Developers Mixed on Greenlight's $100 Submission Fee

#51 Posted by Shivoa (612 posts) -

I'm glad to see so many rich people talking about how little $100 means to them. I'm sure that they speak having lived on the typical wages in many areas of the world far from their current decadent existence and so are able to be so authoritative on how small change that value is for everyone.

As posted in the responses: if this removes all but the games that should be seriously considered then why have Greenlight at all, use the fee to limit and help pay for curation/approval/dev relations; if you just want to limit to serious people with bank accounts then why not $10 or a signed and posted contract; wasn't the point of user sifting that the good items float to the surface in the first place and so this was just early day lack of down-voters to quickly cull the joke entries?

#52 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

At first I thought this is kind of stupid, but if I'm reading this right, it's like the fee to get on Greenlight is actually more than getting Valve to look at it themselves (being that there's actually a fee)?

If that's the case, then I guess it does make the whole thing sort of redundant, but, like everyone else is saying, the $100 shouldn't be a problem for the developers.

#53 Posted by RE_Player1 (7551 posts) -
@rebgav

It's $100. If you're not willing to gamble such a small amount of money against the quality of your product then you probably shouldn't be submitting it to Steam in the first place.

Word. I'm not trying to sound like Mr. Moneybags here, I do have a shitty job and have to pay for school, but if you can't afford $100 for the opportunity to publish your game on a platform like Steam than you have to get your finances in check.
#54 Posted by Mordi (553 posts) -

It's an effective way to stop "spammers", but couldn't the price be a little lower? I think setting it at 25, or even just 10 would do the trick. Maybe not as effective against junk, but surely the amount of awesome developers who wouldn't risk spending 100 dollars would make up for it?

#55 Posted by verysexypotato (208 posts) -

I refuse to believe people are upset about this...

#56 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

I just want to play games, If I have to shift through a pile of crap to find one gem, thats fine with me.

#57 Posted by Mr_Skeleton (5138 posts) -

Sadly money is really the best way of getting the trolls and the low quality games from the service, I wish there was a better way but I can't think of it.

#58 Posted by mlarrabee (2888 posts) -

@HappyCheeze said:

Heres a suggestion to Valve. If the indie game puts down 100 bucks, but doesn't make it into the system, valve refunds them. If the indie game company makes it into the system and sell enough to make 100 dollars, valve gives them 200 as a bonus and a "Thank you" message for choosing steam.

Valve doesn't need indie developers, the developers need Steam. Most independent game developers are looking for some way to get their one-in-six-trillion website noticed, and their opportunities are XLBA, PSN, Steam, and word-of-mouth from conventions. At least with an existing platform, and one with as indie-friendly a community as Steam, they've a decent shot at making a splash.

A refunded entrance fee on failure would just allow the jokers to continue pushing imbecilic fake games knowing they won't be "greenlit." XBLI's startup cost is $100 for an Xbox Live Developers Membership, and one glance at the selection there says that Greenlight's price of admission will not restrict anyone. If a thirteen year-old in Minnesota can spend ninety-nine annually to release a massage game, any serious indie developer worth his salt can invest $100 once.

#59 Posted by TopFloor (18 posts) -

@ThePickle said:

The fee makes sense. They got to keep the riff-raff out somehow.

X( That's exactly what I don't want. I thought the point of Greenlight was for the community to decide what were the good games, not to have a entry fee determine it for us.

#60 Posted by familyphotoshoot (653 posts) -

When you take into consideration how much money these games can take in, I don't feel that a $100 fee is all that unreasonable.

For example, Edmund McMillen has made somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.5 million off of The Binding of Isaac alone.

#61 Posted by theManUnknown (152 posts) -

@mlarrabee said:

@HappyCheeze said:

Heres a suggestion to Valve. If the indie game puts down 100 bucks, but doesn't make it into the system, valve refunds them. If the indie game company makes it into the system and sell enough to make 100 dollars, valve gives them 200 as a bonus and a "Thank you" message for choosing steam.

Valve doesn't need indie developers, the developers need Steam.

I agree with the overall point of your message but it's at least worth noting here that Valve does care about indie developers to some extent, else they wouldn't have made Greenlight in the first place. Barring some exceptions (the officially licensed Dr. Who game springs to mind) Greenlight very much does seem made to specifically cater to indie developers and their would-be fans.

#62 Posted by Meteora (5787 posts) -

I think the small fee is necessary, though the chance of it not being on the marketplace does slightly bug me, but I can understand where Valve is coming from.

