The new Steam library beta is just around the corner, but Valve still has a few tricks to show off before then. Last night, a series of new experiments made their way to Steam Labs, which should make discovering new games easier than ever before.
The first experiment introduces Micro Trailers – six-second vignettes “designed to quickly inform viewers about titles on Steam with a presentation that’s easy to skim.” The new videos, categorised into almost 400 tags, are now available for every game on the store, offering a quick taste of whatever you may be interested in.
Elsewhere, a new Interactive Recommender analyses your Steam library and uses machine learning to suggest games you might enjoy based on how long you’ve played each game. Which should mean that those titles sitting in your pile of shame no longer factor in. Elsewhere, a new set of filters let you narrow your results by price, tag, and feature, informing you how many games titles your choices have excluded from your results.
Perhaps most futuristic is experiment 003, which automatically generates 30 minute shows about the newest (and biggest) games on Steam every day. Back in July, the program stitched together a host of trailer into its preliminary broadcast, but that system has now been taken further.
There’s also a top 20 show, taking into account games from June, a VR showcase, and a rapid-fire rundown of horror titles. To me, however, most impressive is the original mockup, which put together a video and a script, purely from text available on Steam store pages. Valve says that “right now, the automatic show bot [is] mostly-automated, but requires a human to kick it off. Should we continue this experiment, we’ll want to make it something that runs daily or weekly without human intervention.”
It’s an impressive selection of tools, and it’ll be interesting to see which ones graduate from Steam Labs into the store proper. And once that happens, it’ll remain to be seen whether these new experiments will help fix the discoverability problems that have plagued the storefront over the past few years.