7 Things I wish Steam would allow me to do – The 7 Series

20th April 2012

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I love Steam. Really, even from the beginning and Valve are always updating and improving it but I just wish I could sit down with the guy/gal or team behind the user experience and chat with them.

I am sure they know how much more it could be and they have a planned improvement programme but I just want to have a few things now.

So, here are 7 Things I wish Steam would allow me to do.

Don’t forget to add your own in the comments.

Number Seven: Let mods use the images in the Library like games
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Yes, I know that’s not exactly groundbreaking but for a company that claims they support their community how hard can it be to do?

The same goes for when you click on a game: you get the background and links etc.

Just release a format that modders must follow and allow them to make their mods look professional.


Number Six: Leave messages for people offline
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I suppose I could comment on their profile and with a recent Steam update it seems that you get notifications about those, but that’s public.

Why can’t I leave a message for somebody when they are offline that they receive once they come online.

I reckon I would use that more than email.

Number Five: Merge Steam with websites
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Some way to plugin a website and its content.

Imagine if I could use Steam Friends/Groups as a frontend to PP, how cool would that be?

I don’t really know what I want from that but just as a concept it could be interesting. Now imagine linking MapTap to Steam and that would really rock.

Number Four: Circles, groups or blocks
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Now, I am not a Facebook user or a big Google+ user either, but the ability to group different Steam Friends into circles or whatever you want to call them, would be a good idea. That way I could share stuff with my close friends.

I know we have Steam Groups but those are different.

There are so many things this could be applied to.

For example, when playing a game I could be interrupted but one group but not another.

Number Three: Set a Friends name.
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I don’t know how many times my Steam friends change their name and profile image and I have no idea who they are. It matters most when I am looking for somebody specific to chat with.

That’s like people telling people they have changed their postal address but having the post redirected to the same one.

Can you image this happening in real life, with names and faces. Wow, what fun we would have in the street.

Number Two: Give games away.
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Imagine I buy a game and I start playing it and hate it. Before DRM, people gave stuff away. Now, we are stuck with it and I think that is wrong.

I would like to be able to give games away, NOT trade, just give away if I have played a game for less than a set period, whether that is in time or percentage.

The game would tell me when I am close to that limit so I can decide.

Ultimately, I, and I believe gamers, will buy less games if they are unsure of the quality. Not all games come with demos, so some recognition by Valve that sometimes we make mistakes would be nice.

Perhaps limit the number of times people can do this, to say 5.

Of course, a game can only be given away ONCE. Otherwise people would just pass it around to their friends.

Number One: Stop friends seeing what I am playing
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I want to be online because I want to chat with friends and answer questions about MapTap but I don’t always want them to know what I am playing.

Maybe I am testing a mod or maybe it’s just none of their business. Either way, I should have the choice.


  1. Mu6o

    Yeah, there are some great ideas, but I wanna see in Steam weekly contests for games, doesn’t matter what they are, like Steam Summer Camp and etc.

    1. fdsfdsfds

      I want to be able to delete someone completely without them knowing it.

  2. AI

    The thing that IRKS me the most with Steam is when you register a game with them, you can’t unregister the srl# to be able to give it to someone else!! That sucks bigtime!!

  3. Daz

    I would love to see Steam Workshop integration for mod authors of the Half-Life / 2 / episodes games. I’m slightly surprised it’s not been done already really.

    Also, being able to store your mod files on the steam servers would be fantastic! I’ve lost count of how many broken links I’ve come across in all my gaming years that steam could solve quite easily by hosting files on it’s servers.

    Being able to recommend mods as well as games through the steam service would be an added plus. This kind of feeds back into Phillips suggestion of allowing mods to present themselves like games in the Steam interface. Ideally there would be a 1:1 parity between how games present themselves and how mods present themselves.

  4. I want Number 1 so damn badly. I don’t want to spam people on my friends list with messages every time a newly installed game needs to restart for settings to take effect or if I’m troubleshooting a crashing problem and need to keep starting the game to see if I’ve fixed it.

  5. Dias

    When I don’t want people to see what game I’m playing, I simply set friends to say I’m offline.

