Developers Mixed on Greenlight's $100 Submission Fee

#201 Posted by Vao (329 posts) -

I'm all for the fee so it weeds out the devs that want to be on the service. It wouldn't take much to throw together some mock designs and put it up on the site just to see if people like it or hate it then it turns into vapor ware and will never come out.

Whats really sad is how far $100 goes anymore when it comes to games, ive spent more then that on two games recently :/

#202 Posted by Addfwyn (1947 posts) -

$100 per developer, not per game for a chance to be published on Steam seems like pretty much a steal. Not to mention it goes to charity anyway.

We're talking being able to publish your game for next to nothing compared to what it usually costs. It helps weed out jokes but $100 should be a drop in the bucket of a serious development budget. Especially since you only have to ever pay it once.

#203 Posted by selbie (1969 posts) -

I'm behind Valve 100%. The only compromise I could see them making is to make the $100 a deposit that is refunded after a certain waiting period for the game's listing.

But, whatever IMO. This fee will weed out the developers that can't even keep track of their own finances.

#204 Posted by Wilshere (343 posts) -

It doesn't sound controversial at all. They are making a favor to the devs and the consumers by cutting down on the spam. Now it will be easier for the consumers to find quality games, rather than getting annoyed by troll entries and leaving the service for good. Devs who can't afford $100 probably should get a part time job or sell their fixed gear bike.

#205 Posted by believer258 (12191 posts) -
there is unfortunately a significant amount of noise and clutter being submitted, either as a joke or by fans not fully understanding the purpose of Greenlight.”

I don't see how someone couldn't have popped up and said "Hey guys? Uh, what are we going to do if tons of people just start submitting shit they put together in five minutes and then get all their friends to bump it"?

Valve doesn't seem to remember that, in the grand scheme of things, $100 isn't much money for a large number of people.

#206 Posted by Joey2683 (377 posts) -

I don't know if anyone else said, but last paragraph says "If it means that that great game gets". Not a big deal, just trying to keep your scoops delicious!

#207 Posted by Dixavd (1369 posts) -

@Joey2683 said:

I don't know if anyone else said, but last paragraph says "If it means that that great game gets". Not a big deal, just trying to keep your scoops delicious!

It's in a quote so the person said it, so Patrick would be ill advised to change it to make it more readable. Secondly, it makes sense. The first 'that' is referencing an event occuring: to help explain it, you could read the phrase without the game in it and you would understand the first 'that' s meaning.

"If it means that that gets a chance to sell on Steam, fantastic."

The second 'that' is referencing thwt is being put on Steam. To understand it you could read it by replacing the second 'that' with a 'this', like this:

"If it means that this great game gets a chance to sell on Steam, fantastic."

And so the original quote makes sense. It is a sentence which relies on the emphasis that you read it with to make sense, so it isn't the best kind of wording to use in written form. Since it was a quote though, it is ok in this instance. I hope this helped :)

#208 Posted by sickVisionz (1268 posts) -

If you don't have enough faith to put up $100 for your game, it probably doesn't deserve to be on Steam. If you don't have the $$$ to put up $100, you probably don't have the resources to actually finish the game anyways. Either way, if the $100 is a game over situation for you then your project probably isn't worth being put on Steam.

For the interface issues... I don't see any issues. Greenlight is where you vote for games to be on Steam. I never thought that it was supposed to be a new and exciting way for gamers to discover games. It always struck me as a system for already established games to get on Steam. The developers get their Greenlight URL and they goto their fanbase like, "hey, visit this page and vote for our game to be on Steam." To me, it's a system where a game is made and already has a fan base and the whole point is to leverage that fanbase to get on Steam. The fact that a dev can point their fans directly to their Greenlight page makes everything AOK imo.

#209 Posted by Dixavd (1369 posts) -

As for my opinion on this. It seems fine on the outset but what a shitty response this is. I am with Sos Soswoski; adding a fee to the popularity contenst and not a fee to the normal entry (the one that would make sense having one so they can pay staff to look at entries) makes the entire Greenlight system pointless. It isn't contriversial because of the cost, it is contriversial because it completely shoots the selling point of the system in the foot (who in their right mind would pay $100 to get a game on Steam through a popularity contest rather than keep the money and put it through the normal way which cannot be interfered by trolls voting like idiots? No sane first-time developer would, even if they could easily pay the fee. They won't have the voice to get people to vote for them and overpower the trolls, when the normal way at least is fully judged on their game.

