It’s relatively easy to become metaphorically lost in the sauce when you’re a small indie developer looking to elbow into crowded platforms in the modern era; your marketing budget is small enough to possibly purchase your developer team lunch, you have next to zero fans aside from what you’ve been able to generate organically through social media, and figuring out how you’re going to walk the fine line between cult-classic and non-existent is more than enough to keep them up at night.
Take into account how many titles there are on Steam alone (well over 23,000 in 2019 alone, with more releasing every day), it can be a scary prospect.
So while Valve has continued their endeavors at bringing PC gaming more affordable and approachable for fans around the world, they’re also consistently facing a gargantuan task: get titles to appear to interested parties regardless of how many people have already seen it or purchased it.
This alone is taxing: when you take titles such as Tales of Maj’Eyal and the Siralim franchise that offer hundreds of hours of complex RPG combat and somehow don’t get noticed by anyone, while other titles somehow sit readily in the limelight through little effort on the platform, the frustrating endeavor becomes an infuriating mountain to climb.
Since you're waiting for Cyberpunk to download and for the Steam servers to un-melt, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE GREATEST POTENTIAL CHANGE TO STEAM DISCOVERY IN RECENT HISTORY THAT JUST CASUALLY DROPPED FIVE MINUTES AGO
— Lars "Sweet Leaf" Doucet (@larsiusprime) December 10, 2020
Enter Steam Experiment 010: Browsing Steam.
Valve has taken their standard categories and exploded them into genres, themes, and modes to help curious players find the next title that speaks to their very soul to find the next hidden gem of the library.
Whether you’re searching for hidden gems of action-roguelikes or looking to dive into something with cooperative play with a close friend, Steam has made the ability to scour all of their titles far easier, and they’re readily asking Steam users to offer their two cents to make the experiment more viable.
Searching through results is relatively easy as well, although it could be argued that this was similarly conducted in a more engaging manner with Steam Experiment 004: Search Query Expansion (which has recently received an interesting update as well).
Yet while 004 offered in-depth searching, this could perhaps be a more readily available function as it presents results in ways that Steam users are used to rather than the relative RNG feeling that 004 offered.
To opt into participating, simply click on the ‘Labs’ header on the Steam store page, find experiment 010, and opt-in: it will bring you back to the store page with little warning. Now, however, when you click on categories, you’ll find a much larger selection to peruse without deep-diving into the database.
Happy hunting, gamers.