Just days after the end of the summer sales, which exposed many of Steam's problems in helping users discover new games, Valve announced a new section dedicated to "discoverability, video, machine learning, etc. and the first pieces of crazy science of video games that emerge are promising.
For now, Steam Labs offers three active experiences: micro-trailers, an interactive recommendation program and a daily automated 30-minute game show. The micro-trailers are quite simple: Steam presents a selection of six-second trailers classified by genre, curator selections or other categories. If you are intrigued by what you see of a particular game, you click on it to visit the page of its store. he seems to be inspired by Long-time Twitter account "Steam trailers in 6s", a proven and useful game discovery tool.
The automated show is assembled from brief sequences of similar games, but with several micro-trailers for each game assembled in a quad game displaying music. I tried to watch the first episode, but I was bored for a few minutes, since it was essentially the micro-caravan function, except that I was not in control. Originally, the goal was for Steam to automatically generate voice-over descriptions from game shop pages, but Valve remembered that the robots were weird.
"In speech synthesis tests, THE. COMPUTER. GENERATED. VOICE. WE. USED. Sounded. A LITTLE. STILTED, so we presented it a bit, "the company wrote on the Steam page of the new feature. "We are working on it, though."
The main event of this impromptu visit to the lab is easily the interactive advisor. This is a "neural network model formed to recommend games based on the user's game history, as well as on other salient data" based on "several millions of" 39; Steam users and several billion gaming sessions ". But it's not just an automated list of games; Although he first understands the numbers by chewing your most played games, you can also tell him what types of games you want to see. The majority of my most played games, for example, are RPGs like Divinity: Original Sin 2, The witcher 3, and Fallout: New Vegas, but I was able to adjust the sliders to see progressively more or less niche and newer or older games. With the sliders alone, I was able to set it up to get a selection of intriguing games in several genres, many of which I did not know (and only a few, like YIIK, I knew it was really bad). In addition, you can restrict games by tags.
Initial response to these new tools both users and developers seems positive– far from the torrents of unhappiness, sadness and confusion that followed the recent announcements of Steam. Valve notes however that these tools are being developed and that some may never escape the darkness of the laboratory to see the day.
"Some of them can be great," wrote Valve on the Steam Labs home page. "The others we can throw. We hope that most of your comments will be improved and that you will continue to be part of Steam. This is the way of the steam labs. "