Steam Greenlight

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Slur Aug 29, 2013 @ 10:19am
1 Year of A Trainwreck
Let's celebrate.
Showing 1-15 of 15 comments
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2point4 Aug 29, 2013 @ 10:23am 
Yeah, it seems like greenlighting 100 games all at once wasn't so much of an anniversary celebration as it was giving up. I keep on hearing from Valve about how Greenlight is an evolving system but I haven't really noticed any changes to it in the past few months outside of changing the pace of greenlighting games.

Personally, I've given up on voting on Greenlight games. No offense to any of the developers trying to push their games through, but it's such an enormously flawed system that I don't see it as worth anyone's time, including both developers and gamers.
Gorlom[Swe] Aug 29, 2013 @ 10:34am 
What exactly do you (slur and 2point4 both) think the problem with greenlight is? If you think that greenlighting 100 new games is somehow part of the problem? Usually the complaint seems to be that it's not happening fast enough.

Acctually you know what? I'm more interested in what you thought Greenlight was supposed to be. I'm suspecting you have no idea what it was intended to be and dreamed up your own explanation of what Greenlight is trying toacomplish..
plzhavmercy Aug 29, 2013 @ 10:40am 
Originally posted by GorlomSwe:
Acctually you know what? I'm more interested in what you thought Greenlight was supposed to be.

I am interested as well. I get the impression a lot of people think they can just post "Add Mario Galaxy!" and somehow Valve will make that happen.

Perhaps if OP could be a little more specific about the trainwreck? It's never too late to try and change things.
Skoardy Aug 29, 2013 @ 12:52pm 
Originally posted by GorlomSwe:
What exactly do you (slur and 2point4 both) think the problem with greenlight is? If you think that greenlighting 100 new games is somehow part of the problem? Usually the complaint seems to be that it's not happening fast enough.
Gamers getting games they want and developers getting their games on Steam. Yeah, definitely worthless to developers and gamers alike - an enormously flawed trainwreck.

Like you say, I'm not sure what they were expecting Greenlight to be but 2point4 is clearly wrong about their claims and I suspect Slur is just posting flamebait for responses.
2point4 Aug 29, 2013 @ 1:34pm 
I've discussed this at length both on SCUD and other corners of the Internet. I'm not going to get into a giant discussion about it again but I'll try to summarize it quickly.

Gabe Newell and other higher-ups at Valve have mentioned how the future of Steam is being groomed to become more of a user-curated shop. Of course that can't happen right this minute because there is much planning involved in a system like that. And I'm not arguing that it isn't happening fast enough, but Greenlight, to me, seems like a way to appease developers who've felt slighted by the old submission process where most games would be turned down. What my argument is is that Greenlight never should have existed in the first place. Really, it's not terrible if it has resulted in you getting your game up on Steam, right? That was your goal and it has come to be. I'm extremely happy for those developers who've found success in the platform.

For everyone else, it's just a carrot-on-a-stick. Instead of Greenlight, Valve could have just worked on the user-curated thing from the beginning. In fact, once that comes to fruition, where does that leave Greenlight? Gone, pretty much. There would be no need for it. So to have Greenlight be this stopgap on the way to a user-curated storefront, it is downright frustrating for everyone not getting through, for whatever reasons. And on top of all that, Valve is extremely uncommunicative when it comes to...well...pretty much every aspect of Steam.

So at the end of the day, how has Greenlight improved Steam in the slightest? People like to say how Greenlight was just a way for Valve to push their work off on to the users, but I disagree with that notion. Valve still needs to vet each submission for release. They may not playtest these titles, but they still need to do a fair amount of legwork to ensure these titles are what they say they are.

As far as the stress-test aspect of these recent hundred greenlights...stress-test of what? Valve is nearly completely finished moving over their CDN to a more robust solution and every new release since like a year ago has been on it anyway. And the new CDN (Steampipe) has really and truly improved delivery quality of purchases made on Steam. So is it a stress-test of that? I hope not, because it's been stress-tested for at least the last year now, generally whenever a TF2 or Dota 2 update is released. Or did they mean an internal stress-test of how well their employees can handle releasing 100 titles all at the same time? Maybe someone could clarify that for me a little more because the comment makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.

