:
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To vote YES on a Greenlight item, you must invest, say, $0.50 Steam Wallet Cash into the project.
By voting YES and investing, should the game be Greenlit, you will receive either a coupon for a discount on the game(either for the amount invested or more), an exclusive(such as an in game item)
Voting NO will yield no charge, since NO votes do not penalize developers.
Valve will take a certain percentage of funds raised through YES votes, say 5%
Developers will receive funding once their game has made it through Greenlight
If a game is not Greenlit by the end of the next quarter(Ex. If a game is uploaded in the first quarter, the developers have until the end of the 2nd quarter to get through Greenlight),
or there is no update made to the project in one months time, all funds raised will be returned to those who votes YES, project will be removed from Greenlight
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-
Pros:
Valve makes money
Developers make money
No more Yes vote trolls
Fewer low quality items hitting the Steam Store
Discount or exclusives for those willing to back the projects
People can no longer vote without any cash.
Vote fraud – paying spam companies to receive votes – would no longer be a viable option for developers.

Cons:
Valve needs to implement a new system
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-
FAQ

Wouldn't this mean those with more disposable income could control the games released on Steam?
Yes, that's how it should be. The question Greenlight asks is “Would you buy this game....” not “do you think this game is cool” - This is a business, both Valve and the developers need to make money, by voting yes without intent to buy you are messing with their system, and giving developers false hope.

Couldn't this be exploited by developers to earn a profit?
Currently there is a $100 fee for posting a Greenlight item, which would mean you would need 200 yes votes just to break even on that, and you would need to be Greenlit to keep any of the money. It wouldn't make sense to dedicate that amount of time to something for such a small profit.
-

I believe this is possible, and a brilliant business decision on Valves part, should it be adopted. Not only will the quality of their products improve, they will make money doing it. While the number of voters will decrease, we will be able to see a clear representation of possible product sales once a game has been Greenlit.
I believe there will be pushback form a number of Greenlight users, both those who vote YES on everything, and those who seldom give a YES. I do not see how this is an issue to those who are truly intending to buy the items they vote YES on, as at worst you get a refund, and at best you get a game for a discounted price or an exclusive in said game.


Discuss.
Last edited by Graeme- Coarse Gentleman; Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:08pm
Showing 1-15 of 36 comments
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NewYears1978 Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:09pm 
I think this idea is spot on.

I think the voting system is severely broken. The options are extremely limited. Would you buy it, yes or no.

What if I see value in a project but it might not be my genre of game. Maybe I would still like to vote or support or. On the other side of the spectrum, what if I am just bored handing out yeses for no reason on games I never intend to purchase. What good does this actually do?

I think backing the votes with real value will actually significantly fix the broken voting. It will put value in votes and "money where your mouth" is so to speak.

Seen a few suggestions before and this is the most viable one I have seen.
Gorlom[Swe] Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:10pm 
Incorporating a "pay to vote" system would kill public greenlight and force them to go back to the current system, or possible the inhouse greenlight sytem they had before.

Also the more games you vote yes on the less your votes are worth due to the comparative nature of the system. I do not belive such a drastic measure needs to be taken to combat pity voters (even if I belive them to be a plague).
Gorlom[Swe] Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:16pm 
Originally posted by NewYears1978:
I think this idea is spot on.

I think the voting system is severely broken. The options are extremely limited. Would you buy it, yes or no.
No, that is not broken. That is thoguht through and working as intended. Valve is only interested in your exact answer to that question. This is not facebook, youtube or american idol. They do not care for your support or any other extra information except if you are interested in buying the game in question.

What if I see value in a project but it might not be my genre of game. Maybe I would still like to vote or support or.
Then you press no. If you want to support the devs you can either find their contact info and send them an email asking how to send them money directly or you can buy their game anyway even if you wouldn't find it entertaining. voting "yes" on a game you wouldn't buy isn't suporting it. It's shooting yourself in the foot, sabotaging not only for valve but preventing games you do like from getting the green light. and it is about the douchiest thing you can do on greenlight (apart from rage flaming for whatever petty reason rage flamers think they have).

On the other side of the spectrum, what if I am just bored handing out yeses for no reason on games I never intend to purchase. What good does this actually do?
If you hand out yes to everything you diminish the worth of every yes you hand out, meaning it breaks even once you give it to every last project. You might as well have pressed no or not voted at all. Doesnt change a thing.

I think backing the votes with real value will actually significantly fix the broken voting. It will put value in votes and "money where your mouth" is so to speak.

