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GI.biz: Indies on Steam are betting on discoverability (dev interviews about Valve's algorithms/Steam Labs) (see staff post)

dex3108

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,260
To the folks suggesting indies just go to EGS if they're so upset, at the moment, that's not an option. EGS is super heavily curated right now and it's really hard to get on, which the indies I spoke to for this piece understood. There seemed to be a general belief though that Epic would open its doors much wider sometime by the end of the year, though what that will ultimately look like isn't 100% clear, so it's hard to float it as a viable alternative.

The two biggest storefronts right now are either heavily curated, or not curated at all. The folks in this piece broadly were hoping for either some kind of middle ground of light curation, or essentially what Steam is now as an open storefront but with a bit more transparency as to how games get noticed. They aren't asking for Steam to hand it all to them, just to be given enough information to make some long-term marketing plans that aren't going to be upended by an invisible change to a discovery queue six months after launch.
Valve can't ans shouldn't say how algorithm works. We already saw what happened when indie devs figured out that they can set vague release date in a way that pushes them in front of games with actual release date. Any info about how algorithm works can and will be used to play the system.
 

Chairmanchuck

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,542
China
It's worth pointing out that discoverability for something on this scale probably goes like

Amazon
Walmart
Rakuten
Steam

Like it's an insane problem and Steam is the only all digital one, if they wanted to just sit on their ass, they wouldn't have new mobile apps coming and Steam Labs stuff

It's an issue and they're clearly trying to tackle it
The problem I personally have with the whole debate is that in that discussion the accountability of the indie devs themselves somehow is never talked about. They can not expect Steam to do their whole marketing. Gaming is a business and the devs themselves need to think about marketing before and not just rely on Steams algorythms to promote their games.

And in the end whether the game is even amazing or just "good" and similar to the other 100 e.g. visual novels.

Another thing in this whole discussion is that people seem to forget that Valve is actually the only one even offering those tools. I can follow a curator, I can stream a game and its being showed on the storepage, I can have publisher and developer pages, it actually has algorythms to show what you might be interested in etc.
As a customer Valve gives me enough tools to show what I like and therefore giving devs the opportunity too to show me their game.

I can see a lot of unknown visual novels and games with an anime style that I never saw before because of what I am playing. I see small stuff like Tiny Snow or bigger stuff like Steins;Gate Elite. After I played Bloodstained I saw other small Metroidvanias like Timespinner and Reventure.
 
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THRILLHO

Member
Nov 6, 2017
486
But how to show them every little game.

Some of the devs, who complain on Twitter.... maybe their games just arent good.
When the visual novel that looks like someone just started drawing art isnt featured, those devs get mad.

Not every game is a Supraland or Bright Memory. Some games are just the Mighty No. 9 of games and even though the devs might think their game is the next Hollow Knight, maybe it isnt or maybe the market of such games is already far too populated.

You could just compare Kitsune Games new Metroidvania game and just compare screenshots to other Metroidvanias:



vs.




Somehow the devs always expect maybe their mediocre games or maybe games that dont have a huge audience to be the next Indie Darling and be shown front page on every Steam page, but the reality is, some of those games just arent.... good and can not stand out besides maybe the 40 other ones that at least have some interesting art style, were praised for its deep story or got popular by word of mouth.
again, Valve has a lot of room to improve, but I've thought the same thing. There are always examples of great indies finding success on Steam, so why hasn't your pixelart metroidvania broken through? Maybe because dozens of other devs, both more and less talented/experienced than you, had the same idea?

its a tender subject and no dev can rationally look at their own title amongst others, they're too close to it, but its the heart of the issue of curation - what makes you think your shit smells so sweet compared to everyone else? Why do you think you deserve to be featured on Steam and others don't?

as a player of games and not a developer, I feel like there has been more great content to enjoy that I have time for FOR YEARS NOW, that I'll discover the best stuff via Resetera/etc (the one thing I think Tim/Sergei have right with their EGS strategy). I can't speak from the dev point of view though
 
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funky

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,394
It's just good to see Valve finally appearing like they are trying to address some of steams issues recently now more serious and aggresive competion has arrived (both Epic and gamepass). These have been issues for years. And now Valve have done more in the last 6 months then the last 6 years.

