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Going green: Valve offers IGF finalists a Steam distribution agreement

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Going green: Valve offers IGF finalists a Steam distribution agreement

As promised last year, Valve is offering every Independent Games Festival finalist developing games available for Mac, Linux and PC a Steam distribution deal as part of this year's event. Some games, such as The Stanley Parable and The Banner Saga are already available through Steam, but many aren't even up on Greenlight. 

Developers without a game on Greenlight or Steam will be offered a deal, while those attempting to get community nominations through Greenlight have been fast-tracked and have immediately been moved to the Greenlit category and "into talks of distribution". Not a bad prize on top of being recognised by the IGF judges. 

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Valve greenlight another 50 games for sale on Steam - and one is 86GB

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Valve greenlight another 50 games for sale on Steam - and one is 86GB

Fifty emerald torches have suddenly flared up in one of Steam’s dark-grey corridors, as if to light a videogame protagonist's way to a nearby boss fight. In fact, each represents a place reserved in the Steam Store for a community-championed game.

Inevitably, some of the 50 don’t seem particularly interesting. Some, with names like X-Plane 10, Lambda Wars and Depression Quest, do.

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Valve usher through 100 Steam Greenlight games all at once, as if it's nothing

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Valve usher through 100 Steam Greenlight games all at once, as if it's nothing

I walked past the gates of Valve’s great games factory this morning, as I do every day on my way to school, and was surprised to hear a great clanging emanating from the brick workhouse where Half-Life 2 was once made. The pistons were all a-go, and steam rose from every one of the sixteen chimneys. Also, that modulated guitar noise that heralds the Valve splash screen for half of their games was playing, over and over, from stacked amps. A right racket, it was.

It turns out they were marshalling, if you’ll excuse the pun, another lot of green games to put through their grassroots approval system. A whopping 100 of them, in fact.

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A rare Valve CLANGer: game in carbonite ushered through Steam Greenlight

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A rare Valve CLANGer: game in carbonite ushered through Steam Greenlight

In apparent response to criticism of their treacle-like approval process, Valve have Greenlit no less than 40 thumbed-up games this week. Among them are molecular puzzle games and Bollywood platformers - precisely the sorts of colourful madness Steam is missing. But buried in there too is CLANG - the expensively Kickstarted sword-swishing sim very publically put on ice over a month ago.

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Our Spotlight units plug content our journalists have made, that our advertisers want to promote. Sometimes the promotion is paid for, but the content they go to is always independent with no client oversight or approval.

7 Days to Die Greenlight page removed from Steam over Killing Floor kerfuffle

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7 Days to Die Greenlight page removed from Steam over Killing Floor kerfuffle

Well this is a blooming mess. The Fun Pimps, developers of 7 Days to Die, have been hit with a DMCA notice, their Greenlight page has been taken down and they are now in a legal tango with Tripwire Interactive, creators of Killing Floor. All this appears to be down to communication problems, with both The Fun Pimps and Tripwire Interactive being victims.

One of Tripwire's models from Killing Floor was stolen, repainted and sold as an original asset on the Unity Store. While purchasing placeholder assets for 7 Days to Die, The Fun Pimps purchased the stolen model and use it in the game. Tripwire's lawyer - who calls himself a pet pitbull - got Steam to take down the 7 Days to Die Greenlight page after the developer discovers the stolen asset in game, and now the only person not suffering is the thief. 

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One year of Greenlight: toward a better future

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One year of Greenlight: toward a better future

In a constant scramble for votes and top one hundred placement, the most important question an independent developer can ask is how exactly they can beat on against the current and get their game greenlit, how they can reach out towards the Greenlight that ever recedes before them as, every day, more games accrue more votes. And what can Valve do in response to the needs of these indies, to make the experience easier, fairer and more agreeable?

A year’s worth of criticism and analysis from the indie community has produced its fair share of insight, analysis and frustration.

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Race the Sun Greenlit along with 31 others. Spells joy for struggling developers.

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Race the Sun Greenlit along with 31 others. Spells joy for struggling developers.

Race the Sun’s been Greenlit. The endless runner has been struggling to make sales without a space in the Steam Store. The developers believed that without Steam customers their studio would go under.

With this approval FlippFly can get their game onto the store and getting sales that should hopefully keep them afloat.

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One year of Steam Greenlight: the success stories

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One year of Steam Greenlight: the success stories

The past year would have been a busy enough time for gaming anyway, with both independent and big name developers already beavering away on all sorts of exciting projects, but Valve’s Greenlight went and brought a host of new games to the table.

