New year, new me. Right? Nah. Not really, but kinda. (What the hell do you mean, Nick?)
Starting… today I’m going to try and actively track my backlog of games. I’ll have a public and (hopefully) frequently updating list of the games I’m currently playing and the ones that I’ve completed / need to play / set aside.
This is all the result of a Tweet from my pal Cian Rice, who made this tweet that showed a snapshot of his backlog in Trello. What followed was a few people (including me) having their minds blown at the idea of using Trello for a gaming backlog. I spent the next few hours building a preliminary list and this was the result:
How My Backlog Is Structured
After some tweaks, and discussion on Twitter, I’ve landed on a format for this backlog. Here’s how I currently have each column organized:
- Backlogs: Games that I haven’t gotten around to playing yet. Some of these I may have started up and played very minimally, but made no progress. The 2018 column is obviously games from last year that I’ve missed (some of it is a huge shame, I know!) and legacy is everything from before then (some of this even more of a shame). 2019 is this year, and as of right now is my current predictions on what I’m planning on picking up. My priority for games works left to right (2019 games and content are most important, 18’s less, legacy even less so.)
- Actively Playing: These games I’m currently working my way thought at what I deem an “active pace.” That can mean either daily (in the cases of PUBG, Rock Band, and mobile games), or just to the point where I haven’t felt like I’ve “put it down” yet. Some games may sit here for a long time, some might get completed early, some might be put on hold for a period of time.
- On Hold: Anything that is “On Hold” is something I’ve played, and know I want to come back to and finish (we’ll get to my definition of done soon). This can be coming back short term (another month or so) or even long term (like 6-12 months from now). Also, I may occasionally open these games (to play multiplayer with a friend, or just “check it out”) but I won’t put them into actively playing until they feel like they’re back in my usual rotation.
- Waived: I used a more producer-ey term here. These are games that were on my backlog that I’m probably not going to touch again. This could be due to me not liking the game, or thinking completing it at whatever point I hit is impossible.
- Completed: So… my definition of “completing” or “finishing” a game is pretty vague. When I feel like I’ve put a game down, completed all the things I’ve set out for in it, and am ready to move on to something new, it’ll go here. Some completion items might just be certain achievements I want to unlock, or in-game milestones like reaching a certain progress level.
On top of organizing it by columns, I’ve also adopted Cian’s idea of a priority rating on a per-game basis. Here’s what it currently is at:
- P1: Play or complete this game as soon as possible. I might either be super close to completing the game, or it’s just something I really want to get through before other games release or get closer to being added to my Actively Playing list.
- P2: These games I should play or complete soon. They have a heightened importance to me in terms of playing / completing.
- P3: P3’s are important, but not very much. I want to get to these soon, but not as soon as something above it.
- P4: Anything that is a P4 I am hyper casually playing or playing in an ongoing manner. These are ongoing live games (Rock Band, PUBG, Pokemon Go, Fortnite, Rocksmith, Destiny 2, etc.) that don’t really have a completion in sight for me. They could also just be games that I want to play but don’t think I need to play immediately (like… even this year).
Games may change priorities and status often, based on the progress I’m making in them. For instance, I might start a game off, play 25% of the main story, and put it on hold with a P2 or P3 priority. As other games come out, I may bump it up and want to complete it sooner. A P4 may stay a P4 forever until a new piece of content comes out (ex: Destiny).
For each game, I also try to include a list of tasks or at least a description to outline what I’m trying to do with this game. Some newer games might not have that as I haven’t started them and don’t know what my end-goal is.
In terms of games, that list is mostly under the assumption that everything is on Xbox One, unless noted elsewhere. Why? Well, I primarily play on XB1, so I personally know where I’m going to be playing those games. I break this with two exceptions: Subscription services & other platforms.
With God of War for example, I’ve noted it’s on PS4. For Game Pass or EA Access style games, I’ve tried to note if they’re on the service and were in my game library at the time. If they no longer exist, I may waive them or hold off until I purchase them outright.
Finally, each game allows for the public to vote on what games you want me to play next. I’ll try and honor them and adjust priorities as I see fit, if people actually do this. If you want to, hop on over there and do some voting by clicking on a card and clicking the “vote” button. (You may need a Trello account to do this, I don’t know)
I think the format, structure, and flow might change over time, but for now, I’m very happy where it’s at.
