2016 - The 12 Month Pile Plan

It doesn't help that FFXIV has been going through a rather lackluster phase. I had no interest in Alexander Savage or chasing after Diadem loot, so last patch was two new dungeons, Void Ark, main story, done. The next patch might be a little more substantial, it's unclear.

I burned myself out mainly by changing classes right before Heavensward and spending a lot of time bringing up and gearing out white mage, then playing HW a ton when it dropped. It's been nice to play other games for a while.

And I'm happy I did. I played a number of other games that I'd had in the wings for awhile, and it was good to simply have some time away. Now I miss it, though, but don't know if I want to go back. It might not carry the same spark, or I could run into the same issues, or I could simply not have the time for it. It's been nice to clear the pile without having an unending MMO looming over me.

But Eorzea. That place. The dungeons and the cities and the characters and the gameplay. I miss it all.

Unless cost is an issue, there's no reason why you couldn't do what I'm doing: drop in for each patch for a bit, then drop out again.

Demyx wrote:

Unless cost is an issue, there's no reason why you couldn't do what I'm doing: drop in for each patch for a bit, then drop out again.

I need to get geared up before I'll be able to face anything that's added in a patch. I basically finished the storyline in Heavensward and stopped. I never even finished Fractal Continuum after a really bad experience there. So it's a big commitment of time to make it to where I can run something like Void Ark. I'm not even sure I can run Alex Normal yet.

I didn't know you were still playing, actually. I had thought you'd stopped a couple months ago.

I'm going to try and knock out a few this year. I took a new job starting in April that will involve relocating my family, so I am going to ease the backlog slowly this year. I'll start with Walking Dead. If season one grabs me enough, I'll complete season 2 since I have it from playstation plus.

I have a few months off at the beginning of summer. I may slot in Divinity Original Sin on the list of games to complete. First, I'll complete the game the JRPG quarterly club settles on. I don't want to declare too much, yet but I aim to knock out 10 games that tantalize from my shelf as I move this year.

Edits: I am having a bad grammar day.

So February is off to a great start in that, with Mighty No. 9 delayed, I went and purchased Gravity Rush because it was only $30, and now Amazon is nagging me to get Digimon Story.

No! No Amazon! Not until it drops in price...

I think something I have also settled with is that I'm fine being a casual collector of games. I don't go out and irresponsibly spend all my cash on any game I can grab, I'm still selective, but if I purchase and never play The Witcher 3, MGSV, and Fallout 4, I'd be okay with that (as long as it was for, like, $10). I try not to be that way, but considering how many SNES games I traded in and wish I hadn't, or NES games of the sort, or dear God, PS1, PS2, and original Xbox games...

So I'm good buying things and keeping them around. I don't think I'll be getting rid of my PS3 at any point, and Xbox One's backwards compatibility doesn't seem too reliable so I likely won't ditch the 360, either.

I don't know if this means the pile is less stressful or I'm just rationalizing a problem, though.

steinkrug wrote:

I decided to single out some definite plays for the year; I'll play more games than this most likely, but I want to cross these off the list for sure:

Arkham City
Catherine
Final Fantasy XIII (about 10 hours in)
Dragon Age Inquisition
Bravely Default
Majoras Mask 3D
Radiant Historia
The World Ends With You

That's games I already own and not including 2016 releases. I know for sure Persona 5 is a day one purchase for me. There are some others I am considering but not 100% committed to getting to right away.
Edit: Forgot Fire Emblem Fates as a new release I definitely want to play this year if not on release.

Update... Well, I've decided to wait on Fates until I finish at least ONE of the four DS/3DS games I have listed. I didn't make much progress on my list in January.

Finished: Yakuza 3, Bloodborne, Tales of Hearts R (3 games I started in December).
Started: LOH: Tales in the Sky, Danganronpa, Final Fantasy X HD, Final Fantasy IV (PSP), Arkham City

I actually finished Danganronpa already a couple days ago. I decided to start FFX due to the possibility of X-2 being the next JRPG club game and the fact that I played about 25% of it on PS2 and then stopped and never went back to it (some would say, I suppose, that it was a wise decision, but...). As for the fact that I ended up playing TWO FF games concurrently, well... I had been planning on dipping into nostalgia and playing FFIV as I remembered it... i.e. as FFII, but then the PSP port went on sale and I decided I ought to finally experience the game without the changes made to the NA SNES game. I couldn't resist jumping in and I am loving playing it again so much...

