Two weeks ago I was frantically playing Dragon Age 2 to get up to the end of the first act and, as usual, I was launching the game via Steam even though I had bought a retail copy. The reason being so I can have access to the overlay, fantastic new screenshot abilities and keep in touch with my friends.
Although Steam now allows you to upload images taken in non-Steam games it doesn’t track your game time. So, when I spent the entire week pumping 14 hours into the game it looks like I’ve not played anything according to my profile! No, this isn’t bad but it would be nice to have something to show off alongside my screenshots and recording my game time seems the logical thing to do and something which should have been implemented a long time ago.
This is something Akardo and myself have long discussed and maybe Valve’s reasoning is because it encourages you to buy through Steam although I doubt this sways many people’s choices. Perhaps it is the in-ability to accurately record/tie in the data from a non-Steam game to Steam but when Valve ultimately give the impression they want Steam to become the lead software for launching games it just makes sense for them to add in this feature so your friends know what you’ve been up to. When a friend visits my profile and see I’ve put only 5 hours into gaming in the past 2 weeks it probably looks like I’ve either gone on holiday or am disappearing off the planet (or both?).
I can’t see it being much hassle to implement this feature either because their screenshot feature records what game the screenshot was taken in, surely it wouldn’t be too much to ask them to add, at the very least, a game time tracker. Ideally though I would love to see Valve allowing you to tie in your non-Steam games with their equivalents released on Steam so you have all the benefits of a game bought via Steam.
So, I would like to see this feature implemented by Valve, I’m not asking for access to any DLC which only works with Steam copies of the games (although this may also be handy, case in point being Borderlands). I just want a small feature so I can show off to my friends how much time I’ve been investing fighting dragons or playing with my nanosuit.