I wasn't trying to troll anyone in my response, it's just how I feel about Greenlight. I'm also not one of the many frustrated developers trying to push their game through. I am just a regular user of Steam with, usually, unpopular opinions. I won't be responding to any further posts in this thread; I just wanted to share my thoughts on the catastrophe that is Greenlight. Since some felt I was just trolling, I felt it necessary to clear that up and state my case a little better.
Sera Aug 29, 2013 @ 1:44pm 
Originally posted by Skoardy:
Like you say, I'm not sure what they were expecting Greenlight to be but 2point4 is clearly wrong about their claims and I suspect Slur is just posting flamebait for responses.
You can believe that Slur has no good intentions with anything he posts. He attacked me on other threads many times. He's never up to anything good and not only on Greenlight.

Originally posted by WeeabooJudas:
With the recent greenlighting of almost anything one could possibly want from the system, I have lost any right or reason to call this system a trainwreck (assuming that I ever had any to begin with), Leaving you as the last person here with complaints.
I didn't like Greenlight either because none of my games were ever greenlit but with the 100 games greenlit and many of my wanted games passed, I can admit that I like it better now.
Last edited by Sera; Aug 29, 2013 @ 1:47pm
wilco64256 Aug 29, 2013 @ 1:46pm 
You do realize that they still have actual "people" at Valve who have to review stuff before it can go onto the store right? It's not like you get Greenlit and then you just throw your project into the store the second you're ready. They still need to make sure you incorporated their SDK properly, have all the correct assets, did your achievements/cards/backgrounds/etc. properly if you're doing that stuff. I assume that's one of the main things they're stress-testing is whether they can handle more projects coming into the "we're ready to be put on the store" pipeline.
Gorlom[Swe] Aug 29, 2013 @ 1:57pm 
Who called 2point4 a troll? or is he just preempting something?
TomB  [developer] Aug 29, 2013 @ 2:18pm 
Originally posted by 2point4:
As far as the stress-test aspect of these recent hundred greenlights...stress-test of what? Valve is nearly completely finished moving over their CDN to a more robust solution and every new release since like a year ago has been on it anyway. And the new CDN (Steampipe) has really and truly improved delivery quality of purchases made on Steam. So is it a stress-test of that? I hope not, because it's been stress-tested for at least the last year now, generally whenever a TF2 or Dota 2 update is released. Or did they mean an internal stress-test of how well their employees can handle releasing 100 titles all at the same time? Maybe someone could clarify that for me a little more because the comment makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.

It's a stress test of many things, most of which aren't visible to the public and perhaps not even to third party Steamworks developers (the following is not a comprehensive list):

  • Our new partner on boarding process that is entirely web based and is now hands off for us (Valve), instead of one that used to use email/mail/fax/DocuSign, lawyers, etc. and could take weeks to get everything straightened out.
  • The new tools that let developers build and manage their own game store pages. Previously we (Valve) had to build every single game page, which involved a lot of back and forth with the developers, getting art assets and text, and responding to change requests for every single screenshot, movie, descriptive text, system requirements, etc.
  • The new tools that let developers manage their own content (we call these depots), packages/licenses (what users buy), etc., instead of Valve having to field email requests from third party developers to do so
  • The new release checklist so that developers can see what they still need to do before they can ship their game on Steam, versus Valve having to verify everything by hand
  • The new web based pricing tool that lets developer suggest pricing, instead of having to email back and forth with Valve
  • The new Valve side tools so we can release a brand new game with a push of one button, instead of visiting dozens of pages to push dozens of buttons
  • The new Valve side tools that let us see what games are shipping when, instead of using a shared Outlook calendar that is manually updated
  • The new Valve side tools to manage who is assigned to what partners
  • Migrating from our old system where all app meta data was stored in a giant 100 MB file that made it so it took several minutes to add a new game or piece of DLC to the system. It could take, literally, hours of very manual work just to do the initial setup for a new set of DLC (imagine the poor soul who has to manage Rocksmith or Train Simulator), before the developer even gets to upload their content to Steam.
  • Upgrades to our partner site so that it can scale to a lot more developers using it and make it more usable so that there aren't a bunch of questions about where stuff is, how things work, etc.
  • Lots and lots of documentation
  • Upgrades to our financial reporting systems so we can pay the hundreds more developers and show them real-time stats of their sales, over arbitrary date ranges, etc.

