Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/01/report-steam-game-platform-lo.html
Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/01/report-steam-game-platform-lo.html
Some of my favorite games require Steam - I don’t think there’s any way to unlink them, although some games will run in offline mode. So what would it mean for Steam to “lose” me? Do I have to delete all those games? Or maybe just play 16% less often?
According to the article, it’s just the number of people who have Steam running. I count for one of the ones currently absent, since it’s been too damn hot to play video games next to furnace in a humid, unconditioned room.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure that the no-curation model is not a very good one for the long haul.
I’m weaning myself off of Steam as much as I can. As time goes on, my love/hate relationship with it is skewing more towards hate.
For example, I love the Steam Workshop and how easy it makes keeping mods up to date. I hate that this functionality is tied exclusively to Steam. I can own a game that has Workshop content on another platform, yet I can’t use Workshop to manage its mods. I also worry that Steam is in danger of becoming a monopoly through tying services like workshop to Steam exclusively.
I hate the amount of crap I have to sift through to find genuine content these days, and I absolutely abhor the explosion of anime-art focussed titles on the service. To make the store even remotely bearable, I’ve had to filter out games tagged as “anime” or “JRPG” or “Visual Novel”. This probably means I’m missing some genuine gems, but I made the connection between anime girl iconography and loathsome Gamergate types years ago. That these games seem to mostly perpetuate archaic, offensive attitudes towards women really doesn’t help.
This toxicity persists in to the absolutely useless review system, which somehow is even more depressing than a Youtube comments section.
And don’t get me started on “Early Access” clutter gumming up the store. That’s another filter I’ve added.
Indeed, with all those filters applied, it rapidly becomes apparent that the actual amount of quality content released on Steam is really quite low, as it mostly means I’m left with battle royale clones, survival games, multiplayer only games and the very occasional genuinely interesting title.
That their recently revamped chat interface is a blatant attempt to kill off Discord is also rather aggravating. I’m not a massive Discord user (I much prefer VOIP I have complete control over, like running a Mumble server on a Raspberry Pi), but Steam’s approach reminds me of Microsoft in the bad old days.
Also, when the fuck are Valve actually going to make another game?
I’m now spreading purchases across other digital store fronts, favouring GOG whenever possible.
I like steam but valve I’m starting to hate toward their indifference to gamers/customers. The past year I’ve bought one or two games on the platform, the sales have not been enough to entice me back. Honestly valve and steam need to be broken up into separate companies because the way the business is being run the past 2-3 years has become more and more scummy.
Gamergate made it so that i never want to talk about games to anyone ever ever again.
I had missed TotalBiscuit’s horrid response to all of it, and forgive me for speaking ill of the recently deceased, but that really finished the deal for me on video games and their culture.
I started thinking of video games as a selfish loser’s video slot or video poker. And I tried to imagine a group of male video poker players lashing out at female journalists … and I felt sick.
I’ve actually started purchasing some games that I already have on Steam from GOG instead, if they wind up quite cheap on GOG. Less to do with the recent issues with the Steam Store, and more because I’m uncomfortable having my games tied to an external service like that. Obviously this isn’t possible, or economically viable, for all games, but occasionally it’s doable.
The only problem I’ve had so far is that the updates to make Knights of the Old Republic II run better on modern systems seem to be Steam exclusive.
Well in the face of Fortnite and revamped competing stores, Steam vowed to double-down on their lack of moderation and quality control.
It depends largely on the type of games you play. I typically avoid interactions with random people as much as i can or keep direct communication with them to a minimum. Beyond that the kinds of games i play are wonderful experiences, and i play a lot with a close group of online friends. Even during the thick of Gamergate i was actively managing a community and we kept toxicity to a minimum through careful admin work, positive reinforcement, quick action and a no-nonsense attitude. Saying that games are inherently a lost cause and toxic is a false representation and a disservice to the work some people are doing in the medium and great communities that exist within it.
That being said toxicity exists, and there’s plenty of trolls and garbage people but i could say the same thing for any number of mediums and places.
Not so great for the computer, either. Poor thing!
Do you really think the developer with would have gone ‘Oh, darn, this is against their policies, I guess I won’t upload my game-err-miner’? I’m sure Apple or Google don’t deal with anything like this with their well-defined guidelines right? right?
