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Here’s how new Steam Labs experiments will find better games for you

Steam Labs gets two cool new experiments that should help increase game discovery

Following some recent Steam Labs experiments testing out Micro Trailers and AI TV shows, Valve’s got more tinkering in store. Steam Labs is exploring two new ventures designed to help get games you’d (probably) love to play in front of you: ‘Deep Dive’ and ‘Community Recommendations.’

Announced by Valve today, Deep Dive – Experiment 005 – kicks off with a collaboration with indie developer Level Up Labs’ co-founder, Lars Doucet. Valve and Doucet have worked to bring his Steam API-leveraging Diving Bell prototype to the platform to help scoop up and serve recommendations and useful game info to users. The experiment’s got an “exploratory interface” that helps you “discover new games based on their similarity to familiar ones” – and you can jump off from there to delve even deeper into what Steam’s got tucked away.

The way it works is by using tags attributed to each game by creators and the community to display “very similar, somewhat similar, and little-known but well-loved similar games” in its set of recommendations. You’ll be able to hop from one title – maybe something you already love or a popular Steam title – too others, hopefully discovering some new things you’ll want to get stuck into along the way. Valve’s keen for feedback, so if you’re hungry to discover some new games, maybe consider giving it a try.

Next up, Experiment 006 (Community Recommendations) takes the usefulness of your Steam friends’ activity and feeds of what people are up to as a way of working out what’s hot, and extends it. This experiment surfaces the titles that the Steam Community as a whole is currently really into, and pops them into lists of the day’s recommendations, sorted by how useful they’ll be to you.

It does this by looking at reviews, and best of all, it looks like it’ll give you plenty of options to tweak and tailor what you see through advanced controls. You’ll get to modify the view to cover a week’s or month’s reviews if you’re looking for a broader idea of popularity, and you can even limit it down to reviews posted after a specific amount of playtime.

Plus, you can specify specific tags if you like, so you can be really specific about what you want to see – Valve highlights options like “the punishing Perma Death games people claim to be enjoying today” and “story-rich RPGs people are getting lost in this week.” Neat.

An existing experiment also gets a happy update – number 002, the Interactive Recommender, has earned its place on the Steam Store home page. Valve says all you have to do is log into Steam and you’ll see “games our machine learning server has lovingly featured just for you based on your recent gameplay”. Wonderful.

Valve’s making the Steam Labs updates today so keep and eye out and go get testing.