Valve has rolled out a beta for its new Steam Trading Cards system. The first few games participating in the beta, Don’t Starve, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Team Fortress 2, Portal 2 and Half-Life 2, now have their progress and achievements tied to unlocking cards, which in turn, will unlock everything from Steam profile backgrounds, game badges, and even coupons!
Up to half of the card set can be unlocked in most games through normal progress, with the rest dropping from dedicated game prowess on your usual achievements like collecting items or doing particularly hard things. In addition to the game badges already on Steam, the badges you craft from earning trading cards come with a lot of tangible rewards like emoticon sets and the aforementioned coupons. Both sets of badges will also contribute to you Steam level to show other people just how serious you are about video games. All this proving once and for all that Steam really is trying to become a game you play before you even start playing an actual game.