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Suicide machine

New Steam Store Front

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Valve has just changed a store front of Steam. Changes are quite drastic - from new colors, to new ways of filtering content to new features. Especially one new feature - Steam Curators. This instantly gave me an idea - we could be recommending good PC ports in our group (since Curating is based on group) and then have it pop up on Steam Front Page. Who's up for it? I definitely am!

 

http://store.steampowered.com/about/newstore

 

Here's an example of how it works:

http://store.steampowered.com/curator/1850

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I don't know how to express my feelings in words. So I shall do it the only way I know how, gifs.

 

WngPxu5.gif

 

I shouldn't rant, but....

 

yErHJHW.gif

 

This is okay, BUT FOR CHRIST'S SAKE VALVE WOULD YOU PLEASE BE CONSISTENT ABOUT IT? The Community looks incredibly outdated now, there are interface issues everywhere (although admittedly I'm probably the only one to notice them), and gradients!? What is this, 2004?

 

And to top it all off, the gradients don't even make sense. They're horizontal, so they don't show any depth and serve no real purpose. They are literally just there because someone at Valve wanted to "make it pop".

 

l3AaOvV.gif

 

Functionally, this update is awesome. Visually, I want to kick someone for letting this release as it is. Colors are supposed to mean something, and this just uses blue because "it looks pretty". It used to mean online, Early Access, and some interactive buttons. Now it's everywhere for no logical reason. I get branding, but it just seems so... excessive?

 

Some other specific issues I have: 

  • The Linux icon is out of place next to the all-white Windows and OS X icons
  • The Wishlists UI hasn't been updated
  • The Steam website uses Arial sometimes, Motiva Sans sometimes, and Tahoma sometimes. There's no real cohesion here.
  • The client has had some blue gradients thrown over it, but is still mostly black/gray. Again, consistency.
  • The Library view is still fairly useless, and doesn't use the same blue as the store.
  • The Stats page still requires Adobe Flash (and hasn't had the header style updated).
  • Still not particularly responsive for larger displays (bla bla Big Picture bla bla)
  • The hover/focus properties for the Search bar look terrible (white outline that's out of place)
  • Still calling the main platforms "PC, Mac, Linux"
  • The "More like this" and "Customer reviews" headers are way too close to the line below them, especially when compared to the other section headers on Store pages (yes I noticed this, yes it bothers me).
  • When reviewing a game from its store page, if you open the language dropdown it is BRIGHT BLUE with no padding whatsoever.
  • The OS X client still uses the stoplight controls from Ye Olde Macintosh versions, I want Yosemite and I want it now!

So, hopefully Valve fixes all these issues in the near future. And before anyone says "Well, I want to see you do better!" Here you go ;)

 

76tVwoI.gif

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Added a few recommendations to boost us to 10 to create the page, here it is: http://store.steampowered.com/curator/4225944/

 

Not exactly sure what we should be doing with it!

Wiki itself is limited to objective things, curating and reviewing things is subjective. So either put every single game in there with key points or just the best ports there is. If they would let curators to add their own feature limiters then it would be super easy tool to search certain games. 

 

And yeah there are definitly problems with the new layout. Especially JPG compression is getting so much into my nerves: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=317580895 

 

EDIT: And oh yeah they have forgotten their android client COMPLETELY! It's so old that their official site still states to get it from Android Market.... http://store.steampowered.com/mobile/

It still uses old layout and have had that jpg compression as well from day one.

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Wiki itself is limited to objective things, curating and reviewing things is subjective. So either put every single game in there with key points or just the best ports there is. If they would let curators to add their own feature limiters then it would be super easy tool to search certain games. 

 

And yeah there are definitly problems with the new layout. Especially JPG compression is getting so much into my nerves: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=317580895 

 

EDIT: And oh yeah they have forgotten their android client COMPLETELY! It's so old that their official site still states to get it from Android Market.... http://store.steampowered.com/mobile/

It still uses old layout and have had that jpg compression as well from day one.

Our curation can also be based on objective things - we just need to determine what those "things" are. For my two cents, I'd give the following as examples:

  • It just works: so long as you meet the system requirements, it shouldn't matter what kind of hardware you have - the game should run with your resolution, use your installed memory effectively (i.e. no memory leaks), and otherwise work hassle-free. (Good example: Crysis; Bad example: vanilla The Saboteur)
  • Wide variety of configurable settings: games use all sorts of features to make themselves look and sound pretty, from graphical to audio to video, which take varying degrees of processing power to run. Some of these effects, like motion blur, can be rather subjective in whether they make the game actually look good. As such, having lots and lots of configurable settings - especially if they're laid out in an organized, sensible, and easily-accessible fashion - means you can tweak the game to look, sound, and run like you want it to. (Good examples: Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Civilization V; Bad examples: Concursion, Lords of the Black Sun)
  • Advanced access to engine settings: while the settings in a game are usually hand-picked by the developers to ensure users can get the optimal experience given whatever hardware they have, there will be some users who want to push graphics/audio/whatever higher than what's allowed in-game. This is where allowing advanced users access to the underlying settings for a game, usually in some sort of <code>.ini</code> file, comes into play. Now, users who aren't afraid of potentially breaking their game (or their computer) can fiddle with all sorts of parameters the developers have exposed. Of course, these parameters can be few in number, not do anything, or not be rendered in a way which is legible by humans. (Good examples: Many UE3 games, Unreal Tournament 2004; Bad example: Concursion)

EDIT: Added links and updated examples.

