Product Update - Valve
An update has been released for the Left 4 Dead 2 Authoring Tools.

- Fixed the Workshop Manager failing to display any workshop item with an ID too large to fit into 32 bits.
Steam Blog - christen
This July marks the one year anniversary of Steam Labs, which launched with three experiments and big ambitions to improve Steam through public experimentation and iteration. Today we’re celebrating with the official release of Community Recommendations, introduced to Steam via Labs.

Steam Labs is a space to explore the potential for new and improved versions of Steam through inquiry, exploration, and conversation with you. The most pivotal part of our design process is the moment where you come in, and with Labs we’re able to include you much earlier. To assess what works and what doesn’t, we’ve been listening to your feedback, gathering evidence to learn how people use our experiments, and conducting A/B tests to measure relative success among potential designs.

Below is some background on what we have learned in the Labs during the past year, and how it led us to ship four experiments, shelve two, and continue to design and refine others on the way. Each has reinforced the value we derive from a participatory design process. So thanks, and cheers, to another great year of experimentation together!




Shipped Experiments
With your help, the following experiments graduated from the Labs to Steam, where they’re helping people discover and find a wider range of games.

Community Recommendations
Today’s launch out of Steam Labs, Community Recommendations showcases your reviews by featuring them right on our home page for everyone to see. The result brings community energy to the store, enabling users to keep abreast of the titles players are currently enjoying, and why. This new feature also allows us to get out of the way as platform holders, connecting and empowering players so they can recommend games to one another directly.

Interactive Recommendations
The Interactive Recommender began as an experiment to determine whether machine learning could be used to generate compelling personalized recommendations for players. The result is a system that trains itself to recognize gameplay patterns among the millions of players on Steam.

During experimentation, we learned that players wanted to be able to exclude games that they considered outliers or mistakes in their play history, so we added this. Additional feedback led us to include the ability to eliminate a played game from influencing recommendation results, and to ignore recommendations that you already own on another platform. We also added the ability to save your preferences and view your recommendations directly on the home page of the Steam Store.

Play Next Suggestions
After gaining confidence in machine learning through Labs experimentation, we decided to build Play Next, which leverages the same tech as the Interactive Recommender to suggest games you already own but have yet to play. After testing this version of the recommender with players in Labs, the feature moved to its current home directly in the Steam Library. There, users can add a Play Next shelf to their collection and use it to view Steam’s suggestions from their own library. These suggestions are based upon their gameplay history as it compares to millions of other players.

Powerful Search Tools
Steam Labs became the perfect place to try out some often-suggested (and much-needed) upgrades to Steam search, without altering the store during this exploratory process. A number of new tools requested by players were added, such as ways to filter results by price, view only items that are on sale, and exclude items already owned, wished-for, or ignored.

During experimentation, we tried replacing the typical paging mechanism with a format that continuously loads results as you scroll, but we learned that many players preferred the old way, and so that was turned into an option. We also learned players wanted a way to exclude results associated with tags, so variations were built and tested to make that happen. Using Search, it’s now possible to bookmark powerful, specific searches like this one, which offers direct access to the community’s top-rated non-violent side-scrolling platformers with support Remote Play Together with up to four friends.


Shelved Experiments
Steam Labs is a great place to quickly try new ideas, providing us with insight about player preferences and usage. Inevitably, not every experiment we choose to pursue will resonate with you, and so today we've shelved a couple of them to make way for new experimentation.

The Automated Show
The Automated Show was an ambitious project, with the goal of creating an entertaining production about games, built in a fully automated fashion. Formats ranged from 2 to 30 minutes and experimented with features such as typographic and motion design effects, announcer voice-overs, theme-driven automated curation, and simultaneous streams to deliver maximum information in minimal time.

User reaction quickly revealed that the longer format just wasn’t working, as viewers typically bailed within the first few minutes of those shows. We also found that each time we wanted to feature a specific selection of games, such as in the Steam Awards, we ultimately chose to hand craft it, rather than automate its creation, to achieve our communication goals.

While we remain optimistic that an automated show could one day make for a compelling way to learn about games, today is not that day. And so with film editing job security intact for the near term, we say TTFN to the Automated Show.

