Steam Dev Days was a two-day game developer’s conference with attendance from all over the world, which Valve hosted in early 2014 in Seattle.


We've made videos of 28 Steam Dev Days sessions available below, covering a wide range of game development topics available. These session recordings are also available as a playlist on the new Steamworks Development YouTube channel.

Welcome Address
Gabe Newell
Steam Machines in 2014 – Opening up the Living Room
Mike Burrows (Intel), Greg Coomer (Valve), Marc Diana (Alienware), Anna Sweet (Valve)

Valve and Steam Machine OEMs will jointly present on what to expect during 2014, including schedules and product release plans. We’ll discuss what we’ve learned so far from our public beta testing, including a rundown on how people are actually using Steam Machines. We’ll cover best practices in preparing your upcoming games for use in the living room.

The Steam Controller – Production, Programming, and What’s Next
Eric Hope (Valve), John McCaskey (Valve)

The Steam Controller is going to be used by many Steam gamers to play your games. During this hour we'll discuss the rollout plans for the controller, how to get the most out of the Steam controller for your customers, we'll demonstrate how to integrate the Controller API into your games, and we'll share what we've learned so far from the public beta testing.

In-Game Economies in Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2
Kyle Davis (Valve)

A look at the multi-year history and development of the in-game economies and microtransaction systems in Team Fortress and Dota, including some of the surprises we encountered and some of the lessons we've learned that we think are applicable to a wide range of products.

Embracing User Generated Content
Tom Bui (Valve)

Building your game with user generated content in mind can add significant ongoing value to your product and create a deeper engagement with customers. Learn from developers at Valve and other partners about integrating with the Steam Workshop and supporting user generated content.

Getting Started with Linux Game Development
Ryan Gordon (Icculus)

This talk is targeted at Windows Steam developers that are interested in preparing their games to run on Linux. It will cover available tools, the basic porting flowchart, and common problems and their solutions.

Marketing Your Game
Alexander Bruce (Antichamber), Alfonso Cubias (Digital Extremes), Cliff Harris (Positech Games), Henrique Olifiers (Bossa Studios)

Making your game is not enough. To be a successful developer you need to get the word out about your game. This panel is composed of a group of indie developers who have used a wide variety of methods to successfully market their games. Topics will cover some of the strategies they have used, when you should start marketing, and lessons learned.

Music in Valve Games and Media
Mike Morasky (Valve)

Taking a look at the many ways Valve has used the medium of music in its games and media, what we’ve learned and some ways we hope to evolve going forward. Providing a historical overview, there will be a discussion on the development environment surrounding the ideas explored, the technologies developed to implement them, some of the lessons learned and where we may be going from here.

Moving Your Games to OpenGL
Rich Geldreich (Valve), Dan Ginsburg (Valve), Peter Lohrmann (Valve), Jason Mitchell (Valve)

Stop treating OpenGL as that other 3D graphics API that you use on non-Windows platforms. Just move to OpenGL across the board! OpenGL is everywhere: from WebGL to OpenGL ES on mobile platforms to full-fledged OpenGL on SteamOS, Linux, OS X and Windows. We’ll discuss the current OpenGL API landscape and the issues involved in really shipping on OpenGL. We’ll show you how to use new debugging and performance analysis tools and teach you about our shader validation toolchain.

Community and Communication in Games-As-Services
Robin Walker (Valve)

Although there has been a robust discussion in our industry about how the transition to games-as-services affects the way we build products, we feel there hasn’t been enough focus on how that shift changes the ways we all should interact with customers. This talk will cover the methods, reasoning, and philosophy behind Valve’s communication and customer interaction. Areas of development we’ll be examining will be everything from feature design to community management to marketing. Recommended for anyone working on living / iterating products (which we think is pretty close to everyone in attendance at Steam Dev Days).

United We Win: Lessons Learned from Collaboration and Co-working Around the World
Ichiro Lambe (Dejobaan Games)

What secrets do the Boston, Chicago, Copenhagen, LA, London, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, Toronto, Utrecht, Vancouver (and other!) communities have to learn from each other? This talk surveys successful indie groups and collaborative spaces around the world, outlining the top 5 things that make them successful; the top 5 things they warn against; and what resources they can provide you.

Getting Started Debugging on Linux
Bruce Dawson (Valve)

Debugging on Linux can be initially intimidating for a developer accustomed to Visual Studio on Windows. This talk explains how to get comfortable debugging on Linux, including which debuggers Valve has found useful, how to get symbols and source code to show up, and how to confidently investigate typical bugs. In addition to C++ debugging some other Linux tools that are commonly needed by developers will be demonstrated.

Optimizing Linux games for AMD Graphics using GPU PerfStudio2
Tony Hosier (AMD), Gordon Selley (AMD)

GPU PerfStudio2 is AMD's optimization and debugging tool for AMD Radeon GPUs. This presentation will demonstrate the latest version of the tool focusing on support for Steam Linux Games.

Data to Drive Decision-Making
Mike Ambinder (Valve)

This presentation will cover Valve’s approach to the acquisition, collection, and interpretation of data across our products and services. We will go over the infrastructure required to implement a data-driven approach to decision-making as well as common problems, useful analyses, and lessons learned as we’ve built up our capacities in this area.

