We are right in the middle of the Steam Summer sale. Without a mini game or flash sales, the event feels pretty tame. You can earn up to three cards for the summer sale badge by browsing your discovery queue each day. Steam has a new feature that allows you to customize your queue but I think it could do more.
The current options available allow you to include early access products, software (non-games), and unreleased products. You can also add tags to be excluded. This relies upon the community consistently and accurately tagging games so that you will find games that interest you and not waste your time looking at products that do not.
For my preference, I unticked each of the three types of content so that I am not shown Early Access products, non-games, or pre-orders.
After browsing a queue several times and looking at the store page for games, I came up with five other data points that should be available for customizing your queues. As you browse through your queue, it will tell you why the game was chosen for you such as being popular, on sale, or to see if you would be interested.
- User reviews – You should be able to set a minimum review level. I’m not sure why, in a normal world, I would be shown a game with ‘overwhelmingly negative’ reviews. The ability to set a minimum review on the game would filter out the duds, even if they are on sale or in the same genre as my favorites.
- Release date – In my browsing recently, I have been shown games from 2001 and 1997. Even if the game is dirt cheap, I don’t think I need to see games from almost two decades ago.
- Platform – Windows, Mac, Linux, Steam OS, VR. If I don’t have the platform, don’t bother showing me games for it. I’m not going to rush out to create a platform for a single game.
- Game features – Rather than relying on a tag for single player or multi-player, I should just be able to go with the more official information.
- 3rd party accounts – Some people have strong opinions about not wanting to be forced to use third-party accounts like Ubisoft’s Uplay or Microsoft’s Games for Windows. For those people, they should be able to filter these games out from the queue.
A 6th bonus recommendation might be to show me games that my friends have reviewed or have on their wishlist.
The discovery queue is not something I use regularly but with the new customizations, I might use it more often. With further customization, I might use it regularly to find new games to play.