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Discoverability on Steam Greenlight? It's nonexistent Exclusive
Discoverability on Steam Greenlight? It's nonexistent
August 31, 2012 | By Mike Rose

August 31, 2012 | By Mike Rose
Comments
    81 comments
More: Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing, Exclusive



The floodgates well and truly opened last night, as Valve launched its Steam Greenlight initiative. Announced earlier this month, Greenlight is a system by which indie developers can add their games to a bulging catalog of wannabe-on-Steams, and hope that they secure enough votes from the Steam community to get spotted by Valve and, in turn, get added to the Steam game store.

There was lots of speculation surrounding how exactly the system would work, including from myself. As it turns out, Greenlight is a far more simple solution than anyone could have expected.

The Greenlight front page displays submitted games in a tiled format, with users able to scroll through page after page of indie games, initially judging them based on name and square image alone. There have been over 500 entries added to the list already, so it can take a while to skim through the entire library.

Much of the speculation regarding the system focused on discoverability -- how would Valve answer the age-old question of how to best display the games in such a way that every title has a fair chance of being spotted, while the best games rise to the top?

Concealability

The answer, it would appear, is to barely even address the problem at all. Greenlight features absolutely no ranking methods -- you can't list games by popularity, ratings or anything else. In fact, the only way you can cut the selection down is by genre, platform or number of players.

What this means is that games can only become popular through three different avenues. First, a game can be rated up via a user simply clicking through the many pages, spotting a game they like, and upvoting it on a whim. Then there are also "Collections" that have been put together under their own tab, where users can band together all the games they believe are worthy of a rating. Other Steam-goers can visit Collections and decide whether it's worth taking the advice of the Collection owner. Well curated collections such as my own IndieGames.com top picks collection are a great solution.

Finally, and most prominently, games can be voted up simply by already having a notable fanbase. Games like Project Zomboid and Octodad: Dadliest Catch are already well on their way to rating stardom, thanks to their prior press and the fanbase built around them. This is going to be the main method by which a game is chosen by Valve: rather than building up your fanbase via Greenlight, you're going to need to do that popularity building outside of Steam before going for glory.

greenlight1.jpgThis may seem like a problem with the service, as newer games that deserve to be on Steam most likely won't be able to quickly build up the votes needed simply through Greenlight. Yet this is most likely exactly what Valve was aiming for. At the end of the day, even if you have the most incredible game around, if you don't already have a fanbase of people who are going to buy it, why would Valve want to stock it? This isn't charity - it's a business.

The most interesting thing about Greenlight is the feeling you get that this is probably what Valve has to go through every single day. Hundreds and hundreds of submissions, with only a small percentage actually worth adding to the Steam store -- it's as if Valve has set Greenlight up for the sole purpose of showing us exactly what its submissions team has to wade through, and why we should really cut them some slack. By letting us see under the bonnet, we're now a little wiser as to the awful task that Valve has to go through.

Rather them than us, from what we've encountered. In just the first 24 hours of Greenlight going live, we've seen all sorts of ridiculous, terrible submissions piled onto the Greenlight pages -- and that's without even mentioning the plagiarized titles. At last count we've seen Minecraft included over half a dozen times from different users, while both Team Fortress 3 and Half Life 3 have also made appearances. Some are obvious forgeries, but other times it's difficult to work out whether the submitter is actually the game's author or not.

Indie games are lame

The entire system has also brought to light an issue that we were all very well aware of, yet perhaps not to this scale -- the average Steam community user is not the sharpest tool in the shed. Head to the "Discussions" tab in Greenlight, and you're met with a forum full of giddy users harping on about how their favorite AAA title isn't on Steam, and why are there all these silly indie games taking up the space that "real" games could be filling?

One random forum post as an example: "This system seems kinda lame. So it's just an indie game thing, great. I'm going to have to look at EVERY single game and rate them when none of them are really important at all. Change the caption to something other than 'Games you want' because it's frankly misleading, and looks like a complete waste of time. Maybe if I rated so many games I'd get SOMETHING other than just lost time..."

