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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

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    Default Finishing What I Begin

    Something's been bugging me a lot lately, namely that I have a lot of games (61 on Steam, 8 on GOG, 10 on Origin), but I haven't actually FINISHED a video game in years. It just feels like the majority of the games I have take so long to get through, and there's so much research to do for things like walkthroughs and strategy, while there's so many other demands on my time and attention like work and commuting, trying to get enough sleep to be healthy, doing chores on my days off, keeping up with the YouTube channels I'm subscribed to which make video essays that can be from 40 minutes to an hour, keeping up with the play-by-posts I'm in, reading books and webcomics, that it's not worth even beginning. Also, a lot of the games I've gotten usually have a lot more stuff coming in later through DLC, so I prefer to wait until the game is "complete" before actually starting it, and I know that's a bad habit I need to break and just wait to buy the darn game when they release a "Complete Edition" that includes all the DLC in the same package, but by the time that happens I've usually gotten distracted by another game.

    But at the same time, I feel bad because those games are sitting on my computer, silently reminding me that I haven't completed them, and some of them you have to play through multiple times to get the full experience, or require you to invest daily time and effort, meaning I'm not getting my money's worth for them, and whatever money I've spent on them or time I've spent playing them has been wasted.

    I've heard rumors that this is a growing phenomenon among people who play games, especially given the latest trends being tracked by The Jimquisition in modern games on the "LIIVE SER-VICE" model. Has anyone else here encountered this issue? If so, what did you do to get out of the slump? There are games I'm getting interested now that I'm scared to touch because it'd be just one more on the pile of stuff I haven't finished yet and may never finish. Am I just getting depressed or trying to do too much with my life? Why does none of this feel fun anymore?
    Last edited by Archpaladin Zousha; 2019-10-26 at 10:28 PM.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Finishing What I Begin

    I too have a huge backlog of games. See a good deal, something catches my eye, get a bundle, etc.

    As for why? A few reasons come to mind. Sometimes a game looks good, I start it, itís not what I think it is and donít want to play anymore. Sometimes itís part of a bundle, or perhaps a gift, and I didnít really want to play it in the first place. Sometimes I start a game, a big life event happens (like moving), I forget about it and donít come back to it.

    But for me, the biggest reason is I havenít had much game time the past 8 years. Since having kids. Weeks will pass where I hardly have an hour to myself. Now donít get me wrong, I love my life, itís just my game time plummeted.

    On the other hand I still have finished a good few games these past 8 years. Just gotta prioritize.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Finishing What I Begin

    I also have loads of games I've bought but never played or installed, but that doesn't really bother me. Either I'll get round to them or I won't. I certainly don't ever install and start one of these games without the definite intention of finishing, though, which is why I generally only play one story-based game to completion at a time. (Things like Stellaris and Total War I can dip in and out of because they're not usually story-heavy, plus they're entirely mouse controlled so I don't lose my play reflexes in whatever my main game at the time is).

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Finishing What I Begin

    Quote Originally Posted by danzibr View Post
    I too have a huge backlog of games. See a good deal, something catches my eye, get a bundle, etc.
    Steam, GOG, and other marketplaces have certainly made it much, much easier to find games at a very low price point, and I think that's a big reason for massive game backlogs. Also, when you measure games in terms of playable time, they are often incredibly economical purchases. A discounted game in the 10-20 range is running similar to the price of a single movie ticket when you factor in gas costs, parking, and formats like IMAX, but while movies only run for 2-3 hours, it's quite possible to drop hundreds of hours into a single game. As a result, you can easily accumulate a game backlog that represents thousands of hours of content for the price of a large DVD box set.

