- boyd


Today we’ve made the new Steam chat features, which have been in beta since June 12th, available to all Steam users. The all-new friends list and chat system makes it easier to chat and play games with your Steam friends.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the beta! We'll continue to improve the new chat system based on your feedback and requests. We've already started working on making it easier to chat from anywhere with a new Steam chat mobile app for iPhone and Android devices.

Check out the announcement page to learn more about the new features and what was added/fixed during the beta period.
- TomB
Today we are rolling out a bunch of improvements in how we show you upcoming games on Steam.

In the past, the Steam homepage included an Upcoming tab that showed customers a complete list of everything that was coming to Steam. This was a pretty simple feature -- it was literally just a chronological list of upcoming titles. It didn't do anything to build a list of games suited to anyone's interests and just wasn't doing its job. Hundreds of new games are coming to Steam every month, but customers weren't using this list to find new things to play. It was a feature that needed work.

Therefore, as of today the Upcoming tab will be a smarter, more tailored list called Popular Upcoming. This list will take into account the pre-release interest in a game -- that is to say, data we gather through wishlists, pre-purchase, and a developer's or publisher's past titles. We believe Steam does a good job of taking early customer interest (even if that interest isn't enormous) and helps a game amplify that interest through connection to quality customers. This smarter list on the front page aims to do just that.

Furthermore, when you click on "see more Upcoming Releases" at the bottom of that tab you'll be taken to a dedicated Upcoming Releases page. This page will make suggestions based on your unique interests and show you what's coming to Steam in a much more digestible format.



If you follow a developer or publisher with a new game coming out, the Upcoming Releases page will feature those games. If you've wishlisted a game, it will appear here as well. If you've shown Steam some of your interests, we'll be taking that into account as you browse through games that are coming to Steam. Conversely, we won't be populating this page with things you've willfully said you're not interested in or with DLC for games you don't own.

We also recognize that some of you do want to see the complete list of releases in one place -- you don't want us or our silly computers doing any work for you; you prefer a raw, unrefined deluge of new games. Well, on the Upcoming Releases page you can view a totally unfiltered list of everything that is coming to Steam, and while looking through that list you'll know that as you add games to your wishlist or share them with friends, you'll be helping Steam make it discoverable for everyone else.

We think these changes are going to help connect you towards games you're excited about and make browsing all the new games coming to Steam a more enjoyable and productive experience. Making Steam more useful is never an exact science so we'll be maintaining and adjusting these new features as more and more of you use them to find games you want to play.

Upcoming Games on Steam Q&A

Q: Can't you replace this tab with something else? I have an idea about that, actually.
A: We spend a lot of time listening to customer feedback on improvements to the store, so please, let 'em fly. This change is in direct response to feedback and data from both customers and partners on the usefulness of Steam's front page.

Q: I'm a developer and in the past I knew that my game would be in that unfiltered list on the front page, at least for a little while. Doesn't this make my new game even harder to find?
A: We've spent a lot of time looking at data about how folks find and buy games and are certain that isn't the case. The previous iteration of Upcoming was just too unfiltered for most customers to use it effectively. A piece of data for you: the old Upcoming list was only clicked on by less than half of one percent of customers whereas Top Sellers is clicked on by almost four percent. It's clear to us that a brief (and sometimes very brief) spot on Steam's front page isn't useful if your game is shown to a random set of customers -- what's best for everyone is if your game is shown to the right customers, ones who have shown that they might like your game. If you're building a great, entertaining product with a store page to match, these improvements will facilitate connections to those customers in a higher quality way.

Q: So let me get this straight, if me and all of my pals wishlist a game, we can help it get to the front page of Steam via the Popular Upcoming tab?
A: Yes but probably no. We spend a lot of time writing code and monitoring these systems so they aren't manipulated. Now, if you love an upcoming game and wishlist it or even pre-purchase it and we identify that this is a natural trend across Steam's diverse customer set, we will start suggesting it to other folks who may feel the same way.

