The Jimquisition: An Episode About Steam Direct Being Better Or Worse Than Greenlight

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Greenlight is finally dying after years of promises, to be replaced by… a thing.

Steam Direct is Valve’s latest attempt at finding a content-to-quality balance. What does your ol’ pal Jim think? Let’s find out!

Za_Docta
Guest
Za_Docta

By the gods, I thought I knew darkness…
but the intro.

Nitrium
Guest
Nitrium

Believe me, there is far, FAR darker out there.

Za_Docta
Guest
Za_Docta

Not the content itself, just the realizations.
Like when you come home and find some other guy’s boxers in your room and realize your girlfriend was cheating on you. The boxers aren’t the scary part, the information they imply is.

BiG_bEn523
Guest
BiG_bEn523
Greenlight HAD TO GO. While there are many great games that have come out of it, the Deep that is Greenlight was beginning to corrupt the joys of browsing the Steam storefront, much like the Deep was corrupting the Way of the White to the point we were forced to rummage through zombies and bright as day corruption in how those games were greenlighted in the first place. Yeah Dark Souls fan here. Also, does having an asthma attack while watching a strip show in a smokey bar in Broadway Blvd sort of count as an erotic asphyxiation moment? Don’t… Read more »
Austin_sj
Guest
Austin_sj

Maybe they could charge on a sliding scale based on the rrp set by the dev?
£500 for a game at £5 or under.
£1000 for £20 or under.
£5000 for £60 or under.
Dollar prices could be roughly identical. Dev could recoup 75% if they sold enough.
This way a shitty 99p game would have to sell 625 copies to break even. Which is doable if a game is good.

Jarin
Guest
Jarin

The way they were reporting it initially, the whole cost gets recouped from Valve’s cut of sales. So a $1000 buy-in for a $50 game, means they only have to sell like, 60 copies. (valve taking a 30% cut). I suspect in the end it’ll be a longer process than that, though.

alextulu
Guest
alextulu

“We will ask new developers to complete a set of digital paperwork, personal or company verification, and tax documents similar to the process of applying for a bank account.”

So, Greenlight doesn’t require any kind of paperwork? You just pay the fee and that’s it?

“developers will pay a recoupable application fee for each new title they wish to distribute”

Why didn’t Greenlight work like this in the first place?

Mickey 'Pyrian' Callahan
Guest
Mickey 'Pyrian' Callahan
Getting ONTO Greenlight is pretty much just pay the fee, upload your media and descriptions, and publish away. Once you’re Greenlit and want to publish an actual game and maybe even get your cut of sales, there’s a “set of digital paperwork” that seems suspiciously similar to what they’re saying here. Basically, everyone can just skip Greenlight, but there’s a “recoupable” fee to publish a game. As to why Greenlight has a fee to sign up but no fee per game… I dunno. It was originally altogether free! I kind of think the fee should’ve been per-game all along, would’ve… Read more »
Nitrium
Guest
Nitrium

Well I guess there’s always the Sony PS4 store for these devs to dump their shovelware [ducks].

CaitSeith
Guest
CaitSeith

Well, eventually the most machiavellian developers will find a way to take advantage of the system a bring more shitty games to Steam again. The question is: how long will it take? Make your guess everybody!

Jochem Sev
Guest
Jochem Sev

1 week. Maybe even less.

jedimastercosmin
Guest
jedimastercosmin

I know I’m being negative, but I can’t shake the feeling that all of this is happening because Valve just wanted to raise their submission fee and get more money.

Oh well…
You’re an idiot, Starscream.

Groucho
Guest
Groucho

I heard that last part in Megatron’s voice.

Mickey 'Pyrian' Callahan
Guest
Mickey 'Pyrian' Callahan

Yeah, I agree, although that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing. “We can’t stop people from paying others to get their games Greenlit, so why not just have them pay US instead?”

Caven
Guest
Caven

Just so you’re aware, Valve didn’t keep the fee for submitting on Greenlight–it gets donated to charity. Plus, with the new system, supposedly the submission fee can be recouped, so they don’t seem to be setting themselves up to nickel-and-dime developers.

tom
Guest
tom
Plenty of gamers are to blame as well for other types of “curation” on the steam store. When I search for games on Syeam based on the thumbs up or thumbs down during a sale, The amount of trashy games that comes up the top of lists is shocking. Less so a bad example the still a bad one is the now removed Steam Curators that’s just as unreliable as many media reviews you can get online. Then there is Steam recommendations which is based more up on the genre then the quality which is just as ludicrous. The avenues… Read more »
Gurphardt
Guest

That’s why people are calling for Valve to do the vetting for their own storefront, less beholden to a community that willfully trashes itself for throwaway memes.

