So, as “Part 3” of this series, I wanted to write about my experience with this month’s Steam Next Fest. As already announced in Part 1, I wanted to change things up a little by talking about interesting demos in general (see Part 1) and then by sharing my highlights (see Part 2) in another post, talking about the best demos I played up to that point. I will talk separately about some specific demos later this week as well though… It’s just that I didn’t have the time to play those yet when I wrote Part 2 on Saturday… and when I played them yesterday, I noticed that they feature so much content that I can’t simply talk about them in a few sentences, which is why I’ll showcase specific demos later on down the line.
Anyway, this “battle plan” I had proved to be pretty great. I honestly enjoyed writing about the Steam Next Fest a lot more this time around compared to the last few times. Honestly, I was contemplating possibly not featuring any demos this time because of how much effort goes into that and because of how many demos there are… but with this new structure for these posts, I had a lot more fun writing about the event.
The “To-Play List” already gave people an impression of what I would play if I get to it without oozing with that stench of commitment that kills most of my projects and ambitions. I mean, I said that I was planning to play those demos but I didn’t end up getting to most of them because of how little time I had for that and how many demos there were. Frankly, just giving first impressions based on the store page feels a bit odd but it works as a suggestion for demos to play.
The “Highlights” post represented my highlights… duh. It felt better to be able to focus on seven demos. Originally, I wanted to write about ten demos of sorts but there were just so many great ones out there… and these seven just were the highlight among highlights, in my opinion, which is why I ended up focusing more on them and less on others. Again, I may write more about the demos I played on Sunday and today if the demos are still around then. Either way, the highlights post was fun to write and it didn’t really lock me into that sense of commitment or obligation, meaning I got to have a lot more fun.
“Write for thyself and not for views!” (not the exact wording) – UltrViolet
In terms of the event as a whole, I loved that it was easier to navigate it, although I found it a bit bothersome that genres like “Roguelike” and “Roguelite” (as always) were separated. In the genres, you were able to look for “Roguelikes” but you couldn’t find “Roguelite” anywhere. In the sub-genres, “Roguelite” could be found but selecting both would lead to no results because… honestly, no clue. It was not great in my experience to look for something specific in that regard. There were a few other issues I had with searching for specific genres or combinations. I’d love it if you could look for the sum of a bunch of genres that you like and not the cross-section of a bunch of genres you like. Steam would be a lot greater if that was a feature.
What this month’s Next Fest did have, however, was a “recommended” feed. I’m not 100% sure if the last Steam Next Fest had something along those lines… I vaguely remember something along those lines… but the recommendations this time around felt actually meaningful and as if the algorithm actually knows what I enjoy in terms of games. That was good. I found some good games through this. Keep that up! As always, though, I would have liked to see something like a little hourglass symbol or whatever that shows what demos will disappear once the Steam Next Fest is over. At the same time, I would have liked it as well if the Steam Next Fest had been announced a bit earlier. I mean, planning ahead for stuff like this would be immensely helpful and it would make the event more enjoyable.
One thing I will have to do differently is to limit how much time I spend on each demo. There were too many long demos that would go on for hours… Some games were a lot of fun and I ended up playing through them multiple times or I’d just play them for hours and hours… But at the same time, there are demos that are over after an hour or so (like NAIAD, for instance) and I got the gist of the gameplay after half an hour already and could have stopped there to play something else. I think that playing 30 minutes per demo at most is probably fine in most cases, so I should try to enforce that as a rule. I’m not the only one with that “problem”, though, as Emily over here, for example, also played through the Destroy All Humans 2 demo which lasted for about two hours.
Either way, it was fun to play a wide variety of demos. As mentioned already, this change in approach worked quite well for me personally. Hence, I may do it like this again next time. In the next few days, I will also talk more in-depth about some of the demos that I played at a later date.
If you still are looking for games to add to your wishlist, I highly recommend checking out…
- this thread by Rob Manuel aka 8bitwiz,
- Krikket’s latest posts on the Steam Next Fest,
- Aywren’s blog over here,
- and Blockade’s blog right here, too!
Lovely people right there that played a bunch of demos and who recommended demos as well! Definitely worth a look or a few!