The Steam Library Beta has finally gotten a release date: you'll be able to get early access toa shiny new version of Valve's digital distribution client starting on September 17, 2019. Furthermore, some new Steam Event Authoring Tools are now available for developers, and one particular game developer is adding something special to Steam Labs.
Steam Library BetaThe first (and perhaps most noticeable) thing about the Steam Library Beta is a brand-new landing page that will put your most recently played games, game updates, friends activity, and more, all on one convenient page. This is enhanced by new features for individual games in your library, letting you know if it's updated recently and what that update was all about.
Friends, too, are getting a bit of a bump in the Steam Library Beta. You'll be able to see what games your friends have been playing along with which games they're playing right now.
The Steam Library Beta is also bringing some pretty cool enhancements to events, and those are being facilitated through some new Steam Event Authoring Tools.
Steam Event Authoring ToolsDevelopers will now be able to make use of new Steam Event Authoring Tools. As the Steam Library Beta is going to more heavily integrate events, developers are going to have to do a little extra work to fit the new format.
Much of the process is going to be largely the same in concept but with several enhancements. Firstly, events can now be categorized, with Valve offering up these categories as some example options:
- game updates
- community challenges
- any other kind of interesting activity happening in your game
The new Steam Event Authoring Tools are live now.
Diving Bell Steam Labs Discoverability Coming SoonOne final note is that a bit of new content will be making its way into one of Valve's special projects: Steam Labs. A Diving Bell Steam Labs version is in the works according to the game's original developer.
"Cat's finally out of the bag: Valve hired me to remake my 'Diving Bell' prototype for Steam Labs!" read a tweet from Lars Doucet. "The Steam version is called "Deep Dive" and it'll be out [soon eventually]." Mr. Doucet followed up the Diving Bell Steam Labs announcement with a link to a website explaining exactly what this thing is.
Essentially, the Diving Bell Steam Labs project will be a new discoverability engine that will make it easy as pie do the Steam Store equivalent of a "Wikipedia binge".
Steam has been criticized for years (perhaps rightfully) for the slow pace at which it refines its client and storefront. This flurry of recent announcements hopefully signals a new direction where they really put their nose to the grindstone.
What do you think of the Steam Library beta? Do you think devs will make good use of the Steam Authoring Tools? How do you think the Diving Bell Steam Labs discoverability engine will work compared to the current process of finding games? Let us know in the comments below!