Steam Greenlight

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MadMage Apr 20, 2013 @ 10:51pm
Why are you here?
This is going to sound harsh, but hear me out.

I've been on here for a while, rummaging through games and it feels like I'm sorting through the Angry Video Game Nerd's old NES collection; I love the fact that Steam has become the distribution model for new and innovative ideas that big game developers won't touch anymore. But I feel like the Greenlight format should be used to field new innovations to old ideas or completely fresh concepts - and right now it's being flooded by cheap knockoffs and remakes of already tried concepts that are simply not even worth my time reviewing.

If you're a game developer, please; before you submit a game here, meet some criteria:
-If it's been done, don't bother unless you have a new twist and are at least offering what the existing concept has (Don't give me a zombie shooter that can't even meet Left 4 Dead's already established framework).
-Don't give me concepts that belong on a different platform or distribution model. There are too many games on here that hardly deserve to be flash-based on Newgrounds and several that should be console games, not PC.
-Get an art budget. I'm a great porponent of a game being good before it's pretty and I know we're seeing a lot of 'retro' graphics in games that are good - but retro doesn't mean it has to look like an infant's crayon scribblings. Even an 8-bit game should have some elegance.

As for my personal preferences, I want to see more concepts with depth. I don't want platformers, action, horror, shooter or racing games. Give me more turn based strategy, city-builder and any♥♥♥♥ingthing RPG games. Hell, add RPG to any existing game and you've added depth I can enjoy - Left 4 Dead with levelling and character customization would be beautiful, so long as the game is as refined as the original concept before you start adding to it.

Thank you. I'd love to do what you guys do, but all I'm good at is game mechanics and it irritates me how many games take good concpets and fall flat on their faces with them.
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Showing 1-15 of 24 comments
Gorlom[Swe] Apr 20, 2013 @ 11:41pm 
Originally posted by MadMage:
Hell, add RPG to any existing game and you've added depth I can enjoy - Left 4 Dead with levelling and character customization would be beautiful, so long as the game is as refined as the original concept before you start adding to it.
That sounds horrible. First of the leveling and character customations are RPG elements but they do not magically turn the game into an RPG on their own.
Second: the games concept needs to be centered around the idea that it has those elements, you can't just tack it on in the last minute and hope it will work.


For the rest of the post: accept that others have different tastes than you do. If you want to be a gourmand or a hipster or whatever look up other more indie friendly distributers
Sgt.Psycho Apr 21, 2013 @ 12:02am 
Welcome to August 2012, and the dedicated corp of Steam users who've been slaving away at the cliff face since then, many with the same comments.

Personally, I'd like to see a submission that is taking a beating massively downgraded in the queue presentation, to encourage people to actually vote on something 'worthwhile', rather than having to waste time sorting through dross. In this way, a downvote would actually [/i]be[/i] a downvote, but only count in aggregate, say when 95% of the response is negative.

"But Sgt.Psycho, Steam have said they will never accept trending/hive-minding!" I hear you say?

Hear me out first. imho, the number of Greenlight entries is far too large and unwieldy to use effectively. As more and more and more entries pile up, the chances of hitting diamonds amongst the cobblestone decreases. Thus new users will try Greenlight, find it is full of low-quality rubbish get frustrated (just like Madmage) and leave, making the system useless. Only dedicated and the idle users will go through the process of trawling all 1200+ (at writing) submissions to find the 'good' ones.

This chance actually decreases again as you greenlight games out of the submission pool! You take the good ones out, but leave the discards to be picked over, again and again. Try it with a bag and some marbles, marking a couple. Now take out one at a time. The more marked marbles you take out, they harder they are to draw. This is basic probability.

What I am talking about is not revealing a top 10 or ranked list that can be abused and gamed (cf reddit.com, et al) but keeping the details internal (I'm sure these are kept and analysed in-house anyway) and then using that to bias items away from the queue, to keep people enchanted with Greenlight instead of disenchanted.

