So I made a Spreadsheet…

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Considering my previous resolution, I would I say I did not that bad.

Still, a new year seems to call for a new resultion, and as such I did what probably everybody who is considering new years’ resolutions is doing: I reflected on my last months and how to move forward.

Good things accomplished

From August to December I actually completed a whooping amount of three(!) games:

  • The Wolf among us (9 hours, 85% achievements)
    The first Telltale-Formula game by … uhm Telltale. Quite a good game with a good story, but some drag in the middle. Loved the atmosphere though.
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (8 hours, 92% achievements)
    Visually expceptional with a mind-bending story, but with ridiculous combat mechanics.
  • Middle-Earth – Shadow of War (71 hours, 65% achievements)
    More of the same from the first part Shadow of Mordor. But, as with all open world sequels, more of everything does not make a better game experience, which turned this game into a tedious grindfest instead.

All three games were very nice on various levels, considering the different types of their genres. Especially Shadow of War was long overdue on my list, as I liked the first one and wanted to finish the series for quite a while.

Additionally, I also played a lot of Final Fantasy XIV (300 hours since end of June) and Destiny 2 (94 hours since October), but with both being service games, this somehow does not count, although a lot has been accomplished in both of them.

Bad things burned out

I had to skip Dragon Quest XI, which i really wanted to play, but could not find any motivation for. In addition, neither did I re-start Life is Strange nor Shadowrun: Dragonfall, and I fear these two have to wait a bit longer.

What became very intense again was me entering my viscious cycle around mid of December. Especially Destiny 2‘s season grind was very aweful. It felt like so much work to do every day and so much to achieve in various game modes every day, that I had no motivation to play at all anymore and really needed some change again. My burn-out from service games is so strong currently, that I do not even want to go back to Final Fantasy XIV anymore… and this really is something!

A new re-established Resolution

Considering these last months I at least had the feeling, that my chosen games were probably too ambitious. I felt something was amiss. So, when I had a talk with my brother last week, he casually mentioned during a talk about what we played recently, that “it would be best to just start with all games from the letter ‘A’ and then move down. Just do not decide.”

And then, somewhere – somehow – something, inside me, like a bell, started resonating.

“This is IT!” I cried. “This is how I will proceed with my pile of shame and finally get started. I just get handle the choice variable better!”* And so I pondered on and thought about, how to finally re-start great again, how to finally get control back and not side-step around and get nothing done.

After a short while it was already clear, that it would not be helpful to start with the first game in the alphabet, simply because this would take forever to come down to e.g. the Witcher games. Or, even worse, I would have to play through all Assassin’s Creed games in a row!

No, something needed doing, and here – big reveal – is the result of my pondering:

  • All games on Steam were categorized as followed:
    • Games I really want to play (to-play),
    • Games I completed (complete),
    • Games I probably will start (maybe),
    • Games I will start somewhen/never (somewhen), and
    • Games I do not care/ignore (don’t want to play)
  • Then I transferred all these games alphabetically into a spreadsheet.
  • I also added all other games from GOG, Origin, Uplay, and PSN.
  • This resulted in a list of 106 games across all platforms. Keep in mind, these are all games I really would like to play!
  • Then I divided this list into quarters, resulting in three columns with 27 and one column with 25 games. You can find my list of games below.
1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter
Aarklash: Legacy Darksiders 1 Last of Us Soul Calibur VI
Assassin’s Creed Darksiders 2 Legend of Grimrock Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 1
Assassin’s Creed II Deus Ex – Human Revolution The Legend of Heroes Trails in the Sky Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Deus Ex Mankind Divided Life is Strange Steins:Gate
Assassin’s Creed Revelations Devil May Cry 5 Lightning Returns The Surge
Assassin’s Creed III Divinity Original Sin Mass Effect 2 Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet
Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag DmC Devil May Cry (4) Mass Effect 3 Sword Art Online Hollow Realization
Assassin’s Creed Liberation Dragon Age 2 Mass Effect Andromeda Sword Art Online Lost Song
Assassin’s Creed Origins Dragon Age 3 Metal Gear Rising Tales of Berseria
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Dragon Quest XI Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zero Tales of Symphonia
Assassin’s Creed Rogue The Dwarves Metal Gear Solid The Phantom Protocol Tales of Zestiria
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles China Earth Defense Force 4.1 Mirror’s Edge To the Moon
Baldur’s Gate 1 Edge of Eternity Neverwinter Nights Tower of Time
Baldur’s Gate 2 Elex A New Beginning Transistor
Bastion Final Fantasy IV Nex Machina Trine 2
Bayonetta Final Fantasy VI Phantom Doctrine Valkyria Chronicles
Blackguards Final Fantasy IX Pillars of Eternity Warhammer 40000 Mechanicus
Blackguards 2 Final Fantasy XIII-2 Pillars of Eternity 2 The Witcher 1
Blashphemeous Hitman Planescape Torment The Witcher 2
The Bureau – XCOM Declassified Hollow Knight Quantum Break X-Morph Defense
Child of Light Horizon Zero Dawn Ruiner XCOM enemy Unknown
Code Vein Hyperdimensional Neptunia re:Birth Satellite Reign Yakuza 0
Crosscode Icewind Dale 1 Seven  Yakuza Kiwami
The Dark Eye – Chains of Satinav Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth Shadow of the Tomb Raider Ys Origin
Darks Souls Kingdom Come Deliverance Shadow Run Dragonfall Ys The Oath in Felghana
Dark Souls 2 Kingdoms of Amalur Shadowrun Hong Kong
Dark Souls 3 Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light Sleeping Dogs

Ok. So what’s deal now:
In order to find the – next game – I will play, I will start with the first row and am now comfortably provided with a selection of four games from my to-play category. From these four games I will then simply choose one, as chances are high that some games are selected, which I had forgotten a long time ago.

So from my first set of games (first row) – Aarklash: Legacy, Darksiders 1, Last of Us, and Soul Calibur VI – I chose Darksiders 1, and already started playing. And it’s really a lot of fun – I wanted to play this for such a long time anyway.

But of course some considerations still need to be made:

  • When a game from a series is chosen, no matter which part, I will always start with the first part of the series.
  • When a game is completed, it will be removed from the table and therefor the order within the table will change.
  • In order to choose the next game, I consider two variants:
    1. Always stay in the first row, and complete games within this row only. Games will change anyway with the elimination of the completed game from the list. Only the first row will only change, unless I finally re-start playing Aarklash: Legacy. This gives me some breathing time until the first Assassin’s Creed comes up …
    2. I will not always start from the first row. I could consider another variable e.g. the current date for the selection of the row (even though I do not have enough rows for each day).

So far, this should be my modus operandi for this year and I will make adjustments as I see fit along the way. But with enjoying Darksiders 1 so much right now, I feel rather confident (and a bit proud!), that this mode will be more helpful in my endeavor – Recapturing my Pile of Shame.

*The dialogue with my brother has been re-framed for dramatic purposes.

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