Steam labs seems like a good step.
 

tuxfool

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,232
To the folks suggesting indies just go to EGS if they're so upset, at the moment, that's not an option. EGS is super heavily curated right now and it's really hard to get on, which the indies I spoke to for this piece understood. There seemed to be a general belief though that Epic would open its doors much wider sometime by the end of the year, though what that will ultimately look like isn't 100% clear, so it's hard to float it as a viable alternative.
How soon after that will they be whining that they're hidden away in some front page abyss of the epic store?
 

Wumbo64

Member
Oct 27, 2017
230
But how to show them every little game.

Some of the devs, who complain on Twitter.... maybe their games just arent good.
When the visual novel that looks like someone just started drawing art isnt featured, those devs get mad.

Not every game is a Supraland or Bright Memory. Some games are just the Mighty No. 9 of games and even though the devs might think their game is the next Hollow Knight, maybe it isnt or maybe the market of such games is already far too populated.
Absolutely, some games aren't.

That doesn't change the fact that Steam's front page doesn't utilize space well. I just opened it up and saw identical games populating multiple sections in the first 1.5 seconds of scrolling. That's ridiculous considering the thousands of games on Steam.The design of the page should never allow that to happen in such a brief period of exploration. It goes against this notion that games on Steam are displayed in any sort of an even distribution.

Keep the top marquee. Then scrolling down start having two or more columns of self-contained contextual categories with more than just 3 to 5 game tiles. Hell, you start to scroll and big chunks of the page are taken up by a single game that is recommended to you just because you played something similar. That entire logic should be compartmentalized into box on a column, along with stuff like individual genres, recently released, etc...

If Steam really does offer all this stuff, I (and developers) should have the option to have it displayed in the same way you get exposed to the enormity of options when standing in an aisle in a physical store. There is mountains of consumer psychology that prove it helps sell products, but Valve is apparently afraid of their storefront appearing busy, even though that is the reality they created for themselves and now developers.
 

ShinUltramanJ

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,680
I wish we knew which developers spoke about their Steam problems, and which games they’ve made.

It would be pretty telling.
 

eonden

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,887
It's just good to see Valve finally appearing like they are trying to address some of steams issues recently now more serious and aggresive competion has arrived (both Epic and gamepass). These have been issues for years. And now Valve have done more in the last 6 months then the last 6 years.

Steam labs seems like a good step.
Thats a lie though.
 

LewieP

Banned
Oct 26, 2017
8,632
It's just good to see Valve finally appearing like they are trying to address some of steams issues recently now more serious and aggresive competion has arrived (both Epic and gamepass). These have been issues for years. And now Valve have done more in the last 6 months then the last 6 years.

Steam labs seems like a good step.
There's plenty of things to criticise Valve for, but this is an utterly absurd and baseless claim.
 

Chairmanchuck

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,542
China
Absolutely, some games aren't.

That doesn't change the fact that Steam's front page doesn't utilize space well. I just opened it up and saw identical games populating multiple sections in the first 1.5 seconds of scrolling. That's ridiculous considering the thousands of games on Steam.The design of the page should never allow that to happen in such a brief period of exploration. It goes against this notion that games on Steam are displayed in any sort of an even distribution.

Keep the top marquee. Then scrolling down start having two or more columns of self-contained contextual categories with more than just 3 to 5 game tiles. Hell, you start to scroll and big chunks of the page are taken up by a single game that is recommended to you just because you played something similar. That entire logic should be compartmentalized into box on a column, along with stuff like individual genres, recently released, etc...

If Steam really does offer all this stuff, I (and developers) should have the option to have it displayed in the same way you get exposed to the enormity of options when standing in an aisle in a physical store. There is mountains of consumer psychology that prove it helps sell products, but Valve is apparently afraid of their storefront appearing busy, even though that is the reality they created for themselves and now developers.
I agree with most of this post, but you can configure part of the storepage.

I personally think the sale page for the Summer sale was far better than the storepage we currently still have, but I think with the redesign the main storepage will also look different. I think SteamLabs is some kind of beta of how the storepages might look like or at least they take some inspiration from it.
 

