So here I am, sleepless in seattle. Actually its more like sleeping well, but with a nosebleed in seattle, but that isn’t as catchy.
I’m here for a meeting with valve and some other indies, so I have lots to talk about. I am no expert at knowing exactly what I am and am not allowed to say, so here are vague impressions rather than a news-dump on steams plans. For a while, a lot of indies have been panicking about steam. There are more and more indie games being released though greenlight and people are worrying that the ‘average’ indie game on steam is making less money. The phrases you hear are ‘floodgates are opening’ and ‘race to the bottom’.
I’ve seen what valve have planned and I really do not think anyone has to worry. Actually I do. If your plan is to dump your first unity hobby game on steam and then retire rich, and that game is a clone or unpolished, or incredibly unoriginal, then yeah, you are so fucked, but frankly I don’t care.
Valve are approaching the ‘floodgates’ problem in exactly the right way. The steam experience for everyone is going to get so much better. I can’t fault their plans in any way. I’d love to attract loads of web traffic with a clickbait ‘valve are about to wreck steam’ blog post, but that would be complete bullshit.
My advice to indies uncertain about steam’s future is just to make a really cool game and don’t worry. That sounds like PR bullshit but it’s actually true for once.
While I was at valve I got their VR demo. I fail AGAIN here in any attempt to be contrary or scandalous, because I’m just going to echo what other have said. Fuck yeah. This is so cool. I never thought it would even work on a stereoblind person, but it is amazing. It isn’t perfect, it isn’t suitable for everything, but it *is* amazing. A whole new experience. I never thought we would be this close to a proper star trek holodeck so quickly.
I met some really nice people here. It’s always awkward mentioning anyone specific because then you feel like you might not mention everyone and my Englishness thinks I am probably offending someone, but hey, I’m not intending to. Anna & Augusta from valve were very cool to meet, I suspect Alden now sleeps safer knowing that I’ll safeguard his job when I own valve, and it was amazing how much in common I seem to have with the amazingly cool Tommy refenes, including a love of l33t electric cars. Also always good to bump into chet again. Whenever a bunch of games geeks get together, we always end up talking about cats. I also got to meet Jamie Cheng, another real friendly and cool guy.
I should also pay respects to the legendary Ichiro lambe, who has proven that Americans can actually be just as deadpan and sarcastic as English people.