Valve, the creator of best-selling game franchises such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress, and leading technologies such as the Source Engine, has announced a major update coming to the Steam Community. The update focuses on highlighting and enabling the best user-created screenshots, videos, and Workshop items for games across Steam while making it easier for the community to discuss its favourite games.
Every game on Steam will have a new Game Hub. The Hubs highlight the most popular user-created screenshots, videos, and Steam Workshop items as rated by the community and combine it with related news, discussions, and comments for the game all in one central location.
"The New Steam Community is all about showing off the best content that gamers have created," says Emily Kent at Valve. "With over 89 million screenshots, videos, Steam Workshop maps, levels, mods, and items, plus news articles and product updates, the community has created an unbelievable wealth of content around their favorite games".
Getting a major update to Community features
The first part of the update that has been announced is Game Hubs. Game Hubs are collections of game-centric discussions, workshop items, screenshots, videos, and news. It’s both community created and official content, as rated by Steam users. Each Hub has a Discussions tab so now players can talk about their favorite games without diving into the Steam Forums. The most popular content as rated by members of the community floats to the top of the Hub. So it’s easy to see what’s currently the best and most active.
Valve plans to show off one new feature of the major update to their popular digital distribution platform every day. As of time of writing this, the page hasn’t been updated for Day 2. Those interested can keep track of the new features on the page for the update.
One of the major new features that will be released along with the update will be Steam Greenlight. Valve had announced Steam Greenlight in July. “Steam Greenlight is a new system that enlists the community's help in picking some of the next games to be released on Steam. Steam Greenlight also helps developers get feedback from potential customers and start creating an active community around their game as early in the development process as they like,” the Greelight site reads.
The problem smaller developers had with Steam was that when they attempted to get their games on Steam; they’d either get a “yes” or a “no” for an answer. No explanation was given for rejection. Greenlight aims to help the developers who submit videos, demos, screenshots, etc. and let the community decide if the game is suitable for Steam. The site further states that the number of votes needed to gain full approval "is going to change during the first few days/ weeks since we don’t know what kind of traffic to expect". Steam states that part of the drive for this system is the need for customers to help prioritize which games they want to see made available on Steam. The site states that therefore, "the specific number of votes doesn’t matter as much as relative interest in a game compared with other games in Steam Greenlight".
“We’re going to be reaching out to developers as we see their games getting traction regardless of whether they have achieved a specific number of votes or are sitting 1st or 2nd place at any given time. We are most interested in finding the games that people want, not requiring them to always hit a specific number of votes,” the site reads.