    There's also been a proliferation over time of games that don't really have a single finishing point and are just designed to eat away hours of your time. MMOs are obvious operators here, but so are survival games, and also any number of rogue-likes or mobile games and any hours you put towards those are hours you can't put into working towards a completing a game with a definitive endpoint. At the same time, because of the ability to introduce DLC (something that really only happened in the last decade), the more successful games have become longer once DLC comes into play, with some DLC-heavy games practically doubling in play length by the time everything is out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha
    keeping up with the YouTube channels I'm subscribed to which make video essays that can be from 40 minutes to an hour
    For this specific issue, I suggest multitasking. I find that many long-form youtube posts can be treated as essentially podcasts and can often be played simultaneously with many games once you turn the game sound off. This is particularly effective for any game that requires significant grinding to complete like many jRPGs.
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    Default Re: Finishing What I Begin

    One thing I find with many games is that I personally get a lot of momentum from discovery. Unlocking new clases, new weapons, new stuff to try out? Engaging. When I hit the mid to lategame my momentum suddenly plummets, sometimes even in the runup to the final boss.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Finishing What I Begin

    I had this problem too when it came to PC gaming. Lot of games, not a lot finished. I came, as I was looks ng to get Diagaea 4 for the Switch that....I just play games differently on the consoles than I do on PC. Mostly because I want a game that doesn't take up my whole screen because I'm engaged in other things on top of the game. Talking to people, listening to music, etc.

    Having hot the switch, my backlog is a lot smaller. And only because.ive.pickes up some games knowing there Is going to be a drought after the new year as there usually is. It's also been nice not to be tethered to my PC, to just get away from the easy access point I have with the internet and put a barrier between it. It's made gaming time feel less like a social obligation and more of a relaxing time which is what it used to be.

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    Default Re: Finishing What I Begin

    I just have a couple of rules - I try and start a game and play through to the finish before starting a new one nowadays, but I also bear in mind the amount of time I've played it relative to the amount I paid for it, and if I've gotten about more hours than pounds, it doesn't ulimately owe me anything, so it doesn't really matter if I don't go back to it again.

    But I have some sympathy for the niggling feeling you've left something half-finished. I've still not finished my first CK2 game (after 400 hours...) nor the Hearts of Iron IV game I got furthest with (it's mostly just a steady grind to the end, I think on that one, and I started so many times), but I'm not sure it's really worth going back to in the grand scheme of things - I got a hundred hours or so out of HoI4, so provided I don't sink any more pennies into it (and I'm not feeling the currently advertised expansion), I can probably say "yeah, well, it did enough..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    I've heard rumors that this is a growing phenomenon among people who play games, especially given the latest trends being tracked by The Jimquisition in modern games on the "LIIVE SER-VICE" model. Has anyone else here encountered this issue? If so, what did you do to get out of the slump? There are games I'm getting interested now that I'm scared to touch because it'd be just one more on the pile of stuff I haven't finished yet and may never finish. Am I just getting depressed or trying to do too much with my life? Why does none of this feel fun anymore?
    I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago when I was still in university. Often I would get both engaged and bored by a game at the same time, constantly jumping between games, never finishing anything. And of course I was buying new games so my backlog grew.

    Then I finally got a degree I could make money with and got a job. While the transition from "student" to "workforce" was difficult at first after a few months I realized that I had gained something I didn't have for at least a decade: that "free time" actually meant free time. As a student I had free time of course, sometimes quite a lot actually, but it was never truly free. There was always something hanging over my head: "you should really read this book", "you should really write this paper", and of course "you are kinda expected to learn all of this stuff not covered by the curiculum on your own". And if I actually had the discipline to do those things in earnest, I would have gotten truly free time even as a student. But instead I spent most of my "free" time procrastinating. If you ever procrastinated you know that the time spend procratinating is not quality time. Thus if you are playing games to procrastinate you're not having a good time.

    But at my job, when I'm not at work I am not at work! Free time is real, with no strings attached.
    Having realized that, I took upon gaming once more. I picked a game from my huge backlog, paid my full attention to it when playing, finished it and enjoyed every second of it. It was great!

    Since then I've cultivated my gaming hobby: my enjoyment of games is better, deeper and more satisfying than it has ever been in my life. It is a hobby that is on equal grounds as my other hobbies: it's an activity that I actively choose to do for my entertainment.
    I think there are some "tennents" so to speak that I shape my gaming behaviour arround. Lets try tro write them down. Maybe there is something in there you can draw from.

    1. If you do play a game give it the attention it deserves.
    Gaming is not my only hobby. But when I do play a game I'm paying my full attention to it. There is no TV, radio, netflix or music in the backround. I'm not constantly checking my phone or Alt-Tabbing out of it. Or rather: if I do catch myself doing so, I will ask myself if gaming is the right thing to do at the moment.