This is followed up by dozens of comments from users agreeing that indie games are awful, and that the entire system is terrible for trying to promote them. How, then, are developers without an existing fanbase meant to battle against this tide?

greenlight2.jpgThere are issues with the system itself too. Game creators are able to delete comments left under their game on its Greenlight page, meaning they can simply remove all the negative comments and leave the positive ones. This was clearly not the intention that Valve meant it for, but it is an area which needs clearing up pronto.

Submitted projects can also only have one "creator" account, meaning that it is tricky for a team of more than one person to alter a profile and talk properly to commenters. It's all small bits and pieces like this that aren't a huge deal separately, but when all added together, make the system less useful than it needs to be.

Of course, it's still early days. Greenlight only launched yesterday, and overall has been a positive move. Valve is clearly keen to keep it as professional as possible too, removing plagiarized content as quickly as it appears. How Valve decides to tackle discoverability is going to be where the system succeeds or fails. As of now, the only winners are going to be those developers who already have a fanbase, and those devs who are just starting out needn't bother applying.


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Comments


David Amador
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I agree with that.
Just one creator is awful. The deleting comments can have impact too.
And also the non existent discoverability means we have to "spam" other websites, like I'm about to do, by asking you guys to check my own game :P

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92920748

Christopher Pfeiffer
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Agreed! Discoverability is an issue. In addition, having only one admin makes it difficult for a company to use the Greenlight program.

*cough* Here's our f2p Bomberman-style game:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=93013971

E McNeill
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"This may seem like a problem with the service, as newer games that deserve to be on Steam most likely won't be able to quickly build up the votes needed simply through Greenlight. Yet this is most likely exactly what Valve was aiming for."

Why start with criticism of this, then? The other points at the end ("indie games are lame" etc.) seem far more worrisome to me.

Mike Rose
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Hey,

I actually believe the "indie games are lame" point might (hopefully) solve itself. As these people who aren't interested in indie games realize that Greenlight is nothing but indies, they will disappear, leaving only the people who actually care. Hence, I'm personally hoping that the comments/forums will become a little more useful over time.

Discoverability, however, is not an easy problem to solve, and will continue to be an issue long after these people have stopped fiddling with the service, hence why I focused on it.

august clark
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What has surprised me the most about this, is how just how hard a concept this system seems to be to grasp for some people. The number of "Madden 2012" and "Red Dead Redemption" listings on here is staggering.

E McNeill
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Thanks for responding, Mike. I think I'm especially sensitive to the "lame" stuff, just because I keep seeing signs of a backlash against indie stuff in general (which is horrible). But I guess both that and discoverability might just sort themselves out; indie devs will just be responsible for rallying their fans, and Greenlight is just the scoreboard.

Michael Rooney
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To be fair, the user he quoted has a good point when he says, "Change the caption to something other than 'Games you want' because it's frankly misleading." That subtitle only makes sense if you already know it's an indy game feature, which is probably not the average user; though it's obvious to most people involved in the industry that that's the target.

Kyle Redd
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Regarding the lack of sorting by popularity, up votes, etc., Valve has already addressed the issue: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=32641587&pos
tcount=1

I agree with them. Discoverability is not an issue with Greenlight because Greenlight is not a store. Developers are submitting their games for critical evaluation by the Steam community, not trying to make a sale. It should remain as democratic a system as is possible, so random listings is the way it should stay, in my opinion.

Basil Lim
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We are definitely seeing this with our game - I have a theory that the indie game supporting part of the community were predominantly voting in the earlier days, and now the rest of Steam is seeing it.

By going through the comments from the start to the end (Our game page if you're interested: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92652185 <a not very subtle plug too :D ) we can see really positive comments that slowly devolve into more and more confusion over things like why the game doesn't have AAA visuals - it's a hand-drawn, 2D game..

Don't get me wrong, I love the feedback, and criticism is always welcomed, and we are still getting lots of positive comments - it's just there is a significant portion of the community who seem not to get Greenlight. I guess that's just the way it is.

There is also confusion over whether the service is for concept or fully finished games. I think Steam has said they will be separating the sections for actual games and concepts. I don't know how the evaluation process for this will work.

Kyle Redd
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@Basil

Are you sure you're not focusing on the negative comments? Flipping through the most recent 10 pages of comments on your game's page, it looks like fully 2/3 or so are positive, and those that are critical seem to be comparing the game unfavorably to Bastion. I think that's a flimsy complaint to make, but it's not exactly irrational.

