Valve Introduces Steam Labs for Public Testing of New Services

Valve

The Recommender is part of a new initiative called Steam Labs, where Valve will let users check out experimental features. The trailers are displayed in small thumbnails that play in loops, much like what happens when you mouse over a thumbnail on YouTube.

For starters, the company is launching with three experiments such as Micro Trailers, the Interactive Recommender and the Automated Show with the promise of more experiments to be added late in time. This should help developers quickly convey what they want to about a game without investing in a fancy trailer. Micro Trailers are a series of six-second game trailers arranged on a page for you to view all at once. Now its Steam game store has an experiments hub, too. Like the rest of Steam, this isn't how the new interactive recommender works.

Micro Trailers is fairly true to its name. 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? Micro trailer collections showing off adventure games, RPGs, builders, and more are available to watch upon now.

"Experiment 001" is Micro Trailers. Now the six-second trailers have been incorporated into Steam Labs, and offer more options, including the option to run through the minuscule trailers by genre or keyword category.

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These are just three of the newest things you can experience by way of Steam Labs, but more are certainly coming.

The Interactive Recommender will let players find games that are up to a decade old. The big quad videos are probably the least overwhelming way to consume them, since at least then you're only looking at one game at a time.

The Interactive Recommender - This experiment looks at your top-played games and uses machine learning to recommend other titles you might enjoy.

Valve is already a company full of experiments. The automatic show is... It's an AI-generated sizzle reel that Valve describes as being like "one of those cable shopping channels without the super-absorbent chamois cloths", which, erm, couldn't sound any worse, to be honest. Valve also promises the Recommender won't force developers to game the system with specific tags, pricing, or advertising styles, although without knowing more about how it works, it's hard to rule out users discovering quirks in the engine.

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