Is Early Access Right for You?
Justin Bailey (Double Fine), Bob Berry (Uber Entertainment), Jamie Cheng (Klei Entertainment), Mark Morris (Introversion)

Early Access is a tool to develop your game with the community by giving them access to your title before it is officially released. The panelists will share what they have learned from being on Early Access; how it affected their development, their sales, and when does Early Access make sense?

Performance Tuning Applications for Intel GEN Graphics for Linux and SteamOS
Ian Romanick (Intel)

The Intel Open Source 3D Graphics Driver has been included in all major desktop Linux distributions for over 7 years, as well as all Intel Architecture based Chromebooks. We will discuss the history and architecture of the driver, and how we have utilized open source practices to harness the talents of the community to deliver a commercially successful driver. We will also explain how the attendees can participate in the community to improve the performance of their games on the Intel driver.

Steam Business Update
Nathaniel Blue (Valve), DJ Powers (Valve)

Join Nathaniel Blue and DJ Powers for a presentation on the business of Steam. Nathaniel and DJ will discuss the ways Steam has grown in recent years, particularly among Indie developers, along with an update on many of the new features on Steam. The goal of this presentation is to provide developers with information and best practices to allow you to take advantage of all the Steam platform has to offer.

Portal 2 and Team Fortress 2 Alternate Reality Games Q&A
Jeep Barnett (Valve), Kyle Davis (Valve), Adam Foster (Valve)

Adam and Jeep have run several promotional ARGs that span various styles and scope. They’ll be sharing best practices, anecdotes, and anything else you’d like to know about planning and operating your own ARGs.

The Evolution of Gaming Hardware
Marc Diana (Alienware)

Alienware will be discussing the past, present and future of gaming hardware.

Steamworks Features – A Technical Overview
Chris Boyd (Valve)

This talk is designed for partners that are new to Steamworks features and those who would like to discover what new features are available. It will cover an overview of the full feature list, from Lobbies & Matchmaking to Steam Trading Cards and Micro-Transaction integration.

Beyond Porting: How Modern OpenGL can Radically Reduce Driver Overhead
Cass Everitt (NVIDIA), John McDonald (NVIDIA)

In this session, Cass Everitt and John McDonald from NVIDIA will talk about some newer extensions to OpenGL and how they can reduce (or even eliminate) driver overhead. We'll discuss where performance goes, how to effectively profile GL, as well as specific extensions such as bindless rendering and MultiDraw commands.

100% Steam: How Dovetail Games Steam-only Policy has Built the Foundation for a New Type of Videogame Business
Paul Jackson (Dovetail Games)

Steam technology allows us to change the ‘fire-and-forget’ business model that drives the release of new games. Gamers have a diverse set of interest which means that there is no 'one size fits all' product that will appeal to them. This session will focus on using Steam to create a homogenous platform that allows gamers to customize their experience through the selection of high quality DLC.

Game Development with SDL 2.0
Ryan Gordon (Icculus)

This talk will offer a high-level overview of Simple Directmedia Layer 2.0. It will cover the features of the library and how it can make your game easier to build, port, improve and maintain.

What VR Could, Should, and Almost Certainly Will Be within Two Years
Michael Abrash (Valve)

We’ve figured out what affordable VR hardware will be capable of within a couple of years, and assembled a prototype that reveals that that level of VR hardware is capable of stunning VR experiences. That hardware is almost certainly going to appear in that timeframe, and it will be worth starting to develop for it now. This talk will discuss what that hardware is, and what it makes possible. A few attendees will be randomly selected to try out the prototype after the talk.

Porting games to Virtual Reality
Palmer Luckey (Oculus VR)

The team at Oculus has spent time helping a variety developers bring their existing content to virtual reality across multiple platforms. This talk will cover many of the best practices, technical hurdles that VR developers should be aware of, and some of the counter-intuitive approaches we've seen work.

Wild West of VR - Discovering the Rules of Oculus Rift Development
Devin Reimer (Owlchemy Labs), Alex Schwartz (Owlchemy Labs)

Through the development of Aaaaaculus!, one of the first commercially available Oculus Rift games, the team at Owlchemy Labs has come to the realization that 2013/2014 is truly the Wild West of VR development. Like the days of early consumer touchscreens, the best practices and rules of VR are still to be determined. We’ll cover the many key VR revelations we’ve had during development, such the importance of respecting the player's head direction, reduction of motion sickness, the complete reversal of UI and HUD paradigms, the introduction of developer fatigue, and realizations about subtle visual cues and the sensitivity of the inner ear.

Through trial, error, boatloads of testing, and caffeine, we arrived at a playable and immersive sky-diving experience for Oculus Rift. The methods employed will need to be explored heavily as we move forward into this new era of VR game design. We hope to begin the discussion on establishing standards, bit-by-bit, so that years from now we can look back on the early days and chortle at the seemingly “obvious” VR faux-pas made before the rules were clearly defined."

Virtual Reality and Steam
Joe Ludwig

Come and hear what Valve is working on in Steam to support and promote Virtual Reality games. This includes discussion of the Steam Overlay in VR, Steam store changes for VR, and our VR plan for Steamworks.