The Best Answers From Gabe Newell's Reddit AMA Session
The lengthy session, titled "WeAreA videogame developer AUA!," revealed a lot regarding the company's latest decisions and future plans. Unfortunately, nothing was revealed regarding Half Life 3.
Some of the most important questions include:
What improvements will we see out of the Source 2 engine?
"The biggest improvements will be in increasing productivity of content creation. That focus is driven by the importance we see UGC having going forward. A professional developer at Valve will put up with a lot of pain that won't work if users themselves have to create content."
Does Valve have any plans to turn Source or Source 2 into a more user-friendly development system with a C++ API as well as easy tools and release it early to give VR developers a headstart?
"Alex Vlachos is working on this now (getting Source 2 working well with VR) ... [but] we aren't
holding any game until VR is shipping. You don't want to create that kind of dependency."
We haven't heard any more about lower cost Steam Boxes for streaming from existing hardware. Is that something that's still on the agenda?
"Yes. We're making some progress."
Is it possible for some sort of integration with services like Pandora and Spotify, in the future? I don't have a music library, per se, and mostly just use internet radio, so it'd be great if I didn't have to alt tab to change stations or skip songs. Could this happen?
"Yes, we've got some things in the works that we think you'll like."
What do you think your core target market is, the desktop, pc gamer, or the living room console player?
"We see Steam Machines (along with SteamOS and the Steam Controller) as a service update to Steam, porting the experience to a new room in the house. As we've been working on it, we've focused first on the customers who already love Steam and its games. They've told us they're tired of giving up all the stuff they love when they sit in the living room, so it seemed valuable to fix that."
Looking back to 2003, what were your (and Valves) goals and visions for Steam back then, and did it turn out as planned? Also, What is your vision for the Steam platform and PC gaming over the next ten years?
"I'm not trying to dodge the question, but we find it more useful to think in terms of feedback loops than in terms of visions/goals. Iterating with the community means that your near-term objectives change all the time. The key benefit to Steam is to shorten the length of the loop. Longer term, we see that working at the level of individual gamers, where we think of everyone as creating and publishing experience.
"How can we make gamers more productive" sounds weird, but is an accurate way to characterize where we're going. It may make more sense if you think of it as "How can we make Dendi more entertaining to more people."