Nerd Girl Goals – September 2020

SUBSCRIPTION GAMING

I’m planning to re-sub to XBox Game Pass for PC sometime this month, primarily to take a look at Spiritfarer and Hypnospace Outlaw (although there are still plenty of other titles on there I’d play if I found the time). Hypnospace Outlaw is the shorter of the two games, so I’m going to make that the priority this month.

Now that the release date for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands has been announced, I am optimistic the 9.0 patch will drop sometime in September, and that’s when I plan to reactivate my sub. I skipped out on a lot of Battle for Azeroth, so there’s very little I’m going to do at this point to prepare for the next expac outside of leveling some alt characters so they’re ready to enter the new content. Plus it will let me see how much I enjoy playing again before I drop a bunch of money on the new expansion.

COMMUNITY GAME ALONG

Since I’m not overly familiar with much from Sonic Team, I didn’t have something prepared for this month. So when I saw the (very well reviewed) Sonic Generations on sale on Steam for a dollar back in June, I snagged a copy to dabble in this month.

I’m going into it with low expectations – I’m notoriously bad at platforming games, and I have no history with the Sonic franchise so I’m missing out on any nostalgia value.

GAMING

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 feel like I’ve put a lot of stuff on my plate before even getting here this month, and I still plan on putting some more time into SMITE (both playing and finally blogging about).

Still, I like to poke through my library a bit, dust off a few titles that look interesting that I will (mostly likely) ignore all month in favor of some other shiny thing that caught my eye.

Automachef is one I’ve been looking at anyway, and I’ve been on a building kick, so I might dabble in that. Endzone: A World Apart showed up on Utomik recently, and I have been wanting to check that out. Pikuniku looks like a charming little puzzle game (and it’s short!) and Death & Taxes recent demo was raved about in a Discord I’m in, so since I have it in my itch.io library from the steal-of-the-century bundle, I might give that a whirl.

One thing I won’t be doing this month is diving into anything too lengthy, because if all goes according to plan, we’re getting new PCs this month, and I’d rather not have to worry overly much about migrating saved games. Of course, setting up a new system is also going to eat somewhat into my gaming time this month, but it’ll all be worth it in the end.

In Review – August 2020

Community Events and Projects

Yet another month where I’ve struggled with focus, and more specifically, with sitting my ass in the chair to write. Thank goodness for Blaugust Promptapalooza 2020! Although I didn’t do nearly as many prompts as some people, I posted four entries from the available prompts.

I also managed to complete (and write about) the single player story mode of Injustice: Gods Among Us for the Community Game Along. Although it didn’t get me jazzed about the fighting game genre, it was a fun way to spend a couple of evenings.

I took another set of turns for Long Live the Queen this month, and hoo boy, am I way in over my head at this point. Collectively, we’ve passed the 300 turn milestone, and I don’t expect it’ll go around too many more times, but at least we’re on track for victory. I think.

I actually put a lot of hours into SMITE this month (both on my own and with friends), but I found myself struggling to figure out how I wanted to write about the game. I started a couple of posts, but didn’t get very far. Hopefully, I’ll start to get all of that figured out in September.


I did lose most of a week this month to an expected (but suddenly rather urgent) home improvement project, so I didn’t do even a fraction of the other stuff I had planned on this month.

Other Gaming

I started out the month with Little Big Workshop, a game I had owned for awhile but hadn’t thought much about until it showed up in the August Humble Monthly. I played through the majority of the game twice, losing interest only after unlocking the final set of goals (but before completing them as they felt very anti-climatic).

shapez.io is another game I had picked up on a whim awhile back – I like the idea of logistics management games, but I usually don’t find them very compelling. shapez.io is slow – you actually need to produce a ridiculous quantity of items for each level after the first couple, but it kept me well engaged through most of its available levels, giving me a little more than 10 hours of playtime before I felt like it was starting to play more like an idle game than an active one.

