Steam: New Controller design and no more Greenlight
Steam dev days are, um, steaming along in Seattle at the moment. It’s a strictly “no press allowed” event, but the power of twitter is strong. Gotta love developers keeping us informed – we even got a pretty picture of the updated Steam controller.
First up, that beautiful controller just got some backwards compatibility. Check it out:
I’m glad that Valve is taking such a different approach with their controller – it may not be what we’re used to, but it might be really fantastic. Besides, if it’s geared towards PC gamers who primarily use mouse and keyboard, it doesn’t have to replicate the Xbox or PlayStation controllers – it needs to be closer to what mouse and keyboard can do. In fact, the abilities of the controller sound pretty cool and flexible:
Steam Controller can be reprogrammed on the fly so context changes use in game. #SteamDevDays
— Tomas Rawlings (@TomasRawlings) January 15, 2014
Meanwhile, Gabe Newell took to the stage to tell people that
Greenlight will fade away as the blocks between development and publishing on Steam are removed
I think this is a double-edged sword. Sure, it’s important to let developers get their games out into the wild, to publish and get seen. However, publishing and getting seen are often two very different prospects. Greenlight and Steam publication in general often serve as a form of curatorship. Most people know that they can just head on over to Desura, IndieGoGo or other indie sites and pick up plenty of independent games that haven’t made the cut for Steam. However, it’s hard to tell which games will be of any sort of quality. Via Steam, and Steam Greenlight, people often get informed about games they wouldn’t otherwise play, and are assured of a certain standard. I hope that as the process is streamlined, there is still some form of curatorship and recommendations – it’s hard enough to find fantastic indie games as they come out, the “Steam bump” (as Mike Bithell called it) can be a huge help for developers looking for exposure.