Considering that people with something to complain about tend to make up a disproportionate number of commenters, I wouldn't worry about it. It's a good-looking game.

Eric McQuiggan
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I wish there was an indifference button, I don't want the game to appear in my feed, but I don't have any strong feelings either way.

Aaron Fowler
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I agree there are some games on there that I'm just not interested in because that's simply just not my taste. But at the same time others may really like it. So I don't really feel like I should rate it. But it would be nice to have an option to hide those games from the constantly growing feed.

Sean Hogan
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I've been trying to vote using their system, though I disagree with downvotes, rather than going against it, for the time being. An indifference button would be nice when I just can't decide, but what I've been trying to do is vote up if I think some number of people would really like to play it, down if it probably doesn't appeal to anyone, and favorite it and upvote if I really do like it myself.

Joel S
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Also agree. I saw things but didn't want to downvote, didn't want to upvote, just kinda wanted to vote 'I don't care'.

Bruno Xavier
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+1

Kenneth Blaney
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From what people who allegedly work for Steam have said, a down vote is roughly equivalent to indifference. That is, down votes don't cancel out up votes. They are a way to clear it from the feed, not a way to keep it off Steam.

Michael Flad
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I think the random list is a pretty decent mode for now - otherwise it would just become another pretty static top 20 list. If there are enough voters and a decent random distribution, the best games will still get the most votes and Valve obviously will have the sorted view internally.

That said, we don't know what the backend does. Even though it seems to be a random list, it's possible the backend includes all kinds of information when creating the list. So the most popular titles may very well be on the front page more often than the least popular, just not all the time in a static list.

Nuttachai Tipprasert
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The problem of random list is, it's almost impossible for me to skim through all of the games in the list. There are 22 pages which contain 30 games each. Every time I moved to next page, there's might be 2 or 3 games I already browsed on that. And as everyone already said, 80% of those games are fakes. That's makes the remaining 20% has very hard time getting user attention.

Greg Lobanov
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My main gripe is that there's a downvote button at all--why should any game be actively PREVENTED from getting on Steam? I thought it was about the community supporting what they liked, but it feels more like a lion's den to devs like me.

Kyle Redd
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Yeah, this seems to be the most common complaint, and I agree. The "downvote" should be changed to something more like simply "not interested."

Additionally, I would like to see a third option added: "not interested, at this time" or something similar. There are many games I've seen that caught my attention with their description, but that have minimal screencaps and no gameplay video or demo whatsoever. These are the games I would like to clear from my feed temporarily, to return in a few months or after receiving significant updates.

Adam Bishop
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Exactly. Who cares how many people won't buy a game? That number runs into the millions for every game. All they should care about is how many people will buy the game. A polarising game that sells well is still a game that sells well.

Svein-Gunnar Johansen
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I think a valuable feedback the downvote button gives, is to alert valve of obvious forgeries.

Joshua Foster
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@Svein
Then why have a report button? There is no reason for a downvote simply because there is a report button to let VALVe know about forgeries.

Svein-Gunnar Johansen
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@Joshua
Good point.

Robert Schmidt
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Steam could setup some explicit reward deal in which players are given points for trying new games and rating them. The points could then be put towards the purchase of games. You get extra points if you are the first to rate the game. Turn reviewing games into a game. Players have a collection of points that they can "invest" in games. The amount you invest in the game is your rating. The better a game does the more points you get. This addresses the issue were individuals rush to rate every game quickly to get points but do not provide a thorough evaluation.

Kevin Nolan
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That's an interesting idea, though only as long as the system doesn't encourage people to, for example, knock out worthless copy-paste reviews to get games discounts. Letting reviewers get kudos for quality reviews would be a decent reward.

Robert Schmidt
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Ya, that's why I was thinking that the player's points be based on the success of the game they endorsed. If you give players points for just commenting or rating then some players will just randomly do as many as possible without much thought. Instead if the player gives a game 3 stars and it does well they get 3 points or if it does pooly they get nothing. It is a simple solution for creating accurate predictions. It comes from game theory; tie renumeration to a person's ability to predict the accuracy of their own predictions.

Todd Boyd
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"Click here for indie games"
*click* ... "What the hell, these are all indie games! How lame!"