Seen a few suggestions before and this is the most viable one I have seen.
It will also make Greenlight into a ghost town with a few loyal voters that will not be enough indication to actuially release any of the games they vote on.
Last edited by Gorlom[Swe]; Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:19pm
Graeme- Coarse Gentleman Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:17pm 
I don't understand.
Currently Greenlight is not generating any revenue for Valve- there is no advertising revenue from Greenlight, and the only money Valve does make comes once a game has been Greenlit. The amount of users on Greenlight will have no effect on the amount of money a game makes, considering the majority of them never purchase the titles they vote for.

Originally posted by GorlomSwe:
Incorporating a "pay to vote" system would kill public greenlight and force them to go back to the current system, or possible the inhouse greenlight sytem they had before.

Also the more games you vote yes on the less your votes are worth due to the comparative nature of the system. I do not belive such a drastic measure needs to be taken to combat pity voters (even if I belive them to be a plague).


Edit: Regarding turning Greenlight into a ghost town, with few voters-
That would be fantastic. You would never have to deal with this crap again

yes
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▓▓▓▓▓▓█░░░░Valve Add This░░░█
▓▓▓▓▓▓█░░░░ Please!░░░░░░█
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Developers would be given a clear picture of how well their game was doing, and the number of people who throw out YES votes like yesterday's paper would seriously diminish.
Last edited by Graeme- Coarse Gentleman; Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:21pm
Gorlom[Swe] Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:22pm 
Originally posted by Graeme- Coarse Gentleman:
I don't understand.
Currently Greenlight is not generating any revenue for Valve- there is no advertising revenue from Greenlight, and the only money Valve does make comes once a game has been Greenlit. The amount of users on Greenlight will have no effect on the amount of money a game makes, considering the majority of them never purchase the titles they vote for.

Originally posted by GorlomSwe:
Incorporating a "pay to vote" system would kill public greenlight and force them to go back to the current system, or possible the inhouse greenlight sytem they had before.

Also the more games you vote yes on the less your votes are worth due to the comparative nature of the system. I do not belive such a drastic measure needs to be taken to combat pity voters (even if I belive them to be a plague).
Your post is not relevant to the bit you quoted. I have not said anything about Valve making money from Greenlight. that was your idea, not mine.

It's also very likely that implementing (probably a better word than "incorporating") a "pay to vote" system as you suggested will result in bad press and angry reactions from users/customers.
Last edited by Gorlom[Swe]; Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:23pm
Graeme- Coarse Gentleman Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:29pm 
Originally posted by GorlomSwe:
Your post is not relevant to the bit you quoted. I have not said anything about Valve making money from Greenlight. that was your idea, not mine.

It's also very likely that implementing (probably a better word than "incorporating") a "pay to vote" system as you suggested will result in bad press and angry reactions from users/customers.
Ah jeez, I don't know where I pulled that from. Sorry about that.

Why would customers be angry? Valve would be giving them an operatunity to get extra content or money off games they are interested in.
How could this generate bad press? Valve is putting measures in place to protect its service from low quality games.

Allow me to correct my previous comments here:


Originally posted by GorlomSwe:
Incorporating a "pay to vote" system would kill public greenlight and force them to go back to the current system, or possible the inhouse greenlight sytem they had before.

Also the more games you vote yes on the less your votes are worth due to the comparative nature of the system. I do not belive such a drastic measure needs to be taken to combat pity voters (even if I belive them to be a plague).

How would it kill the public Greenlight? Greenlight would still be public, you would just have dedicated voters who were willing to put their money where their mouth is. All this would do is get rid of those who throw YES votes around like a baseball.

I was not aware of the diminishing vote value - however given the number of people who give out a YES for *most* things, and the small number of voters who rarely give a YES, I don't believe this is stopping the system from being gamed. I mean, is my vote really worth 10x that of someone who has said YES 800 times?
Last edited by Graeme- Coarse Gentleman; Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:40pm
Wizard Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:46pm 
I see some merit to this idea. I think it would narrow the field to more invested voters, more commited to make an end purchase, an probably provide Valve a more accurate voting-to-sale ratio when judging which projects to Greenlight.

Like, I consider myself to be prudent when it comes to voting "yes" on a project. Out of 2000+ submissions, I've voted up around 100. I've been on this Steam account for 7 years. I have just over 200 games. Even with best intentions on my part, it's hard to believe I'll actually purchase each of those upvoted games.