Yes, this means that that one casual game that appeals to a tiny demographic will not appear as much as it ought to, even if it is a decent game. From Steam's perspective, this is A Good Thing as they don't stand to make much money on it anyway, and the time they could spend on getting into the Store could be spent on far better (selling) submissions.

imho, Steam is in the business of making money, not giving everyone a fair chance, and certainly not giving poor-peforming products multiple chances at curation to their storefront. What I'm suggesting is that if a submission fails the potential customer test repeatedly, it be offered less. This happens all the time in business. I'd almost be inclined to say that once it reaches a quota of say 1000 votes, if it has not reached an approval threshold (you choose a percentage) it be removed from the queue permanently. Not from Greenlight, it can be found, searched, promoted, collected and voted for, but just not entered in the queue if it does meet the current market.

The analogy here is you're at a shop to buy a snack, a roast chicken wing (and only a wing will do!) and this shop has a bain marie with hundreds, ready for purchase. However, horrors, most of them are burned, or way underdone and look unpalatable. You ask for a wing, but get a nasty one. Regretfully you ask for another one, you're offered another one that's also not to your taste. Sadly the assistant seems to picking them at random and is deaf to your suggestions as to how you like your wings done... If the assistant keeps offering things you don't want, how long are you going to stand there in the shop?

Note 1: I have very carefully not suggested that upvotes should promote items in the queue selection. This keeps a level playing field on approval rankings and presentation, and hopefully keeps the ideal of Greenlight. Yes, better-performing entries will tend to slide up, be seen more, and possibly get more votes. This is the whole idea of curation and product promotion. Find those things the customers want as fast as you can and take their money, while wasting as few resources as possible to do it. That's how a business works.

Note 2: I am not dissing any particular genre or 'niche' games or talking down indie developers. Any examples used are for demonstrative purposes only, and when I use terms like 'poorly performing' I mean in terms of customer acceptance in aggregate terms of the millions of potential customers, not through any personal opinion of mine of the game or genre itself.

I'm simply saying why not let the market decide through their activity what to promote and not promote. It's simply a mechanic to assist potential customers to find and support the games they would buy.
Last edited by Sgt.Psycho; Apr 21, 2013 @ 12:07am
jeslyck Apr 21, 2013 @ 3:21am 
Is this not just a long i don,t like X.. post
C0untzer0 Apr 21, 2013 @ 3:23am 
Originally posted by jeslyck:
Is this not just a long i don,t like X.. post
No, this one caomes with Y and Z also.
(It's not so much the things he says as the horrid ways he says' em)
jeslyck Apr 21, 2013 @ 3:29am 
Originally posted by C0untzer0:
Originally posted by jeslyck:
Is this not just a long i don,t like X.. post
No, this one caomes with Y and Z also.
(It's not so much the things he says as the horrid ways he says' em)


But is the no thanks not interested button, not just invented for that purpose?
C0untzer0 Apr 21, 2013 @ 3:34am 
Sadly, that doesn't help the OP, as he's offended by the things appearing in his queue, and his having to see them and click said button.
jeslyck Apr 21, 2013 @ 3:50am 
Originally posted by C0untzer0:
Sadly, that doesn't help the OP, as he's offended by the things appearing in his queue, and his having to see them and click said button.


Oh .. I understand we will be able to fix the entire system, if we tailor the whole system after what he wants then briliant!!! problem solved.
Last edited by jeslyck; Apr 21, 2013 @ 8:05am
Skoardy Apr 21, 2013 @ 4:16am 
Originally posted by GorlomSwe:
That sounds horrible. First of the leveling and character customations are RPG elements but they do not magically turn the game into an RPG on their own.
Ugh. Sick of this new trend. Deciding whether you can hold more bullets in your gun or choosing between farting fire or farting lightning does not make your game an RPG.
MadMage Apr 21, 2013 @ 7:51am 
What I'm trying to say is there are good game concepts out there; but I'm having a hard time getting to them because I ran into (as an example) at least a dozen Left 4 Dead clones that didn't even offer the quality of Left 4 Dead. I'm aware that adding customization doesn't instantly make a game an RPG, but it adds progression and growth; replay value. Options. It's something new (or at least new to the genre) that would validate having re-made a game that is already refined and successful without a massive graphics upgrade. Otherwise, you're trying to make a knock off of a game that plays the exact same way as that game but lacks polish, both graphically and likely bug-wise.

