Steam's New Interface Hones In on Game Discovery, Customization

Steam's New Interface Hones In on Game Discovery, Customization

A brief look at Steam's new homepage and Curator's page.

With 1,300 titles having arrived on Steam in the last nine months, Valve's update aims to remove complications for players trying to find a new game to enjoy.

Valve is changing Steam in an attempt to make discovering games easier and smoother for its users. The "Discovery Update" aims to take the challenge out of finding new games in the client's 3,700 title library, as well as alter its overall aesthetics.

The most notable changes from this update can been seen in the improved homepage via new filters and customization options. Steam users will now receive personalized game recommendations based on recent gameplay, past purchases, and suggestions from friends. Players will also be able to choose whether to display or hide things like Early Access titles, non-gaming software, and games they already own, as well as downloadable content for games in their library.

A new tool called Discovery Queue will provide a daily list of new, top-selling releases that users can browse and use to further personalize future recommendations. Through Discovery Queue, players will be able to add a game to their wishlist, follow updates for said game, or ignore it completely. Featured and popular new releases, alongside sales and recently updated games, will also be showcased on the main page.

Steam Curators is a new community aspect provided by the update, and centers around other Steam users who review and recommend game titles. Curators will be listed on the Steam homepage and individual product pages- which is where Valve advises users go in order to find curators with similar interests. To become a curator, a user (or group of users) can either start a new Steam Community group or be an officer/moderator of an already existing group. After that, users will need to make at least 10 recommendations on Steam. Valve encourages anyone to enlist; developers, journalists, artists, and even critics.

In a statement, Alden Kroll of Valve said, "We have made great efforts to increase the number of titles we can publish on Steam, which means more choices for customers. This update introduces multiple features and functionality to help customers explore Steam's growing catalog and find the games they are most interested in playing."

What are your thoughts on Steam's new update? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Polygon

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Oh look; Valve is making it easier to discover new games and avoid the shit no one should ever pay money for. That exact thing they've been saying was coming for months if anyone had bothered paying attention. Can we cut back on the bitching over bad games getting on Steam now?

It's fine, but why is it so blue? Can it be less blue?

Only time will tell if this is a good thing but good to see Valve trying something new to improve Steam and certainly better than them policing releases, it's easy to say "That game shouldn't be allowed on Steam" but I think it's better that Valve stay neutral as a distribution channel rather than being self-appointed arbiters of "quality" (false advertising not withstanding as with The War Z).

I messing with this last night. I find the interface really really annoying. That discover queue needs to be gone now. They should give us the ability to customize it, not throw more and more in our face. Also... their algorithm for throwing titles at you based on what you own and play sucks so damn hard. It manages to throw all the titles at me I actively avoid, and it keeps finding ways to show it to me. Just terrible. To me, it was fine the way it was. New releases scroll through, top sellers and deals are on the tabs. Nuff said. Now it's that plus 90 more things.... just awful.

As a consumer, I'm not terribly enthusiastic, but still happy with the changes. Time will tell if it will actually effect my buying habits. I was fine with the old layout and I'm fine with this one. The new features are simple and satisfying to use but I wasn't really feeling like I was missing them before.

However, I sincerely hope these changes can help developers of good games get noticed. I want to know what they think of all this in a few weeks. If they are excited about this, then so am I.

Jim Sterling has a curation page.....
http://store.steampowered.com/curator/6856736/
BEST IDEA EVER! You too can see what games are worthy of Jim.
*drops mic and walks out*

image

"underrated gem"

a friendly reminder that kotaku's opinion is worthless

the way i see the, broteam and totalbiscuit are the main curators worth following

NuclearKangaroo:
image

"underrated gem"

a friendly reminder that kotaku's opinion is worthless

the way i see the, broteam and totalbiscuit are the main curators worth following

Jim Sterling is currently the third most popular curator behing Total Biscuit and PC Gamer.

Vivi22:
Oh look; Valve is making it easier to discover new games and avoid the shit no one should ever pay money for. That exact thing they've been saying was coming for months if anyone had bothered paying attention. Can we cut back on the bitching over bad games getting on Steam now?

