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Steam Strategy now that Greenlight is gone

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by HonoraryBob, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. HonoraryBob

    HonoraryBob

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    Some months ago we had a discussion about the likely consequences of Steam's new post-Greenlight policy. Does anyone have any analysis of how things have changed since then?
     
  2. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    The big change is number of games per month. Greenlight was a bottleneck that reduced the number of new games by blocking and/or delaying games from getting onto the Steam store. With Steam Direct, that bottleneck is now completely gone. I heard there were about 300-400 new games getting added to the Steam store per month before Steam Direct, and now that number is around 1000 new games per month. That number will probably continue to rise.
     
  3. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    Is this based off analtyics/statistics or someones opinion?
    I think the number will eventually go down when half or more of those developers realize they are not making back there 100 bucks every time they put up a un-fun, un-polished game! This is only my opinion.
     
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  4. FrankenCreations

    FrankenCreations

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    Im currently working on a mobil game. If it cost me 100 bucks to list it on google play I would. I expect to make little to no money from this venture. I do it because its fun for me. I dont plan to spam rubbish at the play store. Is this insanity?
     
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  5. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    Those numbers were gleaned at random from various comments YouTubers have made about various stats recently. I have no idea how accurate those numbers are.

    As far as some people giving up on Steam and eventually seeing the number of new games subside, I highly doubt it. The number of new games per month is far higher on mobile, and people continue to post new games on mobile. My guess is that the number of new games per month on Steam will continue to rise indefinitely.
     
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  6. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    With your dedication to quality - Nope - IMO you are considered in the other half. Someone who is developing for the fun of it. You are among the half with other developers who generate quality products which hope to generate earnings.

    Direct will surely reduce wanna be developers who were generating crap in hopes of quick bucks - flippers, and people who just aren't creative/talented. Those numbers will eventually dwindle when - thoses game that are just junk don't make a return on investment.
    $100 per pop isn't chump change when you consider some of the developers making those games were pushing 3-4 "games" every other month. Enough to keep Sterling and others, fat with terrible content to play and complain about.
     
  7. Kiwasi

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    I haven't seen any of the doom and gloom predictions in my recommended games feed. So the recommendations system seems up to the job. It doesn't appear to have made a difference to good games or customers who buy them. So from my gamer perspective its business as usual.

    From a developer perspective I ran into some technical difficulties getting Pond Wars on Steam, and haven't yet taken the time out to fix the issue and actually launch.
     
  8. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    My guess is that the number will lower. Because those numbers are the result of a pile of games "backlogged" from Greenlight being released. They aren't brand new games.
     
  9. HemiMG

    HemiMG

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    Yep, my Party Animals game was greenlit, even though it had horrible yes/no ratio and people hated the graphics. I'm not going to throw it up on Steam because my goal is to create a product that people will want to play so it stays where it is until I can find the means to make the graphics more cartoony like people want. But I suspect a whole lot of games also got greenlit that wouldn't otherwise, all at once, and that many of those developers just slapped them up onto the store.
     
  10. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    From what I understand every single game on Greenlight was automatically accepted. I'm not completely sure that's true, but it seems to be the case from what I've heard.
     
  11. kittik

    kittik

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    I do not believe that that is the case. When Steam was getting rid of Greenlight, they had members of staff going through the Greenlight submissions, deciding which ones should be accepted.

    I was fortunate enough to also be accepted, even though my Yes/No average was not that great.

    - Link
     
  12. Kiwasi

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    That's what the evidence indicates. I've not heard of a single person that didn't get greenlit.
     
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  13. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Hmm, I see.

    I'll admit I'm dubious of their claims - or perhaps their bar for entry is rather low. Regardless, I'm pretty sure that's the main reason for the recent influx of released games.
     
  14. HonoraryBob

    HonoraryBob

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    Good discussion. My main purpose in asking the original question was to try to determine whether it's a good idea to release a game on Steam about a month from now, or whether it''ll be so clogged that any new games will just get lost in the shuffle. If the current glut is caused by so many Greenlight submissions being suddenly approved at the end of Greenlight, then the volume should subside soon; but if it's caused by people viewing the $100 submission fee as an easy way to get their game on the market, it could actually get worse, right? Which interpretation is more likely?
     
  15. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Considering that there was already a $100 fee - Greenlight itself - I don't think it's merely people thinking "it's cheap!" On the other hand, it IS faster because they aren't waiting for votes. On the other hand, however (don't ask how many hands I have), it's been merely two months since Direct started, not nearly enough to really make a game , so it's not likely these people saw the Direct announcement and scrambled to make games. On the other hand (okay, I'm a Hindu god at this point), the cheap little "asset flip" style of games (not necessarily an asset flip, but with equivalent amounts of effort) could probably be made in a month or two.

    But my bet is on it subsiding.
     