And the one game that I started that's actually on the list above... Arkham City. I haven't made a lot of progress. It's fun while I am playing it but I am not finding myself drawn back to it. It might have something to do with the fact that I feel disinterested in superheroes right now. Not sure. If this keeps up I might shelve it again for now and go with Catherine instead.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Demyx wrote:

Unless cost is an issue, there's no reason why you couldn't do what I'm doing: drop in for each patch for a bit, then drop out again.

I need to get geared up before I'll be able to face anything that's added in a patch. I basically finished the storyline in Heavensward and stopped. I never even finished Fractal Continuum after a really bad experience there. So it's a big commitment of time to make it to where I can run something like Void Ark. I'm not even sure I can run Alex Normal yet.

I didn't know you were still playing, actually. I had thought you'd stopped a couple months ago.

Well, I haven't been playing much the last couple of months. I dropped in for 3.1, and then for the holiday events, and that's it.

10% of my year of the PS3 are done and I am not doing to badly. Still no new purchases or desire to play any other platforms. I am also quite glad I knocked out Demons Souls first, I am not sure if I would have stuck it out had that been the last game on the list.
God of War 2 is competent despite its age and I feel like DeS made me a better player for games like this. I have to say though that the parts between boss fights drag too long and are rarely challenging, so I have to play it in 1-2 hour sessions to stay interested. I am 12-13 hours in, just killed the Kraken and hope it's over soon. I am currently debating whether I should just do GoW3 afterwards to get that franchise and style of QTE... erm... game out of the way or throw in one of the other short ones first.

Left 2016:

  • Assassin's Creed: Rogue (PS3)
  • Dante's Inferno (PS3)
  • Demon's Souls (PS3) (32h - done)
  • God of War 2 (PS3) (now playing)
  • God of War 3 (PS3)
  • Heavy Rain (PS3)
  • Nier (PS3)
  • Vanquish (PS3)

Still trucking away at Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel, great game but it's really long, I'm about 65 hours in and I still looks like there is another 10 hours left. My goal is to get it done and knock out couple of the smaller games before the crazy march hits.

That's a solid list Luggage. I finished Nier a while back but never did the 2nd ending. (or 3rd or 4th?) I'm currently working on Tales of Xillia and just finished Dragon's Dogma last month. Definitely a lot of PS3 for me this year too.

Still have Eternal Sonata untouched. And a couple of other PS+ games that I'd like to at least try for a while, if not beat.

Luggage wrote:

10% of my year of the PS3 are done and I am not doing to badly. Still no new purchases or desire to play any other platforms. I am also quite glad I knocked out Demons Souls first, I am not sure if I would have stuck it out had that been the last game on the list.
God of War 2 is competent despite its age and I feel like DeS made me a better player for games like this. I have to say though that the parts between boss fights drag too long and are rarely challenging, so I have to play it in 1-2 hour sessions to stay interested. I am 12-13 hours in, just killed the Kraken and hope it's over soon. I am currently debating whether I should just do GoW3 afterwards to get that franchise and style of QTE... erm... game out of the way or throw in one of the other short ones first.

Left 2016:

  • Assassin's Creed: Rogue (PS3)
  • Dante's Inferno (PS3)
  • Demon's Souls (PS3) (32h - done)
  • God of War 2 (PS3) (now playing)
  • God of War 3 (PS3)
  • Heavy Rain (PS3)
  • Nier (PS3)
  • Vanquish (PS3)

I know I say this everytime I see Vanquish on somebody's list, but, man, Vanquish is sooo good. I really really enjoyed my time with it. I would totally buy an HD Vanquish for my PS4.

Luggage wrote:

10% of my year of the PS3 are done and I am not doing to badly. Still no new purchases or desire to play any other platforms. I am also quite glad I knocked out Demons Souls first, I am not sure if I would have stuck it out had that been the last game on the list.
God of War 2 is competent despite its age and I feel like DeS made me a better player for games like this. I have to say though that the parts between boss fights drag too long and are rarely challenging, so I have to play it in 1-2 hour sessions to stay interested. I am 12-13 hours in, just killed the Kraken and hope it's over soon. I am currently debating whether I should just do GoW3 afterwards to get that franchise and style of QTE... erm... game out of the way or throw in one of the other short ones first.