    2. Don't game* to kill time. Play a game because you want to play it, not because you have nothing else to do.
    If you actually find yourself with time to kill go for a walk, go to the gym, watch TV/Amazon/Netflix.

    3. Find a game that suits your interest at the time.
    There are many reason why we enjoy or don't enjoy a game. Our life situation, other media influences, other interests etc. will determine what kind of game you will enjoy at the moment. If a game doesn't grab me, it doesn't mean its bad. It may just no be the right time for it. A game that is just "meh" or "ok" now can feel like the greatest thing since sliced bread later. The next point is related to this point.

    4. Don't force yourself to play a game.
    What is true for PnP roleplaying holds true for video games as well: no gaming is better then bad gaming. For me there is an interim between two games. This time is spend with reflecting upon the experience of the last game, adjusting and mentally preparing myself for the next gaming project, and of course finding the right game to play next (see point 3). This time can be as short as 10 minutes, or it can be as long as a month or more. And that is important to understand: it is OK not to game for a while. Thats the thing with hobbies: we don't have to be engaged with them all the time. Don't force yourself to game because you consider yourself a gamer. The world is big and there is lots of other cool stuff to do. And if you are really a gamer interest will come back.

    5. Games are not fast food.
    In time where you have easy and cheap access to older games and sometimes brutal sales even for newer games, game can come of as "cheap". But don't let the price tag decive you. Games are not fast food. They are works of art. Treating them as such, that means reflecting upon them (as mentioned in point 4) during and after playing them has increased my gaming experience and the quality of the experience by a lot. The next point touches upon the buying behaviour of this.

    6. Don't buy a game just "to have it" or because it's cheap atm.
    This is to reduce the notion that games are "cheap" because you have some many available, to reduce to presure of having many unplayed/nearly unplayed games lying arround. In short adjust your buying behaviour to reduce the growth of a backlog in order to avoid all the negative effects of having a backlog. Buy a game when you think "yes, I want to play this game right now!". With the marketplace for games being almost completely online, games will not just vanish from the shelves. Thus you can always buy it at a later date. A cheap pricetag through a sale might seem apealing but there will be another sale down the line**.


    For me it goes great. Some numbers:
    My backlog is between 0 and a handfull of games. A month ago there was no game in my backlog. Right now it has three (StarCraft remastered, Neverwinter Nights Premium Modules, Divinity: Original Sin 2).
    In 2017 I've finished 17 games. In 2018 it was 15 games. This year so far I finished 14 games.
    These figures only count games that I've finished for the first time in my life. Replays don't count, games like Total War only count once: Warhammer Total War 2 only appears on 2018's list, despite having sunk in an ridiculous amount of time (like 300 hours) this year alone.

    *There are games designed to kill time. Those are not the games that I mean when I think about gaming as a hobby.
    ** Also: if you really want to support a developer don't buy a game on sale. Of course your financial situation plays heavily into this. As a broke-ass-student I was dependent on sales.
    Last edited by Zombimode; 2019-10-27 at 03:52 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Finishing What I Begin

    While my own backlog is pretty vicious, as far as actually finishing games go my advice is to mix things up a little. I like big slow story-heavy JRPGs, but if I play a second one right after finishing the first, I'll assuredly get sick of it before I finish. A week or two of something quick and action-y to clear the palette helps a lot.
    When in doubt, light something on fire.

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    Default Re: Finishing What I Begin

    I have a short "attention span"/interest for things. I have found myself being the most effective in finishing games when I play two games that offer a different gaming experience to switch in between. The last time I've done this was between Pathfinder Kingmaker and Borderlands 2.

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    Default Re: Finishing What I Begin

    My conclusion RE: having a giant mound of unfinished games is that most games aren't worth finishing. If a game is no longer enjoyable, (or in some cases never starts) I'll table it ASAP. I apply this filter without mercy, because the only reward you get for playing a game is... playing the game. I see no reason whatsoever to feel bad about this; whatever money I've spent is already gone, the only remaining question is how much of my limited leisure time I choose to spend on a game.