#63 Edited by Evikull (60 posts) -

I agree that a fee makes sense. It might not be the best way to keep out the junk, but it's a simple way.

But $100 was still enough to make me do a double take. I'm willing to bet that they'll at least lower it. After all, this isn't a guarantee that your game is going to get on steam. This simply means that you'll be able to put your game up for vote, at which point either no one will see it or people will ignore it.

#64 Posted by FuriousJodo (118 posts) -

I don't see a problem with this, if $100 is barring you from trying to get your game out into the world then you aren't very serious about getting your product out there. The project that gets Greenlit is going to potentially be making a good amount of money from the exposure that it receives from Steam, and Steam isn't even taking the money themselves.

#65 Posted by Nill (25 posts) -

Valve's solution to a broken, clogged up rating process is to add "micro-transactions"?

So who gets to write off the charitable donation? I'm guessing it's not the struggling indie developer.

#66 Edited by atomic_dumpling (2462 posts) -

First of all, excellent write-up. 
 
I feel that Sosowski might have point regarding the redundancy. As for the "traditionally poor people" remark by O’Reilly -- I don't know. Whatever equipment and Software these guys use to make their games has got to be far more expensive than 100 bucks. Claiming that you can't afford that on-time investment seems canting. I find myself in full agreement with Mr. Bruce.

#67 Edited by theManUnknown (152 posts) -

@TopFloor said:

@ThePickle said:

The fee makes sense. They got to keep the riff-raff out somehow.

X( That's exactly what I don't want. I thought the point of Greenlight was for the community to decide what were the good games, not to have a entry fee determine it for us.

If a developer lets such a fee stop him then he is deciding the matter more than anyone else. There do not exist any particularly good games that did not have some sort of substantial financial or temporal investment. Given the amount of investment most every indie developer will have already given to insure his game is good, what is $100 to him?

#68 Posted by AlwaysBeClothing (1446 posts) -

Considering I saw submissions like Turok PC and a little known indie game called Team Fortress 2 to the service, I think some kind of gateway for trolls is warranted. Still, when I voted for a serious entry like McPixel it only had 2% of the votes it needed. So I wonder if greenlight is a service that is even filling a need that has been created by regular Steam submission.

#69 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

@mlarrabee said:

@HappyCheeze said:

Heres a suggestion to Valve. If the indie game puts down 100 bucks, but doesn't make it into the system, valve refunds them. If the indie game company makes it into the system and sell enough to make 100 dollars, valve gives them 200 as a bonus and a "Thank you" message for choosing steam.

Valve doesn't need indie developers, the developers need Steam. Most independent game developers are looking for some way to get their one-in-six-trillion website noticed, and their opportunities are XLBA, PSN, Steam, and word-of-mouth from conventions. At least with an existing platform, and one with as indie-friendly a community as Steam, they've a decent shot at making a splash.

A refunded entrance fee on failure would just allow the jokers to continue pushing imbecilic fake games knowing they won't be "greenlit." XBLI's startup cost is $100 for an Xbox Live Developers Membership, and one glance at the selection there says that Greenlight's price of admission will not restrict anyone. If a thirteen year-old in Minnesota can spend ninety-nine annually to release a massage game, any serious indie developer worth his salt can invest $100 once.

Except Steam dose need Indy devs. The last "AAA" game released on steam was released on the 23rd it is now the 5th, that would be 13 days without a reason to load up the Steam store.

#70 Edited by theManUnknown (152 posts) -

@Nill said:

Valve's solution to a broken, clogged up rating process is to add "micro-transactions"?

That term doesn't accurately describe anything in this context. It's a one time fee for each individual developer. Even with this, the bar-to-entry to get on Steam remains drastically lower than with every other notable digital distribution platform this side of Desura and the Ubuntu Software Center.

#71 Posted by chiablo (908 posts) -

If you are an indie game developer and you have a problem with a paltry $100 submission fee, your game is probably not good enough to be considered.

#72 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -

@Fireburst said:

There has to be SOME barrier to entry. Valve is great for thinking the community can moderate itself, but the unfortunate truth is that it almost never can, especially in as big an environment as Steam. $100 does not sound like too much, especially if you're in the business of trying to make a successful game.

Honestly, if anyone plays TF2 regularly, you'd know that Valve released a $100 item in the shop that trolls consistently buy just because it relays a (often annoying) message to anyone playing TF2. $100 will help keep most trolls off of the service, but it won't stop dedicated ones, and it may hurt some indie devs.

