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Valve Launches Indie-Focused Steam Greenlight

Smaller developers have a chance at rallying fans for a spot on Steam.

No Caption Provided

Steam isn't the wild west, and not every game can appear on Valve's distribution service. Valve curates the games that appear on Steam, and sometimes that means it misses out on great games.

Steam Greenlight, launched today, attempts to curb that problem.

Greenlight allows developers to submit their project, and users can, then, potentially vote games into Steam.

Games like Dream, an intriguing first-person adventure that promises something altogether different.

Dream is a first person atmospheric exploration game that has you assume the role of Howard Phillips, a young graduate with no direction in life who develops an obsession with his dreams. Discover dreams and nightmares filled with puzzles and secrets to help Howard find the meaning to his life.

The narrative is split into 3 acts with multiple endings that are possible based on how much you as a player have explored. Each act immerses you in new worlds that help to decipher Howards past, emotions and ambitions. Confront Howard’s mislaid concerns in the form of nightmares and reconcile the loss of his uncle.

As with most things on Steam, Valve said Greenlight will be tweaked, based on feedback from both users and developers.

Make sure to mention promising projects you've found in the comments.

Patrick Klepek on Google+

104 Comments

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Hogans_Hotdogs

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Edited By Hogans_Hotdogs • 

@Mordi said:

@Hogans_Hotdogs said:

Basically I downvoted anything with zombies or "pixel art".

What's your beef with pixelart? It can be done excellently.

http://www.pixeljoint.com/pixels/new_icons.asp?ob=rating

I'll tell you why: to me it just comes off as trying to score 'retro' indie-cred, but lately I'm thinking in some cases it's just downright design laziness. I much prefer games with very nice 2d art (i.e. Braid, Capsized) as opposed to super cool retro ironic indie snes pixel graphics.

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buft

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Edited By buft • 

@cooljammer00 said:

But wait, you can't actually play a build of the game or whatever? Just screens and videos?

This is kinda dumb. I get why they won't allow it, but that doesn't make it less silly.

short demo would be nice, im not an art critic i wont vote on pictures

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TheAdmin

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Edited By TheAdmin • 

Vote for Gnomoria: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92929339

Gnomoria is a sandbox village management game where you help lead a small group of gnomes, who have set out on their own, to thrive into a bustling kingdom! Anything you see can be broken down and rebuilt elsewhere. Craft items, build structures, set traps and dig deep underground in search of precious resources to help your gnomes survive the harsh lands. Build your kingdom and stockpile wealth to attract wandering gnomads to your cause, but be wary of also attracting enemies!

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I_smell

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crithon

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Edited By crithon • 

I honestly was expecting 30 or 20 games to document their progress of being actual release. But instead we got a lot of Ports from ios, android and Nintendo 3ds stores as ports. Making it 350 games to shuffle through..... I don't know man, this might be a bit of a problem. The amount for a normal user to just go through before you vote on the type of game you want, is a bit too much and might scare people away from this.

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LordAndrew

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Edited By LordAndrew • 

@I_smell said:

I can confirm that it's pretty fun.

And if you can't trust the developer, who can you trust? ;)

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I_smell

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Edited By I_smell • 

@LordAndrew said:

@I_smell said:

I can confirm that it's pretty fun.

And if you can't trust the developer, who can you trust? ;)

Oh trust me, it used to suck!

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Oginam

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Edited By Oginam • 

Voted on everything so far...I wish they had a non-committal option because I do feel kinda bad down voting so many "my first rpgs", iOs ports, and indie platformers.

Don't feel bad about down voting all of LayerNet's crap though.

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inkerman

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Edited By inkerman • 

should do a roundup of games he thinks users should upvote every week in Worth Reading like with the Kickstarter section.

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CornBREDX

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Edited By CornBREDX • 

Oh man, there is already way to many slender man games on there.  
 
I want to give you indie devs out there some tips on what makes me click thumbs up. 
 
1) a Good Name. 
If you're game is called something dumb (sorry, but most of them are you guys) I skip it. 
  
2) A good picture. 
If the picture tells me nothing about your game... skipped. Being cool is a plus but needs more then that. I can see cool concepts and art anywhere. Grab me, yo! 
 
3) A good synopsis. 
If you do grab me with your picture and name, make the synopsis worth reading. Keep it to the point. Having a video of whatever you can show of your game is a plus but pictures only is fine too. If I'm interested in your game I'll thumb it up. 
 
Other then these, I thumb up games that I already want to be on steam. For instance No Time to Explain or The Real Texas. I've played one, the other I've seen before. Both should be on steam imo. 
 
Just my thoughts. Super interested in where this will go. Super worried it will get cluttered with garbage.

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Terramagi

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Edited By Terramagi • 

Oh hey LA-MULANA is on there.

