Good Company is Now Available on Steam Early Access and is 10% off!*
Good Company is a tycoon management game about founding a robot manufacturing empire. Grow your business; hire staff; automate production lines and optimize their output; invent new products and profit in an ever-evolving market. Can you build a Good Company?
We know a lot of you (like us here at Valve) are stuck at home right now trying to work or attend school remotely. Or maybe you're just playing a bunch of great games on Steam. Whatever the case may be, we know that with so many people at home trying to get things done at the same time, it can put a stress on your home’s internet bandwidth.
With that in mind, we thought it was a good time to remind everyone of some of the features the Steam client offers relating to downloads, so that you can manage your home bandwidth and help everyone in your house handle this unique situation we all find ourselves in.
Changes to Auto-Updating to Spread Out Peak Load
For games that haven’t been played recently, Steam has already been scheduling updates for the next off-peak local time period. Beginning this week, we are now spreading these updates out over several more days. Only games played within the last 3 days will be updated immediately. As always, the game will begin updating immediately if you request to play it, and you can always initiate an update (or pause it indefinitely) through the Download Manager. We’re also looking into additional solutions to help on our side.
Options You Can Control
In addition to changes Steam is making to auto-updating, we wanted to remind you that there are also a number of options you can control. We believe that the best solution for most users is to take advantage of Steam’s existing throttling and scheduling features to set their own optimal behavior. So here are some suggestions – follow this link for more details on how-to:
Schedule auto-update windows! This will ensure that Steam doesn’t start updating a game while you’re in the middle of your work day.
If you don’t play a game in your library often, you can keep it installed but choose to no longer download automatic updates.
You can self-throttle your own connection to Steam. This might ease the load on your network connection, and may help ease bandwidth loads if network traffic in your area needs to be reduced.
Take advantage of Library Folders settings, so you can move infrequently-played games from an SSD to a storage HDD. This is usually better for you (and your bandwidth) rather than uninstalling the game and needing to re-download it later.
A new Steam client has been released and will be automatically downloaded.
During game install allow the user to pick a different language if they’ve changed the per-game language setting or previously installed the game in a different language
Fixed a rare crash Steam could cause in some Steam VR helper processes when Steamworks is initialized in an unexpected manner
Fixed Steam client crash when errors are encountered in audio encoding or decoding when running a game using Steam Voice
Fixed achievement notification images for some games
Fixed the achievement section of library game pages not updating when a user gains an achievement
Fixed intermittent failures in broadcast, YouTube and other web video playback. If you are currently or have previously experienced this please ensure that the “Enable hardware video decoding” setting is enabled in the Interface tab of settings.
Updated embedded Chromium build in Steam to 79.0.3945.117
Decreased the number of network requests made when initially loading a game page
Added the ability to resize the game list by dragging the divider between the left and right panels
When viewing game details for a demo, added a section with a link to the main game.
Fix formatting of game reviews displayed in activity feed
Fixed long lists of trading cards not properly wrapping in game activity sections
Fixed What's New section not resizing properly when Automatic display size is selected
Fixed the play bar freaking out when scrolled to the top on very short windows when viewing game details for games with very little content in the right panel
Improved the performance of large chat room groups.
Fixed using multiple Steam accounts on one machine under the same local user – if the game files are written to a common (non-Steam) location, they were previously mixed between Steam accounts
Fixed inability to download files greater than 256MB
Increased responsiveness of Switch Controllers when alt-tabbing
Added support for the Victrix Pro FS with Touch Pad.
Fixed some cases where Switch Controllers could lock up Steam on Windows.
Steam Networking Sockets
Fixed a bug that could cause a P2P connection to drop if a relay went offline while in use
Added a controller overlay with mouse mode, on-screen keyboard functionality and more! Default way to bring up is a long press of the Back button and can be configured in Remote Play settings.
Added the option to record/playback input from the controller overlay when on the Windows login screen
Added loading screen tips for useful functionality, including which button opens the overlay
Added additional detail when running install scripts during PC to PC streaming
Added Steam Overlay to the streaming client in Remote Play Together.
Reduced audio dropouts when streaming microphone input
Fixed sending controller input to the remote side in Remote Play Together
Fixed muted audio when streaming after an RDP session
Fixed controller overlay showing up automatically when connecting
Fixed doubled up controller input when doing PC to PC streaming
Fixed black screen when streaming from a locked computer
Fixed Play button saying "Stop" instead of "Connect" when the stream stops unexpectedly
Fixed crash in Remote Play Together when one or more player has a controller connected
Fixed characters being doubled when typing in foreign languages.