I had been excited about Ruinarch since playing the demo back in June, and I picked it up as soon as it was available. It’s still in very Early Access – at this time, you cannot even save the game – but I’m enjoying it nonetheless, and look forward to seeing how it all comes together in time. I probably won’t even play through all the available scenarios before shelving it for a few months, but I have no regrets being an early supporter.

There were a couple of games I dabbled in this month that just didn’t do it for me. Book of Demons just felt dull – maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance, but nothing about it drew me back after a single short play session. Krystopia is a perfectly serviceable puzzle game with a mostly forgettable story frame, however, it relies heavily on the “connect up the circuit” type puzzles, which I don’t particularly enjoy.

Lastly, I played an embarrassingly large amount of the mobile game Match 3D on my phone. I tend to gravitate towards very repetitive, mechanically simple game experiences when I’m stressed out (or otherwise all caught up in my own head), and this absolutely fit the bill. I spent $3 to get rid of the ads in between each level, but otherwise, haven’t felt that the optional in-app purchases were even the slightest bit necessary to enjoy the game.


Indie Arena Booth 2020

I cannot resist a virtual game conference, although I tried to use some restraint this time around since the Indie Arena Booth at Gamescon was around for only a few short days.

I definitely spent the most time with To the Rescue!, but I also really liked the whole vibe of Lucifer Within Us. I also made sure to check out Gamedec since I had backed it on Kickstarter, but I spent just enough time with it to confirm that I’m far more interested in the complete experience than a short demo.

The rest of the demos I tried out didn’t really grab me, but I really am loving the resurgence of demos, even if they are only available for tiny windows of time.


All in all, August was a pretty intense month, even if I didn’t do much of … well, anything … that aligned with the goals I set at the beginning of the month. Still, I think I’d rather have a plan I don’t follow than no plan at all!

Nerd Girl Goals – August 2020

COMMUNITY EVENTS

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.

GAMING

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 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.

READING

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.

WATCHING

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.

Nerd Girl Goals – July 2020

This is me, fully admitting I have no real and actual plan for the month.


Community Game-Along

Normally, I try to pick out what I’m going to play for the theme of the month way before the month starts. Usually, this isn’t too hard, because either I only have a couple of games that might fit the theme that I’ve even vaguely interested in, or I have a ton because it’s a theme I already really enjoy so there probably won’t be a bad pick.

But I’m going to make a confession here: JRPGs confuse the heck out of me.

Using Steam’s Dynamic Collection feature gives me 54 games to choose from this month. My own (admittedly sort of haphazard) organizational system shows that I have 73 choices. Not a single one of those games have I played for more than a few minutes, and clearly I don’t necessarily know what a JRPG even is.

So, I downloaded a whole bunch of stuff to dabble in and see if anything sticks.


GAMING

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.

Oh, look, it’s another spot where I don’t quite have anything definitive to say. The Steam Summer Sale is going on through July 9, and I’m waiting to make my bigger purchases until after the Humble Choice reveal on the 3rd. Not that I’m expecting overlap, but why go through the hassle of doing returns if I don’t have to?

I had originally planned to get Disco Elysium as my big splurge game, but I’ve been poking around, and there’s a not-insignificant number of reports of frequently crashes by people playing on AMD graphics cards, so that one got pushed back in priority for me.

Now, I am primarily debating between Megaquarium and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Triology – neither of which I truly need, but I can see either one of them being something I’d enjoy playing sooner rather than later, so whichever one I choose, I’d like to put some hours into it this month.

I’d also like to dabble in whatever else I pick up, big or small. So far, I’ve bought four little games that looked good to me, and I’ll likely pick up another handful of sub-$10 titles. I don’t feel like I have to play them to completion immediately, but I want to put in enough time to confirm they’re good games for me.

I’d also at least like to take a look at No Man’s Sky before my XBox Game Pass for PC runs out in about a week.

On the MMO front, I’ve reinstalled RIFT. After reading Syp’s recent post about it, I decided to take another trip through Telara, just to see if there’s any joy left there for me.