    1. So do I, but what if I want some people to see what I am playing but not others?

      1. Dias

        Good question.

  6. keywc

    Valve can hide what they are playing/working on, so why can’t we ?
    Also, my number 1 is disabling group notifications for some groups that I want to be in, but that constantly spam.

  7. Jim Partridge

    I want a seperate Steam chat client!
    Why do I have to have Steam open to use the chat. Grrr.

    I also want to stop all of this silly, to play a mod you have to restart Steam business.

    I agree with number 7 here the most.

  8. 2muchvideogames

    Wouldn’t game demos solve the #2 problem? When you try out a game and quickly find that you don’t like it, that is. The demo fulfills that purpose well, but it is true that not all games have demos

  9. Dysprogue

    Game trials as standard may be a better solution to letting players give items away, we know steam has weekend trials for games you could have a one hour trial (maybe less depending on the type of game) The problem with allowing people to give away games is that it’s not in the developers interest to do so and Steam has to appeal to the developers in order to be profitable.

    Also more privacy controls would be good, I don’t want people to know how much time I spend playing games, I know it’s probably too much I don’t need everyone else knowing that lol.

  10. These are all good, but one thing that I’d really really like would be a volume bar for steam videos.

    Maybe then I’d watch videos on the steam store.

  11. Grey Acumen

    #7 YES. there is no excuse for the lack of support here, and for someone who has had more mods than games at one point, this was outright damaging for me. Hell, it used to be that mods could at least include an icon that would display next to the game list, now that only seems to show up in small mode, and I’m guessing many mods don’t bother including one anymore because of that.
    Daz’s point of recommending mods is also good, but it would be incredibly difficult, since Steam can’t guarantee a player’s ability to access a mod, nor that a mod that three different players recommended were even the same actual mod, since they might have played at different revisions that were practically different games.

    #6 LATE. (sortof) this already exists on steam mobile. You can continue to send and receive messages if you happen to go offline, and they’ll be received/sent when you reconnect. Same damn thing should be possible for the non-mobile version of steam. I mean, what the hell?

    #5 NO. I’m going to have to say no to this. a link is fine, but I don’t really think people should be attaching websites to groups and whatnot. That could just lead to serious abuse by spam and other stuff.

    #4 YES. The same way I can sort games, I’d like to be able to sort friends. Like “these are the people who are good for coop stuff” “these are people in my same timezone” “these are people who actually have freetime that matches up with mine” “these are people who I know personally” etc.
    KeyWC’s point kinda fits here, and I also agree. I don’t join groups particularly for that reason.

    #3 OH GOD YES. Also keep some sort of “joint gaming history” that is only accessible by those two people so that you can see what games you’ve played together. I can’t even count the number of people in my friends list that I damn well can’t remember how I met them, and the name changing thing just pisses me right off. Even with name history, that crap gets old.

    #2 NO. Sorry, but I do believe that with Demos and other stuff, you should either prepare more beforehand, or accept the loss if the game turns out to be bad.
    Dysprogue offers a nice counteroffer here. Just basically have the ability for players to access any game for an hour. Unfortuantely this would take an exorbitant amount of effort to keep from being easily exploited.

    #1 YES. I know steam will never do this though. Seeing your friends constantly playing a game is probably the single biggest motivator for a person on steam to buy a game. Being able to take that motivator away just isn’t going to happen. I do still wish I could talk to a friend and not immediately have them know if I’m actually playing a game and have them think I’m brushing them off when I say I don’t have time to join them in a Team Deathmatch or some bullshit that is going to take more time or concentration than the game you’re currently dicking around on.

    Stoopdapoop’s point is so simple that it’s astonding it hasn’t already been done. A lot of this can be solved with Windows Vista or higher, since it offers a volume control that lets you alter separate applications individually.

