Valve launches Steam Labs to publicly prototype new store features

Discovering games on the Steam store is difficult. Valve Software, which owns and operates Steam, has provided a number of tools to better empower customers to find what they like. But developers releases thousands of games on the platform each year, and that’s overwhelming for most people. Now, Valve is hoping to find new ways to combat that through the launch of its Steam Labs tool.

Valve is always developing new ideas for Steam, but it wants to get more user feedback. This will help it get info about what is working. It will, of course, also show customers and game creators that Valve is re-investing in its massive game-distribution service. Steam Labs is live now, and you can begin experimenting with one of three “active experiments” immediately.

These new features are all fascinating, and Valve may end up integrating all of them into Steam at some point in the future.

Here are the experiments and how they work.

Micro Trailers

One of my favorite unofficial Steam-related accounts is Microtrailers. It is an automated bot that creates six-second condensed versions of game trailers for new games on Steam. It’s a great way to quickly see if something visually appeals to you.

It’s like Tinder for video games.

Now, Valve is testing a feature called Micro Trailers. It is an automate bot that creates six-second condensed versions of game trailers for new games on Steam. It’s a great way to quickly see if something visually appeals to you.

It’s like Tinder for video games.

The reason Microtrailers and Micro Trailers are so similar is likely because the same person is working on both.

Interactive Recommender

Valve is also testing a way to more easily discover different kinds of games with more input from players. The Interactive Recommender looks at your library and playtime, and then it asks you what kind of game you’re looking for. Do you want something popular or something niche? Do you want something from any point in the last 10 years or something from the last six months?

You can adjust those sliders to find something for you. I tried it and ended up putting around 30 games on my Wishlist.

Automatic Show

Finally, Valve is working on a show that you can play to watch to quickly see new games. Like with Micro Trailers, a bot puts together the show, and it shows short snippets of dozens of available games. I put it on my second monitor while writing this, and only a couple of games featured anime girls sticking their asses out.

Watch the Automatic Show right here.

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