Steam Blog - Christen


Happy Golden Week!
Golden Week is a collection of 4 national holidays in Japan that take place within a 7-day period at the end of April to early May. Here at Steam we are celebrating these holidays with a sale on thousands of great games from Japan!

Refresh your profile with Points Shop items
Refresh your profile with new Seasonal items that embody the spirit of Spring in the northern hemisphere!

Celebrate and save now at https://store.steampowered.com/sale/goldenweek !


Steam Blog - andrewl
We're happy to announce our Top Releases of March 2021



As always, we look at every game released during the month and select the Top 20 based on their first two weeks of revenue. We also highlight the top 5 free-to-play games, ranked by the number of unique players they acquired after launch.

The Top Releases of March 2021

Building mechanics
From train sets to dollhouses to building blocks, many of us have fond childhood memories of building worlds with whatever toys we could get our hands on. It comes as no surprise that many successful products on Steam tap into that same desire. This was on full display in March, with nearly half of the Top Releases giving players the opportunity to build in fresh and familiar ways. And while the mechanic itself is shared by these games, the implementation, design, and flavor are all completely unique. So whether you're ready to build a post-apocalyptic survival shelter, a siege-resistant castle town, or a relaxing and tranquil townscape, check out the full list of Top Releases and tap into your creativity.

Is this real life?
Another theme that stood out to us this month was the strong representation of simulation games based in reality. These games give us all something to recognize by incorporating real-world jobs, familiar hobbies, and well-known geographical locations. With Forza Horizon 4, players are able to push the limits of their dream cars in a photorealistic racing experience - no driver's license required. In The Bus, developers at TML-Studios painstakingly recreated downtown Berlin, where players from all over the world can experience the German capital city. And the latest installment of Out of the Park Baseball puts every team, player, metric and ballpark into the hands of fans who've always dreamed of running the front office. Check out the full list for details.

New To Steam
As we've done with past months, we'd also like to welcome the development teams who are bringing a product to Steam for the very first time. Many of these teams have worked together in the past, while some are releasing their first-ever game. A big congrats to these teams on their successful Steam debuts.

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If you're curious about previous months, here are more Top Release lists:

Steam Blog - Christen
After four months in beta experimentation though Steam Labs, the Steam Store now offers new ways to navigate and browse its tens of thousands of titles. Featuring new points of entry for New & Noteworthy titles, plus Categories featuring popular Sub-Genres, Themes, and various forms of Player Support.

New & Noteworthy
Many users rely on our charts for quick snapshots of what’s new and popular on Steam. These are now accessible from one menu, New & Noteworthy, which also provides direct access to current specials, recent updates, and upcoming titles headed to Steam.

Categories
A basic list of genres, while easy to browse, falls a bit short given how diverse the Steam catalog has become. Our new Categories menu helps users quickly discover and dive into the breadth and depth of interesting games on Steam. This menu serves up dozens of new categories of games, which can then be explored further.



New Entry Points: Genres, Themes, and Player Modes

Our new navigational entry points are modeled after the three chief ways players tend to browse Steam—by genre, by theme, and by player modes. Each of these motivations broadly answers a different question:

Genres “What kind of game is this? What is it like to play?”
Real-Time Strategy, Adventure RPG, Farming Sim, Metroidvania, etc.

Themes “What is the game about?”
Science Fiction, Survival, Mystery, etc.

Player Modes “Who can I play the game with?”
Single player, Multiplayer, MMO, Co-op, etc.

These player motivations can be organized and expressed using Steam tags and metadata. Categories grouped under the Genres and Themes entry points are defined by tags, whereas categories grouped under Player Modes are defined by additional metadata provided by the developer.

We arrived at these three top-level categories through a mix of formal research, intuition, and beta feedback. There’s also strong precedent for this scheme on Steam itself in the form of Steam Curators. We noticed many curators are building lists of specific types of games, almost all of which fall under one of the above three patterns: Gameplay and genre-based lists like City Builders, theme-based lists like Games with Dogs, or player mode-based lists like Games to Play with Your Significant Other.

New Browse Views

Among these three entry points we've surfaced 48 genre categories, 8 theme categories, and 7 player mode categories, for a total of 63 new categories derived from common patterns shared across the catalog of games and players' browsing behavior. Clicking on any of these will take you to a dedicated content hub, a landing page dedicated to that kind of game. Find your own favorites to keep track of like New & Trending Strategy Card & Board Games, Top-Selling Singleplayer Adventure Role-Playing Games, the Top-Played Story-Rich Sci-Fi & Cyberpunk Games, or your own favorite niche of Steam.




