2018 - 12 Month Pile Program

The only things I know I want to buy in 2018 are Total War related- Warhammer 2 DLC and the new Britannia game. I do have some money left in my steam wallet which will be spent before the sale ends, but other than that I don't intend to add to the pile this year.

I gravitate towards more open ended games that don't have traditional endings so pile management has always been a bit of a challenge for me. When is a game like Euro Truck Simulator done? Maybe it never is and maybe that's ok. In any case, I've listed a few games that I hope to finish, or else make good progress in in 2018.

- Darkest Dungeon
- Opus Magnum
- Total War: Warhammer 2 (finish at least two more campaigns)
- Pillars of Eternity (seems to be on my list every year but I don't have the heart to drop it)
- Mad Max (if I'm going to play one open world action game this year, let it be one I already own)
- Football Manager 2018 (every save I start with the intention of playing 5+ seasons, I don't think I've played more than 2 since the early 00's)

If I'm honest with myself that's more than enough for me to chew on in 2018, especially if I add something like Civ6, Hearts of Iron or War of the Chosen using my remaining steam funds. I estimate that I game for about 350-400 hours in a year, an average of an hour a day or so, and some people will spend that amount of time in Football Manager alone so I'm being careful not to over commit!

Happy new year to you all and may your piles bring you every happiness! (and if it doesn't, drop it like it's hot! )

kergguz wrote:

Happy new year to you all and may your piles bring you every happiness! (and if it doesn't, drop it like it's hot! )

Hear, hear! Now there's a new year's resolution I can live by!

I’m planning to buy 0 games this year. Hmmm... which games do I want to finish? Hmmm...

Kicked off the New Year in style by finishing Rime sometime around 4 AM.

Beat Batman: The Telltale Series season one today. 2018's off to a good start (I hope)!

Thinking of tallying everything I'm interested in thus far in a post later, as my spreadsheet only contains games with actual dates.

Settled on:

1. Persona 5 [PS4] (JRPG)
2. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 [Switch] (JRPG)*
3. Children of Zodiarcs [PC] (Strategy/JRPG)
4. Blackguards [PC] (WRPG)*
5. The Witcher 3 [XBO] (Open World/WRPG)
6. Breath of the Wild [Switch] (Open World)*
7. Obduction [PC] (Puzzle)
8. Opus Magnum [PC] (Puzzle)*
9. Stephen's Sausage Roll [PC] (Puzzle)
10. FEZ [PC] (Puzzle)
11. Antichamber [PC] (Puzzle)
12. Hollow Knight [PC] (PEG/Platformer)*
13. Sundered [PC] (PEG/Platformer)
14. Dark Souls [PC] (Action)
15. Nier Automata* [PS4] (Action)
16. Doom [PC] (Action/FPS)
17. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider [XBO] (Action/Stealth)
18. Prey [XBO] (Action/Horror)
19. The Evil Within: The Assignment & The Consequence [XBO] (Action/Horror)§
20. SteamWorld Heist [PC] (Strategy)
21. Invisible, Inc. [PC] (Strategy/Stealth)
22. Dead Cells [PC] (PEG/Platformer)
23. Song of the Deep [PC] (PEG)

Beat Rime last night and added Steamworld Dig 2.


I've also set a goal of buying no more than ten games this year, keeping with the same estimate that I finish about 30 or so games each year. So far, I have:

1. Steamworld Dig 2 [Switch] (PEG/Platformer)
2. Lost Sphear [Switch] (JRPG) - pre-ordered
3. Shadow of the Colossus [PS4] (Action) - pre-ordered
4. Wonder Boy and the Dragon's Trap [Switch] (PEG/Platformer) - pre-ordered

I wasn't going to make a list of games that I wanted to play in 2018 but the more I look at my backlog, I feel like these titles are the ones I want to get to if I can.

Assassin's Creed: Unity (Steam)
Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance HD (PS4)
Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -a fragmentary passage (PS4)
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4)
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (3DS)
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD (Wii U)
Banjo Tooie (X360)
Nier (X360)
Stardew Valley (Steam)
Life is Strange Before the Storm (Steam)
Resident Evil 7 (Steam)
Rise of the Tomb Raider (Steam)
Persona 5 (PS4)
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (PS4)
The Witness (Steam)
Pikmin 3 (Wii U)
Child of Light (PS4)
Freedom Planet (Steam)

The first five titles were just chosen because I want to get further in each series. Wind Waker HD is more of a replay since I played the original game on Gamecube. Nier and Banjo Tooie are games that I want to get back to since I was enjoying them. The rest are just something that sounds fun.