MJC
Guest
MJC

Curators aren’t gone, they are still where they always were and the system even got a recent update so that curators can say if their listing is a recommendation to buy, a recommendation not to buy, or merely informative. Just last Thursday (Feb 9th), both Cynical Brit Gaming and The Framerate Police were updated. Curators have NOT been removed, not sure where you got that idea from.

Riosine
Guest
Riosine

the fee should grow exponentially per game published in a year, ie 100^x with x≥1, x∈ℕ

That way its fair to indies and will prevent spamminng

Benj
Guest
Benj

Admit it Jim, you’re talking about Metal Rear Solid because you want a free Brazzers premium account, aren’t you?

Kev' Bryant
Guest
Kev' Bryant

He doesn’t already have one? Where are my Patreon bucks being spent?!

Benj
Guest
Benj

I’m glad that Steam finally understands the need for some “Extreme Vetting”.

From the start this should have been an Easy D.

John Smith
Guest
John Smith

I would make Valve employees draw a lottery and force the ‘winner’ to stand and the gate of the Steam store guarding the border for the next week. Everyday a long line of games want to get in and the guard would do the Papers Please thing. If an asset flip sneaks though the border then valve can shut of the heating or starve their family. Glory to Aristoska!

Ushio
Guest
Ushio

I vote that Valve hires Jim to decide what goes on steam.

Nitrium
Guest
Nitrium

You;re probably joking, but even then that sounds like a terrible idea, given Jim’s propensity to hate on many popular games. Unless you feel taking away other people’s personal enjoyment and choice is something that needs to happen? If so, why?

qorl123
Guest
qorl123

“given Jim’s propensity to hate on many popular games” What, this old chestnut again? You can’t be serious.

Nitrium
Guest
Nitrium

What you suggest it isn’t so? I’m not saying he’s wrong on HIS personal opinions, merely that having him as a literal gatekeeper might not be a great “quality control” solution for EVERYONE.

qorl123
Guest
qorl123

Oh I think I interpreted it just fine. But if by “hate on” you mean “call mediocre” or “slightly criticise”, then yeah, I guess Jim does hate on many popular games /s. Unless senran kagura counts as “popular”. Which is to say, I think you’ve characterised his opinion on those games unfairly and I’m pretty sure in this fanciful scenario where Jim is a gatekeeper for all steam games he would merely reject the games that are scams, asset flips, broken, memefests or objectively zero-effort garbage.

Ushio
Guest
Ushio

Jim wouldn’t stop games going on steam just because he doesn’t like them but he would stop the broken and asset flipped crap. Have some faith in our lord and saviour.

Gurphardt
Guest

I actually WOULD like to say Fuck Konami for Bombergirl for taking an old favorite and gender swapping the main character. Normally something like this would be a progressive change reflecting industry trends toward and customer demand for more representation.

Instead (because Konami is Konami and Konami is the worst) we have GENERIC AS FUCK-looking lowest common denominator pandering trash so teens and creepy older guys can wank to anime schoolgirls with torn clothing.

Jiryn
Guest
Jiryn

Let’s not forget that they also get their clothing tatted and torn off for losing the battle.

Gurphardt
Guest

“Eroticizing beaten and humiliated young anime girls brings in that sweet, sweet yen and is the image we as a mainstream company are ok with.”
-Konami, apparently

Chris Schwartz-Brown
Guest
Chris Schwartz-Brown

Have you never seen Japan before? Why is this remotely surprising?

RuRiK_87
Guest
RuRiK_87

Bombergirl is most likely a Japan only arcade game and even if it came to the west it would affect you in what way exactly? also Super Bomberman R is coming to the Switch so what is your problem exactly?

Gurphardt
Guest

Because it’s gross otaku pandering, which I dislike on principle.

Justin Graham
Guest
Justin Graham

OK…so it’s not for you, then.

Gurphardt
Guest

To put it mildly.

RuRiK_87
Guest
RuRiK_87

news flash, the world doesn’t revolve around you and not to mention there are quite a few women that like these type of characters and games as well.

