Thursday, October 26th 2017

Valve Plans Major Steam Curator Update

For the past few months we've been busy working on significant improvements and additions to the Steam Curator system. There's still some work to be done before we can roll these out, but we wanted to share a bit about why we see Steam Curators as a crucial component to exploring Steam, and what changes we're making.

Why Steam Curators?
We've heard from many of you that you want to have a more curated experience when shopping Steam; where the titles that are surfaced and recommended and highlighted are picked by humans that you know and trust. But, we also know that players have different tastes in games, so it's unlikely that any single person or group could cater to the specific interests of every player in the world. This is why we believe that Valve can't be the only form of curation in Steam - we would be under serving the tastes and viewpoints of many players.
So, we're focusing on how to support the streamers, journalists, critics, content creators, writers, enthusiasts, and friends that you already know and trust to be able to help you find your next favorite game. By following a few Curators on Steam, you'll not only start to see their recommendations appear prominently when browsing the Steam Store, but you can also explore each of their customized spaces within Steam and see all the titles they have reviewed.

Using the Steam Curator features on Steam is an opt-in thing. If you're not interested in the opinions of human beings helping you find games that are worth your attention, then we also have some powerful features coming just for you. We're hard at work on significant improvements to the core recommendation engine which algorithmically suggests games for all Steam users. We're anxious to talk in depth about that technology too, and will do so in a future blog post.

What changes are coming?
Over the three years since introduction of Steam Curators, we've gathered a lot of feedback from all kinds of perspectives. We've heard from players, from curators, from streamers, from game developers, and from all kinds of other tastemakers and content creators. The feedback is clear that the system needs to do a bunch of things better in order to work well for the three primary sets of people it's trying to serve: players, curators, and game developers.

Players
This system really only works if players find value from following some Curators. So we're adding to the kinds of content that Curators are able to create, and increasing the places within Steam where that content can be seen.
  • Recommendations provided by Steam Curators can already appear in the main featured spot on your Steam Home page as well as in a dedicated space on your home page. We're building on this so that recommendations by Curators you follow will also show up at the top of tag and genre pages. This means as you explore, say the Free To Play page, you'll see recommendations from your Curators for Free to Play games. If you are browsing RPG games, you'll see RPG games featured from Curators you follow. And so forth.
  • Many Curators create videos to accompany their reviews, so we'll now start embedding those videos in a few places alongside the curation. This means that when you click through a recommendation, or when you browse a Curator's page on Steam, you'll be able to watch their videos in-line.
  • We also know that some Curators will review games within certain themes, genres, or franchises. So, we're adding a new feature for Curators to create lists of games they've reviewed that go together. These can be used to create lists such as "best couch co-op games", "games with amazing Workshop support", "games by my favorite designer", "10 games to play while waiting for Witcher 4", or any other set of interesting ways to organize groups of games.
  • And if you are looking to find new new Curators that share your tastes, or offer unique information about particular kinds of games, you can explore the 'Recommended Curators' or 'Top Curators' lists. We're fine-tuning the 'Recommended Curators' section to more accurately suggest Curators who recommend games like those you've been playing.
Curators
One of the pieces of feedback we received from Curators was that they felt it needed to be more rewarding and meaningful for a Curator to spend the time it takes to build and maintain their curation. So there are a few new things we're building to tackle this.
  • As we mentioned above, Curators that produce videos as part of their reviews will be see those videos embedded right next to their review in Steam. If you're a Curator who's already doing work to create content elsewhere, we want you to be able to use that work in your Steam curation. This means a few of the most popular video formats such as YouTube, nicovideo.jp, youku.com, and bilibili.com will appear right in Steam where players can easily watch them.
  • Curators will be able to customize and brand their home on Steam by selecting games, lists, and tags to feature and by uploading a personalized background.
  • We all know that graphs solve everything, so yes, we're adding more of them. In particular, Curators will be able to see how their reviews impacted their follower's behavior in the Steam store.
  • We are helping connect developers with Curators that are most likely to have relevant audience of followers for the developers' game. More on this below.
Game Developers
We've heard from many developers that they need a way of getting their game in front of Curators that have the right audience for that game, and to be able to do it in a way that is easy and secure. We've also heard from Curators that it can be a challenge to reach out to developers, who are often swamped with requests that they can't easily filter through. So we've built a whole new system that we are calling Curator Connect.

