Valve, the company that backs up the Steam game store, has always been working on one project or another but most of them are not lucky enough to be introduced to the users. Like in most companies, these projects are played around with for a while, turned on this side or the other and are sometimes thrown away without any of us having any idea they even existed.
In an attempt to change this pattern, Valve decided to let the users have a say in the process: the company will now allow them to voice their opinions on some of the new ideas before they solidify into actual projects.
The most recent example is a fresh new project called “Steam Labs,” which will allow the users to glance at the concepts Valve might end up investing more time and money into.
If you’re curious to see what’s going on, you can access the new Labs page here.
Participants will play with three “experiments” in order to come up with new games:
Micro Trailers: these trailers only last for six seconds. They will loop whenever an user hovers over the graphic of a game.
Interactive Recommender: Valve knows very well what users are playing, and for how long. Therefore, the experiment uses this data in order to to find other games they might like based on the history of the games they played the most.
Automatic Show: A “shopping channel” is automatically generated and highlights footage of the latest releases. In the future, the goal is to have auto-generated narration. Currently, it’s just game footage over the music.
The company wanted the users to know that the presence of these experiments doesn’t mean that the Labs will make them official. Actually, Valve made it quite clear that “Steam Labs is itself an experiment,” which can always be transformed accordingly.
Valve also created a forum where the users can contribute with their comments and suggestions so, if you have anything to say about the possible projects-to-be, you now have a chance to do so.