Aaron Fowler
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Got to love those kind of people :)

k s
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Sadly this is what the mainstream is all about, hating that which isn't big and popular or different.

Christiaan Moleman
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Actually they shot themselves in the foot by making the tagline "Help us find the games you want" really confusing for anyone who hasn't heard of Greenlight and is too lazy to read the About section, which is apparently a lot of people.

Maria Jayne
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Actually, it's worth noting the big green banner on the front page of steam (the one everyone sees when the launch steam) states:

"Pick The Next games On Steam" - and rate up the games you want to see available.

From that description, there is no indication it is for indie games.

Kenneth Blaney
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It isn't exclusively for indie games though. EA could very easily put Madden 2013 on Greenlight if they wanted.

Mike Motschy
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They should have a pre purchase button, the games with the most purchases will get released with guaranteed sales. That way you won't have "HEY Everyone/Family/multiple accounts vote for my game". You will know they are serious about wanting your game.

Kyle Redd
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Or if not a pre-purchase option, even something like "Here's how much I would expect to pay for this game" could give interesting feedback.

Tyler King
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I like the pre purchase idea as it could turn into a source of good crowd funding to help indies put some extra polish on the game.

However if this turns into a how much would you pay for this it will quickly turn into $0.49, $0.99, or free. People already love steam because they can buy AAA games for 5 bucks and have no real sense of what games are worth. Indie games would turn into a race to the bottom like the app store.

Mike Motschy
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Good points. Maybe make categories, like 2.99 minimum (like xbox), then increase by a dollar, the more money people are willing to spend, the more of a chance steam will release it. Though I don't think the indie should get any of it until the game is released, just so the indie doesn't run off. But that is just my opinion, and I haven't thought about it that much...heh...

Rik Spruitenburg
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@Tyler King, You said "People ... have no real sense of what games are worth." I'm sure what you are meaning is that people have no real sense of what games cost. Which is an interesting idea, perhaps we should try and get that info out there.

Aaron Fowler
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I think it's too early to make any accurate speculations. As I'm sure the system will be molded and become more honed overtime (At least I hope so!). They do need to implement some more filter options though.

Also, many people are posting game titles that are still very WIP. It would be nice to have some kind of filter that developers can categorize their game under either as a WIP or a finished title. As it is now, there's a lot of crap even from the so called "finished games" and it's a little hard to distinguish what is still a prototype with placeholder artwork, and what is actually trying to be passed off as a finished game.

The only way developers can communicate that right now is by stating it in their description. But there should be a more efficient way of communicating that. People should know even before they click on the title from the list, whether the game is still a WIP or is "finished".

Kyle Redd
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Regarding the issue with allowing game creators to delete community comments at will - I don't think this is as big of a deal as you imply. Even for the most obscure entries, the comments section fills up at a very rapid rate. It would literally be a full-time job for someone to sit there and manually delete every single negative comment that comes in, if that was their intention. Anyone serious about getting their game on Steam would consider that a complete waste of time.

I think a minor improvement that might help would be to require a reason be given for each comment deleted (offensive, vulgar, etc.); that way if someone is found to have abused the system to simply delete unfavorable comments, they could be suspended or banned.

Sean Hogan
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I agree with this. I'm fine with having negative feedback on my game, but vulgar things tend to just be noise.

Sherman Chin
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Please help to up-vote our JRPG game, Alpha Kimori Great Doubt Episode One, on Steam Greenlight too:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=93036357

It's really hard for an indie game developer to get noticed but I guess that is what Valve wants - us indie developers posting on websites like this to drive traffic to Steam itself.

Aleksander Adamkiewicz
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Greenlight is a farce.

How can valve come up with this concept and not make it work properly.

Kevin Alexander
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Looking forward to your version when it releases!

Can't wait to see what you have planned.

Aleksander Adamkiewicz
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hahahaha

The "Let's see YOU do better!" trope? Really?
What do you think this website is? Kotaku?

Michael Rooney
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Why do you think it's not working properly?

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Tom Spilman
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Our game ARMED! is on there... it is a working game that is a good fit for Steam, but it is buried in a list of fake games.

