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I’m getting tired of never playing what I want.

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22 thoughts on “Discussion: Always Waiting

  1. ❤️ games i sought out and purchased are in my ‘priority’ list
    ❤️ games i acquired for free/came in a bundle are to be hidden from view
    ❤️ if i’m not willing to pay full price for the game, i’m not going to buy it (excludes AAA/classic games i’m 100% itching to play)

    this narrows the list of games significantly to choose from. it’s helped quite a bit. i mostly play indie & classic games, so that may colour this method.

  2. The first method I used to keep the dogs at bay, was simply not buying. This failed.

    The second method I used was to install and put a shortcut on the desktop. This failed.

    The third method I used was to use Playnite and made games favourites. This has also failed.

    Every time I try to create a method to “whittle down a list” I seem to break it.

  3. I’m playing through Deadly Premonition on the Switch at the moment after several failed stop/starts on PC – am loving it now, although it has been vastly improved by [no spoilers] finding Spiritual Map A and completing Quest #5 early on, takes the slog out of the game. FWIW.

  4. I don’t keep lists, I just wait for the mood to strike If it never occurs to do something, and the only reason to do it is genuinely for my own pleasure, then can I really be said to be missing out? The only issue is that every piece of the internet seems desperate to present me with lists.

    Fuck lists.

  5. There was a happy upside-down smiley emoji in my comment that lightened the mood but it got removed and now it looks like I’m SUPER SERIOUS about hating lists. Which isn’t untrue, but I still wanted the mood lightened! Here are some smileys.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ XD :p


  6. … second follow-up comment: Lists, preferably with deadlines!, can be great when I actually do need to do something. But when it comes to *doing what you want,* lists seem like a great way to transform today’s heartfelt desire into tomorrow’s chore.

  7. Damon

    I’ve not given up on Deadly Premonition so I’m looking forward to it becoming “easier” (although it didn’t help when it crashed the last time I played, losing progress).


    You’re right, of course. Lists considered harmful. I’ve concocted wishlists so I can be alerted to discounts but I don’t need new games; I have enough to see me until I die (I’m assuming this 30 years away at least). However, I need to keep up with the cool kids. You won’t necessarily catch me playing nu-Doom though.


  8. I remember when I installed Pidgin or whatever in order to help amalgamate my every chat program into one big chat program. It was awful and buggy but it was also definitely EXACTLY what you’re talking about… just a decade-old list-lister >:/

    I do love you in my inbox though! <3

  9. so, I second what damon said about deadly premonition: taking that side quest (if its the one i think it is) to unlock the infinite ammo submachinegun turns the worst combat sequences into mere busywork. this is not of course an endorsement of dps combat; but its joys are not in its combat (despite a couple genuinely interesting design choices therein).

    combat aside, the problem with dps early game is that it railroads you initially into pursuing its main story to the exclusion of all else. but a few days in, as soon as you get the objective to do the big meeting at the town hall, procrastinate it! from this point the story missions will always wait for you, so you can instead explore the town, start meeting the inhabitants, and begin to discover all the weird characters that are what make this game special.

  10. “Choosing rubbish avoids disappointment. Proof of agency and control in a world teetering on the edge of madness.
    “But it’s just a lie, right? Choosing to watch rubbish is the subversion of choice, a choice of inaction over action. It’s more akin to accepting a terrible fate because, well, fighting the dragon sounds like way much trouble, man.”

    This is nicely put. I have been there before, and I will be there again. 🙂

    Good luck with the continued efforts towards playing Vanquish, and exploring more of what Deadly Premonition has to offer. Soon enough you’ll have caught up with Arcadian Rhythms! 😉

  11. This has worked ok for me:

    – If I install a game, I’m committing that I’m at least “interested”
    – I have realised that my brain doesn’t like leaving games in a state of not being finished but installed for a long time. It makes it feel like every game is disposable because I can pick it up or toss it away. So I want to complete more games so I feel like I’ve had a more complete experience.
    – When I have time to play a game, I therefore take a look at the games I played most recently and try to pick one from there that I think I’ll enjoy.
    – If that doesn’t work, I scroll back through my backlog.
    – If I haven’t played a game in months, I uninstall it and accept that I may never play it again. This is akin to putting a book back on a shelf.

