#LoveYourBacklog – 2023 Edition

I’ve never cared too much for calling the oodles of unplayed games I’ve purchased and just not yet gotten around to my backlog. To me, backlog feels like word that should be attached to some odious chore, and although I will admit to being sometimes overwhelmed by my gaming library, I don’t have any sense of shame or feelings of pressure about it. Games don’t have best-by dates, after all.

I last participated in #LoveYourBacklog back in 2020, when apparently it was only a week instead of a full month! Since then, I’ve managed to add quite a few games to my library. Grabbing some quick stats from Playnite, which isn’t completely up to date, but it’s at least fairly close, I’m creeping up towards 4500 games owned, with over half of them never even launched!

Thanks to Kim from Later Levels for this fun set of questions all about the backlog.

A game you’re eager to play, but haven’t yet started.

I was super excited about Atrio: The Dark Wild when I played the demo back in June of 2021, and I bought it as soon as it came into early access that August. Since then, it’s gone through its entire Early Access period, and had a full release in January of this year.

I still have yet to launch the game, and I cannot explain why that is.

A game you’ve started several times but haven’t yet finished.

Oof – this is really my shelf of shame, here. I don’t feel bad when I buy stuff and then don’t end up playing any of it, and I’m perfectly fine with games I start and decide I don’t care to finish. But the games that I play for a few hours (or a few dozen hours) and really want to finish but just wander off from? Those get to me, and there are dozens upon dozens of them.

For purposes of this question, though, I’m just going to pick two.

I have spent almost 120 hours playing My Time at Portia and have yet to reach the halfway point of the main story. I have promised myself that I will go back to it, and I will not start fresh this time. I think this one is a case of the game just feeling too damn long – it’s not that it drags, even, just that it’s overwhelming. I don’t tend to do very well with long games (although I can put an ungodly amount of hours into endless ones).

Another contender for the “I have started this far too many times” award is Dead State: Reanimated, but at least a couple of times I’ve bounced off of it due to a mid-game difficulty spike I couldn’t work my way through. I still hope to finish it someday, but I don’t know when someday is going to come for this one.

The oldest game in terms of release date.

The original Might & Magic RPG, originally released in 1986 is probably the oldest game in my library by release date. I grabbed this as part of the Might & Magic 6 pack: Limited Edition on GoG.com, fully expecting I would probably never play the first couple titles. I never played any of these myself, but some of my earliest gaming memories are of watching my uncle play this series. So this was more of a nostalgia buy than really any intent to actually play them myself.

If we’re talking about the oldest game that (a) I didn’t play when it was a new game and (b) I actually would like to get around to someday, that would have to be Planescape Torment from 1999. Even here, though, I’m far more likely to play the Enhanced Edition that came out in 2017, but the GoG package came with the original as well, so I do own that version.

The most recent addition to your library.

Is it really an addition to the backlog if it’s bought with purpose and the intention to play right away? I just added Ephemerid: A Musical Adventure to my Steam library the other day, but I picked it up to play during #MusicGameMarch for the Community Game-Along.

Incidentally, I paid full price for it, which I almost never do. Of course, full price was only $3.

The game which has spent the most time on your backlog.

Most of my early steam purchases & activations are things I actually played at least some of. I realize most people consider any uncompleted game to be part of the backlog, but if I’ve hit my satisfaction threshold with a title, I don’t feel the need to push through and see the credits as well. So, looking for titles I’ve never even fired up, it looks like Thief II: The Metal Age, which I purchased in July of 2012 (along with the other two early Thief games) has been hanging out, completely ignored, for almost 11 years now.

However, since then, I’ve realized that I don’t particularly care for stealth games, so it’ll probably continue to languish unless my tastes change again.

The person responsible for you adding the most entries to your backlog, due to their good recommendations.

I am my own biggest and best enabler when it comes to adding things to my backlog. I love shopping. I love research. I love finding quirky indie games that I just have to have. I’m the person who’s pointing out game giveaways and bundles that are a complete steal to everyone I know.

I am most definitely the problem.

