Today we're making Steam Trading Cards available to everyone. Steam Trading Cards are virtual cards you can earn just by playing some of your favorite games, like Team Fortress 2, FTL, GRID 2, Monaco, Trine 2, Super Meat Boy, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and more. In total there are over 30 games with Steam Trading Cards, with more being added every week. Collecting cards lets you craft new badges for your Steam Profile and earn rewards like emoticons, profile backgrounds, and coupons.
We've also updated everyone's Steam Community profile with a new look. The new profile has a more concentrated focus on what you play and how you participate on Steam. There are new customization options as well, like the new profile Showcases that let you choose what you want to show off: favorite games, items up for trade, workshop mods, hard-earned achievements, and more.
Additionally, you'll see a new "Steam Level" on your profile, and when hovering over a player's avatar. Every badge on Steam now grants XP, which contributes to your Steam Level. If you've been a Steam member for more than a year and have at least one game on your account, then you've already got two badges. You can earn more by participating in events and sales, collecting trading cards, trying out all the Steam Community features, and more.
We're excited to announce the sixth set of games and software titles to advance through Steam Greenlight, and be offered worldwide distribution via Steam. With weeks of busy voters and exciting new games hitting Greenlight, this batch is comprised of 20 items in total--18 games and two software titles--bringing the total to over 90 titles Greenlit since Steam Greenlight launched in August of last year.
The latest software titles:
PlayClaw - This game recorder got votes for its gaming optimization and utilization of multi-core processors for HD video capture.
GamePlan - This real-time strategy software caught the attention of strategy gamers as a way to help plan strategy and tactics for their favorite team-based online games.
The latest games:
Agarest: Generations of War - This Japanese role-playing strategy game quickly shot up the charts and will now add to the small but growing number of Japanese RPGs on Steam.
Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures - Angry Video Game Nerd has built up a huge following on YouTube. That popularity appears to have translated into raging success in Greenlight with the game that bears his name rocketing to the top in only 9 days.
Battle Worlds: Kronos - This richly-colored turn-based strategy game blew through its Kickstarter goal and jumped quickly up the Greenlight charts with votes of excited strategy fans.
City of Steam - This free-to-play action RPG received a lot of visibility and votes from their beta at the beginning of the year, and now look forward to running another beta soon.
Cradle - This first-person adventure game caught the attention of Greenlight voters with its beautiful graphics, unique atmosphere, and compelling soundtrack.
Dead State - In less than a month, this survival RPG has jumped up the charts with enthusiastic support. Plus, the game blew past their Kickstarter goal in the summer of last year, securing an incredible 10,096 backers.
Dead Trigger - This popular free-to-play zombie survival game found great success on android, and has since seen updated graphics as the developers set their sights on Steam for PC and Mac.
Death Inc. - This beautiful and elegant strategy game has garnered a lot of positive press and votes with its unique art style and innovative gameplay.
Elsword - This free-to-play, action RPG uses classic side-scrolling beat em up gameplay mechanics and has captured the votes of existing fans and potential new customers alike.
Faceless - This cooperative and non-violent free-to-play survival horror mod for Half-Life 2 received overwhelming support from the community.
Frozen Endzone - The developers of Frozen Synapse bring the strategic depth of their first game into a new, original and innovative tactical future sports game, capturing the votes of fans and potential customers along the way.
Hammerwatch - This pixely hack-and-slash adventure game caught the attention of voters with their cooperative gameplay, character building, and modding support.
Legend of Dungeon - This colorful dungeon crawler has gained a lot of votes as well as critical acclaim from the gaming press.
Pinball Arcade - Fans of Pinball Arcade have been enthusiastic and vocal, leading to a solid base of support and interest from the community.
Planet Explorers - Currently in alpha, this ambitious open world RPG caught the attention of voters with its ability for users create new content and change the terrain.
Rush Bros. - This competitive platforming game caught the attention of voters and the gaming press with its innovative premise and integration with users' music library.
Shovel Knight - This action adventure game has been sweeping the Greenlight charts with a style reminiscent of platformer adventure classics. After blowing through their ambitious Kickstarter goal, the developers set higher and higher stretch goals, securing an incredible 14,749 backers.
As with past batches, these titles will be released independently in the months ahead, as they complete development and integrate with any of the Steamworks features they are interested in utilizing. Some will undoubtedly launch with Steam Early Access, while others are ready to launch in full soon.
Steam Greenlight is a new platform feature that enlists the community's help in selecting some of the next games to be released on Steam. Launched on August 30, 2012, Greenlight allows developers and publishers to post information and media about their game in an effort to convince Community members that their game should be released on Steam.