Q: I have another question, you can't predict me with your flimsy Q&A.
A: Please share it below and we'll try to address it if it's thoughtful and well-meaning.

- Alden
We've just launched an open beta for Creator Homepages, a new part of the Steam store designed to help players discover and connect with the developers and publishers behind their favorite games. With this feature, you can explore the full catalog of games created by the developers and publishers of games you enjoy and you can choose to follow those creators to be automatically notified when they release their next title.



How does it work?
Any developer or publisher on the platform can now set up a customized homepage to showcase their full catalog of titles and content. Once set up, these homepages can be found by clicking on the developer or publisher name from the store page of your favorite games.



Check out the official Creator Homepage Announcement Page, which includes a list of all the homepages so far. This will quickly become an overwhelming and unusable list as more developers create their homepages, so at the top of the page we've also specifically highlighted the developers and publishers behind games that you've recently played.

On these homepages, you'll find standard lists of top-selling or new released titles from that developer or publisher.



You'll also find collections that the developer or publisher has created to best highlight their portfolio of games and content available on Steam.



A studio might divide its games into collections by genre or franchise, or could choose to highlight their fan-favorite or top-selling games. A developer of only a single game might primarily dedicate their homepage to announcements of new projects.

Regardless of how each developer or publisher chooses to customize their homepage, you can easily follow them to be notified when they release their next title or post an announcement. Newly released titles from developers or publishers that you follow will show up at the top of your Steam homepage and we'll send you an e-mail to let you know that they've released something new (as with other Steam e-mail notifications, you can opt out at any time by visiting your e-mail preferences page).

Creators can also set up unique URLs within Steam for easy reference to their homepage. You can see an example by following this customized URL for the Valve developer homepage: http://store.steampowered.com/dev/valve


Why Beta?
We're pretty excited to get the core functionality into the hands of players and give developers the opportunity to set up their presence on Steam. While we haven't worked out all of the smaller bugs or finished adding every feature we'd like to, we decided that the basic set of functionality is worth putting into the hands of players and creators. We still have a number of features that we are considering adding and there are still a few rough edges that need smoothing out, so opening this system up as a beta to players and developers will help us gather feedback and suggestions that inform the direction of those features.

Over the previous few weeks, we've worked with a number of developers and publishers on Steam to get their pages set up and help us work out as many of the bugs as we can. As a player, you'll find that many of your favorite game makers probably already have a spiffy homepage created and customized. But there are still quite a few developers that have not yet had a chance to set up their pages and will do so during this open beta period.


Looking for more details?
Check out the official Creator Homepage Announcement Page.

For game developers, check out the Creator Homepages Steamworks documentation for more details and information on how the system works, the features that are included, and necessary permissions for game creators.


Reporting bugs and feedback
As always, we'll keep an eye out for your feedback and suggestions as to what you'd like to see added or changed about this system.
- the gish


Today we’ve made available an open beta for a completely overhauled set of Steam Chat features. The all-new friends list and chat system makes it easier to group up with the people you chat and play games with.

Friends List updates
The friends list now has a customizable favorites section at the top, for quick access to the people, groups, and chats you care about most. You’ll also see in-game friends at the top of your list, grouped together by game or even by party, making it easier to join in, or just to see which games are popular among friends.

Group chats
The friends list now has a dedicated area for group chats, which can range from casual chats with a couple of friends to larger communities. Starting a group chat is as simple as dragging an additional friend onto a chat window. You can also save your group chats with a name and avatar, making it easier to come back to them later to pick up the conversation or to play games with those same friends.

Within a group chat you have the option to add additional text channels, voice channels, member permissions. Plus, all chats now display images, videos, tweets, and links inline in a rich, beautiful way.

Voice chat
The entire voice chat system has been rebuilt, to ensure a more seamless experience when playing games on Steam with friends. It’s now one click to start a voice chat and organize your group pre-game.