    A game doesn't even have to be bad to not be worth finishing. I get between 5 and 10 gaming hours per week, most weeks, with some weeks hitting damn near zero. A 40 hour game would take over a month of playing absolutely nothing else, which is a long time to remain engaging. Any approach where I start assigning myself games turns my end-of-the-day unwinding activity into an activity that looks suspiciously like work, except it's unpaid and utterly unproductive. This strikes me as a stupid thing to do, even if it means I'll never see the end of s a lot of really good games.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

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    Default Re: Finishing What I Begin

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    My conclusion RE: having a giant mound of unfinished games is that most games aren't worth finishing. If a game is no longer enjoyable, (or in some cases never starts) I'll table it ASAP. I apply this filter without mercy, because the only reward you get for playing a game is... playing the game. I see no reason whatsoever to feel bad about this; whatever money I've spent is already gone, the only remaining question is how much of my limited leisure time I choose to spend on a game.
    That's my philosophy as well. I play a game only as long as it entertains me. Maybe a little more just to make sure I'm not missing anything, but that's it. I feel no remorse for wasted money on bad games. Sucks to be me I guess, and I should be more careful in the future. But spending time on a game that I didn't like will neither give me my money back, nor suddenly make it enjoyable.
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    I think that the question is why you should finish those games. Is it for a feeling of elation from completion? I am not belittling it; if it's fun, then it's something worth pursuing in a game. Or is it to be able to talk and read about the games? Something else?

    Some time ago I read some game completion statistics. A game like Bioshock Infinite has been completed by just 50% of players. And Bioshock Infinite has it all: simple commands, meaty combat, and excellent narrative. Less than 40% completed DOOM (the newer one). 31% finished the Skyrim main quest. (If someone wants to discuss the validity of these statistics, consider doing it in the old thread, rather than clogging up this one).

    Anyway, the point is that not finishing games is common.

    And it is especially worthy of note with games that offer different modes. I never finish the campaigns of strategy games, because I see their scenarios as limited versions of what I consider the real game, the one in skirmish mode.

    But this isn't really about games, is it?

    If you are worried about Return to Investment, you can give yourself a yearly budget for videogames. Steam allows you to check all of your past purchases ( https://store.steampowered.com/account/history/ ). A budget that won't give you nightmares if you don't consume all that you buy.
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    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

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    Default Re: Finishing What I Begin

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    I think that the question is why you should finish those games. Is it for a feeling of elation from completion? I am not belittling it; if it's fun, then it's something worth pursuing in a game. Or is it to be able to talk and read about the games? Something else?

    Some time ago I read some game completion statistics. A game like Bioshock Infinite has been completed by just 50% of players. And Bioshock Infinite has it all: simple commands, meaty combat, and excellent narrative. Less than 40% completed DOOM (the newer one). 31% finished the Skyrim main quest. (If someone wants to discuss the validity of these statistics, consider doing it in the old thread, rather than clogging up this one).

    Anyway, the point is that not finishing games is common.

    And it is especially worthy of note with games that offer different modes. I never finish the campaigns of strategy games, because I see their scenarios as limited versions of what I consider the real game, the one in skirmish mode.

    But this isn't really about games, is it?

    If you are worried about Return to Investment, you can give yourself a yearly budget for videogames. Steam allows you to check all of your past purchases ( https://store.steampowered.com/account/history/ ). A budget that won't give you nightmares if you don't consume all that you buy.
    That's kind of the case. The reason I want to finish games is so I can play the next games in the series. BioWare games are really where this started: because each subsequent game reads your save files from the previous game to world-build in the next one, you need to play the games in order to get the best endings, which is what I want to do in each game I play because I feel really bad when game NPCs are unhappy. And then I feel like I'm not going to get the whole experience without the tie-in material for the games: reading the novels and graphic novels, watching the movies and stuff. That's...a LOT of work, to say the least. I got Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age Inquisition and I have never even STARTED those games because I don't have a save file setup having played through the first two games first.

