As of August this year, Valve will allow the community to vote on which games it releases on Steam.

Steam Greenlight lets developers submit their games in order to drum up support from the community. It’ll work a little like Kickstarter in that a web page will be created with text, screenshots and videos available for potential fans to preview projects though this isn’t a tool for gathering funds.

Steam Green applicants need to have the following:

  • A square branding image (similar to a box cover) to represent the game in lists and search
  • At least one video showing off the game or presenting the concept
  • At least four screenshots or images
  • A written description of the game along with tentative system requirements

Valve being Valve, they won’t put a figure on how many votes a game’s likely to require, as that might seem a little cold. Instead, they’re opting for a system in which they’ll assess titles and reach out to developers they think are making something people want on a per-game basis.

"We're going to be reaching out to developers as we see their games getting traction regardless of whether they have achieved a specific number of votes or are sitting first or second place at any given time. We are most interested in finding the games that people want, not requiring them to always hit a specific number of votes," explains the official Steam Greenlight website.

Games that don’t quickly make it won’t be cut off, instead they’ll just stay on the list until the developer decides to get rid of them.

Valve are encouraging devs to post their games as early as they like, allowing studios to post up ideas with just minimal concept art or playable builds. They’ll be categorizing games depending on how far on they are.

"We ask that you only define your game as 'playable game' if you have a playable build that demonstrates the gameplay mechanics and at least one level of your game. Otherwise, please classify your submission as 'concept' until its far enough along that the community can reasonably evaluate the mechanics, scope, and style of your game. Either way, you will probably get great feedback and a good start in building a community of fans around your game."

All games need to be able to run on a Windows PC, and they mustn’t contain offensive material or violate copyright or intellectual property rights. "You can be also developing for any other platform you like, but we are only able to support PC & Mac releases at this time” explains the site.