Plus..
This update includes many more items of note, including: invisible mode, so you can appear offline, but still access your friends list and chats. And adding friends is easier now with custom friend-request links you can email or send outside of Steam.

Join the beta
If you’d like to participate in the beta and give us your feedback you can check out the announcement page to see how.
- Erik Johnson
Recently there's been a bunch of community discussion around what kind of games we're allowing onto the Steam Store. As is often the case, the discussion caused us to spend some time examining what we're doing, why we're doing it, and how we could be doing it better. Decision making in this space is particularly challenging, and one that we've really struggled with. Contrary to many assumptions, this isn't a space we've automated - humans at Valve are very involved, with groups of people looking at the contents of every controversial title submitted to us. Similarly, people have falsely assumed these decisions are heavily affected by our payment processors, or outside interest groups. Nope, it's just us grappling with a really hard problem.

Unfortunately, our struggling has resulted in a bunch of confusion among our customers, developer partners, and even our own employees. So we've spent some time thinking about where we want to be on this, and we'd like to talk about it now. But we also think it's critical to talk about how we've arrived at our position, so you can understand the trade-offs we're making.



The challenge is that this problem is not simply about whether or not the Steam Store should contain games with adult or violent content. Instead, it's about whether the Store contains games within an entire range of controversial topics - politics, sexuality, racism, gender, violence, identity, and so on. In addition, there are controversial topics that are particular to games - like what even constitutes a "game", or what level of quality is appropriate before something can be released.

Common questions we ask ourselves when trying to make decisions didn't help in this space. What do players wish we would do? What would make them most happy? What's considered acceptable discussion / behavior / imagery varies significantly around the world, socially and legally. Even when we pick a single country or state, the legal definitions around these topics can be too broad or vague to allow us to avoid making subjective and interpretive decisions. The harsh reality of this space, that lies at the root of our dilemma, is that there is absolutely no way we can navigate it without making some of our players really mad.

In addition, Valve is not a small company - we're not a homogeneous group. The online debates around these topics play out inside Valve as well. We don't all agree on what deserves to be on the Store. So when we say there's no way to avoid making a bunch of people mad when making decisions in this space, we're including our own employees, their families and their communities in that.



So we ended up going back to one of the principles in the forefront of our minds when we started Steam, and more recently as we worked on Steam Direct to open up the Store to many more developers: Valve shouldn't be the ones deciding this. If you're a player, we shouldn't be choosing for you what content you can or can't buy. If you're a developer, we shouldn't be choosing what content you're allowed to create. Those choices should be yours to make. Our role should be to provide systems and tools to support your efforts to make these choices for yourself, and to help you do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable.



With that principle in mind, we've decided that the right approach is to allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling. Taking this approach allows us to focus less on trying to police what should be on Steam, and more on building those tools to give people control over what kinds of content they see. We already have some tools, but they're too hidden and not nearly comprehensive enough. We are going to enable you to override our recommendation algorithms and hide games containing the topics you're not interested in. So if you don't want to see anime games on your Store, you'll be able to make that choice. If you want more options to control exactly what kinds of games your kids see when they browse the Store, you'll be able to do that. And it's not just players that need better tools either - developers who build controversial content shouldn't have to deal with harassment because their game exists, and we'll be building tools and options to support them too.

As we mentioned earlier, laws vary around the world, so we're going to need to handle this on a case-by-case basis. As a result, we will almost certainly continue to struggle with this one for a while. Our current thinking is that we're going to push developers to further disclose any potentially problematic content in their games during the submission process, and cease doing business with any of them that refuse to do so honestly. We'll still continue to perform technical evaluations of submissions, rejecting games that don't pass until their issues have been resolved.



So what does this mean? It means that the Steam Store is going to contain something that you hate, and don't think should exist. Unless you don't have any opinions, that's guaranteed to happen. But you're also going to see something on the Store that you believe should be there, and some other people will hate it and want it not to exist.