Deep Dive
This experiment offered a way to browse the Steam store using a favorite game as an entry point for discovering similar titles. While it was fun to discover how many degrees of separation could be found between Battle Brothers and Strikey Sisters, or to discover little known but well-loved Gems somewhat similar to a favorite popular game, we found similarity-based browsing to be a tough sell as a destination.

Perhaps the most valuable takeaway from our Deep Dive experimentation has been the idea behind its Similar Tags matching algorithm. This allows us to organize the hundreds of Steam tags into a handful of meaningful categories that can be leveraged to help gauge similarity along interesting axes like genre and mechanics.

This tag categorization work led us to identify relationships between tags, features, and other kinds of metadata associated with Steam games, resulting in our Query Expansion experiment and the Tag Wizard, a tool we built to help devs associate their games with a broad range of tags for improved discovery. It also inspired the creation of internal tools we use to identify and organize games associated with big events, and has led us to consider new navigational systems we’re excited to experiment with in Labs.


Experiments in Progress
Meanwhile, here’s a look at some promising experiments currently underway in Steam Labs. Each of these are progressing and expected to graduate to full release on Steam in the coming months.

News & Events Hub
The Steam News Hub experiment allows players to explore a personalized feed of news, events, live-streams, and updates from games they play, follow, or wishlist. This feed can be customized to include or exclude certain types of events or sources of news. Most importantly, the experiment includes a look at what’s ahead with a reminder system that helps players keep tabs on in-game events, live-streams, and other scheduled activities.

Query Expansion
We’ve begun some important yet fairly behind-the-scenes work in this Steam Search experiment, where we’re leveraging a custom thesaurus to define relationships between tags and related metadata for more accurate, consistent results. We’re using Steam Labs to help us gauge whether our thesaurus is working as you’d expect. You can opt into the experiment now via Labs, which then updates Search with the new logic used to derive tag-based search results.

Before calling this experiment complete, our goal is to bring this logic to more views throughout Steam, such that a search for both Real-Time and Strategy, for example, will always produce the same results as when searching for RTS. Many of our store’s browse views stand to benefit from this work.

Micro Trailers
Micro Trailers offer video snapshots of games, in just a few quick seconds. People only take a short amount of time to make judgements about what’s interesting while scrolling content, so micro trailers aim to help viewers learn enough about a game in as little time as possible. In Steam Labs, we’ve experimented with different formats, lengths, and strategies for deriving automatically-generated micro trailers from the standard game trailers our partners provide. We’ve also explored various ways of auto-assembling and aggregating these short videos, some of which admittedly made our eyes spin. 🍭🍭

Today, Micro Trailers can be found on the Steam store, where they are featured when hovering on items on the home page, in our sales events, and in the Interactive Recommender. We’re still tinkering with their optimal format, duration, and presentation, and look forward to bringing them to more places throughout Steam.


The Future
We continue to find that our work only improves with iteration based on your feedback. Steam Labs has opened the possibility of sharing more nascent ideas, receiving earlier feedback, and improving Steam with help from millions of people, like you.

News Hub Update
In a coming update, we’ll soon be adding the ability to include news from Steam Curators you follow, enabling posts from some of your favorite press outlets to appear right in your personalized view of Steam News.

New Ways to Browse
To date, we’ve invested quite a bit of energy into recommendations and search. Browsing is of course another key way people discover content on Steam, and we’re excited to explore this space. New points of entry, more compelling ways to browse, and more tools to filter while browsing are all among our list of future pursuits for Steam Labs.

Your Ideas
We of course also have our eyes on the Steam Labs Discussions, and hope you’ll continue to share your ideas for potential experiments you’d like to see from us.
Portal 2 - Valve
An update has been released for Portal 2.

- Fixed issue with recent workshop maps that prevented voting on them or advancing past them in the quick queue.
- Fixed workshop map thumbnails not loading in the community map voting dialog.
- Removed workshop map download limits for subscribed maps introduced in the last update, and increased the limit for the history queue to 500 by default. The history queue size is also now a convar, cm_max_history_chambers, so it can be increased if desired.
Client Update - Valve
A new Steam client has been released and will be automatically downloaded.