Javetus

Member
Feb 23, 2019
89
It's just good to see Valve finally appearing like they are trying to address some of steams issues recently now more serious and aggresive competion has arrived (both Epic and gamepass). These have been issues for years. And now Valve have done more in the last 6 months then the last 6 years.

Steam labs seems like a good step.
Seems like you are not informed about what Valve has done in the last 6 years.
 

SapientWolf

Member
Nov 6, 2017
3,190
Well yeah, it's going to be a problem. The Steam store has over 30,000 games. There are going to be a lot more losers than winners.

That said, there is definitely room for improvement. Steam's tags aren't always very descriptive, and the store relies on them for recommendations. The "games like this" are pretty off base for that reason. The store genres are outdated and nearly useless.

You will get curator game recommendations on the front page, but it doesn't seem like Steam recommends curators on the front page. The review system doesn't leave any room for nuance so it's hard to gauge quality from the reviews. And it seems like the games that don't bubble up to the popular new releases or popular upcoming list are pretty fucked. Some games clearly deserve more eyeballs and I wish there was a way to give them a push.
 

Chairmanchuck

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,542
China
The article will reveal all
That is why I used the Kitsune Games game last page compared to other Metroidvanias that were released lately or even a few years ago on Steam that, artistically look far more interesting.

Sorry, but this really doesnt look interesting when games like Hollow Knight, Bloodstained, Rabi Ribi, Touhou Luna Nights, Shantae etc. are out:



Lets just take the storepage of that game as an example and how I feel:

-All screenshots on the storepage look the same. There doesnt seem to be any other setting judging by that.
-The trailer is the same. I see just one setting and every room looks really really similar.
-The artstyle looks really outdated and something we have seen since 8 years in hundreds of indie games.
-The banner doesnt look interesting and not enough shading. Everything looks flat:
-The storepage itself only shows Singleplayer and controller. No achievements. No cloud saves. No other languages listed (yet).

So now after seeing that storepage, the game just doesnt look interesting.

Here is the storepage itself:


This game doesnt stand out at all from far better, visual looking games or a better looking storepage.


Edit: And watching the trailer, while in other games you might see unique boss design, unique enemy design, traversal, some special moves, this trailer just screams generic. I see the same moves over and over again against the same enemies over and over again with the essentially same backdrop over and over again.
 
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the_wart

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,409
Epic turned it into an Epic Thread - By actively moving to shit on Steam Labs with immature snide comments the moment it opened.


When Epic and its employees are actively Culture Warring everything Valve does, can you be surprised?
I like shitting on EGS as much as anyone but this is a "bitch eating crackers" scenario if there ever was one.

The two biggest storefronts right now are either heavily curated, or not curated at all. The folks in this piece broadly were hoping for either some kind of middle ground of light curation, or essentially what Steam is now as an open storefront but with a bit more transparency as to how games get noticed. They aren't asking for Steam to hand it all to them, just to be given enough information to make some long-term marketing plans that aren't going to be upended by an invisible change to a discovery queue six months after launch.
Well, yes and no. This article certainly brings up legitimate frustrations and grievances that Valve can and should address in a way that would be beneficial to all parties. However, it also features indie devs complaining that Valve isn't doing their marketing for them, which I can't say I'm terribly sympathetic to, as well as this claim:

...in the early days of Steam Greenlight there were numerous benefits to having a game appear on the platform, those benefits have largely dissolved as the library of games has exploded.
Like, really? The benefits of being on Steam versus not being on Steam have "largely dissolved"? For whom? For large publishers who can move their AAA games to their own storefronts and have players follow, I suppose. Or what, they're going to give up on Steam and go itch.io exclusive? Not to knock itch.io at all, because they are super cool, but they are not a mass market platform and AFAIK have no intention to become one. So this kind of rhetoric obscures the fact that, for all Valve's failings, they are, right now, the only company that has even attempted a mass-market platform where large numbers of small-to-mid-tier indies have a place. Maybe someday there will be a viable competitor that actively courts large numbers of mid-tier indies -- heck, maybe someday it will be EGS! But right now, there is no viable alternative to Steam for most devs, and it is not clear whether anyone is even interested in making one.
 