This move just goes even further to pushing away first-time developers and giving more power to those that have previously done relatively well: A developer on their second game is almost certainly not going to find a problem getting the money. A person on their second game has a much bigger following to be able to get their game at least on the front page of Greenlight. It almost turns the entire system into a pay-to-win free-to-play-game.

I am not against the cost at all. I just think they charged for the wrong side. It should be that they give the option to developers of "make your game stand out amongst the lower quality/trolls' games on Greenlight; or pay us to judge it personally". Or it should be a cost for both. This way just seems completely reactionary.

But the worst part for me is that it will almost certainly fail at removing the trolls. They can still affect the votes of the game for free. And they likely also think that $100 isn't that much money. You would be surprised how willing some people are to spend lots of money to mess with systems like this. My other fear is that this makes Steam even more of a target for hacking and phishing. I feel like with both of those, it will make the system more of a breeding ground for shitty people and turn away some developers who maybe don't want to take the risk (maybe it is just a hobby for them) but their games could be stellar.

I am not against this move primarily. In fact, in principle I am for it. But it definitely looks like a move that Valve did because they needed to react fast rather than thinking about the reprocussions of the system.

#210 Posted by ShatterShock (70 posts) -

You can't imagine all the sad faces I had to see at the local homeless shelter today. They were working on the best game ever, and were ready to set it up for submission and everything. Now this happens and their ticket out of poverty is destroyed forever. :(

#211 Posted by Scooper (7881 posts) -

It's a great idea. $100 is the perfect charge too. It's not a lot of money and it stops jokers putting up crap that wastes people's time and it's not $10,000 or something which would stop any small developers putting up their great games. Basically if you aren't willing to drop $100 behind your game then chances are it's not worth playing.

#212 Posted by Parsnip (1116 posts) -

As long as it keeps the fucking trolls out.

#213 Posted by eloj (501 posts) -
@TehChich said:

I was going to try making a game on my own, actually learn a program like Unity and stuff. But I'm a student. I can't afford to drop 100 dollars on a maybe.

You seem confused about temporality. First you make a game, THEN you submit it.
 
So you have a good four-five years at least before you have a good enough game ready that those $100 will be an issue for you, and honestly, enough can change in that time that you probably shouldn't worry, even if you can't spare the 50c/week it'd take to save up to the fee.
#214 Posted by Cusseta (107 posts) -

This has only been mentioned about 200 times so far, so I'm going to mention it again. If you can't afford the $100 entry fee, you obviously suck at life. There are plenty of times (right now as a matter of fact) that I don't have $100 to speak of; however, if I need that $100 for any reason, you can bet your ass I'll come up with it.

#215 Posted by dropabombonit (1492 posts) -

I don't see how $100 is a big deal if you are serious about making a game and think it is good. Also stops people posting random stuff

#216 Posted by valrog (3648 posts) -
#217 Posted by Dick_Mohawk (386 posts) -

I can't help noticing that those complaining about the $100 fee are blaming Valve. Why aren't you blaming the immature wankers who caused them to bring in this measure in the first place?

#218 Posted by AiurFlux (902 posts) -

Greenlight is kind of shit anyway to be honest. The fact that 100,000 people could upvote something, and then 200,000 idiots come along with generic complains of, "ZOMG THIS IS A MINECRAFT CLONER!" then proceed to downvote it and ruin it's shot is stupid. Even when the game has nothing to fucking do with Minecraft it happens. They need to genuinely reevaluate Greenlight because it simply is not good, nor accurate, enough. Furthermore there absolutely NEEDS to be demos. This shouldn't be an option. There needs to be some sort of proof of concept. This isn't Kickstarter where you're placing your hopes on something and throwing wishes to the wind.

But that's beside the point. If a 100 dollar fee to limit the amount of shit going up on Greenlight, and believe me there's been a LOT of shit going up on Greenlight, is your limiting factor then you shouldn't be making a game. Plus that money is going to a fucking charity for crying out loud. Maybe some of these indie developers should make a good game and have faith in their product instead of trying to have a quick cash grab.

#219 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3994 posts) -

Is $100 that much money? You have to spend money to make money and that's a low entry fee. I can't believe this is an issue. I'm a person who has been thinking about making a game for a while and I'd expect to put in at least $100, especially with the potential to make money off it. I don't get this at all.

#220 Posted by Diablos1125 (181 posts) -

$100 aint shit. I spend more on gas weekly. If $100 is stopping you from pursuing your dreams as a game designer then it didn't take much to stop you

#221 Posted by Curufinwe (1267 posts) -

@ChrisTaran said:

I will never touch Greenlight again due to Valve's asinine $100 fee. There's supposed to be a lot of smart people at that company and this is what they come up with?

