I'm a developer on a game called DownWind and we were recently [Greenlit through the Steam Greenlight](http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=632187427) process. Before I share some information about some useful tips for navigating the Greenlight process, I thought I'd share some stats on how DownWind fared in the end;
* 15 Days on Greenlight (we posted our game immediately after a batch was approved)
* 7,510 Unique Visitors
* 232 Unique Favorites
* 245 Followers
* 5,279 votes (3,191 yes / 1,812 no / 276 ask me maybe)
* 157 comments
* Included in 19 collections
* Reached the Top 100 of Games on Greenlight within 24 hours
* Reached the Top 50 of Games on Greenlight within 48 hours
* Reached the Top 25 of Games on Greenlight within 9 days
With that out of the way, let's get into some tips that I think are important when showing your game to people. I am in, absolutely no way, an expert on this topic so take my advice with a grain of salt. I just thought I'd help out this community, in some way, since you guys and girls have been so helpful with my questions (and I really appreciate that).
**Make Your Icon a .GIF**
This is one of the, if not *the*, most important details that I see many developers neglecting when they post their game to Greenlight. You absolutely WANT your icon to be a .gif. The reason being is that after the first 48 hours, Steam isn't going to direct traffic to your page as much anymore and you really need to grab the attention of the general Greenlight user. The first thing they see is definitely going to be your icon (especially when they're browsing the list of Greenlight games). Make sure you include your branding in the .gif as well, as I think it makes it look more professional. This is seriously one of the biggest tips I could give anyone when it comes to Greenlight -- it is ridiculously important because *you need votes* and to get votes, *you need people*.
**Trailers are Important**
They really are. They should only show polished and completed looking components of your game (if you're game doesn't have ANY polished or completed looking components, I would seriously recommend postponing posting to Greenlight). The first trailer that is shown on the Greenlight page should roughly be 40 seconds long (so that the average viewer watches most of it) and should primarily be concerned with GAMEPLAY. That means *absolutely no* slow-paced narrative elements, or dulls in gameplay action. Get straight into it (within 5 seconds of the video) and don't let go until the end.
You can always make a second trailer, like I did, that showcases the narrative and slower components and make it so that it plays after the shorter video -- that way if someone likes what they've seen so far, they can get a better feel for the game through a longer and more calculated video. Trailers are important, though. It's they key to convincing your user to press the 'Yes' button. Don't forget that.
You should have several, varied screenshots of different sections of your game (some showcasing different elements). You want to capture the user's imagination here, so that they're both excited and intrigued by the pictures. Do not, and I mean this, DO NOT show Works In Progress. Nothing will leave a more rancid sour taste in the user's mouth then seeing glaring graphical bugs, missing assets and 'wild promises'. This goes for everything. Don't show things that aren't ready to be shown -- like I said before, if you've got nothing you shouldn't show anything. Wait until your product is ready for the environment.
**Your Body & Description**
To be honest, not even a quarter of your users are going to read your description all the way through -- but that doesn't mean it should be half-assed for the few that do! Spend some time formatting it, make it sound nice, avoid pandering and give the user the additional information he or she needs. It doesn't need to be massive, it should just clearly outline the key features and expand on a few of the unique and key aspects of the game/project. Images aren't necessary but it will definitely leave a more professional and passionate feeling.
**Responding to Comments**
If anyone has any questions, do not hesitate to respond to them and answer them in a friendly way. They are your future audience and consumers, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't treat them like people! I highly suggest not responding to trolls in any way, though! People with negative opinions are guaranteed -- don't let it get you down! Take their opinion and do something useful with it to improve your product (unless the comment doesn't offer constructive criticism. If that is the case, just ignore).
This is a nice little touch. It makes the page seem more professional, while still adding a grounded aspect to it (if you craft the message as a human). It'll show new users that you're an active participant in your game's thriving page, while also showing that your game's page is an exciting place to be. Make an announcement when you hit major milestones (like when you're in the Top 100, or so on).
**Spread the Word**
Reach out to as many websites and web personalities as you can, with information on your game. Like I said, Steam sends your project traffic for the first 48 hours, after that you're essentially on your own (I've heard Steam directs more traffic to popular Greenlight pages after the 48 hours). Reach out to as many magazines, websites, youtubers, twitter personalities as possible in order to build your audience. It's time consuming and a whole lot of effort, but it's well worth it as people need to know about your project in order to vote for it. I'd highly recommend building a press kit and sending that out to as many people as possible, with a personal touch to your emails, in order to expand your influence. I'd also recommend reaching out and talking to other indie developers as much as you can, as we're mostly pretty helpful and nice people (shoutout specifically to DARQ Developer for helping me out with advice and certain things -- among many others).
**Do Not Be Deterred**
This is probably my biggest piece of advice. I was fairly lucky and was greenlit during the first batch but it's not a guaranteed thing and you need to understand that. Do not be afraid to take your Greenlight page down and start again at a future time with a more polished product. People are not going to shy away from their true opinions and you're going to get A LOT of 'no' votes (even games that are essentially perfect will). This is because when people vote no, they're not voting that the game or project is bad, they're voting that they wouldn't buy it (they might not be a fan of the genre, or they might speak a different language). So don't let that get you down, sometimes you just need to reevaluate your project and sometimes you just need to play to your strengths.
At the end of the day, you should be proud of what you've made -- if that shows in your presentation and project, you're going to get a fair few 'yes' votes.
If you have anything else to add onto this for other developers, or want to ask any questions, feel free to! I'd love to have a discussion about anything! I think I've gone over everything that I think is useful. Thanks again to all the developers who gave advice on my project, I really appreciate it! Good luck to everyone submitting to Greenlight!