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Valve have detailed some changes coming to Steam in an overview post

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I said before we would see Valve start talking a lot more this year, especially with the Epic Store being a thing and we're starting to see that now. Valve have put out a post giving some background on Steam and what's to come in future.

For those that missed it, a most recent change this January is an overhaul to the DLC list. Take a look at the DLC list for Stellaris for example, which brings it much more in line with the publisher and franchises store pages Valve rolled out last year. Instead of a rudimentary list, it's now a bit flashier.

Even Steam Play got a mention in the post, it really does cover a lot. In particular for us, it's nice to Steam Play get mentioned in such a way alongside their help with Vulkan and the Shader Pre-caching feature of Steam.

As for what's to come across 2019, some of it does sound pretty great:

Store Discoverability: We’re working on a new recommendation engine powered by machine-learning, that can match players to games based on their individual tastes. Algorithms are only a part of our discoverability solution, however, so we're building more broadcasting and curating features and are constantly assessing the overall design of the store.

Steam China: We've partnered with Perfect World to bring Steam onshore into China. We'll reveal more details about this in the coming months.

Steam Library Update: Some long awaited changes to the Steam Client will ship, including a reworked Steam Library, built on top of the technology we shipped in Steam Chat.

New Events System: We're upgrading the events system in the Steam Community, enabling you to highlight interesting activities in your games like tournaments, streams, or weekly challenges.

Steam TV: We're working on expanding Steam TV beyond just broadcasting specific tournaments and special events, in order to support all games.

Steam Chat: We're going to ship a new Steam Chat mobile app, so you can share your favorite GIFs with your friends while on the go.

Steam Trust: The technology behind Trusted Matchmaking on CS:GO is getting an upgrade and will become a full Steam feature that will be available to all games. This means you'll have more information that you can use to help determine how likely a player is a cheater or not.

Steam PC Cafe Program: We are going to officially ship a new PC Cafe Program so that players can have a good experience using Steam in hundreds of thousands of PC Cafes Worldwide.

The Steam Trust upgrade along with the ability for other games to use it could be interesting, especially since that should work with Steam Play titles, something I had a gripe with only recently when EAC stopped me playing Darwin Project.

Discoverability has certainly become an issue as Steam has grow that's for sure. I follow a lot of developers, the vast majority of which have recently talked about how a recent change made their store traffic decrease dramatically. This will only get worse as more games arrive on Steam (and any other store), so hopefully Valve's changes here will do good.

I'm sure a lot of people are eagerly awaiting the refreshed Steam Client, I know I am. The Library feature in Steam is so basic when you've built up a big library of games it tends to be a little unhelpful in how basic it actually is.

See their full post here.

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47 comments
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pb 14 January 2019 at 7:21 pm UTC
Personally I'm most excited about the reworked steam client. I hope it means plenty more filters and sorting options.
Xpander 14 January 2019 at 7:27 pm UTC
With the 0.82% Linux Share on Steam:

~738 000 Monthly Active Linux users
~385 400 Daily Active Linux users
~151 700 Peak Concurrent Linux users
~13 120 New Linux Purchasers per Month
wvstolzing 14 January 2019 at 7:30 pm UTC
QuoteWe’re working on a new recommendation engine powered by machine-learning, that can match players to games based on their individual tastes.

This doesn't sound very encouraging, to be honest; they seem to be chasing the same magically self-regulating minimal-effort dream of a curation model.

QuoteAlgorithms are only a part of our discoverability solution, however, so we're building more broadcasting and curating features and are constantly assessing the overall design of the store.

Yeah, but they shouldn't just 'build features'; they should employ real people to put real thought into what gets sold or highlighted on the store.
TimeFreeze 14 January 2019 at 7:36 pm UTC
All i want is to be able to Broadcast my games on Linux already.
vipor29 14 January 2019 at 7:52 pm UTC
They didn't mention what there gonna be doing with steam play only that they released it in August.hopefully there will be more updates especially trying to fix the anti cheat problem there has to be a way to fix that so games that refuse to run will run.
Sayuri 14 January 2019 at 7:56 pm UTC
These changes might actually do some good, but I really think they should focus on the curator system (if they insist on not doing any curation themselves). All the algorithm seems to be doing is giving me even less views despite recent positive reactions from the few players who have found the game. Ultimately I knew all along I would get little to no help going in and I'll have to do things by hand if I must, but it would be nice having the tools to reach my very specific kind of audience.
Segata Sanshiro 14 January 2019 at 8:06 pm UTC
Overhaul to library would be great. So easy to forget about games and impossible to keep them organized. It's like the 5th time now that my categories have been wiped, so just given up on that.
anewson 14 January 2019 at 8:16 pm UTC
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re: reorganizing steam library: I've only recently discovered that steam has a pretty robust game filter based on tags, they should use tags similarly for your library.
eldaking 14 January 2019 at 8:37 pm UTC
An interesting part of the article:

QuoteWe also took what we learned about mitigating denial-of-service attacks on our own games and made it available to some non-Valve multiplayer titles in a private beta. And since you ship your games on multiple platforms, we made the GameNetworkingSockets[github.com] library open source and Steam agnostic. The Steam version of your game can take advantage of our private network and get the same DoS protection that Dota 2 or CS:GO have. This means that we'll relay all your game network traffic, which keeps the IP addresses of your game servers and clients anonymized, and safe from the script kiddies. In the coming year we're planning to let you use our private network for the non-Steam version of your game as well.

While many stores, publishers and hardware vendors are trying to push exclusives, Valve is open sourcing some of their tools so that developers don't have to make their games Steam-exclusive.

Valve has its many flaws (their hands-off approach to curation or their subpar treatment of indies for example). But they are still so far ahead of the competition it's just hard not to support Steam.
Mohandevir 14 January 2019 at 9:01 pm UTC
eldakingValve has its many flaws (their hands-off approach to curation or their subpar treatment of indies for example). But they are still so far ahead of the competition it's just hard not to support Steam.

Yep! And when you read the complete post... It's quite shocking (unfair? Surprising?) when people say that Valve takes a 30% cut without doing anything... I don't see Epic offering an equivalent infrastructure now and not before a long, long time...

Edit: I hoped we would get news about new hardware, but Valve being Valve, we still may have surprises.


Last edited by Mohandevir at 14 January 2019 at 9:24 pm UTC. Edited 2 times.
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