Take a player with 20 games or less in his library, and a heavy "yes" vote hand, because "other people might like it" or whatever, and the information regarding vote-to-sale becomes increasingly more inaccurate.

Gorlom[Swe] Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:51pm 
How would it kill the public Greenlight? Greenlight would still be public, you would just have dedicated voters who were willing to put their money where their mouth is. All this would do is get rid of those who throw YES votes around like a baseball.
Not everyone has your or mine financial situation. I would say most don't. This is not an incentive but something that prevents people from partaking in something that is volountary to help improve things. To get the game they want is not incentive enough to have to pay money to vote.
I'm not sure I get exactly what "rewards" you expect to come from votign on greenlight with a "pay to vote" system but I'm fairly certain you are overreaching and that no such discounts or extra content will ever be reasonable or offered. These are ideas that may look good on paper at first glance but if you know more about the process or particular situations come with roadblocks and other obstacles.

I was not aware of the diminishing vote value - however given the number of people who give out a YES for *most* things, and the small number of voters who rarely give a YES, I don't believe this is stopping the system from being gamed. I mean, is my vote really worth 100x that of someone who has said YES 800 times?
Due to the comparative nature of the system. Yes, a voter that gives out 8-12 yes votes would have a bigger impact with each yes he gives out than a voter that gives out 800-1200.


That does not mean however that your yes on a game with low number of votes is worth more than the yes votes on a game with a lot more votes just because you vote for less games than the people that voted for that high number/popular project..
The thing is that if you both vote for the same games then the games you voted for will have gotten 2 votes while the 1190 other games he voted for will only have gotten 1 vote. Which gives your favoured games priority.
All these voters that "throw YES votes around like a baseball" will have voted for your games too, giving you the deciding/determening vote.

Games do NOT get greenlit by reaching a certain ammount of votes, they get greenlit based (but not fully determined by) their ranking aka number of votes compared to each other.
Graeme- Coarse Gentleman Dec 22, 2013 @ 4:15pm 
Originally posted by GorlomSwe:
Not everyone has your or mine financial situation. I would say most don't. This is not an incentive but something that prevents people from partaking in something that is volountary to help improve things. To get the game they want is not incentive enough to have to pay money to vote.
I'm not sure I get exactly what "rewards" you expect to come from votign on greenlight with a "pay to vote" system but I'm fairly certain you are overreaching and that no such discounts or extra content will ever be reasonable or offered. These are ideas that may look good on paper at first glance but if you know more about the process or particular situations come with roadblocks and other obstacles.
Steam is a business. Its primary function is to make money. By throwing YES votes around you are, in effect, saying " I will probably buy your game "
If you have no intention to purchase the game, you should NOT get to vote. That is pointless. Nobody would have an issue putting some of the payment down up front on something they said they WILL buy.

Due to the comparative nature of the system. Yes, a voter that gives out 8-12 yes votes would have a bigger impact with each yes he gives out than a voter that gives out 800-1200.
That's fantastic. So if I throw 80 yes votes out of 100 items my vote will count for more than someone who voted yes 800 times out of 1000, dispite the exact same yes:vote ratio.


The system is still broken. What are they comparing these games to? We have roughly 2,000 games in Greenlight, while ~400 have been Greenlit. Tell me how that system works. What the purpose of Greenlight is if every 5th item flies through the system.
You have to remember that the majority of voters do not vote on EVERY item like some of us have.

Most people come to Greenlight, totally oblivious to how it functions, slap 50-60 yes votes down while browsing through 100 items, and call it a day. According to the system you described, this person will be considerably WORSE than someone who comes to Greenlight daily and votes YES on 1900/2000 items.

The system I have described totally stops that. Nobody in their right bloody mind would bop over to Greenlight with $30 just to give out yes votes to projects they have no interest in.

The system you have described is also flawed because it means if I have voted YES 80 times out of, say, 2000- my vote means less than someone who has voted yes 79 times out of 90. How you described it, I am being penalized for voting no.
Graeme- Coarse Gentleman Dec 22, 2013 @ 4:57pm 
Regarding the "rewards system" it's incredibly simple.
If you gave a yes to an item and it is Greenlit, Steam puts a coupon for XX% off that title.
If its an ingame reward, you treat it just like a prepurchase offer, where if the game was added before this date, then you get a thing in the game.
KEV1N Dec 22, 2013 @ 5:59pm 
Originally posted by Graeme- Coarse Gentleman:
considering the majority of them never purchase the titles they vote for.