A Few Final Thoughts On #JustOnePercent (By Way of Steam’s Year In Review)

This was a very atypical year for me, as far as how I played games. So, of course, this is also the first year that Steam dropped their end of the year replay wrap up! While it’s not 100% representative of how I spent my gaming time, at least quantity-wise, I do play most game via Steam. This year, because of the Just One Percent Project, I might have branched out a bit more, playing a handful of titles on Itch.io*, through XBox Game Pass for PC, and even a handful on the Epic launcher and on Utomik. So while the numbers don’t quite reflect everything, it looks kind of like how I felt to play – which is to say, a bit chaotic.

*I really would like to play more of the stuff that I have picked up on Itch.io, but those games tend to be a casualty of the size of my Steam library and the fact that when I don’t know what to play, Steam is always my first stop.

If you’re curious about all the details of my Steam Replay for 2022, clicking on the image above will take you there.

Just on Steam, I played 198 different games this year, when you include the 48 demos I tried out. Even taking those out of the equation, that’s still 149 different titles. Now, I am a dabbler, true, but I’m not normally that much of a dabbler. But between February and November of this year, I made 105 posts for the #JustOnePercent project. Assuming a 10% fail rate (where I at least launched the game, but didn’t write about it for one reason or another), and – just a guesstimate – assuming that 25% of what I played for the project was on another platform, when we fudge the numbers just smidgen, we can guess that about 87 of those titles I played specifically as part of the project.

That leaves me with what feels like a far more manageable number of 62 games that I played this year just because they struck my fancy, which is a little more than 5 a month. That feels about right to me. The ranking by playtime seems to reflect that as well – it’s not until you reach the third dozen that games I chose for the project start regularly appearing, with Cozy Grove being the only title to make an appearance in my top two dozen, by playtime.

(Although I suspect a couple of the titles I played outside of Steam – notably The Wild At Heart and The Forgotten City would have showed up in my top 25, easily.)

What isn’t particular surprising is the very low number of games (which is to say, one?) in the top third of my list of titles played for the year that were not indie titles. When I say I mostly play indie games, I guess I really mean it, and now I have the stats to back it up.

I’ve been putting off writing about the project a bit, partially because – oh dear lord – I needed a break from it after 10 long months, but also because I hadn’t yet figured out the answer to a key question.

Was it successful?

I mean, I know it was in that I did what I set out to do. I played more than 100 games that came out on Steam in full release during 2021. For the majority of those titles, that means I spent at least an hour with each game, and there were a handful I really enjoyed that I would maybe never have gotten around to trying out. While I didn’t go spelunking too far outside of my comfort zone, I feel like I stretched a little, and that’s always a good thing.

But I don’t think the project necessarily made the statement I thought it would when I started out.

I’ll admit it – a few of the titles that I played probably never should have seen the light of day, never mind an active store front. But for the most part, I could see the merit in each of the titles, even when I was very clearly not the target audience. Some of the games I picked – in large part because they were at least in the same orbit as my taste – were immensely popular and successful indie titles. Some of the games I thought were great, however, only managed a handful of sales.

It’s not easy to pull a top twelve from a big old mess of over 100 titles, but the games that I feel were probably the best of the bunch – at least for my taste – were Cozy Grove, The Forgotten City, The Wild at Heart, Wildermyth, Gamedec, Lacuna, At Eve’s Wake, Wytchwood, Before We Leave, Overboard, To The Rescue, and The List. Order of preference is – at best – approximate.

I really don’t envy the people who need to come up with the titles to put on the “Best of…” lists we always see at this time of year, and I really struggled picking my “Top Twelve” from the 105 games I played for the project. Even in doing so, I kind of felt like it was a bit unfair – a full two-thirds of the titles I felt like I got the most out of were already on my wish list (or were games I had Kickstarted) before the idea for the project even existed.

Putting those aside for a moment, the four biggest happy surprises for me were the following titles: The Forgotten City, The Wild at Heart, At Eve’s Wake, and The List. None of these were on my radar at all, and I would probably not have played any of them outside the boundaries of this project, and I loved every one of them.

Which is not to say I didn’t enjoy any of the other games I played – in fact, I enjoyed most of them. They just weren’t necessarily the exact game I would have picked to play when I did if I had not been so tightly focused on 2021 releases from indie game developers.

Which I guess just leaves one final question: Would I do it again?

