I totally understand what you are going through. I too worked as a level designer and it was the weirdest situation to work there. I came I think after you but basically at the time no one had heard of a Flow Chart, Hitts and Fitts Law, Rule Of Thirds, and even more embarassing, they had no template of any levels. To top that off, they had never heard of a GDD. I personally had to explain to them what that was which was... Interesting.
Eventually I learned that not one of the members had ever built a game and like you mentioned there was a lotta meme chasing and a total faith in adding unnecessary stuff (won't discuss here but I think you know what I mean). I brought a lotta members onboard and the majority felt (and I still think feel) that these guys and girls just didn't know anything about making games. I mean for crying out loud, they thought Graphic Designers were the same as Concept Designers (the programmers understood what I meant at the time). Constantly a lotta of people were focusing way too much on "Voice Acting" or "Shaders" or "Time and Day Cycles" when there was (and probably still) no single GrayBox (again these guys had never heard of it).
There was also some tricky behaviour from Administration. I will not entitle too much there but it was really shady. Some of the things they said about them having experience running game studios was fishy. Especially as they hadn't heard of a GDD which is made for them and no one else and also able to get money from somewhere. There are some examples of this like for instance they were not willing to pay their employees (which is fine as we all signed as Volunteers) but they were able to afford to investigate Motion Capture (Which why the heck would you need that if you don't have a game yet?!). It made no sense.
I eventually left as I felt personally that there was too much sugar coating and way too much involvement from administration which was both unethical and forced. It was the most unprofessional studio and group I worked with (heck even my University Student Groups I work with were a thousand times better managed and we weren't even classified as developers) and on top of that it felt way too shady to continue.
To answer about the Valve thing, oh man where to begin. For starters it is NOT a distribution from Valve. They simply paid $90 to get their game on Greenlight (like any developer) and Valve permitted that. Valve have no control on what content goes on there from Greenlight however when they publish it, Disney, Lucasfilm and EA have the right to cease and decease the project. As you know Cannur, the Studio have said they would immediately obide to those rules however what's shady is that Tony "Fergie" Romanelli yesterday denied that he ever mentioned that Frontwire were directly developing the game with Valve. But as he writes under the second paragraph of the announcement on their website "It is with great pleasure that as of today I am able to officially announce that Frontwire Studios has officially signed a distribution deal with Steam/Valve for the game Galaxy in Turmoil. After ongoing discussion between Valve Representatives and myself, Valve/Steam has agreed to ship Galaxy in Turmoil to it’s millions of users for FREE." (Here is the link: http://frontwirestudios.com/official-announcement-steam-distribution-deal/).
Again if there was no further proof of in experience and overall lack of direction I don't what is.
The trolling is real. I have been labelled as a cancer by many members of on the public chat in Discord (your best friend... You know who I mean) and have had memes created about me too. I am willing to show them as I was sent them by my closest friends who work there. It's innappropriate and very unprofessional and it makes them look like children rather than developers.
I loved making games, it's the best job in the world (next to motor racing in my view) but this studio is ridiculous. I loved working there and I wish the whole team luck. It's a fan project and I will be the first in line to play the game (for sure). But when you consider yourself as a Studio, I'd just create your own IP. Not this. It will gain you more respect and I think I'd be willing to join that immediately. The way the studio is acting is both not right for a Studio and For a Fan Project.
I wish the studio luck, but for now I'll stick with making my own games... It was fun but now I am ready to move on!