With Curator Connect, developers can search for appropriate Curators, and then send a copy of their game directly through Steam. We've added a number of tools for finding relevant Curators and for identifying the forms of social impact that Curator may have. To start with, developers will be able to search the listings of Steam Curators, narrowing results by name, OS, language, or tags that the Curator indicates they focus on. In the results, developers will be able to see a snapshot of each Curator, including follower counts and any linked social media accounts such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch, which can help verify that the Curator is truly who they claim to be. The developer can then build a list of the Curators they wish to send their game to, include a message describing their game, and hit 'send'.

Curators can then browse a list of games that have been sent to them and can choose to accept or decline as they wish. Accepted games are added to that Curators Steam library to play and review. No need to mess with keys or e-mail.

Next Steps
Today we're starting a closed beta with a few dozen Steam Curators of different sizes, niches, and languages. This gives us an opportunity to gather feedback and suggestions from Curators and gives those Curators an opportunity to use the new tools to prepare and personalize their store pages ahead of full release. The Steam Curators that are invited to participate in the beta are free to share their thoughts publicly, so you may see some screenshots or write-ups from these Curators as they explore the new features and discuss them with the community.

We're aiming to run the beta for at least a couple weeks with just the Curators before releasing the update to everyone. Hopefully this blog post helps you understand what we're trying to do, and why, which we believe will help everyone to have a fruitful conversation.

As always, if you have any feedback or suggestions, please let us know.
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16 Comments on Valve Plans Major Steam Curator Update

#1
deu
Some say that they should have spend the money and effort on anticheat.... others... say the same..
Posted on Reply
#2
natr0n
Steam Curator = "Popular" Youtuber = Steam Cashing in even more so than ever.
Posted on Reply
#3
Manu_PT
Yeah improve your system to keep cheaters away, wich are ruining it on some of my fav games, instead of wasting time and resources on less important stuff.

When consoles can do 60fps on most games I'm out for good. Don't have the patience to deal with cheaters anymore.
Posted on Reply
#4
ShurikN
Just when you think they can't make anything dumber than a Dota2 card game, Valve surprises.
Posted on Reply
#5
Tomorrow
Manu_PT said:
When consoles can do 60fps on most games I'm out for good. Don't have the patience to deal with cheaters anymore.
Good luck with that - consoles will always prefer 30 fps high detail. In multiplayer games people cheat on ALL platforms. If you want no cheat experience play single player.
Posted on Reply
#6
TheinsanegamerN
Tomorrow said:
Good luck with that - consoles will always prefer 30 fps high detail. In multiplayer games people cheat on ALL platforms. If you want no cheat experience play single player.
Cheating is significantly rarer on consoles, and bans are handed out far more readily, then PC.

Also, there are games on console that do 60FPS. COD being the most common example, but I believe that battlefield is now also 60FPS.
Posted on Reply
#7
Prima.Vera
WTF. FPS games on console is just like playing those on your mobile device. ZERO precision.
I would pay to see Counter Strike on consoles! :kookoo::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::roll::roll::roll::roll:
Posted on Reply
#8
dozenfury
TheinsanegamerN said:
Cheating is significantly rarer on consoles, and bans are handed out far more readily, then PC.

Also, there are games on console that do 60FPS. COD being the most common example, but I believe that battlefield is now also 60FPS.
Agreed, cheating happens on last-gen consoles because they had exploits. Neither XB1 or PS4 do (at least yet), so the same types of cheats like wallhacks and aimbots that are doable on systems where the file-level can be accessed like PC and 360/PS3 aren't possible. And I wouldn't really call someone disconnecting a network cable or quitting mid-game the same as cheating.