    And the whole time I'm doing these, I'm thinking something like this but more like "I could be checking my play-by-posts right now."
    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    But I have some sympathy for the niggling feeling you've left something half-finished. I've still not finished my first CK2 game (after 400 hours...) nor the Hearts of Iron IV game I got furthest with (it's mostly just a steady grind to the end, I think on that one, and I started so many times), but I'm not sure it's really worth going back to in the grand scheme of things - I got a hundred hours or so out of HoI4, so provided I don't sink any more pennies into it (and I'm not feeling the currently advertised expansion), I can probably say "yeah, well, it did enough..."
    That's another part of it as well. Games like that don't HAVE an endpoint. Sure, an individual campaign might end, but they don't expect you to play as EVERY faction in EVERY mode. I haven't put anywhere near the amount of hours into CK2 as you have because I just struggle with playing that game in general, understanding its interface and just how to play the darn game, especially with each new expansion that comes out (which looks like it finally might come to an end as they've announced CK3).
    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    For this specific issue, I suggest multitasking. I find that many long-form youtube posts can be treated as essentially podcasts and can often be played simultaneously with many games once you turn the game sound off. This is particularly effective for any game that requires significant grinding to complete like many jRPGs.
    For some channels I watch, that definitely would work, but I also watch a lot of folks like PhilosophyTube and ContraPoints, who incorporate performance art into their vids which kind of requires you to pay attention.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    But at my job, when I'm not at work I am not at work! Free time is real, with no strings attached.
    Having realized that, I took upon gaming once more. I picked a game from my huge backlog, paid my full attention to it when playing, finished it and enjoyed every second of it. It was great!
    I'd beg to differ: like I said in my OP, my "free time" seems to get eaten up waiting for my rides home from work since I don't have a driver's license, by doing chores around the house so my parents don't pester me about it, or keeping up with the play-by-posts I'm in, since those seem to demand CONSTANT attention for updates so I can post and keep them going...or just trying to get enough sleep to be functional at work.
    Last edited by Archpaladin Zousha; 2019-10-27 at 01:37 PM.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    That's kind of the case. The reason I want to finish games is so I can play the next games in the series. BioWare games are really where this started: because each subsequent game reads your save files from the previous game to world-build in the next one, you need to play the games in order to get the best endings, which is what I want to do in each game I play because I feel really bad when game NPCs are unhappy. And then I feel like I'm not going to get the whole experience without the tie-in material for the games: reading the novels and graphic novels, watching the movies and stuff. That's...a LOT of work, to say the least. I got Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age Inquisition and I have never even STARTED those games because I don't have a save file setup having played through the first two games first.
    So far as I've ever been able to figure out, the only sensible reason to play a game is because playing the game is enjoyable. Playing the game to get to the next game in the series does not sound like you actually enjoy playing the game. Therefore I suggest not beating yourself up about not spending your time on a completely unnecessary activity that you do not enjoy.

    If you think the next game in the series is a game you would actually enjoy playing, as opposed to feeling like you *should* play it because you own it, then I suggest a save game editor or similar. For Bioware games, I believe one can simply download save games that tick all the boxes you want, or at least enough of them to be getting along with.

    And the whole time I'm doing these, I'm thinking something like this but more like "I could be checking my play-by-posts right now."
    That's another part of it as well. Games like that don't HAVE an endpoint. Sure, an individual campaign might end, but they don't expect you to play as EVERY faction in EVERY mode. I haven't put anywhere near the amount of hours into CK2 as you have because I just struggle with playing that game in general, understanding its interface and just how to play the darn game, especially with each new expansion that comes out (which looks like it finally might come to an end as they've announced CK3).
    Then don't play them?

    I'd beg to differ: like I said in my OP, my "free time" seems to get eaten up waiting for my rides home from work since I don't have a driver's license, by doing chores around the house so my parents don't pester me about it, or keeping up with the play-by-posts I'm in, since those seem to demand CONSTANT attention for updates so I can post and keep them going...or just trying to get enough sleep to be functional at work.
    This sounds like basic priorities difficulty. I pretty much always start with the big three: sleep, work and food. Everything else gotta dance around those three. Leisure time is what's left over after subtracting sleep, work, food and chores/upkeep from that. Some additional leisure time is occupied by family stuff. The remainder is time where I can do pretty much precisely what I want, so I take care to fill it with things that I actually enjoy doing.

