First go at the GreenLight – What I learned about Steam

I rushed my functional prototype “The Island”  on to Steam with most of my work going into programming game mechanics and improving performance. That said, my prototype appeared heavily kit bashed, but fast and bug-free. I also painted myself into a corner with a trinity  of cliches; zombies and fps open-world survival on an island. My game hovers around 40% yes votes with a sharp drop in new visitors after a couple days. I had 1/3 “yes” comments with 2/3 scathing “no” comments. A large portion of the “no” comments belonged to various gangs of trolls that all agree to down-vote games. Conveniently after the troll wave, I get a friend request and the guy offers to promote me for at least 35 euros. Is the system rigged? Definitely. I’m not going to say that I only deserve “yes” votes, but the vote manipulation is very real. If people are willing and able enough to cheat multiplayer games on Steam, they are certainly willing and able enough to cheat for money on Steam Greenlight.

What did  I learn? If you want to go green on Steam

  1. Look at the list of games that made the green light for formatting and presentation trends.
  2. Look at the bottom of GreenLight submissions list to avoid the cliches and presentation mistakes that got these games down-voted.
  3. Be prepared to make cinematic cuts for you demo video, and flythroughs. I suspect players would GreenLight a game with nothing more than a cinema.
  4. Make a thumbnail that is more than a screenshot from the game.
  5. The game music should be none, subtle, or fit the criteria of a musical game.
  6. Watch your comments and kill every troll that surfaces.
  7. Be careful about store assets, trolls will down-vote and flame if they find any they recognize.
  8. Be prepared to get roasted. It doesn’t matter if you make Flappy Bird, or Fallout 4. Trolls will find something wrong, and emphasize it with profanity and personal insults.
  9. Haste makes waste, don’t rush to GreenLight but do publish before the concept, appearance, and game engine  becomes dated.
  10. Be fun and unique; present a game that excites and leaves the gamer wanting more.

My biggest mistake was not properly researching, and pushing out a lackluster prototype prematurely. In the mean time, I will be updating this game and posting to

If you at least like the mechanics and concept, please vote this game on GreenLight.

or buy on