Valve has decided to bridge the gap between its two newest features.

Steam Greenlight made waves when it launched, allowing the community to vote for what they’d like to see in Steam’s store. Shortly afterwards, Valve expanded its distribution service to include general software, in addition to games. Now, it seems the company is hoping that the success of Greenlight can help give a boost to the fledgling software market. As of today, Greenlight has two shiny new sections: Software and Concepts.

The Software section will be populated with tools and other products similar to what’s already available in the Steam store’s Software tab. The other new addition, Concepts, is more in line with the current contents of Greenlight. Developers of games (or general software) can show off their early work and, well, concepts. This new area aims to help developers with the creative process, as opposed to the final stages of production. Community members can vote and leave comments for the developers, but it’s purely a means for developers to test the waters and start gathering feedback – the votes will have no effect on whether or not the game reaches the Steam store.

The process for these new tabs is identical to the main Greenlight service. Developers who have paid the initial Greenlight submission fee can post their software for review, though no payment is necessary to submit a concept.

As for how well Steam will be able to organize the inevitable flood of concepts, that remains to be seen. The Greenlight home page now shows what your friends have liked, which should help noteworthy ideas float to the top. Other than that, community members will just have to keep a watchful eye out for diamonds in the rough. Most of the projects that have been successful in Greenlight thus far were already pretty far along in the design process before the service launched, so it could be interesting to watch the community help shape a concept through its entire lifespan.


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