    That being said, this is my list:

    Seriously, I just have a lot of different ways I’d like to sort things that would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to choose between labeling Half Life a “sci fi” game or an FPS. Sometimes I’m in a mod to play a certain control style, and sometimes I’m in a mood for a certain type of world content, and sometimes I’m in a mood for a certain level of plot complexity.
    With multiple categories, you should be able to filter them individually instead of just searching. Then if I knew I wasn’t in the mood for a scifi game, I could just filter out the scifi stuff.

    as a bit of trivia, the download links being recognized as .txt issue that steam has seems to be the same problem that my mobile browser has with certain downloads. Not sure what that means exactly, but if it was dealt with, it would open a lot of opportunities. Otherwise they might as well just not bother and allow them to use steam’s browser as a wrapper for running firefox and chrome.

    This is similar to PP’s #2 entry of being able to give away a game you don’t like, but the subtleties and arbitrary cutoff points just annoy the heck out of me. Instead I think the bigger crime is that if you have a game, and want to buy a bundle, you can’t gift that game you already have to a friend except in very specific circumstances. If you own a game, and then you buy a bundle that includes that game, it should be able to be sent to a friend.
    You paid for it, and then you paid for it again when you bought the bundle. the company that made the game is getting paid fairly, and also getting their game sent to someone who might have otherwise not considered trying their game, which is one more person who might also choose to get the bundle late and pass that game on to a new potential customer. If anything, the company benefits even more than the consumer, but the consumer still benefits where it matters to them (not wasting money and getting good deals)
    Of course, the one hitch to this is that if you get a bundle, and then you get a bundle that includes games from the first bundle, that shouldn’t necessarily allow you to gift only specific games from the bundle. Instead you may only have the option to gift the entire bundle (or not at all, if you’re purchasing a bundle that only has partial overlap with the bundle you already own) but the game sale page should give you the full breakdown before you purchase it. Some bundles, especially indie bundles might choose to have some games inseparable, while others are separable and can be gifted individually if you get a bundle later that includes them.

    1. #5 NO. I’m going to have to say no to this. a link is fine, but I don’t really think people should be attaching websites to groups and whatnot. That could just lead to serious abuse by spam and other stuff.

      I think you have misunderstood my idea. I am talking about allowing users to configure external content through steam, a little like how you can configure your Google homepage.

      Users would have to explicitly request information and there would be no “spam” involved. Imagine getting SP maps and mods visible in your library. Clicking the link would display content from PP in a similar way that an installed mod does.

      Just basically have the ability for players to access any game for an hour.

      That’s more or less what I suggested in my post – a limited time.

  12. CC

    A p2p file transfer function on steam chat.

    1. Yes, that’s a good idea.

      1. CC

        I wonder why it isn’t there…

  13. AlterIWnet

    I hate steam but I had no choice but install it to make my favorite hl2 mods to work.
    Yet having some free games like hl2dm, tf2 and some others do makes me hate it lesser LoL!
    Also tnc god it doesn’t kills mods anymore when ever it updates itself.

  14. galocza

    my list:
    – like many people, I have bought portal2 and still cant play it. a file always fails verification and redownloaded. its a steam problem, very annoying, affect quite a lot of people. and valve wont fix a problem that involves their new, multiple goty award winning flagship game.
    – my steam stucks in after coming back from sleep mode every two times of 3. only terminating it in task manager and restarting helps. not a unique problem either, others have the same glitch too.
    – id like to rename the games in my list, and arrange them according to my system, not valves. I know half-life wasnt called half-life 1, but it would look much neater that way – at least for me. I could also arrange expansions chronologically (like gamex, exp1 namey, gamex exp2 namez). or ive got monkey island 1 (the secret of the monkey island, under letter s) and monkey island 2 (monkey island 2, under letter m). I always find the one im not looking for (i know theres a search feature, still).
    – I would also like a more refined, maybe multi-level privacy settings system. id like to set, which “friends” can see what im playing, how much have I played or initiate a chat with me or eves see what am I doing.
    – it would be nice to have some kind of “expiring friendship” system. there are people on my friends list who I dont even know who are. people I gave guest passes (eg here at the forum), or ex clan members ive never met, chatted or played with. ok, im stupid. I should just delete them. but maybe im not the only one who dont want to hurt peoples feelings by giving them a steam system message with “xy refused your friendship” (i dont actually know what the message is). so id like if every “friendship” would have to be renewed say every 6 months. if I “let it die” this way its still not that insulting that initiating the process.
    – I wish steam would be that resource friendly as was when it started. the storage, memory consumption grow and I dont know why, there arent that many new features.
    + I also find points 1-3, 6 from phillips list important. of course we will never be able to gift our games, publishers try to fight the appearance of used games in the market in every possible way, and valve never had to worry about that and wont lose money because of this if not necessary (and for them it isnt).