It also means that the games we allow onto the Store will not be a reflection of Valve’s values, beyond a simple belief that you all have the right to create & consume the content you choose. The two points above apply to all of us at Valve as well. If you see something on Steam that you think should not exist, it's almost certain that someone at Valve is right there with you.

To be explicit about that - if we allow your game onto the Store, it does not mean we approve or agree with anything you're trying to say with it. If you're a developer of offensive games, this isn't us siding with you against all the people you're offending. There will be people throughout the Steam community who hate your games, and hope you fail to find an audience, and there will be people here at Valve who feel exactly the same way. However, offending someone shouldn't take away your game's voice. We believe you should be able to express yourself like everyone else, and to find others who want to play your game. But that's it.



In the short term, we won't be making significant changes to what's arriving on Steam until we've finished some of the tools we've described in this post. As we've hopefully managed to convey, navigating these issues is messy and complicated. Countries and societies change their laws and cultural norms over time. We'll be working on this for the foreseeable future, both in terms of what products we're allowing, what guidelines we communicate, and the tools we're providing to developers and players.
- al
Today’s update expands on your Profile Privacy Settings Page, giving you more control over the privacy of your Steam account. With more detailed descriptions of what profile information is included in each category, you will be able to manage how you are viewed by your friends, or the wider Steam Community.

You can now select who can view your profile’s “game details”; which includes the list of games you have purchased or wishlisted, along with achievements and playtime. This setting also controls whether you’re seen as “in-game” and the title of the game you are playing.

Additionally, regardless of which setting you choose for your profile’s game details, you now have the option to keep your total game playtime private. You no longer need to nervously laugh it off as a bug when your friends notice the 4,000+ hours you've put into Ricochet.

Looking ahead a little, we are also working on a new “invisible” mode in addition to the already existing “online”, “away” and “offline” presence options. If you choose to set yourself to invisible, you’ll appear as offline, but you’ll still be able to view your friends list, send and receive messages. Sometimes you’re feeling social, and sometimes you’re not; this setting should help Steam users be social on their own terms. We hope to have this feature ready for beta release soon.

Like many Steam features, these privacy options come directly from user feedback. If you would like to join that conversation, as always, we welcome you to visit the Steam Discussions and add your feedback.
Steam Blog - Valve
A Vulkan-compatible driver for macOS and iOS, MoltenVK, is now available free of charge and open-source. Having invested into its development for more than a year, we have sponsored The Brenwill Workshop to donate MoltenVK for inclusion in the Vulkan graphics ecosystem. We've also continued our efforts with LunarG who is today releasing a corresponding update to deliver macOS support to the Vulkan SDK. Also as a result of that work, Dota 2 will be updated in the comings months to target Vulkan on macOS.

It's been almost four years since we started contributing to Vulkan's goal of becoming a cross platform solution. With support for Windows, Linux, and Android crossed off the list, this latest set of updates checks off one of the largest remaining targets, giving developers an easy yet robust way to also target their Vulkan-based engines and titles to run on macOS and iOS. By making the code to MoltenVK freely available and open-source, the goal is to enable developers to bring their games to macOS and iOS with minimal evelopment cost.

The LunarG Vulkan SDK is a key component for developers targeting Vulkan by providing tools such as validation layers, shader compilers, and a loader. Now available from LunarG, an updated Vulkan SDK now offers those same tools to developers targeting macOS, enabling them to efficiently develop Vulkan code on the platform.



Additionally, we exercised MoltenVK with real world workloads including Dota 2 and we're seeing significant performance improvements over running on OpenGL.