The bad games are still there, there's still unplayable garbage released every day, they're just not plastered all over everything anymore. And don't act like Valve's promises any more meaningful than that of any other company. Even if I'd heard the news before now, I wouldn't have let up until they actually did something. Now they have, and I did, until I read your post. Now I've resolved to double-down on my kvetching just to spite you :p

NuclearKangaroo:
image

"underrated gem"

a friendly reminder that kotaku's opinion is worthless

the way i see the, broteam and totalbiscuit are the main curators worth following

That right there is what we call one of the mystical uses of the English language known as "a joke".

Moving on, it does tickle me that our very own Jim is the third most followed one.

My list of curators so far is TB, Jim, NorthernLion, Jesse Cox,Maya Kramer, Mike Bithell and finally, SavyGamer AKA Lewie Proctor

It's provided quite an eclectic list of games.

Nergui:

NuclearKangaroo:
image

"underrated gem"

a friendly reminder that kotaku's opinion is worthless

the way i see the, broteam and totalbiscuit are the main curators worth following

Jim Sterling is currently the third most popular curator behing Total Biscuit and PC Gamer.

personally i no longer trust jim, if you want to follow him, more power to you

Vivi22:
Oh look; Valve is making it easier to discover new games and avoid the shit no one should ever pay money for. That exact thing they've been saying was coming for months if anyone had bothered paying attention. Can we cut back on the bitching over bad games getting on Steam now?

Are you kidding? Now they can display only the shitty shovelware! They'll have a constant stream of things to bitch about, every time they boot up Steam!

Just think of the explosion of new bad-game streams we'll be gifted with!

LPers are gonna have a field day with this update...

shirkbot:

The bad games are still there, there's still unplayable garbage released every day, they're just not plastered all over everything anymore. And don't act like Valve's promises any more meaningful than that of any other company. Even if I'd heard the news before now, I wouldn't have let up until they actually did something. Now they have, and I did,

But what possible, detrimental effect does the existence of bad games on the Steam platform have on you and your personal gaming experience with the platform, though? I know this topic's been covered ad-nauseam around here but provided you're not being forced to buy them; and now you don't even have to know they exist; what does it matter?

Regardless, I do agree with you insofar as saying Valve's promises are no more inherently meaningful than any other companies; at face value, anyway. However, delivering on a promise is quite meaningful. Especially if it's within a trend of delivering on such promises.

This doesn't make having absolute faith in any future promises any less irrational, of course, but it does set a certain precedent.

until I read your post. Now I've resolved to double-down on my kvetching just to spite you :p

That hardly seems constructive. I've always preferred bombarding people with Sprite instead of spite. It's so much tastier.

But that's me, I guess.

NuclearKangaroo:
image

"underrated gem"

a friendly reminder that kotaku's opinion is worthless

the way i see the, broteam and totalbiscuit are the main curators worth following

This recommendation is just like a broteam one. In fact I was disappointed to discover that this wasn't a long running joke in all their curation.

Seriously, this is pretty funny.

Baresark:
annoying. That discover queue needs to be gone now.

Optional component is optional... It's at the bottom of the store page, I can't even see mine from the top of the main page so it won't block your precious featured list.

They should give us the ability to customize it

The queue will be customized to you. If you have a game on it that you don't want then just click the "not Interested" button and it will go away...

Steam's needed something like the discover queue for a long time. Time will tell whether their chosen method of implementation will work well but it looks promising to me.

ElMinotoro:

NuclearKangaroo:
image

"underrated gem"

a friendly reminder that kotaku's opinion is worthless

the way i see the, broteam and totalbiscuit are the main curators worth following

This recommendation is just like a broteam one. In fact I was disappointed to discover that this wasn't a long running joke in all their curation.

Seriously, this is pretty funny.

kotaku is so bad i honestly cant even tell, just read the farcry 2 and civ 5 recommendations, unless those are jokes as well

they should take notes from bro team if they want to know how to funny

Sight Unseen:

Baresark:
annoying. That discover queue needs to be gone now.