Everything else is complete tripe. "Oh man look at this wacky faux retro game that I made because I have absolutely no graphical talent" coupled with a bunch of badly drawn anime dating sims.

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fentonalpha

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Edited By fentonalpha • 

It seems at least 50% of the titles on there are simulators made by Layernet.

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Rox360

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Edited By Rox360 • 
@cooljammer00 said:

But wait, you can't actually play a build of the game or whatever? Just screens and videos?

This is kinda dumb. I get why they won't allow it, but that doesn't make it less silly.

Depends on the game. I checked it out and upvoted a handful of titles earlier, all of which have been released outside of Steam before. I've already played Pulsen and Dinorun and I know enough about Reciever to know they'll do just fine on Steam. I think the best ticket to get success on Greenlight is to finish a game, at least partway and let people get acquainted with it elsewhere, then use the established playerbase to make the Greenlight process easier. A lot of experienced devs are already using that tactic, so if something interests you, it might be worth googling to see if it's already available elsewhere.
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JJWeatherman

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Edited By JJWeatherman • 

Independently developed video games are not important enough to demand the time and attention required of me to participate in this. I'd imagine that others must feel similarly.

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geirr

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Edited By geirr • 

@JJWeatherman said:

Independently developed video games are not important enough to demand the time and attention required of me to participate in this. I'd imagine that others must feel similarly.

I'd gladly take some time to help sort through the mess though the Steam client doesn't let me use tabs or anything and it's too slow to click on Greenlight, browse for a game of interest, view video/images, read, thumbs up/down, Click Greenlight again, wait for a minute, random bullshit steam error code, repeat.

Also there are some really cool ideas and projects there I'd hope people would at least take a look, they might be pleasantly surprised like myself.

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Barrock

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Edited By Barrock • 

If you see an example of a "great" game, take a screen shot so we can save and treasure the "greatness".

That said upvote The Real Texas!

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RWolf

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Edited By RWolf • 

@geirr said:

@JJWeatherman said:

Independently developed video games are not important enough to demand the time and attention required of me to participate in this. I'd imagine that others must feel similarly.

I'd gladly take some time to help sort through the mess though the Steam client doesn't let me use tabs or anything and it's too slow to click on Greenlight, browse for a game of interest, view video/images, read, thumbs up/down, Click Greenlight again, wait for a minute, random bullshit steam error code, repeat.

Also there are some really cool ideas and projects there I'd hope people would at least take a look, they might be pleasantly surprised like myself.

Don't use the steam client then

http://steamcommunity.com/greenlight/

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StealthRaptor

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Edited By StealthRaptor • 

I REALLY wish Valve hadn't encouraged people to upload games that are only in their early stages.

Edit: Why do so many game developers think I want to play as a cube?! You guys are mistaken!

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artofwar420

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Edited By artofwar420 • 

The start of great things to come!

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geirr

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Edited By geirr • 

@RWolf said:

@geirr said:

@JJWeatherman said:

Independently developed video games are not important enough to demand the time and attention required of me to participate in this. I'd imagine that others must feel similarly.

I'd gladly take some time to help sort through the mess though the Steam client doesn't let me use tabs or anything and it's too slow to click on Greenlight, browse for a game of interest, view video/images, read, thumbs up/down, Click Greenlight again, wait for a minute, random bullshit steam error code, repeat.

Also there are some really cool ideas and projects there I'd hope people would at least take a look, they might be pleasantly surprised like myself.

Don't use the steam client then

http://steamcommunity.com/greenlight/

I know I shouldn't use it but It's this weird mental barrier I can't break down. Greenlight and Workshop is making a very good argument for doing so though.

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BoringK

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Edited By BoringK • 

Late one night, Gabe quietly sneaks Half-Life 3 onto Greenlight.

Anyway, downvoting all zombie games, Slender games, tower defense games and Minecraft clones and upvoting all Metroidvanias.

Edit: Upvoting all games where you play as a cube because cubes are fuckin' awesome

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Barrock

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Edited By Barrock • 

@BoringK said:

Late one night, Gabe quietly sneaks Half-Life 3 onto Greenlight.

Anyway, downvoting all zombie games, Slender games, tower defense games and Minecraft clones and upvoting all Metroidvanias.

Edit: Upvoting all games where you play as a cube because cubes are fuckin' awesome

Please don't down vote games just because they involve a concept. What if it's actually a really great game that just so happens to involve zombies?

Oh god, so many people are thinking this is like a request service and are adding shit like Gears of War.

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Winternet

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Edited By Winternet • 

All those cubes are crying silently on a dark room waiting to be played. Think about it.