We encourage developers to test their engines and titles with MoltenVK and the LunarG SDK and provide feedback. We are committed to making Vulkan a viable option for developers targeting all platforms.
Steam Blog - Valve
A Vulkan-compatible driver for macOS and iOS, MoltenVK, is now available free of charge and open-source. Having invested into its development for more than a year, we have sponsored The Brenwill Workshop to donate MoltenVK for inclusion in the Vulkan graphics ecosystem. We've also continued our efforts with LunarG who is today releasing a corresponding update to deliver macOS support to the Vulkan SDK. Also as a result of that work, Dota 2 will be updated in the comings months to target Vulkan on macOS.

It's been almost four years since we started contributing to Vulkan's goal of becoming a cross platform solution. With support for Windows, Linux, and Android crossed off the list, this latest set of updates checks off one of the largest remaining targets, giving developers an easy yet robust way to also target their Vulkan-based engines and titles to run on macOS and iOS. By making the code to MoltenVK freely available and open-source, the goal is to enable developers to bring their games to macOS and iOS with minimal evelopment cost.

The LunarG Vulkan SDK is a key component for developers targeting Vulkan by providing tools such as validation layers, shader compilers, and a loader. Now available from LunarG, an updated Vulkan SDK now offers those same tools to developers targeting macOS, enabling them to efficiently develop Vulkan code on the platform.



Additionally, we exercised MoltenVK with real world workloads including Dota 2 and we're seeing significant performance improvements over running on OpenGL.



We encourage developers to test their engines and titles with MoltenVK and the LunarG SDK and provide feedback. We are committed to making Vulkan a viable option for developers targeting all platforms.
- Alden
Today we rolled out an update giving you more control over your Steam Wishlist. This update adds more filtering and sorting options, and shows more relevant information such as Early Access state, review score, and ‘add to cart’ buttons (when available). Below we’ll go into a bit more details on what has changed, or you can just check out your Wishlist at http://store.steampowered.com/wishlist/




More Relevant Information and Filters
When we started planning out the set of improvements to players’ Wishlists, we began with the frequent requests we see from the community. We've heard that players wanted to see a few key pieces of information on their wishlist and more ways to sort and filter.



So here are the key pieces we’ve added so far:

  • Steam has long shown the discount and price for items on your Wishlist, but there hasn’t been a way of sorting or filtering based on discounts. This can be frustrating when trying to find items during a large Steam sale or to finding purchases at particular prices. Now you can filter items shown on your Wishlist by levels of discount like 50% off or 75% off. You can also filter by various tiers of price, or filter to only see items you can buy with your current Steam Wallet balance.
  • We’ve also heard a lot of requests for the ability to filter your Wishlist by tags or genres to help find games when you’re in the mood for a strategy game or an RPG. So now Steam displays the top-ranked tags for each item on your Wishlist. Clicking any of those tags will filter your Wishlist to just other titles with that same tag applied. This makes it easy to find the best co-op games on your Wishlist, or quickly find a discounted horror game.
  • Many players have reported that they find a promising game currently in Early Access that they want to keep track of, but aren’t interested in buying until the game has transitioned to full release. Now your Wishlist will reflect if a game is currently in Early Access, and we’ve added a filter option to hide those games until they have transitioned from Early Access to full release.
  • Players frequently add unreleased games to their Wishlist, which is a helpful way to express interest in an upcoming release and be notified when the game releases. But between now and that title’s release, it isn’t always helpful to see those unreleased selections when you’re shopping for something to play now. So we added the release date to each Wishlist item along with a filter option to hide unreleased games until they become available.

Note: The combination of filters and sort-orders that you pick will automatically save and apply when you visit your Wishlist again in the future.

Add to Cart Directly From Wishlist
Another frequently requested feature was the ability to add items to your cart directly from your Wishlist. On the surface this seemed like a straight-forward request, and in most cases it turned out to work just fine. However, we found that there are cases where it isn’t always clear which version of the game should be added to the cart. For example, some games have a Deluxe Edition or multiple Starter Pack options that make the offer more complicated. Some games even add or change the offers available over time, so we wouldn’t want to make assumptions about which version you are ultimately interested in when you hit ‘add to cart’. With that in mind, games with a single purchase option can now be added directly to your cart, but for games with alternative purchase options, you can click through to the store page to find the right option for you.