Optional component is optional... It's at the bottom of the store page, I can't even see mine from the top of the main page so it won't block your precious featured list.

They should give us the ability to customize it

The queue will be customized to you. If you have a game on it that you don't want then just click the "not Interested" button and it will go away...

Steam's needed something like the discover queue for a long time. Time will tell whether their chosen method of implementation will work well but it looks promising to me.

It's not optional, you cannot turn it off. If you scroll down and plan on using any of the "New Releases" or "Top Sellers" Steam lists, then you have to see it. Clicking through it is the most annoying bit. It loads each steam page rather than giving you a list you can just choose an action from. If you read the rest of my comment, I talk about how the algorithm they user to decide what is on that list is screwed up and does not work anyway.

NuclearKangaroo:

Nergui:

NuclearKangaroo:
image

"underrated gem"

a friendly reminder that kotaku's opinion is worthless

the way i see the, broteam and totalbiscuit are the main curators worth following

Jim Sterling is currently the third most popular curator behing Total Biscuit and PC Gamer.

personally i no longer trust jim, if you want to follow him, more power to you

I'll admit, I don't get the hate towards Jim. He just seems indifferent towards the whole thing. Why be angry at him and not, say, Yahtzee, who basically ignored the controversy? Now, moviebob on the other hand...

OT: But yeah, I'm really digging this new layout. I've already found multiple games I never new existed. Certainly an improvement.

Baresark:

Sight Unseen:

Baresark:
annoying. That discover queue needs to be gone now.

Optional component is optional... It's at the bottom of the store page, I can't even see mine from the top of the main page so it won't block your precious featured list.

They should give us the ability to customize it

The queue will be customized to you. If you have a game on it that you don't want then just click the "not Interested" button and it will go away...

Steam's needed something like the discover queue for a long time. Time will tell whether their chosen method of implementation will work well but it looks promising to me.

It's not optional, you cannot turn it off. If you scroll down and plan on using any of the "New Releases" or "Top Sellers" Steam lists, then you have to see it. Clicking through it is the most annoying bit. It loads each steam page rather than giving you a list you can just choose an action from. If you read the rest of my comment, I talk about how the algorithm they user to decide what is on that list is screwed up and does not work anyway.

You can easily ignore it.. It's hidden away at the bottom of the page and doesn't take up much space.

On my first queue it gave me some reasonable selections. I'm not going to run out and buy any of them just yet but it allowed me to keep my eye on them and alerted me to some games that I wasn't really aware of.

Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it needs to go away. Is it really that hard to ignore?

like it as well. now it really only shows games i would be interested in. if they get my interest. so good to see full titles and not stupid early access titles.

Sight Unseen:

Baresark:

Sight Unseen:

Optional component is optional... It's at the bottom of the store page, I can't even see mine from the top of the main page so it won't block your precious featured list.

The queue will be customized to you. If you have a game on it that you don't want then just click the "not Interested" button and it will go away...

Steam's needed something like the discover queue for a long time. Time will tell whether their chosen method of implementation will work well but it looks promising to me.

It's not optional, you cannot turn it off. If you scroll down and plan on using any of the "New Releases" or "Top Sellers" Steam lists, then you have to see it. Clicking through it is the most annoying bit. It loads each steam page rather than giving you a list you can just choose an action from. If you read the rest of my comment, I talk about how the algorithm they user to decide what is on that list is screwed up and does not work anyway.

You can easily ignore it.. It's hidden away at the bottom of the page and doesn't take up much space.

On my first queue it gave me some reasonable selections. I'm not going to run out and buy any of them just yet but it allowed me to keep my eye on them and alerted me to some games that I wasn't really aware of.

Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it needs to go away. Is it really that hard to ignore?

It needs to be actually optional (ie. you can collapse some things, but not that). Having things on the screen that are just taking up space is not useful to me. If you like it, you can keep it. I don't like it, it does little more than clutter up the screen for me, so it being actually optional would benefit everyone. Couple that with there is a section near the top with new releases, so their shouldn't be another section with new releases in your "Queue". The Curators you are following shouldn't be in the middle of the screen, it should be a sidebar, at least that is how I would like.