In that first year, Valve greenlit dozens of titles, from badger simulators to budgeting software, climaxing with an enormous, hundred game approval explosion at the end of August. Some of these games are still in development, others have seen release and several have been big, big hits. Greenlight has made some indie developers very happy people.

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One year of Steam Greenlight: the story so far

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One year of Steam Greenlight: the story so far

Just over a year ago, Valve set out to solve a problem. Deluged with new game submissions from a growing independent game development community, with lots of games that were impossible to pigeonhole, Valve’s traditional Steam approvals process wasn’t meeting the challenge.

Valve’s solution was innovative and community-oriented. They’d let Steam users decide what to publish on the Steam platform, making the selection process more democratic for an increasingly democratic development scene.

Greenlight has been trouble ever since, perhaps the most notably mixed result in Valve’s history. During its first year, Greenlight’s harshest critics were many of the same people it was meant to help. Its own creators seemed, at times, to be on the verge of renouncing it altogether.

To celebrate Greenlight’s first year, and perhaps to wipe its slate clean, Valve recently approved one hundred Greenlight games. It was a goodwill gesture that ameliorated Greenlight’s sluggish, at times grudging rate of approvals.

But is it enough? The mass-approval of Greenlight candidates may have solved problems for some of Greenlight’s most vocal critics, including some of the people who had suffered the most from Valve’s caprices. But it did not come attached to any clear reforms, and for indies who are still looking to bring their games to PC gaming’s biggest marketing platform, Greenlight may still be a crippling roadblock.

With Valve poised to vastly expand their role in gaming via SteamOS, it’s worth looking at how Valve have administered Greenlight throughout its young life. What did Greenlight do right and wrong in its first year, and what does it need to do to improve its standing in the future? This week, we’re examining Greenlight’s record, and examining whether it deserves another year’s worth of “Yes" votes.

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SuperHotCakes: time-ambivalent FPS is fastest Greenlit game on Steam

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SuperHotCakes: time-ambivalent FPS is fastest Greenlit game on Steam

Countless traffic light lollies populate Valve's office, and today 24 of them have been licked so that they're now a sticky, uniform green. Each of those 24 represent a game that’s now officially on its way to the Steam Store, thanks to a bit of groundswelling on the part of their respective communities. Among them are ‘ManCraft’ game Mount Your Friends, Bugbear’s Next Car Game and SuperHot - the latter of which only arrived on Greenlight at the weekend.

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qrth-phyl trailer shows how Blockade in a 3D space is awesome. Needs a hand on Greenlight

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qrth-phyl trailer shows how Blockade in a 3D space is awesome. Needs a hand on Greenlight

Despite dating back to 1976, developers are still trying to improve on the simple formula of Blockade (the precursor to Snake). Hermit Games’ qrth-phil looks to be providing the classic a meaningful jump into 3D. Controlling a Chinese dragon-style snake as you wrap yourself through a tight empty cube in chase of elusive coloured dots looks like awesome fun.

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Steam Greenlight approves 14 more games; badgers, kicking, and darkness all feature

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Steam Greenlight approves 14 more games; badgers, kicking, and darkness all feature

While Valve have admitted there are a number of problems with the Greenlight approval process, the company keep pushing on, trying to get community-approved games carried into the store. Today sees another 14 games make the cut, including some that we’ve covered in our Spotlight on Greenlight feature. Ergo, those developers owe us.

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Valve on Greenlight: “We are working to fix it”

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Valve on Greenlight: “We are working to fix it”

In a candid response to an open letter to Valve concerning the failings of its Greenlight system for indie developers, one of the company's employees said “The primary problem right now is that we simply cannot ship as many games as we’d like. [...] We realise that we are failing in this regard and are working to fix it."

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Deadly Premonition is coming to the PC according to a mug of coffee

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Deadly Premonition is coming to the PC according to a mug of coffee

Deadly Premonition is, by all accounts, one of the best games ever made. I don’t think it ever intended to be that, but the response to this small-budget horror was massive. It’s a murder-mystery so mind-bogglingly weird and broken that its become a cult favourite. It’s basically The Room for videogames, and that’s all kinds of brilliant. What’s also brilliant is that it’s on its way to PC. 

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Spotlight on Greenlight: Mount Your Friends

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Spotlight on Greenlight: Mount Your Friends

Welcome once again to PCGamesN’s Spotlight on Greenlight, our regular Saturday feature where we look at the best and the most interesting Greenlight games that are hoping to make their way onto Steam. We’ve already looked at dozens of other titles in weeks past, so do take a look at our back catalogue.

If you can honestly say that you’ve never wanted to climb a tower constructed of scantily clad gentleman while trying not to be distracted by a ragdoll physics-infused swinging cock bulge then Mount Your Friends may not be for you.

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