  15. TheMe

    Install games from DVD, God damn it, I’m downloading a huge game right now, I needed my disc only becouse it’s a serial number on it.

  16. A

    Considering some well known indies games that are on steam make the leap to the mobile platform, I would love to have steam mobile games for the ones i’ve bought on pc and are now available on mobile ie, P vs Z , osmos etc. since I do not want to buy them twice. If it had steam cloud that would be ideal. Valve if you see this please please do it!

  17. Lukas

    As for as I know modders can add their own images and icons to thier mods for steam, but I def want #6, would be so nice

    1. They can add their own icons but not background images. Remember, I’m not talking about within the mod, but within the Steam Library. Select a game and then select a mod. Look at the difference. Would be cool if modders could make their mods look better in this regard.

  18. Entheogen666

    #7 LOL you CAN do that, all you have to do is update to Steam Beta and you can easily change images for all game banners (I have done this for all my non-steam games). As far as #1 goes, just set your status to “offline”, you can still play games as normal but you do not appear online. for #2 seriously? almost 99% of the games I buy on steam are like less than 5 bucks, nearly all less than 10. The low price comes with strings, if you want to trade games play on a console, pay more for physical copies you have control over.

    1. Yes, you can do number 7 now, but not when I wrote the article. And still not properly because I wasn’t just talking about the grid view images, but also the background image in detailed view.

      I don#t want to set my status to offline. What if I need to talk to some people but not others. Blanket solutions like that are generally useless, because they don’t address a specific reason.

      Yes, I’m serious for number 2. Believe it or not, not everybody is like you and some spend a lot more than $5 on games and feel they have a right to give them away. The price is not the point. I should be able to do it whether the game costs $1 or $100.

      I don’t want a console. Why should I have to be forced to use a certain system for what I see as my right?

  19. With the new update it looks like you can now do number 3. I think I’ll do it to a few people.

  20. Me

    I would love #1. My friend always picks on me when I play dungeon defenders. and i’m sick of it. He is a good friend otherwise, so I could not bare with deleting him.

  21. Imnottellingyoumyname

    There should also be some way to make your steam chat, friends on- and off- line, and comments and whatnot available as some kind of private rss, so stuff like a phone’s rss reader or a pc rss gadget, or even an Arduino could access it, even when steam isn’t open.

  22. I’d like a voting button whereby I can select the voltage, duration and frequency of an electric shock that is applied directly to the groin of Gaben, every time Valve f***s up another perfectly good, healthy game which is MINE because I BOUGHT IT but Gabe thinks is fun to remotely shaft. For every day the game or mod is broken, the voltage should automatically increment. Let’s see how long ‘valve time” lasts then!

    Gabe: I am God, for I can unmake all your purchased games…
    Player: Oh no you don’t, hands off! [click] FZZZZAAAPPPPP!!!
    Gabe: AAIIEEEIEIE!!! I’msorryI’msorryI’msorry [sobs] I won’t do it again…
    Player: Good boy. Now go and finish HL3!
    Gabe: Yesatonce,rightaway… [scuttles off, groin smouldering]

  23. so pp, has steam been listening ☺

    1. I don’t know whether they have been listening to me, but some of the things I listed are now available, so that’s cool.

Leave a Reply

Comment Formatting Guide

Well formatted comments are much easier to read. Please copy and paste the HTML Tags to use in your comment

  • HEADER: <div class="fix"></div><div class="sbe3">TEXT HERE</div>
  • BOLD: <strong>TEXT HERE</strong>
  • ITALIC: <em>TEXT HERE</em>
  • SPOILER: <span class="spoiler">TEXT HERE</span>