As far as Smite is concerned, I’d like to get familiar with more of the gods that have been added since I last played, and try to find a couple in each role that I feel at least moderately competent on. The group I’m playing with is made up mostly of folks new to the game, so I’m not dragging them down overly much just yet, but I would like to be able to be a little more flexible than I am at the moment.


Mid-Year Reset

I don’t think 2020 has been what any of us expected it to be when we were looking forward back in the fall and winter of last year. I gave myself a couple of challenges, and as it turns out, neither of them are really working out for me. I have decided I’m no longer going to work on either Low Spend 2020 or my Ten Games to Tackle ideas.

I think my Low Spend idea has succeeded, in that I put a lot more thought into what I’m buying. If I don’t see myself playing it reasonably soon, or if I already have something (or multiple somethings) unplayed in my library that I expect will offer a similar play experience, I don’t make the purchase. I’ve also found myself thinking a lot more about spending more on interesting independent games, and less on blockbuster titles that I just seem to collect and never actually play.

As far as taking on some of the bigger, more intimidating titles in my library, what I’ve mostly discovered is (a) big games are still overwhelming and (b) I often feel like I have to play a game because it’s a huge success and it shows up on Must Play lists. I think I need to give a little more thought to what makes games work for me – while it’s good to step outside my comfort zone now and again, I need to accept that my taste, skill level, and tolerance for frustration just make some games unplayable for me, and there’s plenty of other choices out there.


For a post about my monthly goals, this one feels extremely nebulous. It’s strange to be so forthright about just not having any idea what I want to do right now.

In Review – June 2020

This was absolutely a better month for gaming, although not really too great at keeping track of the days. I also spent part of the month idling games for cards to sell before the Steam Summer sale, so I don’t have my trusty “recently played” list to remind me what I actually did this month. Since I’ll be relying on memory, blog posts, and my Twitter history, I’m likely to miss something – or possibly more than one something.


Checking In on June’s Goals

First I need to ‘fess up about my return to The Elder Scrolls Online.

I didn’t.

I mean, I logged in for something like 23 days in a row to pick up my login rewards, but other than that, and actually getting my Dragonknight over to Morrowind, I didn’t play once.

On the upside, I was waiting to actually resub until I was settling in to play for real, so I didn’t waste any money there.


I played three different games for #RacingGameMonth, but only one of them actually had any kind of staying power for me. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed (and truth be told, am still enjoying) Carmageddon: Max Damage.

I’m not actually any better at it than I am any other racing game – the fun – at least for me – comes from the fact that the game just Does Not Care. In fact, you get more points from running over people and crashing into other cars than you do from hitting checkpoints and completing laps. I still lose a lot, but it’s rare I come in dead last in any given event. I’m currently about 30% through career mode, and can see myself continuing to dabble in it from time to time since events only take 15 – 20 minutes tops.


I did spend several days playing around with The Spatials: Galactology early in the month, but after the fifth colony that I lost to the evil robot faction (that showed up shortly after I researched any kind of robotics), I decided to move on.


Bundles, and Demos, and Festivals, OH MY!

On June 5th, Itch.io launched a bundle to benefit the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund and Community Bail Fund. What was originally expected to be a little bundle that might raise a few thousand dollars exploded into a massive bundle with over 1,000 items included, and raised over 8 million dollars in about 10 days.

Obviously, that’s a lot to sort through, but I have already played one of the included games from start to finish.

Pendula Swing: The Complete Journey was a delightful little non-violent adventure game with some visual novel / dating sim elements. The art & music was a delight, but the big draw for this one is the story. Although I finished the game in about 4 hours, I know I missed a lot of side quests.

Then the Steam Game Festival 2020 Summer edition started with over 900 demos of new and upcoming games available to download and play. The 30 games I sampled was just over 3% of what was available! I discovered a handful of titles that went straight onto my wishlist, and a few more that I want to keep an eye on as they progress.