And you won't be missed.

$100 is entirely reasonable. The only thing Valve did wrong is not charge it from the beginning.

#222 Posted by SpartanHoplite (387 posts) -

Not that much of $__$ if you're serious about you're game. Valve is great way to distribute & 100$ is fair, it even goes to charity. I'm poor, but if i ever make a game good enough for Steam, 100$ is nothing.

#223 Posted by SmilingPig (1341 posts) -

I don’t really like opening Steam and going true 70 indie games and expansion for games I don’t have, I wish I could customise my store page to exclude those.

#225 Posted by ChernobylCow (238 posts) -

Sometimes you read a story and it really makes you think "first world problems".

#226 Posted by Incapability (216 posts) -

I think it's a perfectly fine solution. Anyone serious about doing business should be able to drop 100 bucks without any sort of hesitation. If you hesitate, thinking that it seems unlikely you'll ever see a return on that, simply don't spend that money on Steam. Seek other sources of revenue, get people talking about your game, do whatever you need to get to the point where you feel confident.

Steam isn't the ONLY way you can sell your game, but it IS an attractive platform.

#227 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12115 posts) -

I see no issue. If the developer is serious, than fronting that kind of cash should be inconsequential.

#228 Posted by themangalist (1747 posts) -

$100 for a chance is business. It always HAS been when anyone decides to come out of their danky basements and hope they'll make it big... I don't think it's a problem, that's how society works. The problem is that Valve seemed to be giving the chance to everyone a free chance and then taking it away. It really doesn't matter if it goes to charity or not; it's $100 for a chance either way. Makes Valve look really bad. So as some dude above said, this is definitely NOT the best way the screening process could be.

#229 Posted by Dan_CiTi (3521 posts) -

It's $100 on iOS too. Is this really that big of a deal? Or are people just used to Valve giving away freebies?

#230 Edited by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

@Curufinwe said:

@ChrisTaran said:

I will never touch Greenlight again due to Valve's asinine $100 fee. There's supposed to be a lot of smart people at that company and this is what they come up with?

And you won't be missed.

$100 is entirely reasonable. The only thing Valve did wrong is not charge it from the beginning.

No reason to be uncivil, some of us have different opinions, and that's fine. But don't be jerks about it.

#231 Posted by Grilledcheez (3957 posts) -

It seems fair to me, $100 should be passable for people who are willing to give up hours and hours of sleep to make a game.

#232 Posted by ITgeek (18 posts) -

I welcome this change to the Greenlight service. This should help to prevent all the noise that currently clutters the service. I saw way too much of "I took these pornographic pictures and made a game submission" posts. Made it difficult to find the real developers and give them a thumbs up.

#233 Edited by toots (478 posts) -

the fee IS a good idea, and it's not even approaching the cost it takes to make a game worth playing if you take in all the factors. This isn't newgrounds, this is a distribution service allowing unknowns a shot at the big leagues. People in this case I think should be thankful they are allowing this at all instead of griping about a relatively small fee that keeps the shit away from the stuff with potential and passion behind it. The worst case scenario for anyone who can't afford the $100 fee is a very short waiting period, I know that some bums make over a hundred dollars in a day or two, so this isn't going to kill the service and shouldn't make valve the bad guy. I mean, they are paying for a computer and internet already, right?

#234 Posted by StarFoxA (5163 posts) -

I'm going to be honest... if a game developer isn't willing to bet $100 on their game's success, then it doesn't belong on Steam.

#235 Posted by Tolkienfanatic (99 posts) -

$100 is less than fifteen hours of minimum wage work, the argument that this could stop anyone who is serious about getting their game published befuddles me.

#236 Posted by AxleBro (793 posts) -

If you don't have 100 dollars worth of confidence in your game then it doesn't belong on steam, day one everything after page 3 was newgrounds dating sims and ms paint furry drawings, THAT SHIT DOESN'T GO THERE!

#237 Posted by Agikamike (56 posts) -

Oh mansies. I thought it was 100 a game at first, and thought that was steep. I like the idea of a pay wall, but even 20 dollars would stop the sheer spam.

But per dev, forever? That's really nothing.

#238 Posted by Konig2540 (71 posts) -

@StarFoxA said:

I'm going to be honest... if a game developer isn't willing to bet $100 on their game's success, then it doesn't belong on Steam.

This.