Left 2016:

  • Assassin's Creed: Rogue (PS3)
  • Dante's Inferno (PS3)
  • Demon's Souls (PS3) (32h - done)
  • God of War 2 (PS3) (now playing)
  • God of War 3 (PS3)
  • Heavy Rain (PS3)
  • Nier (PS3)
  • Vanquish (PS3)

God of War and Dante's Inferno are very similar in design. If I were in your shoes, I'd break them up a bit and play something in between.

I've been working on transitioning my offline list into Backloggery. Couple questions:

- Where should I host an avatar image?
- Is Multitap basically a friends list?

beeporama wrote:
Bubblefuzz wrote:

So there you have it.... gulp... any tips? ... help?! ...

Different things work for different people, but I'm a fan of this tactic:

List out the next year, month by month, and what you'd like to play each month. Don't worry about getting it exactly right or feeling like you have to stick to it. The exercise is more about how many games you think you can complete in a year.

Throughout the year keep a list of what you actually play and complete each month.

After the year is over, you'll have a much better chance of lining up expectations with reality when you think "I'll put this game on the pile and play it, uh, when I have time."

Thanks, I might try something like this. If not month by month, at least work about what's achievable over the year with time likely to have and do some culling to pile, just include what am very keen for.

steinkrug wrote:

- Where should I host an avatar image?

Any image hosting service is fine. Mine is stored on Photobucket.

- Is Multitap basically a friends list?

Yes.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

God of War and Dante's Inferno are very similar in design. If I were in your shoes, I'd break them up a bit and play something in between.

Yeah, I think I am now at a point where I'll insert a different game in between each of these. Until this morning, I was ready to dive directly into GoW3, but oh what a blunder the ending of GoW2 was. After such a satisfying final boss fight a (bugged?) QTE with 0.5s button prompts and a final button mash sequence that fails before the graphic ever shows up - so easy to fail and every new try repeats a 20-30s cinematic.
But oh well, using my newly acquired From Software brand of smugness, "it was no Demon's Souls".
Think next I'll either take a shot at Vanquish or give Heavy Rain another shot (think I did 2-3 hours a few years ago), being up to snuff in QTEs and all. Pressing "X" to "Jayson!"...

Left 2016:

  • Assassin's Creed: Rogue (PS3)
  • Dante's Inferno (PS3)
  • Demon's Souls (PS3) (32h - done)
  • God of War 2 (PS3) (16h - done)
  • God of War 3 (PS3)
  • Heavy Rain (PS3)
  • Nier (PS3)
  • Vanquish (PS3)
shoptroll wrote:
steinkrug wrote:

- Where should I host an avatar image?

Any image hosting service is fine. Mine is stored on Photobucket.

- Is Multitap basically a friends list?

Yes.

Thank you!

New Build of Gomer is up, here.

Changes:

  • Got rid of custom statuses. I realized it was a whole lot of effort, and kind of getting in my way, for something I don't think is really needed. (The examples in the original request could be handled with lists.)
  • Status is now a calculated field, based on these date fields: Added On, Started On, Finished On, Retired On
  • Really rough, first-pass at reports. Right now all you get is the delta details report for a selected timeframe. No numbers, stats or pretty graphs. Just the raw list. This is likely the next thing I'll work on
  • The big thing, that hopefully makes it useful for people: You can now import export a CSV file from Grouvee and import it into Gomer. The concepts and data are a bit different between the two apps so there are some places where I have to make educated guesses about the date. See the Readme artifact on the build for details about how the import works. I'd suggest preparing your data on grouvee prior to exporting.

January Progress

Spoiler:

Added:
(Nothing!)

Beat:
Amnesia: The Dark Descent (Steam)
Okami HD (PSN)
Undertale (Steam)

Made Progress In:
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix (PS3)

I felt good about my pile progress last month and I didn't even buy anything. It's a miracle Then New Years Steam Sale happened and now I'm sorely tempted to buy stuff. The only thing holding me back is that a friend reminded me that the same games will probably be on sale the next time. Waiting won't hurt anything. Anyways, I also wanted to post my belated 2016 gaming goals.