There probably is no perfect answer for the necessary barrier but at least this is an attempt, and they didn't just leave the service go to crap.

Are you telling me that... Those people aren't actually getting engaged via TF2?

To stay on topic, I do agree that the entry fee was much needed, but now that the amount of fake submissions will greatly decrease (Hopefully), I think that the barrier for getting the game approved should be lowered.

#73 Posted by Oi_Blimey (86 posts) -

@Shivoa said:

I'm glad to see so many rich people talking about how little $100 means to them. I'm sure that they speak having lived on the typical wages in many areas of the world far from their current decadent existence and so are able to be so authoritative on how small change that value is for everyone.

If you're not "rich" enough to get $100, then you probably don't have the equipment/facilities to help you in making a pc game. If people in your part of the world can afford a pc or laptop to make their game, $100 is not too much to ask.

And in the case of the argument that they borrowed the pc for making the game... well borrow the $100... if the game is not going to make the $100 back, then it really is a waste of time for everyone involved.

#74 Posted by Hameyadea (345 posts) -

Is the fee the best option? Absolutely not. Is the fee a good and reasonable option? Definitely. Even though most of the Alpha builds (and pre-Alphas) are total garbage, they have the --potential-- to become good (or, at least, better) whilst spammers and other hooligans are being blocked by the fee (either become they can't troll for free, lost the interest or unter 18 and thought it "would be awesome to appear on Steam). And hey... no 5 digit fee for an update, imma right? *looking at Fez*

#75 Posted by cancerdancer (314 posts) -

"including fake version of Half-Life 3."

Good thing this website is a workshop class. At least include the words DRAFT on the title please. This isn't some damning mistake but you make them all the time dude.

#76 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

I love all these assumptions being thrown around about peoples passions equaling the amount of money they have.

#77 Posted by Deusoma (3001 posts) -
@Oi_Blimey said:

@Shivoa said:

I'm glad to see so many rich people talking about how little $100 means to them. I'm sure that they speak having lived on the typical wages in many areas of the world far from their current decadent existence and so are able to be so authoritative on how small change that value is for everyone.

If you're not "rich" enough to get $100, then you probably don't have the equipment/facilities to help you in making a pc game. If people in your part of the world can afford a pc or laptop to make their game, $100 is not too much to ask.

And in the case of the argument that they borrowed the pc for making the game... well borrow the $100... if the game is not going to make the $100 back, then it really is a waste of time for everyone involved.

And what if it's a high-quality game that the creator wishes to give away for free, hmmm? There are plenty of free-to-play games on Steam. Charging money to give a game away seems an altogether different proposition.
#78 Posted by JoeyRavn (4949 posts) -

@Shivoa said:

I'm glad to see so many rich people talking about how little $100 means to them. I'm sure that they speak having lived on the typical wages in many areas of the world far from their current decadent existence and so are able to be so authoritative on how small change that value is for everyone.

As posted in the responses: if this removes all but the games that should be seriously considered then why have Greenlight at all, use the fee to limit and help pay for curation/approval/dev relations; if you just want to limit to serious people with bank accounts then why not $10 or a signed and posted contract; wasn't the point of user sifting that the good items float to the surface in the first place and so this was just early day lack of down-voters to quickly cull the joke entries?

No better way to start an argument than with an Ad Hominem fallacy, right?

"People with bank accounts"? Seriously? "The man" has nothing to do here. You need to put this in the perspective of a developer who wants to put his game on Steam. If you are serious about your project and commited to its development, you need to invest in your game. You need to buy software licences, you need to buy hardware, you need to buy a domain for your game... You need to put down some money if you want to make more money later on. $100 is not a lot of money in this context, no matter how you look at it (and no matter how much you try to demonize anyone who thinks that way). I understand that $100 may be a lot for a college student who is coding a game all by himself, but it's by no means an insurmountable amount obstacle. Greenlight is by no means the only venue for indie devs to showcase their games. If you have anything that even resembles a playable game, start selling it and raise money for Greenlight. Ask for donations, put out a beta, sell pre-orders, make a Kickstarter. Ask your friends and family if you need to resort to that. If you're not able to come up with the $100 needed for the entry fee, are you sure you are at the right stage of the development of your game to submit it to to Steam Greenlight? Get a job or save up for a month or so and then you submit it when you have the money.

