Awhile back Valve teased the introduction of a new system to Steam, known as Greenlight, that would allow the indie community to submit games that would then be voted on by the Steam community as a whole. If a game gets the required amount of support, it would be put up for sale on Steam, without having to deal with the entirety of the Valve’s typical submission process, which many indie games don’t make it through for one reason or another. It sounded like a pretty cool idea.
Yeah… but then it wasn’t.
Greenlight’s barely been up for a full day yet and already it’s packed to the brim with garbage that makes the Xbox Live Indie Games section look like a bastion of quality ideas. You’ve got dozens of 2D Slender Man games that completely miss the point of Slender Man, all sorts of half assed RPG Maker games and just project after project of things that seem to be either jokes or made by children with ADD (or both). Valve has already had to take down a 9/11 simulator.
It’s pretty clear at this point that some basic layer of submission moderation is needed if Greenlight is going to be a success. As it stands the system gives free reign to every idiot that thinks they’re being funny by submitting an intentionally bad RPG Maker project they put together in five minutes and every wannabe game designer with no programming experience who feels like shoving a bunch of Deviantart sketches they did up on Greenlight and calling it a legitimate project. As much of a pain as it might be, some ground rules need to be established. Somebody needs to be looking at these submissions before they go up to make sure they adhere to some basic requirements before they can be submitted for voting.
Obviously the idea is that the community is supposed to moderate Greenlight, upvoting the good, downvoting the bad into oblivion, but if they’re forced to wade through page after page of pure dreck to find the one or two games that are actually worth being made available on Steam, people just aren’t going to bother with it. Quality, not quantity is the name of the game here.
Our coverage of Greenlight is just getting started. If I can manage to drag myself away from Guild Wars 2 for an hour sometime this weekend I plan to put together a top ten of the worst projects I can find on Greenlight. Look forward to it.