Cantaim

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,772
Djinn is right Usopp x Robin FTW
I should try out Steam Labs. The discovery feature is almost unusebale for me. All I’m getting right now are RTS games and free to play MMO’s. And outside of playing a few Total war titles a few years ago. I don’t play either of those genres.
 

scitek

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,039
Some devs should learn how to market their own games, instead of expecting Steam to advertise their games for them lol
Yeah, I don't care what form of creative media you work in - music, movies, podcasts, games - getting recognition is hard. Not everyone is going to be as successful as Team Meat or whatever.
 

napkins

Member
Nov 18, 2017
194
This is just my experience, but I feel like I have to work to find interesting new titles on steam. Games are often not tagged properly. Games that should be in the similar to list often aren't. Also I find that sometimes I hear about a new game being released on steam, but could not find it in the new releases page.
Seems like a lot could be improved in those regards.
 

dex3108

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,260
It's just good to see Valve finally appearing like they are trying to address some of steams issues recently now more serious and aggresive competion has arrived (both Epic and gamepass). These have been issues for years. And now Valve have done more in the last 6 months then the last 6 years.

Steam labs seems like a good step.
Valve started working on machine learning in 2016 if not before. They introduced machine learning anti-cheat for CS:GO, then for Dota 2 and they finally introduced it for Steam this year. And you can look what Valve did last year without Epic here

 

U-R

Member
Oct 28, 2017
88
Indie devs have this very unhealthy and unnatural opinion that THE STORE THAT SELLS THEIR GAMES is in the business of being THEIR ADVERTISING COMPANY FOR FREE.

If a small soft drink competitors to Coke were angry at Walmart, or another big chain, for not featuring its products in ad billboards in front of their stores, they would be rightfully laughed out of the office. Yeah, when a console is young or when steam was young, there is this temporary short window where you get free marketing by being just there, enjoy the few months it lasts, but if your company exists pivoting on that as a mean to stay in business: well it's time to change job.
 
Please stay on topic

JayC3

bork bork
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
2,061
Official Staff Communication
This thread is about indie games on Steam, not about the Epic Games Store. There are numerous other threads to discuss the EGS, please stay focused and on topic here. Thank you.
 

funky

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,394
Indie devs have this very unhealthy and unnatural opinion that THE STORE THAT SELLS THEIR GAMES is in the business of being THEIR ADVERTISING COMPANY FOR FREE.

If a small soft drink competitors to Coke were angry at Walmart, or another big chain, for not featuring its products in ad billboards in front of their stores, they would be rightfully laughed out of the office. Yeah, when a console is young or when steam was young, there is this temporary short window where you get free marketing by being just there, enjoy the few months it lasts, but if your company exists pivoting on that as a mean to stay in business: well it's time to change job.
"For free"

They are already giving steam 33% of every sale they have to Valve!

You give the same percentage to console makers and they will still tweet about your game and mention it in a damn blog post. Valve give you a forum they occasionally moderate if a news site posts about the shit that happens on it tho!

Valve started working on machine learning in 2016 if not before. They introduced machine learning anti-cheat for CS:GO, then for Dota 2 and they finally introduced it for Steam this year. And you can look what Valve did last year without Epic here

Isnt that also what powers the recent steam recommendations that came into effect last year that screwed over smaller developers?

https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/ErikJohnson/20190129/335035/The_State_of_the_Algorithm_Whats_Happening_to_Indies_on_Steam.php

Clearly Machine learning isnt magic that does everything right. But it seems like Valve are correcting recent mistakes quicker then they normally do and thats GOOD!
 

Kyougar

Member
Nov 3, 2017
4,214
Always strikes me how there’s so little empathy for the struggles of small devs on Steam, and how this quickly turns to intense ire when they dare strike deals with the likes of Epic.
We, the customers finally had our eyes opened. We are only sheep, we are only a wallet, we should only consume and hype games but not communicate or criticise the dev/game, we are not a priority.

Consume!
Hype!
Don't question!

---

Yeah, fuck them.
 
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dex3108

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,260
Isnt that also what powers the recent steam recommendations that came into effect last year that screwed over smaller developers?

https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/ErikJohnson/20190129/335035/The_State_of_the_Algorithm_Whats_Happening_to_Indies_on_Steam.php

Clearly Machine learning isnt magic that does everything right. But it seems like Valve are correcting recent mistakes quicker then they normally do and thats GOOD!

