As the New Year approaches we find ourselves once again questioning our sanity as we sit next to an ever growing pile of unplayed games.
Some of us view this as a pile of shame, others a curator style obligation. Others are just hanging out for that broken leg that requires plenty of bed rest, but doesn't impact on our fingers and thumbs. Whatever way you view your pile, this thread is for those want help/guidance/encouragement to dig deeper into the "whys, and hows" of pile management over a long range, long term commitment to reduce, remove, or re-motivate their respective assaults on the pile.
Join us (if you dare), as we try to find a way to be at peace with our pile, and have fun doing so.
After all, isn't this all just meant to be "a bit of fun"?
Tools available to you:
Online management sites.
Some of us use sites, like Backloggery, or newcomer Grouvee to handle our piles. Pros and cons of each take up some discussion, but the main downside to Backloggery is that it has no batch modifications, and no 'export' function. Grouvee does a really nice job of auto loading your Steam Library, so if your Pile of shame resides primarily in that space, it's a good place to begin. I'll add more, as we find them.
Spreadsheets, spreadsheets, and more spreadsheets.
Be they Google, Open Office, or Xcel, making and maintaining lists has never been easier. Fully customisable, to meet your every need. Garden Ninja has also been hard at work creating a tracking spreadsheet for those that want to get really down and dirty with their respective piles. Feel free to make a copy of that file, and modify it to meet your own needs if necessary.
Using what you've already got.
Never underestimate the power of your own apps. Some of us have modified Steam's category features to help organise our piles. Hide, Long Term, Gifts Received, pick a category title, and work your own magic.
Danopian has some tried and true categories listed in our 2014 thread.
Kamakazi010654 prefers stealth management in their Steam list, using the 'hidden' feature to avoid clutter.
Things we've made
This section is dedicated to those who have taken up the challenge, put their money where their mouth is, and have actually given it a go at making an App that works for managing the pile.
Our inaugural contribution to this section is Garden Ninja, and an App affectionately known as Gomer.
Garden Ninja wrote:
As a reminder, here is the one I made and am using. I'm pretty happy with it now, and am about ready to release a 1.0 version (like, I'll probably do that tonight). I made it because I was sick of the spreadsheet, and wanted something that did just what I wanted. I don't really envision it changing much at this point, but I'm certainly happy to take feedback if people find it useful. It is a .NET exe, so probably Windows only, though I can look into making it work with mono if there is demand for it.
Hemidal has a Monthly Pile commitment thread, and we also have a Monthly Game Club run by SallyNasty, and an RPG club that runs Quarterly thanks to Damnable Bear.
Monthly Game Club as run by SallyNasty (Супер Sassy!) can be found here, "Where the Games come monthly, but the cheevos are forever!". Games are chosen through discussion in the main thread, and then breaks off each month into smaller nominated game threads. Spoilers/discussion guidelines are set each month, but the main ones are as follows.
1. Games should be at least 1 calendar year old. That makes it easy to find games that are either a) on most people's piles or b) cheap to pick up(I am thinking 10-15 bucks max).
2. Games should be either episodic or broken up into easily agreed upon stopping points (i.e. achievement for ch.1 or reaching certain checkpoint). I would like it to be about an hour to an hour and a half for each "assigned" session, no more than 5-6 hours a week needed to participate.
3. Games shouldn't be more than 20 hours.
4. No console exclusives. Has to be on Microsoft/Playstation/PC platforms.
January: Fallout 4 (not the whole game, just progress throughout the month)
Quarterly JRPG Thread as run by Damnable Bear (and his naked bingo calling, dood) can be found here. The thread has a running list (thanks to its members) of games they'd like to see completed! Each quarter, users will be given five (5) votes each to spend on these choices, or to add a new game to the list. Based on the number of votes each game has at the deadline, a cutoff will be put into place. (This is based on how many Bingo Balls Damnable Bear has.) Games above that cutoff will have one Bingo Ball placed into the Bingo Cage per vote. They then run the lottery and play the game that gets picked!.
Jan/Mar: First quarter sees Earthbound getting all the love.
Monthly Pile Thread: This doesn't replace Hemidal's monthly thread, it just complements it for those of us that want that long term plan in place, some realistic dissenablement and to stop the impulse purchases (links will be added for each monthly pile thread here).
January: Do You Recall Where You Left the Pile?
February: Coming soon
March: Coming soon
April: Coming soon
May: Coming soon
June: Coming soon
July: Coming soon
August: Coming soon
September: Coming soon
October - December: Coming soon
So, how do I start this process?
Pile depletion/acceptance can be a very personal thing, but here are a few good questions/processes to keep in mind.
Trueheart's Quartet of Contemplation (where it all begins).
Hemidal's Law: Anything that can be added to the pile will be added to the pile.
I love the pile of shame threads, but I'm contemplating starting a support group of sorts that goes hand-in-hand with it.
It would comprise of 4 parts:
1. Listing the games in our collections that we want to finish.
2. Looking forward to the game releases for the year/months ahead and taking note of the games that we're going to buy and at what price.
3. Looking behind to the previously released games and take notes of the games we're going to buy and at what price.
4. Committing to certain games via and making sure we take part in the Pile of Shame threads.
Clockwork's Addendum (alternatively known as the remedy for recurring transgressions).
I will not shop for games unless I actually plan to buy something and play it right away.
But remember Minarchist's musings...
Tackling the pile is a good thing, but taken to the extreme it can impede fun.
beeporama's pile dieting tips.
m0nk3yboy (and all): like with diets, it seems like the best motivator varies by person. So, try some things and see what profoundly affects you.
For me, I found it most effective to plan out a year. I said "I can average X games a month, so I'll list the 12 months for 2013, and schedule games for each of them based on my pile and release dates." Things moved throughout the year, but the important thing was, the schedule had to be "ONE IN, ONE OUT." Can't add a new game without removing one. Can't just toss a game on the pile without knowing it would be at least 2014 before I played it.
Everyone say it with me: Friends don't let friends have Steam Wishlists.
And finally, the internal ramblings of one haunted by the pile...
Conversation with myself
Gamer: "Ooooh... [game] is on sale?"
Brain: "Are you ever gonna play that?"
Gamer: "I might..." / "But people say it's great" / "But that's a fantastic price"
Brain: "When?" / "Do you even like that genre?" / "Wrong answer!"
Brain: "No [game] for you! Come back 1 year!"
Been working out pretty well for both of us ;)
So, whether you are here to decimate your pile of shame, or have it over for dinner for polite conversation, and a discussion on "where they're at", this is the thread for you.