Steam has started selling software as of yesterday, which is cool but of no direct consequence to PC gaming. Except, maybe it is. Amongst its first ranks is GameMaker: Studio, the all-over development tool used to build recent indie notables Spelunky and Gunpoint. Using GameMaker’s free version, indies will be able to develop and release games direct to Steam Workshop.
It’s a Steam Greenlight bypass license of sorts, with the pretty heavy caveat that your game won’t be making any money.
That’s not an idea to be sniffed at, though - Spelunky’s GameMaker-produced PC version was released for free in 2009, and eventually wound up making Derek Yu lots of money with its XBLA update earlier this summer.
Similarly, indie heroes Vlambeer began their career with the very much free Super Crate Box, which has since set Other Platforms alight - a PS Vita version was announced this morning - to the tune of actual profit.
GameMaker Workshop is live, and already filling up with tiny games for you to peruse. Spotted anything you like?
Update: It seems that, like other Steam Workshop titles, you'll need GameMaker installed to download from its Workshop. In addition, games will only be accessible via the program - whether this slightly wonky route will be enough to put punters off trying free games remains to be seen.