Larian Studios' Swen Vincke has penned one of his usual long blog posts, this time starting from the recently released Inquisitor, which is one of the titles that are currently attempting to be released on Steam with the new Greenlight service launched by Valve, to then speculate on the evolution of Steam's latest feature. Here's an excerpt:
At first I wondered why you would even want to list games that aren’t finished, because right now the only thing they do is obfuscate the scene and make it harder to find the good stuff. And chances are that many of these games that are still “in development” will never see the light of day – there’s a big difference in league between guys who start making a game and guys that finish it.
But then it dawned on me that if you get “games in development” on Steam Greenlight, you are creating an opportunity to eventualy launch a Kickstarter like service on Steam to help fund unfinished games. That could be good news for developers I think, especially if in an act of enormous goodwill towards the game developer community, Steam and Kickstarter link up.
Imagine that a to be developed game is both featured on Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight, with the funding of each channel contributing to the development of the game, and the services working together to promote the game to their communities. It would be a very significant boost for game development. Through the Steam account you could even come up with a kind of micro-investment scheme in which players get to invest money, and actually get their investment back once the game ships and sells on Steam (with perhaps a small margin). That might lead to even bigger budgets becoming available through crowd funding.
That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t group of finished and unfinished games in separate categories though, and as it stands, I think that’s sorely lacking (perhaps it’s there and I just missed the filter button – I’m very impatient when checking something out )
I also think they shouldn’t mix all genres together, because I can imagine that a FPS might get a lot more votes than an adventure. If that adventure has more votes than any other adventure however, it’d probably merit being published on Steam, because there’s still a market for people who like adventure games. I hope that’s what they mean with “We are most interested in finding games that people want, not requiring them to always hit a specific number of votes”.
Coming back to the difference between Graveyard Baby Hospital and Inquisitor, just looking at them also gives you the feeling that you’re dealing with two completely different development budgets. Where I can imagine that the guys who’re making GBH might be ok if they make say 100KUS$ through other channels than Steam, for sure the Inquisitor guys won’t be ok if they just earn back a 100KUS$.