I might start coming up with a spreadsheet of games I own physically so I can help set up a way to lend games to other people. For example, if someone wants to play Lady Layton without buying it because they've enjoyed the rest of the series, I have no problem sending my copy off.

Now then, games I'm interested in during the year 2018 in a spoiler-tag, ordered by release date with TBA at the "bottom", with definitive purchases in bold.

Spoiler:

Lost Sphear
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Iconoclasts
Owlboy
Secret of Mana
Shadow of the Colossus
Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology
Bayonetta 1+2
Yakuza 6
Ni No Kuni 2
Valkyria Chronicles 4
Devil May Cry HD Collection
We Happy Few?
BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle
Bayonetta 3
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Kickstarter Backed)
BattleChasers: Night War (Kickstarter Backed, awaiting Switch version)
Call of Cthulu
Code Vein
Concrete Genie
Darksiders III
Detroit: Become Human
Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain
Left Alive
Mega Man 11
Mega Man X Collection
Metroid Prime 4
Praey for the Gods (Kickstarted)
Spider-Man
Soulcalibur VI (will buy if it releases on Switch)
Travis Strikes Back: No More Heroes (need to see more on this)
Untitled Ace Attorney game
Untitled Fire Emblem game
Valkyria Chronicles 4
Vampyr
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (buying for Switch)

So confirmed purchases so far: 15
Total Games of Interest: 36

The past two years I've only been able to play through slightly more than 20 games (approximately 23 on average). Now, it's possible I could get more gaming time in, but at the moment it's probably best I limit my purchases to what's bolded since I imagine I'll want to buy more once Nintendo's Direct occurs and maybe after E3.

I've noticed a few things through 2017 though. The first is my social life has decreased largely due to fewer options. Right now, I'm not depressed when I'm gaming. It's when I check social media and such that I start to suddenly feel very isolated and lonely. So I'm hoping to spend as much time gaming I can when I'm not hanging with my friends so that I can keep my mood positive and hopefully positive enough to keep myself working on videos and articles. I'm also hoping to increase front-page productivity, perhaps revamping my Analysis Paralysis column into... well, an actual column. Will have to see, because the past few days any time I've wanted to work on something I've just... gotten depressed.

Either way, I think I'm gonna do a lot of deleting on my Spreadsheet into things that aren't bolded.

Last week, I did a complete inventory of all of my games, both physical and digital to give me a better idea of the true height of the pile. Not counting PS+ games, I have 66 physical and 53 digital games to finish across mostly the various Sony platforms and a couple of Nintendo handhelds gathering dust in the corner.

On average, I can finish around 12-15 games/year so I put together a list to start with. I'm sure that several of these will drop off/get swapped out.

Currently playing:
Gravity Rush 2 (PS4)
Need for Speed Rivals (PS4)
Lego Batman 2 (PS3--playing with son, need to get that 100%)
Lego Marvel Super Heroes (PS4--playing with son, working on 100%)
Sky Force Anniversary (Vita--two levels left!)

Games to play in 2018 in alphabetical order (I am not playing them in this order--Horizon Zero Dawn is next!):
Abzu (PS4)
Cosmic Star Heroine (PS4)
Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions (Vita)
Final Fantasy V (son wants to play this one with me for some reason)
Galak-Z (PS4)
God Wars: Future Past (Vita)
Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)
King's Quest (PS4)
Knack II (PS4)
Life is Strange: Before the Storm (PS4)
Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time (PS3)
Salt and Sanctuary (PS4/Vita)
Saturday Morning RPG (Vita)
Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom (PS4)
The Order: 1886 (PS4)
Trails of Cold Steel (Vita)

How Long to Beat says that is 500 hours. I usually play around 1-2 hours/day 5-6 days/week so it is possible to knock several of these out. So far, 2018 is really light on games that I am interested in so maybe I can make significant progress on the pile...maybe.

2018 Purchases:
Ni No Kuni 2 (March)
Rainbow Skies (Q2)
Kingdom Hearts III (2018...allegedly)

I have been following this thread thinking it might be good for me to attack my pile, but if I tried to make a list of the games I own, i think it would break my brain.

BadKen wrote:

I have been following this thread thinking it might be good for me to attack my pile, but if I tried to make a list of the games I own, i think it would break my brain.

