Getting unto Steam without a publisher means going through the Greenlight process. Greenlight is a system in which players vote on games that they want to see on Steam.
You can vote for the game here (you will need a Steam account)
Every couple of weeks people from Valve go through the submission queue and approve various titles.
One of the titles I’m working on – ‘Crusoe‘ – was Greenlit in a month basically, but one of my previous titles – ‘Insection‘ – was in the queue for a year before it was Greenlit, by then the team had disbanded and we couldn’t follow through.
So my approach with Swearsoft titles is to get them onto Steam as soon as possible, get the Greenlight by updating the page as often as possible and secure a position on Steam, before I commit my full resources on a game.
Imagine spending a year or even two on a project and then waiting for Steam and the community to vote on your game for an indeterminate amount of time. I would rather work on my games than have that kind of stress.
Of course this isn’t without problems, gamers feel that they can bash games on Greenlight and that developers have to accept their role as punching bags.
They might say rude things, uninformed things or nice things, but the reality is that no one will like every game and not everyone has to.
They might say that a game is too early to put on Greenlight – as if they are the developers putting their lively hood on the line…
I can understand that they don’t know how difficult it is to make a game on it’s own, never mind make a business out of it, In my mind making sure you are going to be available on the biggest games platform is kind of important (and engaging with people that want to harm you is not).