    So in your case: chores, work and waiting for rides is not leisure time, don't bother to think of it as such. There are things you can do to make parts of this more enjoyable, i.e. listening to a podcast or something while waiting for a ride. Watching Youtube and checking play by posts is a leisure activity. Given that your leisure time (like pretty much every adults') is a sharply curtailed resource, be sure you are in fact using it in ways that are best for you. If you don't watch a Youtube video, the only effect this will have on anything is that you didn't watch that video. If you think you're spending too much time and energy on play-by-posts, you can drop one or more, and the world will not burn. If you decide that those other things are more interesting and engaging than playing Mass Effect 2 so you have the proper savegame for Mass Effect 3, so be it.

    And really only you can decide this. But you should decide it; instead of drifting with the currents. That's easy, but ultimately extremely unsatisfying.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

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    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

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    Default Re: Finishing What I Begin

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    So far as I've ever been able to figure out, the only sensible reason to play a game is because playing the game is enjoyable. Playing the game to get to the next game in the series does not sound like you actually enjoy playing the game. Therefore I suggest not beating yourself up about not spending your time on a completely unnecessary activity that you do not enjoy.

    If you think the next game in the series is a game you would actually enjoy playing, as opposed to feeling like you *should* play it because you own it, then I suggest a save game editor or similar. For Bioware games, I believe one can simply download save games that tick all the boxes you want, or at least enough of them to be getting along with.
    Isn't that kind of cheating? Besides, the games feel plenty fun in the moment, but then when I quit/log off I look at what's happened while I was playing and feel like "OH GOD I COULD HAVE BEEN DOING SOMETHING MUCH MORE PRODUCTIVE THAN THIS!"
    Then don't play them?
    The irony is these may be the easiest games to get into in the current state I'm in: they don't have as much narrative and cutscenes to sit and listen to, so I can dip in and out of them at will, but then the time I'm spending DOING that is time I could be advancing some other, more narratively-satisfying game.
    This sounds like basic priorities difficulty. I pretty much always start with the big three: sleep, work and food. Everything else gotta dance around those three. Leisure time is what's left over after subtracting sleep, work, food and chores/upkeep from that. Some additional leisure time is occupied by family stuff. The remainder is time where I can do pretty much precisely what I want, so I take care to fill it with things that I actually enjoy doing.

    So in your case: chores, work and waiting for rides is not leisure time, don't bother to think of it as such. There are things you can do to make parts of this more enjoyable, i.e. listening to a podcast or something while waiting for a ride. Watching Youtube and checking play by posts is a leisure activity. Given that your leisure time (like pretty much every adults') is a sharply curtailed resource, be sure you are in fact using it in ways that are best for you. If you don't watch a Youtube video, the only effect this will have on anything is that you didn't watch that video. If you think you're spending too much time and energy on play-by-posts, you can drop one or more, and the world will not burn. If you decide that those other things are more interesting and engaging than playing Mass Effect 2 so you have the proper savegame for Mass Effect 3, so be it.

    And really only you can decide this. But you should decide it; instead of drifting with the currents. That's easy, but ultimately extremely unsatisfying.
    I'd probably get the same feelings of regret and wasted if I dropped the play-by-posts too. I've spent YEARS in them, and each time one has died DESPITE my best efforts as a player, I've invariably felt hurt and depressed, but that's something I can't SAY to the GMs who've decided to drop because they're doing it for their own well-being and I don't want to be a jerk to them. And besides that, I'd feel like I wasted my time and money on the RPG books instead of the video games.

    And I feel like I'm running out of time. I just turned 31 last month, and if I played all these games through, it'd probably take me a century at the rate I'm going at! I look at my siblings and how they're doing things like attending Grad School while also teaching a fitness dance class, or releasing an album of Irish music and having a girlfriend, or selling their own paintings at an art show, and my goal of finishing a few of the video games I've bought not only seems pathetic by comparison, the fact that I'm struggling to even do THAT is even more pathetic!
    Last edited by Archpaladin Zousha; 2019-10-29 at 07:58 PM.
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    Default Re: Finishing What I Begin

    My method of beating my backlog is to make a list of all the games I own (or at least all the series) and roll randomly what the next game I play will be, at which point I go through it from start to finish. I cannot start a new game in the meantime, I gotta finish it.