Sorry for anyone who was a big fan of the project, but I don’t think that I would. It’s not that I don’t think I play a hundred or so different games in the course of an average year – I have no doubt that I do – but I definitely skipped out on more than a few things I would have really preferred to be playing at any given time.

I’ve built a big library precisely so I can go where my whims take me. I like my whims. I’m pretty damn attached to my whims.

This is well reflected by my Steam Replay, as well as by those silly charts I post in my In Review posts – I tend to spend the most time playing the games that I want to play at any given time. Revolutionary, right? It’s also why this is my hobby, and not my job.

I had toyed around with some different project ideas for 2023, but I think – just now – I’ve realized that what I would really like to do is play whatever strikes my fancy, at least for awhile.

Getting Ready for Blaugust 2022

I’m sure that no one who’s been hanging out with me here awhile is going to be surprised when I say the past couple of months, I’ve been blogging while riding The Struggle Bus. In fact, if I weren’t smack dab in the middle of a big project, which I’ve already done the lion’s share of the organizational work for, I might not be blogging at all right now.

So the announcement for Blaugust 2022, while not unexpected, has left me very very conflicted. While I do love a good challenge (and Blaugust always seems to be a Very Good Challenge), I’m not sure that I’m going to be able to really dedicate the time and energy this year to participate in the way I prefer – which is to say, I’m a Rainbow Diamond girl or bust. In order to do that, I need to post 31 times during the month of August, and right now, I’m scrambling to do half that every month.

One of the many panels of Hyperbole and a Half which has spawned a million memes.

And then I signed up anyway.

Of course, participating in Blaugust doesn’t mean you need to post 31 entries next month. In fact, a single post a week over the course of the month is enough to get you a bronze award. Heck, if you’re new to blogging, just the act of creating a new blog and participating at all means you have succeeded!

This year also brings a new component – Blaugchievements! As a almost-but-not-entirely reformed chaser of Nerd Points in everything, this was probably the thing that tipped the scales. While I still want my shiny Rainbow Diamond award at the end of the month, I’m also planning to collect me some trophies. In fact, I’ve gotten the first one already!

(click the button, and it can be yours as well!)

Looking at my content planning calendar, there is some good news. I’ve been bumping a lot of non-project post ideas forever forward, and I already have 18 of the 31 days of August with a planned post. That’s more than half and I haven’t even checked the prompt list yet. I’m going to do my best to have the whole month full of post ideas before the kickoff date of August 1st.

I will say that I’ve been kind of hyper-focused on building and participating in communities right now, so the addition of community-focused (but totally optional) achievement goals definitely influenced my choice to jump off the struggle bus and onto this crazy train for another year.

Oops, I got another one, and so can you if you click!

Blaugust: Motivation & Momentum (or the Lack Thereof)

When Belghast first posted about Blaugust 2021, I told myself it’d be absolutely ok to go for one of the lower tiers. After all, I know I can do it – I’ve taken the Rainbow award for daily posts during 2019, and in the slightly different but ultimately similar 2020 Blapril.

But waking up on August 2nd without a post ready to go just felt weird, so it appears that I am going to try to put a little more oomph into this than I had originally planned on. Which is a bit awkward since my blog motivation has been super-low the past few months, which I think is due in large part to my overall motivation being equally low as of late.

The question then is this: where do you find motivation when it’s not in the places you would normally find it? When I start to lose motivation towards the end of a project, I can usually push through solely on momentum, but that’s not really an option at the beginning. Without motivation or momentum to rely on, I’m stuck with what always seems to be my default position of sheer stubbornness!

I’m still not sure exactly how Blaugust 2021 is going to go for me, but watching other participants come out of the gate strong and with a whole lot of gusto has invigorated me. I think my biggest stumbling block is not going to be the time actually spent writing but rather the time where I need to be doing (or at least thinking about) something interesting enough to be writing about.

… which this particular post probably is not, but in the interest of not starting out way behind, it’s what I’ve got today.

Welcome to Blaugust 2021, participants and readers!

Nerd Girl Goals – August 2020


Since we’ve already done a daily post-a-thon once this year, Blaugust is looking a little bit different. I’m intrigued by the idea of a Promptapalooza, and I’m looking forward to reading all the interesting stuff that comes from it, even though I am hesitant to commit to completing too many prompts myself. You can find the intro post and first prompt over on Tales of the Aggronaut.