The discoverability on Greenlight is thru randomization of the games list and thru developers getting the word out on their own.

http://bit.ly/Greenlight-ARMED

Michael Rooney
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You're making the mistake of thinking that greenlight is about users finding your game. It's not. Users should already know about your game. Greenlight is about giving those users a way to communicate with Valve that they want to buy your game on their platform.

If you're trying to use it to increase visibility for your game to anybody other than Valve, you are misunderstanding what it is.

Louis-Felix Cauchon
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My game is there and is now part of the Greenlight Jewels : http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92508820&se
archtext=

Mike Jenkins
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I think collections are the perfect solution for discoverability.

At the rate the number of projects is climbing, there may be a thousand games to look through. Obviously the majority of people, even indie game fans, are not going to examine each one. The 'hardcore' people, however, just might. It is up to these fans and journalists to create lists of what they find appealing, and share it with those interested. If you're one of the 95%+ people uninterested in sifting through crap, then browse a few collections. Find one with a few games you like, then continue down their list.

Greenlight is designed to be a community experience and this is a community solution. If you are into indie games enough to look through them all, do your part and make a list. If not, take advantage of our work!
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92971960

Jonathan Jennings
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I think you may be onto something actually mike. I know I am one of a handful of people who actually will end up enjoying sifting through a vast number of indie titles in the indie game list. I also know that many of the indie games I truly enjoy I discovered due to a blog or the post of a friend or what have you . I don't' think the burden of success should be placed on a user but i do think that as a person enjoying an indie title it is in my and the developers best interest for me to spread the word. hopefully Greenlight offers a indie-specific forum so that those of us " treasure hunters" can just continue adding onto a huge block mentioning the most noteworthy indie titles.

Mike Jenkins
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Christoph, there are certainly some issues that need to be worked out, which have nothing to do with what I was saying.

I consider myself in my right mind and I went through all the pages. Obviously from your condescending response, you are not going to do that. That's what we, the people out of our minds, are here for! Browse my collection. If my taste doesn't match yours, browse another collection! Now you are only browsing short lists games someone else thought were good enough to showcase. There's no reason to attack! I'm here to help!!

Here is a link to the collections people have made, sorted by highest rated - it's a great place to start.
http://tinyurl.com/9v3al5a

Jonathan - yes! A forum where we could toss back and forth great games we found would be fantastic.

Mike Jenkins
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No problem, I've got thick skin - and let me be clear. I think there are some huge issues with Greenlight right now.

The lack of a "no vote" button, that removes it from your games to rate list, is horrible. I have downvoted so many games... 200+... that I would have clicked "no vote" or "hide." The sad truth is I have no option to do that, or just upvote everything. Then what's the point?

I think the user comments section is out of control right now. If enough developers delete your posts, you should be banned from posting on Greenlight projects. I don't think this will be a problem for long, however. Most of these people are not indie gamers. My belief is they are here because Greenlight is a news story, and they will move on quickly.

There should be a way to filter games in my rated history based on thumbs up or down, not just "hey, you voted on these."

I think collections should be more prominently displayed. I believe the vast majority of people would benefit more from looking at the collections than the first page of a thousand indie games.

So what I'm getting at is, I'm not defending every aspect of Greenlight. I think it has a long way to go to be perfect. My initial point though is that I really love the idea of a real community building around this. We can do it! We can sift through all the chaff, together! Trust each other! Write on the wall of the collections you like, and suggest games to each other! Social used to be more than a buzzword.

jaime kuroiwa
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I have yet to see a crowdsourcing solution that works (i.e. bring the best to the front); They always seem to be inhabited by fanbois and c*ckblockers. I think it's cool enough that Valve offered the service in the first place.

scott anderson
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Kickstarter is pretty successful because there is actual money involved.

John Flush
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I looked through them yesterday. I swear I saw the same game on numerous times and I had to open the game page every time to vote it up or down. Some of the games I'm already familiar with and I didn't have a good way to just say 'yes' to it, so I found it largely cumbersome.

It already had 300+ on there and I only bothered with the first 150 or so before actually playing games instead. That problem will only get worse.