Spoiler:

1. Beat Demon Souls

I bought this game soon after it's original release in 2009 and haven't really played it since. I'm not really good at videogames so I've been putting this off but I at least want to attempt to beat one of the souls games. Just to see if I could do it. However I wonder if one of the newer entries would be more newbie friendly like Dark Souls 2 or Bloodbourne.

2. Look over all the games on null on my Backloggery and decide whether to keep or delete/sell.

Why have games that take up space (either digitally or physically) when I likely won't ever play them..So the plan is to give them another shake and see if I unfairly shelved them back in the day. I have a feeling most of them will get booted though.

3. Catch up on the Metal Gear Solid & Kingdom Hearts series

I started both series last year for the first time and want to see the rest. I'd also like to play a Final Fantasy game (never beat one) but I already have enough on my plate as is. We'll see

4. Continue limiting my videogame purchases

Pretty self explaintory.

Very slow start to the year so far. Nothing crossed off the pile and a chunk of additions but what I have been playing has been excellent.

Started the year with 174 games on the pile and in January I added 8 games

Spoiler:

Elite: Dangerous
Her Story
LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Metro 2033 Redux (replacing Metro 2033)
Metro Last Light Redux (replacing Metro Last Light)
South Park The Stick of Truth
The Witness
Valkyria Chronicles

and finished nothing.

So far for February I've added Firewatch to the pile but I expect that will be finished come the end of the month.

Here's a few goals for the year too.

Spoiler:

Reduce the net number of games in the pile (This is a tough one.)
Cut some games from the pile (I'll give this a crack toward the end of the year.)
Finish Final Fantasy 7 (Just made a start on this.)
Finish Half-Life
Finish Fire Emblem: Awakening before buying Fates (Only a couple missions left in this.)
Finish Deus Ex: Human Revolution before buying Mankind Divided (Up to the second boss. Was put off by the boss battles last time I put the controller down.)
Finish Dishonored before buying Dishonored 2
Finish XCOM before buying XCOM 2 (Just made a start on this.)

Toughest challenge so far has been the weather. The PC and new consoles are in a room with no cooling and the decision of facing 30°C+ nights versus lounging in front of the TV with aircon is often a no-brainer. Bring on the mild Perth Winter.

It doesn't count as buying new hardware if it's a platform that I used to own, right?

bobbywatson wrote:
Garden Ninja wrote:

Source code is here: https://github.com/recfab/Gomer

It's .NET in WPF. I know MS has done a lot with open sourcing .NET and making it multiplatform. Not sure if that extends to WPF as well.

I kept it all in one project just to keep things simple, but if The WPF part doesn't work on Mac let me know; it shouldn't be too difficult to extract the business logic from the UI.

Thanks! I won't be able to look into it for a week or so, but I see what I can do!

I started looking into this today, and it looks like this is not going to be trivial, whether the business logic is isolated from the UI or not. Unless I want to start dealing with Mono and stuff like that, using C# on the Mac is not an option (the Apple IDE uses either Objective-C or Swift).

Googling 'windows mac cross platform app' a bit, what comes up more often are: web application, Xojo and Xamarin. There are also open-source options like wxWindows and Qt, apparently. And Java, of course.

So, basically, it looks like I would have to rewrite everything. Which is fine, since this is mostly a learning project for me (I have almost never done any Mac development, and all of it was mostly for testing). Also, I've been curious about CoreData for quite some time, and this seems like a perfect use case to use it...

New goal for the year I want to retire my 360 so I'm going back to finish a few games on there that I want to finish.

I've been keeping track of things I buy, drop, and finish each month in a text document. I don't know that I'm going to continue to because I've found it surprisingly discouraging. Here's what it looks like right now:

January Finished - The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav Finished - Bloodborne Finished - Until Dawn Finished - Thief Dropped - Tearaway Unfolded Bought - Lords of the Fallen Gifted - Infamous Second Son Bought - Batman: Arkham Knight Finished - The Talos Principle Bought - Final Fantasy Explorers February Finished - Batman: Arkham Knight Bought - Divinity: Original Sin

Looking at that, you would think I hadn't done a whole lot in February. Granted, the month is only half-finished, but there's still been remarkably little to add to my log. That's been discouraging for me to see, because it's made me feel like I haven't accomplished much.

