Steam Turns 20

As previously mentioned, the Steam client left the beta phase on September 12, 2003, making today the official 20th anniversary of Valve's online service. A new post on Steam celebrates the occasion, offering a timeline highlighting significant moments in Steam history. And since Steam is primarily a digital games store, there are links to purchase games on sale (including all of Valve's own titles) scattered throughout. Here's word:
We couldn't help but throw in a bit more fun, and in an effort to make us all feel super old put together a fun walk down Steam and pop culture memory lane. You'll find historical factoids from Steam and Valve along with important broader milestones like, memes and stuff.

We're also highlighting the games that were the top releases on Steam from each year, and many of those games are joining the party with discounts of their own! And we're hoping you enjoy the new art sprinkled throughout (and featured in a couple of free new stickers).
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38.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 14, 2023, 11:06
38.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 14, 2023, 11:06
Sep 14, 2023, 11:06
 
Thanks for reminding me of my age Stephen....... Cry
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"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

- Jim Goad
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37.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 15:01
37.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 15:01
Sep 13, 2023, 15:01
 
The Flying Penguin wrote on Sep 13, 2023, 12:38:
It's a little scary if you sort your Steam games by hours played...

Title Hours
TW: Empire 3851.2
Stellaris 2969.5
Stormworks 1510.3
KSP 985.8
SoaSE 966.4

Then others below that.

One might assume I like strategy and building games.

"Just take a look around you, what do you see? Pain, suffering, and misery." -Black Sabbath, Killing Yourself to Live.

“Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains” -Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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36.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 12:38
36.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 12:38
Sep 13, 2023, 12:38
 
It's a little scary if you sort your Steam games by hours played...

Killing Floor 2: 2,785 hours
GTA5: 1,192
L4D2: 1,053
Deep Rock Galactic: 973
Satisfactory: 554
Astroneer: 532
After that it's a bunch of COD games in the 300s


"Turns out I’m 'woke.' All along, I thought I was just compassionate, kind, and good at history. "
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35.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 11:28
35.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 11:28
Sep 13, 2023, 11:28
 
Xero wrote on Sep 13, 2023, 11:14:
... ... ...
I had one of those books for the Commodore 64 and gave up. It shows all these promising games you could literally code out and then play. It was pages and pages of code per game, lol. I attempt to do one of them and gave up. My pecking typing skills back then didn't cut it.
Learnt Assembler language from used C64 magazines.
Ended hacking hundreds of games with a Kawa resetting cartridge.

Took a look, last shelf, bookcase by my PC:
yep, folder with dozens of pages with crabbed writing of game names and their sys resets and diverse pokes.
The dust ! *cough* *cough*
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34.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 11:27
34.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 11:27
Sep 13, 2023, 11:27
 
Heh. Good times. I tired to talk the LAN organizers into a managed switch to keep the downloaders segregated, but in the end we just set allotted times for file sharing and gaming.

The other nightmare was power management. Early LANs were at a sewing factory one of the LAN member's family owned (okay, sweat shop) so we had access to the huge, long cutting tables for the PCs, and lots of electrical power hanging from the ceiling (had to remember to plug all the sewing machines back in when we were done). That was a great location.

Later we used a PBA hall (several of our members were LEO), and we were popping breakers like crazy the first LAN. PCs weren't very power efficient back then, and worse, the CRT monitors used a huge amount of power.

After that, I came in and mapped out all the outlets to their breakers, and made a diagram of how many PCs we could connect to which outlets. Since I was a stagehand, I would borrow from work a couple of dozen heavy duty extension cords with 4 gang boxes on the ends, and that was the only outlets you were allowed to use, and you were assigned one outlet per PC (bring your own power strip, although we had a few spares). I'd come in an hour early with a couple of peeps and setup the folding tables and run all the power cords (some even to the kitchen outlets) and setup the switch and layout the network cable 'snake'.

Fun times.

