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PostCollapse 1.13

I just uploaded an update of PostCollapse to Steam, version 1.13. I think I fixed a crash bug which occasionally appeard for some players. I also added a nice new feature: You can now actually see the water sinking into the ground, when you are watering your plants:

This is also a quite nice usability improvment, I think. Also, I think it again looks a bit better now. I tweaked a few textures and shaders:

Still not that great, but I'm only a programmer, after all. :)

The game is currently on sale on Steam, by the way. if you like, check it out, it is only 4,87 right now (I think in Dollar, that's also 4,87).

Steam Direct and what it means for us

Since Valve has shut down Greenlight and replaced it with Steam Direct - a method were you basically pay 100$ and can publish your game on Steam - the number of games released nearly exploded: more than 1000 games have been added to Steam since then.

As engine developer, I also noticed a big change since Steam Direct: Way more people who are using CopperCube (that's the 3D Game Engine I am developing and selling) are especially asking more questions about its Steam integration (Achievements, Steam Overlay etc). Also, a lot of new game developers and beginners are starting to use CopperCube, in order to create games specifically for Steam. For me as developer of that game engine, that's great news.

But for me as Steam user, it is not: It was difficult to find nice games to play on Steam even before Steam Direct. Now it should become much more difficult, with the flood of these games. The curation system Valve introduced in the Disovery Update didn't help a lot. Also, search and filtering still could be improved, a lot.

So, why is Valve doing this? Clearly, no one wins if they flood Steam with tons and tons of low quality games? No one except the people at Valve can tell for sure, but a lot of evidence ([1], [2]) points to this: Valve seems to be very much afraid of the Windows Store. It's basically an app store built into Windows, which also sells games. If you ever bought something there, you'll notice that it is unintuitive and broken at a lot of places and it doesn't look like Microsoft is putting much effort into trying to improve the situation. But it will eventually get there, and although Steam today is basically the place to get games, it could change some day.
So to make Steam more relevant and future-proof, I think they probably thought it would be a good idea to put as many games on Steam as possible. And if this really is the reason for it, then ironically, they achieved the exact opposite:

As game developer (try my latest game PostCollapse), visibility in an app store is very important. If your game or app cannot be found, then your game won't get sales.
Previously, because Steam usually only had a handful of games (around 8000 in 2016, which is already now twice as much at the time of writing), it was like that: If you made it onto Steam, already this was a guarantee that you would earn at least a bit of money. But the more games are on Steam, the more it starts behaving like one of the existing app stores: It is a gamble, and the probability to earn nothing at all gets higher and higher. So once Steam reaches this, there is no incentive for game developers to prefer Steam as platform to developing for. The probability to earn money then will be the same on Steam, Google Play, Apple's App Store, the Windows Store and others. Valve then will has made Steam more irrelevant.

Let's see, maybe I'm wrong about all this. Or maybe Valve will simply adjust the price tag of 100$ of Steam Direct, and improve quality like that already. It will be interesting to see what comes out of this.

[1]: Gabe Newell said that Windows 8 is kind of a catastrophe when introduced, included the Windows Store (source)
[2]: Linux based Steam Machines where introduced at roughly the same time, likely in an attemt to make Steam more independent from the Windows platform (source)