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Off-Topic Discussion => Gaming Discussion => Topic started by: Blue Lion on February 13, 2017, 02:45:34 pm

Title: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Blue Lion on February 13, 2017, 02:45:34 pm
I made a joke about this and someone linked the story so I figured why not, it's not discussed here.

http://steamed.kotaku.com/steam-s-greenlight-replacement-could-pose-problems-of-i-1792242919

I never thought I would get tired of seeing games but I have been flooded with derivative and just cheap games on Steam. You play one survival horror and suddenly there's hundreds of them, and they look awful. So I can't say I'd be sad to see Greenlight gone but what of the new system?

Is it worth putting up a pay wall to keep out droves of games that suck if it means we lose the few that are good made on a shoestring budget?
eeeeeeeeeeh?
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Dragon on February 13, 2017, 07:04:39 pm
Good frakkin' riddance. Now, if they only removed all the shovelware that already made its way there (or provide a way to filter it out, at least)...

I don't think a high fee would be a big problem, though it should vary according to the payer's location, like game prices do, mostly to avoid discriminating against devs from other countries (there are many Russian games on Steam that are crap, but it'd be a shame to lose the likes of Perimeter). If your game isn't worth at least 1000 (or whatever works as an equivalent if the currency is silly) of your local currency, it probably should not be on Steam.

It would block student projects, dinky "studios" making games about indecent exposure (seriously. My father got one of those from a bundle) and shoestring budget games. In short, the exact people who fill Steam with crapware. Hopefully it'll curb the prominence of lazy "pixel art" and "retro" games that actually look worse than most actual old games.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Mikes on February 15, 2017, 04:18:34 pm
*Some* of those pixel games are dang good:
http://www.axiomverge.com/ for instance.


That said: Good riddance to Greenlight ... the garbage to game ratio was indeed inconceivably horrible.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: potterman28wxcv on February 16, 2017, 06:59:22 am
It would block student projects, dinky "studios" making games about indecent exposure (seriously. My father got one of those from a bundle) and shoestring budget games. In short, the exact people who fill Steam with crapware. Hopefully it'll curb the prominence of lazy "pixel art" and "retro" games that actually look worse than most actual old games.
If it's one of these bad games, you detect it in advance either in the reviews or in gameplay videos. So where is the harm ?

On the contrary, by removing Greenlight you're just limiting the possible range of games. Only those that already have decent money will be able to post. Which is quite sad. Especially since it wasn't doing any harm.

imo that's just another way for Steam to earn more and more money. Just like when they wanted to introduce "paid mods" in the Steam Workshop. To "promote serious content" and other kind of arguments like this.

The reality is that they're only killing the community aspect of Steam to grab more money.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Dragon on February 17, 2017, 10:50:04 pm
The thing is, it used to be that when a game was on Steam, it had a reasonable chance of being good. You could browse Steam and have a good chance of finding something decent. Not anymore. It's drowning in "indie" crap which is made on no budget, put on Steam for no cost and made without the slightest effort. This kind of games are going to stop coming to Steam. Instead, they'll stuck somewhere like Newgrounds, where people who want them can play them for free (because they're not worth money).

The entry fee would discourage the most ridiculous entries. If your game can't expect to make you 5000$, it shouldn't be on Steam.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Snarks on February 18, 2017, 01:08:41 am
In my experience, Steam isn't necessarily flooded with "crap" games, just a lot of games that have already been done, perhaps oversaturated genres. The first set of pixel art, platformers sell well. The 5th set is just beating the genre in the head over and over again. Yes, there's going to be the occasional shovelware, but they're not the majority or even plurality by far.

I think Steam needs a system for removing games with absolutely **** ratings, and a system to prevent that from being cheesed. Shovelware should be removed, but we shouldn't be removing half decent games along with them.

Or perhaps even better, an algorithm to sort games by their types. The Discovery queue does an alright job at this so far, but there's room for improvement. Sure, I might be sick of retro art platform IVX, but there's probably a market for people play nothing but those. If games can be sorted in a manner that lets consumers find the games they want to play, then it's not really an issue.

