GAMING BLEND

Steam Greenlight Gets Trashed By The Devs Of Paranautical Activity

By William Usher 2013-06-02 21:18:32 discussion comments
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Flameproof jockstrap? I don't leave home without it. Hopefully the developers behind Paranautical Activity are equipped from head to toe with flameproof fanboy gear, because they lay thick into the Steam Greenlight process over a little incident that occurred when trying to get their game onto Steam's store.

The above, lengthy 24 minute rant disguised as an interview basically picks apart the somewhat backwards-ended process for getting onto Steam and the biggest problems that Mike Maulbeck and Travis Pfenning from Code Avarice ran into trying to get their game, Paranutical Activity, onto the Steam Store.

YouTube LP'er Green9090 does little in the way of moderation and basically uses the opportunity to work as a sounding board between the developer's end and what gamers experience when they have to sift through the less-than-perfunctory Greenlight page search engine to find games.

So why all the furor over the supposedly incompetent system that is Greenlight? Well, Maulbeck and Pfenning originally put their game on Steam's Greenlight service because they didn't have a publisher. Shortly thereafter they were offered a deal by Adult Swim. Great. The only problem is that Valve shot down the idea of having Paranautical Activity moved directly to the store is because it's already on Greenlight, and they didn't want indies thinking they could bypass the Greenlight by actively lobbying for publisher support. So now Paranautical Activity isn't on Steam because it's on Greenlight because Adult Swim tried to get the game published on Steam. Right.

Now look, I like what Steam has to offer. I've been vocal about not liking the service before, but Valve has done a lot to give back to the gaming community, to help developers and to really provide direct interaction between developers and gamers. I do believe there is a place for something like Greenlight because it allows developers with unconventional ideas and design risks to take it directly to the community, such as The Black Tower, Riot or Papers, Please.

I think in a lot of regards if the game is good and gets played by a popular (or semi-popular) Let's Play personality, it helps a lot in bringing awareness to the game, just as Travis mentions in the video. I don't think there's any real favoritism towards this process that ultimately affects Greenlight, but I understand their frustration with it. I mean, any game can get picked out for a Let's Play session and it may or may not hit it off with its respective audience.

I think the video mostly showcases two guys frustrated at the bureaucracy of video game distribution, and it's understandable. I think they'll think a little less effusive with the criticisms toward Greenlight once a few websites and YouTube personalities get a hold of the game.

In this regard, I do agree with Valve that Greenlight should continue to be based on a meritocracy system and not simply based on the plutocracy of a publisher. And while Greenlight isn't perfect, I think Mike and Travis should mostly be directing their anger toward the gaming media, which seems to work like a publisher-ran oligarchy in regards to video game news coverage.

Anyway, if you like the way Paranautical Activity looks and would like to see it on Steam's store, be sure to pay a visit to the official Greenlight page and give it an upvote or two.
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