Gurphardt
Guest

I’m not sure why you think I think the world revolves around me, but okay, thanks for the reminder. I don’t particularly care how many or how little women are into it OR how small the market is. It doesn’t change the fact that the target audience is horny males, doesn’t make it any less dumb, and it damn sure doesn’t mean I need to tolerate it.

RuRiK_87
Guest
RuRiK_87
if you don’t like it look away and pretend it doesn’t exist, it’s what i do with games that pander to the “characters need to be as realistic as possible by removing any distinct feature or attractiveness from them so that they look as plain as any regular NPC” crowd. there is no tolerating or not, the game isn’t targeted towards you…for example I find everything I have been seeing about ME Andromeda unappealing, it is clearly dumbed down to please a specific minority crowd am I going to insult them because they have different tastes than me? no, its… Read more »
Gurphardt
Guest

I’m guessing you’re part of the crowd upset that you can’t masturbate to the new human woman in Andromeda. You do you. I enjoy voicing my negative opinions.

RuRiK_87
Guest
RuRiK_87

if that is the best argument you can come up with then it goes miles speaking about your maturity

Gurphardt
Guest

It really does.

Benj
Guest
Benj

I really don’t see the point in gender-swapping a character if your just going to aim it at the character at the same audience (in fact a subset of that audience who don’t find hentai creepy and annoying) rather than aim it at a newer audience.

…each to their own I guess… cos I fucking ain’t going near it.

Gurphardt
Guest

Well, it being an arcade machine, the likelihood of you or I getting the chance to be near is pretty low 😜given the mostly faded popularity of arcades outside of Japan.

Benj
Guest
Benj

I’m also now old enough that people would probably assume that I’m a paedophile if I was hanging around arcade machines… especially if it was near this one.

Gurphardt
Guest

Ha! I actually think arcade machines only attract people old enough to remember them these days. Kids growing up now probably think having to go somewhere and pay money to keep playing a video game is dumb. Unless they’ve played too many freemium mobile games.

RuRiK_87
Guest
RuRiK_87

in Japan arcade centers still drag in quite a number of kids and teenagers. its still somewhat popular. There is an arcade center near to were i live but the games arent that good, however surprisingly enough during the weekends there are a few kids hanging out around them but not to the point where you have to wait to get a machine, I think that the fact its right next to the cinema help with the store keeping the machines running. heck even the local game store put up an arcade machine recently.

InspectorNorse
Guest
InspectorNorse

Well, you could do it to show the existing audience that they can relate with anyone, instead of just people that look like them.

Malidictus
Guest
Malidictus

Wait, new backdrop? When did that happen?

Nobody's Fanboy
Guest
Nobody's Fanboy

Look like the replacement from a few weeks back, but with the spots turned off (notice how much darker the podium is) to keep the glare down.

Simon
Guest
Simon

That or he got an anti-glare/matte coating applied or just got it replaced. That might explain the delay while he was using the old one again.

Looks good now!

Scott John Harrison
Guest
Scott John Harrison

I hope that the 100 to 5000 is a sliding scale based on how many games you want to publish – $100 for the first, $250, $500, $1000, etc.

Ushio
Guest
Ushio

No $100 is far too low. I honestly think even $1000 is too low.

qorl123
Guest
qorl123

Remember we do NOT also want to trip up the sincere indie devs with very small budgets

Daemoroth
Guest
Daemoroth

Then Valve need to pull their finger out of their ass, dip into 1% of their profits and hire some dedicated QC staff.

This is a dodging solution typical of Valve, makes them more money, and lowers their accountability.

As always, I could never get why people worship Valve/Gaben.

Kev' Bryant
Guest
Kev' Bryant

Because Hlaf-Life was a good game and memes, I think.

MJC
Guest
MJC

Sure we do. Let the sincere ones try crowdfunding to get their fee money. Anything to keep out the Digital Homicides.

Ushio
Guest
Ushio

A couple of grand is nothing if you believe your game is worth it but for the scammers it’s too much.

qorl123
Guest
qorl123

It’s not nothing. C’mon.

Ushio
Guest
Ushio

If you don’t think you can make back a couple of thousand dollars by having your game on steam then the game isn’t worth releasing at all.

qorl123
Guest
qorl123

If you have a tiny budget it’s still a couple grand you have to pay up front, let’s not carried away here. The point is for steam to avoid being a complete free-for-all, not become an exclusive club.