That's part of why I tried to just make a little mini pile to work from.

I tried to work backward from how many games I think I'll finish in a year (30), and what I want my backlog-to-buying ratio to look like (2:1), and then picked out a number of games equal to that ratio applies to that total (20).

I didn't pull from a list of everything I have. I just browsed the services and platforms I used and picked out what looked most fun. I'm ignoring the rest for the time being. It's overwhelming and a bit silly otherwise.

I've tried the "complete list of my whole collection" thing before, and I mostly found it demoralizing. This is an attempt at something different.

kergguz wrote:

I gravitate towards more open ended games that don't have traditional endings so pile management has always been a bit of a challenge for me. When is a game like Euro Truck Simulator done? Maybe it never is and maybe that's ok. In any case, I've listed a few games that I hope to finish, or else make good progress in in 2018.

My pile is pretty much all on Steam (though GOG keeps threatening to try to catch up), so for this problem I've created two categories 'Finished' and 'Replayable'. Things that I don't see myself need to revisit go in the first, the Civs and Euro Truck Simulators of the world will go in the second.

I've given up on making any rules around game purchases. Most of my purchases will be spur of the moment things, driving my items on my Steam wishlist going on sale. I'll probably pick up the latest version of The Show close-to-day-one, even if/when the changes are not compelling, because the Road To The Show mode is still awesome. I'll definitely pre-order the next OOTP, because it is by far the best baseball simulator around these days. I suspect I'll eventually get the Civ6 expansion, but probably not day one. I've not been very good about remembering to look at the Monthly Humble Bundle stuff to decide if I want to suspend it for a month, so I think I have a bunch of things there which I'll eventually add to Steam this year, even though I technically bought them last year. Beyond that ... who knows.

For what to play this year:

January

  • East India Company - Actually started in 2017. It's pretty mediocre, but I feel compelled to beat it at least once. The DLC all seem to focus on the ship battle part, which should really appeal to me ... but doesn't. So while I have all of the DLC I'll pretend I do not for the purpose of counting the game as finished. I had 95 minutes of playtime recorded by Steam when starting this up again, up to 24 hours time now (a good chunk of that time was AFK).
  • Factorio - Steams says I have 37 hours in this, and I've never come close to building the rocket. When I've gone on Factorio binges I've felt like copying designs from others would ruin the fun a bit, and I'm just not good enough at the game/endowed with enough free time to haven't gotten far without help. This time around I won't avoid learning from others.

February

  • Galactic Civilizations III - I think I accidentally got this through the monthly Humble Bundle. I tried Gal Civ II back in the day after it was heavily praised in general on GWJ, and while it seemed like a game I should enjoy I bounced off it pretty hard at the time. Given its source and my displeasure in myself for having let any of my money go that way, I won't feel very obliged to stick with it for long, and there is a not-so-small chance it will be shoved off into the 'completed' category long before meeting any goal.
  • Half-Life - Steam lists my purchase date as March 22nd, 2004, and doesn't list any time played. I'm assuming that is the day I bought The Orange Box and finally installed Steam for the first time or some such. I had played through 75% of the game back in 1999 when I first purchased it, but eventually got pulled into Team Fortress, Counter Strike, and Asherons Call, and mostly stopped playing single player games for awhile. Sometime after I beat HL2, I did eventually go back and do a complete play through of the original, but I guess that was before Steam was tracking playtimes. Anyway, I'll give it a shot again, but since I have completed it, and since Black Mesa exists, I suspect I'll toss it to the completed pile well before actually getting to the ending.
  • I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream - Steam says I purchased it on May 8th, 2014, and have no playtime. I have no idea what its about, but I think I added it to my wishlist after seeing it raved about on GWJ, and probably picked it up on a sale. It looks like its short so ...
  • Jagged Alliance Gold - I just bought this while making this list, since I had Jagged Alliance 2 stuff but not either of the original Jagged Alliance games on Steam, and it was 75% off. Technically the JA2 stuff ends up coming first alphabetically, but I'll bend the rules here. I would love to finally complete this game, as I believe I first bought Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games for a Tandy 1000 XL, and never completed it (It was hard!).

