People still ask me now and then “How long does it take Valve to approve an update”.. and occasionally “wow this update is crashing every time I x – how did Valve approve this?”. They seem to be under the impression that when I send an update to Valve there’s a Microsoft style certification period – where hundreds of people play the update and give it the thumbs up.
This isn’t what’s happening at all. When I send the update to Valve they’re putting it on Steam. The time delay is the delay between me uploading the update – sending the email – then someone at Valve getting into work, checking their email, and pushing the update out to the hundreds of Steam content servers.
It probably sounds like a stupid process to the outside world – since updates aren’t checked why can’t we just upload them and push them out ourselves? Well yeah. Valve already answered that prayer for the majority of steamwork developers though – with their new Steam Pipe stuff (which offers instant updates among other awesome features).
Unfortunately it’s a system we can’t use right now – being tethered to the Source engine like we are. I’m told that it’s probably going to be one of the last things that gets updated – which means I won’t be sending out 15 GMod updates a day any time soon.