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New Big Picture features and tabletop code in client beta

Since the previous Steam client beta release, there's some hidden tabletop code added to the Steam Client. It's clearly visible that this code is in early stages of the development, but this gives us a hint where Steam could be heading.

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Early beginnings of "tabletop" implementation

Since the previous Steam client beta release, there's some hidden tabletop code added to the Steam Client. It's clearly visible that this code is in early stages of the development, but this gives us a hint where Steam could be heading.

class IClientTabletopMap
{
        virtual void CreateLobby( CSteamID ) = 0;
        virtual uint8 CreateGame( CSteamID, const char *, uint32, uint32 *, const char * ) = 0;
        virtual uint8 BIsEnabled() = 0;
        virtual void WatchGame( uint32 ) = 0;
};

This code interacts with the WebAPI using IMatchmaking_273050 (where 273050 is an AppID). There are currently 2 known methods: CreateGame and WatchGame. We were unable to play around with this as it returns 404 error (it's most likely hidden from public for now).

More store features in Big Picture

Right now the Steam store in the Big Picture UI doesn't allow you to browse categories or filter your search, however that is going to change. Search filter will allow you to filter by OS, gamepad or Steam controller support. We think these changes will go live along with the new store update.

Better community integration in Big Picture

Valve are working on integrating other parts of the community in the Big Picture UI by bringing built-in support for community market, game hubs and player inventories.

There is a -inventorybp command line parameter in the Steam client which makes the inventory tab show up in Big Picture, but currently it does not do anything.

There is a hidden community menu in Big Picture, which again, doesn't do anything as of yet.

<CommunityWrapper defaultfocus="CommunityMenu" >
        <CommunityPanel id="CommunityMenu" class="CommunityPanel" onactivate="" onmoveup="CloseCommunity();" />
        <CommunityPanel id="CommunityMarket" class="CommunityPanel" onmoveup="OpenCommunityMenu();" />
        <CommunityPanel id="CommunityGameHubs" class="CommunityPanel" onmoveup="OpenCommunityMenu();" />
</CommunityWrapper>

What does this all mean?

Valve is clearly working on bringing all of Steam's features to the Big Picture interface for comfortable use on the couch.

As for the tabletop code, they could just be experimenting or maybe working on integrating new virtual reality interfaces (castAR maybe?). Maybe the glorious return of Steam Chess?

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