March

  • Kenshi - Steam claims I only have 84 minutes in, but I think that was all from a recent attempt at playing the game. I think I must have either played a bunch outside of Steam, or somehow my time wasn't counted (it looks like the Steam release occurred in 2013). I think when I first bought the game I thought it was multiplayer. Its user interface is perhaps one of the few times that could make Wurm and A Tale in the Desert look well-designed. I have a tendency these days to not want too strong of a challenge from games I play, and this game is brutal. But I think I would love a chance to sink some time into it, and the beginning of spring seems perfect!

April

  • L.A. Noire - Steams says I purchased the game on February 26th of 2013. I have 15 hours racked up, and I completed 19 achievements between March 1st and March 3rd of that year. I only mention this because I have 0 memory of ever actually playing the game. I strongly remember wanting the game, and I even vaguely remembering purchasing it, but any playtime is a complete blank. Weird. I'll give myself the entire month to complete this game, since outside stuff should at least theoretically be competing with gaming time by then.

May

  • Mafia or Mafia II - I saw that its now possible to obtain Mafia on GOG, though with the original music stripped out. There are some methods around listed for re-adding that, and if I can catch the game on a sale and get the original music back in, I'll go ahead and play it in May. If not, I'll try to give Mafia II a second play through. I bought and finished the game in 2016, but there were a lot of achievements I didn't get to, so it would be purely an achievement run.
  • Napoleon: Total War - Bought on Steam on December 18th, 2014, and never played. I remember initially dismissing the game when it came out, but being sold on it by a GWJ podcast while doing laundry around the corner from my apartment building back when we lived in Brooklyn. I'm kind of surprised that I never actually played it at all. I'm not yet sure what I would consider 'complete enough', I'll have to work that out closer to when I actually begin to play it.

April

  • Patrician III - Technically, OOTP 16 was next, since I bought that version on Steam. I buy that game directly now though, so I was going to skip to Patrician IV. But from looking at its store page, I saw a decent sale on the 'Merchants Chest Bundle', which included Patrician III. After having bought it, I see complaints about it not working well in Windows 10, but maybe I can find a work-around or get it to run in a VM.

May

  • The Quest - It looks like I bought this on June 24, 2016, and only put three hours into it. IIRC correctly I was on some sort of island and confused as to what to do next, so quit and never made it back. I still think this game can have a lot of appeal if I can ride out any rough parts.

June

  • Rabiez: Epidemic - Purchased on July 2nd, 2016. I have no memory of purchasing the game, or even seeing it before, but it looks like it has potential for a good chunk of fun. Probably not a full months worth though.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call of Pripyat - Purchased December 31, 2010, and Steam lists no time played. I definitely put a lot of time into the original STALKER, though either it wasn't through Steam or they just didn't track it. For all of my time, I don't think I ever actually got very far. Hopefully it runs ok on Windows 10, as I would really like to actually finish it this time.

July

  • Tales of Maj'Eyal (aka ToME4) - Purchased December 17th, 2015, with 11 out of 1,638 achievements accomplished over 40 hours over the next few days, and yet touched since then. `Completed` will be tough here, and I might just do something like play it for the month and then move on.

August

September

  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines - I think I first became acquainted with this system from its Second Life adaptation, but saw the game praised somewhere on GWJ so bought it back on December 23rd, 2014. I did get some time in after buying it, and once or twice since, but Steam doesn't list any time played.

October

  • X: Beyond The Frontier - I've always really wanted to get into the X games, but they've never really stuck for me. Time to give it another go, starting from the beginning.

November

  • Ziggurat - Purchased February 6th 2016, I have no idea what it is. Hope its fun to find out.

December

  • AI War: Fleet Command - Looping back around, this was an A game I meant to play earlier this year. I installed and started playing this while at the hospital, and couldn't concentrate enough at the time to figure out how to play it. Hopefully by the end of this year I will have broken that association.

Along with alphabetically looping through my Steam list, I really want to get through the Epic Questline of LoTRO. The problem is that there is an MMO in the way that I only find somewhat fun, so we'll see how that goes.

I'll put some time into MLB The Show when it comes out. I have a superstar White Sox shortstop with power and speed who I created the year prior to when they first began allowing exporting old characters in. I look forward to seeing what kind of a contract he can get when he first hits the free agent market.