As that was wrapping up, yet another digital game festival launched via Utomik. The games selection was quite a bit smaller, but I did manage to check out the demo for Welcome to Beacon Pines, which seems charming, but I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about the hybridization of adventure game and card game.

Truth be told, I might be demo-ed out for awhile after all that!


Other Gaming

I put a LOT of hours into Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 again this month – bringing my chef level up to somewhere in the mid-60 range, and I’ve had to adjust my expectations. Gold medals aren’t easy to come by anymore, and I’ve already gotten most of the … reasonable achievements.

I put a couple hours into Reventure, which I found delightfully silly, but never got around to writing about. I also took another 10 turns in the Long Live the Queen blogger community succession game.

The only other game I put any kind of significant time in this month was Barn Finders. I loved the demo, bought the full game, and played about four hours before it started to get a little stale. It’s basically a giant 3D hidden object game, with almost no story, so I don’t expect jumping back in where I left off will give me any trouble.

Revisiting an Old Favorite

Not only am I finally fully caught up on Season 7 of the SPL (which is on break until the 24th of July), I actually started dabbling in playing the game again. Not much, mind you, and mostly against bots until I feel like I have my feet back under me again – it’s been about three years since I played with any regularity.

I am completely rusty, and still clinging desperately to the few gods I felt I had a really good handle on prior to my lengthy hiatus. However, with the need to social distance looking like it’s here to stay for quite a bit longer, it’s nice to have something to play with friends again.

Good Reads Challenge (34/36)

This was a much lighter reading month – I finished up the last three books in the Professor Everson Croft series, and actually picked up a paper book for a reread of an old favorite. Still, being only two books short of my goal for the year at the halfway point is nothing to sneeze at.

Nerd Girl Goals – June 2020

GAMING

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.

Elder Scrolls Online

While most people dipping back into ESO at this point are checking out the new content in Greymoor, I’m going back in for (what I hope will be) a satisfying single player experience. At this point, I’ve seen almost all of the base game stories, but I’ve missed out on a lot of the DLC and expansion content.

I plan to focus on two of my lower level characters – both magicka based. The first is my Breton Necromancer, and the second is my Dark Elf Dragonknight. I’d like to take my necro through the Elsweyr content, and then head over to Murkmire. My Dragonknight will quest through the entire Morrowind – Summerset arc.

Having a plan of which content I’d like to do (and knowing that much of it requires ESO+) makes it a lot easier to justify the sub cost for the month.

Subscription Gaming

I have been struggling quite a bit with what to play lately, as well as with the need for NEW STUFF (which I don’t need at all, actually), so re-upping my XBox GamePass for PC seems like a no-brainer. There’s still a handful of things on there I meant to try out before letting my subscription lapse, and although there’s no firm date just yet, No Man’s Sky is expected to hit the service sometime in June. Hopefully, giving that a dabble while I’m subbed will quash the grabby hands that pop up inside me every time it hits a half price sale, because I don’t really believe it’s something I’m going to love.

There’s also a handful of games on Utomik I’ve been meaning to try out, but for whatever reason, just haven’t fired up just yet.

#RacingGameMonth – Table Top Racing: World Tour

I’ll fully admit I am rubbish at racing games, and I don’t know that I’ve ever played one on PC, so I decided to go with something a little bit frivolous.

Ten Games to Tackle in 2020

Overall, I’ve been disappointed with this project – I played one game to satisfaction, and the next three titles, I’ve decided weren’t for me. But since I’m starting to get the zombie-slaughter itch, I’m going to play some Dying Light on Story Mode & see how I feel about it.

Other Gaming

I realize I’ve already put a lot of options on my plate, and it’s not really that big of a plate, but I’ve been poking deep into my Steam library, and have found a few other things I’d like to sneak on there.

With the weather getting warmer (and travel still out of the question), I think I’d like to give ABZU a shot and go on a virtual dive. It looks like it’ll be chiller than Subnautica (the other contender for this spot), and is also pretty short, giving me a better chance of completion.