  16. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    What is your situation?
    If I were in your shoes - first of all they are probably too big for me so I'd be flopping around :) - but seriously, unless you are in a situation where "You have to ship - because the stars have aligned and you will be kicked out of your dwelling if you can't generate income", unless that situation exists, I might wait and watch how steam submissions play out for the next 3-4 months.
    Unfortunately - the holiday season is fastly approaching - and this is the time when a lot of indies tend to spend on development, because AAA games are full-frontal and all marketers and advertisers and youtubers - are all focused on AAA. No room for the smaller indies.
    So - if you buy into that theory - this gives you a small window - publish within the next 1-2 months with no analytics on steam submissions, or wait until January. :eek:

    Conversely - depending on your specific game, the genre, the huge following you already have, and how much 'free' marketing you already have lined up, maybe the AAA holiday season doesn't matter that much - because you are already set to make a good showing irrespective of them damn corporate developed video games hording all the attention.
     
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  17. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    Okay well I got a part time job at a augmented reality startup. Now its paying so much money I can actually afford to pay for custom art + music. Higher production values might help you stand out from the crowd abit

    The only thing I can say is you either got to get lucky or start a larger strategy of building up a set of niche games. Play the long game instead of the short game, so make quality games, and try to make them in a way that your first set of fans will like the next game. I guess thats abit depressing that we are going to be flooded out - oh well no one said it would be easy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  18. HemiMG

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    Maybe, since the Greenlight fee is the same as the free for a single direct game, each developer had one Greenlight submission approved? I dunno. I hadn't even checked the email linked to my Steam account in a while. I didn't think to even go check until Bored Mormon (who I can't tag for some reason) said that Pond Wars was approved.

    I am quite literally in that situation, after a depressing string of failures. I may try to polish my game a little in my spare time, but I have to focus more on the difficult task of finding decent freelance gigs to get my income level up in a very short amount of time, while fighting off the crippling fear of potentially being homeless. I don't want to rely on another project when I know it will likely tank as well. Anywho, after that little bit of joy, back to work!
     
  19. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Errrrr...have you looked at his username?
     
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  20. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    GL Hemi - any possibility of landing a full-time paid job? That seems a more stable route moving forward and allows for development without the stress of making a super hit title.
     
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  21. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Have to agree with this. Depending on your game to sustain you, when you're concerned about the sales being affected the rising tide of releases, seems like a bad idea.

    Also, to all the people who do release: post links to your game! Put them in your sig. Make a thread. Just let us know, because some of us are really nice and will buy your game to support you :)
     
  22. HemiMG

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    I just searched for it and saw a thread about him changing it. Apparently that happened a while ago. I have been away. I wonder what else is different here? Sheesh, I need to stick around more.

    Not likely since I don't have a car. This was my parent's house, so I'm going to take whatever freelance stuff I can get to try and save it. I was never really banking on hits, just things that ended up with moderate income. A variety of things impeded that. I've been at this since 2009, so it isn't like I can't theoretically turn things around. I just waited too late and may have it come back and bite me.
     
  23. LaneFox

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    I think at the bottom line its basically much the same scenario. You need to make a decent product, gain some kind of media attention and not completely screw up promotion and release.

    This was basically the case with GL, and it seems like its basically still the case but instead of paying a fee and getting voted on, you just pay a fee.
     
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  24. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Still here. I just go by @Kiwasi now.
     
  25. HonoraryBob

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    Waiting until January isn't an option, so I guess I'll try to release within the next month or so, which is why I asked whether the Steam situation is likely to improve within that timeframe. But I don't think things are as bleak for indies during the holiday season as you suggest. Case in point: "Tattletail" came out just after Christmas last year and did fairly well. Many big Youtubers routinely showcase indie games all year round (including many really obscure games from small developers), which provides free advertising. One worry is that the glut of Steam releases might greatly reduce the chances of being covered by a big Youtuber.
     
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  26. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    Or your game could end up as a shiny penny in a mud hole. ;)
     
  27. HemiMG

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    Yeah, it all makes sense now. When I first came back, I saw this new person (you) with a very high post count and got confused. Haha.
     
  28. N1warhead

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  29. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Just think of how much better your stuff will look.

    Also, what the heck is a 2nd person shooter. I don't even know.
     
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  30. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    I am not planning to buy that game. It is not hurting me, though, to coexist with a game like that on Steam. That developer will bring some new gamers to Steam, such as friends and family, who will wish to support that developer regardless of the quality level of the dev's first game. Those new Steam users will purchase other games on Steam. Meanwhile, the Steam store's AI will bury that game, so nearly nobody will find it on Steam.
     
  31. Aiursrage2k

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    If you make a game thats not a piece of junk you can also port to the consoles.
     