How do you know?
Graeme- Coarse Gentleman Dec 22, 2013 @ 6:09pm 
Originally posted by KEV1N:
Originally posted by Graeme- Coarse Gentleman:
considering the majority of them never purchase the titles they vote for.

How do you know?

Well there is an easy way to test this. Go to any greenlit items page, find a positive comment, click on the profile, see if they have it(provided it is in early access) I can almost promise you that at least 6 times out of 10 you will not see the product in their account.
Gorlom[Swe] Dec 22, 2013 @ 6:42pm 
Nobody would have an issue putting some of the payment down up front on something they said they WILL buy.
Do you have anything to back this up? Any survey or study made on it? The outrage on any given Early Access forum (about the principle of the thing) seems to be indicative on the oposite.
Jusat because you assume it is so doesn't mean it really is. I am of a different mind about this, I think it does indeed upset people. It will seem like a money grab from Valve in many peoples minds. The only way that Valve could set the $100 fee for submitting games was if they gave it away to childhood or whichever charity it is.

That's fantastic. So if I throw 80 yes votes out of 100 items my vote will count for more than someone who voted yes 800 times out of 1000, dispite the exact same yes:vote ratio.
First: I'm not sure how you can vote "out of 100" while person B in your example votes "out of 1000". the "out of" number should be the total number of games on greenlight.

Secondly: No, it will have a bigger impact since you're not giving them out to every every other projcet. but it will not count for more than any other individual yes vote. Did you stop reading after the first paragraph?
I guess it's a statistics thing? I find that statistics allways seems quite hard to explain to people.

There is no weighting mechanic in Greenlights vote system (as far as I'm aware of) but in any comparative system like this where you can vote as many times ars you want you will be spreading the strenght of your voice/opinion over the number of yes votes you cast. (which is fine assumeing you desire all of those games equally) Someone more restrictive is however going to tip the scale in favour the game he votes for among the games you voted for.

Maybe it is easier if I explain it this way: The extreme example is someone that has voted yes on everything in greenlight. Since every game has gotten a yes from him the games relation to each other will not have changed, so their ranking hasn't changed and it will essentially be as if he hasn't voted or voted no on everything. The more games you vote yes on the less number of games will be left to change in relation to, effectivly diminishing each yes vote you have cast so far in comparison to if you had just cast one single yes vote... It will not however lessen the individual yes vote compared to other individual yes votes. (which you seem to have mistakenly understood to be the case)

Originally posted by Graeme- Coarse Gentleman:
Regarding the "rewards system" it's incredibly simple.
If you gave a yes to an item and it is Greenlit, Steam puts a coupon for XX% off that title.
If its an ingame reward, you treat it just like a prepurchase offer, where if the game was added before this date, then you get a thing in the game.
You're oversimplifying it and I do not belive the system is set up for that sort of thing. It would most likely be tremendously laboursome to implement that.
The idea is theoretically sound in it's optimal/utopian format. But with any idea that doesn't have access to all the facts to base it on, is unrealistic and unlikely to happen. You have not taken into consideration anything more than you have before you. You have not taken into consideration what Valve acctually wants or can do, which is impossible for you to acctually know. You have only taken what you think they want as seen from your perspective.
You have decided on some arbitrary rewards to attempt to offset the detremental efffects that "pay to vote" will introduce. I find that the rewards as well as the pay to vote idea is far too extreme response to a problem that in fact most likely is not as big as you make it out to be. (Not saying it is not a problem... but I'm sure they can work around it without being as extreme as you suggest)

A far simpler solution would be to mess around with the behind the scenes algorithms/calculations that they use to decide which games should be selected for being greenlit. the number of votes isn't the only determening factor.
Last edited by Gorlom[Swe]; Dec 22, 2013 @ 6:50pm
Gorlom[Swe] Dec 22, 2013 @ 6:45pm 
Originally posted by Graeme- Coarse Gentleman:
Originally posted by KEV1N:

How do you know?

