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Valve Programmer Responds to Steam Greenlight Criticisms

By - Source: Destructoid | B 33 comments
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Steam Greenlight isn't perfect, but Valve is working on it.

Valve's current direction for Steam is community involvement. As a result, it launched Steam Workshop and Steam Greenlight, hoping to energize the community with user-generated content and a voice in the content going up on the distribution service's virtual shelves. 

Of course, Greenlight is not perfect. There's been plenty of criticism leveled against it by developers. Though Greenlight has brought many indie greats to the storefront, indie developers criticize the lack of transparency in the decision process. And while indies can self-publish using Greenlight, plenty of indie developers who have publishers are turned away from bringing their game directly onto Steam and must go through the Greenlight process.  

Destructoid pointed out one of the key examples of such criticisms. Developer Poe, the individual behind Six Sided Sanctuary, wrote a document outlining some of his grievances with Greenlight. He criticizes the fact that Valve clearly favors some games and how niche games are often left out in the cold. He also points out that Valve "encourages" new developers to submit their games through Greenlight, yet "we see new developers and publishers get pushed on through."  

"If you establish a set of rules and they suck it sucks," states Poe. "But if you establish rules and break them all the time it’s bullshit. You’re marginalizing indie developers for no reason. 

"TRANSPARENCY IS KEY IN THE INDIE COMMUNITY. Sony has done exactly this, and they are getting great indies on their platform left and right. Can you see the correlation?" 

Valve programmer Tom Bui responded to the criticisms levied against Greenlight, acknowledging that "It is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination" and that Valve's "primary problem right now is that we simply cannot ship as many games as we'd like." Unfortunately, he was loathe to go into the nature of these problems, brushing them off as things that "don't really matter to you, the developers... What matters is that we give customers the chance to buy your games and vote with their dollar." 

He went on to explain that Valve was working on the transparency issue and automates a huge portion of the Greenlighting process. "[W]e're basically trying to... automate a lot of our processes... and putting tools into the hands of the developers," he stated. "We've also made the Steamworks SDK available so that developers can take a look and begin their integration before getting Steam." 

Unfortunately, Tom Bui is only one individual at Valve. There's yet to be an official response from the company as a whole.

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Top Comments
  • 16 Hide
    acktionhank , July 25, 2013 7:31 AM
    Am I the only one that really loves Steam?..... Apparently so.
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    the1kingbob , July 25, 2013 7:09 AM
    I liked the old steam, before they released for mac and completely changed the interface. The old one wasn't great, but it was leaps and bounds better than the current one. They need to spend more time getting the basics working and spend less time on that full screen thing.
  • 4 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , July 25, 2013 7:17 AM
    It doesn't matter how crap Steam is, it will always win simply because it was first and, for convenience purposes, people simply do not want to fragment their game collection and have to remember which game gets accessed from which delivery program. It's called vendor lock-in. Valve is a new Microsoft.
  • 16 Hide
    acktionhank , July 25, 2013 7:31 AM
    Am I the only one that really loves Steam?..... Apparently so.
  • 2 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , July 25, 2013 7:56 AM
    I don't have a problem with the quality of Steam. It's just that it should not belong to Valve; it should belong to a consortium and should include not just games but everything.
  • 3 Hide
    happyballz , July 25, 2013 8:17 AM
    You can like Steam all you want...just remember if it goes down or they "caught" you cheating then so will all of your shit that you bought and "own".

    For me...I had decent experience with Steam and have probably 35-40 games but I know once you have an issue with Valve or their no-arbitration policies you get screwed royally and will receive zero help or consideration.
  • -1 Hide
    smeezekitty , July 25, 2013 8:21 AM
    I have steam installed for two reasons:

    One is to play Dirt 3: Showdown that I received with my Radeon card for free
    The second is so I can play some of the old cdrom games that I can enter the key code for without finding the disk

    I did some research and steam "greenlight" seems like an inherently lousy idea.
    I also agree with "happyballz" (LOL)
    It is a serious problem that you can lose games that you bought because of a dispute. That is a very dodgy business practice IMO
  • 5 Hide
    Mike Friesen , July 25, 2013 8:31 AM
    I don't care about a lot of those Indie games (although I did buy FEZ and FTL, but you could almost consider them mainstream), but steam is awesome because of one thing: the Steam summer sale. Every game is half off pretty much. And it's convenient.
    Also: That's the reason why people complain when microsoft pushes their DRM, and they say "well, were just copying steam", because there is no way that microsoft will sell games as cheaply.
  • 1 Hide
    John Bauer , July 25, 2013 8:34 AM
    Quote:
    Am I the only one that really loves Steam?..... Apparently so.


