I guess I’ll start off with a brief description about myself. My name is Billy I’m 18 and the team I worked with was just my twin brother and our friend. As far as Experience goes I’ve been programming for about 4 - 5 years now but I’ve never truly taken any of my projects to the market. Since this was the first game we decided to bring to the light we obviously ran into pitfalls left and right but we did gain some pretty valuable knowledge from our losses.
Nothing makes game devs work harder than deadlines, so when forcing ourselves to create a game in one month and try to post it to steam greenlight we ran into some issues and later realized some helpful tips. The first thing we noticed was as the deadline neared the work effort skyrocketed. Once we uploaded to greenlight we killed ourselves fixing bugs and changing cosmetics based on some general feedback in the comments. This was great for the first day but once day 2 came we realized that forcing the greenlight process is not a smart or easy thing to do especially when we weren’t completely ready.
One of the most important things I’ve noticed was that a lack of community or following will hinder your game’s greenlight dramatically. Going into the greenlight process we had no previous marketing experience and have barely promoted anything in the past. So trying to make up for lost time we created a twitter as well as tried promoting through reddit as well as a devblog page. Although using twitter followers isn’t bad, you must have a large following for the votes to show up through these means. One main source of votes came from friends or family seeing our facebook posts and trying to help out. Although this helped initially we dropped off dramatically by day 2. So it is extremely important to try to gain a fanbase months before hand. Really try to tap into online communities that you are engaged in be it reddit or a steam group.
Don’t rush your game to be placed on steam greenlight. This may seem like common sense but as the game looks more and more polished to the developer, it may not appear so to the one judging it. I’ll be honest when we uploaded our game to steam it looked really trashy, it wasn’t till after some comments about it looking boring and bland did we take visuals to heart, and some complaints about the CRT effect causing resolution issues and we threw it out the window. This brings me to another tip. Before uploading to greenlight try to get some feedback on your game by bringing it to a small group of people. I would recommend warming up to the people here (https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/) at the gamedev community and then making a post asking for feed back. I’ve also noticed that posting GIFs of your gameplay to media platforms like 9Gag or imgur and asking for feedback will almost bring instant feedback.
Day 1 vs Day 3 of the game we’re trying to get greenlit heres our page http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=713913006
BUUUTTT… If you're going to ignore my warnings and the warnings of every other person who shared their initial experience attempting the greenlight process, because you are too excited to start (like me), here are some tips. The first day is crucial if you haven’t already attempted to gain any followers, so make sure you post the best pictures for your game. It never ceases to amaze me at the amount of people who upload pointless pictures of random gameplay, myself included. Most people are on your page for a few moments and your video and pictures are their only way to tell how good your game is. So your game must act like a peacock and strut it’s features. Really try to think about what highlights your game and capture that. And before you press the upload button anticipate these questions.
What makes your game so unique? (generic response like lots of weapons or gameplay don’t cut it, really think about)
Isn’t this a clone of…? (you’ll get this one if you don’t highlight your unique features)
This game is trash look at problem xyz with it... (Most people want to ignore all the harsh comments but I beg you bear with what they have to say. Someone tearing into your game is far more beneficial to you then “Nice game!”. They may notice certain flaws that you may have chosen to ignore.)
Your video didn’t highlight much gameplay what is it about? (Like previously stated you must make sure that your videos are HIGHLIGHTS not just the first 5 minutes you felt like recording.)
Can you explain this...?(Respond to people who ask questions they are doing you a great favor by pointing out things that everyone else is thinking but not you since you are the developer and have an idea what direction the game is going.)
This is just what I noticed so far after about a week of being up on Steam Greenlight. Furthermore this is also just my personal experience and some of the things I’ve noticed while rushing around trying to fix the many mistakes we made.
If you enjoyed this article then please comment below and tell me if I should make more. I’m considering writing about the devlog process and finding the best place to center your projects information.