Today were adding three new Community features to the Steam Client; a new Community Home page, the addition of Artwork to hubs, and changes to the main Steam navigation menu. The new Community Home now shows you an infinitely scrolling page of the most popular content across all game and software hubs - including news, screenshots, videos, discussions, .and artwork.
With this update, youll find a new Artwork tab in Community Hubs, where you can now post or discover all kinds of artwork associated with your favorite Steam games. We posted some concept and character art in the Valve Community Hubs (Team Fortress, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, etc.) to help get things started. Let us know what kind of neat artwork youve created and share it with the community. To upload artwork, go to the related Community Hub's Artwork tab and look for the "Upload Artwork" button at the top right.
And finally, youll see new drop-down navigation for the main Steam menu, added to accommodate all the major destinations across Steam. Weve separated out all the links that relate to You from links that relate to the larger Steam Community, improving clarity and making for quick access to your favorite destinations.
We've just released an update to Steam Greenlight based directly on feedback and requests from the community both developers and consumers. This update includes the ability to skip items in your vote queue, improvements to collections, and new stats for game and software developers.
Since the Steam Greenlight service went live back in August, an average of three new games have been posted to Steam Greenlight every single day. With so many great game and software titles being added it can be pretty hard to keep up. One of the great ways to discover new titles is to just jump into your queue. It is your own personalized queue of games you havent voted on. From there you can vote Yes, No, and now 'Ask me again later' to skip a title for consideration again at a later date.
If you really like a particular Greenlight entry, you can favorite it to easily find it later, or now you can opt to separately 'follow' items to be notified when the developer posts new announcements. Similarly, you can now 'follow' collections in Greenlight to be notified when collection authors post announcements.
Meanwhile, a new set of detailed statistics are now available for developers to show exactly how many people are looking at their item, voting, and how that adds up over time.
You can read the full update details on the Greenlight blog here.
You've probably got some favorite games that you play a lot and know pretty well. Or maybe you've mastered playing as a certain class or character in Team Fortress 2 or Call of Duty. Or maybe you're just really good at finding all the hidden secrets in the latest Elder Scrolls game. How do you put that knowledge to use and help fellow gamers? Create a game guide on Steam!
Today we're rolling out Game Guides as a beta to members of the Steam Community Beta. With Game Guides, you can create a guide to help fellow gamers and share your expertise in whatever game you like. To get access to the beta, please join the Steam Community Beta Group.
Creating a Guide: Once you've joined the beta group noted above, simply go to the Game Hub for any game you play on Steam and look for the "Guides" tab.
Under that tab, you'll find a button to create a guide. You'll be able to upload and insert images or use screenshots that are already in your Steam cloud. You can insert YouTube videos and you can add friends to help you write the guide. When you're done, just publish your guide and it will be accessible to the community.
Feedback? Questions? We've set up a sub-forum for discussing guides and giving feedback within the Community Beta group here.
Please let us know what you think and if you encounter any bugs.
Preview of Team Fortress 2 Game Hub now accessible for all
August 16, 2012--Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the launch of a limited access Beta for its new Steam Community features.
The Steam Community Beta is now open to the first 50,000 players who earned the 'Pillar of the Steam Community' badge and includes another invite to share. Beta access will increase incrementally until the public launch.
To celebrate the launch of Team Fortress 2's new game mode, Mann vs. Machine, the Team Fortress 2 Game Hub is now accessible to everyone.
The new Steam Community update includes: Game Hubs - Every game on Steam now has a Game Hub, which provides a quick way for users to browse the best of a variety of content as rated by the community at large. Each Game Hub also includes a game-specific discussion area where players can talk about their favorite Steam games.
Group Updates - Player-created groups have been redesigned so it's now easier to see what a group is all about and who is participating in it. Groups now also include public and private discussion areas where they can remain in touch with their own communities.
My Content Updates - The content you've created now lives in one central place with new viewing options including an "image wall" layout that showcases your top-rated content. Also new is the ability to mark screenshots, videos, and workshop items as Favorites to save or share with friends.
Friend Activity - The new feed makes it easy to view, rate, and comment on the content and activities of your friends in a visually-rich and interactive presentation. Players can also broadcast game-specific status updates to start a conversation with their friends, directly in the activity feed.
Steam is a leading platform for the delivery and management of PC and Mac games with over 40 million accounts around the world and over 2,000 titles offered.
This time around there are a number of changes reflected in both documents including the opening of a new Valve office in Luxembourg to better serve our EU customers and partners. If you live in the EU, your SSA will be with our Luxembourg subsidiary Valve S.a.r.l. and the SSA has been amended to reflect additional terms specific to our EU customers. We've added other terms related to the Steam Wallet and Steam trading to accommodate new features and capabilities of Steam.