Well there is an easy way to test this. Go to any greenlit items page, find a positive comment, click on the profile, see if they have it(provided it is in early access) I can almost promise you that at least 6 times out of 10 you will not see the product in their account.
That could simply be because
A) They are waiting for a discount.
B) The game was more expensive than they thought it would be.
C) They bought something else (possibly from the Greenlight selection) and doesnt have the money this month to buy that particular game.
D) They don't want to buy a game in Early Access. They want a finished game.
Graeme- Coarse Gentleman Dec 22, 2013 @ 7:27pm 
Originally posted by GorlomSwe:
Do you have anything to back this up? Any survey or study made on it? The outrage on any given Early Access forum (about the principle of the thing) seems to be indicative on the oposite.
Jusat because you assume it is so doesn't mean it really is. I am of a different mind about this, I think it does indeed upset people. It will seem like a money grab from Valve in many peoples minds. The only way that Valve could set the $100 fee for submitting games was if they gave it away to childhood or whichever charity it is.
Have you seen the things Valve has been doing recently? Everything is a money grab. Look at this sale, for example- your “reward” for buying games is something you can sell to someone else, while giving Valve a cut of what you make. You're getting something, and Valve is getting something- the exact same thing that is happening here. It matters not whether it is a 20 cent trading card or 20% off a $5 game, Valve is making money, you're getting some of your original payment back.
Yeah- early access sucks, most people dislike it, and again, its designed solely for Valve to profit. What good are these games they have Greenlit if they just sit on Valve's server generating no income? People need to realize that Valve is a business, their primary goal is to make money, and we should let them.

First: I'm not sure how you can vote "out of 100" while person B in your example votes "out of 1000". the "out of" number should be the total number of games on greenlight.
I was insinuating that I would browse through 100 items, pushing yes 80 times and no 20 times. Sorry if that was confusing, but nonetheless you are still giving 80 yes votes.

Secondly: No, it will have a bigger impact since you're not giving them out to every every other projcet. but it will not count for more than any other individual yes vote.
The issue is I have now given 80 yes votes. This means if I browse Greenlight once, for, lets say, 10 minutes, and push yes 80 times, my vote on those 80 items carries more weight than someone who has voted on every item, and pushed yes, say, 100 times. Sorry- I was a bit confused the first time.
What this means is if someone is unfamiliar with Greenlight, and they fly through pushing YES the majority of the time, stopping at a reasonable number of items those uneducated votes they made are now effecting the system negatively.


There is no weighting mechanic in Greenlights vote system (as far as I'm aware of) but in any comparative system like this where you can vote as many times ars you want you will be spreading the strenght of your voice/opinion over the number of yes votes you cast. (which is fine assumeing you desire all of those games equally) Someone more restrictive is however going to tip the scale in favour the game he votes for among the games you voted for.
Well, that would be a weighting system, since the fewer yes votes I have given, the less stretched out my vote is, and the “heavier” it becomes.

Maybe it is easier if I explain it this way: The extreme example is someone that has voted yes on everything in greenlight. Since every game has gotten a yes from him the games relation to each other will not have changed........It will not however lessen the individual yes vote compared to other individual yes votes. (which you seem to have mistakenly understood to be the case)
The issue would then be that the majority of people do NOT vote on all Greenlight items, instead stopping at around 100-250, from what I gather. This means that their, say, 80 yes votes, are effecting the system. Until they push YES on more items, they would be voting 80/~2000- which would mean the items they have voted on are now in a better position to be released than the other ~1920 games they did not even look at.

Originally posted by Graeme- Coarse Gentleman:

You're oversimplifying it and I do not belive the system is set up for that sort of thing. It would most likely be tremendously laboursome to implement that.
The idea is theoretically sound in it's optimal/utopian format. But with any idea that doesn't have access to all the facts to base it on, is unrealistic and unlikely to happen. You have not taken into consideration anything more than you have before you. You have not taken into consideration what Valve acctually wants or can do, which is impossible for you to acctually know. You have only taken what you think they want as seen from your perspective.
I'm going to assume there isn't a great background in programming here- so I direct you to the “If, Elif, Else” algorithm.
In no particular language, it would resemble this-
if Xuser input “YES” on Xgreenlight title
add “insertsteamcouponhere”
else do nothing

I would like to stress that what I wrote there would NOT work in ANY language or compiler. At all. Ever. It is just an example.

You have decided on some arbitrary rewards to attempt to offset the detremental efffects that "pay to vote" will introduce. I find that the rewards as well as the pay to vote idea is far too extreme response to a problem that in fact most likely is not as big as you make it out to be.
Could you please elaborate on the negative effects? I believe the only one we have touched on is Greenlight losing users.

A far simpler solution would be to mess around with the behind the scenes algorithms/calculations that they use to decide which games should be selected for being greenlit. the number of votes isn't the only determening factor.
I'm not pitching this as the only possible solution ever. I am just making a suggestion. Greenlight needs to be fixed, and nobody is providing Valve with any ideas.
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Date Posted: Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:00pm
Posts: 36