Valve has confirmed a new Steam Library open beta will kick off on September 17th, 2019. All players will be able to opt-in and give the new features a try.
Valve has also rolled out new tools to enable game developers to post events and announcements within Steam and – from September 17th – within the Steam Library itself.
“The new Steam library was built with the belief that our libraries are valuable to us – for some customers, they contain more than fifteen years of games,” Valve said in a Steam Team update. “From your absolute favourite AAA title that all your friends are playing, to that solo indie art project that only you seem to love, your Steam library represents your gaming history.”
The changes include a new landing page which will give users quick access to game updates, recently played games, friends activity and collections, plus the company asserts it will be “easier for you to stay on top of the changes happening to your games and who is playing what”.
“One of [the] things we know you love about Steam is being able to engage directly with your games as they evolve over time. The new library makes it simple to see not just if a game has been updated but, with the new events feature, what that update is and why you should boot it up and give it a shot,” Valve said.
The platform will also now let you know when games in your library have had updates or limited-time events “without bombarding you with notifications”. Valve says this will be “valuable to players and also developers” as it will notify your players of new content, “if they’ve moved onto something else”.
“We know that communication with players is important to the way that many games are developed and enjoyed today,” Valve said in a separate post about dev tools. “And we’ve been listening to a lot of feedback from game developers about better tools and channels to accomplish just that. We’re pleased to announce the roll-out of these new tools and how they feed into multiple channels across Steam to better help connect you with your audience.”
The post confirms that the announcements won’t move away from where you “expect” to see them, such as your store page and community hub, but when the new library rolls out, there will be additional visibility.
There is also a new interface for authoring your event or announcements which has been “designed to help you categorise and configure any kind of communication, that you wish to make about your game, including game updates, announcements, live-streams, community challenges, and any other kind of interesting activity happening in your game that you think your players would be interested in hearing about”. This editor also makes it easier to format the text of your description, embed YouTube videos, insert images, and to schedule announcements to go live at a future date.
Finally, there is a new image support tool, too. “All new events and announcements (except patch notes) now require a 800px x 450px “cover image” which will represent your event in lists, on your store page, community hub, and in the new library,” Valve concluded. “We’ve built a handy image resizer tool right into the workflow, so you don’t have to worry about having exactly the right size image.”