"Turns out I’m 'woke.' All along, I thought I was just compassionate, kind, and good at history. "
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33.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 11:17
El Pit
 
33.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 11:17
Sep 13, 2023, 11:17
 El Pit
 
sauron wrote on Sep 13, 2023, 10:36:
Xero wrote on Sep 13, 2023, 09:06:
Lord Tea wrote on Sep 13, 2023, 08:24:
Xero wrote on Sep 12, 2023, 22:45:
I remember installing Steam just for Half Life 2. Hated having to do it and here we are.
I remember plugging in the cartridge to my 2600 - to play Pac-man. Feeling old now, too.

lol, well Steam wasn't my first platform. I'm just stating how it ushered in the streaming gaming platform wave. I go back to Commadore 64. I had the black joysticks with a single red button. Congo Bongo!

Pfft! Swordsman on the Sharp MZ-80K here - 1979. I remember when the articles in Computer and Video Games were lines of code, so you could program the games into your computer.

For me it was Pong.

No, I am not kidding. From there to the Atari 2600, then Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga (before there were 500, 1000, 2000, and God knows what else), then PC - THE END. PC and the Steamdeck are all I need.
"There is no right life in the wrong one." (Theodor W. Adorno, philosopher)
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi)
Founder, president, and only member of the official "Grumpy Old Gamers Club". Please do not apply.
32.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 11:14
32.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 11:14
Sep 13, 2023, 11:14
 
sauron wrote on Sep 13, 2023, 10:36:
Xero wrote on Sep 13, 2023, 09:06:
Lord Tea wrote on Sep 13, 2023, 08:24:
Xero wrote on Sep 12, 2023, 22:45:
I remember installing Steam just for Half Life 2. Hated having to do it and here we are.
I remember plugging in the cartridge to my 2600 - to play Pac-man. Feeling old now, too.

lol, well Steam wasn't my first platform. I'm just stating how it ushered in the streaming gaming platform wave. I go back to Commadore 64. I had the black joysticks with a single red button. Congo Bongo!

Pfft! Swordsman on the Sharp MZ-80K here - 1979. I remember when the articles in Computer and Video Games were lines of code, so you could program the games into your computer.

I had one of those books for the Commodore 64 and gave up. It shows all these promising games you could literally code out and then play. It was pages and pages of code per game, lol. I attempt to do one of them and gave up. My pecking typing skills back then didn't cut it.
Avatar 16605
31.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 10:43
31.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 10:43
Sep 13, 2023, 10:43
 
WannaLogAlready wrote on Sep 13, 2023, 08:55:
You wanna talk old eh?

The first computers I laid hands on were mainframes that were handwired and still contained some vacuum tubes.

/-=-\

The Flying Penguin wrote on Sep 13, 2023, 10:08:
I remember LAN parties were a nightmare. We'd all want to play the same game together, but usually everyone was on a different version. I was usually one of the designated patch download guys, because I had access to the fastest Internet at home (DSL). So before every party, I had to make sure I downloaded all the patches for any games we planned to play together. Those patches were usually incremental (to reduce file download size) so you had to make sure you had ALL the patches going back to the oldest, and install them in order. The first couple of hours at the LAN party was everyone copying the patches and updating their games. Oh and screaming at the porn file sharers to stop hogging the network so we could copy the patches.

Same except I had T1 access at work and would download there. I would bring in my machine on Friday morning and use a hub (not a switch) to connect to the network. LAN parties taught me VLANs with borrowed Cisco gear from work. We'd ask who was going to be sharing large amounts of "data" (to be courteous and discrete) and who was just going to be playing and grabbing patches. Data sharers went on one VLAN and everyone else went on another.

Data was pr0n, music, video, warez, and tools. One guy in the club had 200GB of storage and we all thought that was an insane amount of storage. All SCSI drives daisy-chained together in this huge, monolithic beige box. The lights would briefly dim when he powered it on.

Hard to believe that was almost 30 years ago at this point.
"Just take a look around you, what do you see? Pain, suffering, and misery." -Black Sabbath, Killing Yourself to Live.

“Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains” -Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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30.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 10:36
30.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 10:36
Sep 13, 2023, 10:36
 
Xero wrote on Sep 13, 2023, 09:06:
Lord Tea wrote on Sep 13, 2023, 08:24:
Xero wrote on Sep 12, 2023, 22:45:
I remember installing Steam just for Half Life 2. Hated having to do it and here we are.
I remember plugging in the cartridge to my 2600 - to play Pac-man. Feeling old now, too.

lol, well Steam wasn't my first platform. I'm just stating how it ushered in the streaming gaming platform wave. I go back to Commadore 64. I had the black joysticks with a single red button. Congo Bongo!

Pfft! Swordsman on the Sharp MZ-80K here - 1979. I remember when the articles in Computer and Video Games were lines of code, so you could program the games into your computer.
Kittens!
Avatar 8692
29.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 10:35
Prez
 
29.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 10:35
Sep 13, 2023, 10:35
 Prez
 
Well just for fun, I'll post my numbers. I'm not doing this to brag or ask for help for my disorder - just thought it would be interesting to someone.

Games: 13,596
Ignored 116,356

While I would say that most of the items on my ignore list are your typical worthless trash that Steam is saturated to bursting with, it's worth pointing out that I ignore demos and games that might be good but I have no interest in.

If your game is 'Adults Only' but is about as arousing as a box of dead kittens, or if it's " _________ Simulator or Tycoon", or if it is any variation of "Backrooms" or whatever else flash-in-the-pan pop culture bullshit, you get instantly ignored.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
28.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 10:08
28.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 10:08
Sep 13, 2023, 10:08
 
SandPeople wrote on Sep 12, 2023, 23:31:
Anyone sign-up day 1? Member since 19 September, 2003.

September 17.2003 for me. Missed it by THAT much.

Like most serious gamers at the time, I was not thrilled about Steam at first. What really became a game changer was auto updates. Seriously, that changed everything.

People seem to look back fondly to a time when all games were 'finished' at release, but that's a false memory. Sure, there was more of an incentive to release a game bug free in those days before the 'hell, we'll just patch it after release' world we live in today. But games still WERE released with bugs, or had features added, and manually finding and installing the correct patch for your games back then was a nightmare. Even worse if you were playing multiplayer, and had to make sure you and your fellows were all on the same version. Steam auto updates were a God send.

I remember LAN parties were a nightmare. We'd all want to play the same game together, but usually everyone was on a different version. I was usually one of the designated patch download guys, because I had access to the fastest Internet at home (DSL). So before every party, I had to make sure I downloaded all the patches for any games we planned to play together. Those patches were usually incremental (to reduce file download size) so you had to make sure you had ALL the patches going back to the oldest, and install them in order. The first couple of hours at the LAN party was everyone copying the patches and updating their games. Oh and screaming at the porn file sharers to stop hogging the network so we could copy the patches.
"Turns out I’m 'woke.' All along, I thought I was just compassionate, kind, and good at history. "
Avatar 22380
27.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 09:06
27.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 09:06
Sep 13, 2023, 09:06
 
Lord Tea wrote on Sep 13, 2023, 08:24:
Xero wrote on Sep 12, 2023, 22:45:
I remember installing Steam just for Half Life 2. Hated having to do it and here we are.
I remember plugging in the cartridge to my 2600 - to play Pac-man. Feeling old now, too.

lol, well Steam wasn't my first platform. I'm just stating how it ushered in the streaming gaming platform wave. I go back to Commadore 64. I had the black joysticks with a single red button. Congo Bongo!
Avatar 16605
26.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 09:05
Prez
 
26.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 09:05
Sep 13, 2023, 09:05
 Prez
 
WannaLogAlready wrote on Sep 13, 2023, 08:55:
You wanna talk old eh?
When I was little my family sat listening to the radio, no TV (no color yet) save for the rich and passenger jet airplanes (the de Havilland Comet) were a novelty yet.
Take that !

Oh yeah? I was Noah's first mate.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
25.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 09:04
25.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 09:04
Sep 13, 2023, 09:04
 
SandPeople wrote on Sep 12, 2023, 23:31:
Anyone sign-up day 1? Member since 19 September, 2003.