Edited by Expack3

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So I'm thinking that 'curation' is probably the wrong word for this whole thing. This is a way of getting links to our articles for everyone who follows us. They appear on every game page that we 'recommend'. For example:

 

km4G7Yi.png

 

We could theoretically add a line (a 'key point') to every single game. So instead of picking 'good' ports, we could just pick every game and basically comment on whether it is good or bad or fixable (in terms of PC performance).

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We could theoretically add a line (a 'key point') to every single game. So instead of picking 'good' ports, we could just pick every game and basically comment on whether it is good or bad or fixable (in terms of PC performance).

Theoretically, yes, but in action no. As you can see all of those are handled as "recommendation" and if you happen to be icon on that left side users may simply think it's good PC porting. 

This system seems to have same flaw as original user recommendations in way that curators can't negatively curate anything.

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So I'm thinking that 'curation' is probably the wrong word for this whole thing. This is a way of getting links to our articles for everyone who follows us. They appear on every game page that we 'recommend'. For example:

 

 

We could theoretically add a line (a 'key point') to every single game. So instead of picking 'good' ports, we could just pick every game and basically comment on whether it is good or bad or fixable (in terms of PC performance).

In the context of the setup, that makes no sense. The purpose of the curation system is to provide recommendations on games to play (our page tagline: "A recommend list of the best PC games available from the PC Gaming Wiki Mod Team"). To just tag every game as "recommended" is guaranteed to make the list useless, resulting in no followers.

 

Anyways, the Enhanced Steam addon already provides links to the relevant articles here.

 

The best approach is to list games that are natively great PC games, new titles of interest (promote article contributions), and OK ports that can be easily fixed.

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[snip]

 

The best approach is to list games that are either natively great PC games, new titles of interest (promote article contributions), and OK ports that can be easily fixed.

I agree with all but the second point. What happens if the article in question ultimately gives a negative recommendation? Since, as Marioysikax points out, curators can only assign positive recommendations, promoting a game which was given a negative recommendation by the article contributor would be contradictory to the goal of PCGamingWiki's Steam curation.

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I agree with all but the second point. What happens if the article in question ultimately gives a negative recommendation? Since, as Marioysikax points out, curators can only assign positive recommendations, promoting a game which was given a negative recommendation by the article contributor would be contradictory to the goal of PCGamingWiki's Steam curation.

In that case, we can wait a few days until the smoke clears or focus on older titles instead.

 

On a side note, turns out it is possible to link to every page and get a decent following. Not that it would recommend it though. It simply doesn't fit the context and formatting of the system.

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In that case, we can wait a few days until the smoke clears or focus on older titles instead.

I can agree with that. After all, what if the game, in spite of the author's negative recommendation, was still a good port?

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There's definitly two main problems with the system right now: First one is that you can simply recommend all games and get more followers that way and another one is that you can't give negative recommendation unless your curator icon states that it lists bad things or like with ThatOneReapers example stating that it contains some info. You could still easily recommend every single game, but some people may still take PCGW icon showing up as good sign even if it's technically worst game ever. 

 

If Valve won't fix those then in long run recommending every single PC game is best way to go but personally I would wait and try giving Valve feedback that they need negative and neutral commenting there as well. Even if there are curators trying to aim specific games or game genres those need them as well as if there aren't recommendation there's no info has that curator even played the game or is it horrible. 

 

Maybe they didn't include them as those show on game pages as well and they have been cencoring some custom tags that would've been useful to distinguish games like walking simulator and mobile port. 

 

Don't know, but still race to curate every single steam game sounds dumb and flawed. 

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Curation, like Steam tags, is deliberately designed to provide a positive reinforcement echo chamber ("Recommended By Curators"). The Steam tag system still doesn't allow tags Valve doesn't like (e.g. "microtransactions") so I wouldn't expect curation to be changed to accommodate neutral/negative information.

 

I'm not sure how useful this feature is for the wiki in its current form.

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Curation, like Steam tags, is deliberately designed to provide a positive reinforcement echo chamber ("Recommended By Curators"). The Steam tag system still doesn't allow tags Valve doesn't like (e.g. "microtransactions") so I wouldn't expect curation to be changed to accommodate neutral/negative information.

 

I'm not sure how useful this feature is for the wiki in its current form.

If you want a summarized list of "good/bad" games on Steam based on a technical standpoint (i.e. does the game "just work"? How many useful options are there, how are they organized, and how easy are they to access and understand?) that would bring further visibility to the wiki, then I agree with you. As repeatedly pointed out, curation on Steam is deliberately designed to tie into their positive-reinforcement echo chamber designed to keep users engaged with the service and buying products, and a "good/bad" list of games is counter to how Vavle wants to position its curation features.

 

However, what's wrong with deliberately breaking the echo chamber and providing a genuinely-curated and summarized list of the best games on Steam from a technical standpoint? If people complain about X game we don't have on the wiki being missing or Y game we do have on the wiki but is considered a technically-terrible game, then we can tell them "we only recommend games which has an article on the wiki and we have reason to recommend." I realize this idea is rather unpopular right now as it won't bring many people to the wiki or the curation page since we aren't racing the other curators to have every last game in our curation.

 

The way I see it, Steam's curation features are mainly useful to us for listing the best games technically which we have on the site. That way, if someone asks "what's the best game you have," we can reply "the best games can be found on our Steam curation page." Such a stance will make us stand out - even if the race to 100% never stops and never stops being popular - and will bring us a different set of people, one which isn't interested in the race to the top/bottom and wants some truly curated collections of games. It's just a matter if we want to 'rebel' against Valve's echo chamber.

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In my opinion, I think we should just use our Curated storefront to showcase the best games from a technical standpoint, no need to include games that are bad.

 

For example, The Witcher 2 has all the options one would expect from a good PC game, can be redeemed on GOG.com for no extra cost, and has a lot of free extra content.

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