Posted in Gaming, Steam Challenge

Steam Challenge: 50% Milestone Goal Met!

One of my goals for 2018 was to reach a milestone of having played (over) 50% of the games in my Steam backlog. This month, I’ve been nudging closer by prompting myself to try a new Steam game each week.

Last night, for the first time in years, the calculator reported that I’ve played 50% of the Steam games in my library! Given that this number is 245 games, this is no little thing!


My other goal this year was to not buy a new game if I wasn’t interested in playing it almost immediately. I’ve pretty much stuck to this.

This week, for example, I obtained my Project: Gorgon Steam key from the Kickstarter, so I made sure to install the game and poke around in it a little bit last night. Once I have more time to sit down with it, I’ll be sure to post about my new experiences in P:G.

Aside from this, I finished Back to the Future: Episode 3 last week. I had an itch to try a city builder this week (mostly because I’m interested in Surviving Mars), but didn’t want to buy another game right now. So I started playing around in Tropico 4 last night instead. I put in about 2.2 hours, making it through all the tutorials and starting my first island.

A Look Back

When I first started the Steam Challenge, my backlog looked like this:


Dang. I was worried about just 60 unplayed games back then? Now I’ve played 123!

This was back in 2014, so that’s an average of about 46 new games a year. Wow! What was I thinking? Also, keep in mind some of these games came from bundles and some were gifts over the years.

Also, this counts software titles in the stats, such as RPG Maker and GameMaker Studio, Art Software (Spriter Pro), and other things that are not games. For example, my “games” number shot up over the holidays because I picked up several pieces of game making and art software… not because I bought actual games.

Most of these games I bought between 2014-2016. Last year, I cut back on buying games for Steam… because of the Switch. Games are often more expensive on the Switch, which leads me to cull Steam purchases.

I also notice that my Steam wishlist has shrunk significantly last year (and a number of these are actually DLC for games I already own). I’ve been moving indies off of my Steam wishlist to my Switch wishlist as they’ve been announced. I’m also finding that I’m turning away from tempting sales, staying away from bundles, and skipping out on everything except good deals on games I really, really want to play here and now.

Surviving Mars is an example of that. I’m interested in it. I just have too many other games between Steam and Switch to justify getting a new game right now. So, instead of picking up Surviving Mars, I decided to play Tropico 4 (which it was compared to).

I have absolutely no interest in systems like Humble Monthly be cause I absolutely shudder to think of the mass influx of games it would bring to my backlog… Most of which I’m not interested in, or already own if I am interested in it.

In fact… I’ve gotten to the point where I won’t even take freebies or cheap games because the thought of inflating my backlog numbers turns me away. Not to mention, most (not all, but most) of these cheapie games are probably shovelware anyhow. (Sorry.)

My Top 10 Games

I decided to take a moment to list my top 10 games by time played. I will note that some of the numbers are vastly inaccurate, because Steam (at one point) didn’t record my time if I listed myself as offline, or if the Net was down. I pretty much always list myself offline (if I’m not playing with friends) just so I can focus on the game I’m playing without interruption.

Luv you guys, but I’m so easily distracted! ❤

Starbound, for example, should have a ton more hours to it. There are some games that didn’t make this list that might have if the hours were more accurately reflected here. But, oh well.


I also listed more than just 10 here since RPG Maker, Spriter and GameMaker Studio 2 are not-games. As I noted before, software titles get tossed in with the games.

Yep, 7D2D beats out all the rest of my Steam games by a long shot. Starbound just overtook Stardew this past week as second place (again, my Starbound numbers should be a lot higher). And I’m ashamed to have played so much H1Z1 (Just Survive) in the past.

As you can see, I have issues clearing my backlog because these endless sandbox or tactical games always suck me in. Only Torchlight II and Walking Dead are games that have any sort of true ending on this list. It’s pretty terrible, but I really do love good sandboxes!

Anyhow! It feels good to finally have a balanced point on my backlog. My next goal is to reach for 60% of all backlog played. I may spend some time culling some titles — for example, the backlog also includes duplicate titles. Like this:



So, I didn’t actually purchase a second copy of the game, but the new GOTY or Definitive Edition was automatically added to my Steam account because I owned the original. This still counts as two games in the backlog stats, though! Not fair! I have several of these.

So, I’m going to see how many of these I can clear out to get a better idea of where my stats actually stand. I’m probably going to do the same thing for any software-not-games I’ve purchased but never launched, just to clear up those stats as well.

How goes your Steam backlog? What does the Calculator say? 

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Tales from Eureka

So… Eureka.

