Obscurity is an indie game’s worst enemy. An indie studio doesn’t have the marketing resources of the big guys (you won’t be seeing any Contrast tv ads), and deciding on what distribution options and platforms we can use on a limited budget requires us to make some hard choices. Sometimes, it’s just plain difficult to know where to start.
But, as usual, Valve, the benevolent dictator and pioneer of the PC gaming world, has come up with an answer, shining a light into an otherwise empty void. As many of you will know, Valve’s Greenlight service went live on the Steam platform on 30 August 2012. Greenlight allows the public to vote on the games they want to see on Steam. Developers put their game up on Greenlight, with a bunch of explanation, screenshots and videos, and Steam users vote on which games they would buy if the game was on Steam. This gives Valve a heap of feedback, and presumably allows them to make more informed decisions about running their marketplace.
For indies like us, Greenlight is a really big deal. In fact, it’s hard to overstate how important it is. Steam is a huge platform and accounts for most of the direct download PC game purchases in the western world. Being on Steam isn’t a right – only some games make it on, which then gives those games access to a huge market and is a great chance to get a bit of publicity. But, Greenlight is about more than just sales – it also gives developers an opportunity to begin building a community, and gives feedback on how interesting its game is.
So, naturally, we put Contrast on Greenlight at 2pm on 30 August. And, we have had an incredible response!
Three weeks later, we have had almost 110,000 views on our Greenlight page, and over 6,000 favourites. We are currently #6 on Greenlight, and are super excited about it. We want to say thank you for those people who checked us out, voted, and added us to their favourites. We love you guys!
But, unfortunately, even with this response we’re not yet guaranteed a place on Greenlight. So, we would be super mega grateful if you could check out our page, and vote for Contrast if you haven’t already. You can also check out our Greenlight introduction video, which features Guillaume and his infamous soul patch.
But, more than that, we’d love it if you could ask your Steam friends to check us out too.
We’re focusing on Greenlight at the moment, but we also want to start really engaging with you guys soon. So, we will be updating the Contrast website with a whole new look, and possibly (if you think it’s a good idea) even some forums to allow people to talk, to ask questions and to give us feedback! We’ll also be posting more frequently once the new website is up, to let you get to know us more before launch. You can help us out by coming and checking back with us frequently, and by talking about Contrast to your friends. Because you’re cool people who already like us (we hope that’s not presumptuous), we want to meet them too!
Until then, thanks for visiting, and watch this space.