Damian Yerrick
Guest

Why can’t a micro-budget game premiere on Itch before its Steam release?

Mickey 'Pyrian' Callahan
Guest
Mickey 'Pyrian' Callahan

I’m thinking more of a sliding scale based on how much you want to *charge* for the game. $5? Pay $100. $60? Pay $5000. Something like that.

Scott John Harrison
Guest
Scott John Harrison
I think a charge for the price of the game doesn’t work because of the the shovelware/card economy model which digital homicide used. How it would work in this system: 1) You put all the games on steam at the highest price to get below the $100 mark. 2) You put it on a 75-95% discount day 1. 3) You then spam it to cheep games groups. 4) make profit on the steam marketplace transactions. Just some numbers: $5 at a 98% discount you sell a game at $0.10 you with 5 cards minimum get $0.03 from the card sold.… Read more »
Film Runner
Guest
Valve are devoted to laziness more than any other company I know. Once they started making so much money they no longer had to make games to stay afloat they’ve accomplished basically nothing. In the last six years they’ve put out all of two games, one of which is a re-release of something from 2004, and their total indifference to the state of Steam is almost impressive. They built up a great and functional marketplace but are perfectly happy to let it rot, because with no competition and no sort of antitrust laws in their industry the wretched state of… Read more »
SilentPony
Guest
SilentPony

Love the profile pic BTW

Film Runner
Guest

Thanks, yours is great too.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Holy shit. I never noticed your profile picture is Zootopia. Maybe I should turn up the brightness to my laptop…

Benj
Guest
Benj

I’ve been wondering for a while what people at Valve actually do all day.

Because they don’t make games anymore or do any significant community management or curate and quality test products on theirvstore or make significant updates to existing games (not for awhile anyway) and they don’t promote and advertise products or have any of the logistics associated with physical retail.

Are they all just professional Team Fortress 2 hat designers at this point?

Lies That Bind
Guest
Lies That Bind

They said they’re making 3 vr games recently to everyone’s enthusiasm.

MJC
Guest
MJC

Yeah I just try to buy from GOG wherever possible now.

Peter Quint
Guest
Peter Quint
Lots of big companies could do lots of great things that would cost them money. They don’t because if they are not maximising profits they will be accused of being mismanaged and the people who made those decisions will be replaced. Small companies can do things for the love of it with profit a secondary concern. Once you get to the size of Valve and there are shareholders involved the company exists to make money and all activity is judged against that standard. If they have changed anything with regard to Greenlight it will be due to negative PR maybe… Read more »
Mickey 'Pyrian' Callahan
Guest
Mickey 'Pyrian' Callahan

Valve is privately owned – they have no shareholders to report to. What they DO have is an unusual “flat” employee hierarchy that they’re unwilling to break to hire a bunch of whomevers to grind endlessly through terrible game submissions.

Benj
Guest
Benj

They wouldn’t have to change their company structure and ethos just to get some dull but important work done.

There’s bound to be a bunch of admin crap like that already… at least this would be game related crap (and probably the closest thing to game development that anyone working at Valve has done for several years)

MJC
Guest
MJC

Valve is privately owned, no shareholders to worry about. Which makes their behavior even worse!

Peter Quint
Guest
Peter Quint

Wow, no shareholders? I did not know that.

Obviously they’re not into pissing money away but that does give them a little more leeway.

Maybe they don’t want there to be a subjective aspect to the selection of what games are judged “good enough”.

Maybe I’m just making up other points after it was proved I didn’t know what I was talking about with my main one.

Dr.Awkward
Guest
Dr.Awkward
First off, thanks for calling out that technology and algorithms sometimes cannot simply do what human judgement and common sense can. Moderating content is a new career path and trying to deny its existence through such methods is a backwards attitude for an industry that wants to be forward-thinking. Secondly, on Steam Direct’s requirements, what about a video tour of the development studio being a requirement? Or a series of videos showing actual coding being done, assets being made, or most telling, a build being run through -gasp- QA? Maybe even require the videos visible to the public to see… Read more »
LoveGarden x 5th LD Clone (:
Guest
LoveGarden x 5th LD Clone (:

Question, should Jim where an all pink outfit in one episode?