My gripe with Steam Direct is that I'm uncertain of its efficacy. It puts forth a very high barrier of entry (essentially risk), and the developers who put a lot of time and resources into a game are already shouldering more risk (in terms of time and money spent) than people making shovelware. Yes, it might stop shovelware, but it can sure as hell stop a lot of decent games from going on as well.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Dragon on February 18, 2017, 06:40:12 pm
It's not only lack of quality that makes shovelware. There's also the fact that most of those games are awfully derivative. You play one pixel platformer, you've played them all, with exceptions being in minority. Even if the game is on the "decent" level of quality otherwise, it doesn't matter if it's utterly redundant. A handful of similar games are fine, but given how flooded Steam is with those genres that are easy to make, in order to be worth attention a title of these genres should either be an exceptional example, or a novel approach in some way.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: -Joshua- on February 19, 2017, 09:10:43 am
Awfully derative games are not neccisarely a bad thing (otherwise, none of the CoD games would be on steam), but Steam's current release process is rather bloody awfull. As noted by John Walker over at RPS (https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2017/02/14/steam-curation-user-reviews-fixes/):
Quote
Of those released games, I’d estimate (and I stress this is my own anecdotal estimation) about half aren’t in a fit state to be on sale. I know this because I play so many of them. I scour through the utterly useless and hidden All New Releases list, adding anything that catches my eye across multiple genres, and then work through them whenever I can trying to find unknown gems to highlight on RPS. And wow, there’s so much broken rubbish. This morning in half an hour I got through three interesting-looking games that didn’t have functioning controls. Many times I’ll find that games don’t even launch. And this is it: Steam as a store is so bad, so lacking in visible curation of any sort, that there are games released for it almost every day that don’t even load.

In the comment section he mentions finding games that don't even come with a .exe... Steam very definitely has a quality control issue at less visible end of the spectrum. Does a pay barrier fix this? Actually, I would say that it does. At the very least it provides a stick to ensure that people make sure their games actually work.

On the other hand, Valve has virtually limitless amounts of money. Instead of making publishers have a pay barrier they could be hiring people on their end to ensure a basic form of quality control. Microsoft and Sony have a verification process, why doesn't Valve?
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Phantom Hoover on February 19, 2017, 09:16:58 am
because to run a quality control team you have to hire a bunch of normal people and manage them rather than a bunch of rockstar game devs ****ing around in a ~flat management structure~ and doing absolutely nothing of any worth
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: potterman28wxcv on February 20, 2017, 12:20:05 pm
The entry fee would discourage the most ridiculous entries. If your game can't expect to make you 5000$, it shouldn't be on Steam.
What about free games that are issued out of Open Source ?

There are not many, but there's still a few of them. Do you want the authors to gather the money by themselves ?
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Dragon on February 20, 2017, 08:19:54 pm
Why would completely freeware games need to be on Steam? Valve could either make a special case for games which are provided for no charge (as those games are rare enough for case-by-case decisions to be manageable) or simply live with the fact that not every game needs to be downloadable through Steam. As far as I know, the only truly freeware (that is, not charging money for anything) games on Steam that actually use its internet features of are Moonbase Alpha and America's Army, both made by US government, which can obviously afford 5000$. :)
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: potterman28wxcv on February 21, 2017, 05:41:12 am
Why would completely freeware games need to be on Steam? Valve could either make a special case for games which are provided for no charge (as those games are rare enough for case-by-case decisions to be manageable) or simply live with the fact that not every game needs to be downloadable through Steam. As far as I know, the only truly freeware (that is, not charging money for anything) games on Steam that actually use its internet features of are Moonbase Alpha and America's Army, both made by US government, which can obviously afford 5000$. :)
I know BallisticNG (http://store.steampowered.com/app/473770/). It's a very good quality game, it started on a forum of Wipeout and it's really the kind of game that is "for the fans  by fans".

It uses Steam feature (or intends to use ?) for Steam Workshop mostly - be able to create your own tracks and share it to other people.
But also, Steam provides way more visibility than if you had your own website. Especially for small projects, it really helps with getting known.

It's completely free, and the guys do it on their free time. They're not a company - just a bunch of guys that want to develop a game.

This paywall will prevent projects like this one to happen.. Which is really sad for me.
Unless they add an exception for projects that swear to be completely free (no merchandise whatsoever). But that's not going to happen. The proportion of affected games is too small, no one will care about them. Especially not Valve.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Kobrar44 on February 21, 2017, 08:24:49 am
Totalbiscuit had this pretty big talk on this topic with some people from the industry.


I don't enjoy this whole "steam will just do it's thing anyway", I believe they should curate all games in person and it wouldn't hurt them a tiny bit financially. They just continue to be bad as much as possible because they can.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Dragon on February 21, 2017, 08:16:01 pm
This paywall will prevent projects like this one to happen.. Which is really sad for me.
Couldn't they do without Steam, though? Steam Workshop is a neat modding platform, but it's nothing revolutionary. It's slightly more convenient than downloading from the browser, but if they didn't have access to Steam, they could just set up their own system. Kerbal Space Program, for example, has a community-made downloader capable of pulling updates from Github or other download sites. They also set up a pretty good site for uploading mods. A free game could easily do the same.