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Abendlaender

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Edited By Abendlaender • 

@BoringK:

Oh come on. Project Zomboid legitimately sounds awesome. Don't just vote down games without knowing them

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TechnoSyndrome

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Edited By TechnoSyndrome • 

Does Dream end with you being hired as the Gamemaster at Nintendo of America?

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l3reak

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Edited By l3reak • 

"I feel really bad down voting a game :("

If I know I'm going to feel bad about downvoting a game, I don't downvote it. ;) Don't worry about how successful it'll be, that's their concern. I mean, we're not voting about which games are even good. We're voting on whether to even give games a CHANCE to show they're good. That's what the marketplace is for. I only downvote a game if it looks like it doesn't even have a chance of being worthwhile.

Even if they only get a single sale, that's still better than the 0 steam sales they'd get otherwise. Basically, the only games I downvote are the ones that look like they don't even have effort put into them. Like very simple, very generic puzzle games - match-3, etc. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92982170 This is basically the prime example of something I'd downvote.

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EarlessShrimp

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Edited By EarlessShrimp • 

@Phatmac: seems pretty clogged thus far :(

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deactivated-5945386c8a570

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Edited By megalowho • 

There is really a lot of crap on here, and even more middling XNA/iOS/RPG Maker games that probably mean well but don't really belong on Steam either. I've heard some grumblings about a 'Thumbs Down' option being ripe for abuse, but it seems absolutely necessary to me.

That being said, even if games shouldn't end up on the service Greenlight is still a pretty awesome platform for discovery in general. And then there's the few that did actually fall through the cracks like The Real Texas and Octodad 2 that deserve to be pushed through. Hope this experiment ends up working as intended and being a success for all - as a path to getting more quality titles on Steam and as a feedback mechanism for budding developers.

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AssInAss

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Edited By AssInAss • 

I find one game goes to the very top of "I WANT THIS GAME NOW".

Miasmata

Loading Video...

JUST WATCH THE VIDEO AND BE MESMERIZED!

Miasmata is like a dream come true! First Person survival adventure game on an island and you're a plague-stricken scientist who needs to find a cure. Think if Far Cry wasn't a shooter. Day/night cycle, go find herbs and shit. Has some survival horror elements too with some cat creature that will try to kill you from time to time.

No Caption Provided

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fox01313

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Edited By fox01313 • 

Given the past results of internet voting on other sites, not sure how well this will go as it feels like so much of the better games will either get overlooked by the flimsy popular ones or it will eventually get scrapped as everything gets so many votes that all the games turn out to tie on the voting. I give it about a month before they change it to where the game has to be done before it can go up. Glad to see McPixel & Real Texas on this thing but with the internet being the internet, already seen enough of this so close to this project launching to see a ton of stupid simulator games (ie. Towing simulator, EuroTruck simulator) that seems to have such a niche appeal to them that it'd not do much to put them on steam as well as a handful of European accounts putting up EA games in Greenlight with tons of low res screenshots. This project of steam really needs some moderators to look at the entries before they go up.

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Smokey_Earhole

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Edited By Smokey_Earhole • 

@AssInAss said:

I find one game goes to the very top of "I WANT THIS GAME NOW".

Miasmata

JUST WATCH THE VIDEO AND BE MESMERIZED!

Miasmata is like a dream come true! First Person survival adventure game on an island and you're a plague-stricken scientist who needs to find a cure. Think if Far Cry wasn't a shooter. Day/night cycle, go find herbs and shit. Has some survival horror elements too with some cat creature that will try to kill you from time to time.

Mad Trespasser vibe got.

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Jonny_Anonymous

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Edited By Jonny_Anonymous • 

Is this kind of like a Steam Kickstarter but without the cash?

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deactivated-5945386c8a570

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xymox

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Edited By xymox • 

So many fake games and games not posted by the owners... Really hope they put up something like a $60 price point on submitting your games. Also hope they're smart enough to push an email out if a game you upvote or fav ends up being sold on steam... not much point otherwise.

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Edited By Nekroskop • 

Prepare yourself for a million Minecraft-clones and zombie-themed games.

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Edited By AssInAss • 
@SpartanHoplite

Devs, specially indie, should consider also using GOG. its very good platform.

Yeah it's seriously the best place for especially adventure and other niche genres. Is it the only DRM free digital service?
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CommanderZx2

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Edited By CommanderZx2 • 

@Xymox said:

So many fake games and games not posted by the owners... Really hope they put up something like a $60 price point on submitting your games. Also hope they're smart enough to push an email out if a game you upvote or fav ends up being sold on steam... not much point otherwise.

Report them and Valve removes them. I just got an email this morning thanking me and informing me that 4 games have been removed due to my reporting.

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KillerBears

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Edited By KillerBears • 

The signal to noise ratio here is pretty astounding. Like...worse than XBLA Indie.

