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Greenlight Falls Short

What better way to benefit both a distributor and its customers than to let the customers vote on games to be added to the service? Theoretically, gamers choose the most deserving games that they want to pay money for and the distributors put up the most likely to be purchased titles. It's a perfect idea. At heart. In practice, it's shaky.

There are over 1300 Greenlight games. 1300. Why? Because there is almost no filter (other than against troll posts and the most crappy of crap submissions). Of that, 56 have been greenlit and only 31 released.

My first complaint goes to some of the titles greenlit. Not that they're bad games at all; but the absurdity of them going through the greenlight process is painful. For starters; Postal 2. Postal mother slapping 2. Why would that need to go through the greenlight process? Postal 3 already has a place on Steam...why does P2 need to go through Greenlight? As an established piece, it should have gone through the professional channels and kept from drawing attention to real up and coming indie titles. Throw in ports of successful XBL games, other developers that don't exactly need charity in trying to get their games out, and games that are only getting attention because some internet celebrity featured it once or 80 times, and you have a good chunk of the titles coming from the sort of developers that Greenlight was NOT intended for.

Another issue is that there are so many "atmosphere" games. One of them says that it "isn't just a game; it's an experience that will change your life!" wait, that's what exactly all of them say. "The Light" even tries to make up its mandatory 3 bulletpoints, and the first two are "relaxing atmosphere" and "beautiful environment." As if a relaxing atmosphere is going to look like a bowl of turds. Some of these titles don't even offer up a shred of suggestion as to what the "interactive story" is even about; from what's shown, they just look like 3D art projects and by the descriptions are simply made by people that don't have any idea what to do with it but let you run around.

Gamers don't know what's good for them. These "atmosphere games" don't offer up anything but some pretty pictures of atmosphere and promise "uhhhh....some sorta interactive story thing" and it gets lit. Why? Because people scream "GROOO TAKE DAT CAL UV DOOTY! STORIZ AND STUF!" People see something going against the grain (lol, right, going against the grain by following the sea of upcoming atmosphere "games") with pretty graphics and they assume it will be great, approving it over unique titles (that promise actual gameplay and specific stories) and throwing money at it via kickstarter.

And finally, there is just so much repetition. How many people are going to vote/preview 1300 games, of which so many are basically the same as the last, other than pretentious people like myself? The previously mentioned blind "GROOO TAKE DAT CAL UV DOOTY!" crowd, people who want more Minecraft knockoffs, and people looking to vote for the most AAA looking games offered. Steam should have been more involved in filtering what went in to the greenlight candidacy.

The result is something full of well intention but riddled with logical flaws.

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SilentNegotiator1625d ago

Seriously, "The Light" page is a laughing riot.

It's basically this:
'[video of him walking around one single building]
[video of him looking at writing and videos on the wall, pushing a cabinet, a switch, and a door open]
[a bunch of pictures of the one single building he made]

It's not just a game! It's an interactive philosophical blah blah blah blah.
Travel to a world without humans! Because I don't know how to create AI anyway!

Key features:
-Really, really good atmosphere
-interactive story of some kind'

.....It's like a substance VACUUM. And THAT was greenlit.

dedicatedtogamers1625d ago

Steam rushed Greenlight out in an attempt to curb indies going to Kickstarter and (I imagine) to cut down on the indies flocking to Nintendo and Sony.

But yeah, your blog is spot on. Greenlight is pointless. It's just a way for Steam to put indie talent in the limelight, and one thing indie devs love more than a profitable business model is a spotlight for their ego to shine.

specialagent45321624d ago

This is what Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo go through when it comes to selecting their pool of games. There is no filters in creating a pool of games I know everyone wanted these kick ass games or AAA new ips, etc. but the reality is this all sort of game developers show with all kinds of projects to the big three and these three corporations decide which games are worthy of representing their product. Now green light is not perfect I wish all demos were linked through green light instead of going to their website and I wish there was more transparency of how the game was moving closer and closer to getting green light. Good news is I the gamer not a corporation is creating it's own pool of games. If this affects the big three who cares is business and is a business that's run by the community not a corporation.

PopRocks3591625d ago

While I do see the point you're trying to make here, I have some counterpoints.

1. While I agree that Postal 2 is definitely not a great choice for an indie-centric part of Steam, Steam itself is apparently not necessarily exclusive to indie devs or indie type games. Black Mesa Source as well as a remake of Portal using the Portal 2 engine are also part of greenlight (the former of which has already received a greenlight). WayForward has Shantae currently part of the system but frustratingly has not received enough votes.

It's less about indies and more about what the community wants.

2. "Gamers don't know what's good for them." Hey, it's their money. If they want to greenlight something and waste money on it, that's their choice at the end of the day. It's no different than kickstarter.

I'm not particularly fond of greenlight either. It has some good ideas and can be improved upon, similarly to when Steam initially launched.

Godmars2901625d ago

In regards to your #2; it isn't their money.

Or rather, it Steam who's putting up the few pennies it costs for server space to host the game. Nevermind that they'll make that back on the first sale.

Honestly, never really Greenlight. Especially when it doesn't seem to involve any real from of quality control.

PopRocks3591625d ago

Once its greenlit, you're asked to buy it with actual money (unless the game is intended to be F2P).

I like greenlight in concept as oppose to how it was executed. I also feel in its current form it's still better than how the App store has allowed a multitude of, not only really terrible games, but also scams and essentially five dollar loading screens being passed off as games. So far I've seen next to none of that on Greenlight.

xamtheking1625d ago

Greenlight is horrible right now but I think Valve can improve it

specialagent45321624d ago

Oh my goodness, green light is not perfect I get that since it lacks a transparency of how games get closer to getting green light, the demos of certain games are not linked to green light, lack of release date for green light games meaning is hard to tell when a green light game gets released. What I do like is how realistic is set up meaning gamers get all kinds of games from classics, ios games, indies, and first time game proyects from game developers and publishers. From hidden gems, to utter rubbish. Guess what gamers get to create their own pool of games and showing Valve this pool of games is worthy of being in your service or I will play this pool of games on Linux or Windows not on my steam account. This is what the console corporations go through. They select which games are worthy to be on their console and yes they too go through garbage titles to get to those hidden gems. So while not perfect it shows how much control Valve gives to its customers something that corporations like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo would never do :-P