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!