I agree that this entry fee may not be the best solution, but it's far from illogical. Maybe Steam can create a sort of "showcase" for indie devs to promote their games and help raise the $100 they need to enter Greenlight proper. But, come on, community moderation doesn't work if the system is flooded with crap.

#79 Posted by 2HeadedNinja (1554 posts) -

adding a fee is perfectly resonable imho ... and 100$ is not the world if you are serious about your game. That it goes to charity is just a neat bonus.

#80 Posted by SeanFoster (858 posts) -

$100 seems like a bargain to me.

#81 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

People need to stop bitching. It makes sense, it's better for the consumers, which this should always be in service of. This shouldn't be a free ride for those making the content, it should be a way to please the consumer. It's how business works, and this business wouldn't work if it was filled with the bullshit that ends up on XBL Indie. $100 is not much even for a SINGE person. How many games up there are being made by a single dude? If you aren't invested enough in the game to put $100 into it, you aren't invested enough to put out a complete package. This keeps the spam away, and keeps the service focused on real projects with dedicated teams behind them, not some silly thing a guy was working on for a month and decided to through up, or worse yet scams and attempts at market confusion.

#82 Posted by Winternet (8008 posts) -

I'm actually baffled that this turned into a matter of controversy. Duders, it's 100 bucks. I know nothing about videogame production, but certainly that 100 bucks is peanuts. I mean, it's 100 bucks.

#83 Posted by Shivoa (612 posts) -

@atomic_dumpling: GCC or Clang, Visual Studio Express editions, Eclipse, GIMP, Blender, OpenGL & DirectX SDKs, Unity free edition, Unreal Development Kit, GLFW or SDL, XNA, and on and on and on.

So many different tools, engines, compilers, and so on and they all have one thing in common: they cost $0.00 for the developer. A hand-me-down computer from 8 years ago can build a game, you can see amazing things built on old hardware (with every penny on the software in that case and an 8500GT as the GPU) and due to the democratisation of the tool chain then the software can be free (as a reasonable alternative to piracy of software that costs more than someone's annual salary).

Western European/American/etc wealth levels are not universal but technology skills are not lagging so far behind. Computers are everywhere so you can't just look around you and see what $100 means and how much things cost and the hardware people own. Interesting things can come out of a next-to-free PC with no paid software designed and built by a dedicated developer with talent and a different perspective to someone who has always had money. I don't think we should be looking at $100 and shrugging (in fact that's why dozens of indies took up the call and got behind the idea of loans and helping other indies with finding this fee). Are we saying the only people allowed to troll are those who will spend $100 to do it and that asking $10 wouldn't have the same effect? Surely $10 would be enough and rather than divert it to charity then pay for someone to help sift and remove the trolls that make it through or help guide the people who haven't clearly understood the process.

This fee is a solution, the general chatter about it from the development communities is if this is a fair solution and if it is the best solution.

#84 Posted by Binman88 (3684 posts) -

@Deusoma said:

@Oi_Blimey said:

@Shivoa said:

I'm glad to see so many rich people talking about how little $100 means to them. I'm sure that they speak having lived on the typical wages in many areas of the world far from their current decadent existence and so are able to be so authoritative on how small change that value is for everyone.

If you're not "rich" enough to get $100, then you probably don't have the equipment/facilities to help you in making a pc game. If people in your part of the world can afford a pc or laptop to make their game, $100 is not too much to ask.

And in the case of the argument that they borrowed the pc for making the game... well borrow the $100... if the game is not going to make the $100 back, then it really is a waste of time for everyone involved.

And what if it's a high-quality game that the creator wishes to give away for free, hmmm? There are plenty of free-to-play games on Steam. Charging money to give a game away seems an altogether different proposition.

Are there really that many people who wish to give away their games for free and get nothing in return? If they make money through micropayments, then the $100 is not an issue. If they make zero money, then they don't really need the marketing push of Steam, because what use is widening your audience for a product that makes no money? If it's to get their name out there with a completely free product to showcase their skills, then the $100 fee seems like a very small price to pay for that exposure.

I don't see the problem.

#85 Posted by ThePickle (4155 posts) -

@TopFloor said:

@ThePickle said:

The fee makes sense. They got to keep the riff-raff out somehow.

X( That's exactly what I don't want. I thought the point of Greenlight was for the community to decide what were the good games, not to have a entry fee determine it for us.

By riff raff, I meant stuff like this:

This kind of stuff clogs up the system and potentially overshadows legitimate games.

