I’ve been a little discontent with my Steam game organisation for a while now. Shortly after the Steam library update came out, I removed my manually constructed categories and went gung-ho on creating ‘dynamic collections’ using genre flags and store tags. The benefit of creating a dynamic collection in this manner is that games added to your library will be automatically classified into collections for you.

Great in theory, not so much in practice.

Filters are Always ‘AND’

If you select multiple genres, store tags, or filters in general — a game will only display in this search (or collection) if they match each criterion. You have no option to do an ‘Or’ search, allowing a game with one or more of the selected filters applied to display.

Why is this a problem?

Well, consider the example of wanting to set up a dynamic category for your Roguelike/Roguelite games. You can’t. Only games that have been tagged as both (incorrectly, in this case) would appear. Any game with just one or the other tag wouldn’t.

And it gets worse:

Don’t want to make individual categories for each of these? TOO BAD.

‘But Nait,’ you might say, ‘I enjoy being incredibly pedantic about my game categorisation. This sounds great.’

Well, it might be, except…

Tags are Inconsistently Applied and Often Outright Wrong

So you see my overly pedantic friend, this whole dynamic collection thing isn’t going to help you very much either.

The most recent example of this I saw was the ‘Early Access’ tag. I used to have a category dedicated to early access titles I wanted to check up on over time. It was great! So I went to set this up again and discovered that the ‘Early Access’ was still applied to even games that had launched out of early access years upon years ago.

Alright, well, at least we can find a tag that will put all the games in a given series together… Right?

*Shakes head* Nope.

No More!

I put up with the limitations and quirks of the system for a while, but no more. For example, having games that should be together in a category not be… Or the other way around, e.g., why are there factory builder games in my ‘Open World’ category? I mean… I guess I can kinda see it. But this really isn’t what anyone else understands by ‘Open World’, is it?

So I deleted all the dynamic collections I had set up and revelled in the giant ‘Uncategorised’ list it left me.

It’s really quite liberating. I feel free. Like I should rip off my clothes and run down a mountain path with everything flapping free. … err, right. Where were we?

Oh yes. Giant uncategorised lists.

I will eventually do something more with it. Perhaps I’ll go through and put things back into genre categories that make sense to me again by hand.

For now I’ve created a few categories in the structure of ‘YEAR – MM Month’ in which I placed the games I purchased that month, so that I can keep track of what I’ve bought when and what is still on my backlog.

I have to say, it has made my Steam listing take on a much more judgemental air. As if it’s sitting there being awl, ‘Yeah- You bought 3 games in May. And played 0 of them’. And, ‘Six games in April! Want me to show you how many of those are unplayed? Because I can!’

I will accept the judgemental tone to my game listing though, because I fully acknowledge that it has happened more than once that I’ve picked up a game, keen to play it — but didn’t — then later, sometimes much later, surprising myself with the rediscovery of fact I owned said game.

At least I haven’t picked up anything new in June, eh? Although… There is still time left. And I hear there might be another Steam sale soon…