Oh, Greenlight. You promised so much. A move towards giving power to developers and diversifying the content we see on Steam with great new additions. Recently though, Greenlight has been more like a hellish pageant for the most effortless and cynical attempts at game development. From unfinished products to effortless Unity asset pack copy-and-paste garbage, there’s an entire smorgasbord of shit to gaze upon in wonderment.
I could offer up an essay into why Greenlight took the plunge that it did but, frankly, that’s too much hard work. It’s far more fun to poke (from a safe distance) at a few crappy offerings and laugh at them, so let’s do that instead.
(I’ll add here that I’ve not played any of these games but have rather perused each of their Greenlight pages. All of these opinions are therefore literal prejudice, and any one of these games could be fantastic. Secondly, there are of course some great games that have and are going to come through Greenlight – it’s just not as fun talking about them.)
The Doors is, according to its trailer, “A scary horror… That will make… Your smile disappear!”
Oh on the contrary, I’m grinning from ear to bloody ear. Good Christ, this is beyond parody. Everything from the video with the MS Paint pop-scare that slowly emerges as you walk towards it, the possibility that someone might download the game expecting a tie in with the band The Doors, and even the game updates are a delight:
3rd September “The game will be free!”
The FTSE 100 plummets as city traders hear the shock news.
5th September: “Update 1: New texture!”
Incredible. From now on I want each and every patch notice, for each and every game, to at some point include the phrase “New texture!” No qualifying statement, no indication of which texture, just let the player be assured that, somewhere, a single texture is new.
Crypt of the Serpent King
Lair of the Wrathful Ogre. Castle of the Terrible Baron. Dungeon of the Forgotten Troll. Hovel of the Fucking Lowly Squirrel. You could make a random title generator that could adequately spew these out.
The game looks every bit as generic as the title suggests, featuring randomly-generated dungeons, hack and slash combat and creature models that look surprisingly good considering the rest of the game (almost like they weren’t made by the same people).
Traffic Jam Simulator 2016
Yes, I get it, you’re being very clever and satirising the overwhelming spate of simulator games flooding the PC market. Well done you, you honour us with your wit etc, etc. The problem is, the “knowing, ironic simulator” had long ago overtaken the “genuine simulator” as the latest annoying fad in gaming.
If you really must, just write down the title, have a giggle, and then put it in a fucking “Simulator Ideas that would be Totally Wacky” blog. The bare concept of simulating a traffic jam is passingly funny. Emphasis on passingly. What I don’t understand is the extra step of actually making the fucking game. I mean obviously the point is to make some money, but I won’t recognise that fact because that implies that people will buy it, and that in turn makes me very, very sad.
You know Cookie Clicker, right? The game, you know? It’s that one where you click the cookies and… yeah? Yeah, that one. The cookie one. Right.
So remove all the cookies, remove all the clicking, keep the spreadsheet-style upgrade system and throw in yet more fucking zombies, and you’ve got Zombie Boss.