If they made this actually customizable, it would be very nice. But they aren't, they are just cluttering the screen with more ads for games for you to buy. I have a much larger Steam list than every single person I know, so me buying games shouldn't be an issue and I should have some say in how the store page looks. It was better before because it wasn't inundated with useless information.

I played around with this for a couple hours today. As a person who has 500+ games on steam, and spends a good deal of time checking out games. I found a number of good titles I had missed and a couple F2P titles that were quite fun. I think the best part of this feature is you can now see the percentage of positive reviews on a game. This greatly aids in seeing if a game has positive reviews or not.

I'm sure many people will complain about bad games, but with the review system and seeing the Percent of positive reviews, you really can't blame steam anymore when you buy a bad game.

Vivi22:
Oh look; Valve is making it easier to discover new games and avoid the shit no one should ever pay money for. That exact thing they've been saying was coming for months if anyone had bothered paying attention. Can we cut back on the bitching over bad games getting on Steam now?

You haven't actually used the interface yet have you because I can tell you it';s a cluttered mess. It know require stwo page downs for me to get to the stuff i'm interested in on the store page.

Oh and the curators... no one really likes or wants them :P

There's actually been a bit of a significant backlash from the community about the change. I think the forum thread on that has already hit 2000 posts..

Fox12:

NuclearKangaroo:

Nergui:

Jim Sterling is currently the third most popular curator behing Total Biscuit and PC Gamer.

personally i no longer trust jim, if you want to follow him, more power to you

I'll admit, I don't get the hate towards Jim. He just seems indifferent towards the whole thing. Why be angry at him and not, say, Yahtzee, who basically ignored the controversy? Now, moviebob on the other hand...

OT: But yeah, I'm really digging this new layout. I've already found multiple games I never new existed. Certainly an improvement.

the problem is that, it contradicts so much of what he stood for

and the fact his video about literally who might have increased the harassment towards wizardchan? he didnt address it in any of his videos, or his tweetlonger, he only addressed this very important fact in a measly post in the thread about literally who

oh and he accused people back in the day of victim blaming for daring to ask for proof of the harassment

im just so... very disappointed

I'm... okay with it?
I don't really have cash to spare, so it doesn't matter much to me. Not to mention that I haven't played anything on steam for weeks (200 games library).
It's an improvement I think, though I'm sure they could improve it further. The curator option seems nice, might follow totalbiscuit as I agree with most of his reviews.

If anything, I'm a bit annoyed that I have to get used to a new layout but that's just first world problems and it's honestly not that different.

Now if only the library wouldn't arbitrarily highlight a game I haven't played for years instead of my last played one, that would be one hell of an improvement.

Vigormortis:
But what possible, detrimental effect does the existence of bad games on the Steam platform have on you and your personal gaming experience with the platform, though? I know this topic's been covered ad-nauseam around here but provided you're not being forced to buy them; and now you don't even have to know they exist; what does it matter?

Regardless, I do agree with you insofar as saying Valve's promises are no more inherently meaningful than any other companies; at face value, anyway. However, delivering on a promise is quite meaningful. Especially if it's within a trend of delivering on such promises.

This doesn't make having absolute faith in any future promises any less irrational, of course, but it does set a certain precedent.

until I read your post. Now I've resolved to double-down on my kvetching just to spite you :p

That hardly seems constructive. I've always preferred bombarding people with Sprite instead of spite. It's so much tastier.

But that's me, I guess.

Oh no, I was being entirely sincere with that post. I'm complaining just to spite our friend Vivi because that kind of attitude just irks me. Petty? Yes. Productive? Probably not. Cathartic? Definitely!

But seriously, I'm actually pretty thrilled about the whole thing since it addresses a lot of the day-to-day over-saturation issues and lets me take out both Early Access games and software. Not to mention little things like a little box on store pages that clearly states if a game uses 3ed Party DRM like UPlay or Origin. It's a wonderful step in the right direction, but I'm still somewhat wary of how well it will turn out. After all they did cull a lot of the more negative tags from the tag system, even useful ones like "mobile port", or even just silly ones like "Nanomachines son!".