General
  • Fix Steam chat windows sometimes not showing when activated if the chat window was created during a full-screen game
  • Removed the "Music Details" menu option. Soundtrack content can still be accessed through the Library.
  • Fixed an issue with repeated "Friend is now playing" notifications when playing a game with a friend that is in Invisible mode or has their game library set to private.

Steam Input
  • Fix inverted Softpress activators firing when inputs are inactive.
  • Add visualization of Softpress activator values in the configurator when adjusting the threshold value
  • Improve the Mouse delta binding feature to allow for larger mouse deltas, this should allow for binding a controller action to a 180 degree turn first/third person camera games
  • Add a Soft Press activator that triggers on a threshold for an analog value, allowing for an arbitrary number of analog threshold bindings. This activator is available under the Soft Pull binding slot for triggers and the Outer Ring binding slot for joysticks or trackpads and overrides the normal threshold settings for those binding slots when bound
  • Added a relative mouse delta binding – this is useful for mouse/kb style games where you want to click on right click context menu option

Remote Play
  • Fixed invisible I-beam cursor on some computers
  • Added tooltips for the controller overlay buttons

Big Picture
  • Fixed broken localization token for uninstalled games
  • Fixed the overlay activating after taking a screenshot

Windows
  • Fixed an issue where if the Origin overlay and Steam overlay were both activated over a game at once the windows cursor could get stuck drawn over the top of a custom in-game cursor

macOS
  • Fix OS detection when running on macOS 11 beta. Steam will currently treat it as macOS 10.15.

Linux
  • Updated 'scout' steam runtime to 0.20200604.0
  • Improve security of the /tmp/dumps directory (used by the client to write crash reports - CVE-2020-13982)
Team Fortress 2 - Valve
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:

  • Accounts that are unable to chat in matchmaking are now also restricted from sending voice chat
  • Fixed a bug where cosmetic items in the second and third equip slots would be un-equipped
  • Fixed matchmaking badges not displaying the correct tier in the scoreboard and other dialogs
  • Added matchmaking badge and time connected to the Report Player dialog
  • Updated the vote kick process to automatically vote Yes for anyone who hasn't already voted if the target for the vote leaves the server
  • Updated the Mute Player dialog to have the same information as the Report Player dialog
  • Updated item schema with community fixes from Andrés S. (rabscootle)
  • Updated/Added some tournament medals
  • Updated the localization files
Steam Blog - christen
The Summer Sale has begun, with deep discounts on thousands of games!

Buy games, earn points, then make a quick stop at the all-new, here-to-stay Points Shop, where you're sure to find the perfect souvenir for your summer adventures on Steam.



The shop features dozens of new animated stickers and chat effects, profile backgrounds, mini-profile backgrounds, avatars, avatar frames, and more! Plus, discover hundreds of profile backgrounds and emoticons associated with your favorite games, now available in exchange for Steam Points.

In celebration of Summer, claim your free animated stickers at our road trip destinations over the course of the next two weeks. Plus, save an additional $5 when you spend $30 during the sale, or the equivalent in your country.

That's right, Summer is finally here! Unless it's winter in your country. Hi, Australia!





Team Fortress 2 - Valve
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:

  • Added rate limit checks for in-game text chat
  • Accounts that are unable to chat in matchmaking can no longer update their in-game name while connected to the server
  • Fixed being able to update team name while in matchmaking games
  • Fixed seeing the RED team skin for the TF2VRH while on the BLU team
  • Updated/Added some tournament medals
  • Updated the localization files
Steam Blog - AndrewL



We're continuing our Top Release series with a look at games released in the month of May. While the month brought dozens of exciting new games to Steam, these are the Top 20 titles that stood above the rest. As always, we gather the Top 20 by looking at revenue generated by each product during the first two weeks after its release. We're also showcasing the Top 5 free-to-play games released in May, measured by total unique players.

Developer highlights

About half of the games on this month's list are coming from developers releasing a game on Steam for the very first time. It takes an incredible amount of effort and dedication to create a top monthly release, and to do it with a Steam debut is quite impressive. To the following teams, congrats and welcome to Steam: Blacklight Interactive, Duoyi (Hong Kong) Interactive Entertainment Limited, GhostShipGames, Kabam Games, Inc., No Code, Noobz from Poland, PersonaeGame Studio, Relentless Studios and vanripper.

