Valve Asking Developers to Tidy Up Graphic Assets

Valve Asking Developers to Tidy Up Graphic Assets

Valve is asking any developers looking to submit games to its Steam platform to tidy up game graphic assets.

These are, typically, the thumbnail/cover of the game you see on the storefront, plus the images used for promotion.

Valve’s statement on the rule change is reasonably understandable;

“It’s our goal to make it as clear and straightforward as possible for customers to find games to buy and play [on Steam]. Recently, we’ve noticed more text, award logos, and even review scores being included [by game developers] in their graphical asset images.

This made us realise our guidelines haven’t been as clear as they should be. As a result of not having clearly-defined rules, we’ve seen additions to graphical assets that are creating a confusing and sometimes even inaccurate experience for customers”.

Valve goes on to state how, in some examples, the game’s logo is so small it becomes practically invisible on the storefront. The over-use of awards, review scores, etc overcrowds the rest of the image, acting more of a deterrent than an incentive.

And some review scores added are no longer accurate descriptions of the game.

Developers also present these inclusions in English, which Valve has also taken issues with.

As such, it isolates those Steam users who do not speak the language/have a less-defined grasp of the language.

As such, Valve has implemented new rules to its Graphical Asset Rules page.

These include;

  • Content on base graphical asset capsules [the term Valve uses to describe banner images on its store pages] is limited to game artwork, the game name, and any official subtitle. For clarity, this means:
    • No review scores of any kind, including Steam reviews or external news sources
    • No award names, symbols, or logos
    • No discount marketing copy (eg, no “On Sale Now”, or “Up to 90% off” text)
    • No text or imager promoting a different product. This includes no marketing of sequels or other titles in the same franchise
    • No other miscellaneous text
  • We understand that partners are excited to talk about large updates and seasonal events, and customers are often excited to see these reflected in the game capsules. While this content is not allowed in base capsule assets (see rule #1 above), we do support this use case through Capsule Artwork Overrides with the following constraints:
    • Must use Artwork Overrides – When including text on a graphical asset, this MUST be uploaded as an Artwork Override with a length limit of one month.
    • Must localise any text – Any text included on a graphical asset MUST be localised into at least the same set of languages supported by the game.
    • Only to describe new content – The only acceptable additional text on a game capsule is words describing a major update to the game content, a new seasonal event, battle pass, DLC, or similar new content for the game.

Valve hopes the new rules will make the store – and Steam generally – a more welcoming place for customers to visit.

To have a look at the full list of rules, check out the Steam page here.

The new rules will come into place in September.


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