The Steam Review

Comment and discussion on Valve Software’s digital communications platform.

Steam Community screens and date

Quiet announcement at low-key event :: June 19th, 2007 :: Steam Community :: 49 Responses
Steam Community control panel
Steam Community clan page
The control panel (top), and part of a clan page.

Gabe Newell gave a presentation at the Showdown LAN event the other day (thanks Greg), which seems to have focused on the Steam Community. Fortunately for us someone had a camera, but don’t get too excited: there’s nothing particularly remarkable yet. There are surprises, like global voice support handled by Steam itself and support for external games, but otherwise it’s what you might expect from a post-Xbox Live community system.

Gabe’s release estimate is this summer July, before the launch of Team Fortress 2 and the Orange Box.

Gabe’s slides

The “Steam Identity”

Create Profile and Home page
Control Panel
Public versus private
Real-time status
Revamped all the communications function to make it easier to play with your friends
Find a friend
See who’s online or playing
Invite Friends to chat or play
Join a friend’s game


Instant Messaging, integrated voice (finally), and chat rooms
Works with non-Steam games


Join or create new groups
Scheduling/Organizing tournaments and matches

49 Responses to this post:


  1. ironclad Says:

    The statistics is going to be a big plus, I wonder how easy it will be to integrate them into other games.

    But I believe it will have more depth and breadth then Xbox live. Can’t wait for more news on this.

  2. Tom Edwards Says:

    I wonder is Geometry Wars will get integrated. That’d be cheeky. 😛

  3. hyperslug Says:

    This sounds AWSOME! i love steam, and geometry wars is great by the way, best 2 bucks i ever spend

  4. Doug L Says:

    Holy crap! This is going to be a BIG change and is going to make Steam SO much better! Can’t wait for this update!

  5. Abjure Says:
    So now there are 5 games in one box? So far all I can think of right now is:

    Half-Life 2: Episode Two
    Team Fortress 2
    Left 4 Dead?

    Hmm, I wonder what the fifth will be.

  6. mickiscoole Says:

    Ep 2
    Half life 2
    Episode 1

    Left 4 dead isn’t one of them

  7. Abjure Says:

    Oh right, I keep thinking this is still the Black Box. My bad.

  8. Gordon Frohm Says:

    Sounds cool…

  9. Kaneth Says:

    Can’t Wait!

  10. Tom Edwards Says:

    Press release just went out with a more precise date. It’s July, perhaps coinciding with the end of win98/me support on June 30th?

  11. Alex Says:

    The community groups/tourneys thing sounds really useful.

  12. Tom Edwards Says:

    Forum integration. They aren’t doing things by halves. 🙂

  13. Naurgul Says:

    Sorry to disagree with you, but the avatars weren’t turned off because of the upcoming Community Features. I’d love the forums to be merged with the Steam Community and it’s probable that it will happen. But we don’t have any indication of that for now, I’m afraid.

  14. Tom Edwards Says:

    So what happened? You say there was a discussion in the StarForce thread, but I searched the one on the Trackmania forum and didn’t pick anything up.

  15. Naurgul Says:

    Well, many members of the translation team participated in that thread and (supposedly; never noticed anything like that myself) there was an issue with them being confused as Valve employees. The situation was noticed by Valve’s lawyer and avatars were removed for members of the translation team. Then, it was decided that the same measure should apply to all avatars.

    The return of the avatars PatrickM states will be a single design for each of the classes of members (translators, FAQ reviewers, 10k posters; I don’t know what will happen with moderators though) that used to have an avatar.

    But still, I don’t really know what’s going on internally in Valve and it seems logical to assume that the community forums will be merged with Steam’s new community features at some point. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  16. Greg Says:

    I cannot see the forums being merged with the new Community myself…to be quite honest.

  17. No Bic Says:

    I don’t see how the forums might be merged with the steam community either. but it would be helpfull though.

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