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Innovation in assembly

Last week I told you that data is very important and can give people lots of benefits. However, data is not that useful if we can make a little use out of it. The people who own the data might not have ideas to make use that data to the fullest. However, there still billions of peoples around the world who might be able to use that data. ‘Innovation in assembly’ is the next pattern of Web 2.0 according to O’Reilly, that make use of people to create something amazing.

Steam is a popular game portal and a large community own by Valve company. Steam main service is to let people play game with their friends online or with others players around the world. Steam offers wide range of games such as DOTA2 which is a MOBA(Multiplayer Online Battle Areana) game, Super Meat Boy, an indy game, and Bejeweled twist, a puzzle game. Steam also have services such as ‘Friend’ which you can add people that you meet online. You can also give/reciev gifts from/to your friends which are games that you can buy from steam.

I pick Steam as my example because, Steam also give lots of API for people which are:

ISteamNews: Steam provides methods to fetch news feeds for each Steam game.

ISteamUserStats: Steam provides methods to fetch global stat information by game.

ISteamUser: Steam provides API calls to provide information about Steam users.

ITFItems_440: Team Fortress 2 provides API calls to use when accessing player item data.

Currently they offer only Team Fortress 2 API but Steam will release more API for other games as well.

WebAPI   Official TF2 Wiki   Official Team Fortress Wiki

Now let look into best practices:

  1. Offer APIs to your service – I pick Steam as an example because Steam gives lots of API for user to work with. Anyone can log in to Steam account and fill the from to use Steam API.
  2. Apply API best practices – Steam and Steam community have lots of information of how to use Steam API. They also have a Wiki to help developers.
  3. Use existing standards – Steam API use popular format such as json, xml, and vdf.
  4. Use Web 2.0 to support your platform – They have Steam which connect everyone together.
  5. Granular addressability of content – Steam provide feeds and also give people API to use their feeds.
  6. Use your platform to build customer trust and loyalty – By providing users data from Team Fortress 2, it allow people to trust their systems. They can check others players data to see whether they cheat or not. They can also do lots of things with the data which make developers who like the games use their API to do more amazing things.

16 comments on “Innovation in assembly

  1. ngjerfen
    March 24, 2013

    Hi Prapat,

    Steam is indeed a good example of a platform where users utilizes API. It is a great way to innovate gamers to come up with more amazing ideas when utilising API. Some developers may not even come up with ideas that some gamers behind the computer can. What is great that Steam uses popular API standards therefore many users are familiar with it and not much help is needed. 🙂 great post!

    • PrapatW
      March 24, 2013

      Hi Jerfen

      It is very true that gamers has lots of potential to develop something. They play the game more than developers so they know the game more. I think releasing API will help the gamers to get a lot more out of a game and the developers will also benefits from their creations.

      Prapat W.

  2. sukhshans
    March 25, 2013

    Hi Prapat,

    Its an interesting API with a platform such as STEAM. With developers to help create contents for the games, it always keeps things fresh. It would help developers focus on other areas beside creating content. Another great feature of the API is the ability to sell your content on STEAM workshop. I think this feature really helps pull in developers to join and use the API. Should other web platforms do the same by rewarding or encouraging by providing extra perk to the developer to use the API?


    • PrapatW
      March 26, 2013

      In my opinion, many platform or game should do this. By giving their users chances to develop something it will help to provide the game life span because people will create content that make the game more fun or just to help them play the game. To give people API is to expand ideas. Also rewarding people will also encourage them to do more work and perhaps even better work too.

      Prapat W.

  3. Jason
    March 26, 2013

    Hi, Prapat,

    This was a very interesting example of Innovation in Assembly as I am a steam user and that allowing gamers and users to use the API to innovate new ideas and data. How does steam keep up with how users are using and remixing the data?

    • PrapatW
      March 27, 2013

      Most of Steam API is to give people way to listen to Steam feeds. Teamfortress 2 on the other hand, give poeple ability to keep track of lots of data such as crafting item data( This push responsibility of regular update of these items to their users by giving them Steam API.

      Prapat W.

  4. almaarri
    March 26, 2013

    Hi my friend you have post many information about
    ( Innovation In Assembly ), all the best for you.

    Check my Blog and give your comment.

  5. bronwynsc
    March 29, 2013

    Another great post, Prapat, thanks. I think this statement of yours is gold: “However, data is not that useful if we can make a little use out of it.” Any site can have the best content in the world but if you can’t give access to it AND gain value from it, then it’s not much use to you. How do you think Steam is making value from their great API approach?

    • PrapatW
      April 3, 2013

      Hi Bronwyn

      I think Valve(Steam company) has always give their customers or any person at all chances to put some creativity in the game. They let people create maps, mods, and also objects in the game. This will keep the game fresh since there will be more and more content release. I think releasing API has similar approach since it will also keep the game fresh. Lots of people can contribute and those people will play the game longer since they are now become part of the game development. Even though each person have contribute to only tiny bit of the game, it still make them proud and happy.

      Prapat W.

  6. azizalkaldi
    March 31, 2013

    Steam is definitely a pioneer in the web 2.0 gaming universe. It is unfortunate that gaming giants such as Electronic Arts were not web 2.0-ready, given their veteran status in the gaming industry.

    • PrapatW
      April 3, 2013

      Hi Azizalkaldi

      To be honest, EA seems to be a little bit old fashion in the way they are doing things compare to Valve. Valve tends to give flexibility to their employees and also their customers so they release a lot less game than EA each year but most if not all of those games are good and have a very long life. EA on the other hand release lots of games in which some are good and some are bad(in my opinion). Maybe their business model is working and having to change into Web 2.0 direction might be bad for them. We will have to wait and see what EA will do from now on.

      Prapat W.

  7. bidahalkhaldi
    April 3, 2013

    Hey Parpat,
    Interesting post ! I have an interesting idea to mash-up STEAM API and foursquare API, which would enable STEAM users to see whether there any fellow gamers that have checked-in nearby using foursquare API.

    Best wishes,

    Bidah Alkhaldi

    Check out my blog @

    • PrapatW
      April 3, 2013

      Hi Bidahlkhaldi

      I think it would be nice to know local gamers and associate with them. Foursquare API is indeed strong since a lot can be done with it and certainly with Steam it can become something big. Thank you for suggesting a great idea. Perhaps, people will combine this two API and make wonder.

      Prapat W.

  8. jeffreyckchow
    April 12, 2013

    I found that gamers can link their Steam profile to Fcebook, so they can connect to other players on it. Steam could possibly make use the information on their Facebook profile for analysis and integrate into their marketing strategy.
    Link to Facebook Article Link:

    This can be crossed reference to the friend list users have on their Steam account.
    Add Friends Article Link:

    • PrapatW
      April 12, 2013

      Hi Jeffrey

      I think your idea would be awesome. The more data the more merrier.

      Prapat W.

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This entry was posted on March 24, 2013 by in Web 2.0 and tagged , , , , , .

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