Steam Blog - Valve
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.

More details regarding the Steam Community update are available at www.steamcommunity.com/communitycontent.
Steam Blog - Valve
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.

More details regarding the Steam Community update are available at www.steamcommunity.com/communitycontent.
Steam Blog - Valve
New features announced each day this week, beta access available soon

A new set of features are being previewed today, focusing on organizing and showing off your collection of screenshots, videos, and Workshop items.

With this update, Steam is putting all the content you’ve created and shared in one convenient place to make it easier to both show off and manage. Your screenshots will be organized into a rich, continually scrolling page that we’re calling the ‘Image Wall’, showing off both your recent and top-rated images at the top. Videos and Workshop items will also get their own sub-section in your shared files, with the ability to easily sort and manage them.

Plus, when you come across someone else’s screenshot or video that you really like, you can add it to your favorites to easily find it later in this same area.

Please visit www.steamcommunity.com/communitycontent for more details. The final set of new features will be announced tomorrow, along with plans for the closed beta.
Steam Blog - Valve
New features announced each day this week, beta access available soon

A new set of features are being previewed today, focusing on improvements to user groups in the Steam Community.

With this update, the 2.5 Million user groups on Steam will be upgraded, adding discussions, customization, and a fresh new layout making it easy to see who’s in the group and what the group has been up to recently.

The new discussion feature gives each group their own forums where members can post questions or discuss the topics and issues that are important to them. Groups can even set up sub-forums for more focused discussions.

Groups will also be able affiliate themselves with their favorite games and set the default language for the group, making it easier for gamers to find groups of interest to them.

Please visit www.steamcommunity.com/communitycontent for more details and be sure to check back each day through August 16th for a preview of more great features.
Steam Blog - Valve
Every so often we need to update the Steam Subscriber Agreement (“SSA”) and Valve’s Privacy Policy. These documents are the terms to which you (and all Steam users) agreed when first creating an account. Whenever we need to make changes to these agreements we like to bring the changes to your attention and explain why they’re necessary. The next time you log in to Steam you’ll be asked to read and agree to the new terms.

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.

We’re 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 we’ve 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 arbitrator’s 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. It’s clear to us that in some situations, class actions have real benefits to customers. In far too many cases however, class actions don’t 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.
Steam Blog - Valve
Enlisting the community to help select new titles

July 9, 2012 -- Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced Steam Greenlight, a new platform feature that enlists the community’s help in selecting some of the next games to be released on Steam.

Steam Greenlight will allow developers and publishers to post information and media about their game in an effort to convince the Community that their game should be released on Steam. Greenlight piggybacks on Steam Workshop’s flexible system that organizes content and lets customers rate and leave feedback.

As well as serving as a clearing house for game submissions, Greenlight will provide an incredible level of added exposure for new games and an opportunity to connect directly with potential customers and fans.

“Making the call to publish or not publish a title isn’t fun,” said Anna Sweet, at Valve. “Many times opinions vary and our internal jury is hung on a decision. But with the introduction of the Steam Workshop we realized an opportunity to enlist the community's help as we review certain titles and, hopefully, increase the volume and quality of creative submissions.”

Steam Greenlight will be released August 30.

For more information, please visit www.steampowered.com/greenlight
Steam Blog - Valve
Announcing Workshop Collections, a new way to discover, organize, and share content in the Steam Workshop. With Collections, anyone can create a customized list of Workshop items for others to discover, rate, and subscribe.



Help expose the talent and craftsmanship found across the Steam Workshop by creating collections of mods or items that you feel work well together or to highlight content you think other people should pay attention to. Numerous artists and fans have already created quite a few collections of the incredible items submitted to the Workshop for Team Fortress 2. And PC Gamer was eager to jump in and put together a couple collections for Skyrim, highlighting their favorite Improvements and New Content.

PC Gamer also recently posted a nice write up detailing the forthcoming Portal 2 puzzle creator and integration with the Steam Workshop. When the Portal 2 beta concludes, and the world can begin happily creating their own test chambers, you’ll be able to use collections to create playlists of Portal 2 maps that you think are awesome or that should be played in a certain order.

Visit the Steam Workshop for Team Fortress 2 or Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and check out the collections that fans and authors are already creating, or put your own together.

Be sure to join the Official Steam Workshop Community Group for the latest news and announcements.
Steam Blog - Valve
Whether you are a fan of Team Fortress 2 or The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you’ve probably discovered some of the countless talented authors in the Steam Workshop and wished that you could keep track of the new stuff they are creating. Well, now you can! For any item, you can click “View all shared files” to see what else the author has created, and then choose to follow that author. Following someone in the Workshop will let you easily discover the latest items and mods that they create, which is accessible through the “Followed Authors” filter on the right side of the Workshop. If you’re just getting started with the Workshop, let us point out a few of the more than 5,000+ authors that have been busy contributing.

On the Team Fortress 2 side, [WDZ] The Ronin and [HoV] Psyke have been busily collaborating on dozens of items, including this sweet hat, which you might recognize as the Brown Bomber. Meanwhile, Svdl has been involved in the creation of over 70 items and seen his items One-Man Army, Snapped Pupil, and Your Worst Nightmare become available in the game. Plus, following will let us see if Tex ever submits a follow up to the successful neck-wear Crocodile Smile.

A few of the authors in the Skyrim Workshop that we’re excited to see more from include, LtMattmoo, Cliffworms, and Arthmoor. LtMattmoo has been busy making mods to improve horses, armor, and giving you the ability to camp out under the stars. Meanwhile Cliffworms has been at the mixing board, fine-tuning the audio across the dungeons and wilderness of Skyrim. We’re definitely looking forward to his upcoming Civilization and Special Events modules. And Arthmoor has given us the ability to ride horses right into cities and to start a new life to experience Skyrim all over again.

In other news, it’s been a little over three weeks since the Workshop for Skyrim was unveiled and gamers could start subscribing to mods directly through Steam. In that time, gamers have collectively subscribed to mods an astonishing 5,566,006 times and counting. It’s incredible to see so many talented individuals and teams sharing their passion with the community.

Other recent additions and updates to the Workshop:
  • There is now an ‘author’ tag next to comments where a workshop author is replying to comments left on their page.
  • The information that comes up when you hover over an item in browse view now includes whether you are subscribed and if any friends have added that item to their favorites.
  • There are new filter options in the right column to see your friends’ favorites as well as your own favorites and subscribed files.
  • Steam Blog - Valve
    There are those who say it’s much better to give than to receive. For the rest of us, the greatest gift is gifts. And now it’s easier than ever to receive gifts, or even, if you must, give them. In your inventory you’ll find a new “Pending Gifts” tab where you can view gifts offered to you and gifts you’ve 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 don’t miss a gift, a new item in your inventory, or a friend invite, there’s 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.


    Steam Blog - Valve
    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 there’s 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 that’s 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 we’ve often heard requested. Upcoming client releases will include things like download scheduling, bandwidth throttling, and prioritizing which games get downloaded first. You’ll also be able to download an update to a game while you’re 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 you’d 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!
    ...

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