Steam got a massive influx of Chinese players from PUBG, and they’re going now that the game is losing popularity. It had an interesting effect on the OS stats, interestingly. I use Linux to game with Steam, and so I keep a careful eye on the relative percentage of Linux users. It dropped precipitously when PUBG became popular, because Chinese users almost exclusively play in large shared gaming rooms, which are entirely Windows-based. Steam had some trouble accounting for those stats properly - do you count ten people running on one computer as ten machines for the purposes of OS stats, or as one? There was a correction in the OS numbers at one point.
I’ve actually only had it on for a few hours every week or so since May, so it’s fine. It was purpose built for gaming, especially VR, but if it’s too hot to play games sitting down, putting on a headset is out of the question.
…This old thing on the other hand has been running constantly except for power outages for 7 years (and last summer when I thought the CPU had been damaged… except even then I had it running CPU and RAM tests until I was confident in its health.)
Personally I don’t care about Steam’s lack of curation, since I use it to buy games, not find them.
Also, I would have thought they’d have figured that out long ago when people were playing CounterStrike from gaming cafes in Europe.
Handy to know, but GOG occasionally allow you to run a scan of your Steam library through their site and add games from Steam to your GOG collection for free.
You can check it out over on https://www.gog.com/connect
It’s worth checking back once in a while, as they add the ability to do this for more games quite regularly.
I mostly use steam for the sort of big releases that are easy enough to know about anyway. And for older games, that are again, pretty well visible Through other means.
So my experience sifting through steam’s store front for something to play area limited. That said I’ve completely checked out on the sales. Which often require that sort of sifting and are increasingly filled with exactly the kind of junk that gets in the way. And my avoiding that whole mess pretty much prevents me from getting into the Indy game thing. There’s a good bit of money being kept from those smaller devs because so many of steam’s users have zero interest in using huge chunks of the platform. People like myself probably would if those parts didn’t frustrate so much.
I don’t know if you can even peg it that way. They have that weird noone’s in charge only work on what you want structure.
I don’t know if it’s controlled enough to even consider factors like a feature being useful, competition, or where their customers are at. They aren’t making games because they apparently have too few employees interested in games to round up a team of the right size. And adding chat is probably down to a bunch of them getting a little too interested in the mechanics of chat apps.
It’s like a weird little bubble culture. Where they’re throwing whatever their buddies are interested in this week at the wall to see what sticks. It’s even more frustrating as far as I’m concerned.
As far as I’m aware the aren’t. The KOTOR and KOTOR II tweaks and updates are all based on mods or official/unofficial updates released years ago. That are freely available elsewhere. I dunno if steam maybe prepackages them in their download (I still own the disks) . But it’s easy to track all that stuff down and install it all your self. Though it can be annoying to find a clear outline of exactly what you need. Definitely reminds me of the old days when you had to spend as much time fixing things as playing the game.
That’s literally what happens every time I decide to see what new Skyrim mods have been released/updated instead of just going with what I already have working.
True but they have a prime directive, focus on whatever will make the most amount of money. Trying to dig up the particular quote where he says as much but i’m at work so having trouble finding it atm. But yeah they’ve essentially stopped caring about developing games and they just want to maximize profits from the platform.
I didn’t know that! Thanks, I’ll have to check it out!
See that I would understand. But part of what frustrates about valve is they don’t seem very good at that. And the reasoning is often stupid or opaque.
Like their supposed focus on hardware. Good idea there is profit there. But what are they doing. They developed and released a controller that, while apparently quite good, they haven’t really continued to support or refine. Then there’s steam machines. Linux based console alternative PC. And their VR obsession. Those arent profit sectors. Those are venture capital buzz words. And like many of their “big profit” and creative side ideas. Support for steam machines faded as fast as the internal team pushing it got interested in something else. I expect their VR push will go the same way.
Same thing happens on the steam platform. They make a big deal out of a certain feature. Curation as an example. Then the whole thing goes off the rails due to the same neglect that causes the problem it’s intended to fix. Same thing will happen to chat. The only things they seem to actually be persistently interested in are things like team fortress hats, And the trading card and badges meta game. Which seems to have become the point of the sales and Curation stuff. As well as the social elements.