Each of these destinations has its own URL, so you can bookmark them or share them with friends. Each features a carousel highlighting featured games, top sellers, and specials, as well as five specific tabs listing
  • New & Trending
  • Top Sellers
  • What’s Being Played
  • Top Rated
  • Upcoming

Players can narrow by popular tags within these hubs as well. The left column of tags surfaces popular genre and sub-genre tags common to this category, and the right column surfaces other types of popular tags (such as mechanics, visuals, themes, and player modes).

Clicking on any of these will take you to a sub-view of the content hub. In the illustration above, we’re viewing Building & Automation Sims, but now we’re viewing only those which also include the Space Sim tag. Each of these sub-views gets its own unique URL too.

Viewers can return to the parent category any time by toggling the filtering tag previously clicked, or by clicking another to display a different sub-view of the category.

Steam’s Special Sections

This new navigation also moves other types of content (such as Software, Soundtracks, and VR Hardware) into Special Sections under Categories. Now these and other familiar points of entry are all consolidated in a single categorical browse menu.

Happy Browsing!






Steam Blog - saml
General
  • Fix long delay before first game launch of the session for users with thousands of shared screenshots

Remote Play
  • Added 40 Mbit and 75 Mbit custom bitrate options
  • Fixed controller hotplug support for Unity games
  • Replaced the menubar with an overlay that comes up when holding the ESC key
  • Only show keyboard and controller toasts if there's input from those devices
  • Fixed non-breaking-space display in French and German
  • Fixed font rendering in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese

Steam Cloud
  • Improve performance by uploading/downloading multiple files in parallel

Soundtracks
  • Added support for localized album covers

SteamNetworkingSockets
  • Improved peer-to-peer routing to better utilize relays in data centers not connected to the Valve backbone
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator - Valve
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator is Now Available on Steam!

Be the leader of wobblers from ancient lands, spooky places, and fantasy worlds. Watch them fight in simulations made with the wobbliest physics system ever created, make your own wobblers in the unit creator and send your army off to fight your friends in multiplayer.
Steam Blog - Christen
Tune in Thursday, Save All Weekend
Steam offers thousands of games you can share with friends and family to play together online. Discover the best of them in our Remote Play Together Sale & Livestreams, now through Monday March 29th at 10am Pacific. Watch today's livestreaming marathon to witness Remote Play Together in action, and even join our livestreamed games when we share links in chat on Steam, YouTube, and Twitch.

Invite Anyone!
Yes, links! New to Steam's Remote Play Together titles, you can now invite anyone to join your local multiplayer game with just a URL! Up to four players can instantly join in the fun. Only the host needs to own and install the game, while additional players can now connect through Steam Remote Play streaming technology using Steam or the lightweight Steam Link app. No account is needed to join your game from Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS or Android devices.



You want details? Here's the drill:

You
Jump into any of [url]your own Remote Play Together games[/url] with local multiplayer support, or shop for new ones featuring hundreds of discounts all weekend long. Then, grab a link to your game from the Friends list and send it to anyone however you like.

Your Lucky Friend
Once your friend receives your link, they'll be invited to install and run the Steam Link app, if they don't already have it or the Steam desktop app installed. A USB gaming controller will be handy for those joining on a computer. No controller? You can grant your friend access to share control of your keyboard and/or mouse. On a phone or tablet, the touch screen can be used.

> CHOO CHOO! <
Now you're playing together! Simply repeat these steps to invite more friends. You can also form a Steam Chat room for those on Steam, or use your favorite video or voice app to communicate while you play.

Learn More
Yes, there's more. Read on for a full run down on all the ways you can make use of Remote Play in your own collection of games.
Steam Blog - andrewl
We're happy to announce our Top Releases of February 2021



As a reminder, we look at every game released in February, generating the Top 20 based on the first two weeks of revenue. We also highlight the top 5 free-to-play games, ranked by the number of unique players acquired after launch.

More ways to explore
If you've followed our previous Top Release posts, you know that we highlight themes that emerge with each month's games. For February, we're trying something new by adding some of these themes directly to the list itself. We've also added some context so that players can explore screenshots, trailers and even wishlist the games directly. We hope these changes make it easier for players to explore the Top Releases, while giving some additional context for the types of games that found success for February. As always, let us know what you think.

The Top Releases of February 2021

Puzzling developments
Games that feature puzzle elements are always popular with players, but February stood out with six titles that include unique puzzles. Whether you're exploiting online technology in Cyber Manhunt, relishing in the brilliant fourth installment of The Room, or simply enjoying the atmosphere of Little Nightmares II, puzzle mechanics add fresh new challenges to these games, all while enhancing their unique stories. For anyone with an itch for a new puzzle, make sure to check out these games. 

