Tag Archives: Steam

Redesign (Abandoned) For Steam “Ambassador Pages”

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This redesign was only 10% complete before I abandoned it due to time constraints and other projects. It was suppose to be a full blown re-envisioning of Steam’s game pages (optimized for TV screens) which were going to be called “Ambassador Pages”. Basically, a universal profile (unofficial site) for a game that has everything from videos, demos, user submitted screenshots, reviews, forums, tips, faqs, and strategy guides accessible from one page. Sort of like what IGN and Gamespot have, only with Steam’s “add to cart” option to buy the game. This way Steam can use the pages to attract visitors and directly advertise the games for sale on Steam. Resulting in a win/win/win situation for fans, publishers, and Steam. Increasing traffic to Steam’s online store, creating a community around games, and increasing sales. read…

 

Redesigning Steam’s In-Game Overlay UI

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I actually think the current in-game overlay is decent but for me personally it’s too chaotic. Informative but messy. So here’s a few mockups of a redesign I was working on for a while. read…

 

Redesigning Steam’s Pre-Launch Messages

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Here’s a slicker, nicer looking pre launcher for Steam. I’ve optimized it for TV screens as well, and even mocked up what the error messages should look like. read…

 

Redesigning the Steam Client (Multiple Mockups)

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Just for fun, I made mockups of a redesigned Steam client that’s a little more friendly to navigate. I don’t think my version is any better visually, and keep in mind I don’t consider myself a graphic artist, but layout wise I really like it over the original. read…

 

Rebranding Steam For A More Casual Audience + Fun with Steam Logos

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Refusing to make games for casual gamers has cost the game industry billions in lost revenue. Even today (post FarmVille, post Nintendo Wii), hard core gamers and developers still use the term “casual gamer” as if it were an insult, as if they were a lower form of life not worth acknowledging. I think it’s because the type of people most likely to become game developers are hard core gamers themselves, who in turn end up making games for other hard core gamers, because that’s what they assume the market wants. Thus completely ignoring the casuals when statistically, casual gamers make up the majority of overall gamers. This is why masterpieces like Mass Effect and Gears of War will only sell a fraction of as many copies as casual games like Cooking Mama and Nintendogs. Let me remind you that there are more people that play “Casual Social Network Games” than the combined number of PS3s, Xbox 360s, and Nintendo Wiis sold worldwide. Even looking at console sales, see how featureful Microsoft’s and Sony’s consoles are? Yet Nintendo’s dinky little Wii console outsold them both. Why? Because it’s simple, friendly, and looks easy to play. Likewise, If Valve wants Steam in every household, it needs to be simpler, easier, and more casual friendly. read…

 

Re-Envisioning Steam As An All-in-One Digital Marketplace

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The digital store landscape is changing quickly and I’m worried for Steam. For now things are going great, but as video games reach mainstream appeal, more digital distributors like Apple and Amazon will want to sell games. Competition between digital distribution services fighting over the “All-in-One Media Marketplace” title will increase significantly. Already, Apple’s iPhone has surpassed Sony’s PSP in handheld gaming market share. Competitors like Games for Windows Live, GamersGate, GOG, GameTap, and games for the iphone & ipod have poped up over the years. Most importantly, Valve’s bigger competitors, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, have invested in enormously diverse digital stores that sell everything from music, movies, tv shows, books, and apps. And games are next. For Valve’s competition to create an all-in-one marketplace all they have to do is add one component to their store, video games, which they’ve already started doing. On the other hand if Valve wants to create the same all-in-one digital marketplace to compete and hold its ground it’s going to have to add numerous components that the competition already has and is experienced with. Hold its ground or branch out? I’d hate to have to make that decision, but lets pretend like Steam should and will branch out. read…

 

Redesign: A More Playful Informative Slideshow

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If you visit SteamPowered.com you’ll notice images of featured games on sale are shown in a slideshow. Normally I hate slideshows because they force users to look at content in a linear fashion without any thumbnail previews of all the slides that users can directly skip to. So today’s creative exercise is to make slideshows more eye catching, informative, and more likely to be flipped through. read…

 

Idea for Bringing Steam into the Living Room (no it’s not another set top box)

2 months ago I had a radical idea, which today I’ve learned Valve has already been working on. If it’s what I think it is, it will change everything. I don’t think the majority of people want another set top box like GoogleTV and AppleTV? And what if everyone was wrong about the PC dying out? I think the PC is just getting started and I’m sure Valve does too. Just 1 hour ago I read about Valve working on “Big Picture” mode for Steam which will allow Steam games and content to be played on any TV in the house. So they beat me to it. Damn, lol it would have looked amazing in my portfolio. I think we’re both talking about the same technology. Here’s my version anyway. read…

 

What a Difference Spacing Can Make: Redesigning Steam’s Spacing Issues

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Spacing is powerful, when it’s there you don’t notice it, when it’s gone something feels off. Every day when I load up Steam to play a game for a few minutes I’m overwhelmed by the hideous spacing issue in the Games Library list. The list of games has almost no spacing to the left of it, which gives it an awkward feel. Almost like the list is squished up against the left side. This lack of space keeps my eyes from comfortably scanning the first few letters of each game like I normally do and instead I have to fully read each title. I’ve noticed this over the months as my games list has grown. read…

 

Redesigning the Steam Friends List

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One thing that annoyed me about the friends list in Steam is that my username is included in the list of my friends. I am NOT my own friend. Also, I hate having to click those little tiny arrows next to my friends’ names so I can be given the option to send them a message, invite them to a game, join a game, etc… There were quiet a few things that bothered me, so I went ahead a made a mockup of how I’d like my friends list to look and function. A bit of simplicity and minimalism was lost in the process but a lot of functionality and usability were gained. In this particular case we swapped beauty for functionality. read…

 

Idea: Installation Feedback for Steam Games

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Everyone knows PC games are buggy, it’s hard to make a game run on millions of different computers that all have different components and software settings. In fact installing and troubleshooting them used to be such a pain in the ass that many gamers left the PC world and got into console gaming where the hardware’s all the same and there’s no installation problems. Then Steam came along and streamlined the download and installation process into a hands off approach which won over a lot of PC gamers, but there’s still show stopping hiccups. I’ve had problems with 4 of my Steam games before and I had to find solutions on my own. Not everyone’s going to be as patient and forgiving as I am. Most users are going to blame it on Steam and never use the service again. So we have to try to help them… read…