SilentPony
Guest
SilentPony

If he does, he has to wear a mask too. Like the Crow lady from Bloodborne mask. Hey Jim, got one of those?

Or maybe like a phantom of the opera half face white mask? Phantom of the Pink, that kinda’ thing.

Film Runner
Guest

Also, should Jim wear a bikini in one episode?

SilentPony
Guest
SilentPony

You’re gonna do a Top 5/Bottom 5 greenlight games or trailers, right Jim?

“Good idea SilentPony! And I like the new haircut!”

Oh thank you Jim. I’m just trying a new look.

“Well you nailed it. Now I’m going to get started on that terrific idea of yours”

And that’s literally how it happened.

LoveGarden x 5th LD Clone (:
Guest
LoveGarden x 5th LD Clone (:

Also, yay pink tie Jim is back!

LoveGarden x 5th LD Clone (:
Guest
LoveGarden x 5th LD Clone (:

But what of the Namekians? Where are they going to go now that their home has been destroyed?

(Valve is Freeza in this).

Jiryn
Guest
Jiryn
Hopefully this goes a long way to help clean up Steam and some of the bad rep the PC gaming industry had garnered due to the Green Light. It honestly felt like the Atari days where anyone with even the most basic coding knowledge could get their game on the platform, flooding the market with bad to mediocre games. As for what Valve is doing…. Gabe Newell just announced they are hard are work at making 3 brand new games. These are complete, full featured and fully realized games and not just tech demos. The only catch.. they are HTC… Read more »
LoveGarden x 5th LD Clone (:
Guest
LoveGarden x 5th LD Clone (:

Does Vive have enough units sold to make exclusive 1st hand games for it viable?

Given the poor sales of Oculus and the hundreds of demo stations shutting down, I thought the Vive would have been in a worse situation given it’s even more expensive and restrictive.

Sucks to hold those games away from people without £1500 spare.

Jiryn
Guest
Jiryn

I think they all had horrible adoption and support rates to be honest.

Gurphardt
Guest

I’ve seen people say that the technology will cheapen as it gets more widespread and more people start looking to innovate for it, but I honestly don’t think this first generation is going to sell well enough to generate that sort of corporate interest.

Jiryn
Guest
Jiryn

Personal opinion
I feel VR is and always will be a niche gimmick, made for a very specific set of games or ideas. Unless the game is entirely first person, there really is no point.

I’ve seen people try to make table top strategy games, and 3rd person platformers.. and they don’t work.

Gurphardt
Guest

Agreed. I think the whole thing is overblown as well. It has a novelty appeal but it’s prohibitively expensive, and we’ve seen plenty of times in the past how quickly these things fade away once it’s apparent they have no real legs under them.

Stormbringer
Guest

Time Magazine (recently) quoted Mark Zuckerberg’s (sp?) saying it would now be a decade or five years minimum until there’s any chance/conditions of seeing significant adoption/movement. In other words, he has no idea, but no time soon. He’s the principal money nozzle of it all. So he ought to know.

BAH!
Guest
BAH!

The Vive has been outselling the Oculus, last I heard. Regardless, I’m not sure exclusive titles are the way to go in selling VR hardware.

Or course, there’s always the possibility of hacking the thing and unlocking it, just like they did with the Oculus.

diamond
Guest
diamond

Not to mention the Rift will now likely be pulled from shelves as a result of the Zenimax lawsuit

09philj
Guest
09philj

If the fee is too high, indie devs are going to need to drum up even more cash for their budget, which is a bit of a bugger if you were just intending to make something simple and cheap. On the other hand, if it’s too low… fuck.

InfamousDS
Guest
InfamousDS
It really depends on how in-depth the screening is. A common joke on the official Amazon Seller forums, up until last year when bad PR started happening about counterfeits, is that all you needed was a pulse and the ability to fog a mirror; For the record, Amazon requires a valid credit card, a valid bank account, a business ID, and a username but no fee unless you pay for a benefits plan. Their system is fully automated as well, and seems to be the model Valve decided to borrow from. If that’s the case, we can expect some kind… Read more »
MJC
Guest
MJC

Let indie devs drum up more cash then. They can go on Kickstarter or something similar and if their game actually looks good, they’ll make the money easily. And since they only need to fund the Steam fee instead of the entire game development, the goal will be low and easy to reach.

$5,000 is too low, honestly. Crank that shit up.

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