After realizing that I had plenty of options in my library to scratch my space station building itch, I downloaded The Spatials: Galactology to finally give it a fair shake at making me lose hours upon hours managing tiny people in space.

I didn’t think I’d like Saint’s Row with aliens, but I totally did, so it’s time to find out how I feel about Saint’s Row in hell.

Although I still haven’t gone back and tried out SR2, I’ve decided to keep pushing forward with Gat Out of Hell.

WATCHING

May turned out to be a month where I retreated deep into the comfort of books and of low-engagement television. I’d like to finish out my watch of Grimm this month.

But before that, I’d like to spent a few evenings with Interrogation on CBS All Access. When I had to replace the Fire Stick in the bedroom, I grabbed a Roku stick instead, and got a few free months of CBS All Access, and have yet to watch it once, so I’d like to check this one off the list before my free time runs out. It’s only 10 episodes, but I still probably won’t spend as much time with it as I originally planned, but I’m fascinated by non-linear storytelling, and this is so far up my alley, it’s actually in my backyard.

Steam Summer Sale – June 25 – July 9

There is very little that gives me the same oomph of excitement and distraction as the Steam Summer Sale every year – I even enjoy it more than the Winter sale, despite them being very similar.

In an attempt to make more conscious buying decisions, I’ll be preparing my shopping list ahead of time (completely with minimum discount to purchase), as well as plotting what gifts I want to send to others. I’ll likely blow through the rest of my Stay At Home budget here, and I’ll have to take another look at how I want to proceed with Low Spend 2020.

In Review – May 2020

I can’t say I’m sorry that May is over, because it’s been one of those months that’s felt eternal, not in any sort of ethereal sense, but in the sense of getting a tooth drilled at the dentist when the Novocain isn’t quite working, and that’s being kind, I think.

Most of the early part of May saw me struggling with weird and difficult to diagnose computer problems, while also battling insomnia and a bit of COVID-inspired existential crisis. The whole experience was pretty much a 0 of 10, strongly do not recommend.

The second half was a pretty substantial improvement, but it’s only been here, in the final week that I’ve started to feel like myself again, and like I am at all capable of maintaining a semblance of normalcy in a world off-kilter.

Crashing to Black Screen

I realize I never did get around to blogging about the resolution of my computer issues, probably because I was just so relieved to have them behind me.

Although my hardware definitely needed a good clean out, as it turned out, it was not a hardware problem. A couple of days into attempting to trouble shoot software issues, I discovered that the only games that crashed on me were games that used the Steam launcher, and they did so regardless of how much (or how little) else was actively running at the time.

Now, I had recently installed Corel’s PaintShop Pro Ultimate, hoping it’d be an adequate replacement for Photoshop, since I had to let my Adobe subscription lapse. While muddling through background processes, I discovered it was constantly running a check to see if updates were available. Uninstalling the program completely cleared up 98% of the problems I was having, so I expect that something about that process and Steam couldn’t figure out how to get along when a game was actively running.

I’m okay with the money wasted on the program (purchased through Humble in a very reasonably priced bundle), and relieved that I did not have to replace significantly pricier hardware. However, this put me drastically behind in other things I wanted to accomplish this month.

Community Game-A-Long – #MusicGameMay

With everything else going on, I almost forgot about the Community Game-A-Long this month. I was so very excited for Distortions, but it ultimately ended up disappointing.

With only a few days left of the month, I decided against starting another new-to-me game this month, and elected instead to play a few rounds of Chime Sharp to keep in the spirit of things.

Other PC Gaming

I managed to meet my goal of unlocking Battle for Azeroth flying. I’d hoped to take advantage of the buff to start working on the bee mount, but unfortunately, that was one BfA rep where the bonus wasn’t applied, so after a couple of very very tedious farm sessions, I let the last 10 or so days of my sub just run out. I did manage to pick up a cheap token to replace the one I had used, however, so I ended the month even.

