Steam is the BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD for customers to play games, and for developers to build communities. The potential upside for developers has never been bigger, and Steam Dev Days is about NAVIGATING THAT OPPORTUNITY. The business decisions, the technical hurdles, and the future - including VIRTUAL REALITY.

Steam has enabled game makers to be innovative, customer-focused and profitable, and we think openness and collaboration are driving that success. We believe that developers have just as much to learn from one another as they have to learn from Valve, and every developer who joins the conference makes it that much more valuable. Join the conversation. Let's get connected.


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Greg Coomer from Valve

Welcome address for Steam Dev Days 2016.

Steam Business Update

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DJ Powers from Valve

Provides a broad-strokes overview of the Steam platform and the ways in which it has grown and improved in recent years.

Philosophy of VR

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Joe Ludwig from Valve

The value of open platforms, and the past, present, and future of VR.

The Future of VR and Games

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Tim Sweeney from Epic Games

Leading-edge directions in VR including digital humans, social interaction, user-created content, photorealistic graphics, and breaking down the barriers between genres - and how these trends are contributing towards a new medium resembling the Metaverse from science fiction.

Steam 101 - Getting Started with Marketing Features and Tools

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Tom Giardino from Valve

This talk is targeted at newer partners who are shipping their first or second game on Steam. Nothing matters more than making a great game, but Tom will cover basic nuts and bolts of Steamworks, and provide simple, actionable advice to give your game the best chance at success. This talk is also designed to help you ask the right questions to make smart marketing & business decisions.

Steam Controller

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Jeff Bellinghausen from Valve, Lars Doucet from Level Up Labs

The Steam Controller has come a long way since we first announced it at Steam Dev Days 2014. Valve's Jeff Bellinghausen will provide an update on some of the newest improvements, tools and features for the Steam Controller. Lars Doucet of Level Up Labs will provide an in-depth walkthrough. Lars will discuss how to integrate your games with the Steam Controller API, and also how to think about input in general, with a strong focus on the "actions" paradigm that the Steam Controller uses. Includes practical examples from the Level Up Labs game, Defender's Quest.

Steam 201 - Sound Advice from Successful Developers

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Nathaniel Blue from Valve

This talk is designed to provide some more advanced business guidance. It will highlight the Dos and Don'ts of launching a game on Steam, informed by the successes, failures, and feedback of experienced developers.

Steam Inventory Service

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Jon Pile from Valve

The Steam Inventory Service is a set of features that allow a game to enable persistent player inventories without having to run special servers to manage users or items. Jon will provide an implementation overview, explain the specific problems that the Inventory Service solves for developers, and demonstrate how partners are already using the system to serve their customers.

SteamVR Hardware

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Ben Jackson from Valve

Whether you're building a VR golf club or an indoor quad-copter, 3D tracking is the heart of your product. Developed in-house at Valve, SteamVR Tracking is a hardware/software solution that lets your devices know in real time where they are, within a room. Valve is now making SteamVR Tracking fully available to other companies, without licensing fees. Learn the ins and outs of this process. This talk is targeted towards hardware, but game developers are welcome.

UGC and Workshop in ARK: Survival Evolved

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Jeremy Stieglitz from Studio Wildcard

How leveraging User Generated Content via Steam Workshop has helped foster long a pro-active community for ARK: Survival Evolved, and the technical & design steps we took to make it happen!

Building Unity Games for SteamOS/Linux

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Na'Tosha Bard from Unity Technologies

In this talk, we'll go through a detailed overview of the current state of building Unity games for Linux and SteamOS. Topics will include: an overview of the process (with a particular emphasis for people who are new at developing for Linux); discussion of what is new, what is changing, and how these changes will affect developers; a walk through common pitfalls and caveats, and what to do about them; how the experimental Linux editor for Unity can reduce iteration times for testing. We'll also discuss some current areas where Linux could improve as a gaming platform, as well as progress over the last few years.

Video Content on Steam

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Sean Jenkin from Valve

For the past few years Steam has been expanding to include software, soundtracks and now all things video. Whether feature films, shorts, documentaries, tutorials, TV or episodic content, Steam can deliver your video content to the world. This talk will cover how video works on Steam today and how it can be used to connect with your customers. Learn about the various content and business models available, the publishing process and ways to bundle and integrate with other content on Steam. Hear some of the success stories so far and learn about upcoming platform features including 360/VR video support and updates to video discovery on the Steam store.

Games As A Service

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Robin Meijer and Joost van Dongen from Ronimo Games

During this talk we will discuss how to successfully run a game with the Games-as-a-Service business model on Steam. Reflecting on our own experiences, we'll cover topics like how often to patch a game, how to do Betas using various Steam systems, communication with your player base, marketing updates to your title, in-game balance, monetisation through additional content, developing patches and making games-as-a-service part of your launch strategy. Our game Awesomenauts (a 3v3 side-scrolling MOBA) launched on Steam over 4 years ago and is still going strong, providing us with enough cashflow to continue and build upon the hundreds of patches we've released already. We've done tons of experiments within the Games-as-a-Service framework and will share the juicy details of what worked and what didn't.