Nerd Girl Thoughts will be responsible for the prompt on August 10th.

#FightingGameMonth is the theme of August for the Community Game Along, and it’s the third month in a row that I’m going to be stepping outside my genre comfort zone in order to participate.

And again, because I’m not 100% on the genre definitions, I’m going to rely on the not-so-reliable Steam tag system. Going over my library, I think the main game I’m going to try out is Injustice: Gods Among Us, although I’m hoping to also sneak in a post about a super fun, free fighting game before the month is out.

Steam also told me that the Batman Arkham games count as fighting games, which while I’m thinking that’s a stretch, made me think this might be a good time to start my replay of the series.

Play to Satisfaction

For me, saying “Play to Satisfaction” gives me explicit permission to drop a game that’s not working for me, but also to grind away for nerd points if I’m really loving something. I’m trying to make it a policy for myself that I will always play to satisfaction – no more, no less.

I still have a few outstanding game-related stuff I’d like to finish up over the next few weeks, but there’s plenty of stuff I haven’t already talked about I’d like to add onto my plate this month.

I want to talk about SMITE for a minute, here. There are now 110 playable gods in the game, each with unique abilities, passives, and synergies. While I understand that it’s possible for someone to know how to play every single character, I have a Pokemon-brain that only lets me maintain competency at about a dozen or so at a time.

Because of that, I really want to buckle down and learn that handful of characters cold. In the “main mode” there are five roles, and I’d really like to have four characters per role, but I’m going to set my goal for three, because, well, Pokemon-brain. I want to make sure I have build paths on lock as well as managing the actual in-game button pushing.

I expect my biggest struggle to be the assassin class / jungle role, and I am grateful to have a patient group to play with who don’t get overly bent out of shape over losing.

Otherwise, I plan to turn my attention to some shorter and more story-focused games. While I’m missing my strategy games, I find I rarely have the patience for them, and diving into a huge RPG just doesn’t even appeal right now. With how much I have on my plate outside of gaming this month, I just won’t be able to get deeply involved for days a time, so I need to keep my focus more, well, focused.


I’ve just started on Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff ahead of the release later this month of the series on HBO. I’ve been a fan of Matt Ruff since stumbling across the weirdly wonderful Sewer, Gas, and Electric years ago in a used bookstore. I grabbed this one via Kindle Unlimited back in December, and honestly, forgotten all about it until I started seeing ads for the show.

E.A. Copen also recently released the first two books in a new series, and I have Shadows Over Hemlock up next to read. I’d been taking a break from urban fantasy for a bit, so I was delighted to discover her new series was more of a horror story.


Although there’s still a lot of TV I’d like to finish up (I have a nasty habit of not wanting shows to end so I just … stop watching them?), I expect most of my TV time this month will be spent keeping up with the Smite Pro League games. Even though I space them out throughout the week by watching the VODs on YouTube, watching six sets every week is quite a commitment in and of itself.

All in all, I think I’ve planned an ambitious month, considering I’m also committed to a lot of garden work, as well as several projects around the house that need to be finished up before we can get the professionals in to get us settled before winter. It feels weird to even be thinking of winter in August, but the one major thing I’ve learned since owning a house is that everything takes twice as long as you expect it to.

Quick Look – ECON – Elemental Connection

This post is part of my blogger challenge.

ECON is a neat little puzzle / board game, currently being given away on Itch.io. It is also available on Steam for the extremely reasonable price of $2.99 for folks who prefer to keep all their games in one place. The basic premise is simple – match the edges of your tiles to the tiles on the board to score points.

There are three different game modes (Single Player, Online Versus, and Challenge), and six different AI profiles for the single player version of the game.

I’ve only played a handful of games, and mostly, I’ve lost the ones I’ve played. You only have two tiles in your hand at a time, so it’s difficult to plan more than one move ahead, and as you near the end of the game, the strategy mostly changes to making moves that cause you to lose the least points.