#239 Posted by Protonguy (306 posts) -

If you aren't confident in your game enough to put down such an insignificant amount of money then it's not the right place for you and there are other avenues for you to pursue. Let's take a look at some numbers, i'll use the Australian metrics since it's something I have at hand.

Minimum wages in Australia:

  • Under 16 years of age $5.87
  • At 16 years of age $7.55
  • At 17 years of age $9.22
  • At 18 years of age $10.90
  • At 19 years of age $13.17
  • At 20 years of age $15.59.

If you're under 16 you need to work 17 hours... at age 14 pushing shopping carts i'd of easily got this in 2 weeks working just time on my weekends.

Yes there are probably people making games who can barely keep the lights on, kickstarter or an outside investor is probably the path you need to follow. Steam doing this seems like an obvious move, what isn't obvious is them giving the money to charity, which is awesome of them.

#240 Posted by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

I think if they are going to be charging 100$ then they need to make the game pages better, orginize them better, make me want to stay on the page longer, and not search for key words, like "tower defense" or "FPS" and rate down. And move on to the next game.

#241 Posted by Cusseta (107 posts) -

After making the statement below regarding the $100 submission fee, I received a message from Shivoa about money and sexism. I had to post the following conversation because it seems so absolutely ludicrous. Can someone please tell me what I am missing here, because I have no clue how coming up with $100 has ANYTHING to do with white male privilege or being "well off" : /

@Cusseta said:

If you can't afford the $100 entry fee, you obviously suck at life. There are plenty of times (right now as a matter of fact) that I don't have $100 to speak of; however, if I need that $100 for any reason, you can bet your ass I'll come up with it.

Shivoa said:

Wow, this deserves to be preserved. Nothing like money and sexism for showing that true gaming spirit. Everyone on a level playing field, equality for all, but don't mind if I enjoy this easy mode flag.

Cusseta said:

money and sexism? What are talking about?

Shivoa said:

"If you can't afford the $100 entry fee, you obviously suck at life." means you have no concept of a world outside of your own existence where $100 is no big thing. Which is an argument mirrored by the 'easy mode straight white guy doesn't see any sexism or racism in the world because they're not exposed to it' issue. Your life experience at being close to massive rivers of money, always flowing and able to be diverted when needed, is not universal.

$100 is not some universally easy to acquire sum that the only people who don't have to spare are clearly lazy or stupid. Lots of people without $100 don't suck at life, they were dealt bad cards and so unlike us they probably deserve to get a break once in a while rather than new walls being erected to make sure people who want to pay money and people with something to sell don't meet unless the seller already has the Benjamins to throw at a popularity contest to get their face time with Valve in a pitch meeting.

Why not mull that one over for a bit rather than blindly shouting down the developers speaking out who has an issue with paywalls being erected and laughing at anyone who isn't well off.

Cusseta said:

I don't know if you're talking about some third-world country or something of that sort. If you are, then I agree with you, but people in third-world countries probably aren't developing video games either. With that said, a person can LITERALLY stand on the side of the road and BEG to come up with $100. In 2003, I did that exact thing. My friend and I didn't have anywhere to live or even stay for the night (legally anyway) and resorted to actual BEGGING for change. We made over $100 PER DAY, let's not even get into what we pulled in a week. White male and well off? You must think very little of those less fortunate than you to think they can't come up with $100. This isn't the 1940s where $100 was some kind of pipe dream. If you don't think enough of your personal goals (in this case, developing a video game) to come up with $100 then you need to be in another line of work. Mull that over before you make ridiculous "do-gooder" statements like your last one.

#242 Edited by fisk0 (4486 posts) -

@Tolkienfanatic said:

$100 is less than fifteen hours of minimum wage work, the argument that this could stop anyone who is serious about getting their game published befuddles me.

Wages differ quite a bit between regions, for someone in a really shitty position, $100 could be just enough to get fed for 14 days. That said, it isn't a very high entry fee, but I do think a lower fee (maybe in the $20 range) would've been enough to weed out fake entries. But I do think Bruce said it really well - Steam isn't the only digital distribution platform out there, even though it's the most successful. But it's not unreasonable to say that they could put their game up on something like GOG, Gamers Gate, Desura, Humble Store or even Gamestop and get the $100 necessary to submit it to Greenlight that way. If they fail to sell at all on those platforms, there is no reason to expect it to sell on Steam either (or get the amount of votes required to pass the Greenlight process).

#243 Posted by mikmanner (91 posts) -

Rock, Paper, Shotgun much?