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  32. N1warhead

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    The problem isn't that game singularly, the problem is thousands of these types of games flooding the market.
    I'd believe Steam would be fine - if Google Play didn't face this exact problem - all these gems never get found, simply because of hundreds of crap games being submitted daily.

    if I owned Steam, or google, etc. I'd hire a team to play at least parts of these games, idc how much it would cost. Because in the long run, having nothing but quality games on my service will result in more money from more quality purchases.
     
  33. Murgilod

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    Valve did do this. For like a decade. They openly admitted that this method caused them to make less money and that it hindered good games from releasing on the platform.
     
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  34. ShilohGames

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    Valve did exactly what you are advocating until they realized that they were only hurting themselves by doing that. Strict curation helped Valve miss out on games like Minecraft. Opening up the platform to a wider group of games has allowed Valve to make a lot more money than they ever did with their previously curated system.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
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  35. Kiwasi

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    You remember how much money was made off of flappy bird? Terrible games occasionally make a huge amount of money. The market that has sells these games gets a cut.

    Steams strategy is not to have only the best games. Its to have every single game.
     
  36. N1warhead

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    Eh I just don't like crap games on the last market that actually has decent stuff thats easy to find.

    Mark my words, Steam is going to end up like Google Play where you're never gonna find stuff that interests you without going through 20,000 crap games in the way of it.

    Even Xbox Live Arcade suffered the same fate and resulted in being shut down. There was people selling games that were photos of their room and you just saw the photos and that was it. And it was listed as a game!

    At least the new Xbox stuff is at least regulated with quality controls.

    I don't mind crap graphics, I prefer games with crap graphics, but I don't like games that are photos of your room lol.
     
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  37. gian-reto-alig

    gian-reto-alig

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    I would say this is true for people who are creating real games... you know, the ones with "quality" going into it.
    But by volume the other games, the fake games and asset flips, outweight these by numbers, BECAUSE it will take a dev far less time than 2 months, maybe not even two days to cobble together an asset flip or even just download a complete project from the asset store, slap a new log on it, and upload that unpolished turd to Steam.

    So while I would agree that most probably not many have made more crap just because they no longer have to pay for fake votes... it is a possibility to do in 2 months. Seems like the worst of the worst might have created multiple "games" per week, amounting to quite the storm of sh*te within 2 months time.


    IMO though probably its best to wait some months and see where Steam direct is going. Or just man up and make sure your marketing is up to snuff, and don't care about the torrent of games flooding Steam at the moment.
     
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  38. Martin_H

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    I actually thought about that concept a while ago and came to the conclusion that it should be played from first person perspective, but all the shooting is done by a second character in the game. And maybe you can switch between the two, but always only shoot with the other one.


    With the numbers someone posted about earnings from giving keys to card farmers, it seems basically impossible to not make back your 100$ if you are willing to do the shady deals. That's why the fee should have been at least 1000$ or more per title.
     
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  39. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    That's okay. I legitimately can't remember the last time I found a game I wanted through browsing Steam. My method for finding new games is to simply visit communities dedicated to games I enjoyed and looking for or posting threads asking about similar games and reading up on the suggestions.
     
  40. N1warhead

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    Heh yeah I hear ya.
     
  41. HonoraryBob

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    It sounds like Steam probably isn't going to remain a good place to gain exposure for a game, but I think it'll take months for the shift to occur since Youtube gaming channels have a desperate need for fresh content on a daily basis and right now Steam is probably still the best option for them to find new indie games. It remains to be seen whether there are too many new games for any one game to get noticed, or whether (as some people suggested) the large amount of bad games will only make the rest seem like gems by comparison. Does anyone know how many new games typically come out in a given week?
     
  42. Player7

    Player7

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    The strategy now is ...
    lol... is just no accounting for the declining lack of standards, ethics and morals in the market and western countries these days.

    The localized markets for Asian countries is getting better.. I can't possibly imagine all the reasons for why that is.

    Those sort of statistics and factual observations when pointed out well ...perhaps bright people figure it out :)
     
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  43. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    But cards don't drop until the game has some unspecified number of players. How does it work in the new system, when there's no guarantee of cards being there?

    I actually have found games that seemed interesting to me, that I dropped onto the wishlist for a sale. A couple include Traverser, Toren, Immortal Defense, and more.

    I do get plenty of chaff, but I get probably one wishlisted game every few weeks, which is not bad at all.
     
  44. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Strategy for finding games is a combination of things at Steam and outside of Steam. A YT video, a review on another site, etc. On Steam it is checking out games in the libraries of gamers who have left favorable reviews for games I like, browsing tags and checking out Steams recommendations for me.

    I find a lot of games simply by returning to the pages for games I already own and checking out the reviews. When a person describes the game similarly to how I see it I figure there is a good chance I will like some of the other games they like so check out their game libraries.