Fixed remote client discovery when using link-local ipv4 addresses (IP auto-configuration)
Fixed low audio volume when starting the stream
Fixed VR games getting auto filtered during a VR session when a Remote Play spectator is connected.
Fixed several stability issues during launching, task switching, overlay, and shutdown of various games.
Fixed custom cursor size on specific games such as Heroes of Might and Magic III HD Edition.
Fixed player names displaying in the wrong position for InGame and Snooze status.
Big Picture Mode
Added plumbing to use the desktop client’s image cache for games. Game icons should now load quicker and start working in offline mode.
Added the ability to rumble controllers in the “Reorder Controllers Dialog”. Controllers which support LED color such as the DS4 will also have the controller’s LED color setting reflected in the controller image.
Fixed navigating community content panels for games w/ mature content
Fixed some cases where the Overlay would not come up when using a controller w/ gyro bound to mouse in Steam Input
Fixed incorrectly adding non-Steam app screenshots to SteamVR.
Fixed some hybrid 2D/VR games not appearing in the VR UI.
Fixed behavior of some Steam windows in certain multi-monitor + mixed high DPI/scaling scenarios
Disabled CEF keyring integration by default. The -enable-keyring option can be passed to the Steam client to reinstate it.
Fix race condition that could cause some Proton-enabled games to redownload
Fixed Big Picture Mode on-screen keyboard not popping up when clicking on text fields with Touch Screen Mode enabled
Fixed Big Picture Mode on-screen Keyboard not allowing more than 3 clicks on a key in quick succession with mouse/touch input
Fixed a client crash occasionally happening while iterating directories
Fixes to Steam overlay for titles that use XInput2
Experience an epic story developed across three titles, and crafted for new and old fans alike. Also includes an interactive introduction to catch up new players to the ongoing story so anyone can dive right in to the world of Trails of Cold Steel.
February may have been the shortest month of the year, but that doesn't mean a shortage of top releases on Steam.
As always, this months’ lists showcase the top titles released in February (measured by the revenue generated during the first two weeks after their launch) and the top five free to play releases (measured by unique player count). As always, we take a look at some of the trends in these charts. But as a special part of this post, we’ve also included a spotlight section with two of the teams featured this month: Flying Oaks Games (ScourgeBringer) & Ink Stains Games (Stoneshard).
A Big Month for Early Access
The first thing we noticed this month is the high volume of games using Early Access. With nearly half of the games this month graduating to full release or making their debuts, Early Access continues to be a successful option for developers and players alike. When we launched Early Access back in 2013, we hoped that the program would provide developers with an optional path to work on their game alongside data and feedback from players. It’s great to see so many studios finding success through Early Access.
Developer Spotlights: Flying Oak Games & Ink Stains Games
Obviously, finding success with a first release is not something that every team achieves. For many developers, a first release can be challenging and rewarding experience, but one that doesn't lead to a spot on a monthly top release list. This month we thought it would be great to celebrate some of the teams whose first releases didn't make a top 20 list, but have found their way on to this month’s charts with a subsequent release. We asked Flying Oak Games (ScourgeBringer) and Ink Stains Games (Stoneshard) about the biggest takeaways from their first launches, how those translated to success this time around, and what they'd recommend to other developers who didn't make a top 20 list with their first launch.
Flying Oak Games
In 2016 Flying Oak Games released the twin-stick shooter, NeuroVoider, for both consoles and Steam. The team points out that not enough focus was put on the quality of that title’s PC features. So, when they set out to make this month's hit, ScourgeBringer, Flying Oak made it a goal to ensure that their PC features be fully developed.
As Thomas Altenburger from the Flying Oak team puts it, "Quality depended on properly responding to our PC players, so we put extra effort into including as many Steam features as possible: Extended settings (e.g., full control support and remapping), working toward a crash free release, and localizing the game in as many languages as possible."
The team also said they were much more aware of Steam tags this time around. Rather than waiting to see how players decided to tag the game, they put emphasis on researching and selecting appropriate Steam tags before release. By carefully researching similar games, they were able to target players who were more likely to be interested in ScourgeBringer.
"We noticed that Steam is targeting players with similar interests more efficiently than in 2016,” said Thomas. “Understand: Set your tags right! We're pleased to see that new players are already familiar with the genres."
Finally, Flying Oak emphasized the importance of their publisher, Dear Villagers, who were able to create a focused marketing campaign that targeted relevant markets by using content creators specifically tailored for them.
