Manchester-based coder and security expert Ruby Nealon has published a game titled ‘Watch Paint Dry’ on Steam without permission from Valve.
Ruby exploited a loophole he discovered which circumvents the usual process for getting a game approved and published on Steam. The reason behind the coder’s act was to alert Valve to the existence of this security flaw – something which he had been trying to do for months before the prank.
Valve has since fixed the issues which allowed Ruby to publish his game on Steam and has not taken any action against the coder.
Ruby outlines his method and the story behind his prank in a blog post which highlights the extent of the vulnerability Steamworks presented.
The release of the game on the Steam store was met with controversy by the Steam community, with users voicing their concerns over quality control and the efficiency of the Greenlight system.
“I’d like to apologise if I’ve caused any offense to indie game developers who are struggling to get their games on to steam. This is no more than a prank and was merely to test something I’ve been trying to report to Valve for the past few months — the ability to get any game you want on Steam, without Valve ever even having a look at it,” said Ruby.
‘Watch Paint Dry’ was listed on the Steam store under the Sports Games category, with the following features:
- Paint drying
- A competitive sports-like element
- The same scene over and over again, but something changes every time (maybe).
- A thrilling story (wouldn’t recommend for anyone 12 or under)
Here are a few screenshots of the ‘Watch Paint Dry’ store page, which has since been taken down: