Jonathan Blow was invited over to Seattle to see what Valve had planned for Steam with a bunch of other indie developers who then gave them suggestions on how to improve the service from their perspective, Valve are working on it.
In a very interesting article over on Penny Arcade, Jonathan Blow talked in large about his thoughts on Steam and Xbox Live Arcade, mainly because he is considering distribution opportunities for The Witness. He talks about how he won’t be able to sell his next game on XBLA due to its pricing restrictions, whereas it will be fine over on Steam of course. He basically concludes by saying distribution for indie developers is much better on PC, especially Steam, than it is on any of the consoles.
The interesting part of the article is that Blow made his way over to Seattle recently to see what kinds of changes Valve had planned for Steam. Blow was very excited by what he saw and was even “super impressed” by what Valve had upcoming for indie developers.
“[Valve] had a bunch of indie developers up there, and they wanted to show us their plan, and talk about whether it meets our needs for getting our games on [Steam],” he explained to PA.
“The engineers who type the code of the website to make it happen were there, and we were there, and we asked if it would be feasible to do something, and they wrote it down and put it down on their to-do list.”
While Blow was careful not to reveal any of the plans or what the small focus group suggested he did say that one of the problems with Steam is that many deserving indie games get filtered out during the submission process as there aren’t enough people to check them all. As you can imagine, there is a lot of junk that gets submitted, things like Call of Duty with a new title and loading screen.
“In that noise, some really good games get lost. Indies e-mail with games, demos, videos, and sometimes it’s actually a good game, and the indie community knows it’s a good game, or someone in the press knows it a good game, but Valve doesn’t know it’s a good game,” Blow said.
According to Blow, there are plans to workaround these issues so that these deserving indie games get looked at properly once submitted and, reportedly, Valve have many other tricks up their sleeve too, which we should see sometime in the future.
While we can only pointlessly speculate on what these changes might be, it’s good to know that Valve are focusing on improving their service for hopeful indie developers!
Via Penny Arcade