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Paranautical Activity un-launches on Steam after creator threatens to kill Gabe Newell

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Paranautical Activity un-launches on Steam after creator threatens to kill Gabe Newell

Update: Maulbeck has issue an apology, and is leaving Code Avarice. 

Paranautical Activity developer Mike Maulbeck has always had a tempestuous relationship with Valve and Steam, but the antagonism — and consequences — hit a new peak as Valve removed his game from the Steam store after Maulbeck apparently tweeted, “I am going to kill gabe newell [sic]. He is going to die."

That went over about as well as you might expect.

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NEOTOKYO mod sees full Steam release, and it's free

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NEOTOKYO mod sees full Steam release, and it's free

NEOTOKYO began as a mod for Half-Life 2: a first person shooter set within future Japan. After being Greenlit almost over two years ago, it’s finally found itself with a full release on the Steam store, and best of all it’s free. It boasts a futuristic take on combat thanks to the cybernetically enhanced soldiers such as motion detection and thermal vision.

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We all live in a roguelike: We Need to Go Deeper is what Jules Verne would play

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We all live in a roguelike: We Need to Go Deeper is what Jules Verne would play

I once fell into a trench and broke my leg. I’ve never trusted them since then, even if the main cause of my embarrassing tumble and broken limb was copious amounts of cheap vodka. I might have to break with tradition, though, because Jules Verne-inspired nautical roguelike We Need to Go Deeper’s underwater trench, The Living Infinite, sounds like just the sort of place I’d like to visit.

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Towns development halted as lead dev can no longer afford to pay rent

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Towns development halted as lead dev can no longer afford to pay rent

Towns is a management game built on the strong foundations of Dungeon Keeper and Dwarf Fortress. It was part of the first wave of Greenlight games to be approved for sale on Steam, and its three developers worked steadily for more than a year afterwards to build on its beta bedrock.

Trouble began when the team announced their February update would be their last, however, citing a lack of “strength to continue". A fresher-faced indie was brought on board to take over development duties - but now he, too, has been forced to concede defeat.

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Chronology throws together a man and a snail and tasks them with saving a dead world

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Chronology throws together a man and a snail and tasks them with saving a dead world

“Think Day of the Tentacle meets Lost Vikings," says Chronology developer Osao Games. Well, I think to myself, that’s a bit dangerous. Drunk Scandinavians and time travel sounds like a recipe for disaster. 

But it turns out that Chronology isn’t about drunk Scandinavians at all, but is a time jumping platforming puzzler. It’s been Greenlit and will go live on May 12th.

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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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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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