After years of rumors and leaked mockup images, it's finally happening: Steam's library is getting a new look. This isn't a full-on redesign of Steam in its entirety, so the store and other parts of the interface aren't changing as far as we know. In its keynote at GDC on Thursday, Valve showed off the new library view, highlighting a redesigned page with large game thumbnails and more categorization around what's going on with your games.
"The biggest thing we're introducing is the Steam library homepage," said Valve's Alden Kroll. "This provides an opportunity for players to see 'what else is happening in the games that I play?'"
Some key elements of the new library view:
- The friends list is now integrated into a right-hand column
- The top module shows recent games you've been playing with a library view reminiscent of Plex or the Apple TV
- The rest of your collection is shown with nice vertical thumbnails that can be scaled to show larger icons or more games
- The left-hand games list has a new look but is fairly similar to the existing design
The biggest new feature for the library, at least in terms of functionality, is an extension of the tags Steam has been using on the store for several years. Those tags now carry over to the library page, and you can perform an advanced search using several tags to drill down through your games. The cool addition here is that you can save a tag search as a "collection" of similar games, like, say, "Ninja Action."
At its Game Developers Conference talk today, Valve showed off a redesigned library page that finally adds some modern shine to the grey window that holds most of your games. It also announced and showed off a new feature coming to Steam, called Events. The Events page will round up what's happening in the games you follow and have in your library, organizing occasions like game updates, streams, tournaments, and so on.
Valve's Alden Kroll called out the fact that the feature is built to support the needs of today's live service games.
"We think of this as the way developers will be able to communicate with players through Steam," Kroll said. "We want to build the foundation for a communication platform where all the interesting things that are happening in games can find their way to the customers. And the customers that are interested in finding out 'what's happening in games in my library, what kind of events are happening, what's been updated recently, what are my friends doing,' making all that much easier for players to be able to find."
A key part of the Events functionality is a set of notification options Valve has added to Steam. If you want to keep track of an event, you can click "Set a reminder" for an event and choose from a variety of notifications:
- Calendar support for Google and iCal
- Steam client notifications
- Text message
- Steam mobile app
The Steam Events system has already been in early testing with a small group of developers, and Valve says it plans to begin testing with an open beta within the next couple months.
Decided to merge them both cause they are similar topics.