Valve Software’s Steam is a game distribution platform used by millions of gamers worldwide. What started as simply a way to buy and update games has evolved into a vast ecosystem with instant messaging between friends, game hubs featuring players’ screenshots and video, and workshops for sharing user-generated content. Last fall, Valve added software titles to its lineup of products, and implemented Greenlight, a system that lets users vote directly on which titles should be sold on Steam. Valve says this removed the bottleneck their manual approval process imposed so that more titles can be approved for Steam.
One company wants to push the Steam ecosystem even further by building the process of game development right into Steam. Leadwerks Software has announced the launch of their Greenlight campaign for Leadwerks 3: Steam Edition. Leadwerks is a visual tool for building any kind of 3D game, including dungeon crawlers, first-person shooters, and side-scrollers.
The company’s Greenlight page explains they are working with the Steam SDK to integrate features of the Steam ecosystem. For example, the company plans to open up a workshop where Steam users can buy and sell digital goods for making games. This lets developers get all the content they need straight from Steam. Game assets like models and images take a long time to produce, so this feature could remove a big roadblock for producing finished games. Leadwerks is also simplifying the Steam publishing process by packaging up game files so they are ready-to-use in Steam. This makes it easier for indie developers to put their games on Steam.
Leadwerks founder and CEO Josh Klint says that “I think Steam users are a good match for us because Valve has been such a big influence in my design. Our editor is similar to the Source Engine workflow, so modders will be able to pick it up pretty quickly. There’s a lot of talent in the mod communities, and we’re trying to channel that”. Lua script is another benefit, since it’s already used in hundreds of games, and many PC gamers are used to tweaking game code. The software also has some visual scripting features that make life easier for non-programmers who just want to design a game quickly.
You can vote for Leadwerks by visiting http://www.leadwerks.com/greenlight or find it in the software section of Steam Greenlight.