Update: Now with additional speculation on the next 10!
Drama, controversy, yelling and flailing and confused arguments over classism, poverty and financial stability seem to have been the only things to come out of Valve Corporation’s indie fast-tracking system, Greenlight, in recent days. That seems to have finally changed today, as the first wave of games to get official distribution deals on Steam via this new system have been chosen. It’s an interesting set, including a couple of non-commercial entries as well. Here’s all the ones that I’ve been able to pin down:
- Black Mesa by The Black Mesa Team – The legendary (and much-delayed) fan-made remake of Half-Life 1 is officially coming home.
- Project Zomboid by The Indie Stone – The gritty and realistic zombie survival sim/RPG has proven the size of its audience.
- No More Room In Hell by the NMRiH Dev Team – Yet another mod, and yet more zombies. This time of the competitive sort.
- Routine by Lunar Softworks – The gorgeously pretty retro-futuristic lunar survival horror game hits the big leagues.
- Dream by Hypersloth – A first-person game of exploration, interpretation and even a dash of horror. Looks interesting!
- Towns by SMP – Dwarf Fortress too complex? This is similar in style, but geared towards easy, accessible management gameplay.
- Heroes & Generals by Reto-Moto – An ambitious blend of WW2 action, strategy and even long-term grand strategy elements.
- Cry of Fear by ruMpel – Possibly the most enduring Half-Life 1 mod out there, and recently expanded. Now officially on Steam.
- McPixel by Sos Sosowski – Wario Ware meets point-and-click adventure with a crude, lewd sense of humor. Endorsed by pirates!
- Kenshi by Lo-Fi Games – Post-apocalyptic samurai roleplaying with a focus on realism. Still early in development, but looking strong.
There may be more, but those are the only ones that I can see bearing the official Thumbs Up from Valve themselves. Interestingly, a few of the highest-voted games, including Slender: Source have been passed over, highlighting that Greenlight isn’t just a mere popularity contest, but rather a shortlist for Valve to hand-pick games from. There’s also several non-commercial entries they’ve picked out, which suggests that freeware games may well be admitted to Steam, if enough people want it.
Congratulations to the developers chosen, and best wishes to those still in waiting – with the most wanted skimmed from the list, it frees up the rankings for another set to rise to the top. It appears that almost all the ten chosen games were picked from the highest-percentage-boasting games. Based on current figures and trends, this would make the next potential ten an… unusual set.
We might well see Eve Online-inspired MMO Perpetuum added soon, as well as retro platformer revival Project Giana. Much-vaunted ‘AAA Indie’ FPS Interstellar Marines is high in the rankings, and third-person RPG deathmatch game Forge is in the running as well.
It gets weird as we hit Postal 2 – the infamous shock comedy (reminiscent of Troma films) FPS – which seems to have a fair few fans. Weirder still (but in a good way) is Octodad 2: Dadliest Catch, which is something I’d love to see hit the big leagues. Creative and classy shadow-based puzzle/platformer Contrast seems a likely choice, and the extended re-release of third-person horror shooter Afterfall InSanity is up there too.
At the tail-end of the next ten potentials is another internet phenomenon – the Yogsventures game – a standalone action-adventure based upon the ridiculously popular Minecraft podcast. Last of the likely next few is Miasmata, a first person survival sim. It’ll be interesting to see whether any of these make the final cut when Valve pick the next set, but I’d be very surprised if they all slipped under the radar.