It'd be a reasonable move to allow free games in without a fee, if only because uploading mods to Workshop also doesn't cost anything. However, I see no particular reason why free games would need Steam for anything. About the only unique thing it could offer are multiplayer matchmaking and anticheat, but generally, multiplayer games want money from their players one way or another.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Det. Bullock on February 22, 2017, 11:34:20 am
This paywall will prevent projects like this one to happen.. Which is really sad for me.
Couldn't they do without Steam, though? Steam Workshop is a neat modding platform, but it's nothing revolutionary. It's slightly more convenient than downloading from the browser, but if they didn't have access to Steam, they could just set up their own system. Kerbal Space Program, for example, has a community-made downloader capable of pulling updates from Github or other download sites. They also set up a pretty good site for uploading mods. A free game could easily do the same.

It'd be a reasonable move to allow free games in without a fee, if only because uploading mods to Workshop also doesn't cost anything. However, I see no particular reason why free games would need Steam for anything. About the only unique thing it could offer are multiplayer matchmaking and anticheat, but generally, multiplayer games want money from their players one way or another.
90% of people who play videogames have problems installing a game from a disk, I had to install X-wing vs Tie Fighter from GOG.com for my brother because he couldn't tell what he had to do to install it himself.
Or to be more clear: a lot of people are so used to steam they don't search for games outside it and have problem installing stuff that isn't in it.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Scotty on February 22, 2017, 11:45:06 am
"I don't have a problem, therefore there must not be a problem for anyone."
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Mongoose on February 22, 2017, 05:13:21 pm
Not only that, but saying "well they don't need Steam" is ignoring the tens-of-millions-of-active-users elephant in the room.  If you make a great free game and want a bunch of people to see it, what's the one place on the planet you want to have it hosted?
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: -Joshua- on February 22, 2017, 05:21:59 pm
Saturday night live?
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Dragon on February 22, 2017, 08:34:12 pm
Not only that, but saying "well they don't need Steam" is ignoring the tens-of-millions-of-active-users elephant in the room.  If you make a great free game and want a bunch of people to see it, what's the one place on the planet you want to have it hosted?
Wouldn't they be able to build up an userbase if they didn't use Steam, though? They could spread the word on forums, maybe buy some cheap advertising, you know, the old fashioned way? Kerbal Space Program somehow got very popular way before it ended up on Steam. Warzone 2100 never was on Steam. MW4: Mercenaries didn't need Steam. FS2 only got on Steam recently and FSO never had a need for such a thing (though a workshop-like idea was floated before. Indeed, it was probably around before Steam Workshop even existed). Diaspora wouldn't be able to get on Steam even if the team wanted that. X-Wing: Alliance graphical overhaul was going on long before the game was put on Steam. For some reason, all those projects are alive and well.

Steam is nice because its convenient, but there was gaming before Steam, too. The world doesn't end on Steam. It's important for commercial games, because it brings sales revenue. For a freeware game, this is not a primary concern. The userbase might be smaller than it would be with Steam, but this doesn't directly hurt the project's ability to continue.
"I don't have a problem, therefore there must not be a problem for anyone."
So, you're saying is that most people are too moronic to download a self-extracting installer and follow the instructions? OK, maybe they are. Still, I'd imagine that it's possible to build up a decent userbase out of people who are just a bit smarter than then rest, thus being capable of using an old-fashioned installer.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Mongoose on February 22, 2017, 08:55:21 pm
Wouldn't they be able to build up an userbase if they didn't use Steam, though? They could spread the word on forums, maybe buy some cheap advertising, you know, the old fashioned way? Kerbal Space Program somehow got very popular way before it ended up on Steam. Warzone 2100 never was on Steam. MW4: Mercenaries didn't need Steam. FS2 only got on Steam recently and FSO never had a need for such a thing (though a workshop-like idea was floated before. Indeed, it was probably around before Steam Workshop even existed). Diaspora wouldn't be able to get on Steam even if the team wanted that. X-Wing: Alliance graphical overhaul was going on long before the game was put on Steam. For some reason, all those projects are alive and well.

Steam is nice because its convenient, but there was gaming before Steam, too. The world doesn't end on Steam. It's important for commercial games, because it brings sales revenue. For a freeware game, this is not a primary concern. The userbase might be smaller than it would be with Steam, but this doesn't directly hurt the project's ability to continue.
Half the games you mentioned are 15-year-old retail titles, so obviously neither the Steam nor freeware arguments apply to them, but the ones with currently-active projects have absolutely miniscule fanbases compared to the Steam userbase.  Yes, KSP was a modest success before it wound up on Steam, but I can absolutely guarantee you that it has sold substantially more copies on that platform than directly from Squad's site.  (Plus, again, it's not freeware.)  Yes, it's possible for a (non-EA) PC game to become a hit without Steam, but unless you're a runaway juggernaut like Minecraft, the vast majority of potential players aren't going to go out of their way to track you down.  Steam is where the eyeballs are, and getting a game on it provides multiple tangible benefits.