    Exceptions are games that don't really have an end, or have near-infinite replay value, such as Total War, Civilization, or Crusader Kings and such, which I make a separate list of which I play anytime I don't feel like playing my 'main' game of the time.
    Last edited by Resileaf; 2019-10-29 at 11:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    And I feel like I'm running out of time. I just turned 31 last month, and if I played all these games through, it'd probably take me a century at the rate I'm going at! I look at my siblings and how they're doing things like attending Grad School while also teaching a fitness dance class, or releasing an album of Irish music and having a girlfriend, or selling their own paintings at an art show, and my goal of finishing a few of the video games I've bought not only seems pathetic by comparison, the fact that I'm struggling to even do THAT is even more pathetic!
    Thats the issue and its your own and I dont think many people will be able to relate. Its got nothing to do with your backlog or any qualities of games, past or current, but how you handle time commitments and how you build these imaginary rules and conditions in your mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    Isn't that kind of cheating? Besides, the games feel plenty fun in the moment, but then when I quit/log off I look at what's happened while I was playing and feel like "OH GOD I COULD HAVE BEEN DOING SOMETHING MUCH MORE PRODUCTIVE THAN THIS!"
    The same applies to any leisure activity, though? Seems odd to pick out games as being a particular issue there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    The same applies to any leisure activity, though? Seems odd to pick out games as being a particular issue there.
    They're what I've spent the most money on outside of essentials, so they're the first things I tend to regret not getting enough use out of.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    Isn't that kind of cheating? Besides, the games feel plenty fun in the moment, but then when I quit/log off I look at what's happened while I was playing and feel like "OH GOD I COULD HAVE BEEN DOING SOMETHING MUCH MORE PRODUCTIVE THAN THIS!"
    So far as I can tell, it's meaningfully impossible to cheat at a singleplayer game, at least in any detrimental way that's worth caring about.

    The irony is these may be the easiest games to get into in the current state I'm in: they don't have as much narrative and cutscenes to sit and listen to, so I can dip in and out of them at will, but then the time I'm spending DOING that is time I could be advancing some other, more narratively-satisfying game.

    I'd probably get the same feelings of regret and wasted if I dropped the play-by-posts too. I've spent YEARS in them, and each time one has died DESPITE my best efforts as a player, I've invariably felt hurt and depressed, but that's something I can't SAY to the GMs who've decided to drop because they're doing it for their own well-being and I don't want to be a jerk to them. And besides that, I'd feel like I wasted my time and money on the RPG books instead of the video games.

    And I feel like I'm running out of time. I just turned 31 last month, and if I played all these games through, it'd probably take me a century at the rate I'm going at! I look at my siblings and how they're doing things like attending Grad School while also teaching a fitness dance class, or releasing an album of Irish music and having a girlfriend, or selling their own paintings at an art show, and my goal of finishing a few of the video games I've bought not only seems pathetic by comparison, the fact that I'm struggling to even do THAT is even more pathetic!
    It seems to me that your fundamental problem here isn't anything to do with videogames. It's that you seem unable to reconcile yourself to the fact that doing one thing means you aren't doing another thing, and simultaniously you seem unhappy with most of the things that you're doing. You want to be playing game A, but if you do that you aren't playing game B, or productive thing C. But if you do B or C, you feel you've wasted money by buying A in the first place.

    My advice, which may well be completely useless, is as follows. Firstly, videogames are not worth setting goals for; as evidenced by the fact that you pretty much say that even if you meet your goals, you'd feel it was a waste. So don't do that. Play them if you want to play a game, for the amount of time you feel you have to spend on games. Otherwise don't. If/when you do play, don't beat yourself up about it, but also don't turn "Beat Mass Effect 3" into an actual life goal, because it simply isn't worth it. And not just because the ending sucks; videogames are genuinely not the stuff about which you, or anybody else whose job isn't making them, should structure their lives.

