A new service will allow the Steam community to actively participate in deciding which potential indie game projects will be released on Steam, with developers able to engage the audience throughout the submission process. Power to the people!
Steam Greenlight will let smaller games attract a thriving community before release, and empower users to vote on what games they'd like Valve to prioritise. Games can be in any stage of development to qualify for the new system (from concept to beta to finished article), and developers will only have to provide the following:
- A square branding image (similar to a box cover) to represent the game in lists and search
- At least one video showing off the game or presenting the concept
- At least four screenshots or images
- A written description of the game along with tentative system requirements
Collected votes will be used to inform Valve about what games the consumer base wants, and thus which games to assign a higher priority to.
"We're going to be reaching out to developers as we see their games getting traction regardless of whether they have achieved a specific number of votes or are sitting first or second place at any given time. We are most interested in finding the games that people want, not requiring them to always hit a specific number of votes," reads a post on the official website. "We ask that you only define your game as 'playable game' if you have a playable build that demonstrates the gameplay mechanics and at least one level of your game. Otherwise, please classify your submission as 'concept' until its far enough along that the community can reasonably evaluate the mechanics, scope, and style of your game. Either way, you will probably get great feedback and a good start in building a community of fans around your game."
We're excited about the new system - even though votes may not directly get games released, the ability for studios to actively engage with their audience throughout the development cycle is a tremendous step forward for Steam. With luck, Greenlight will result in some exciting new projects and gameplay ideas seeping through onto the front page when it launches this August.