Valve Introduces Steam Labs To Help Improve Game Discoverability

Valve Introduces Steam Labs To Help Improve Game Discoverability

As the proprietor of the Steam Store, it's Valve's job to help you find the games you're looking for - a job that's easier starting today with the introduction of three new experimental features that are part of Valve's new Steam Labs collection. The trailers are displayed in small thumbnails that play in loops, much like what happens when you mouse over a thumbnail on YouTube.

Micro Trailers and Automated Show can be viewed in a general setting, but for the Interactive Recommender, you'll need to sign into your own Steam Account. Instead of focusing on tags or metadata, it "looks at what games you play and what games other people play, then makes informed suggestions based on the decisions of other people playing games on Steam".

"Every year, we create dozens of experiments around discoverability, video, machine learning, and more", Steam said on its Labs page.

Micro Trailers is fairly true to its name. Micro Trailers can apparently be grouped, as well, so if you want to search for a new game in a certain category or genre, you can queue up a line of trailers and try to pick out something that appeals to you. You'll still see the same new, trending, and popular games on the main page, and you can still browse recommended tags, plus all the other curated selections and lists that Valve offers. Like a public test realm but for Steam, Steam Labs is a location for players to try out some of the Steam store's work-in-progress features. Each game's logo pops up next to the trailer as it appears, linking to the game's store page.

If Automatic Show proves successful, Valve says it might add multiple types of channels to cover different types of games: indie titles, hidden gems, and more.

The last tool rolling out with Steam Labs is The Automated Show, a bot-generated half-hour-long video showcasing the latest releases.

As Steam points out, none of these features are final.

So to avoid something this overcomplicated again, Steam has launched something known as Steam Labs (not to be confused with streaming stalwart Streamlabs) where it may try unusual, experimental things just like the sales gimmicks in a unique space.

For context, Steam recently held its annual summer sale, and, as always, simply providing most of its considerable inventory at a discount wasn't enough for Valve.

Showing off some of the experimental updates and inclusions, Steam Labs is meant to involve users in the process of enhancing and building on Valve's storefront.

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