#244 Posted by Rox360 (1079 posts) -

I agree with most of the comments here in theory. If you can't shell out an extra 100 bucks on your game, it probably doesn't belong on Steam anyway. However, it's important to remember that this isn't 100 bucks to get on Steam. It's 100 bucks to let a bunch of random Internet strangers use a voting system, that's unproven thus far, to give your game a chance of appearing on Steam. There's no telling if Greenlight even works as intended, so far. There's no telling what kind of games will prove popular with whatever audience sticks around to keep voting on stuff, and there's no telling how long it could take for that whole process to pan out. Adding a free on top of that, however trivial the amount, just makes it seem like kind of a bad deal to me, at least right now.

If Greenlight ends up working as intended, with a bunch of people using it to effectively prioritize interesting games to get them on the service faster than would otherwise be possible, then yeah, this all seems like a big ol' overreaction and devs should just pony up. But we don't know if it works yet, so at this point it almost seems riskier to use Greenlight than the normal submission method. I think that's where the guy who said Greenlight is making itself redundant is coming from.

In the words of yet another Indie type person: "Charging a fee doesn't sort the people who are good or serious, it sorts between those with the fee and those without. XBLIG has a fee. Filled with shit. App store has a fee. Filled with shit. Android. Fees. Filled with shit. And on..."

#247 Edited by fisk0 (4486 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@fisk0 said:

I do think a lower fee (maybe in the $20 range) would've been enough to weed out fake entries.

$20 isn't enough to weed out the shitty entries though. I encourage everyone to go sift through a few hundreds of the current candidates and time yourselves to see how quickly you get tired of the highschool computer lab projects which have been dumped into the system, or the "I scribbled some awful concept art into my journal and decided to share it publicly because I'm delusional about my level of skill" pitches standing between you and the actual games.

That's what the voting and "collections" feature is for. A game needs to get quite a lot of votes to reach "Pending" status (as no game has reached that level yet, we don't quite know what will happen - but Valve employees still probably have to make the final call on if it should be on Steam), if a game really is legitimately terrible, I think it's unlikely that it would get that far. But fake submissions for stuff like Wizardry 8, Half-life 3 (both of which where on Greenlight for a while), and many other games that the submitting user didn't have the actual rights for would probably not appear if there was any upfront fee at all, no matter how small. If you truly only want AAA titles, they could set the paywall at a million bucks, and you'd only get Call of Duty clones on there. Even though a lot of the indie titles are unpolished, and most of them are derivative, there are gems that share many of the traits of games that people seem to think automatically means terrible. To the Moon was made in RPG maker for example.

#249 Edited by fisk0 (4486 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@fisk0: I like to hit the random list generator and look at all of the games it serves up in order to decrease the chance of overlooking something worthwhile. Currently, I find that once you refresh the list three or four times it starts serving up genuine dreck, not just potentially "bad" or ugly games. Had the $100 fee been in place at launch, I doubt that there would be nearly as much genuine garbage clogging up the works.

I wanted to link some examples of what I mean but Greenlight just stopped functioning, so maybe later.

I have looked through every single of the 600+ submissions that were on there 2 days ago. Yes, most of the stuff I wouldn't purchase if it was on Steam, so I didn't vote for it. I probably wouldn't vote for another third person cover based military shooter set in 2014, where you can carry two weapons at a time, most of which are variations on assault rifles and submachine guns and with a predominantly brown color palette either. My opinion isn't important though, the point of Greenlight is to see what a cross section of the Steam users would like to see in the store. Be it military shooters, minecraft clones or visual novels. If the majority doesn't think a game is interesting they won't vote for it, and it won't be accepted. Last I checked they had made the list generator to choose from a selection of both the most recent submissions and the most popular, so games that people are genuinely interested in shouldn't drown among the many poor submissions. I'm sure they'll also refine the generator with time.

#250 Posted by Rox360 (1079 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@Rox360 said:

In the words of yet another Indie type person: "Charging a fee doesn't sort the people who are good or serious, it sorts between those with the fee and those without. XBLIG has a fee. Filled with shit. App store has a fee. Filled with shit. Android. Fees. Filled with shit. And on..."

Doesn't that quote suggest that the problem is rarely the platform or the fee, it's the developers‽

Yes, it does. The same "developers" mentioned earlier, with their amazing mazes and stick figure action games. The kind of people Valve are trying to scare off with the $100 fee. And some of which won't be deterred at all, because they genuinely think their "game" is good and people would want to pay for it and they'll get their hundred bucks back in no time. The fee doesn't weed out the delusional, just the poor.

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