Published: Fri, July 12, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Valve launches Steam Labs, focusing on experimentation

Valve launches Steam Labs, focusing on experimentation

Valve has announced a new featured section of its service called Steam Labs, which will give users a chance to test out different works-in-progress projects from the company and give feedback. However, Steam's experimental feature will still allow players to shorten the Interactive Recommender suggestions based on tags. Micro Trailers are (as you might expect) ultra-short six-second game trailers. In addition, many indie creators have decried a seeming lack of discoverability on Steam, claiming their games are all but impossible to market on the platform. According to Steam, "This experiment looks at how much you've played each game in your Steam library and uses the magic of machine learning to recommend games you might like".

The micro trailers web page asks the query "What for those who may take in each sport on Steam in simply moments?" and reveals off a spread of trailers in numerous classes, like roguelikes, visible novels, and "dragons". Not that you'll get new information from these looped trailers, but they're definitely better than a slideshow of stills of the game. Valve boasts that the model is based on millions of Steam users, and you can filter results with a series of sliders. For example: it can be directed to popular titles released in the past ten years, or niche games launched in the past six months.

With news that your Steam library will be receiving a total make-over, due to it looking pretty ugly in comparison to other the more snazzy collections offered by competing digital marketplaces, Valve has launched Steam Labs, in an attempt to include the community in the redesign process. Each game's logo pops up next to the trailer as it appears, linking to the game's store page.

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Finally, there's the Automatic Show, which is kind of like a video showcase you'd see at press conferences for events such as E3. This tool takes a look at your play history and recommends games based on play time and preferred genres.

Automatic Show: An automatically generated "shopping channel"-style show of sorts, highlighting footage of the latest releases".

As Steam points out, none of these features are final. Valve says its experimental Recommender tool will be able to help all customers, whether they want the newest game releases, or hidden gems. Steam, which is now the largest PC gaming client, gives users recommendations on what to play next. Users can provide real-time feedback in the Labs and speak to their success or failure.

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