That said, companies are getting much better on the PC end about reducing the prevalence of cheating. The kind of learned their lesson from The Division where cheating and being slow to fix exploits ruined what would have been a very good game. By the time they fixed the exploits and banned the cheaters, most players had moved on to other games and never went back. So games like Overwatch (although it had trouble early-on), Destiny 2, WoT/WoWs, have all made good strides in that area. Smaller/lower-budget games still have trouble with it though. Hoping SW Battlefront 2 is good at the anti-cheat on PC once released.
Posted on Reply
#9
Manu_PT
Tomorrow said:
Good luck with that - consoles will always prefer 30 fps high detail. In multiplayer games people cheat on ALL platforms. If you want no cheat experience play single player.
Wow triggered? No one can use aimbots on PS4 pal. And afaik a lot of games are 60fps, maybe on ps5 thats the norm.

Cheating is getting out of control in the games I play.
Posted on Reply
#10
Tomorrow
Manu_PT said:
Wow triggered? No one can use aimbots on PS4 pal. And afaik a lot of games are 60fps, maybe on ps5 thats the norm.

Cheating is getting out of control in the games I play.
Hardly. I don't play PvP games for this very reason. I just choose to avoid frustating myself in the first place. The only multiplayer i play is Co-Op and there are very few cheaters there. Mostly i play single player tho.
And like i said. Cheaters exist on all platforms. Don't fall for the "consoles are a closed system" propaganda. By that definition piracy should also be nonexistant there yet it is anything but.
Posted on Reply
#11
Manu_PT
You keep on denial. There are no jailbreaks on PS4, no one can use aimbots/ESP on that platform or pirated games. You can´t inject anything.
Posted on Reply
#12
verycharbroiled
i like this curator thing. if i can find a curator with a similar mindset to my own it would save me from wasting time looking for stuff i like. too many times have i have looked at reviews on a particular game only to find the game is not my style and this might of alleviated it as it would of been obvious to anyone else with my gaming tastes. so hopefully this would help me zero in games that appeal to my tastes easier.
Posted on Reply
#13
Tomorrow
Manu_PT said:
You keep on denial. There are no jailbreaks on PS4, no one can use aimbots/ESP on that platform or pirated games. You can´t inject anything.
Everything that has been created by man can be broken by man. Including cheating on consoles. Keep living in your dream where no one is cheating on consoles. That statement would be almost as stupid as saying that everyone on PC is cheating because it's technically easier to do so on PC.
Posted on Reply
#14
Manu_PT
There´s nothing more stupid than thinking someone can inject/edit files on a closed system. But clearly IT or programming aren´t your strong area.

You started bashing consoles because of the framerate, wich I can accept, then you kept repeating yourself about aimbots/ESP on a closed system, wich shows the elitism in you. Truth is, there are no aimbots on PS4, period. In 2022 maybe, idk. Not for now.

Also no one said everyone is cheating on PC, but the fact is that there are a lot of them. WW2 and Battlefront 2 Beta deja vu. To the point Bungie banned any kind of overlays in Destiny 2.
Posted on Reply
#15
Tomorrow
I've said everything i needed to say about cheating on consoles. But Destiny 2 - yeah. Not intrested. Not in the slightest. i tried BFII and while the gameplay was ok the whole pay 2 win scheme via lootboxes and meager 5 hour single player campaign means i won't be playing it either. I don't have much hope for Anthem either. Most likely it's gonna flop wich is exactly the excuse EA needs to kill another once great studio and liquidate the IP into it's massive portfolio so it can milk it to death. They already pretty much killed my favorite franchise Mass Effect and i won't forgive them this anytime soon.
Posted on Reply
#16
Manu_PT
Ok, fair enough if you don´t like those games, but some other people (me including) does like them. The fact you don´t plan to play them doesn´t mean they aren´t a problem (hacking wise) to someone that wans to enjoy those games.

I have nothing against EA, I have all against crappy Indie Early Access stuff costing 20 to 30€. We all different and have different gaming tastes.
Posted on Reply
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