Thursday, 9 March 2017

User Stories : Mike Coeck - Getting through Greenlight

I am sure that many devs are asking themselves the question:
How do I get through the Steam Greenlight process before Valve changes it and starts charging me horrendous amounts of money? 
For those who don’t know yet, Valve announced that Greenlight in its current form will change. It’s about to be replaced by a new system that will charge up to 5000$ to put your game on the system. Now most will agree that this is a necessary change. 
Too much bad games made it through the process, mostly bad ports of mobile games who don’t have a place on any pc. 

So why would you want to go through Greenlight now before it changes, except of course for the obvious money reasons? 
Well, the good thing about going through the process is that you don’t have to publish your game right away, you can take all the time in the world once the game is lit. Valve has also informed the community that anyone who has gotten through the process, will not be charged any extra money or will not have to go through the new process. 

Let’s break down what we did with Antigraviator to get through Greenlight. First, we started by panicking, not what I recommend you to do, but you might if by reading this article you are just finding out about the changes and realize you probably have one month or less left. We already had plans to put our game through Greenlight, but not immediately, so we had to move some deadlines around.
Our next step was to read up a bit on the Greenlight process and what was needed. I will sum it up for you here: A video showing gameplay, some screenshots and an interesting summary of the games features. Interestingly to note is that you don’t need a demo. I can only recommend to read up on how to do an interesting gameplay video, how to take great screenshots and how to write interesting summary texts for you game, because I am not going to cover that in this article. 

After we created these things, we did make a demo, but in all honestly, looking back at it and seeing two Youtubers trying to cover the game, the demo should have been focused more on the single player element of the game and not the split screen multiplayer. There is really something awkward in seeing one person trying to control two players. 

The last thing was to put everything online and trying to start a buzz. One thing we learned is that people are not waiting to see your game on steam. They are not sitting behind their computers looking for the next greenlight entry that is put online. You must tell them and inform them that your game is on the platform and that they should go and vote. Use social media to do this! There are a couple of interesting groups you should be following on Facebook, the biggest being Indie Game Developers. Also on twitter you should know about using #screenshotsaturday. Getting picked up by a bigger game news site will also help, 
I didn’t happen for Antigraviator, but then again that was not our focus for this campaign. 

We did make a special skin for people who helped us, but that did not bring the success we had hoped for.

- Mike Coeck, CyberWalrus

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