Jonathan Jennings
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I actually looked up incredipede after reading this article, it definitely is geting my vote

E McNeill
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Colin Northway is an awesome dude, and has been for a while now. Definitely keep an eye on him! :)

Yuliya Geikhman
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I think it's a good thing that you can't organize the game by most votes - that would really be rewarding the already popular games. It would create the mentality of "this game has a lot of upvotes, it must be good" and diminish the chance to see the lesser known titles.

Still it does sound like the system needs some tweaking before it can really work..

Lex Allen
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"Game creators are able to delete comments left under their game on its Greenlight page, meaning they can simply remove all the negative comments and leave the positive ones. This was clearly not the intention that Valve meant it for, but it is an area which needs clearing up pronto."

Actually, I think this WAS what it was meant for. I shouldn't have to leave abusive comments on my page, especially from people that haven't even played the game. I think Valve did this on purpose because it wasn't available initially.

The biggest problem is the downvote button. There are too many people with miserable lives that will downvote all of the games or download games that they think are girly or whatever. We should only be worried about audiences that want the games, not audiences that don't want them.

Mike Jenkins
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The downvote button is much worse right now than a griefer's tool. For those of us browsing all the games, there's no other way to filter a game out that you don't want to upvote. I would wager the vast majority of your downvotes are from people who wouldn't want to downvote you at all.

Mitchell Fujino
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It's 2012, isn't this a solved problem?
Copy the same algorithm Reddit uses (http://www.evanmiller.org/how-not-to-sort-by-average-rating.html).

k s
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Thnax for the link, that was an interesting piece.

Maria Jayne
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I think valve are being very naive with this setup, they are already having to delete false submissions made from existing IP or simply fake trolling.

You just can't trust people who have nothing to lose, and steam accounts are free.

Aaron San Filippo
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I think it's important to realize that the primary purpose of the system is to make *Valve* aware of games that should be on Steam, not to become a shiny new app store that lets us find games to play. With that in mind, perhaps it's a blessing in disguise that it doesn't sort by popularity? Maybe getting more eyes on games that haven't had eyes on them yet through random selection will actually be the best way to go?

The downvote button does seem like troll-bait - but perhaps with some kind of a user rank system like some sites have, it will take on more meaning and usefulness. It seems like a natural way to make things that truly don't belong here disappear quickly.

I'd also love to see some kind of a comment upvote/downvote system. The "This looks like a flash game" comments are ridiculous.

For our project - I think it's fair to say that putting our game on Greenlight was a good idea - despite the fact that almost every comment has been negative, and we have a 65% or so negative ratio. I think it gives us a useful indication of what would happen if our game appeared on Steam right now, and tells us that we need to work on our presentation a bit more.

Dave Wishnowski
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I agree. This is a solution for Steam itself, not for indie developers expecting quick and easy marketing even though my project has received a noticeable bump in Facebook and Twitter followers since launching on Greenlight. I don't think Greenlight was meant for gamers to discover new games. I think it was meant for Steam to discover which games already had customers and that's fine by me.

And yeah since everyone else is doing it ;)

WRESTLING!
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92916857

R. Hunter Gough
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Good article, and some great points that I hadn't thought of. I disagree with your closing statement that "those devs who are just starting out needn't bother applying", though; just tossing your game in there gets it exposure (especially right now while the service is new and there are a lot of people checking it out), and the fact that there's no "expiration date" on submissions means that if it takes 10 years for your game to get enough upvotes to pass, then, well, it takes 10 years. But then your game's on Steam!! Beats leaving it rotting on your hard drive.

Tyvon Thomas
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Wasn't there only about a month of testing on the service before it was launched? Big mistake on Valve's part because Greenlight's current release is really, really bad.

I commend Valve for wanting to give more power to the community, but launching a service like this with almost no moderation systems in place? That was asking for trouble.

Gamers are very close-minded. If there's a game, downloadable package, or even something as small as something a developer does with their own free time, that they don't like (or aren't interested in), they will be vocal about it, oftentimes to the extent of being malicious. This is just something that comes with the power of internet anonymity.
Adding onto that, giving Gamers the ability to "downvote" peoples' hard work with something as simple as a mouse click only gives them more incentive to wreck your day over something as simple as a game not fitting their specific tastes. Gamers don't look at Greenlight and think about objective quality, they only think about what appeals to them.