    By the same token when I see someone leaving completely stupid comments ("Crap graphics", "seems like a game from the 80s not something that should be sold today", etc) I know I cannot trust anything this person writes because they are a complete 180 from me. Although saying that I have at times actually looked for other games in their libraries where they have left the same kind of negative comments thinking if they hate it and are trashing a game chances are it is actually a good game worth me checking it out.

    For development... the strategy is same as always I think. Make a game, let as many of the people who would like the game know about it as you can. Concrete things would be find the people, build a community or work with a good publisher. Many of the successful (high sales) Indie games have used a publisher.
     
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  45. GarBenjamin

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    Here are a few other recent ones. It looks like things are definitely getting better! Seem to be fairly original anyway something that I think a lot of people look for in Indie titles.

    Attack of the Gooobers (trailer on Steam)
    [​IMG]

    EXON: The Impossible Challenge


    Co-Co CORN MAFIA



    That third game, the FPS actually looks like it would be fun (well they all look like they could be fun but I like the cornflake angle)... a lighthearted FPS... it is a shame they didn't add more enemies and location variety. I give them credit though for making the boss out of 3 normal corn enemies. Maybe they could have added frosted flakes and those ones the frost is armor or maybe they cast magic. And the cereal box would be cool for the boss. I hope the developer continues working on it.

    Overall pretty exciting times because Steam seems to be improving. Getting rid of that silly vote thing I think really has allowed a lot more people to finally be able to get into game dev & release on Steam. I mean just $100 per game. For many people that is just skipping 7 pizzas per month or 25 of their Starbucks coffees.

    EDIT: I probably should mention I am serious. I'd much prefer to see this kind of stuff than just more of the same ole games looking more or less the same. Plus I really like it when a game has to rely heavily on its ideas and gameplay experience instead of graphics to stand out.

    I think now that the "band of idiots" won't be able to block such games from even getting a chance we might just see some new ideas and a bit more creativity. Yes we'll have to deal with some truly bad stuff along the way but it's worth it. Well I guess it all depends on what a person wants. I mean if you want AAA style games only there are numerous options including GameStop, Walmart and Amazon. If you want something else... looks like Steam may finally have reached its golden age. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017 at 4:25 PM
  46. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    There was a lot of crying over the years by many devs who couldn't get their game greenlit. Probably tens of thousands of games. These are flooding in right now. I'd avoid releasing a new game on Steam until at least November.
     
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  47. LaneFox

    LaneFox

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    Are you suggesting that Steam isn't the only platform?
     
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  48. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    I may have missed the point of your post - if so - ignore. o_O

    I know we have similar tastes on certain games - I have Diablo3, Axiom Verge and Environmental Station Alpha - I think you do as well. So - we are in agreement on some games that are really nice and have good quality, gameplay and graphics. ;)

    But as we have discussed at length before we are both attracted to certain games for different reasons. Although we agree about design being the most important part of the entire game -- I'm having a very hard time finding any redeeming factors in any of the 3 examples you provided - based on your criteria.

    Goobers is a low res Gauntlet with added customization and less reason to play because its just a wave based shooter with no story.
    Exon is a 'yawn' fast paced, twitch shooter without guns, or organic elements, although I think the stealth element is moderately interesting.
    And Corn Mafia - is a first gen Wolfenstein with terrible textures, one terrible enemy, and no good reason to play if you have ever played Wolfenstein over 20 years ago. I'm serious as well - why even consider that game if you played the superior quality in EVERY way 20+ year old Wolfenstein, and there is a ton of other better games currently available that actually have redeeming qualities in this exact same sub-genre.

    These games are exactly what you said you don't want to see - the same ole games looking more or less the same. In this case - less because they are not good. And Corn is the same game as a 20+ year old well made game - just extremely more crappy.

    What ideas do these examples rely on, besides the stealth mechanic in Exon, these examples are sorry attempts at rehashed games from 20 years ago? The experience they are providing is nothing new - actually very old - and with added bad graphics. These examples need to improve their graphics if they hope to be anything other than 20 year old failed rehashed game.

    I don't see any new ideas presented in those examples - zero creativity, other than Exon stealth instead of bullets, and that at best should be supported with some nice textured models and some organic surfaces, not untextured spinner tops with solid colored police hats.

    This is why we can't have nice things! :p But once games like this fail to make a return on investment the developers will reconsider pushing them onto steam at $100 per submission. - hopefully!
     
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  49. GarBenjamin

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    @theANMATOR2b Solid. And cornflakes man!!! I said I wish they had added more enemies and environment stuff etc. I agree. Still cornflakes!! Lol

    I'll have to do a proper reply (you know my "books") later. It's dog bath day then am heading out for a while.
     
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  50. Aiursrage2k

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    Maybe you should do an indie youtube game review show. I actually bought the corn game after looking at it. I think those games look okay and quite frankly if the devs had spent a few grand on the art assets and polished it would have made all the difference.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017 at 12:34 AM
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