    I’ve found that ritual of installing or uninstalling can be quite helpful in helping my brain work out what it should (or should not) be stressing about next. It whittles down the field to just “what I happen to have on my nightstand” (or would if this were books).

    It’s still not perfect but I’ve become more content with my gaming choices, I think.

  12. Andy

    Yeah, I remember similar advice from last time I talked about DP. Last time, I played through lumbermill which seemed to go on forever, then I went outside and had a bit of fun with the driving minigame. Then it crashed. The petrol/knowing where you’re going has also been disheartening (I ended up walking the rest of the way at one point because I ran out of petrol). I want to see more of it though.


    I will vanquish #SpaceForVanquish. I’m expecting sometime in the next couple of months.


    I do wonder if I should I just uninstall everything and start all over again. I’ve got tons of icons on my desktop. But I really want to play Even the Ocean and have a crack at AI War 2, I did want to get back to Below as well and—


    I’m going to play something as soon as I hit submit on this comment. I reached a key milestone in my coding today and I’m taking a well-earned break.

  13. I’m not breaking out many new games these days, mostly when I game I’m doing a little Brogue. The server I play on introduced a new mod in which the game is compressed into 6 levels (10 if you’re nasty) and that suits my needs perfectly. Also a new update of the main game came out and I got the first win on that, which I hereby am boasting about.

    Every so often I fire up Puddle Knights and knock off a bonus level or two if I’m lucky. Sometimes it has a nice balance of “you need an insight” and “you need to make exactly these sixteen moves to set up the right configuration.” I have thoughts on the level select, though: It should make it easier to back out to the map (I had the same issue with Snakebird), and also, once you finish the main game there’s a bonus stage that you have to unlock by 100%ing (all but one of) the other worlds, and when you restart the game it always starts you on that stage. This is perverse, because you can’t do anything on that stage! Seems like it should go to the last stage you were playing. But this isn’t a Closure situation where it wastes a lot of effort, as on the map it’s one click to get to a different stage.

    The other thought I had is why the controls seem clunky. Part of it is that I sometimes double-push the arrows, which is probably not the game’s fault. But also, when you switch to the character that character does a short animation, and it doesn’t switch control until the animation is finished. So if you are controlling character 1 and you hit 3-left, the left arrow will register while character 1 is still active. Undo is nice and quick though.

    Oh! Actual insight! Sokolikes can be sort of like 15 puzzles and I think that this game has some deep underlying connections to the 15 puzzle. For instance, you can reverse the direction of the head and tail of a knight with a two-square tail in a 3×2 area but not a 2×2 area, and you can switch two tiles on a 3×2 slider board but not a 2×2 slider board, and I think these are the same underlying mathematical fact, but I’m not sure.

    Anyway it sort of feels like I should be playing something else, like maybe picking Mutazione back up after probably a full year, or replaying Signs of the Sojourner, or maybe trying Caves of Qud in which I have always got destroyed the first time I accidentally aggro something, but I don’t feel like it! And those always require me to settle in for the night and commit myself to doing something, which I don’t necessarily want to.

    But! this is probably not the recommendation you’re looking for, but I believe you have purchased a bundle with FUGL in it, and it is a birb simulator like Feather except it’s procedurally generated voxel graphics and also chaos. You can become a polar bear and the polar bear will be a birb. I sometimes find it relaxing to play with!

  14. droqen: ‘lists seem like a great way to transform today’s heartfelt desire into tomorrow’s chore.’

    I love this!

    There are MANY games I have bought in the past with a view to playing immediately, full of excitement and fire, but then thought to myself ‘I should probably finish Dusty Game X, Y or Z first before I start this’ and then… the fire went out. Then it feels like work trying to get that fire back, as and when I eventually get around to playing it. This last year or so I’ve tried to just run with that fire (‘fuck it, I want to play this LET’S GOOO’), and that’s felt so much more… liberating and vital. I don’t think it’s too far from:

    “Cutting through my analysis paralysis bullshit and making a choice that’s mine feels almost transgressive. And that really seems fucked up.”


    Even The Ocean really interests me too.

    We watched The Block Island Noise and enjoyed it. It didn’t go where I expected it to after seeing several movies recently with different coastal mysteries!

