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Valve have released two more experiments into Steam Labs

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Ready to be a test subject once again and possibly find some new games to play? Valve have released another two tools enabling you to find something to keep you busy and have boredom run for the hills.

The first up is the Deep Dive, developed by Lars Doucet (Defender's Quest), it's an extension of the work they did on their own Diving Bell Prototype. It allows you to click through games and be presented by more based on what you've clicked, however it comes with a number of improvements over the prototype. It has a breadcrumb navigation with a Start Over button, it won't loop over as it strips out what you've already seen, Microtrailers from another Steam Labs experiment on them all and a proper Search bar.

Deep Dive, thankfully, is one that should actually respect your store preferences after we had a chat about it on Twitter (#1, #2). So if you've only ticked Linux in your Steam Preferences (see the bottom), it shouldn't constantly throw Windows titles at you.

The other addition to Steam Labs today is the Community Recommendations tool. This is taking data from recent user reviews, to present games that might be quite good. Making user reviews again even more important to smaller developers. Each item also uses Microtrailers when you hover over just like the Deep Dive experiment above, with a quick excerpt from a review on the side.

In the shot below, I selected to view by reviews written in the last month with 100+ hours logged:

The Community Recommendations tool is not one that respects your Steam platform preferences though, so for Linux users it might not be especially useful unless you don't mind searching ProtonDB for a lot of the games that appear to see if they work or not with Steam Play.

On top of that the second experiment which is The Interactive Recommender, now has an actual place on the main Steam store if you scroll down a bit to where it says "Recommended for you by Steam Labs " below the first set of big special offers. This was one of the first three tools that came with the initial release of Steam Labs. Just like the new Community Recommendations tool, it does not respect your platform settings sadly so looking at my own I ended up with these:

Not particularly helpful at all when you're on Linux and the first two are completely broken in Steam Play. I really hope Valve make all of Steam Labs eventually respect your platform preferences like the Deep Dive does.

I will likely make great use of the Deep Dive experiment, really fun idea from Doucet and great to see Valve pick up such an interesting tool. What do you think to these latest experiments? I can definitely imagine Deep Dive sitting along side the Discovery Queue on the Steam store.

See all of it on Steam and the Steam Labs.

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Tags: Steam, Valve
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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1 comment

Nanobang 20 Sep, 2019
The Diving Bell tool was great in prototype, but rough. Now that it's been released in a polished form on Steam, I know I'll be using it.

I like the sound of the interactive recommendations as well. Proton has made it so that I don't even use ProtonDB when considering a game for wishlisting. I only go to ProtonDB when I'm about to actually purchase a non-Linux game.

If it doesn't work with SteamPlay, then I don't buy it---now. I do leave it on my wishlist though because I fully expect that sometime down the road it will be playable via Proton or Lutris or some yet-to-be-created tool available to Linuxian gamers.

Last edited by Nanobang on 20 September 2019 at 12:42 pm UTC
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