I'll also get more time in for OOTP. My Dad died in the fall of last year, a lot earlier than he should have, and in a way which I should have been able to prevent. This has not treated me well, and one small way I've been trying to deal with it has been via OOTP. He had MLB-level talent, but that ended up not working out. So I started a sim where he was drafted right out of high school in 1978. I intended to try to give him realistic stats, but overdid it and he has won both the league Cy Young and MVP every year except his rookie year. He was drafted by the Blue Jays, who fairly quickly signed him to a long contract, much to my disappointment, as I am managing the Mets. However, Toronto gave him the ability to opt out after just a few years, and he took it. So, we are about to enter 1985 in the sim, and the Mets have just won their first world series since 1969, and then managed to scrape together enough money to pick up the best pitcher in the game off of free agency. While I had intended to try to keep some realism to the sim, the non-realistic path has been a lot more fun and I look forward to seeing what 1985 brings.

absurddoctor wrote:

I'll also get more time in for OOTP. My Dad died in the fall of last year, a lot earlier than he should have, and in a way which I should have been able to prevent. This has not treated me well, and one small way I've been trying to deal with it has been via OOTP. He had MLB-level talent, but that ended up not working out. So I started a sim where he was drafted right out of high school in 1978. I intended to try to give him realistic stats, but overdid it and he has won both the league Cy Young and MVP every year except his rookie year. He was drafted by the Blue Jays, who fairly quickly signed him to a long contract, much to my disappointment, as I am managing the Mets. However, Toronto gave him the ability to opt out after just a few years, and he took it. So, we are about to enter 1985 in the sim, and the Mets have just won their first world series since 1969, and then managed to scrape together enough money to pick up the best pitcher in the game off of free agency. While I had intended to try to keep some realism to the sim, the non-realistic path has been a lot more fun and I look forward to seeing what 1985 brings.

Aw man. I'm sorry to hear about your dad, but that's a great OOTP story, I bet he'd love that. I bought OOTP a few months back in one of those pay what you want bundles because I've wanted to learn the game for a while. I'm in the UK and know next to nothing about baseball (it just ain't cricket!), and there is almost zero coverage of it over here, but I love sports and it looks like one of the best Sims out there. I do get to watch the NFL every Sunday though so I hope the same company get around to making their rumoured game in that field.

I'd love to hear how your save game turns out if you're writing about it somewhere.

This is a weird year, as my attention is shifting to some smaller titles, and almost all the big releases I'm into are pretty front-loaded. But recognizing that I always shift the schedule around, I just finally started placing things.

Like previous years, I included release dates for things I'm almost certain to end up getting. Unlike previous years, I looked up "how long to beat" a bunch of these, and included it as a note if more than a couple of hours... which will help me schedule better, I think, and more accurately track my pace of play. I mean, I think that 10 hours a week is my average... let's see if that's the case.

January 2018: Cosmic Star Heroine; Dear Esther; Icey; Inside; Jotun
February 2018: Monster Hunter: World (January 26)
March 2018: Lost Sphear (January 23)
April 2018: Dishonored 2 (NG+ with Emily) (25 hr); Dishonored: Death of the Outsider (15 hr)
May 2018: Night In the Woods (10-20 hr), The Witness (25 hr)
June 2018: The Last Guardian (15 hr), Pyre (15-20 hr), Republique (20 hr)
July 2018: Shadow Of the Colossus PS4 (Feb 6); Murdered: Soul Suspect (10 hr)
August 2018: Little Nightmares: Secrets Of The Maw; Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (9 hr)
September 2018: NieR: Automata (50 hr)
October 2018: Get Even (15 hr)
November 2018: Secret Of Mana (Feb 15)
December 2018: Biomutant

Other possible 2018 pile additions: Detroit: Become Human; Far Cry 5 (March 27); Final Fantasy 7 Remake; Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds; Ni No Kuni II (March 23)

If I can keep this fairly reasonable schedule and not buy too much more... I'll be fairly well caught up! I might be able to retire from pile tracking in a year or two if I can continue not buying things faster than I can play them.

I'm not going to re-post my list, but I'm at 9 "Must-Buys" even though a handful are probably going to end up sitting on the pile for a few years I'm also expecting that whenever Nintendo finally does a new Nintendo Direct I'm probably going to have a few more things to add to my lists which is always a fun time.