No, this is machine learning recommendation system that they introduced few days ago as part of Steam Labs

 

Kyougar

Member
Nov 3, 2017
4,214
Valve can't ans shouldn't say how algorithm works. We already saw what happened when indie devs figured out that they can set vague release date in a way that pushes them in front of games with actual release date. Any info about how algorithm works can and will be used to play the system.
As a website owner, ask Google to be more transparent about how their search algorithm works... Yeah. Same thing. It is just a race into gaming the system/algorithm. Madness, I tell you.
 

Htown

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,534
Let ME on steam, just not everyone else.
-Indie dev
this is how it comes across, yeah

especially if you've been following Steam since the days they were a heavily curated store

somebody's amazing game was always being kept off the store because Valve was too strict, so they kept letting more devs on

and then suddenly "there are too many games on the store, and being on steam doesn't mean anything anymore"

honestly, tough shit
 

THRILLHO

Member
Nov 6, 2017
486
We, the customers finally had our eyes opened. We are only sheep, we are only a wallet, we should only consume and hype games but not communicate or criticise the dev/game, we are not a priority.

Consume!
Hype!
Don't question!

---

Yeah, fuck them.
👆🏼

is "earn my money" so terrible of a reply to an indie or are they entitled to it as an assumption that they are indie, indies deserve to be supported, QED?

I have a dozen or more metroidvanias in my library that I have yet to even install much less complete (Ori and Shovel Knight, for example) - how does your metroidvania stand out? what makes it deserving of my dollars, much less my attention, over others?
 

Nzyme32

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,019
this is how it comes across, yeah

especially if you've been following Steam since the days they were a heavily curated store

somebody's amazing game was always being kept off the store because Valve was too strict, so they kept letting more devs on

and then suddenly "there are too many games on the store, and being on steam doesn't mean anything anymore"

honestly, tough shit
Indeed. It's amusing how much of a u-turn opinion has been like since back then. There isn't any winning in this situation, since for the vast majority of visible games the quality is quite high that it is easy to for a good game to be out-competed. Meanwhile, there also isn't the magic freedom of being accepted into a tiny successful group, based on some arbitrary decision. "Don't give advantages to specific developers - other than me" remains the standard motif here, even after flipping to tables round as requested

More strange reaction and hyperbole towards Steam Labs, which is not really anything new beyond Valve putting there experiments in an enclosed safe bubble (a very good direction as I've pointed out previously vs testing with uncertainty on without wide-scale real world use). The level of updates to Steam remains the same as the past decade. The one good thing to come out of Epic, is Valve communicating in larger summaries for those not reading the small changelog posts where announcements get made
 

Krejlooc

Indie Game Dev
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
19,233

Krejlooc

Indie Game Dev
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
19,233
"For free"

They are already giving steam 33% of every sale they have to Valve!

You give the same percentage to console makers and they will still tweet about your game and mention it in a damn blog post.
you give way, waaaay more to console makers than they pay to be on steam. You are aware that consoles have licensing fees for development, right? To the tune of tens of thousands of dollars just to be able to release your title on their platform.

Also, that 33% covers, you know, serving the damn games.
 

Acidote

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,688
That is why I used the Kitsune Games game last page compared to other Metroidvanias that were released lately or even a few years ago on Steam that, artistically look far more interesting.

Sorry, but this really doesnt look interesting when games like Hollow Knight, Bloodstained, Rabi Ribi, Touhou Luna Nights, Shantae etc. are out:



Lets just take the storepage of that game as an example and how I feel:

-All screenshots on the storepage look the same. There doesnt seem to be any other setting judging by that.
-The trailer is the same. I see just one setting and every room looks really really similar.
-The artstyle looks really outdated and something we have seen since 8 years in hundreds of indie games.
-The banner doesnt look interesting and not enough shading. Everything looks flat:
-The storepage itself only shows Singleplayer and controller. No achievements. No cloud saves. No other languages listed (yet).

So now after seeing that storepage, the game just doesnt look interesting.

Here is the storepage itself:


This game doesnt stand out at all from far better, visual looking games or a better looking storepage.


