Steam Greenlight. It stinks and I don’t like it. It has the potential to get a lot of great indie games onto Steam that might not otherwise have made it there, but right now it seems more likely to be ignored by most of the community after the first few weeks of trolling are over.
Give ten people a marker and nine out of ten of them will probably wind up drawing dicks all over the walls. The same is basically true of Greenlight. Mixed in with a dozen or so projects that actually seem awesome and worthy of being on Steam are over twenty pages of projects that really aren’t. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the worst offenders.
Obviously I’m not going to go through all 23 of the pages of crappy projects currently up on Greenlight, because I don’t hate myself quite that much, but hopefully I’ve managed to assemble a pretty accurate sampling of the garbage that threatens to choke this decent but poorly-planned idea to death.
#10: Zombie Blaster
Why are there so many zombie games these days? It seems like just about every everyone learning how to program makes one. Hell, I’ve made one. I would guess it’s because writing zombie AI is pretty much the easiest thing in the world. They run straight toward the player’s current location, and their brainless nature gives you an excuse not to have to make them avoid obstacles or do many of the things the player can. Zombie Blaster was made in Game Maker 8, according to its description. It’s simplistic in every way, and from the look of it fails to even give its zombies proper zombie behavior. Rather than try to chase down the player, these zombies seem much more interested in flailing around randomly, bouncing into as many walls as possible. Now obviously anyone’s early game projects are going to be rough, but did the game’s creator honestly think this was worth trying to sell on Steam?
Oh boy, another fake retro indie platformer! This one stars everyone’s most beloved gaming superstar, a blue square (sprite may change in the future)! What makes this game special you might ask? Well, it has a blur filter! It also appears that all of the spriting was done in MS Paint! Innovation!
If you’re a content creator of any kind, chances are your early work is going to be crap. Use it as a learning experience, don’t try to sell it.
Notch is pretty notorious for saying time after time that he never wants Minecraft to be made available on Steam. Some French guy apparently disagrees. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Either people are trying to make a quick buck by getting other people’s games approved for sale under their name, or nobody understands how the Greenlight system works in the first place.
MS Paint seems to be the spriting program of choice for the Greenlight community. Montana Brown is a puzzle game starring a hideous old man who completes puzzles while ascending a bean stalk. Be careful not to get touched by spiders though, or you’ll explode into blood. The puzzle design seems fairly well thought out, but yet again this seems like a game that’s far too rough to belong on Steam.
…What? I… What?
Apparently this is a racing game, and it’s free to play, so that’s good. There’s a car, a box, and a picture of a blue sky. I can only assume this is a sequel to Crazy Bus.
…I think I need to go lay down and think about my life.
#5: Killswitch 1989
Oh look, somebody ported Limbo to the Game Boy, and then back to PC. Those are certainly some spooky gears, but I think it could use a couple skeletons or something. I would make fun of this more, but there’s hardly anything to work with, because for some reason Greenlight doesn’t require much to work with.
It looks like even Activision is getting in on the Greenlight action, submitting a brand new Modern Warfare game for your approval! This time around they’ve taken a bold new direction for the series, skipping Modern Warfare 4 entirely and radically altering the award-winning gameplay formula. Chase horses around the city on foot or in a car without wheels, shoot some chick in the ass with a paintball gun and do battle with giant ants! It’s not going to be out for a few months yet, but word is IGN has already given this one a preemptive ten out of ten.
This appears to be a half-assed remake of a game called Real Lives, a simulator that takes the player through the life of a randomly generated person anywhere on Earth from birth to death, allowing them to make a variety of choices. TextLife seems to be a similar concept with a simpler interface and far narrower scope. It might be sort of fun for a few minutes, and apparently it’s going to be free, but come on, this doesn’t belong on Steam guy.
#2: Our Mafia
I’m not sure what to make of this one. The trailer’s narration is pure gold, but the game looks extremely rough. It seems vaguely like a Space Station 13 type of game, putting seventeen players into random roles with objectives based on the roles. Thing is, I’m pretty sure there’s already a mafia-themed version of that game out there. It might be a cool idea, but this guy didn’t come up with it, and this hardly looks like an improvement over what’s already available elsewhere.
#1: Zero-Player Game
This is an ascii game that consists of a character sheet that updates itself every second as the game plays itself. Once the player has set up their character, there is zero interaction at all. That’s right, it’s basically Progress Quest. Steam is for games, which this isn’t.
#0: Katawa Shoujo