Games I want to Finish (for my definition of finish) in 2018:

Skyrim (No clue how long that will take. 'm 65 hours into Skyrim and I have ZERO idea how close I am to being done. Half? A third? No clue! I'm level 26 but other than that is there any real way to see how far you are in this game?)
Zelda Breath of the While (I have two divine beasts and about 20 dungeons left)
Mario Odyssey: (I'm at 160 moons. Not looking to 100% but I think I'd like to reach around 400-500)
LA Noire (With my wife. We have most of the Vice cases left)
Friday the 13th (I'm close to being "done" but I kind of hope they bring in a "who is the killer mode" - like in part V - so I won't be)
GTA V ( haven't started)
Planet Coaster ( haven't started)
Fallout 4 (i'm 50 hours in, kind of fell out)
Oxygen Not Included (haven't started)
Rocket League (haven't started)
Sonic Mania (about 4 levels in)
Steamworld Dig 2 (haven't started)
Mario + Rabbids ( about 4 hours in)
Stardew Valley (About 4 hours in)
Witcher 3 ( 2 hours in)

Stretch Goals:
Thimbleweed Park
Minecraft
Blossum Tales
Bioshock Infinite
Vampire The Masquerade - Bloodlines
Doom
Dark Souls II

Hey Guys,
It's been a while. (Like maybe a couple of years...whoops.) Multiple interstate moves and a new job later, I may finally have time to focus on the pile again. (And not be trying to retail therapy away the job I hated with games I didn't have time to play.) I did manage to finish both Demon's Souls and Dark Souls in 2017, so I was pretty proud of that. I've picked up Dark Souls II Scholar of the First Sin which I plan to start this month. I'm really looking forward to it, but it's become a large threat to the pile because I got XBOX Live Gold so I could play it online, and now I have a steady stream of new games coming in from that front. I did cancel my Humble Monthly subscription part way through 2017 though, so at least there's progress there.

Goal for 2018: End the year with a positive number on my Backloggery memory card - more games finished than acquired. (For once)

I decided to give Backloggery a try again. My profile is here if anyone wants to add me to their multitap.

My list is too big to post here, especially since at the moment, it's kind of everything. I probably won't list literally every game I own, but it's still a lot.

In 2017 I finished 29 games, which I think is average or the last couple years. I'm going to whittle it down to maybe 20 games, and mark everything else Null.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

First fruits of defining what I like: I dramatically underestimate how much I like logic puzzle games, and I haven't paid enough respect to how important it is to me that the protagonist of a game be a woman and/or that there's a woman in the game I like and get to spend significant time with.

More thoughts:

Sense of place is hugely important for me. It might be the most important thing when it comes to gaming, because a strong sense of place will override a lot of my other interests.

I like places that are bizarre, fantastical, lonely, or have a strong sense of scale. Almost all of my favorite games have bold, memorable settings. Conversely, I'm considerably less interested in spaces that are realistic or conventional. A game set in those kinds of spaces won't automatically be ruled out, but they're more likely to not catch my attention at all.

I like distinct character design founded in the classic animation principles of color, silhouette, and movement. Likewise, I like unique and memorable enemy designs. This doesn't mean that things need to be cartoony (although they can be) but that they need to be imaginative and identifiable. Conversely, realistic characters and enemies are dreadfully dull to me. Again, it's not an automatic turn off, but it means I'm less likely to care.

Narrative isn't very important to me. I honestly don't care if a game has no story at all, but if it does, I like characters who are vulnerable. I want characters who are exuberant, insecure, naive, incompetent, frightened, optimistic, or lonely. I do not want characters who are stoic, sarcastic, angry, hyper-competent, or swaggering. I'm more likely to tolerate those characteristics in female characters (because they're fairly uncommon) but I have almost no interest in them in men. Yawn.

Finally, immediacy is very important for me. I find it very frustrating when a game gates its essential and unique experiences behind lengthy introductions, cutscenes, or tutorials. If I'm playing a shooter, I want to be shooting right away. If I'm playing an open world game, I want to be free to wander right away. This is part of the reason I've often found it more satisfying to play DLC episodes before playing the games they're attached to: The designers are usually much more willing to throw you into the thick of the gameplay when they think you've already played the campaign.

I should also add that while I don't have many deal breakers, I do really, really hate loot mechanics and (increasingly) XP systems. It takes a strong game to overcome that inherent distaste.

It's weird. Almost all of this applies to me as well, but I have a feeling we'd come up with drastically different lists when it comes to actual games.

I do usually prefer games with stories, largely to give it structure. Abstract puzzle games are the exception there, though it still applies in a weak form. For example, the Witness and The Talos Principle are more engaging than, say, Picross S. (Though part of that wanting to play picross games on phone, where I've played better versions of them.)

I also like second rate knockoffs of the big amazing games (e.g. Overlord, Lords of the Fallen, The Surge).

