Is Steam’s GreenLight Hero or a Villain to the indie developer?
Steam released GreenLight as a portal to having Independent games placed on the mega giant’s digital distribution system, but more and more indie are developers are talking about how bad this whole program is!
Let’s face it if you started and indie game studio tonight, the first thing you should get into your head is you will be judged and people will be brutally honest. So you should develop a thick skin before releasing anything about your game.
After talking to several indie developers through Skype, twitter and some email tag we have a much clearer picture about what happens once your game get puts on GreenLight. Peer review for your game I think not!
The stories being told are pretty much the same. You get people saying your game sucks because the music isn’t up to par! Or your game sucks because the graphics aren’t up to the AAA game company standards. Yeah well tell us something we didn’t already know.
The next issue most people are seeing is people voting just to vote. What does this mean? Well Steam rewards people with points for each vote, if you reach a certain number you have rank inside Steam. So they made it an incentive to vote, vote without every writing a critique or saying how the game make you feel.
After hearing this we did a little research on GreenLight’s boards and what we saw was that people who vote on GreenLight are very rude and downright brutal. Once again this is where the thick skin should come in to play.
In my eyes the GreenLight program was made with good intentions. It is a great program it just isn’t handled or executed very well.
The amount of indie games that will get put on Steam will be very low, we know that. So I’m not sure if this even helps the indie community at all, if it does it will only be a small group.
I still see a positive out of using GreenLight in the exposure of your game. Yes it might not all be good and most case it won’t be good at all, but at least you have received some feedback. You should also get some traffic to your website and many gain a few fans.
After interviewing each of the Indie Developers I asked the same question to end our session. Would they use GreenLight again? I got the same answer from each. No!
Edit:After releasing this article I wanted to come back and explain one thing. I didn’t use the names of people above to protect them from any backlash. I understand some people may be skeptical of the claims above, but I assure you these are 100% true. Believe what you will.
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