So, Here’s My Backlog Update: 1/1/19
Alright, I spent a lot of time talking about the overall formatting and organization of the backlog. I think it’s time to write an update on where it’s at.
Kicking off the new year I have seven games I’m actively playing. Along with a brief note of what I’m doing in them, they are:
- Red Dead Redemption 2: This game is actually close to being put on hold, however I do want to finish the story soon, so I might try and do that. Red Dead Online has been kinda meh after being the online story missions, so there’s a chance it goes to completed / on hold once I beat it and until more content gets added for online.
- Ashen: I literally *just started* playing this on the 30th or something like that. I really like it! Expect this to stay and for me to play through as much as I can.
- PUBG: PUBG I’m actively playing and have some active tasks to complete. Mostly leveling and Xbox achievement based.
- Rock Band 4 / Rivals: I’m also actively playing Rock Band. Rivals mode is quite addictive and of course the new songs we add each week are fun to play and listen to. I’ll flesh out more specific tasks for this one as time goes on. 🙂
- Pokemon Go: I’ve recently gotten back into this and enjoy it a lot, like I did previously. This’ll probably live here for a long time.
- Spaceplan: Like Ashen, I picked this up over the holiday break, a few days ago. This game is addicting and one of the best idle games I’ve ever played. It even has a really compelling story.
- Rocksmith 2014: I actually haven’t played Rocksmith lately, but I don’t consider it on hold just yet. I return to this game once every couple weeks when I feel the itch to learn a new song on guitar or bass.
Ultimately, I have a very solid list of games I’m playing right now and am happy. Once I wrap up Spaceplan, I might seek out another smaller game to fill my time with (maybe on mobile too?). As for Red Dead, something big might take its place soon as well. Unsure what yet though!
The Backlog & Games On Hold, Prioritized & Explained
So, I won’t explain each game, I’ll break this out over more blog posts this month and in the ones to follow. However, I’ll give a quick update on a few of the games in the backlogs and on hold.
- Battlefield 1943: While a P1, I need to spend a bunch of hours grinding out MP for the last achievement I need in this game. It’ll happen soon, but not next.
- Shaq Fu: I bought this game mostly as a joke because of how silly it sounded. It was quite fun actually! I just need more time to play it. This’ll make it’s way over to now playing so I can complete it soon, I feel.
- Forza Horizon: I did at a point consider this complete. I was mostly done playing it. That being said, a new expansion just came out and there’s more to come. I want to play those since this game was a ton of fun.
I’ll dive into more on hold games in the near future!
- Life is Strange 2: Episode 1 of this actually just came out not too long ago, but there’s a few things blocking me from actually starting. They are:
- Replaying Life Is Strange 1. This game has missed achievements (the collectibles) plus my girlfriend really enjoyed the first episode that she wants to know more of the story, so we’ll be replying this together in the near future.
- Before The Storm: I want to play this, but the above is blocking it.
- Captain Spirit: Same, again.
- MINIT: This is a quick and fun one, from what I hear, but just haven’t been able to sit down with it yet. This might be next on my list before Life Is Strange 2.
- Spiderman & God of War: I’ll just be brief here and say I’M SORRY! I know, I need to play these. They will be played soon. I promise. I can’t wait to play them!
Again, I’ll dive more into the backlogs in a future post!
Woof, what a post! Here’s what’s coming next.
Alright… so! This was a long post, but before I end it, I want to say what’s coming next out of this whole public backlog thing.
Firstly, and most importantly: I want to keep this updated throughout the year and forever. This is a really cool idea and way to track my games, so I’m going to try and stick to it. Hopefully it’s not just the worst case outcome of me doing this once to see where I’m at.
Secondly: Whenever I make some major changes or progress on my backlog, I’ll write a blog post here on my site. One thing I want to do more of is writing, and while that might dip into my actual gaming time, it’ll keep me updating this blog more frequently! So be sure to check back here or with me on social if that’s a thing you care about following!
Side note: actually using Trello again has also inspired me to potentially make a public content calendar for my blog too. Stay tuned for that if it actually happens…
Aaaand I think that’s it? Yeah. That’s all I have for this obnoxiously long blog post. Hold me to this. Bug me on Twitter (@Nick_Mudry) if I’m not updating or making any progress on my backlog or writing posts here.
Also, if you do this, let me know, and share a link to yours in the comments below or with me on Twitter!
Until then, thanks for reading and here’s to a whole year of great gaming in 2019!