I'm not sure if this is the best thread for this, if not please point me in the right direction...

I've started playing a perfectly competent game, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and after 3 out of 10 or so levels I can't help but think I may rather play something else. It isn't bad. Some of the puzzles are fun. Combat is rather simple though.

This is the type of thing that having so many good games does - it sometimes ruins a good game. My backlog has gotten smaller, so this is starting to happen less and less - but there are still quite a few games on it. Out of the games I played for the first time this year, they were released in:

2002 - 1 (10 minutes - didn't work)
2007 - 1 (4 hours)
2009 - 2 (4.5 hours)
2010 - 3 (9 hours)
2011 - 2 (13 hours)
2012 - 2 (13 hours)
2013 - 5 (21 hours, finished 2)
2014 - 5 (46 hours, finished 3)
2015 - 13 (87 hours, finished 4)
2016 - 30 (too much to count, finished 11)
2017 - 21 (too much to count, finished 12)
*** finished means finished campaign / story or played enough or a repayable game to feel like I've seen most stuff.

What do you do in the situation where you are playing a good game but you feel you have something better? Go with your gut? If so, how do you prevent yourself from bouncing around so much it is hard to enjoy anything?

robc wrote:

What do you do in the situation where you are playing a good game but you feel you have something better? Go with your gut? If so, how do you prevent yourself from bouncing around so much it is hard to enjoy anything?

This was my pain for quite awhile, and the bouncing around just made things much less fun than they should be. My approach now is that with a few exceptions for games I consider infinitely replayable, I'll tell myself that this is the last time I'll be playing the game. Once I switch, it goes into the 'finished' category, to likely never be touched again. I have to consider if I'm really ready to never play the game again, or if I want to get to some definition of finished with it first.

That is probably a good way to look at it.

Garden Ninja wrote:

It's weird. Almost all of this applies to me as well, but I have a feeling we'd come up with drastically different lists when it comes to actual games.

I was thinking about that just the other day. Whenever we chat about games and gaming in the abstract, I'm like, "she and I have really similar taste", but when we chat about what we're actually playing, I'm always like, "You're into what?"

I've been a brewing my 2018 plan.

I'm no longer going to make a budget based on monetary transactions. I am instead going to budget time itself!

More soon... but basically am cribbing from many of your good selves and bundling into one masterplan of pile management.

I'm also looking at working this plan around making arty infographic representations of monthly, annual progress. Just for fun.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Garden Ninja wrote:

It's weird. Almost all of this applies to me as well, but I have a feeling we'd come up with drastically different lists when it comes to actual games.

I was thinking about that just the other day. Whenever we chat about games and gaming in the abstract, I'm like, "she and I have really similar taste", but when we chat about what we're actually playing, I'm always like, "You're into what?"

For example, here's my priority list for this year.

  • Assassin's Creed Origins
  • Deus Ex : Mankind Divided
  • Dishonored 2
  • Hitman
  • Horizon Zero Dawn - The Frozen Wilds
  • Nioh
  • Prey
  • Ronin
  • The Sexy Brutale
  • Sniper Elite 4
  • The Surge
  • The Witcher 3 : Wild Hunt
  • XCOM 2 War of the Chosen
  • Legend of Zelda : Breath of the Wild
  • Shantae : Half-Genie Hero

After my first pass whittling this down, I still had 60+, so I had to be real aggressive to get to 15. There is definitely a lot of overlap in Cloq's and my taste, especially in this list, though a lot of the stuff I cut would not overlap.

There is some funny math to get there, as there are games I will definitely be playing that aren't on this list (e.g. Cities Skylines, which doesn't really have an "end", and Dragons Dogma, Skyrim and FO4, where I don't care about finishing the story). I also cut a lot of DLC; I will probably play some of it, the main game is typically the priority.

I've been flat out around the house, but those that haven't seen it yet, the first Monthly Pile Thread is here:

Where Does the Time Go? - Pile of Shame January 2018

Sally Nasty's Game club has their kick off for 2018 which can be found here (looking like Titanfall 2 single player campaign)

The Quarterly JRPG Club 2.0 now posted by steinkrug can be found here.

And for those contemplating it, there is the
Buying Zero Games in 2018 (Or One or Two, I'm Not the Boss of You), Posted by JR Ralls.

I'll drop all these links in the OP shortly, but I'm faffing around on a tiny tablet at present, and these Monkey Fingers do not like...