As always, we’d like to hear what you think about these changes, and whether there are more wishlist features you'd like to see.

-The Steam Team
- Alden
This year we’re taking a look back at the best-performing games with five new “Best of 2017” lists.


Last year’s Top-Sellers list proved to be quite popular, so we wanted to update that list and expand on it by highlighting the variety of ways games achieved success on Steam in 2017.

Top Sellers
We started by looking at the top-sellers again. We ran the numbers to come up with the list of the games that earned the most revenue during 2017, including all forms of Steam revenue; game sales, in-game transactions, and DLC. So, like last year, the resulting list includes a mix of free-to-play games as well as premium games.

Without further ado, here are the Top Selling Games of 2017

Top New Releases
We thought that it might also be interesting to look at the top-selling games that released during 2017. This one was a bit trickier to put together in a way that fairly represented games released throughout the year. For example, if we just looked at total revenue earned by games released during the year, the list would strongly favor games released early in the year, as they have had more months to earn sales. To counter that effect, we could look at the average money-per-day earned by games released in 2017, but that ends up biasing strongly in favor of games released late in the year, as initial launch-week sales spikes are typically much stronger than following weeks and months.

Ultimately, we weren’t happy with any single metric as determination of the popular releases throughout the year, so we used the games from all of these lists and split them out by the month they released. The result is a list of games released each month during 2017 that achieved a sizable level of commercial success. Top games released in January are based more on their overall gross revenue while games released later in the year are selected more based on initial week sales and average daily revenue.

Here are the Top Selling New Releases of 2017

(Note: any of the measures above for new releases will under-count free-to-play games, which tend to grow in revenue over time rather than having an initial sales spike like premium games.)

Best Selling VR Titles
We have seen over 1,000 new VR titles come out this year, including blockbusters such as Fallout 4 VR, SUPERHOT VR, and Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality, as well as continued popularity of last year’s releases like Arizona Sunshine, RAW DATA, and Job Simulator. As VR continues to grow as a platform unto itself, we wanted to put together a list of this year’s top-selling VR games to highlight the variety of interesting VR experiences that are being bought and played.

Here are the Top Selling VR Experiences of 2017

Top Early Access Grads
The number of notable titles launching through the Early Access program continued to expand in 2017 with titles like PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS, Oxygen Not Included, Northgard, Dead Cells, and Blackwake. Meanwhile, we’ve seen a number of hugely popular Early Access games make the transition to full release (hello, PUBG!). So, we decided to make a list of all the top-selling games that graduated from Early Access this year.

Here are the Top Early Access Graduates of 2017

Top Played Games
Finally, we wanted to see what people were spending time playing, and how that compared with the games that players were spending money on. So we put together a list of games based on the peak number of simultaneous players. We originally set out to create a top-100 list, but found a slightly longer list (107) that achieved a peak number of simultaneous players over 15,000 and felt it was worth recognizing them all. To fully recognize the games that have built a significant player base, we’ve excluded a few titles that only had short-term spikes in player count due to running giveaways.

In the process of putting this list together, we found that there is a lot of overlap in the lists of top-selling games and top-played games, with 71 titles on both lists.

Here are the Most Played Games of 2017

About the Lists
Specific revenue for the lists are not disclosed, but the leading sellers are broken into the following four categories to give an idea of how they placed:
- Platinum: The first thru 12th best seller
- Gold: 13th - 24th best seller
- Silver: 25th - 40th top seller
- Bronze: 41st - 100th top seller

Also, don’t forget that later this week, the winners of the second annual Steam Awards will be revealed. You have a couple more days to vote on the last categories, and to be part of history! http://store.steampowered.com/SteamAwards/

-The Steam Team
...

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