ECON – Elemental Connections is a really interesting concept, with immense replayability, even if you never touch the multiplayer. I’d say if you like puzzle-style board games, it’s worth a pickup at $3, and is a no-brainer at the low low price of free. It’s even more worthwhile if you have a friend to play with and you’re looking for something new to play together online during social isolation.

Blogger Challenge – Give Back to an Indie Developer

I’ve noticed a couple of themes going around with different bloggers right now. The first is that we are struggling with what to play. The second is, we’re struggling with what to write about.

Now, logically, it seems like the two things just might be related, so in that spirit (and in the spirit of doing a good thing for someone else who has done a good thing), I present the “Give Back to an Indie Developer” blogging challenge.

Feel free to use this image in your posts. I made it JUST FOR YOU (in canva.com)

When so many folks are dealing with the disruption of daily routines and also financial uncertainty, an overwhelming number of indie developers have chosen to take their games and make them free (some for a limited time, some permanently) on the Itch.io storefront. Most of these games are labors of love that no one ever talks about, and I’d like to see all of us come together to talk about them.

Just look for a game on Itch.io that is on sale for 100% off, and give it a whirl. Then do a little write up about your experiences, linking back to the game on Itch.io. That’s it. That’s all there is to it.

I do hope this catches on, and I’d love it if you’d drop me a comment or link back to this post if you decide to take on this challenge. I will update this post every couple of days with links to blog entries that focus on this challenge.

ECON – Elemental Connection by Krikket @ Nerd Girl Thoughts.

Regions of Ruin by Naithin @ Time to Loot.

Codemancer by Paeroka @ Nerdy Bookahs.

Blogger Recognition Award – 2020

I have been tagged by the incomparable Naithin of Time to Loot to do the perfect blog entry for the start of #Blapril2020. Thanks for the tag!

The Rules

  1. Thank the wonderful person who nominated you and leave a link back to their blogs.
  2. Explain your blog’s origin story or its history.
  3. Hand out two or more pieces of advice for new bloggers.
  4. Nominate other bloggers and hook us up with links to their blogs.

Origin of Nerd Girl Thoughts

Oddly enough, Naithin is also probably at least 75% responsible for the existence of Nerd Girl Thoughts in the first place (and I thank you for that as well!).

I had wandered away from my prior blog The Completion Chronicles in May of 2017. I had always intended to go back to it, but really, the whole concept had lost its shine for me.

That blog came to be after I had just come off of what I still feel was my most successful blog project – 366 Days of Gaming, in which I played a different game every day for a year – and I wasn’t quite ready to give up blogging yet, but I also was really unsure of what I wanted to be doing.

So blogging had been put on the way back burner for well over a year, when I saw Naithin tweeting about Blaugust 2019, and I felt like that was the kick in the pants I needed to get back to it. Instead of reviving one of my (many many) defunct blogs, I decided to start fresh with Nerd Girl Thoughts, and leave myself a little bit wider open to write about a greater assortment of topics.

Advice for New Bloggers

Don’t Overthink It: It’s okay if you don’t know exactly what you want your blog to be about, or what you want it to look like, or how you want to publicize your posts. The first step is actually getting words down about something that you care about. There are probably 8 million good reasons to start a blog, but if you ask me, the best reason is because you want to write. So, write something. Work out all the messy details later.

Look for community, not recognition: If you are considering blogging because you want to get internet famous, or as a side hustle to make big money, you’re probably going to be disappointed. Sure, you can absolutely treat blogging as a business, but – at least to me – that’s the quickest way to suck all the joy from your project and the odds are still against you succeeding. Unless you’re content babbling into a void (and I frequently am, so take that one with a grain of salt), you will need to build a community. Events like #Blapril2020 are great for community building – take the time to figure out who else is writing about things you are interested in, and then interact with those blogs & authors. Chances are, you’ll spark a conversation and maybe even get a follow back.

The Tags

I think this is a great topic & I personally was glad to have the prompt, but if you don’t feel the same, please feel free to just conveniently forget I tagged you, ok?

Syp, author of BioBreak.

Chestnut, author of Gamer Girl Confessions.

Rakuno, author of Shards of Imagination.

Paeroka, author of Nerdy Bookahs.

Quietschisto, author of RNG.

If I didn’t tag you, but you want to use this topic as well, feel free!