The good people of SteamDB have once again been delving around inside Steam’s guts, and have found one or two interesting features. This information comes from looking at the “v6” Steam stylesheet (basically the sixth version of the Steam store theme) and appears to be confirmed by recent updates pushed out by Valve to the “Steam Translation Server.”
Don’t ask me to explain what that means, other than it verifies what SteamDB were previously only able to take an educated guess at.
So, thanks to this investigative process, it looks like Steam users can look forward to personalised front pages, something called a ‘discovery queue’ and a curator system. Front pages will allow you to change certain sections, including:
- Popular New Releases
- Downloadable content
- Games not in your account
- Games already in your account
- DLC for your games & software
- Products you’ve recently viewed
- New On Steam
You’ll also be able to slap your discovery queue up on the front page, along with any curators you happen to be following. By the sounds of things, curators may be Valve taking some slow steps towards replacing Greenlight with a more generalised “player-sourced” system. Any group of individual can be a curator, and can recommend games to any followers they may have. It’ll be possible to link to longer website reviews from within the group (hello, incoming IncGamers curator group!) and Steam will suggest other curators you might want to follow as well.
Ideally, this will help spread the word about obscure games. In practice … who knows? Maybe it’ll be amazing, or maybe it’ll turn out worse/as bad as Greenlight.
Oh yes, and those discovery queues. This may be part two in Valve’s Greenlight replacement plan. According to SteamDB these “seem to work in a similar fashion to Greenlight’s queue” but you can change various unnamed filters to sift through things that may interest you. It seems likely Valve intends people to use this in conjunction with the curator idea.
Finally, there will apparently be new ways to narrow down general game searches: by Feature, Operating system, Language, Tag, Number of players.
It’s not known when these features will launch, but Valve is clearly in the process of working on them (and the new look in the Steam beta client suggests they’re well on their way to creating a new Store theme.)