    I don't-not like it, I use it because it's a really great way of organizing my games. Steam DRM gets on my nerves though.
  • 5 Hide
    John Bauer , July 25, 2013 8:35 AM
    Quote:
    I don't have a problem with the quality of Steam. It's just that it should not belong to Valve; it should belong to a consortium and should include not just games but everything.


    Even Gabe Newell has come out and said this
  • 2 Hide
    tolham , July 25, 2013 8:48 AM
    Quote:
    You can like Steam all you want...just remember if it goes down or they "caught" you cheating then so will all of your shit that you bought and "own".

    For me...I had decent experience with Steam and have probably 35-40 games but I know once you have an issue with Valve or their no-arbitration policies you get screwed royally and will receive zero help or consideration.


    steam has an offline mode and you can backup your games.
  • 3 Hide
    CaptainTom , July 25, 2013 9:20 AM
    Granted Steam can be a little sluggish to start up compared to some of the best programs out there; but how is it a horrible piece of software? It's well organized and supported...What is your problem?
  • 0 Hide
    cozmium , July 25, 2013 10:06 AM
    "he was loathe to go into the nature of these problems"

    I think you mean loth/loath. Unless you wanted to suggest he loathed the premise of going in to the nature of the problems.
  • 3 Hide
    Giovanni-L , July 25, 2013 10:49 AM
    Whatever. I live in Brazil and games here are priced like gold at the retailers. If i can purchase games at a discounted price, so i will. It doesn't matter where i have to buy those from. I just don't like EA and their Origin. I don't have an international credit card because of monthly interest the banks here charge (over 10% a MONTH, damnit!). As Steam doesn't mind going full into our crippled and messy economy, i'll stick with it. I have nothing better to resort to...
  • 4 Hide
    eklipz330 , July 25, 2013 11:11 AM
    For a company that has been dominating the digital scene, they have not shown any monopolistic tendencies. they continue to innovate and bring new things to the table while still keeping profits on their side up. i own about 160 games for steam, and i've had very few problems in the past 6 years i've been part of them
  • 0 Hide
    psychodegu , July 25, 2013 12:00 PM
    In reply to IndignantSkeptic, there really is no vendor lock (Well there may be a precived one) all steam games and many other services allow for desktop shortcuts. Just make the shortcuts and put them all inside a game folder.
  • 2 Hide
    John Billium , July 25, 2013 12:05 PM
    Haha, some people hating on Steam.

    Would you guys rather be forced to Origin or god forbid Uplay? Nah let's just go back to the good 'ol days with stacks and stacks of plastic sleeves with keys. Those would never get loss or broken. >.>

    I liked Steam when it first started up back with Counter-Strike, and I still like it now. We've had some bumpy spots but overall the experience has been good.

    What I'm not a huge fan of is this whole trading card deal, but I simply ignore it. Just like some other features.

  • 1 Hide
    Hunter_Killers , July 25, 2013 12:08 PM
    Just looking at that games Greenlight page, there's barely been any exposure and news was posted about it twice. Both posts almost a year after it was first posted to Greenlight.

    Greenlight isn't a fire-and-forget process to get it your game on Steam, it never was. You have to get your game out there and get it voted up. His complaints make it sound like whining that Valve isn't doing it for them in their place.

    You really can't blame Valve for not getting your game around.

    /e Hey look, I can post with the refresh button.
  • -1 Hide
    John Bauer , July 25, 2013 12:11 PM
    Quote:
    Haha, some people hating on Steam.

    Would you guys rather be forced to Origin or god forbid Uplay? Nah let's just go back to the good 'ol days with stacks and stacks of plastic sleeves with keys. Those would never get loss or broken. >.>

    I liked Steam when it first started up back with Counter-Strike, and I still like it now. We've had some bumpy spots but overall the experience has been good.

    What I'm not a huge fan of is this whole trading card deal, but I simply ignore it. Just like some other features.



    Origin and Steam (from lots of personal experiance) almost exactly the same in every way. Both have problems, both have DRM and sluggish start ups.
  • -1 Hide
    Mike Friesen , July 25, 2013 12:16 PM
    Quote:

    Origin and Steam (from lots of personal experiance) almost exactly the same in every way. Both have problems, both have DRM and sluggish start ups.


    I'm sure you have a lot of experiance... Haha, just joshing you.
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