Train2Game students with plans to develop PC games will almost certainly be familiar with Steam, the digital distribution service from Half-Life, Portal and Team Fortress 2 developer, Valve.
Now, Mode 7 Games, the team behind indie title Frozen Synapse, have praised Valve and the way they go about promoting indie games, while keeping a hands off approach.
“That’s one of the best things about Valve, they won’t say ‘you are doing this’ – which they could do very easily – they’ll say ‘this is the kind of thing we want to do, this is why, how do you want to go about it?’ It’s great, it lets you try stuff.” Mode 7 Games co-founder Paul Taylor told GI.biz.
“We’re doing some stuff on Steam that people don’t normally do, like the free key for a friend thing, or offering the soundtrack as a separate thing you can upgrade to.”
“They’re quite different, and Valve had to do some actual system-related stuff to allow us to do that. For an indie game that doesn’t have a lot of clout, they’re surprisingly flexible and that’s great.” He continued.
“When you’re a company with that much power and that size, you have to strike a balance between doing things that benefit you and things that create a good eco-system for everyone,”.
“I think they’re pretty good at that, and they think very seriously about it. It is astonishing just how important they are in terms of the PC. Steam is really essential for indie games at the moment.”
The recent Steam Sales will probably have helped many smaller studios sell their games too.
Of course this isn’t the first time the supportive nature of Valve has been mentioned on the Train2Game blog, regular readers will know that community developers receive revenue from in-game items they’ve produced for Team Fortress 2.
So Train2Game, do you agree that Steam is ‘essential’ for indie PC developers? Would you attempt to get a game on Valve’s distribution system?
As usual, leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.