I mean, you don't think that we'd get FSO or Diaspora on Steam if we were able to?  The teams wouldn't have to think twice.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Dragon on February 22, 2017, 09:11:12 pm
My point was, not being on Steam does not prevent good freeware games (or mods so huge that they could very well be standalone games) from being made. It does not prevent them from being developed nor from having a dedicated following. It limits their userbase, so what? They're free games, they do not need sales to stay afloat. Being prevented from getting on Steam will not prevent such projects from appearing. There would be no harm to the project from not being able to put it on Steam. Barring truly freeware games from Steam won't stop people from making them.

Dedicated fans of the genre will find those games, like they always did. Non-fans won't be exposed, true, and a fair bit of casual fans might end up missing out, but this does not kill projects like that off, as far as I've seen.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Mongoose on February 22, 2017, 11:33:35 pm
Did I ever claim that it would?  You're basically making a non-argument here.  Modding and freeware games existed long before Steam, and they'll presumably exist long after it, but there isn't a developer out there who doesn't want more people to be exposed to their work.  Greenlight gave numerous Source mods and freeware games far more exposure than they would have otherwise, and that's only a good thing in my book.  Hopefully this new system will still have a reasonable way for them to get distributed.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Blue Lion on February 23, 2017, 07:51:59 am
Well my big concern is I never saw any of these because they were buried under piles of shovelware and cheap crap.

I guess it's up to which one you prefer, a cleaned up shop missing some gems or all the jems surrounded by junk and normal games.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Snarks on February 23, 2017, 10:08:10 am
Well my big concern is I never saw any of these because they were buried under piles of shovelware and cheap crap.

I guess it's up to which one you prefer, a cleaned up shop missing some gems or all the jems surrounded by junk and normal games.

I don't think it's that straight forward, especially with the emphasis on the Discovery queue. If done properly (and I'm not saying it's easy), you can have more games with similar exposure as a "cleaned up" shop by tailoring what gets shown to the right people. Some games that are considered "gems" will never be bought by certain people, and having those games be advertised to those certain people is essentially a waste of advertising/shelf space. Thankfully we're not talking about a supermarket shelf, and we can use algorithms to refine the digital shelf.

I was listening to an interview with the Steam team, and in some ways, Steam Direct isn't just about removing junk. In fact, they argued it's hard to actually define what is junk or shovelware. One of the stated objective was to make the procedure for getting your game on to Steam as clearcut as possible, as to avoid uncertainty. They might actually be less concerned about shovelware, and more focused on making it easier for developers to reliably get their games on Steam. Combined with the focus on the Discovery queue functionalities, I don't think the intent is to make Steam a premium marketplace for a few elite games. I think Steam is trying to make the whole Steam Greenlight marketing/advertising blitz less important and let developers focus their resources on making games.

Interview here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atwE-K8y-ws
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Mongoose on February 23, 2017, 06:30:58 pm
Between the discovery queue (especially incentivizing people to use it with card drops during big sale events) and the redesigned store front, Steam has made some decent steps towards making content more discoverable.  I know I've wound up tossing a number of titles onto my wishlist that I'd never so much as heard of beforehand.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Dragon on February 23, 2017, 07:12:07 pm
Hopefully it'll at least end the despicable practice of "designers" giving away their crap games for Greenlight votes and outright buying them order to get accepted. I can't say anything about the discovery queue because my dad keeps throwing shovelware on our shared account in order to farm it for cards, so the algorithms don't really get a lot to work with there.
Did I ever claim that it would?
You didn't, but someone else did.
This paywall will prevent projects like this one to happen.. Which is really sad for me.
Unless they add an exception for projects that swear to be completely free (no merchandise whatsoever). But that's not going to happen. The proportion of affected games is too small, no one will care about them. Especially not Valve.
That's the point I was refuting. I never claimed closing Steam off to free games would be completely harmless. I was claiming they could survive that.
Title: Re: Steam Greenlight dead
Post by: Klaustrophobia on February 23, 2017, 08:08:12 pm
I poked at Greenlight exactly once, for some kind of perk or achievement or something, I don't remember really.  I didn't see one thing the slightest bit interesting looking.  I don't know to what degree Greenlight is responsible for the untold piles of **** on Steam (and we only need look to FS2 for proof that it's not just indie games, Valve itself is a part of the problem), but I won't shed a tear over its demise.  I'd love to return to a time when there was an expectation of quality from what was hosted on Steam.