Were also introducing a new dispute resolution process that will benefit you and Valve. Recently, a number of companies have created similar provisions which have generated lots of discussion from customers and communities, and weve been following these discussions closely. On Steam, whenever a customer is unhappy with any transaction, our first goal is to resolve things as quickly as possible through the normal customer support process. However in those instances in which we can't resolve a dispute, we've outlined a new required process whereby we agree to use arbitration or small claims court to resolve the dispute. In the arbitration process, Valve will reimburse your costs of the arbitration for claims under a certain amount. Reimbursement by Valve is provided regardless of the arbitrators decision, provided that the arbitrator does not determine the claim to be frivolous or the costs unreasonable.
Most significant to the new dispute resolution terms is that customers may now only bring individual claims, not class action claims. We considered this change very carefully. Its clear to us that in some situations, class actions have real benefits to customers. In far too many cases however, class actions dont provide any real benefit to users and instead impose unnecessary expense and delay, and are often designed to benefit the class action lawyers who craft and litigate these claims. Class actions like these do not benefit us or our communities. We think this new dispute resolution process is faster and better for you and Valve while avoiding unnecessary costs, and that it will therefore benefit the community as a whole.
Thanks for reading through our thoughts on these updates and for your continued use of Steam.
There are those who say its much better to give than to receive. For the rest of us, the greatest gift is gifts. And now its easier than ever to receive gifts, or even, if you must, give them. In your inventory youll find a new Pending Gifts tab where you can view gifts offered to you and gifts youve offered to your friends. You can accept a gift to add to your game library or store in your inventory for later on both the web and in the Steam client.
And to ensure you dont miss a gift, a new item in your inventory, or a friend invite, theres now a notification flag at the top of the Steam client that lets you know you have things to act on and quick links to get you there.
Over the years, Steam has delivered a lot of bits to a lot of people. Delivering content is really at the core of Steam, and we have been working on improving that core. As of today, you can download some of the content on Steam using all-new server and client code to get the job done.
The new content system is designed to do two things: deliver better download rates in more places around the world, and also to simply streamline the publishing process on Steam, ultimately making it possible to ship more games than we would have been able to with the old system.
The maximum aggregate bandwidth of the system will be greater than the current system; this will help us satisfy spikes in demand when theres a big release. We will also be able to send content from more places, to better serve people all around the globe. All the content on the new system is sent via HTTP; this is more firewall-friendly than the current system, and will automatically take advantage of web-caching proxies installed at ISPs.
Another way that the new content system improves the bandwidth picture is by requiring each user to download less data. With the Steam content system thats been in place for a few years now, if an individual file on disk were modified by a game update, your client had to download the whole file. That can be painful when the file in question is really large. The new system supports delivering only the differences between the old and new files, meaning game updates will be much smaller overall.
These changes have given us an opportunity to write new tools for game developers and content publishers that simplify the process of both publishing and updating a game on Steam. Simplifying the publishing process means it takes the partner and us less time to ship each product, so we can ship more stuff to more users.
In addition, the new content system will allow us to build several new features that weve often heard requested. Upcoming client releases will include things like download scheduling, bandwidth throttling, and prioritizing which games get downloaded first. Youll also be able to download an update to a game while youre playing that game; Steam will apply the update after you exit the game.
Over time, more and more of the content on Steam will be delivered using this new system. Soon, Dota 2 will be delivered using it. In the meantime, if youd like to try out this new content system you can do so right now; if you download a 1280x720 (HD) trailer from the store, it will happen via the new content system. Give it a try!
Steam's voice chat system now leverages the SILK audio codec, developed and used by Skype, makers of the world's most popular voice communication service. The SILK codec provides a significant quality improvement over Steam's previous voice technology, at the cost of some increase in bandwidth usage. Steam Voice used to require 15 kbps of bandwidth, whereas SILK is a dynamic bit rate protocol which varies in its use of bandwidth between 8 and 30 kbps, depending on the range of data in the voice signal and current network conditions.
As of today's Steam client update, voice chat using SILK is available to all users of Steam. To start using Steam chat with SILK, simply click the 'Start Voice Chat' button within a friend or group chat on Steam. You can access chat from both the friends list at the desktop, or while in game using Steams in-game overlay. You'll find voice chat connectivity and reliability have also been improved with this release.
Steam chat with SILK is now also automatically available for all games that take advantage of the Steamworks Voice API. Valve's own Portal 2, set to release in mid-April, uses this newly updated system to enable voice chat in its cooperative gameplay mode.