It's not that these games just appear in the que and ask to be voted on that bothers me; it's that I know some fool who thinks every game out there needs to get greenlighted will upvote them and flood the Steam library with chaff that doesn't deserve to be here at all. I just saw a thread that held this view, in fact. If I knew that after a certain percentage of 'no' votes, a game was rejected I'd happily slam the no button on 95% of the games here in the hopes that sending them back to the drawing board improved the overall quality of the products they offer... but something tells me that isn't how the system is rated.
MadMage Apr 21, 2013 @ 7:58am 
Originally posted by GorlomSwe:
That sounds horrible. First of the leveling and character customations are RPG elements but they do not magically turn the game into an RPG on their own.
Second: the games concept needs to be centered around the idea that it has those elements, you can't just tack it on in the last minute and hope it will work.
The point was simply that offering me the same game as Left 4 Dead is silly if you can't even give us the same quality as the original - both graphically and engine - is mind-bogglingly ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥. Change SOMETHING. Make me having two of the same game on my library appealing in some way, because if I have to choose between the two I'm going with the established one that already looks great and has plenty of replay value.

As for adding RPG elements, I realize you can't tack it on at the end - that wasn't the point. I simply think, as I said above, that the game needs to be capable of offering what the game it's competing against does at the very least. Adding new mechanics and concepts would make up for lacking in graphics and make the purchase worth it is all I'm saying.
darth malgus Apr 21, 2013 @ 8:58am 
to play multiplayer
C0untzer0 Apr 21, 2013 @ 9:05am 
Originally posted by ya.mk-13:
to play multiplayer
errrr, thanks you special person, you.
Sgt.Psycho Apr 21, 2013 @ 5:09pm 
I think what Madmage's getting at is, if you're going to offer a clone of an existing game, then you need to offer more than the original does in at least one respect, otherwise there is literally no point to making it.

Why would you buy the same game, but with inferior graphics, more bugs, reduced flexibility, unbalanced multiplayer, or poorer performance? That's like buying a Milwaukee cordless drill, then buying a cheap chinese $20 cordless drill and expecting it to perform the same.

Of course, if your game is not a clone and is genuinely new, then none of that applies...

One thing I was thinking was that perhaps it might be worth asking devs to list an 'expected' or 'approximate' price; subject to final discussions with Steam, etc. That then curbs unrealistic expectations on the part of the voter. No-one expects a single indie dev with basically no capital to deliver the same graphical brilliance as the AAA titles that have budgets running into the millions and production staff of hundreds.

Just a thought.
Last edited by Sgt.Psycho; Apr 21, 2013 @ 5:09pm
Gorlom[Swe] Apr 21, 2013 @ 6:36pm 
Originally posted by Sgt.Psycho:
I think what Madmage's getting at is, if you're going to offer a clone of an existing game, then you need to offer more than the original does in at least one respect, otherwise there is literally no point to making it.

Why would you buy the same game, but with inferior graphics, more bugs, reduced flexibility, unbalanced multiplayer, or poorer performance? That's like buying a Milwaukee cordless drill, then buying a cheap chinese $20 cordless drill and expecting it to perform the same.
The story :p
MadMage Apr 21, 2013 @ 7:31pm 
Originally posted by Sgt.Psycho:
I think what Madmage's getting at is, if you're going to offer a clone of an existing game, then you need to offer more than the original does in at least one respect, otherwise there is literally no point to making it.
Yes. Exactly.

I'm not sure pricing should be a valid concern; as far as I can see these games are kept reasonable so that isn't the problem - but Sgt.Psycho hit the nail on the head and Left 4 Dead (my running example) has been deeply discounted many times. I think I paid like under $15 for the version I have. Releaseing an inferior version at a 'lesser price' isn't really what I think anyone wants here.

As far as graphics, I realize they don't have the same budgets. I'm not asking for Crysis quality here. Minecraft, for example, is far from high-end graphics - but it's elegant. The art style is clean and refined. Let's try to at least aspire to make the game appealing to look at.
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Date Posted: Apr 20, 2013 @ 10:51pm
Posts: 24