What the hell is Steam Greenlight?

Posted by ErgoMeSmart (41 posts) -

This is an idiot's guide to Steam Greenlight, to hopefully answer some of the commonly asked questions about the service and maybe present it to people who may have not heard of it previously.

What the hell is Steam Greenlight?

Put simply, it's a service for people to try and get games onto Steam. Users of Steam then vote for games they like, and if the game gets enough votes it might get onto Steam.

Finally! I'm off to submit Half Life 3 and Minecraft to finally get them on Steam!

No. You can only submit games you own the rights to onto Steam Greenlight. So no trying to submit Modern Warfare 4 or Red Dead Redemption.

Will 'big' games have to go through Greenlight?

No. Greenlight is pretty much only for 'smaller' indie developers to try and get onto Steam. Bigger developers still go direct to Valve.

Do I get to play the games on the service for free?

No. You can't play any of the games on Greenlight through Steam, only vote for them. You can of course play the games if they are on other services such as iOS, Android, Desura, Indie City or XBLIG.

I've made a game. Can I submit it to Greenlight?

Of course. It'll cost you $100 though.

$100?! That's a rip-off!

The $100 fee is to keep out fake submissions from people who didn't know the answer to the second point, with all of the money going to Child's Play, so Valve don't actually make any money from it.

The $100 fee is also a one-off fee per developer, not per game. So once you've paid your $100, you're welcome to submit as much as you like.

Of course, there's a bit of a debate about this fee, but that's a post for another day...

But $100 sounds like a lot! Is that more than other services?

Compared to other major PC services, that's about, oh, $100 more. Both Desura and Indie City allow you to put your game on their service for free, but of course take a cut of every sale.

Comparing with other platforms though, a one-off $100 fee is quite cheap, with both iOS and XBLIG being $100 a year to publish on those platforms. Android is a little better though, with only a one-off $25 fee to get onto Google Play.

OK, fine, I've paid the $100. How many votes do I need to get onto Steam?

Nobody knows. Even Valve are still working on what the number of votes needed will be.

Do the downvotes counter the upvotes?

Nope. Downvotes simply hide the game from the person who downvoted it.

Once I get the amount of votes needed am I certain to get onto Steam?

Even then it isn't certain. Valve still reserve the right to still reject games from getting onto Steam even if they reach the number of votes needed.

Have I missed a point or got something completely wrong? Feel free to post it in the comments!

#1 Posted by ErgoMeSmart (41 posts) -

This is an idiot's guide to Steam Greenlight, to hopefully answer some of the commonly asked questions about the service and maybe present it to people who may have not heard of it previously.

What the hell is Steam Greenlight?

Put simply, it's a service for people to try and get games onto Steam. Users of Steam then vote for games they like, and if the game gets enough votes it might get onto Steam.

Finally! I'm off to submit Half Life 3 and Minecraft to finally get them on Steam!

No. You can only submit games you own the rights to onto Steam Greenlight. So no trying to submit Modern Warfare 4 or Red Dead Redemption.

Will 'big' games have to go through Greenlight?

No. Greenlight is pretty much only for 'smaller' indie developers to try and get onto Steam. Bigger developers still go direct to Valve.

Do I get to play the games on the service for free?

No. You can't play any of the games on Greenlight through Steam, only vote for them. You can of course play the games if they are on other services such as iOS, Android, Desura, Indie City or XBLIG.

I've made a game. Can I submit it to Greenlight?

Of course. It'll cost you $100 though.

$100?! That's a rip-off!

The $100 fee is to keep out fake submissions from people who didn't know the answer to the second point, with all of the money going to Child's Play, so Valve don't actually make any money from it.

The $100 fee is also a one-off fee per developer, not per game. So once you've paid your $100, you're welcome to submit as much as you like.

Of course, there's a bit of a debate about this fee, but that's a post for another day...

But $100 sounds like a lot! Is that more than other services?

Compared to other major PC services, that's about, oh, $100 more. Both Desura and Indie City allow you to put your game on their service for free, but of course take a cut of every sale.

Comparing with other platforms though, a one-off $100 fee is quite cheap, with both iOS and XBLIG being $100 a year to publish on those platforms. Android is a little better though, with only a one-off $25 fee to get onto Google Play.

OK, fine, I've paid the $100. How many votes do I need to get onto Steam?

Nobody knows. Even Valve are still working on what the number of votes needed will be.

Do the downvotes counter the upvotes?

Nope. Downvotes simply hide the game from the person who downvoted it.

Once I get the amount of votes needed am I certain to get onto Steam?

Even then it isn't certain. Valve still reserve the right to still reject games from getting onto Steam even if they reach the number of votes needed.

Have I missed a point or got something completely wrong? Feel free to post it in the comments!

#2 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

whats green?

#3 Posted by AlexW00d (6275 posts) -

We say indie games only, but I see Gray Matter and Venetica on greenlight, and both of those games are like, actual games. Not sure why they weren't on Steam in the first place though.

#4 Posted by buft (3318 posts) -

the service is useless without some sort of demo for the end user to play, why set up a system where people judge a book by its cover.

#5 Posted by Peanut (954 posts) -

Where's the part about how Steam Greenlight is a somehow shittier version of XBLIG where you don't even get to TRY any of the awful shit on there for laffs? 

#6 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -

What Valve considers "big" or "indie" seems pretty arbitrary. There are publishers who have already successfully released games on Steam and who few would consider indie, and they're still forced to go through Greenlight.

#7 Posted by laserbolts (5322 posts) -

Wait there are no demos? How does it work then?

#8 Posted by Gaff (1758 posts) -

Isn't Steam Greenlight supposed to supplement the standard Valve application process? In other words, Valve is saying: "Yeah, we're swamped at the moment, so it might take a while until your game shows up on Steam. In the meantime, here's Steam Greenlight, where you can persuade the public to vote on your game! Good luck!". I might have misunderstood something about Greenlight, but that's the impression I got.

Also:

But $100 sounds like a lot! Is that more than other services?
Compared to other major PC services, that's about, oh, $100 more. Both Desura and Indie City allow you to put your game on their service for free, but of course take a cut of every sale.

What? There are other places where a developer can publish a game?!

#9 Posted by Peanut (954 posts) -
@laserbolts said:
Wait there are no demos? How does it work then?
You look at pictures and maybe a video and then decide based on absolutely fucking nothing.
#10 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -

Demos can and should be linked to when they are available. It's not required though, and there's no dedicated field for it.

#11 Posted by EquitasInvictus (2030 posts) -

@Peanut said:

@laserbolts said:
Wait there are no demos? How does it work then?
You look at pictures and maybe a video and then decide based on absolutely fucking nothing.

@LordAndrew said:

Demos can and should be linked to when they are available. It's not required though, and there's no dedicated field for it.

Yeah, a lot of the developers who do demos/early builds have done a great job in pushing links at the very least. I've noticed this since a lot of the discussion in the pages of the games with demos/early builds actually mention them substantially.

#12 Posted by Peanut (954 posts) -
@LordAndrew: I agree. There really should be a more surfaced area for obtaining demos, though.

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