    I meant to ask, have you seen The Vast of Night on Amazon Prime, Joel?

    matt w: FUGL is lovely! There have been a few updates since I last played it so I should probably go for another fly soon. I’d like to try Feather out too.

  15. Matt
    Brogue sounds like it’s your current comfy slippers game, where you’re just having a good time and don’t need to worry about any bullshit. No new things to learn. No patches. I guess that’s Fortnite for a generation of gamers (although they get bored pretty quickly). That’s Death Crown for me at the moment and I think where I am – headspace-wise – is always a search for a different comfort game or something very small. I’m not sure I can deal with even puzzle games at the moment. I do shake out The Golem every week or two but it’s a gamble whether anything will come of it. I abandoned A Monster’s Expedition because we were clearly in “divine inspiration” required territory. I don’t think I’ll ever 100% it without a walkthrough.

    I concur that Puddle Knights has a few UI issues and I was *always* doing one too many moves. But it wasn’t sufficient enough to piss me off bigtime especially as the undo is so responsive. I have good memories aside from one or two levels where it seems nigh-on-impossible to build a mental bridge to the solution (Divine Inspiration time).

    Good work on your 15 puzzle revelation but I’m not sure it gets us anywhere. Just be glad it’s not total bullshit like this. I should be impressed with that link but my reaction was: why… would… ANYONE… want to solve that? It looks horrible to understand and even worse to manipulate.

    So I did try out FUGL at Rezzed and crashing into things all the time. I’m sure the final article is probably better than the Rezzed version…


    I do have this horrible habit of subjecting myself to the painful torture of starting a new game and then losing heart for a second go or third. I eventually come back but have absolutely forgotten everything I learnt a year earlier! I remember when Joe Martin left games journalism and suddenly realised he could just play what he enjoyed – he could drop titles after 3 minutes he knew he wasn’t going to enjoy and it was liberating. I wonder if we’re all suffering from this, one way or another. Self-imposed PLAY THAT FUCKING Games

    Glad you got something out of The Block Island Noise! In ROT13 to avoid spoilers: V dhvgr yvxr gur zvfqverpgvba jurer lbh’er yrnq gb guvax gur guvat, jungrire gur guvat vf, vf haqre gur frn ohg… vg’f npghnyyl hc.

    I have since The Vast of Night. Twice, actually! It’s not a brilliant film but it has some touches I really like – the switchboard scene is great and some of the long monologues are spellbinding. (The monologues reminded me of The Haunting of Hill House!)

  16. HM: “I do have this horrible habit of subjecting myself to the painful torture of starting a new game and then losing heart for a second go or third. I eventually come back but have absolutely forgotten everything I learnt a year earlier!”

    This happened to me with Thief Gold! HOWEVER, unlike most “you must play” games, I knew how weird it was so I kept at it. Took me three attempts over three years, and something just clicked that third time. I felt immense pleasure getting over this hump. But I know that won’t apply to all games! The funny thing is, sometimes you just don’t know until you’re so far into it.

    This also just happened with System Shock: Enhanced Edition. I wrote a lil’ article about it that should pop up soon… I’ll link it here when it goes live.

  17. Please do daniel because that’s one I’d still like to play!

    Joel, I’m glad you mentioned ‘ROT13’ because for so long now I thought you guys had all gone crazy in the comments. Now it all makes sense! 😉

  18. Gregg: you know, one of the problems for me with “This looks exciting i should play it!” is that it usually takes a while for the game to download and i may already have lost that impulse by the time I have to play! Also there is the unholy byplay of initial difficulty curve and disk space; for instance, I was unable to git gud at Hades, and I just don’t have the space to leave it on the laptop and come back, which means if I ever do try again I’ll need to spend a couple hours downloading. (Currently Hollow Knight and Mark of the Ninja are occupying the “I should play this sometime” disk space. I haven’t beaten the first boss in Hollow Knight yet, which is sad, but the gameplay is familiar enough I feel like I could do it if I tried. Ninja my first impression was that I wish the levels were way shorter.)

    Joel: I’m in the same position with A Monster’s Expedition (though probably with less done than you… I have 28 friends), but we haven’t abandoned it, really. We won, and we did a bunch of optional content, and then there’s some stuff Alan put in just to show us who’s boss.