The big success of the month for me as far as gaming was concerned was a kind of impulsive decision to pick up Din’s Legacy when I thought my PC problems were a hardware issue. During my frequent breaks when troubleshooting got to be too much, I put over 25 hours in.

However, it is also my biggest failure of the month, because all of those hard crashes seems to have corrupted something in my save data, and as of yet, I have been unable to find a way to fully clear that out and start fresh. Although now I can play most anything without issue again, this game still crashes regularly.

It only took me a little over two hours to complete Varenje, an odd little hidden object adventure game with some seriously tone-deaf cut scenes in between. I’m not sure what pushed me to finish it (except maybe that it was so very short).

I have kept up with my commitment to Long Live the Queen! in Civilization VI, although I was definitely responsible for a bit of delay of game this month. We’re really starting to get deep into it now, and seem to have a collective drive towards a science victory, and I find myself eagerly awaiting each new blog detailing another 10 turn effort.

I also played one other hidden object game to completion – The Fog: Trap for Moths. It wasn’t stellar, but it was solid enough, and it was just nice to finish something for a change.

From there, I tackled The Room, a game that’s been sitting in my library forever, and that I played the first chapter of once upon a time. I’m not sure I am in love with the almost pure puzzling of it all, but again, nice to have another game completed.

Stay-At-Home Gaming Spending

It’s no surprise to me (since I’ve known myself a long time now) that the worse I feel, the more I want to just buy things because new things are good for at least a spark of joy. However, I’ve been trying to make smarter purchases in general, and for the most part, I made sure my purchases were well thought out and reasonably good deals.

I picked up Warlock 2 on the strength of Paeroka’s recommendation, Sonic Adventure DX to have something to play during #SonicTeamSept, and Agents of Mayhem because I have low expectations, and will be content with even a fraction of that Saint’s Row spirit.

The lowest tier of the Asmodee board game bundle had three games I was intrigued by, all of which have a single player mode and two of which have Remote Play Together, so seemed like a good way to spend a dollar. Even with these few small purchases from the Humble Summer Sale, I’m still below the halfway point of my isolation budget at $44.31.

I did a lot of waffling about picking up CHKN, and early access title that’s been on my wishlist for awhile that gives off some very strong Spore-vibes. Ultimately, it was a decided for me when a dear friend gifted it to me after I asked Twitter to talk me out of purchasing it.

I played around with it for a few hours, and there’s a lot of potential in this one, but it’s still very very rough around the edges. It’s something I’ll check back on every now and then, and probably spend some more time in the creative mode, but I don’t know that the main survival mode has enough going for it just yet to be truly enjoyable.

Good Reads Challenge (30/36)

When I can’t sleep, I tend to read. A lot. Which means I blew through a lot of books this month, absolutely making my Kindle Unlimited subscription worth every penny.

BR Kingsolver’s five book series about Rosie O’Grady’s Bar & Grill was a great story with a kickass female protagonist, and I’d definitely read more by this author.

I had read the first nine books in the EA Copen’s Lazarus Codex back in August of last year, and on a whim, I decided to check if any more had come out. To my delight, not only were the last three books of the series available, but also a five book series featuring some minor characters. I zoomed through them all.

I’m currently working my way through Brad Magnarella’s urban fantasy series which revolved around the wizard Professor Everson Croft in a alternate universe’s New York City. The insomnia has mostly resolved, but I find myself back in the habit of reading a few chapters before falling asleep each night.

But probably the highlight of my month as far as books were concerned came very close to the end, when a dear friend of mine made two of her books available for Kindle for the first time. I’ve read them both in the past (and even had a small hand in the editing), and I couldn’t be more delighted that these are now available to a far wider audience.

Nerd Girl Goals – May 2020

GAMING

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.

Ten Games to Tackle in 2020

I’m fairly sure this most recent bounce off of Borderlands is permanent. I’ve hit a point where my level, gear and solo ability leaves me nothing to do but grind forever or get a co-op partner, neither of which I have any intention of doing.

