In the gaming industry, unless you have the backing of big companies it can be hard to get your game noticed. There are ways to get the funds for development and there are ways to get them published, but to get the most exposure it’s always best to release the game in as many places as possible, especially on the PC. Independent games and even some retro games are available from sites such as GOG.com but it’s arguable that to have the most success Steam is the way to go.
Steam is rising in popularity, part of this reason is that so many of the big releases force the use of the system but another reason is that it makes the process of installing and playing easier. It even adds the bonus of having achievements, of the game supports it of course. The question is how do smaller games get onto Steam? This is where Steam Greenlight comes in.
Steam Greenlight and the Steam Community
The idea behind Steam Greenlight is to submit your idea for your game to Steam, provide images and videos of what you are creating and then hoping for the best. Steam will then take your idea and present it to the “community” of Steam users. They provide feedback on the page set up for your game, give it a thumbs up and let Steam know that if the game was available they would buy it. The concept is to show Steam that there is an interest for it to be actually on the service and also provide feedback from real gamers as to if there is a potential audience for your idea.
One game that is currently in the Greenlight system and looking for votes is The 7th Guest. This is an “old school” PC game by Trilobyte Games which was one of the first FMV and CD games released. At its time it was quite revolutionary, but of course we’ve moved on from then. The fact is though it’s still got a lot of fans, many who have bought it from sites like GOG.com and on their iOS devices out of nostalgia. The 7th Guest is currently going through the Greenlight process not only to try to gain access to the Steam system but also to see if there is an audience for a possible third game. I know as a fan, I for one would love to see this happen so it needs all the votes it can get.
Games both from the independent developers and retro gaming need all the help they can get to be noticed in an industry that at times is dominated by big game releases. For fans looking for something a little different there is plenty of choice out there, especially from the independent developers who have yet to make that move to bigger and brighter things. I personally like the idea of Steam Greenlight as a way to help these people, as well as using other platforms such as Kickstarter to provide the funds for the continuation of development on these projects. Anything that can keep the industry strong on all levels has to be a good thing.