The Steam Review

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

Friends relaunching soon?

January 11th, 2006 :: Steam updates :: 10 Responses

Gabe Newell has updated his FAQ at the Valve Developer Community. Among the questions answered is one on the Friends Network’s availability. The response:

“John Cook is finishing this up now.”

A few months ago the Friends window began reporting a unique ‘FN#’ for each account, and with a bit of ingenuity you can already sign in and out of the system, change your username, and allegedly even add contacts and hear when they sign on. People who monitor that sort of thing are also reporting that they are getting network traffic through the Friends port, even without doing any of the above tricks. It seems that the wait for in-game chat is almost over!


10 Responses to this post:

  1. Garry Says:


    I hope they release an SDK for the friends games. They were great time wasters.

  2. ironclad Says:

    Do you think that friends will come with the transition to 3.0?

    If they release the friend’s games sdk, I am definetly going to write a backgammon game. That would be so fun.

  3. Garry Says:

    I want to make a connect 4 game with a massive board and more than 2 players.

  4. Wizpig64 Says:

    I think backgammon is already included. *Checks website* Hmm. they must have removed the Friends part of the site since I saw it. But i definetly remember seeing a small thumbnail of backgammon.

    (Make Wheel of Fortune! or Mini-Golf!)

  5. ironclad Says:

    Monopoly FTW!

    Let the lawyers just try and stop us!

  6. mupet0000 Says:

    Cant wait for steam to update and for Freinds to be working again.

    I’ve never seen it in action but damn, it sounds pretty great!

  7. Anders Says:

    I wonder why it has been down for so long.

  8. Tom Edwards Says:

    Something to do with Steam’s current UDP connection model. It drops the connection when there’s nothing going on, which is sensible enough when it comes to downloading content but does no favours for a chat client.

    Something along those lines, anyway. Steam and Friends 3.0 are switching to TCP and a ‘persistent session’.

  9. DogGunn Says:

    Hmm, very weird. Thanks for the heads up.

  10. Andrew Simpson Says:

    UDP doesn’t really have a connection model, which is kinda the problem, you have to do it yourself. God knows why they implemented Steam with UDP in the first place – UDP makes sense when you need low overhead, if all you need is raw throughput, but no certainty the message will ever get there. So it’s great for game servers and streaming media and such, and query packets, things like that.

    But for a chat and downloading, it makes zero sense.