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xymox

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Edited By xymox • 

@CommanderZx2 said:

@Xymox said:

So many fake games and games not posted by the owners... Really hope they put up something like a $60 price point on submitting your games. Also hope they're smart enough to push an email out if a game you upvote or fav ends up being sold on steam... not much point otherwise.

Report them and Valve removes them. I just got an email this morning thanking me and informing me that 4 games have been removed due to my reporting.

I am... I'm actually surprised that there seems to be quite a few people who are dedicated/serious about this whole greenlight stuff, even with all the noise and request spam. The minecraft and red deads probably won't stay up for long.

Also, looks like some true devs have been posting games and confirming their identity, which is cool.

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Summoboomo

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Edited By Summoboomo • 

@KillerBears said:

The signal to noise ratio here is pretty astounding. Like...worse than XBLA Indie.

This is what the Steam certification team has to deal with on a daily basis, apparently.

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Edited By zitosilva • 

I'm not sure how I feel about it. It doesn't feel like a solution, it just feels like Valve's pushing the problem to us. I guess that maybe this was the intent of Greenlight, but I see more flaws in it than advantages. It seems to already be clogged with more games than we can evaluate, and there are many that seem to be unfinished or just unimaginative clones of popular genres.

I don't know. Right now I'll I'm seeing is the same problems of the App Store, with just a layer of voting that doesn't seem to make much of a difference. But maybe it'll be improved.

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Barrock

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Edited By Barrock • 

@CommanderZx2 said:

@Xymox said:

So many fake games and games not posted by the owners... Really hope they put up something like a $60 price point on submitting your games. Also hope they're smart enough to push an email out if a game you upvote or fav ends up being sold on steam... not much point otherwise.

Report them and Valve removes them. I just got an email this morning thanking me and informing me that 4 games have been removed due to my reporting.

Aww, I reported some and got no thanks. :(

Also this exists.

No Caption Provided

Awww that was originally a gif with boob physics.

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Edited By brandonleedy • 

Like many, the concept of Greenlight seems exciting, but the execution doesn't feel quite there yet. As some have mentioned previously, Steam needs to use reliable feedback to better motivate users to participate and hold a higher standard. Ironically, the quest system here on GB seems like a cool fit. Try and review games, participate in discussions, etc for Greenlight achievements? I also like the idea of a small monetary "gatekeeper" fee to prevent spamming, but not higher than $5.

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LordAndrew

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Edited By LordAndrew • 

It has become apparent that the Steam community is too stupid for Greenlight to work.

Based on its visual style people think this is a rip-off of Tower of Heaven, a game released two years ago.

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katelyngadd

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Edited By katelyngadd • 

@CircleNine said:

This seems like it could be a lot like Indie Games for the 360. There'll be a ton of low quality garbage submitted to it in an attempt to cash in on a popular thing, and you can be sure that there'll be a ton a zombie games. But occasionally you'll get something great like Escape Goat. As long as they really police what goes up very heavily and don't just go off of what gets votes and actually make sure what they would opt to put on sale is good, I think this could work.

That said, I think there will be so much stuff uploaded since there isn't even the amount of filter that XBLIG has which at least makes it so only functional and (relatively) complete games can be listed.

As it happens, you can play Escape Goat - the entire thing - for free on the web right now, so there's no need to wait for a Steam release:

<shameless plug>

http://www.playescapegoat.com/

</shameless plug>

But it is on Greenlight.

It will be interesting to see how this stuff shakes out - as an XBLIG dev myself it's impossible for me to filter through the 500+ games, in part because the pagination is so broken. But I'm really glad to see stuff like Mutant Mudds up there, and I hope they get the votes they need.

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PillClinton

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Edited By PillClinton • 

@AssInAss said:

I find one game goes to the very top of "I WANT THIS GAME NOW".

Miasmata

Loading Video...

JUST WATCH THE VIDEO AND BE MESMERIZED!

Miasmata is like a dream come true! First Person survival adventure game on an island and you're a plague-stricken scientist who needs to find a cure. Think if Far Cry wasn't a shooter. Day/night cycle, go find herbs and shit. Has some survival horror elements too with some cat creature that will try to kill you from time to time.

That looks really fuckin' cool. Upvoted. Do favorites do anything other than just make it easier to keep track of for users? Anyway, also favorited.

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amafi

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Edited By amafi • 

@medacris said:

(I love how the article image is Archimedes.)

Having to wade through the crap and the ripoffs to get to the good stuff is a problem with the TF2 workshop, too. But when you stumble upon something amazing, it's totally worth it.

I think some people need a gentle explanation on how sites like this work. Sometimes, people aren't artists, but want to get more attention for artists they like, and they don't understand that uploading someone else's work is theft. Anyone who deliberately does it needs to be punished, though.

Dumb people need punishment too.