Edit: And watching the trailer, while in other games you might see unique boss design, unique enemy design, traversal, some special moves, this trailer just screams generic. I see the same moves over and over again against the same enemies over and over again with the essentially same backdrop over and over again.
If I saw this store page while browsing steam pages, I'd just move on so quickly I wouldn't even remember the game's name. The game could be stellar and I'd still skip it for looking like a gazillion other indie games I've seen in that same browsing session.

Indies make money, Valve makes money, I lose all my money buying games, it's all peachy except for me :p
And for me.

But it's true that a lot of these indie developers speeches sound like they want to be on the store while other are not let in. THey may no mean it like that, but that's what it sounds like.
 

Lord of Ostia

Member
Oct 27, 2017
15,628
Because that 30% pays for a suite of tools and service. Not for a marketing. If everyone paying 30% were owed marketing, then no one would benefit from it. I often read "on consoles, 1st parties like Sony and Nintendo market indies". It's true. They pick the winners. They decide who's going to sell and who's not going to. That's amazing for the winners.
It's still free marketing.
 

Kainazzo

Member
Dec 13, 2017
48
There's so much solid competition these days. I bought Shadowgrounds off Steam because it was one of the first non-Valve games offered in the store. Solid game, but today there's a constant stream of even better titles. Would Reccettear have had its same success were it not one of the first Japanese games available on Steam?
 

¡ B 0 0 P !

Member
Apr 4, 2019
1,468
Greater Toronto Area
You give the same percentage to console makers and they will still tweet about your game and mention it in a damn blog post. Valve give you a forum they occasionally moderate if a news site posts about the shit that happens on it tho!
7,000 games were released on Steam last year. Should Valve have a tweet and blog post for every game? If not how many get that honour? How does Valve decide? The ones who do not get picked are going to complain like hell. Valve is fucked either way. Indie devs have oversupplied the market and now they are suffering. Vlave can't return to a curated EGS-like store without screwing over millions of indie developers.

All they can is improve their store and algorithms, but even then most games will not sell well. There's just too many of them.
 
OP
OP

Deleted member 42

user requested account closure
Banned
Oct 24, 2017
16,939
There's so much solid competition these days. I bought Shadowgrounds off Steam because it was one of the first non-Valve games offered in the store. Solid game, but today there's a constant stream of even better titles. Would Reccettear have had its same success were it not one of the first Japanese games available on Steam?
With zero exaggeration, Recettear is probably one of my Top 10 Steam games.

It would have no chance in today's market.
 

BeImonkey

Member
Dec 9, 2017
1,567
Without curation to potentially limit the amount of games releasing on Steam, it seems like a really difficult problem to makes sure thousands of games can be marketed and seen properly. Can't wait to see how things will evolve from what's in Steam labs at the moment, because it seems like they have some pretty good ideas so far.
 
Nov 8, 2017
4,234
I can sympathize with developers trying to make ends meet, but broadly the sense of "being on steam used to be a guarantee of success... now it's not..." that we see everywhere is not really useful when statistically most people wouldn't have been let on if not for the open door policy and that includes probably more than half of the people interviewed here. Wanting hand-picked curation for store page placement, recommendations and such (something the article mentions) is really just asking valve to exclude the riff raff and there's this underlying assumption that their game would be definitely hand picked and therefore not completely shut out from this visibility by not getting hand picked.

My preferred solution was to offer a dual track strategy whereby they continue to improve the automated algorithmic discovery stuff for the Steam program and store pages, but that they, in addition, build a team of ~10-15 people to comb through notable upcoming releases and do a monthly highlights video in the style of a Nintendo direct. Unfortunately it seems they're now auto-generating videos like this but without the human involvement, which is admittedly hilariously on brand for valve.
 

Spacejaws

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,103
Scotland
As a PC, PS4 and Switch user I cannot fathom how this discussion always seems to be a Steam exclusive issue when Steam is the only platform I seem to be recomended and advertised a wide variety of indies that aren't already top of the charts and hugely succesful.

E-Shops store just has a whole load of shitty thumbnails with pages that are cumbersome to load and usually only give you a few screenshots and a brief description then backing out sends you back to the top of the list. The E-Shop list looks like a bunch of shovelware even though it's generally not. Maybe just tons of generic thumbnails and unknown indies. PS4 only really seems to put forward the good shit already making waves.

