Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in , | 0 comments

Disclaimer:  I have no affiliation to the great team at Valve/Steam.  This is just an exercise in interface design using a platform I am grateful for.

This is a concept I had for a virtual or actual “LAN” (Local Area Network) gaming party, facilitated by the Steam™ digital distribution platform.  You can view the high resolution final version here.

Steam™  Train  - Lets Play Something

Steam, an online entertainment platform, acts as a central hub for the storage of personal game libraries, an online game store, and community tools for gamers. While beloved by present day gamers it lacks a means of efficiently creating a play session among friends with a variety of games and setups. The assumption is that the audience for this application are those gamers who care not what they play but whom they are playing with. Take a group of 5 friends who meet in person or online virtually for play session; if 4 of the 5 players owns Game X that game will be off the playlist for the sake of not leaving the 5th friend out. If you have ever been to a LAN Party, trying to choose a game that everyone can play can be almost as cumbersome as getting everyone set up. Sifting through massive game collections for a common game, which is also installed, has multiplayer, and is something that everyone wants to play are all common issues. Enter Steam™  Train, my suggested solution…

Steam™Train would be an addition to the  Steam™  platform that would allow users to join or be invited to a group for the purpose of selecting a common game to play. Once multiple users have entered the party common games will be displayed in a familiar format. The users can then select games from the list of common games that they wouldn’t mind playing. Once agreed the game launches. There will be a lot of useful filters to make the selection process a lot more efficient.  For instance,  gamers on a budget may include all free-to-play games,  which have no barrier to entry, barring installation.  It is the ultimate goal of this proposed solution to go from “hey guys, I have a few hours to kill, wanna play something?” to quickly selecting and launching a game that leaves no man behind.  Suggestions to improving the designare always welcome.

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