We're always interested in looking at the huge variety of countries where these games are being developed. It's awesome to see players being able to enjoy products from all over the world. With developers hailing from 11 different countries this month, chances are one of these games is being worked on in a neighborhood near you. Check the lists below for the full details.

Month of the free-to-plays

Three games this month appear in both the list of Top 20 revenue generating games, as well as the list of Top 5 free-to-play games: Crucible, GWENT: The Witcher Card Game and Shop Titans. We've seen that happen in past top release lists, but never with multiple games in the same month. Not only did these products build up a big following of excited players, they also added extra content that their communities found to be a worthwhile enhancement to the base experience. We're looking forward to watching these communities grow even further with future updates.

May's DLC releases

Speaking of extra content, May included several big DLC releases that really resonated with players. We don't normally include DLC in our monthly Top Release lists, but with the amount of new content they add, players can often get just as much out of DLC as they would a new game. So for this month, we thought it would be fun to look at the top 5 DLC releases of May, based on the revenue they generated during launch. Check the list below for the Top 5.

--

May's Top Releases
Here's the list of May's top releases ordered by release date (we've organized this list on a sale page too):


Shop Titans
Kabam Games, Inc. (Canada)


Hydroneer
Foulball Hangover (UK)


Deep Rock Galactic
GhostShipGames (Denmark)


Super Mega Baseball 3
Metalhead Software Inc. (Canada)


Nimbatus - The Space Drone Constructor
Stray Fawn Studio (Switzerland)


Library Of Ruina
Project Moon (Republic of Korea)


Golf With Your Friends
Blacklight Interactive (Australia)


GWENT: The Witcher Card Game
CD PROJEKT RED (Poland)


Mafia III: Definitive Edition
Hangar 13 & Aspyr (US)


Blackthorn Arena
PersonaeGame Studio (China)


Crucible
Relentless Studios (US)


Total Tank Simulator
Noobz from Poland (Poland)


Monster Train
Shiny Shoe (US)


Observation
No Code (Scotland)


Space Haven
Bugbyte Ltd. (Finland)


Gunfire Reborn
Duoyi (Hong Kong) Interactive Entertainment Limited (China)


ShellShock Live
kChamp Games (US)


Dungeon Defenders: Awakened
Chromatic Games (US)


Poly Bridge 2
Dry Cactus (New Zealand)


Shantae and the Seven Sirens
WayForward (US)

--

May's Top Free Releases


These are the Top 5 free-to-play titles from May, organized by total unique player count:


Crucible
Relentless Studios (US)


GWENT: The Witcher Card Game
CD PROJEKT RED (Poland)


Shadow Arena
Pearl Abyss (Republic of Korea)


Helltaker
vanripper (Poland)


Shop Titans
Kabam Games, Inc. (Canada)

--

May's Top DLC Releases

Here are the Top 5 DLC releases from May, organized by release date:


House Flipper - HGTV DLC
Empyrean (Poland)


Brawlhalla - Battle Pass Season 1
Blue Mammoth Games (US)


Sid Meier's Civilization VI - New Frontier Pass
Firaxis Games & Aspyr (US)


Total War: WARHAMMER II - The Warden & The Paunch
CREATIVE ASSEMBLY & Feral Interactive (UK)


Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath
NetherRealm Studios, QLOC & Shiver (US)

--

If you're curious about previous months, here are more Top Release lists:
Dota 2 - Valve
- Turbo: instant banning is back
- Turbo: neutral item times reflected in HUD
Dota 2 - Valve
- Fixed flying vision not applying to some heroes with stolen spells. (i.e. Morphling with Tree Dance, all relevant spells in Ability Draft)
- Fixed Morphling, Rubick, and all heroes in Ability Draft being visible to enemies when using Tree Dance.
- Ability Draft: Tinker's Rearm now restores a single charge on abilities with charges when cast.
- Ability Draft: After Tree Dance is cast, the ability is replaced with Primal Spring while the hero is in a tree.
...

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