So being that Steam is the only platform I might actually see indies and have a huge amount of info from the description pages, user galleries and forums, how is it fucking up worse than other platforms that give them literally a single page with a few pictures? Kinda baffles me.
 

Budi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,517
Finland
Still haven't checked out the Steam Labs, I was going to today but friends invited me for rounds of Underlords. I wouldn't mind if I could easier discover games that interest me specifically. I had bit of a problem with what Steam was offering me after I played Bayonetta, constant anime titties. Fortunately this has seemed to died down. Thanks for sharing the article.
Epic turned it into an Epic Thread - By actively moving to shit on Steam Labs with immature snide comments the moment it opened.


When Epic and its employees are actively Culture Warring everything Valve does, can you be surprised?
Hooly shit. Galyonkin is truly one of the smuggest bastards in the industry, this wasn't the first time he makes a fool of himself in social media regarding Steam. He really seems to revel in the toxicity around this whole ordeal and doesn't mind fanning the flames.

Edit: Actually could be that he was just being sincere and was referring to games he had bought prior. No jabs/immaturity this time.
 
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werezompire

Zeboyd Games
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
2,877
I've talked to a few indie developers about the most recent Steam Summer sale and everyone I've talked to has said they've seen a large drop in sales compared to past sales (keep in mind that this is just a few individuals and I have no way of knowing how indicative this is of indie devs on Steam as a whole). This could be a failure in discoverability or algorithms, but I'm also afraid that things are just getting tougher for game developers in general (and I'm not just talking indies). Like looking at my own spending habits, why would I buy any game unless I REALLY want it which means that 1) I've heard of the thing & it catches my attention (which is hard to do when there are just SO many games coming out), 2) it's the cream of the crop or drastically different than the competition and 3) it resonates in some way with me (whether that be theme, visuals, music mechanics, or whatever), 4) it's better or different enough from games I already own or already plan to purchase.

At least for me, between free games from Epic Stores, free games from my Twitch via Amazon Prime subscription, and Humble Bundle, I have so many games that I was interested in but haven't actually played yet like Pillars of Eternity, Tyranny, Tales of Berseria, Darksider 2, Yooka-Laylee, and Thimbleweed Park. Not only that, but I've got games in my Steam wishlist that I do want to play, but it's hard to justify paying say $15-$25 for a 2-3 year old game knowing that there's a good chance it'll be free sometime soon. Add to that all the GaaS games like Path of Exile just keep adding new content and it's a drastically different marketplace than it was 10 years ago.

I recently pulled my 360 out of storage and I have SO many cheap XBLA games installed on the thing - plenty of weird oddities that I got 'cause they were cheap & I wanted something new to play. But now I barely buy any new stuff at all (and when I do, it's usually the big safe stuff like a new Atlus RPG or Nintendo game), because I'm drowning in options. Or this year, there's around 10 Nintendo published games on the Switch alone that I'm interested in enough to want to buy & play, but there's no way on earth that I'm going to have the time to get around to half of those (and it's not like next year, there's going to be a sudden lull in releases).
 
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BasilZero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,031
Omni
As a PC, PS4 and Switch user I cannot fathom how this discussion always seems to be a Steam exclusive issue when Steam is the only platform I seem to be recomended and advertised a wide variety of indies that aren't already top of the charts and hugely succesful.

E-Shops store just has a whole load of shitty thumbnails with pages that are cumbersome to load and usually only give you a few screenshots and a brief description then backing out sends you back to the top of the list. The E-Shop list looks like a bunch of shovelware even though it's generally not. Maybe just tons of generic thumbnails and unknown indies. PS4 only really seems to put forward the good shit already making waves.

So being that Steam is the only platform I might actually see indies and have a huge amount of info from the description pages, user galleries and forums, how is it fucking up worse than other platforms that give them literally a single page with a few pictures? Kinda baffles me.
Yep all of this

I don’t even bother buying indies on my PS4 or my Nintendo consoles

Anyways not sure if this new thing will do anything different for me since I actively check up new games

I just add them to my wishlist....

I still don’t think visibility is the issue, it’s just there’s more competition now from better developers and more well known publishers.