It’s the hot topic of FFXIV since it released yesterday. And there’s just as much salt and grouchiness about the oldskool play style it tries to introduce to a modern MMO as I expected there would be.

You’ve got people on Reddit who think it’s worse than Diadem, and people who actually enjoy it. For me, while it’s not the most fun I’ve ever had in a video game, it’s a foundation for something I hope might become bigger and better.

Amoon was quite keen on trying it out last night, and I was interested to see what it was like, too. While Syn wasn’t that excited by it, she joined as our healer and we went in as a group of three.

Oldschool MMO Style

Eureka was pretty much what I expected. They likened it to open world FFXI leveling from back in the day. That’s what we got, more or less.

There’s some elemental wheel stuff going on here, too.

Folks complain about the grind for relic. But relic is always a grind. This hasn’t changed in the slightest. It’s just not a grind locked into repeatedly running a boss or dungeon… which FFXIV has an overabundance of.

In fact, I welcome more open world content, even with the trouble it brings (more on that later). I certainly can handle heading out with a little group of FC folks to pull mobs and nuke them down for a hour or so here and there. It was a nice change of pace.

The problem is, there’s so many players who aren’t used to this play style. Some only understand zerg or speedrun. They struggle to understand there’s an etiquette to playing a game that will actually get them further than being selfish. When patience is required and speedrun isn’t possible, they pitch a fit.

There’s threads popping up offering tips about the best way to progress in Eureka. This doesn’t include killing everything in sight. Aside from the NM FATEs, this is very much closed group content.

Tagging other groups’ pulls does everyone harm — those who pulled, and yourself. So find yourself a safe spot to call a base point and have a tank pull things to your group. That’s the traditional way to do this, and that’s what works well.

Our little safe spot we found on a rock. In the distance, another group is fighting, but we give each other room.

Eureka doesn’t have a duty finder. You can go with with a group of any size, and join groups while you’re in the instance. It was interesting to see people out there shouting LFT or LF1M. Players have to figure out how to do things without a duty finder matching them.

Behavior has consequences. Remember how I talked about tagging other groups’ pulls and how everyone gets lower XP from it? Here’s a story.

Kill Stealers

I never thought I’d talk about kill stealers in FFXIV. Anyhow.

So, my FC team found this safe little flat rock area to set up our pull spot. We were doing well, making chains, and just learning how the system worked. Most other groups were minding their own business, aside from the occasional zerg group running through.

There was a Dark Knight and a Bard who come rushing into our area and just started killing anything we pulled. Basically, they were leeching off our XP over and over again. At first, I wondered if was by accident, but they kept it up. So we moved around to the other side of the rock, giving up our nice spot.

Well, it wasn’t an accident because they followed us to the new spot and started killing our pulls again.

Only, the new spot wasn’t as safe as the original. Very quickly, they attracted more mobs than they could handle, and unlike us, they had no healer. We simply walked away and let them deal with what they’d pulled. Needless to say, I saw the monsters return to their spawn spots pretty soon after, and we saw no sign of those two for a while.

When they did return, they came back to our rock, but didn’t mess with our pulls. We’d leveled up by that time, so we gave it up to them, going to a different spot.

Nightly Rewards

We were only out there for about an hour and a half, and not all of that was spent in battle. The three of us earned about a level and a half, and various amounts of Crystals. Crystal drops were pretty random, except for chaining all the way up to 30. We got that one time.


There’s a quest line that leads you through the new systems in Eureka, including to the relic stuff. This time around, you can earn both weapon and armor relics.


I’m honestly not too worried about the relics this time around. If I get one, I do. But I got my Tome weapon from Sigmascape last night, which is far better than what relic can give me this patch cycle.

My new Tome weapon

Even though it’s kinda cool that the relics have a color-changing glow, and it’s nice they have a promised five-slots for materia, I’m not impressed enough to feel I need to grind for them.

If that’s the case, why did I head into Eureka?

Several reasons:

  1. I like that this is content I could take almost any level 70 member of my FC into, anytime, just for the fun of it.
  2. I like that this content isn’t closed up in a dungeon. I have severe dungeon fatigue from FFXIV right now and only run things if I have to.
  3. I want some of the cosmetics — the new Red Mage barding is on my list, and the T-Rex mount is pretty cool, too!
Someone with the T Rex mount in town. 

Not all content needs to be fast and constantly raining rewards. I don’t mind slowly working on something over time to achieve it. If I get a relic from it, then I do. If I don’t, there are alternatives.

It may be that Eureka starts out slow and becomes something a lot more fun later on. FFXIV is famous for releasing a bare-bones feature that they build up over time.

I can understand why some people are frustrated and disappointed about the style of content in the new zone. But the truth is, they can adjust to it, or they can just choose to do something else.