    Secondly, you can't do everything. Nobody can. Accept this, choose what you want to do, and have the ability to do (or can plausibly imagine that you have the ability to do) and do those things. This means that you may have to let some things fall completely to the wayside. But you have to actually choose here; trying (and failing) to do everything you want to do - or feel that you should want to do - is clearly making you miserable. This is like the third time you've made basically the same thread, which suggests to me that you have not fixed your real underlying problem at all. I recommend stop thinking the problem is you can't finish playing Mass Effect 2, and start thinking about what you actually want to do. Which doesn't seem to be playing Mass Effect 2.

    Thirdly, once you know what you want to do, you should work on doing that. There are a whole lot of goals that are genuinely obtainable. Being in a relationship is an entirely doable thing; even weirdos like me have managed it. Ditto doing an art show, or going to grad school, or whatever else you actually want to do. But you have to decide to do them, and then work at it. This will by necessity mean that there are other things you do not get to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    They're what I've spent the most money on outside of essentials, so they're the first things I tend to regret not getting enough use out of.
    If they're non-essential, and came from a reasonable non-essential budget, the correct amount of use is 'as much as you find enjoyable.' Since you keep beating yourself up over not playing them, I strongly suspect you do not find them as enjoyable as other things; if you did, you'd be playing them. So you've gotten your use out of them, time to just let it go.

    Or find a therapist who can actually help you with this. Seriously, I'm not a therapist, and the amount of help that can be rendered via internet gaming forum is not exactly enormous.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

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    Regarding games v productivity...

    I have little free time. Work a job, have a wife and 3 kids. When the older kids go to bed I spend time with my wife and little one. Leaves very little time solo.

    I want to play games, but I also want to be productive. My solution is...

    First be sufficiently productive, then any remaining time can go towards games.

    Of course sufficiently productive depends on you. Last night I set up the basics of an inventory system in a game Iím making, then the rest of my time went to FFX. Yeah I couldíve spent more time on coding my inventory system, but I wanted to capture some monsters in FFX. I went to bed happy.

    Thereís a balance. Too little productivity, Iím unhappy. Too little game time, Iím unhappy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    As a DM, I deal with character death by cheering and giving a fist pump, or maybe a V-for-victory sign. I would also pat myself on the back, but I can't really reach around like that.
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    I have a lot of games I've never installed, thanks to things like Humble Bundle, which doesn't bother me. But like you, it does get to me if I get partway through a game and don't finish it, so long ago I made the decision to not start another game until I've completed the one I'm currently playing. It's worked for me, though these days I'm into way too many games that can't be completed, like MMOs.
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    Man, this reminds me. I have a good few games I started, enjoyed and I tended to finish, then just didnít. Suikoden 3, Folklore, etc. then even more I beat but not to completion, so to speak. Hyper Light Drifter, Deltarune, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    As a DM, I deal with character death by cheering and giving a fist pump, or maybe a V-for-victory sign. I would also pat myself on the back, but I can't really reach around like that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeoVid View Post
    I have a lot of games I've never installed, thanks to things like Humble Bundle, which doesn't bother me. But like you, it does get to me if I get partway through a game and don't finish it, so long ago I made the decision to not start another game until I've completed the one I'm currently playing. It's worked for me, though these days I'm into way too many games that can't be completed, like MMOs.
    To be honest, I've been trying to implement such a policy myself, but the daunting part is PICKING one and getting started with it, since a lot of the games I've got in my backlog are pretty long on their own and are often part of a series (BioWare, Elder Scrolls, etc.), and it seems like more work than entertainment...
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    I highly recommend alternating. Plowing through three sixty+ hour in the same series back to back is a recipe for burnout severe enough to set off the smoke alarm. Cut something else in between as a palate cleanser.

    Another thing I sometimes do is have the 'main' game, which requires some degree of attention and concentration, whether because it's difficult or has a lot of narrative or whatever else. I also have the 'light' game, which is something quick and fun that I can pick up, play for ten or twenty minutes, then put down easy. Usually the light game is something arcade style. And by arcade style I basically mean Crimsonland, which may be the purest distillation of gameplay since original DOOM.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

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    That sounds like a helpful strategy as well (and I'm pocketing the phrase "burnout severe enough to set off the smoke alarm" to use in the future). I suppose part of it is that my play by posting has kind of taken the place OF "the main game" in this scenario, requiring attention and creativity to do good writing with and not lag behind other players.

    Thank you.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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