Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

“Done Played That Game Enough”

Posted by Rampant Coyote on October 6, 2015

I don’t know how long “categories” have been around in Steam, but I only discovered them a few months ago. It’s been both a curse and a blessing, although when used liberally with the search function to find a game in my HOLYCOWHOWMANYGAMESDOESONEMANNEEDTOOWN-sized library, it’s more of the latter. It’s really hard to categorize some games, but I have a list of what I think might constitute adventure games, RPGs, strategy games, first-person shooters, space combat games, simulators, etc. It works okay for me, I think.

Last week, I created a new category called “Done.” It’s for games that I feel I am sincerely done playing. Done and unlikely to reinstall. It’s sort of an oubliette to remove some games from my site.

Some games that are going in there are games that I enjoyed for many hours, but I am simply done playing. Like Borderlands 1. I really enjoyed that game. Can’t see myself playing it again anytime ever again, but it was good. (Ditto for the Pre-Sequel, minus the “really enjoyed” part. It was okay). Besides, by putting them in the “done” category, I know longer have to agonize over whether the game belongs in the “First Person Shooter” or “RPG” category, or both.

But then there are some games that go there within a few minutes of play. Seriously – there are a few indie games that I played for 5 to 15 minutes and thought, “What the hell?” I seriously played better freeware work-in-progress demos pulled off the school library computer disk drives back in the 1990s. The graphics might be higher resolution, but only just. But the have bugs, poor gameplay, confusing instructions, clunky everything, and are devoid of anything resembling polish. The only thing I can think was that these were halfway decent game jam entries that someone later slapped a pretty menu screen on top of and called it ready to release.

This is opposed to games I simply play for a few minutes and just don’t like, which are few and far between but are a thing. Usually by the time I figure out what I’m doing, I’m having fun. But that’s perfectly excusable. A game not meeting some players’ preferences is not only fine, it’s great. We need more niche titles.

No, what I’m talking about is something different. Just because the gatekeepers are no longer in power to prevent crap from clogging the pipeline doesn’t mean you should throw crap into the pipeline.  Now, heaven knows I’m not the world’s expert on making something slick and polished. I have as much problem seeing the forest for the trees as anybody else. But there are some basics. If I start to play a game and it doesn’t look like the developers gave a crap about it when they released it, why I should I care about it as a player?

In the era of the “race to the bottom” on prices, it’s as much about a player investing his time into a game as his money. Games are cheap and plentiful, but everyone in the world is still limited to 24 hours in a day. If I have more games than I have time to play, I’m looking at an excuse to chuck your game into the “Done” folder so I can forget about it and move onto something more worth my attention. The only thing I’ll try and remember about that game is the name of the developer, so I can avoid their games in the future.

Filed Under: Indie Evangelism - Comments: 7 Comments to Read

  • Xian said,

    That’s similar to what I have done. I have a some additional categories. Where you have your Done category, mine are split into two. I have Completed which are ones that I have beaten and Not Installed which are those that I play briefly and then remove or ones that are in my library that I really have no intention of playing. For instance I might get a Humble Bundle and really only want to play a couple titles.

    I leave the games that I play regularly or my currently playing game uncategorized, so I don’t have to go searching around for them.

  • Darius said,

    I have organized my games similarly. I have a finished category for games that I feel like I sunk some time into and I feel like I’ve gotten everything I’m going to get from them. A tried category for games that I’ve booted up and given a chance, but didn’t feel the desire to put more time into, or else they wouldn’t even run. I’m trying to increase my percentage, but currently I have finished or at least tried > 60% of my > 500 game library.

  • miroz said,

    I also have “done” category with Mount and Blade, Europa Universalis and similar timesinks. What I’m worried even more is my “todo” category with games I bought and want to play but I didn’t find time yet. It’s growing uncontrollably. Sales…

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Yup, sales and bundles. My bane!

  • The Old Farmer said,

    Don’t fotget crowd funded games with the bane of sales and bundles.

  • McTeddy said,

    I only have “Favorites” and “Library” which basically means “I’ll play this again” and “Well, I guess I own this now”

    That second set has far too many games that I’ve never played.

  • Tom H. said,

    I have “doneish” and “meh”, for ‘I’ve played enough of this’ and ‘I don’t want to play any more of this!’, but perhaps it deserves more nuance.

    (Plus “family” for the things the kids are *supposed* to play, with little relation to what they *want* to play, and “unplayed”)