Praise Odin!
Finally, we can't talk about top releases of February without also mentioning the huge success of Valheim's Early Access debut. Since its February launch, Valheim has surpassed 5 million players on Steam, while also clocking in with record breaking peak player counts, both feats worthy of a celebration in the mead hall - just make sure it has proper ventilation. Much like the players who thrive in this brutal viking-themed world, Swedish developers at Iron Gate Studios are hard at work building and crafting new features as the game progresses through Early Access. Time will tell what's in store for this world, and we're just as excited as the community to see what's next for Valheim.

--

If you're curious about previous months, here are more Top Release lists:

Steam Blog - Christen
Steam offers thousands of games you can share with friends and family to play together online. Jump into any of [url]your own Remote Play Together games[/url] with local multiplayer support. Then, grab a link to your game from the Friends list, send it to anyone however you like, and you'll be playing together in no time.

Yes a link! New to the thousands of Remote Play Together titles on Steam, you can now invite anyone to join your local multiplayer game with just a URL! Up to four players, or even more in ideal conditions, can instantly join in the fun. Only the host needs to own and install the game, while additional players connect through Steam Remote Play streaming technology using either Steam or the Steam Link app. No account is needed to join your game from Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS or Android devices.

Save the date for March 25th at 10am Pacific, when we’ll celebrate the new Invite Anyone capability with a big Remote Play Together Sale & Streaming Event, featuring hundreds of discounts through Monday March 29th at 10am Pacific. Plus join us for a livestreaming marathon to witness Remote Play Together in action—and even join our games in progress—when we share links in chat on Steam, YouTube, and Twitch.






Steam Blog - saml
Note: This update has been re-released on March 23rd to fix an issue in the prior day's update that caused mouse sensitivity in multiple games to be impacted by opening and closing the overlay.

General
  • Added spelling suggestions to Library and Steam Chat context menus
  • Showing size on disk for DLCs under game properties
  • Fixed showing localized game names in pop-up notifications
  • The Steamworks SDK redistributable used by dedicated servers has been brought up-to-date with this release

In-Game Overlay
  • Improved responsiveness of web based UI and of the friends and chat UI inside the in-game overlay
  • Fixed overlay support for 32-bit Vulkan applications on Windows

Steam Input
  • When using Steam Input, active controllers fill in XInput slots in the order they generate input (e.g. the first person to click A will be player 1 in many games
  • Fixed issues with game detecting controllers while the overlay is up on Windows
  • Fix issue with analog axes in the Windows version of Slay the Spire

Remote Play
  • By default stream at 1080p to prevent accidental 4K streams
  • Added an option to stream up to 8K resolutions (results may vary depending on hardware)
  • Added a menubar at the top that gives you an easy way to stop streaming
  • Added a toast when you connect a controller that shows how to bring up additional controller features
  • Improved audio range when using volume controls

Remote Play Together
  • Added support to invite anyone to Remote Play Together

    Now you can Remote Play Together with anyone – no Steam account needed to join your game with the click of a link. Simply launch any of the thousands of games with support for Remote Play Together, then grab an invite link from your Friends list in the overlay. Send the link to your friend on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS or Android, and they can click your invite to join in the fun.

    For more information, and to share your feedback regarding the new Invite Anyone functionality, join us in the Steam Remote Play Group.

  • Inviting a friend will not auto-start a voice chat session
  • Remote keyboard and mouse are disabled by default in Remote Play Together
  • Added a connect dialog that gives you information about who is playing and what input they're using
  • Local controllers fill XInput slots first and guest controllers fill slots in order of arrival
  • Fixed issue with game controllers not being detected properly when the game doesn't have focus
  • Fixed bug with controller not being recognized if Xbox Configuration Support was enabled on the client PC
  • Enabled direct peer to peer connection by default (this can be changed in the Steam Remote Play settings)
  • Fixed local guide chord input leaking through to the host computer

SteamNetworkingSockets
  • Fixed bug causing 64-bit Windows games to not attempt a direct connection and always relay using Steam Datagram Relay.
  • Fixed bug causing GetQuickConnectionStatus to not populate m_cbSentUnackedReliable properly

macOS
  • Fixed some popup web dialogs that did not close when triggered by the web page to close
  • Fixed mouse interaction not working with embedded YouTube videos
  • Fixed overlay not responding to mouse input in certain games on macOS 10.15+
  • Re-enabled HW acceleration settings on macOS 11.1+

Linux
  • Added support for the new Mesa single-file shader cache format, reducing disk usage and improving performance when parsing and modifying the cache. (requires Mesa master as of 08101aaaace22)
  • Fixed a regression where the client would recursively follow symlinks in Proton install folders while discovering music files
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 a round timer to cp_powerhouse
  • Updated/Added some tournament medals
  • Updated the localization files
...

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