My thoughts how to better manage a Videogame Backlog
In order to attempt playing more of the games on my backlog I am trying to stick to the following set of rules, which I think will help me with the objective of playing more of the videogames I own. Of course there is an obvious rule such as not buying any new videogames until I’ve played all my old ones. However I think there is a balance and ultimately I don’t want to limit myself to not play new games, if I wish.
1. Make & maintain a list
I’ve used two tools for this. Firstly the website Grouvee. This games tracker website is used to help record what games I own or have access to, games on my wishlist and what I would like to play next. The hard part and discipline is making sure that this list is maintained.
I already had a Google Sheet with a list of all the physical games I’ve purchased over the years. I merely made sure this is up to date.
2. Categorise my games
Using Grouvee I have categorised everything as follows:
- Played. If I’ve already played the game. And then either tagged Abandoned or Completed depending on what I thought of the game and how far I progressed.
- Backlog. Any game I want to play goes onto this list.
- Play next. These are the high priority games I ‘most’ want to really play.
- Playing. Anything I’m currently playing. Will try to be ruthless and keep this to a minimum.
- Shelved. Games I’m still intending to play again but rather than just abandon I will try to resume at some point (easier said than done!).
And that’s it. Free games, stuff I regard more as a collection, or older games I’m not too bothered about are not added to the Backlog category.
3. Avoid Games as a Service (GaaS)
Many new games fall into this category and I tend to really enjoy the repetitive gameplay of these games. So this is one of the hardest rules to stick to. However I am trying to be more selective about these types of games and choosing to avoid them altogether if I think the time and monetary commitment is too much.
4. Stop playing
If I think the game isn’t very good or I don’t enjoy it then I will move on and play something else. This is where services like Xbox Game Pass are really useful as I am more inclined to try new games and not worry how much of the videogame I’ve played.
5. Not being a completionist
I’ve never really been that bothered about achievements or doing absolutely everything in a game. So just experiencing the main story line, not worrying about collecting everything or bothering with harder difficulty levels is how I’ll play most of my videogames.
6. Don’t rush & enjoy
Simple rule, but an important one. After all a large part of playing videogames is about having fun. So there’s no shame in playing a lot of one game if it’s fun.
The following is a selection of Games Tracker Websites, which can be extremely helpful tools that can manage a growing video game collection and help to choose what to play next. I talk individual games trackers in my blog category; Games Trackers.
Grouvee – my current favourite and the one I use to track my games collection (my profile). Think Goodreads but for video games. Uses the GiantBomb API for games so pretty much anything can be logged. Includes the auto import from Steam, great community which in turn leads to making new games easier to find, friends list, reviews, lots of meta data to log including time played, custom lists and more.
AllMyGames – Fairly new site created in 2018. Auto import from Steam, Xbox Live, GOG and PlayStation Network. Big screen presentation style with integration to HowLongToBeat.com. More detailed thoughts can be found here.
GG – Again another new-ish website. Very visual presentation style, lots of screenshots, clean and simple design which seems to extend through to the feature set. As a basic logging tool it will allow you to track and follow what you and your friends are playing. Also has a mobile app for Android and iOS.
IGDB – Reminds me of Twitter meets Letterboxd in visuals. The developer seems very active and has mentioned big changes are coming for 2019. Has its own mobile apps on Android and iOS.
Backloggery – Probably the most well known website for tracking your videogame collection and backlog. Simple categorisation and presentation of game status. One page summary view that can be personalised. The ability to add notes to games or even whether a game is part of a compilation. Retro theming to the website which stands out.
Howlongtobeat – A reference site through its community data with regards to how long a game takes to playthrough. Includes basic tracking features too.