There's lots more and most of it is pretty mundane stuff. Some of the systems were badly in need of upgrades and had existed since Steam first started. These systems were patched over the years, but not fully upgraded to handle the type of scale we are talking about here. We're spending the time now to upgrade it all.

Releasing a game on Steam used to take way more work on the Valve side than was necessary. So we have to take all those internal tools with all their idiosyncrasies that internal Valve employees have lived with (e.g. imagine entering 32 bit ids into text fields that aren't validated and now having to build UI that prevents fat fingering) and polish them up so that third party developers can easily use them. And of course we've had to build new tools as well.
Last edited by TomB; Aug 29, 2013 @ 2:25pm
Sera Aug 29, 2013 @ 2:22pm 
Hmm... Very informative, TomB. So things will only get to improve as it goes.
2point4 Aug 29, 2013 @ 3:50pm 
Originally posted by TomB:
snip
Thanks.

If I can make a request while I have your attention...

I know this isn't the type of stuff to go in a press release, but when vague and general "stress-test" type statements are printed like that, could Valve also, going forward, post a more in-depth description of the finer points like this in maybe a thread here on SCUD? Obviously this is a lot of info to take in and definitely isn't suitable for a press release but for those of us that love reading up on the meat of what really goes into an update, information like this is golden.

Again, thanks for elaborating on that for me.
Slur Aug 29, 2013 @ 4:31pm 
Originally posted by TomB:
Post.


Is this sudden influx of games a one-time thing, or will we be seeing more games pass through Greenlight now that the technology has improved on Steam?
TomB  [developer] Aug 29, 2013 @ 4:43pm 
Originally posted by 2point4:
Originally posted by TomB:
snip
Thanks.

If I can make a request while I have your attention...

I know this isn't the type of stuff to go in a press release, but when vague and general "stress-test" type statements are printed like that, could Valve also, going forward, post a more in-depth description of the finer points like this in maybe a thread here on SCUD? Obviously this is a lot of info to take in and definitely isn't suitable for a press release but for those of us that love reading up on the meat of what really goes into an update, information like this is golden.

Again, thanks for elaborating on that for me.

Usually that sort of information is pretty uninteresting to the majority of people, especially for features that are not publicly visible (e.g. I'm pretty sure people don't want to read the changes notes on me optimizing the search index for users on our partner site, or that someone added a list of recently visited app pages to the main home page for users). It also takes time to compile and put in a form that can be digested externally and can invite more discussion, which also takes time. I'm happy to elaborate if there's confusion or misinformation, but it does take time away from development. Especially if the audience for this information is small, it's hard to weigh the time and effort spent doing this sort of communication versus actually building things.

I understand that it may be hard to trust us or get past the cynicism surrounding Greenlight, but we truly are trying to build a system that reduces the bottleneck for putting games on Steam. So while you may not know the details behind all the things we are doing, hopefully you will be able to see the results, such as larger batches of games being Greenlit or other features that surface games you may enjoy or help us curate Greenlight, and eventually the Steam store.
ae Aug 29, 2013 @ 4:47pm 
Very interesting
TomB  [developer] Aug 29, 2013 @ 4:47pm 
Originally posted by Slur:
Originally posted by TomB:
Post.


Is this sudden influx of games a one-time thing, or will we be seeing more games pass through Greenlight now that the technology has improved on Steam?

As we mentioned in the "100" Greenlight blog post, we are pushing through a lot more games and software in this batch to stress test all the new stuff we built (and we've found things that need fixing already). There's no guarantee that future batch sizes will be as large, especially in the near term as we react to the feedback from all the new developers coming onboard. But the end goal is to be able to accept as many games as we want to ship, and part of getting there is being able to accept bigger batches of Greenlight titles in the near future.
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Date Posted: Aug 29, 2013 @ 10:19am
Posts: 15