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.