Jan 072013

It’s January so it’s time for resolutions! Specifically gaming ones!

Like many gamers, I have way more games than I have time to play them. It’s just so tempting to buy new games when they’re in a huge sale even if I have no intention of playing them at the time of purchase. That stops in 2013! Basically, I’ve gamified the act of reducing my backlog.

The Rules:
For each new game purchased, 3 games from my existing library must be completed. No exceptions, no matter how tempting or cheap a particular sale may be.
Completing 3 games does not means I must buy a new game, just that I have the option.
Rental services like Playstation+ and GameFly are free and don’t count as purchased games (especially in the case of PS+ where you don’t pick which games you get for free).
In most cases, completing a game is self-explanatory (reach the end). For unusual cases, what completing the game entails can be determined on a case by case basis.
Completing the same game multiple times does not count as multiple completions. However, replaying a game I haven’t played in years can count as a completion.
A game that I decide isn’t worth finishing can be considered completed but only when the game is sold (thus preventing the temptation to go back and play it some more).
There’s no extra weight given to games based on their length. A 4 hour indie game counts just as much as an epic 60 hour RPG. However, this rule should not be abused (finding a bunch of 10-minute web games to complete doesn’t count).

Anyway, I think this should be a fun way to enjoy the games I already own more and feel less overwhelmed by all the new games that come out every month. By adding an additional restriction to buying new games besides just cost (which was a great restriction back when I had less money and games tended to be more expensive), I think this will make me think more carefully about my purchases and focus on just getting the games I really want and not everything that feels like a good deal.

Of course, if you decide to play along, you can change the 3 games completed for every 1 purchase to a different ratio. I think this ratio will work well for me since I mostly play long involved RPGs but if you play mostly shorter games, you might want to increase the number of game completitions required.

 Posted by at 11:05 am

  5 Responses to “Gaming New Year Resolution – Backlog Tackling!”

  1. I couldnt stick to something like this because I am a collector’s edition collector. I collect most of NISA’s released games, couple of atlus’s. I am even one of hte few folks who bought the Duke Nukem collector’s edition when that last game came out. So basically another NISA or Atlus collector’s edition would cause me to break my resolutions involving games.

  2. I’ve been tackling my backlog with a similar method for over a year now. It started out similarly to yours (I had a 7 played to 1 new ratio, which was way too high), but I’ve edited it over time. What i’m left with is somewhat complex. Now, I get a new game for every 10 “points” I earn. I get:

    3 points for beating a game
    1 point for giving up on a game after an honest try
    1 point for completed free games and free DLC* (I don’t have to “buy” them with earned points, but I get nothing for giving up)
    1 extra point if I get all of the achievements or trophies
    1 extra point for every 25 hours I put into a game

    I added the extra points for time in order to balance long and short games. I initially found myself avoiding games I knew would be long just so I could get more points. This has helped me play the games I want rather than those that will help fuel my completion obsession.

    *This rule was put into place after playing the Rainslick 3 DLC.

  3. I have the same problem, especially after the last Steam x-mas sales. You buy too much and always have the idea that you are going to play everything. An Utopia of course. Your suggestion of ‘play 3 buy 1’ is a good one sounds right, but only when there are no sales…

    My biggest problem however always is : “What to play first?” Is it your last bought game because it is ‘hot’ or the game that has been waiting on your shelf for the last 4 years? And how long should it take? Do you choose a short or short one?

    I always have one game that is the ‘main’ game I play and several when I want to play something different. Sometimes you are to tired to play that intense shooter and want to play something that doesn’t require quick reflexes. Sometimes it is the other way around.

    I sort of use the following website to keep track of what i’m playing as It helps to stay focused : http://www.backloggery.com/ I try to keep it updated once a week and only enter games I actually play. My real backlog is the All Games list in Steam that I have categorized. It helps me a bit but in the end it comes down to that you really have too much candy and don’t know what to eat first 🙂

  4. Started doing the similar since last quarter. So no purchase from Steam Sales this year, knowing pretty well I will get back the huge deals in future for the games I am eying. This year would be used to clear the backlog as much as possible. And that’s a huge one, even though I game only on PC (discounting the Android platform).

  5. I’ve been doing something similar for the last year or so. My new game purchases was much faster than I played them. My backlog extends back into the PSX catalog (although to be fair, many of them were more recent purchases as I tried to grab all the games I wanted that I never had). Granted, I usually only buy “new” games when they hit $20 or I can find them on massive sale.

    I decided to really restrict game purchases to games I really must have. This has probably reduced by purchasing by about 50%. On the other hand, I’ve bought a bunch of games on gog.com recently, which probably offset that.

    I also have started alternating old backlog with new backlog. So I’ll play a PSX game followed by a 360 game for instance, followed by a PS2 game.

    I’ve also decided to relax my OCD “Completionist” attitude on older games, however I still aim for 100% achievements on 360. This drastically reduces the time I spend on most games from 100+ hours to ~40. Some exceptions I made were Xenoblade.. which I wish I hadn’t after clocking nearly 250 hours.

    Currently I’m playing through the Wild Arms series as my backlog hit. I also have a DS title going at all times, but I honestly barely ever touch handhelds, so where a 40 hour console RPG takes me around 1-2 weeks, a 40 hour handheld will take me around 6 months. With any luck though, I can whittle through a good chunk of my backlog in 2013. I don’t have another Skyrim and Xenoblade coming (500+ hours between them in 2011/2012)

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