On…Steam Trading Cards and Gamification

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So those of us who avidly waited for the Steam summer sales and picked up a bunch of titles that we may or may never play, you might have noticed a new little feature: Steam Trading Cards. At first, I was utterly perplexed as to why I should care about it. Reading the Steam faqs, I was told that you got new trading cards from playing games and from buying games, and that if you collected a whole set, you could craft it into a badge. You can also earn emoticons, background images for your profile and possibly discount vouchers. I mean, whoop-de-doo, I have never been one to care about my Steam profile; I only vaguely remember noticing I had a Steam level bar when I first joined up. So what was in it for me?

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On…Steam

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For many PC gamers, games for PC have become synonymous with Steam. Valve’s digital distribution system is by far the biggest player in the PC gaming market; so entrenched is the use of Steam that we rarely step back and examine it. Yet, with every discussion that crops up about how terrible Origin is or Games for Windows Live or even with the recent catastrophe that was the original Xbox One statement (now rescinded), I can’t help but wonder, why aren’t we scrutinising Steam in the same way? Today I want to talk about the less discussed aspects of Steam, and why as consumers, we should be more aware of what we’re buying into and how our economic decisions affect the industry.

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On…PC Games I Couldn’t Finish

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As I’m browsing my Steam library looking for a game to review, I quickly realised that there’s a whole category of games which I started but for whatever reason, could not finish. So because I’m rather pressed for time, I thought I’d do a short blog post dedicated to all those games which remain uncompleted in my library. Of course, based on the fact that I haven’t completed them, these aren’t full reviews and should not be taken that way. They’re more first impressions, I suppose, or in some cases, just reasons why I couldn’t finish them. I haven’t necessarily abandoned these games because they’re bad or unplayable, but oftentimes, I just don’t have the time or I wasn’t engaged enough to see them through or they’re in a genre which I don’t particularly like. In fact, many of these games were well received in general and I can definitely see how I could be wrong in my assessment. Perhaps the best parts of the games are still ahead, and if that’s the case, then I strongly urge you to correct me in my ways and to message me about them and I’ll try and give them another go. I’ll put down how much time I’ve spent on them based on my Steam stats, so you can get a rough idea of how far I got. I’ll also explain why I didn’t like them enough to finish them, so if you vehemently disagree, feel free to drop me a comment!

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On…Don’t Starve

Recently greenlit on Steam, the full release of this game came out only a month ago. Before that, it was offering a cheaper beta version with regular updates every 2 – 4 weeks. I picked it up for £8 back in beta, and for that price I got two Steam keys and two Chrome keys as well. A few notes on technical stuff before I delve into the gameplay. It was the first time I’ve ever used a Chrome app but it worked pretty well. I couldn’t get the Steam version to work for the longest time, but when it made the jump to full release, I decided to try it on Steam. It makes a world of difference; things were prettier, more sharply defined, and ran a lot smoother with no lag. I definitely recommend playing on the Steam version over the Chrome version, but if you’ve only got Chrome handy, then that version is perfectly adequate.

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