I guess you can say that I’m pretty experienced with Steam Greenlight. I have 3 greenlit projects and one in top 100. I also read everything I stumble upon about Steam Greenlight. One of my projects took 2 years to get greenlit. My last project called Shadows Peak was greenlit in two weeks, with almost no marketing effort. Shadows Peak greenlight page has no negative comments. The key takeaways from all that experience is:
1. It’s all about the game. Whether Steam audience will consider your game good, depends on a lot of factors. But I would say the best strategy is to find a undeserved niche with enough demand. It is not a trivial task, since you just like every other indie have limited skills, money and taste. By limited taste, I mean, that you probably don’t like every genre and every setting. Those factors limit range of projects you can tackle.
2. Your greenlight page is your most important marketing tool. If you have only X amount of time to spend on marketing, I would spend it all on making a great trailer, screenshots, Icon and description. Don’t go to Greenlight, when you can’t provide good quality trailer and screenshots. A lot of developers say, that even when big sites covered their greenlight campaign, more than 90% of people still came from Steam.
I can talk about about the fact you should probably support all Steam platforms and add localization for multiple languages in your game. But without good game and good greenlight page, those things will not make a difference.
If your greenlight gets low percentage of yes votes and you understand that getting greenlit may take more than year. You have to decide how to properly spend your game development time. You can spend it trying to market your current game to get some votes outside of Steam, or you can start new project. I would advice starting new project.
I believe, that low percentage of yes votes, is a good indicator of low sales. Let’s face it, your current game maybe just not good enough, not unique enough or not ambitious enough. With every new project, you will grow as developer and your games will become better. A year ago I couldn’t tackle project of Shadows Peak scale and quality. Even though I had Shadows Peak idea for years, before I was simply not there in terms of my skills and experience to deliver it.
The road to “success” maybe be different for some other folks, but those are key takeaways from my own experience and research.