Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Quest for Value update

Some time ago, I started a series called the "Quest for Value". The point of this series was to get a list of all my games and play them for at least long enough to try them out.

Why? Well, first off, I wanted to get the Full Value out of my cheap video game bundles. What's the point of getting great bargains if you buy the games and never unwrap them? Indie bundles are all about value, and if I want that Value, I have to actually play the games. I can't just let them gather dust in the corner of my hard drive; that's not what games are for.

It also creates a meta-game around the games. Even a boring game can be a satisfying experience when it's part of a larger quest. I hated Twin Sector, for example, but crossing it off of my list and writing a little rant about how bad it is still felt good. I completed another task. I accomplished something. Ding!

Additionally, it gives me opportunities to find hidden gems. Finding hidden gems is awesome. And I know they're out there because I have found hidden gems. Multiple times. The biggest example is Dungeons of Dredmor. If it hadn't been part of a larger Quest (in this case the Steam Holiday Sale event rather than my self-imposed one), I never would have touched it. But when I forced myself to try it out just a little bit, I discovered that, wow, this game is awesome! And now I've logged more than a hundred hours of it and it's one of my favorite games. Now that's a gem! And of course, even on a smaller scale, I've had good experiences with lots of games that I'd probably not have played sans Quest, such as LaserCat, Alien Shooter, FlatOut, and The Baconing. It's definitely worth sifting through the chaff.

There's one other advantage that I discovered later on: a long list of new games to try out means lots and lots of easy writing material for my daily blog. Writer's block? Not anymore! Pick up another game off the pile and pen a first impression. Ta-dah!

I stopped maintaining my Quest for Value list when I moved it over to Backloggery. But it's been some time since then, and I think I've swung too far in the wrong direction because of that change. The thing with Backloggery is that they don't have anything in between "Never finished the first level" and "Beat the game." There's no "Played it for long enough to get a good feel for whether or not I enjoy the game." As a result, if I play for just an hour, Backloggery doesn't let me "cross it off", and it's almost as if I haven't made any progress at all. So that's kinda sad.

But I still think the Quest does good things for me, and I do still like the idea of Backloggery even if it's not a perfect system. So I've been thinking, and I think I'm going to try and see if I can't hack away at that "Unplayed" category in my Backloggery. It's full of untouched, unplayed, unwrapped games, and that is definitely not good value. Plus, I'm slowing down on the indie bundle front--getting better at resisting the allure of the Value. A couple months ago I was adding new games faster than I could play the old ones.

So yeah. The Quest is not over yet.

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