Game Server Hosting

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Spencer Rose from Bankroll Studios, Steffen Heigel from Valve, Richard Lawrence from Daybreak, Karl Bergström from Stunlock Studios
Moderated by Kassidy Gerber from Valve

Supporting dedicated servers has become a key component of providing a reliable and secure environment for online games. We've gathered a group of panelists with a breadth of experiences both in developing, building and running the necessary software and infrastructure. Expect discussion ranging from where to start, common problems you'll run into and how to keep ahead of the challenges you'll face.

Unity Development for VR

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Corey Johnson from Unity Technologies

Corey will discuss how to start a VR project in Unity, and provide tips for designing and optimizing the experience.

Developing The Lab

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Kris Katz, Jeep Barnett, David Sawyer, Tejeev Kohli, Don Holden, Paul Thuriot, and Matt Charlesworth from Valve

Valve released its first VR game in 2016, a free set of minigames and experiences called The Lab. In this panel, Valve developers and game designers will discuss developing, testing and shipping The Lab.

The Psychology of Games

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Mike Ambinder from Valve

This presentation provides an overview of various psychological phenomena and their general applicability to questions of interest for game designers across the industry. In particular, there are discussions of the myriad ways visual attention may be manipulated, the arbitrary nature of consumer preference, the impact of various cognitive biases on player choice, models of learning/skill acquisition, failures of intuition, discussion of social influences (and reductions of community toxicity), and various other topics of interest. The presentation is intended to introduce game designers to the wide array of relevant knowledge generated by experimental psychology as well as appropriate principles of experimental design that should facilitate future explorations and knowledge acquisition in this area.

Vulkan Graphics

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Alen Ladavac from Croteam, Dan Ginsburg from Valve, Jeff Bolz from NVIDIA, Rolando Caloca Olivares from Epic, and Mikko Strandborg from Unity Technologies
Moderated by John McDonald from Valve

This panel on Vulkan pulls together graphics experts from across the industry to discuss the present and future of Vulkan, the new generation graphics and compute API. Vulkan provides high-efficiency, cross-platform access to modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices from PCs and consoles to mobile phones and embedded platforms.

Early Access

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Arthur Bruno from Crate Entertainment, Russ Clarke from Payload Studios, Will Turnbull from Klei Entertainment, Tynan Sylvester from Ludeon Studios, and Tyler Sigman from Red Hook Studios
Moderated by Alden Kroll from Valve

When Valve first launched Early Access back in 2013, we hoped to give developers and customers a new framework for designing a game directly alongside customer feedback. In the years since, we've seen dozens of successful games enter and leave Early Access. But there are a bunch of risks and challenges associated with selling and developing a game in this way, and our panelists will address the ups and downs of Early Access.

Anti-Cheat for Multiplayer Games

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Simon Allaeys and Aarni Rautava from Easy Anti-Cheat

Cheating has become rampant in today's online multiplayer gameplay. Drawing from decades of experience, the talk examines the impact of cheating and suggests both technical and community based strategies to stay in control.

Delivering Great VR With Simple Graphics

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Nat Brown from Valve

Delivering Quality VR experiences with simple graphics.

Healthy Publisher Relationships

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Nigel Lowrie from Devolver, James Schall from Sega, Chris Kramer from Digitalmindsoft, and video game attorney Tom Buscaglia
Moderated by Connor Malone from Valve

How should you choose whether or not to work with a publisher? How do you know if a given publisher is right for you? What are the tradeoffs and benefits of working with a publisher, and what does a healthy developer-publisher relationship look like? What are things to watch out for in a publishing contract? Get advice and suggestions about these questions and more from our panel, with expert perspectives from development, publishing, and legal angles.

The Art of Communication: Decoding the Creative Relationship

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Andrea Wicklund from Valve

Whether your studio has an in-house art team or external contractors, it can be incredibly difficult for programmers, game designers, and artists to communicate effectively and efficiently. Breakdowns in communication can lead to delays, expenses, and lower-quality products. Andrea will discuss common pitfalls, highlight success stories, and share her own experiences from Valve and beyond. This talk will give developers the tools and advice they need for better communication and better results.

UE4 Development + Shipping an UE4 VR Game

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Wes Bunn from Epic, Steve Bowler and Jeremy Chapman from CloudGate

This is a talk in two parts, beginning with an Unreal Engine 4 overview from Wes Bunn of Epic and transitioning into a breakdown of how to successfully bring UE4 VR games to Steam. Part One: Getting Up and Running with Unreal - In this talk, we describe how to get started using Unreal Engine 4 for Game Development. We talk about the different editors that are available within Unreal, the project templates that you can use to kick start game creation, where you can get your hands on learning materials and learning resources, and other tips and tricks for those that are new to the engine. Part Two: Using Unreal Engine 4's Blueprints and the Unreal Marketplace as force multipliers, Steve Bowler and Jeremy Chapman from CloudGate Studio show you how they have been able to create and publish multiple premium Steam VR titles with a small team in a short time frame.

VR Developer Panel

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Brandon Laatsch from Stress Level Zero, Sarah Northway from Northway Games, Dylan Fitterer from Audiosurf, and Dirk Van Welden from I-Illusions
Moderated by Chet Faliszek from Valve

This panel will focus on lessons learned while building and shipping successful virtual reality projects. The VR space is still very new, but many developers are already reaching lots of happy customers, and turning a profit in the process. Hear from some of those developers on the opportunities and challenges of the VR marketplace.

Steam Dev Days 2014 Logo

The session recordings from Steam Dev Days in 2014 are available on the Dev Days 2014 site and on a YouTube playlist.