#86 Posted by bhhawks78 (1203 posts) -

If you can't spend 100$ to get your game in front of millions of steam users? You shouldn't be making your game for steam.

Without this 100$ charity fee 90% of greenlight was spam/trolls/mspaint flash game bullshit.

Now? Might actually be able to find the diamonds in the rough.

#87 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -

@JoeyRavn: Well written. I'd also like to point out that not every game has only one man behind it. I'm not sure where people got that idea. You're all acting as if Steam wants a 100 euros from each and everyone working on the game.

Even if the size of the team only counts 3 people then that's 33 euros per person. You can earn that kind of money in a week.

#88 Posted by ShawnDC (39 posts) -

Valve wants $100 while Slenderman only wants $20.

Who is the REAL faceless monster?!

#89 Posted by zombie2011 (4969 posts) -

I don't think $100 is that much.

However, i have a feeling that if anyone else like EA or MS had something similar and were charging $100 submission fees people would go nuts, but because this is Valve nobody cares.

#90 Posted by reelife (315 posts) -

wait hold on, I submitted my game on steam when greenlight was launched... It didn't say anything about a payment... Are they going to take money from me now or what?

#91 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2462 posts) -
@Dagbiker said:

I love all these assumptions being thrown around about peoples passions equaling the amount of money they have.

So, here is this dude who found a crummy yet somehow working PC on the scrapyard and programmed a nifty game using pirated software and Open Source tools. Even though he is absolutely broke, his soul burns with passion for his creation. 
 
Yeah, a real hero that one.
#92 Posted by Bocam (3681 posts) -

A hundred bucks isn't really that much money. It's also going to charity.

#93 Edited by valrog (3671 posts) -

@reelife said:

wait hold on, I submitted my game on steam when greenlight was launched... It didn't say anything about a payment... Are they going to take money from me now or what?

No.

Note: Anyone who has already posted a submission to Greenlight will not have to retroactively pay for any existing submissions, but will need to do so for any future submissions.
#94 Edited by WarlockEngineerMoreDakka (432 posts) -

@atomic_dumpling said:

@Dagbiker said:

I love all these assumptions being thrown around about peoples passions equaling the amount of money they have.

So, here is this dude who found a crummy yet somehow working PC on the scrapyard and programmed a nifty game using pirated software and Open Source tools. Even though he is absolutely broke, his soul burns with passion for his creation. Yeah, a real hero that one.

Anything's possible. :P

$100 might not mean a whole lot to us- but it might mean a bunch to Indies who don't have any other employment and somehow can't secure any. :O

#95 Posted by EarlessShrimp (1631 posts) -

at least it'll keep some of the riff-raff out, making half-life 3 shits and etc.

#96 Posted by reelife (315 posts) -

@valrog: freaked out, sorry, I didn't see that.

#97 Posted by cikame (972 posts) -

I have to imagine the people who can't cough up $100 are the not serious ones... which is the point.

#98 Posted by Sin4profit (2910 posts) -

I've found a lot of games on greenlight that you can go, from the description, straight to the developer's website and play for free...if you can't pay $100 for what is no more then higher marketing then ya can get fucked ya entitled piece'a shit.

As far as an off-site filtration system as Ed Key is suggesting, the $100 fee takes care of that already, it's called a "fund raiser".

What's the minimum payment to buy the tools you need to even make video games? Are these people coding their games at the library? I love the innovation that can come from indie games but i feel "the scene" is painting the "starving artist" image a little too thick.

#99 Posted by beepmachine (618 posts) -

In what world is a 100$ submission fee a "drastic measure." And saying that the decision is "controversial" and then not quoting anyone who is out and out railing against the fee is misleading. Also, Ed Key's plan would just result in the community having to filter the crap again, which is why the fee is there in the first place.

#100 Posted by Shivoa (612 posts) -

@atomic_dumpling: Yes, I'm glad you looked at my long list of free software and assumed it was all 'dat dar Open Source thingy'. I'm glad you've got money, I hope you pay all the taxes you're meant to so at least some of it goes to helping people who don't. $100 isn't small change for a not insignificant portion of people, especially people working in an industry with really lousy job security who have to get though periods on unemployment.

Some of us are well off, thinking this is a universal (or that anyone with a keyboard and a 10 year old PC not worth anything but scrap metal value now other than it still works and it can run everything you need to make a decent game is automatically not poor) is pretty blinkered.

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