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[Gamer Diary] What I’ve been Playing – July 2012, Community Relations and a Competition

2012 July 30

July has been very empty on my playing schedule.  Moving house – all those boxes – kinda took it out of me.  I’ve just been pottering on TF2 and aside from that I finally finished Dead Space 2 in one 3-hour stint.  I’m also on holiday from the end of July so, that’s put a deadline on things.  I thought to myself, “What can I bring to Gamer Diary this month if I haven’t played anything?” and then, while gormlessly starting at Steam, I had an idea: a competition!  So, at the end of this post there’ll be some details on how you could win one of the titles I’ve written about this year (via Steam).

First I’ll give you something of substance.

The posts I wrote last month (here and here) were somewhat laden with negativity – you could say legitimately – so I thought that for this offering I’d continue to talk about our gaming community and the relationship developers have with their audiences.  Most importantly, I’d like to highlight a couple of examples of those who are getting it right.  Or, at the very least – because no one can be perfect – who seem to be doing it better than others.

There are a lot of devs and publishers who have their plus points, and there are those that have their negatives.  Most have both, but some are more memorable for either one of these polar options.  For this post I’d like to look at the ones who are most famed for being a little bit awesome.

It being summer, those who know them will not be surprised that I’m going to bring up Valve.  During the Meet the Pyro update for Team Fortress 2, they announced the Source Filmmaker, and as the Summer Sale began, they announced Greenlight.

source filmmaker title screen - white lettering on black background with a gold film reel graphicI jumped on Filmmaker and have quite enjoyed playing with it.  Here’s my one-and-only even-vaguely-close-to-finished short I made.  The tutorials started off simply enough but after a few of them, ‘Bay’ (our guide) seems to dispense with the explaining-it-to-a-layperson format and just starts blurting jargon at you left, right and centre.  Hence why I haven’t finished the tutorial video yet. (That and the fact I got distracted with my little Western-style showdown there.)

One other criticism at this point is that the Store Page (on Steam) for the Filmmaker has a list of minimum system requirements, but not all of these are accurate.  The page lists that you need a minimum resolution of 1366 x 768, which I had, but this creates problems with displaying all the necessary functions of the tool.  I had to bump up to the “suggested” 1920 x 1080 in order to get full functionality out of it.  But, hey, it’s free, it’s pretty fun and is a great way to get involved in the community.

Now, Greenlight is not something I expect to benefit from – as I’m not a developer – but I will definitely be checking it out from a voter’s perspective.  Here’s the basic premise: lots of games get submitted to Valve looking to be sold via Steam; they started to think maybe there was a better way of selecting games; having seen the success of the Workshop ratings system they thought of employing a similar thing for games; Greenlight allows developers to submit their games and be at the mercy of the community.  In theory, if the community likes your game(s), you get high ratings/votes, and your game gets to go to Steam and be sold through the client.

Title screen reading 'Greenlight: coming soon' in green on a black background


This is a brilliant opportunity for a lot of smalltime and bedroom developers to get recognition for their work, to build a fanbase and maybe make some money out of their work.  So, Steam users of BadRep, get behind this!  When it arrives, let’s make sure we show Valve this is a good tool to help out the smalltimers.

Competition Time!

In celebration of a variety of things (Valve being awesome, “summer”, I’ve been at BR Towers over a year now…) I thought a little gaming giveaway would be nice.  As BR is voluntary, this is me buying prizes for you guys, so given that I’m sure you’ll understand why this competition happens to follow the Steam Summer Sale.

Up for grabs:

  • Torchlight – as mentioned June’s “…Playing” post.
  • Bastion – also from June (see link above).
  • LIMBO – recently part of Humble Bundle V (discussed here)

How to enter:

Leave a comment on this post (they do not automatically see the light of the internet so your details will only be seen by Team BadRep) and remember to include an email address linked to a Steam account or your Steam ID and which of the three games you’d prefer.

Early in August I’ll collect all the details, and using some funky random number generators to do some description of Name-out-of-the-Hat magic, I’ll then get in touch with winners to arrange the gifting of their new Steam game.

Simple as that, really.  Good luck!

But if you’re feeling generous, could you spare a couple of minutes to complete this little survey?


One Response leave one →
  1. wererogue permalink
    July 31, 2012

    I have all of those games, so you can leave me off the survey, but my Steam ID is wererogue for any badrep readers who want to add me. Actually, better idea: could we do a badrep Steam group?

    I also wanted to expand on a couple of things in the post. Firstly on Greenlight, I think it’s critical to talk a little about how independent developers don’t have publishers telling them how to modify their game to appeal to “gamers”, so you see a lot more gender-friendly titles made by indies. It cuts both ways, too – indies are free to let their prejudices run wild. Greenlight is interesting because it gives the community a voice in what gets sold on Steam, which means that conversations which educate the masses have a real, solid impact on actual games being made.

    Secondly, TF2, since it kind of came up twice here – once that you played it, and once for Meet The Pyro. TF2 could have a post all by itself, but my summary is that it’s *spectacularly* awful for gender representation, with the devs flat-out refusing to consider even some female playable characters. I was almost willing to brush that off when they started branding everything in the game with “Mann”, which given the timing I can only assume was them trying to poke fun at themselves, but really feels much more like a Yorkie Bar (“It’s not for girls”). Which is a shame because the game is so damned good that people of all gender rock TF2, hard.

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