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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.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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44 comments
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chepati 15 January 2019 at 11:45 am UTC
anewsonre: 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.

Hey. I love your avatar picture! L'Avventura is one of my favorite films.
Arehandoro 15 January 2019 at 2:09 pm UTC
As a gamer, all changes that help me playing more and better (and spending less) are welcome.

But right now the first thing I want from Valve is to ease the taxes to smaller companies and indie devs. And I’m not a dev myself.
Comandante Ñoñardo 15 January 2019 at 4:32 pm UTC
Doc AngeloAn exclusive game is a game, where the developer was payed to intentionally not release on other platforms or launchers. That's a big difference. Valve never payed anyone to artificially restrict the release of a software.

Yes they did. Every games that have a Windows version available DRMFREE on GOG or Humble, but with a Linux version available exclusively on Steam is because Valve payed for that exclusivity.
Linux versions of Metro Redux and Dying Light are an example of that... Obviously, Valve and the publishers will not recognize it.
mirv 15 January 2019 at 4:47 pm UTC
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Comandante Ñoñardo
Doc AngeloAn exclusive game is a game, where the developer was payed to intentionally not release on other platforms or launchers. That's a big difference. Valve never payed anyone to artificially restrict the release of a software.

Yes they did. Every games that have a Windows version available DRMFREE on GOG or Humble, but with a Linux version available exclusively on Steam is because Valve payed for that exclusivity.
Linux versions of Metro Redux and Dying Light are an example of that... Obviously, Valve and the publishers will not recognize it.

Then if nobody admits it, where is your source of this information then? Otherwise what you've said is basically....wrong.
Doc Angelo 15 January 2019 at 6:26 pm UTC
Comandante ÑoñardoYes they did. Every games that have a Windows version available DRMFREE on GOG or Humble, but with a Linux version available exclusively on Steam is because Valve payed for that exclusivity.
Linux versions of Metro Redux and Dying Light are an example of that... Obviously, Valve and the publishers will not recognize it.

What you say makes it impossible for you to give a source for your claim, because you also state that everyone involved is lying about it.

But you could give an example where the original developer also made the Linux port and decided to not put the Linux version on GOG themselves, despite GOG not having a problem with it. Is there such a game?
Shmerl 15 January 2019 at 6:28 pm UTC
Doc AngeloBut you could give an example where the original developer also made the Linux port and decided to not put the Linux version on GOG themselves, despite GOG not having a problem with it. Is there such a game?

Actually, most cases are like that. GOG only reject games if they have serious technical problems that developers don't want to address (Metro case is like that if I remember correctly).

In the vast majority of cases however, when Linux version is missing, developers simply don't want to bother to work on releasing in the smaller store for the smaller platform. So GOG Linux users get the short end of the stick.

See Age of Wonders III developers saying it very explicitly.


Last edited by Shmerl at 15 January 2019 at 6:32 pm UTC
Doc Angelo 15 January 2019 at 7:01 pm UTC
ShmerlActually, most cases are like that.

I'm not sure what you mean with that. Do you mean that most games where the original dev makes a Linux version, the Windows version is both on Steam and GOG, but the Linux version is only on Steam?
Shmerl 15 January 2019 at 7:02 pm UTC
Doc AngeloDo you mean that most games where the original dev makes a Linux version, the Windows version is both on Steam and GOG, but the Linux version is only on Steam?

Yes. In most cases when Linux version is missing on GOG, it's an issue with developers, not with GOG.
Hori 17 January 2019 at 3:41 pm UTC
wvstolzing
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.

Steam should NOT be a censored / regulated store.
Many people wanted this, including myself in the past, but it is actually a really bad idea.
Steam is a store and a platform for everyone. Good and bad games should be welcomed both.

IMO the discovery algorithms combined with a non-regulated store is the best approach.
If you don't care about cheap / joke games, then just mark them as not interested and let the algorithm hide them for you in the future (not hide, but more like not recommend / advertise)

Sure, the algorithms aren't perfect, but the answer is to improve them, not bring regulation. If you want regulation, go to Epic Store, where they don't even have user reviews.

E.g. You might absolutely hate a game just because it is for kids, a complete joke, pay to win, etc. But other people might love it. Take Fallout 76. There's are some (few) people who actually tolerate / enjoy the game. Bringing regulation and people also brings two big problems to the equation:
1. Cost - Those money could be used elsewhere on the platform, or even to lower Steam's cut for each sale,
2. Bias and opinionation - No matter how open minded you are, there's always bias in every one of us. And there's also a company bias.
The last thing you want is for companies to buy their way into Steam. Actually no, the last thing you want is for politically correct / SJW-pleasing games to be accepted and praised above all else just because of a political agenda.

You have to be realistic here. (and a certain dose of cynism also doesn't hurt)
Even if it would be fair and would work wonders in the beginning, it will certainly get corrupted eventually. Especially since, Valve is at the end of the day just another company. And the sole goal of a company is to make profit (otherwise it dies) - and being fair/equalitarian is pretty much always unprofitable. (you can make a case that in the long-term it's beneficial to be so, but companies almost exclusively care about short-term. They are businesses, not governments)


Last edited by Hori at 17 January 2019 at 3:54 pm UTC
eldaking 17 January 2019 at 7:52 pm UTC
HoriSteam should NOT be a censored / regulated store.
Many people wanted this, including myself in the past, but it is actually a really bad idea.
Steam is a store and a platform for everyone. Good and bad games should be welcomed both.

IMO the discovery algorithms combined with a non-regulated store is the best approach.
If you don't care about cheap / joke games, then just mark them as not interested and let the algorithm hide them for you in the future (not hide, but more like not recommend / advertise)

Sure, the algorithms aren't perfect, but the answer is to improve them, not bring regulation. If you want regulation, go to Epic Store, where they don't even have user reviews.

It's not just about "cheap or joke" games. It is about potentially fraudulent games. It is about games that are seriously objectionable, that can cause a lot of harm - like a nazi propaganda game. And on the other side, about blocking things that should be allowed. And yes, people will disagree about what is acceptable or not, which is why the company has to take a stance instead of trying to please everyone.

And the fact that it is so hard is precisely the reason why it can't be done algorithmically. Yes, they need real people to make the hard decisions - is this too gruesome, is this really satire, is this too charged, whatever.

They are not forced to sell or refuse any games; they could always choose. This means they are responsible for what is sold on the store. They can't choose not to pay attention as an excuse for selling (and profiting from) something objectionable.

QuoteYou have to be realistic here. (and a certain dose of cynism also doesn't hurt)
Even if it would be fair and would work wonders in the beginning, it will certainly get corrupted eventually. Especially since, Valve is at the end of the day just another company. And the sole goal of a company is to make profit (otherwise it dies) - and being fair/equalitarian is pretty much always unprofitable. (you can make a case that in the long-term it's beneficial to be so, but companies almost exclusively care about short-term. They are businesses, not governments)

I very much disagree. The fact they want to make money is not our problem as consumers and we don't have to be understanding of it. Quite the opposite, we have to be harsher on them because by this logic they don't have incentive to be ethical otherwise.
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