Like most companies, much of what Valve (the company behind the hugely popular Steam game store) tinkers with behind the scenes never sees the light of day. Concepts are born, torn apart and rebuilt, and sometimes tossed away without anyone outside the company ever seeing a hint of it.
Seems Valve is trying to change that, giving users an opportunity to provide feedback on potential new features before they’re fully baked. The company has just debuted a new project it calls “Steam Labs”, which will give super-early adopters an early peek at concepts that may or may not eventually make it into Valve’s Steam game store.
You can find the new Labs page right here.
The first three “experiments” are all focused around helping users find new games:
Valve is quick to point out that all of these experiments are just that — there’s no promising that any of the stuff that hits the Labs will make it all the way to the official client. They also say that even “Steam Labs is itself an experiment”, which will probably change and evolve a bunch over time. If you particularly like/dislike a feature, Valve’s also put up a forum for user comments and suggestions.
Now if someone at Valve could go ahead and classify Half Life 3 as a Steam experiment and give us a look into what the hell is going on there, that’d be great.