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Apps on Steam and indie game creation
by Svein-Gunnar Johansen on 10/03/12 11:16:00 am   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


As of today, Steam is offering productivity applications as well as games on their online store/platform. On the surface, this may not necessarily seem like a big deal. After all there already are online stores for productivity applications, for instance the App Store from Apple. It is however a big deal for budding video game makers, and here is why: Steam Workshop.

Steam Workshop is a mechanism that allows easy distribution and consumption of user created content for games on the Steam platform. Popular games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, has an active modding community that so far has released over 10.000 user modifications of variable quality on the game's workshop channel.

One of the seven applications currently being offered on the Steam App Store is GameMaker: Studio from YoYo Games. And it just so happens, that it has Steam Workshop integration built in right off the bat.

At the same time, numerous indie-developers are currently engaging in the gated popularity contest that is Steam Greenlight to get their game considered for publication on the Steam platform. The contestants are many, but the winners are few.

Now, if your game is made with GameMaker, you can now put it or a demo on Steam through GameMaker's workshop channel, thus bypassing the nomination process of Steam Greenlight.

At the time of writing there are currently just over 50 titles being offered as workshop items for GameMaker. Many of them just demos or works in progress. Expect this number to increase over the next couple of days as creators realize the buzz-making potential this gives to a game in development. 

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Jason Carter
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So many 12 year olds are going to love this!

Ok in all seriousness I started out on Gamemaker and still have some unfinished projects that I might consider polishing up with this, but this is pretty cool for the art savvy but programmatically challenged designer, where an easy tool like Gamemaker could be useful.

Get ready for 100,000 highschoolers wanting to be the next big hit (and perhaps a few of them will!)

All in all, ease of entry in the market only makes things more competitive and competition is good. (Bad visibility isn't but competition certainly is)

Soren Nowak
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My Game Maker tutorial videos ( have around 300.000 views across different channels and I know from statistics that: yes, my largest segment of users are 13-17 year olds. But they count for less than 20% total. 45-54 year olds are almost as many with over 17% and 35-44 a very close third.

To me the "Game Maker is a teen engine" doesn't hold water. Game Maker is a perfect engine for beginners. It is not limited by any age in its appeal.

Svein-Gunnar Johansen
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Personally I think GameMaker's biggest potential is as a prototyping tool. Although I have found one game made with it that is great.

On another note, if I had GameMaker when I was 12, I would definitely have tried to use it to make the next big hit :)

Justin Sawchuk
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Unity is late to the party again.

Curtiss Murphy
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