So for May – at least to start off – I’m going to take my first dive on into Assassin’s Creed: Origins, and see how that goes for me. I’ve never gotten particularly far in any AC game, but I’m optimistic since this one is sort of a soft reboot, I might be more successful.

#MusicGameMay – Community Game-Along

I always try to pick a game for the Community-Game-Along before it starts for the month, but with the understanding it might not work for me, so I should probably have a backup (or two, or three). But I’m going to ‘fess up – Distortions sounded so neat I booted it up the other day just to take a quick peek, and I think I’m going to like it.

I hope. Fingers crossed.

I did make a Dynamic Category on Steam for games that are tagged “Music”, and I have a couple of good back-up options, including Conga Master, Rock God Tycoon, and Brutal Legend.

Other Gamestuff

World of Warcraft: With an active sub through the majority of the month, I want to finish out Pathfinder Part 2, and see if I can scrounge up enough gold to replace the token I used. I may even put some time into leveling my paladin & priest, who are both in BfA content since the experience buff is still active, but if I’m being real, I’m likely just going to fly around and pick flowers on my druid for money.

Civilization VI: With the collaborative game I’m part of at the moment, I’d like to spend some more time with this solo as well, so I’m maybe not going to get us obliterated the next time my turns roll around.

In general, I really just want to make a deal with myself that I’m going to spend more than 10-15 minutes with a game before tossing it back into the pile of things un-played. And also, that I will play the things I’m letting myself buy under the stay-at-home exception to Low Spend 2020.

Watching

The final episode of the first season of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is airing this weekend, so next week, I’ll be settling in with some popcorn and a box of tissues to watch the final two episodes back to back.

I’d also like to keep on with watching Grimm, because I’m both enjoying it and making really good progress on my cross-stitch while I’m doing so.


I am expecting the entire month of May is also going to be spent in social isolation, and as such, I’m going to – more than anything else – set a goal to be patient with myself. Things that usually come easily to me are feeling more and more like monumental tasks.

I’m usually pretty good at dispensing nuggets of wisdom, now I just have to learn to remember that they apply to me as well.

In Review – April 2020

This was the longest of very long months. We are now wrapping up our seventh week of stay-at-home, and it’s starting to feel like this is all we’ve ever done, so I guess we’re adjusting?

#Blapril2020

If my math is right (and it’s entirely possible my counting skills aren’t up to snuff), I’ve managed to earn myself a Rainbow Diamond Award! That’s not considering all the things I’m likely to post between now and the official end date of May 9th. I really didn’t think I was going to do much by way of participation, but just the idea of blogging at least most days gave me some structure I’d been lacking, so I’m very grateful for the event.

Community Game-A-Long – #CapcoMonth

Although Remember Me, my first choice of a game for #CapcoMonth didn’t go so well, I had a much better time, overall, with DMC: Devil May Cry. Although there were bouts of serious frustration, and many doubts about my ability to finish it and, oh yeah, a heap of crashes, I made my way through the main story.

This was good for two reasons: (a) it always feels good to get through a game I like but am struggling with and (b) it helped me figure out what type of gaming I should be looking to play next, because despite the rough patches, it held my attention all the way through.

Other PC Gaming

I dabbled in at least a bazllion games this month trying to find something that would hold my interest. Ok, it was closer to 25, but that’s still a lot, even for me. Because of this, I’m skipping The Nope List entirely because I’m sure every one of those games was just fine, it was only me that wasn’t having any of it. So what did I spend a fair amount of time with?

Cook, Serve, Delicious 2: Yet again, didn’t quite get to a point where I feel like it’s finished, but it managed to hold my attention for hours over a week or so when nothing else was working for me.

Majesty 2 Collection: I didn’t get very far, but I spent a few evenings working out the quirks of the sequel to one of my all-time favorite games. Technological advances has left this one with some odd glitches, so rather than try to mod and tweak it, I just moved on.

