Steam's new Interactive Recommender is built for finding 'hidden gems'


With news that your Steam library will be receiving a total make-over, due to it looking pretty ugly in comparison to other the more snazzy collections offered by competing digital marketplaces, Valve has launched Steam Labs, in an attempt to include the community in the redesign process. But in a bit of behind-the-scenes information, Valve also explained that it doesn't feed any data about the game into the system except for the release date. Valve will take any and all feedback from those who participate in the testing, and will make a determination on whether they need more work or not.

PC games giant Valve is letting its users see what experimental features it has planned for its storefront with new Steam Labs. Instead, the machine learning will gather data on its own and pick out similarities, along with trends among buying habits with players who have similar gaming tastes. A common complaint among users is that Steam's massive audience and big reach also comes with a daily tidal wave of new titles to sift through, making games that appeal to an individual user increasingly hard to find. With Nvidia's Turing GPUs featuring Tensor Cores, itself hardware for the DLSS machine learning feature to save on performance through AI-powered image reconstruction, what do you think of the increased use of machine learning in games? Users can refine those results by including or excluding certain tags, searching for titles that released within a specified time frame, and adjusting a niche vs mainstream slider. The company does seem to be warming to the idea of being a little more open about what it is working on, such a the development of the Knuckles (now called Valve Index) controllers.

As cool as Steam Labs and its first round of experiments are, bear in mind that they are just that: experiments. It could also solve Steam's long-running, recommendation problem.

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The Automated Show is akin to in-store programming at GameStop, where a half-hour video showcases some of the latest Steam game launches.

The second, the curiously named Interactive Recommender, is the one that's likely to be of most interest to indie developers and publishers.

Micro Trailers, the very first experiment that is available on Steam Labs, allows gamers to "absorb every game in the Steam catalog in just seconds" according to the description. Valve's Steam Labs wants to help you separate the wheat from the chaff. We'll have to wait and see how the current test features fare once they get more eyes on them.