I believe I did because I had Half Life 2 preordered and couldn't wait to play day 1. I must of had to in order to play it.

I recall a buddy at work whose rather young and took a look at my Steam account and said my ID# thingy was OG. That it's a very rare number. Not that I gave 2 sh!ts, but told him, it probably is since I recall creating my account at launch for HL2.
Avatar 16605
24.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 08:55
24.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 08:55
Sep 13, 2023, 08:55
 
You wanna talk old eh?
When I was little my family sat listening to the radio, no TV (no color yet) save for the rich and passenger jet airplanes (the de Havilland Comet) were a novelty yet.
Take that !
Avatar 58799
23.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 08:24
23.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 08:24
Sep 13, 2023, 08:24
 
Xero wrote on Sep 12, 2023, 22:45:
I remember installing Steam just for Half Life 2. Hated having to do it and here we are.
I remember plugging in the cartridge to my 2600 - to play Pac-man. Feeling old now, too.
22.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 07:24
Prez
 
22.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 07:24
Sep 13, 2023, 07:24
 Prez
 
J wrote on Sep 13, 2023, 07:17:
The birthday cake is a lie.

I knew it.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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21.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 07:17
J
21.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 07:17
Sep 13, 2023, 07:17
J
 
The birthday cake is a lie.
nin: This forum is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Blue: What do you mean, "biblical"?
xXBatmanXx: What he means is Old BBS, El Presidente, real wrath of SysOp type stuff.
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20.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 07:03
20.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 07:03
Sep 13, 2023, 07:03
 
RogueSix wrote on Sep 13, 2023, 02:14:
FrostyRei wrote on Sep 12, 2023, 20:42:
2003, a superb year for gaming. I really miss those days of more originality such as the first CoD, Beyond Good and Evil, Star Wars KotoR etc. Most games for me now are a ‘been there done that’. Jaded for sure. Movies are the same really, a lack of originality.

2003 might have been good but 2002 was already completely off the charts, dude. Possibly the best year in PC video gaming history(?).

2002 video games: Divine Divinity, Dungeon Siege, Morrowind, Neverwinter Nights, GTA Vice City, Battlefield 1942, Medal of Honor Allied Assault, Hitman 2 Silent Assassin, Age of Mythology, BloodRayne, Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Metroid Prime, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M's Way, Mafia, James Bond 007: Nightfire, Red Faction II, Gothic II, Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix, Warcraft III Reign of Chaos, Freedom Force, Final Fantasy XI, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Medieval: Total War, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers...

... and that is just the mostly PC-focused list and it doesn't even include (MMO) expansions or popular sports games like Madden NFL/FIFA (2002 was the year of a world cup with a dedicated game)/NBA/NHL/Tony Hawk etc. etc. etc.

The year 2002 is the year of the official inauguration of my personal backlog . That's when it all started that I simply could not keep up anymore...

Well, I was focusing on the year presented. If you’re changing it, then for me it’s 2000, as the game that was released then changed everything, set the benchmark much higher: Deus Ex. On top of that many other quality releases. Let’s be honest, with and after Half-Life 1, gaming became outstanding.
19.
 
Re: Steam Turns 20
Sep 13, 2023, 05:28
Prez
 
19.
Re: Steam Turns 20 Sep 13, 2023, 05:28
Sep 13, 2023, 05:28
 Prez
 
Some might remember the bad Half-Life 2 stutter bug that rendered some of the scenes completely unplayable (I think they were mostly scripted ones). I already was angry at having to install Steam and had waited forever for Half-Life 2... so I did the very mature thing and I sent a vitriolic email (I mean it was scathing) to Valve and Gabe Newell specifically. After about a day I came to my senses and sent a follow-up apology email for my first email. 🙂

Half-Life 2 taught me a lot about patience and not doing something when I am angry. I still remember that lesson.

This concludes today's episode of "Life Lessons with Prez"
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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