Hopefully this won’t be a volatile topic to discuss but if it does end up like that I’ll ask GWs to nuke it - we can all do without repeats of those kinds of threads (fully acknowledging my part in those threads)
What I’m hoping to discuss is all centred around the ‘Platform wars’ that are kicking in to high gear with Epic making waves.
Steam has been the de facto for a long time now but I think we all might agree that its because they were both first to market and ahead of their time in many ways. I want to look at what we all think are the actual bits that Valve get right with Steam and what are the bits that they don’t that other platforms can capitalise on and do better on their own service?
Oh and what are the things that are just missing from every platform that are just waiting to be implemented?
Maybe using this format to get things started:
I’ll have a hard think and post mine up later on when I’m home.
Some initial thoughts:
- The ease with which you can buy keys from outside of the platform to redeem on the platform - you can even register they keys from physical copies you bought that could be installed without steam if you want to, I spent a weekend doing that with my boxed PC library a few years back.
- Cloud backups
- Streaming. I haven’t used this too extensively, but its straightforward and seems to work reasonably well
- Pricing can get silly, but it isn’t Origin or Uplay silly
- Integrated modding features - just subscribing to what you want and being able to see the dependencies is nice. Not much else about it is though.
- I actually quite like some aspects of the overlay and chat. Being able to shift+tab and open the chat or web browser is more convenient than alt+tabbing most of the time especially when you are playing a game that doesn’t react well to alt+tabbing
- The Steam Platform. Its slow, clunky, often doesn’t load and generally just weirds out on me a lot.
- The social aspect is clunky and a steaming dumpster fire of uncurated spaff
- The store is turning in to the PC equivalent of the Play store on Android, being an equally firey bumpster of spaff
- Integrated modding features - the convenience of installing and finding dependencies is nice as I said above, but finding what you want can be a chore, their forays in to paid stuff wasn’t great, curation is an issue with stuff just being ripped from other sites like Nexus by a random and uploaded to Steam with no credit.
- The new friends thing just annoys me
- Voice aspect of the chat is horrible
- A curated social space on both a friends list level and a wider user level - most of the social aspects like the activity stream (which @Jester clued me in to even existing back in the Gamestore days) are hidden away and clunky. Even if they just started by ripping off the Facebook stream that would be better than what it currently is.
- Either learn from comms platforms like Discord or totally remove the chat/comms aspect. Don’t settle for half-baked rubbish. Even working with Discord, TS or whoever to allow it to be directly integrated instead of relying on janky overlays that often get in the way or don’t work.