(and since everyone else is linking their Greenlight projects, I'll link my project, Navigator. It's a hybrid arcade-puzzle game based around survival and score-chasing. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92944224)

Bruno Patatas
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This is not a comment directly targeted to the article, but based on the comments, the last thing I would like to see is Gamasutra comments becoming a place to spam links to games that are being voted on the platform. This is *not* the place for that. Gamasutra is to promote healthy discussions regarding the art & business of videogames.

Aleksander Adamkiewicz
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I often see this worrying behavior in the member blogs section actually.

Postmortems are fine, disguising advertisement for your game as a blog-post isn't.

Mitchell Burton
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The goal of any Dev submitting a game to Greenlight is not to make it to the front page... win lots of money. Your goal is to get your game noticed by Valve. Sure, winning the popularity contest may help with that, but it is not the be all and end all.

On Valve’s side the goal is clear, to get the community to sort the wheat from the chaff. Thus saving them time and money, and hopefully not missing an opportunity to sell a game that could make good money on Steam because of poor signal to noise.

Valve will look at the "front page" games, but those are probably the games that would have a far chance of making it through the current submission process. What Valve wants is a human operated spam filter on their submissions@steam inbox.

So Valve are going to use Steam users as a source of information to be data mined. It'll be rather crude at first, but as time goes on and Valve develops its abilities I would be willing to bet that they will use all sorts of methods to identify candidates. Number of up votes, up votes / down votes, total number of votes, page views per vote, etc.

If a game receives 100,000 down votes and 50,000 up votes Valve will still want to take a look. 100,000 people would not buy that game, but 50,000 other people would. It may not be popular, but Steam does serve niche markets too.

It may even turn out that after a while Valve identifies a group of users whose up votes are good predictors of good sales and start following those user's actions as another source of information.

Even text mining the comments could be used. Valve seems to be a company that is not afraid to experiment, internally at least, and its people can work on what ever tickles their fancy. We can't rule anything out.

My point is that the goal of Greenlight is quite different than the other systems under discussion. Greenlight's purpose is to provide data, information, metrics, whatever you want to call it, to Valve. Discoverability? That's your problem.

Aaron Fowler
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It has been suggested on the forums for Valve to put a small submission fee to help weed out the trolls/not serious projects. I'm interested to know what everyone's thoughts are on this?

http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/discussion/864944662947079770/
?appid=765

Gnoupi i
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I would agree with such idea.

Because other than people who didn't understand that this is not a request service, the page is also crowded with things like "I made this in 2 hours, drawn in paint, it's a clone of Terraria/Minecraft/TD". It's flooded with things which are not finished games, or even games planned to be finished any time soon.

Adding even a minor entry fee, just because it would force the submitter to do something else than just clicking on a button, would get rid on this kind of entries, and clear the way for others.

Jane Castle
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I am wondering what if a game has a lot of up votes because it has great screen shots and a cut scene but the final project is a disappointment? Will Valve reject the game even if it has a lot of votes?

Rik Spruitenburg
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It seems likely they would reject any possible high-voted game for any number of reasons. Really, they just want to know what the people think they would enjoy.

Ron Dippold
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For what it's worth, the best way to browse is not with Steam's own browser, which won't let you have multiple tabs (a constant source of frustration). Use any tabbed browser to go to the Greenlight page, make sure you log in first, then just ctrl-click any games that look interesting to open a tab for them. Much smoother.

Kellam Templeton-Smith
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I had an extremely hard time navigating it-Steam as a content portal functions horrendously (what is up with the inability to preserve what page I'm on/not have it reset where I was if I choose to press the back button), and this extends to Greenlight.

I think it'll mainly come down to Indie Devs still having to do the legwork to promote it, but get those clickthru's to travel over to Steam and upvote it.

Bruno Xavier
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For me the most stupid thing about Greenlight is this:
http://i1234.photobucket.com/albums/ff408/BrUnOXaVIeR/RlyValve.jp
g

Why on earth would Valve to constrain people trying to help?!?
... Really Valve? Rly??

Aaron Fowler
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I think it's a bug. But yes it does need to be sorted out. Because that's just silly.

Bruno Xavier
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I don't think that is a bug. I rated something like 600 games.
Then that page is there in my profile now. It just made me stop looking for new games.
Anyways I found some amazing games in there, but had to lurk for a lot.


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