Valve announces “Steam Guides," gamers yawn

Valve has been doing a good job of trying to expand their reach, especially with the release of “Big Picture,” their attempt at getting PC gaming into the living room. With each new update, Steam becomes a better platform for PC gaming.

Today the company announced “Steam Guides,” dubbing it, “player-created manuals & references.” The idea is that it gives gamers a central location to get instructions, hints, tips, and walkthroughs, all within the Steam platform. Other gamers rate the guides, with higher rated works featured more prominently in the framework. The guides were available to beta users last month, but have just now become available to everyone.

Gamers access the guides through the Community hub of Steam as a new tab. Many of the guides are currently text based, but some people have begun to upload video demonstrations which some may find more helpful. Unlike a wiki, each entry is editable only by the original author. This is both a positive and a negative to the offering.

While we really like the Steam platform as a whole, we don’t really see the advantage to having game guides built in. The Internet is already full of sites that give gamers this type of access, both as wikis as well as on general gaming sites. The only reason we can see for the existence of this feature is for gamers who use this in their living room; but with more and more people using smartphones and tablets while they game, we don’t really see this being used very often.

Source: Steam

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22 Comments

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ArialBlue said,
Steam is becoming such bloatware. Social features. guides, console mode, etc.

The change to the community pages made me stop using anything except the store page and sometimes the forums. Shame we have to manually go to the forum section now because the store pages link to the terrible 'discussion' area. If I want Facebook, I'll go to Facebook. The community area basically turned into Steambook.

As for the client; oh yeah. It uses 200MB RAM starting up, takes at least 15 seconds to 'login' (mostly caused by having a large game list and many games installed), and the current folder size for the client itself (no cloud data) is 300MB.

Bloat is becoming an understatement.

I haven't even mentioned the mess Big Picture Mode update caused for people who used symlinks (like me). In the end, I had to reinstall my entire game library to fix it; all due to a terrible mode only a handfull of people would ever use. Should've been a plugin..

Sometime i'm wondering how old is the PC of some people here. Or how old the user using it is ...

Cause my pc is over 3yo and Steam login instantly. And it takes around 27MB of ram on a cold boot. It curently takes 65MB of ram and my PC has not been rebooted for the last 3 days. Explorer takes 46MB. IE around 198MB. dwm 41MB.

65MB in 2013 after 3 days without a reboot and playing some games via steam is actually okay as far as im concerned. This is around 1.5% of my total amount of ram. Big deal ...

Steam is fine. It's a great tool that is not bloated at all unless you're running a 486dx2 with 8MB of ram. Dont forget to press that turbo button bro so you're not running your comp at 33 mhz instead of 66 mhz...

LaP said,
Sometime i'm wondering how old is the PC of some people here. Or how old the user using it is ...

Cause my pc is over 3yo and Steam login instantly. And it takes around 27MB of ram on a cold boot. It curently takes 65MB of ram and my PC has not been rebooted for the last 3 days. Explorer takes 46MB. IE around 198MB. dwm 41MB.

65MB in 2013 after 3 days without a reboot and playing some games via steam is actually okay as far as im concerned. This is around 1.5% of my total amount of ram. Big deal ...

Steam is fine. It's a great tool that is not bloated at all unless you're running a 486dx2 with 8MB of ram. Dont forget to press that turbo button bro so you're not running your comp at 33 mhz instead of 66 mhz...

your numbers are baloney

the forums are now marked to deprecation, they want everyone to jump in their social bandwagon, doesn't matter if its ineffective or bloat

This feature is pretty big news, especially in the context of Dota 2 which is likely responsible for the system's existence in the first place.

While we really like the Steam platform as a whole, we don't really see the advantage to having game guides built in.

You're kidding right ? Are you serious ? Really ?

I used gamefaqs many time when i was younger and still playing game specially while replaying Baldur's Gate 2. When i was a kid and there was no internet i used the magazine Tilt to finish games like Manhunter: New York. This is a great addition. Having this built-in with Steam is really a great idea. Now if the games were harder instead than longer. I just can't afford to spend 100 hours playing an easy game where the main challenge is to keep the interest for so many hours ...

I guess I wasn't speaking for all gamers... That said, why would you use the user-generated, static guides that are built into Steam rather than just using Wikia, or an IGN walkthrough or something?

Fezmid said,
I guess I wasn't speaking for all gamers... That said, why would you use the user-generated, static guides that are built into Steam rather than just using Wikia, or an IGN walkthrough or something?

Well of course the ones found elsewehere are as great.

I may have misunderstood the article though. At first i tought the author meant user created guides were not useful at all.

But i still think it's a great idea to have it built in with Steam. Origin is getting better but the the information page about games is a place Steam is still far better. With Origin you just have a small description of the game and some screenshots. With Steam you pretty much get all the informations you would on a site like Gamespot or IGN. I personally think it's great and user generated guide is a good new addition to this content.

Nope - user created content is great (especially game sites on Wikia), I just don't see an advantage to bundling it within Steam. Many comments here seem to think otherwise, so time will tell.

Still since 2003, no complaints about steam coming from me. Usabilty 6/10 , Performance 9/10? No issues there, maybe on older hardware i suppose. I would like the old steam look back from 2005 haha.

this would be nice and all if .. you know .. the steam client didn't take a century and a half to load its own content/web pages.
and the in game browser isn't much better.
seriously Valve, you need to optimize this ****, it's getting worse with each update now

Yes, I am of a like opinion here. Steam has always been a Steamy pile o **** when it comes to usability and performance. Valve needs to clean it up more than add features at this point. Ever since the 2011 update, it has been terrible! Locking up for no reason, taking 10000000000's of hours to load on a slow connection (given that it downloads like 20 mb every startup).

You answered your own question in 2 sentences : "..we don't really see the advantage to having game guides built in. The Internet is already full of sites that give gamers this type of access.."

You now won't need to search about for the guide cos it'll be there with your game. Is that the royal "we" by the way?

Who are these gamers exactly who are yawning? I know you are just stating your own opinion here, but my opinion is that way more gamers would be using this than you obviously think will. I'm not saying it's going to be the next big thing, but it's also not a useless feature that Valve just decided to tack unto Steam.

Really? As a gamer, I just don't see a use for it, but maybe I'll be proven wrong - I guess it will depend on the quality of them versus the quality of other sites.

Well quality will certainly be an issue I'm sure. But having a built in thing where you can get a guide to a game you are currently stuck in or whatever, is a pretty neat idea. Of course one could open the in game browser, or simply minimize the game or close the game to read a guide to.

But you know, stuff

I know neowin is far from professional but I actually didn't yawn, it'd be an interesting way to look at your game like the way instructional manuals use to exist.