World of Warcraft: The Impressive Influence buff persuaded me to reactive my retail WoW account to grind out reps for Battle for Azeroth flying. I’m currently playing about 60-90 minutes a day, and making good progress. I’m hoping to keep playing for the duration of my sub, but even if I just manage to finish Pathfinder Part 2, I’ll be content.

Saints Row IV: Probably my favorite gaming time of the month, though, was spent on a full play through of Saint’s Row IV. Although I still love the third installment the most, there were a lot of things about this game that I really enjoyed. I thought getting super powers was going to ruin it. It most definitely did not.

The main story of Saint’s Row IV took a little over 18 hours. I didn’t bother with any of the DLC.

Low Spend 2020

I may not be able to go places or see people, but goddamn it, I can still buy things. Which is to say, I’ve kind of tossed out a lot of my best intentions on this one for the time being, while still trying to stay on a budget. I’m also trying to focus my (limited) spending on independent developers because if my local businesses need extra financial love right now, I’m guessing indie devs do too.

So, what did I buy?

Pretty much exactly what I said I was going to.

I was tempted by many games featured in LudoNarraCon 2020, but since those sales run through Saturday, and a new Humble Monthly drops on Friday, I decided to hold out and make my purchases after I see what’s on offer there. My grand total, including sales tax, was $18.05, so I still have quite a bit of my budget left. I’m in no rush to spend it though because…

Ten Games to Tackle in 2020

… I’m finally making some small, tentative progress on my big goal list for the year. I’ve poked at Borderlands a couple of times, but the very beginning is so very very slow and I’ve been suffering from a pretty significant lack of attention span.

The last time I spent any serious time with it was long before the enhanced edition came out, so I haven’t had any “but it’s an old game now” issues. I’m still not 100% sold on the idea of a looter shooter, but I’m having a fairly good time with it.

I had a brief struggle where I thought I screwed up because I was so underleveled, and as it turns out, I did! I missed a handful of side-quests, and was all caught up after doing those. Apparently, side quests in Borderlands aren’t all that optional, no matter what the quest log says.

Good Reads Challenge (10/36)

I only read a couple of books this month, both titles I borrowed via Kindle Unlimited. I absolutely adored Dreamland, which is what led to me borrowing The Ghost of Madison Avenue, which I also liked, but not nearly as much.

At this point, I’m officially a couple of books behind, and I need to make it a point to spend more time reading in May before it gets overwhelming.

What I’ve Been Watching

I made a list of TV shows I’d like to catch up on while I’ve got nothing but time at home on my hands, and I started off by tackling Grimm. I’ve now watched about 2/3 of the way through the third season, which means I’m about a dozen episodes past what I’ve seen before.

I’d likely be further along, but I’ve also been keeping up with Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist, watching a lot of cooking shows, and more or less keeping up with season 7 of the Smite Pro League on YouTube.

Nerd Girl Goals – April 2020

This is going to be a relatively short goal post this month: 2020 has not been particularly great thus far for blogging. With so much uncertainty surrounding pretty much everything, I’m going to try something that’s not super comfy for me – playing things by ear.

GAMING

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.

Ten Games to Tackle in 2020

This month, I’m going to go for something different and try out Starbound.

#CapcoMonth – Community Game-Along

For #CapcoMonth, I decided to go deep into the backlog and play Remember Me – a game that I added to my Steam library in November of 2015 and have never played.


With Blaugust being moved up to #Blapril2020, I’m going to let my blogging dictate what else I ends up on my agenda for this month. I don’t see myself really adhering to the suggested topic schedule, but I already have some ideas brewing.

Although I’d like to say I’m going to post every day, I’m going to set a more manageable goal of three posts a week. I’d like to bring back some post topics that have fallen by the wayside, and there’s a few more things I’m excited to try out.

Mostly, I’m looking forward to having a motivation to boot up some games and just lose myself in them.