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I think you can safely drop the JRPGs other than Ni No Kuni II. They're all fairly buttoned-down, traditional experiences, and while I know you're a fan of the genre, I haven't gotten the impression that you're pining for the fjords of '90s Squaresoft.

Perhaps it was the turn of phrase, but this stuck with me. I rebelled a bit, decided to give Cosmic Star Heroine a go a few days ago... and although it was charming enough, at ten hours in when the world opens up a bit, I find that I have little desire or motivation to continue.

I think my desire to experience epic interactive stories carried me through a lot of games in the past, but I have better options now. A turn-based RPG will have to be REALLY interesting to hold me anymore. This will loosen a lot of my backlog problems, because it was the length of RPGs that was really eating up my finite gaming time.

I'm going to still give Lost Sphear a chance, but I might drop Secret Of Mana, and I'm definitely dropping the others in the genre.

My monthly budget of time. Pt 1.

10x52÷12=43hpm

January 2018

Fallout 4 10hrs.
Burly Men at Sea 1hr
What Remains of Edith Finch 3hrs
Her story 3hrs
Battle Chef Brigade 11hrs
Zelda Breath of the Wild 15hrs

+ spare time = Stardew Valley. Overwatch. Android puzzle pile.

February 2018

Fallout 4 5hrs
Monster Hunter World 15hrs
Walking Dead S2 10hrs
Blackwell Unbound 3hrs
Zelda Breath of the Wild 10hrs

+ spare time = Stardew Valley. More Monster Hunter World. Overwatch. Android Puzzle Pile.

End of January report to include Plan pt 2 - February adjustments and March plan to be added.

Everyone's different Bubblefuzz, but if I was playing a big game like Fallout 4 it'd have to be pretty much all or nothing. Like, 90% of my playing time to keep the moment going or I'll just fall off it way before I see any kind of ending. If you can keep enjoying it with just a handful of hours a month then respect to you!

kergguz wrote:

Everyone's different Bubblefuzz, but if I was playing a big game like Fallout 4 it'd have to be pretty much all or nothing. Like, 90% of my playing time to keep the moment going or I'll just fall off it way before I see any kind of ending. If you can keep enjoying it with just a handful of hours a month then respect to you!

Aye, I understand what you're saying, totally but I tried a chunk of Fallout 4 early last year exclusively and fell off after 25 hours or so. I restarted about a month ago and have put 20 hours in maybe and already am beginning to slip and pick at other things even though enjoying it.

My pile problem is I'm a flitterer, hopping from game to game and so hardly ever finishing anything. Plus adding stuff to the pile for no other reason than the hobby of game curation, got to be because sorting through the pile this past week I realise with the time I have available I'll barely scratch the surface, ever.

I'm hoping working on something like Fallout 4 in regular bite sized pieces will mean I won't get bored, enjoy it and fingers crossed actually complete it +DLC by year's end.

Plus I'm hoping by limiting my game hopping to a small handful of titles will stop me flitting between a dozen or more, and actually finish some shorter stuff that I know I'll enjoy. I like adventure / story games, proof being there have been at least 3 on this year and lasts goty list. However enjoying more of them is blocked by picking up and promptly dropping those bigger games, of which I probably have the time to complete a couple in a year.

Anyhow, you're right it may not work, but... Note at the end of plan there for January report... February adjustments

We'll see...

kergguz wrote:

Everyone's different Bubblefuzz, but if I was playing a big game like Fallout 4 it'd have to be pretty much all or nothing. Like, 90% of my playing time to keep the moment going or I'll just fall off it way before I see any kind of ending. If you can keep enjoying it with just a handful of hours a month then respect to you!

Emphasis mine. For the past month, I've been playing Skyrim and then Oblivion on the side, while still making progress in other games. Sure, there were times when all I'd play was the big chunky RPG (Skyrim or The Witcher 3 earlier this year and last year respectively), but I find myself taking bite sized chunks more and more. Perhaps that's driven by the fact I'm streaming more now and kinda want to offer some variety to people who watch, but yeah, full commitment isn't always a requirement.

In other news, I'm happy to have beaten 3 games since the year started. Sure, two of those were games I'd already played to death in the past two decades and recently repurchased on Steam despite having them on GOG and in CD and iso form (whoops). But still, progress! I also dropped Aquaria which just didn't click with me. It made me sad to do so, because it had been gifted to me by JillSammich who passed away a while back.