"It has been hard, but we're very proud of the result and more importantly,” said Thomas. “Steam players seem to acknowledge the effort!"
Ink Stains Games
When designing their latest title, Stoneshard, Ink Stains Games set out to create a product that was much bigger in scope than their first game 12 is Better Than 6. According to the team, the big difference this time around came from placing a greater focus on expanding their engagement with the community. Speaking with the team about the ways they made this happen, there was an emphasis on paying more attention to a global audience.
"From the very beginning, we chose Steam as one of our main community platforms, giving it priority over our other social networks,” said Andrey Tsypaiev from Ink Stains. “Here, we regularly published devlogs about our progress in several languages - this approach allowed us to build several regional communities around our game."
If you follow Stoneshard on Steam, you've probably seen these devlogs in the game's News Hub. Each one gives unique insights into the development path, along with sneak previews and colorful gifs showcasing upcoming features. Something that isn't always obvious to players though, is the fact that the team creates several localized versions of these devlogs. Regardless of what language a player has Steam set to, Ink Stains is able to share Stoneshard development with their entire community.
Andrey's advice to other teams, "Start working with the community as soon as possible. This strategy allows you to create the backbone of a community you will be working with later."
Thank you and congratulations to both Ink Stains Games and Flying Oak Games for sharing their experiences in creating a Top Release of February 2020.
February's Top Releases
If you've made it this far, here's the list of February's top releases ordered by release date (we've organized this list on a sale page too):
Today we released the Steam Interactive Recommender, a way for users to harness the power of machine learning to discover personalized, interactive recommendations, based on your patterns of play. Along with powerful tag-based filters, you can tailor your results on the fly, selecting your own balance of popular or niche, and recent or classic titles, to find just the right games you're in the mood to play.
Recommendations generated by the system will appear on your store homepage. The Explore and Customize button leads to the full Interactive Recommender, where you can adjust parameters and save settings. Any customizations you make will also be used on the homepage.
Originally Steam Labs Experiment 002: Interactive Recommender, this new feature is now available to all users in the Steam store.
The Interactive Recommender uses a machine learning model that is trained based on the playtime histories of millions of Steam users. It's not directly affected by tags or reviews—it instead learns about the games on Steam by looking at what users actually play. The basic idea is that if there are other players with similar play habits to you, who also play a game that you haven't tried yet, then that game is likely to be one you'll enjoy too.
We're also starting to apply the underlying model in other parts of the Steam store, where we think it can help players see the most relevant content or make more informed choices. For example, when viewing the page for a particular game, you may sometimes see "Players like you love this game" shown as a reason why the game is relevant to you, alongside other factors.
One of Many Content Discovery Features of Steam
The Interactive Recommender isn't a replacement for our existing content discovery systems, but rather an addition to the variety of ways Steam recommends games to players. Although it's a powerful tool, there are some things it can't do. For example, it can't recommend new releases that nobody has played yet, while the Discovery Queue is designed to do just that. That said, we are starting to use the technology underlying the Interactive Recommender to power other features on Steam such as Steam Labs Experiment 008: Play Next, which recommends games you've already purchased but for whatever reason have not yet played. The result is a Steam experience that is more effective at connecting customers to games they'll love across a variety of scenarios.
Steam Labs Experiments
The Steam Interactive Recommender was first released as part of our Steam Labs initiative. Feedback from visitors to the Labs helps us evaluate and iterate on potential new Steam features like this one. While in development, your feedback led us to add tag filtering and saved settings for even more powerfully-guided recommendations. We also looked at quantitative data, measuring clickthrough rates, and conversion rates to wishlist and purchases of games from both the home page capsule, and the full Interactive Recommender page. The data compared favorably with other Steam features, not just in the few weeks after introduction, but consistently over the following months, giving us confidence that this tool is providing long term value in helping users find games they enjoy. It's also pleasing to note that games found this way covered a large portion of our catalog, not just the most popular hits, with well over 10,000 different games purchased as a result of visits to the Interactive Recommender page.
Medieval Engineers is a sandbox game about engineering, construction and the maintenance of architectural works and mechanical equipment using medieval technology. Players build castles; construct mechanical devices and underground mining. There is an entire planet to explore!
Beyond creation, four eras come together as one! Discover the latest entry in this iconic Tactical RPG series. Form your own team of SD Gundams and deploy for battle -- with units from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, SEED, 00, and Iron-Blooded Orphans!