Relic is not end all be all.


Posted in Gaming, Starbound

Starbound Weekend

I actually have a lot of gaming stuff I’d like to talk about from this weekend, but I’m going to start this week out posting about what I played the most — Starbound.

It’s been a while since I’ve revisited Starbound, though it’s maintained it’s spot as an installed game on my desktop. Syn and I started up a game back when it came out of early access, but the last time I posted about it was back in 2016.

Wow! Has it been that long since we last explored this game?

When Syn asked me what I wanted to play on Saturday, I suggested we take a peek at where we left off in Starbound. I had no idea that a few hours would turn into a whole weekend, or that we’d drag poor Amoon into the game.

Base Building 101

We returned to our old game to find everything still where we left it in our little earthen hovel.


We decided to check out the next of our story quests, which was to find a Floran settlement and scan a bunch of artifacts. Once that was done, we turned our attention to the poor state of our base.

I did a major overhaul of the living area…


And Syn started building up a greenhouse alongside of it.


We got a produce shipment box, which you can hardly see in the dark, but it’s on the top level of the greenhouse. We started to focus on selling produce and food, which is something we’ve never done before. It has a bit of a Harvest Moon vibe to it.

We also bought livestock for the first time!


Starbound With Friends

Later on Saturday, we convinced Amoon to join us in his first Starbound session. He wasn’t so sure about the game due to the art style, but I think he’s more or less enjoyed his time playing so far (I hope).

Syn and I started over on new characters (it’s not as much fun to be twinked out on your first Starbound experience), and we started building a new base on a new home planet. This time, I went directly for a wood base, and we found some neat fairy lights on some random planet, which I brought back with me.


This eventually evolved into a nice little structure with a huge two-tier garden off to the left.


I hired my first ever crew members for my ship, and we added a colonizer do-hickey to the home base that brought in new NPCs. From time to time, the NPCs give random quests — sometimes this brings another colonist, sometimes this just rewards loot bags, and sometimes it actually unlocks new features, such as the Pokemon-like pet capture system.

This little green guy is my first pet. He’s always grouchy. 

We also unlocked the Mech system, which allows you to explore specific spots in space. Sometimes these are just anomalies, sometimes they’re hostile or friendly ships.


It’s a neat system with a light space-shooter vibe. You can build a custom mech when you find the blueprints for upgrades and have the right materials. That’s going to be a while for me, though.

We also did a lot of exploration, including fuel mining on a moon… which gets this crazy purple ghost monster angry at you. Apparently, it gives chase the more fuel you gather.


There’s still so much yet to discover and build in this game. We’ve only scratched the surface, and have hardly finished any of the story at all!

It’s really come a long way from the game that I started playing in 2013. Hard to believe it’s been that long. We always have a good time with it, though!

This sunrise on a tropical island of an Ocean biome world was amazing! 
Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch Excitement

Yesterday was the Nintendo Direct — which is not something I watch. But I tend to follow the news that it spawns after one ends.

Of course, Smash Bros. for Switch was the huge news for fans, and I’m glad they have something to be excited about. My love for Smash ended with the Game Cube version, however.

I hardly played the Smash on the Wii, though I own it. I picked up Smash for Wii U and it was super frustrating for me — I don’t know if it’s because I’m older and my reflexes just aren’t there, or what. But everything seemed far more complex than I remember — including the moves, the stages (that zoom out and make things incredibly tiny), the hazards on the stages (which often were more annoying than fun), and just all the items. I had no idea what does what anymore.

So, I’ve accepted that Smash is not my thing anymore, though I put tons of hours into enjoying Melee back in the day.

What Am I Excited For?

That doesn’t meant that there weren’t some announcements that got me excited, however!

Okami HD

I saw this, then quietly went to my Steam wish list and removed it from there. I’ve been doing this more and more — titles that are coming out on the Switch get removed from my Steam list. It’s making my Steam wish list a lot more manageable!

I did play the original Okami on Wii many years back, but never beat it. It only makes sense to get the new version on the Switch, where the motion controls will be king. Glad to see this one making a port!

Octopath Traveler


I guess they dropped the “Project” and kept the rest of the name. That’s fine.

I played the demo and enjoyed it a good deal. We now have a July 13 release date. 

This is going to conflict wildly with my interest in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, which has a release date of July 21. July is going to have too much JRPG, it seems.

GameMaker Studio 2

I’m not interested in picking up Undertale a second time (need still to finish it on PC), but I am interested in the fact GameMaker Studio 2 is releasing on the Switch. I own it for the PC, and have dabbled with it a bit there, so I’m curious what it’ll be like for the Switch… Does that mean the coding platform itself will be ON the Switch, or that you can just develop FOR the Switch? And will the Switch will support playing and distributing homemade games from the community?

