Seattle game studio Valve has announced a new voting service this week that will task the community with choosing which in-development indie games will make it to the company’s digital distribution service. Steam Greenlight will enable developers to showcase their latest projects to the Steam community, providing them with valuable feedback and also a chance to discover how interested Steam users are in trying out their new title.

“The community should be deciding what gets released,” said Valve. “After all, it’s the community that will ultimately be the ones deciding which release they spend their money on.”

Using the new service, game developers will be able to post written descriptions detailing the gameplay mechanics and storyline, along with videos and screenshots of their latest project in action. Community members can vote for any submission with a thumbs up or down, and leave feedback directly for the creators.

Valve said the number of votes required to greenlight a game for distribution will depend on the response from the community as the service moves forward, though a title’s success won’t always be dependent upon reaching the interest goal.

“We’re going to be reaching out to developers as we see their games getting traction, regardless of whether they have achieved a specific number of votes,” the company said. “We are most interested in funding games that people want, not requiring them to always hit a specific number of votes.”

According to the company, Steam Greenlight isn’t just for games nearing their the end of their development cycle. Valve is encouraging developers to begin showcasing their projects as soon as they are comfortable with its presentation, allowing developers to gain a solid base of community support from the very beginning.

“We know there is still a lot of room for improvement in making Steam distribution easier and faster,” the company said. “This is just a first step in that direction.”

Valve expects the new community-driven service to be ready for indie developers by the end of August.

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