But it's an incomplete picture. It captures what I finished and what I purchased, but it doesn't at all show what I've played. Arkham Knight was a long game, and I played almost all of it this month. I've made substantial progress in Lords of the Fallen and poured almost twenty hours into Dragon Age: Inquisition. I played some of Life Is Strange and now Divinity Original Sin, as well as Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Final Fantasy Explorers, and Ace Attorney Trilogy. None of that gets captured, however, by a simple list of what I finished and when.

If the only things I'm counting are the games I acquire and the games I finish, that's a strong disincentive against playing longer games. I doubt I'll finish Dragon Age this quarter, but I've put a lot of time and effort into it in just a couple weeks.

That might be something to keep in mind for those of you working pile trackers.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

That might be something to keep in mind for those of you working pile trackers.

Gomer has estimated hours and played hours, that I was planning to put into the stats. The only report I have at the moment is the delta list that people post.

But I've had the same concerns regarding that report not showing what I played. The date fields only work for that if you finish a game within a month. I'm not sure how to implement it though.

I think perhaps I've been treating Gomer as being too general, and it would work better if I just treat it entirely as an extension of "GWJ Pile Culture".

I've considered a "Declare this month" button of something like that, but Hemi seems to prefer you only declare for the month you hope to finish it. Maybe a simple button that says "I played this today" that adds to a list of dates?

That's not a bad idea. I've thought about mucking around with a more natural interaction model, like you open up a pile app and it asks you a couple questions, like what you're playing, or if you're still playing a certain game, or if you're still enjoying it. Encourage little daily check-ins like that. Then use that data to generate weekly or monthly updates. "You beat Arkham Knight! Good job. You also played Lords of the Fallen, but you didn't seem to like it much."

I've probably just been looking too much at fitness apps.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I've probably just been looking too much at fitness apps. :P

That's an interesting idea. I've been treating it largely as a "pop in when there is a change" style workflow, largely because that's how I handled things in my text file. But I've been logging into MyFitnessPal everyday for a couple months (those "hey, don't break your streak" notifications help).

I've seen people 'round here using Started and Continued in their monthly updates. Perhaps including those, Clock, would make you feel like you are better reflecting your activity.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

If the only things I'm counting are the games I acquire and the games I finish, that's a strong disincentive against playing longer games. I doubt I'll finish Dragon Age this quarter, but I've put a lot of time and effort into it in just a couple weeks.

Definitely get where you're coming from on that. I know once I finish up some of the remaining short games I had picked out for the year, I'll be putting a lot of time into RPGs and that's going to make most of my "progress reports" be very uneventful, and that's got me a little down thinking about it.

Right now I'm torn between starting up Firewatch or finishing up Mirror's Edge because while I'm excited for Firewatch, I really want that "gold star" for knocking Mirror's Edge off the pile instead of letting it sit around for another month.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I've been keeping track of things I buy, drop, and finish each month in a text document. I don't know that I'm going to continue to because I've found it surprisingly discouraging...

If the only things I'm counting are the games I acquire and the games I finish, that's a strong disincentive against playing longer games. I doubt I'll finish Dragon Age this quarter, but I've put a lot of time and effort into it in just a couple weeks.

That might be something to keep in mind for those of you working pile trackers.

I guess it depends what you're trying to accomplish. Are you trying to get yourself to spend more time playing games? Great then! But for me, I'm already playing about as much as I can bear; it's about getting as much as I can out of that time (and not wasting too much money along the way).

So, tracking like that over the course of a year made me see those long games filling up multiple months, and really make informed decisions about whether I'd rather play them or play several shorter games. For me, I needed a strong disincentive against playing longer games! (And buying them in the first place.) I mean, I haven't sworn them off (I've dumped 200+? hours into Xenoblade Chronicles X) but I think I'm being more selective about it.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, figuring out your goals will help you decide how best to pursue them. What works for Clock and what works for me is, it would seem, pretty different.

As a side note, being unsure where to post this (new thread?): I am starting to suspect that playing video games for long periods is a significant factor in giving me migraines. I'm going to need to be smarter about how I play, and avoid those marathon sessions when I have a day or a weekend off (because then I lose most of the next day).