So many questions!

Somewhat Interested

I’m kinda interested in the Octo expansion for Splatoon. I haven’t played the game a whole lot ately… mostly because I haven’t had much time to play my Switch, and I have way too many other games that I’d pick up first. I might eventually come back around to Splatoon, but a lot of it depends on my free time and other games that want my attention.

I never played Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker in its original form. It must have had something fun about it, though, as it’s referenced often and getting a port. I’m curious, but I have a feeling this will go on my Amazon wish list for Christmas. 🙂

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition… maybe? I’m glad I never picked it up for the Wii U, though I had it on my want list for years. Another I’ll put on my Amazon wish list.

Are you hyped for any upcoming Switch games?

Posted in Gaming, Steam Challenge, Steam Gaming

Steam Challenge: Guild of Dungeoneering

Game: Guild of Dungeoneering
Time: 40 Mins (But Will Play More!)

One of my goals for this month is to get back to trying one new Steam game from my backlog each week. I started this month with this game – Guild of Dungeoneering. I think I picked this up in a bundle somewhere, but it looked interesting, so I gave it a try.

I really wanted to put more time into it before I wrote a post about it, but I feel like I have enough of the gist of all the major ideas and systems in the game. Actually, the whole game is a set of inter-working systems. But it’s easy to look past that because it’s just so darn charming.

I mean, just check out this intro song:

What is it?

The game’s Steam page describes itself as this:

Guild of Dungeoneering is a turn-based dungeon crawler with a twist: instead of controlling the hero you build the dungeon around him. Using cards drawn from your Guild decks you lay down rooms, monsters, traps and of course loot!

This does a good job of describing the game at a high level, but I want to go a little deeper into it than that.

The first thing I noticed was the cute, hand drawn art style and the fun tavern-song music. These tavern songs are woven between scenarios, usually on a loading screen, and are often quite amusing. I knew I was in for a quirky ride with this game from the get-go, and it didn’t disappoint.

So, the story begins as you decide to break away from the official Guild to make your own. I mean… you can do it better, right? This includes building up a guild hall of various rooms, and hiring adventurers to do your dirty work for you.


You then send your hired hands out into dungeons. These dungeons have objectives to fill.


Sadly, poor Mervin didn’t get very far before he met his end. It took me a few hirelings to realize that bats (which can sap life) are not a choice enemy in the beginning.


But all is not lost — when one dies, another immediately takes their place. Also, the gold the first adventurer brought home remains, and you can use that to build up your guild hall like so:

20180308074538_1 There’s even a nice little grave yard to remember them by…


Building up your hall unlocks new types of hirelings…


And also increases the loot pool for each fight you win.

Build Your Own Dungeon

Let’s take a moment to talk about the dungeon building aspect of this game. It’s pretty cool! And in the end, if your hireling loses the fight, you’ve only got yourself to blame. You built it for them, after all! 😉

So, when you enter a dungeon, it’s only half built like this:


The random cards you get in the bottom corner are what you use to build the dungeon, and connect the parts. Usually the goal of the dungeon is on the part that you can’t reach yet. You can place up to 3 cards per turn, or end the turn early.

You can also place treasure cards (if you have one) and enemy cards in the rooms. So, really, you pick your own encounters to a certain extent.

When your hireling goes to battle, it’s a different sort of card game.


The cards you can get in your hand are directly related to the gear that your hireling is wearing (I’ll show that in a moment). The blue cards at the top are your pool – you get to play one card per turn.

The outcome of the cards are indicated by the icons. For example: the red fist is an attack that will take away one enemy heart. There are cards that cast magic, that restore health, that block enemy attacks… all sorts of things.

When you beat an enemy, you get your choice of loot:


Each of these items will add a new kind of card to your deck, influencing the skills you can use. If you don’t like any of your choices, you can take gold instead.

Again, as you build up your guild hall, you can purchase an expanded loot pool that gives better drops each time you beat an enemy.

So, basically, you send a hireling in. You build a dungeon, place risks and rewards, and choose the loot that will help them beat the quest. Then you take the gold they earned back, build up your guild hall, and repeat.

It’s a neat little set of systems, and the dungeons are short. So you can pick up and play in spurts if needed. It has a quick tutorial, and eases you into the game without too much of a learning curve. However, seeing that my first few adventurers died on the first dungeon (darn bats), it’s not a total pushover, either.



Give it a shot if this sounds like something you’d enjoy. I’m sure you can get it at a good price during a Steam sale, if nothing else.