It's not bad, it's actually pretty good. The reccomended list thing is actually not that bad. I mean it hit most games that I knew I already wanted, but beyond that I haven't found much else. It seems to favor towards sells which is nice and more proffitable for them, so yay?

shirkbot:

Oh no, I was being entirely sincere with that post. I'm complaining just to spite our friend Vivi because that kind of attitude just irks me. Petty? Yes. Productive? Probably not. Cathartic? Definitely!

I know. I just needed a segue for my Sprite pun. Dumb as it is.

;)

But seriously, I'm actually pretty thrilled about the whole thing since it addresses a lot of the day-to-day over-saturation issues and lets me take out both Early Access games and software. Not to mention little things like a little box on store pages that clearly states if a game uses 3ed Party DRM like UPlay or Origin. It's a wonderful step in the right direction, but I'm still somewhat wary of how well it will turn out. After all they did cull a lot of the more negative tags from the tag system, even useful ones like "mobile port", or even just silly ones like "Nanomachines son!".

I actually agree on this. Notably with the tags.

I would have actually preferred a system that allowed the community to down-vote pointless tags. Granted, it might've been just as fruitless an endeavor as allowing the community to have free reign in making the tags, but still...

I'm also still waiting for Valve to work on their server hosting for some of their titles. Specifically: Left 4 Dead 2. Some of those servers are becoming abysmal.

Though, I'm glad to see they're adding in support for 12 new currencies. That was a nice addition.

Recommended for You? More like "Recommended for You, because there's a game of a series in your collection and we didn't know if you liked it or not".

Get rid of the excessive RFY, remove the queue (seriously?), move curators closer to the bottom, make it an equal-length double column with a full-width (actually) New Releases section on top. Also, get rid of a lot of text here. "Show, don't tell" is a big thing and some of the stuff can be replaced with symbols that have tooltip info or single row section explaining what each symbol is. after New Releases, Deal of the Day and Specials come next because that's what most people come to Steam for - The deals, not the recommendations.

Also make my suggested design modular - If someone cares about RFY and curators more than the deals, let them be able to move the sections around to where they want it in their settings.

For all it's improvements, your standard web browser is still better than the Steam client for browsing available games. Although you don't get to see what Steam thinks you should buy.

The queues keep suggesting things I already own. How does it fuck up that badly?

HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT

This recommendation thing is stupid, I don't want 10 ads for LEGO games just because I own one. I want to find new and different more often.

ech, new page layout is ok. but why did they had to change the color sceme/theme so much. i was one of the few that actually loved the default steam skin.

NuclearKangaroo:
image

"underrated gem"

a friendly reminder that kotaku's opinion is worthless

the way i see the, broteam and totalbiscuit are the main curators worth following

no, you missed the best part. "obscure". yes, the most known RPG in whole world is definitely "obscure". thorough i heard that todays fashion is to hate skyrim so they probably rolling on that.

Andy Shandy:

My list of curators so far is TB, Jim, NorthernLion, Jesse Cox,Maya Kramer, Mike Bithell and finally, SavyGamer AKA Lewie Proctor

It's provided quite an eclectic list of games.

my list of curators is my own taste :P but i am one of the original 100 to join Jims curation because i follow everything Jim related. But seriuosly, just use your head for a bit and you can avoid all the shitty games to begin with. not necesssarely bad ports and things like Alan Wake, but things like Air Control just scream "its awful".

NuclearKangaroo:

the problem is that, it contradicts so much of what he stood for

and the fact his video about literally who might have increased the harassment towards wizardchan? he didnt address it in any of his videos, or his tweetlonger, he only addressed this very important fact in a measly post in the thread about literally who

oh and he accused people back in the day of victim blaming for daring to ask for proof of the harassment

im just so... very disappointed

While we thank God for Jim, Jim is but a man and men make mistakes. I too disagree with Jims stance on this, however i find that overall he has done more good than harm to what i believe in. Something i can no longer say about Bob Chipman.

 

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