    Puddle Knights I’m still quite enjoying, into the bonus bonus levels now, and a lot of them are really enjoyable. The UI thing isn’t a problem, the only thing I’m not enjoying are some of the levels with the longest capes, because the effects of your actions are so far away from where you’re taking them in space and time. (This may also be why I didn’t like the giant glutton Snakebird level.) The one of these I liked best so far was Long Metal Solo because the metallicness and some other parts of the level constrained the solution a lot. OTOH there’s one level which is a giant cape with holes in it and it fills me with despair even though I didn’t mind the other holey cape levels, fortunately I didn’t need to 100% those to get bonus stuff.

    That hyperbolic slider puzzle both impresses me and leaves me thinking that it looks horrible to understand and even worse to manipulate. It makes me think there might be a decent game based around folding and sliding though! With much smaller levels.

    Also that video made me realize that Hyperrogue is a Broughlike, which means Broughlikes don’t have to be small! I will explain later.

    I don’t know if it helps but in FUGL you don’t die crashing into things anymore, you don’t even wind backwards in black and white like Feather, you just bounce! And there’s a button that lets you hover upward if you’re stuck (or even if you aren’t). Once in Feather I found a Big Secret that I had read about, and I was on my way to something, and I landed on something and then had an awkward time getting out and the game decided I had glitched and kicked me back to the start point, and since Feather has no way to save at a landmark I’ve never been able to find the secret again, and also haven’t played nearly as much as I used to.

  19. So I have a new hyperaddictive comfort game! It’s called Slice & Dice which I learned about from John Walker. He describes it well, especially the way it is very good at displaying information about what’s going to happen this turn. As for the genre of a game that not only doesn’t integrate movement and combat, it doesn’t even have movement, who can say?

    It really does make me think about how the initial difficulty curve is a big part about waiting to play things. I should love Caves of Qud but I haven’t been able to start it, because it overwhelms me with information and choices and I haven’t been able to survive a combat yet. Slice & Dice, I picked up the demo, played it through three times, and was like “Yeah I better buy this.”

    Hyperrogue as a Broughlike! So sometimes I say Broughlikes are roguelikes where you can’t move diagonally, though maybe I mean you can’t wait, because it’s all about careful tactical maneuvering and Zugzwang where you can be forced to move into a bad position where you lose one of your very limited hitpoints. And Hyperrogue is entirely about careful tactical maneuvering in its weird geometry, and you don’t have any hit points at all (I think): one hit and you’re dead! But it’s absolutely enormous. Really, probably different people think about different aspects of Brough games as important to Broughlikeness, and that’s fine!

  20. Can only echo many sentiments already expressed in the comments…

    – I too made a Master Priority List via GoG Galaxy and have yet to touch any of the games on it in the intervening 2 years
    – I have several wishlists to be alerted to discounts but every time I receive one I come to the same conclusion that I shouldn’t be buying any more games if I’m not playing any games
    – and possibly shouldn’t buy any more games EVER since if I started on my collection now I would die before I got to the bottom of it
    – I went through a brief flirtation with considering myself a collector of games rather than a player of them but this didn’t make the expenditure feel any less pointless AT ALL
    – the sole exemption of all these unsatisfactory outcomes is the 3DS, which was my most played platform through the 2010s and looks to remain so in the 2020s. It is small and robust, which means I don’t fear to take it to work, where I can sneak in 15 minutes here and there which over the course of a few months will add up to a finished game. In this unlikely way I’ve actually conquered dozens of titles, and let me tell you, the library on that thing is surprisingly excellent.
    – the only lesson I think can really be derived from this is that environment matters and that if you want to get gaming but currently aren’t, there may be sources of friction that need to be removed. Might sitting in the home office at the desktop computer in the only tolerably comfortable Ikea chair, after a day spent sitting in the office at the desktop computer in the barely tolerably comfortable work office chair, be subconsciously affecting your appetite to play?
    – currently I’m playing Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., an incredible 3rd-person turn based strategy game that is sort of Gears of War meets X-COM meets the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets the 3D Kaiju battles from the N64 Goemon games. Not so fun fact: it sold so poorly that it nearly destroyed the company.

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