Steam Blog: Steam Labs Update


Explosive Barrels
May 10, 2019

Sept 5, 2019 – Recent experimentation in Steam Labs takes shape in the form of both updated and new experiments, plus an upcoming experiment we're excited to announce is in the works.

Experiment 001: Micro Trailers – Now Available for Every Game

We’ve been delighted to work with indie game developer Ichiro Lambe of Dejobaan Games to bring his enthusiasm for game discovery to our experiments in Steam Labs. Ichiro first began experimenting with ways to explore the Steam catalog with his 2015 website, and his 2016 Twitter bot, @MicroTrailers. His experience provides us with an informed perspective on content discovery design and tools that serve both developers and customers. Steam Labs is a result of our collaboration, and together we look forward to seeing where your feedback leads us.

Ichiro created two of Labs' first experiments, 001: Micro Trailers and 003: Automatic Show. These experiments offer 6-second quick-cuts of game trailers to give viewers a way to soak in a week's worth of new titles over the course of a lunch break. The initial experiment covered a few hundred games across 15 categories. We now bring this experiment to its logical next step: a micro trailer for every game on the Steam Store, categorized into nearly 400 tags. You can now browse all your favorite titles by tag, from games with Tanks to Twin Stick Shooters, and get an eyeful of the latest launches for each.

Introducing Experiment 004: Search

Today’s Lab Update includes a new Experiment 004: Search, now available to help you discover titles on Steam. When enabled, it will place your browser into in Labs Mode, allowing you to access the experimental features whenever you search on Steam. Labs Mode is remembered on a per-browser basis. As a reminder of the mode, these views feature a banner which includes links to provide feedback, or to return to standard search mode on Steam.

Experimental search features include price and sale filters, enabling people to narrow Steam Store search results to titles below a specific price, or those which are currently available at a discount. We’ve also introduced filters which enable Steam users to exclude owned, wished-for, or ignored items from displayed results once logged in.

Narrowing by tag has also received an update, with additional correlated tags listed in order of frequency. The inclusion of result counts makes it easier to see the effect of tag filters in advance of selecting them. Additionally, searching by tag now uses an updated algorithm which weights the value of chosen tags more heavily when sorting by relevance.

And last but not least, our Search experiment offers infinite scroll when displaying search results! No more clicking tiny page numbers; you can now use your mouse wheel to breeze through your search results. Independent of Steam Labs, infinite scroll has also been added to DLC, Curator, and Franchise views on Steam.

Coming Soon – Experiment 005: Deep Dive

We’re excited to share that we’re also working with indie game developer Lars Doucet of Level Up Labs to bring his novel Diving Bell prototype[] to Steam Labs, where it will directly leverage the underlying APIs that fuel its recommendations and related game information. The new experiment will offer an exploratory interface to discover new games based on their similarity to familiar ones, plus the ability to use these recommendations themselves as a jumping-off point to dive even deeper into what Steam has to offer. 🐬

As always, we hope you’ll check out these latest and upcoming additions to Steam Labs and let us know what you think in the discussions. Your feedback shapes our experimentation and informs the ideas which become a part Steam for keeps.

via Steam Blog.
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