The debut of Steam Labs Experiment 010 is good news for people hunting for the next game to play: Valve has kicked off a project with a serious focus on improving discoverability on the PC gaming platform.
Steam Labs is Valve's internal project that aims to improve the functionality of its Steam digital storefront with new features and improvements to existing ones. Most recently, it launched Steam News, allowing a wider array of gaming sites to release stories to the Steam News Hub. (Naturally, TechRaptor is also on the Steam News Hub.)
Now, a brand-new project is underway with the aim to help one of Steam's most common criticisms: discoverability.
How Steam Labs Experiment 010 Aims to Fix the Discoverability Issue
The first new item introduced with Steam Labs Experiment 010 is "Categories". Categories are split into several sections: Special Sections, Genres, Themes, and Social & Players.
The Special Sections, for example, cover topics such as Free to Play, Early Access, and platforms like Mac OS X. Themes will cover topics like Fantasy, Horror, or Anime. Social & Players, meanwhile, will tackle the way you play games, such as Cooperative, MMO, or Online Competitive.
The biggest shift here, however, is in Genres. Genres are now split into several sub-categories as shown in the following image:
Why the shift to this new system? While Valve has partially relied on "a mix of formal research and intuition," another existing Steam feature has inspired these changes: Curators. One might note that there are curators covering topics that are shown in the above image; Steam Labs Experiment 010 intends to make this a core feature of Steam.
Each of the above Categories will have its own dedicated page (in addition to a tagging function), so it should make it easier than ever for gamers to track down something they'd like to play based on specific parameters. You can try out Steam Labs Experiment 010 yourself via the Steam Labs page.
What do you think of the changes arriving with Steam Labs Experiment 010? What other changes do you think Valve needs to make to improve discoverability on its storefront? Let us know in the comments below!