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.
I have a lot of sympathy for Neal Stephenson and his CLANG team. They spent their crowdfunded $526,000 in exactly the way they’d intended to - but found their attempts to source further funding frustrated by months-long wild goose chases.
Consequently, they’ve given up working on the game full-time to “hoard beans” - finding other paying gigs in the Seattle area and returning to CLANG only during their evenings and weekends.
“The project isn't dead in dead-parrot sense until the core team has given up on it and moved decisively on to other projects,” reasoned the team in their last update. “Other events such as declarations of bankruptcy can also serve as pretty reliable markers of a project's being dead.
“In the case of CLANG, none of this has happened yet.”
They’re hopeful of finding the perfect financier before it’s too late. Nonetheless, this is not a game that’s going to be in fit state to hit Steam’s front page any time soon. Either Valve haven’t done their research, or they’ve knowingly pledged to sell a game now far from guaranteed to reach its intended state.
Neither option inspires confidence in the Greenlight process. Though the other 39 new games now promised a spot on Steam might help with that:
It’s an incredibly diverse list. Which among these games has you interested?