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.

In Review – March 2020

We’re now in our third week of semi-voluntary social isolation – I say semi-voluntary because I was ALL ABOUT THIS before it was pretty much state-mandated.

I have learned that yes, I am among the most introverted introverts, and you would think that would have lead to an increased amount of time spent gaming but instead it’s been sort of unruly chaos as I try to deal with two energetic pups and a decidedly extroverted husband.

Low Spend 2020

Did I mention unruly chaos? Like everything else in my life, this has been kind of beaten and bruised by the inability to do things with others in any way other than virtually.

So there was a purchase of Tabletop Simulator times two. I’d be lying if I said I was unlikely to play around with it, but mostly, it was for the D&D game that went virtual. We also took advantage of the bundle containing Citadel: Forged With Fire for less than $2 on the off-chance we could get a couple evening’s fun out of it.

I also managed to convince myself that it would be A-OK to spend a few dollars on the Origin Pack for Warframe, since I wasn’t paying for an MMO subscription or a game subscription service this month. Lastly (and within the parameters of last month’s revision), I picked up Photographs for about a buck for my phone, only to discover that I’m very very bad at that sort of puzzle.

All in all, not what I’d call a raging success, however, I am reconsidering that I should revise again to say “paid MMO subscription or equivalent in-game purchasing”. This is harder than I thought it would be, but not for the reasons I originally expected.

The Nope List

Destiny 2: I actually really enjoyed the intro to this one, but as soon as I ended up in some random scenario with strangers, I was out. Unfair? Perhaps, but I just wasn’t inclined to figure it out.

Iris and the Giant: I wanted to like this game, but the rogue-like aspect of it really killed it for me. There’s only so far you can progress on limited turns, and I wasn’t patient enough to slowly grow my power.

Community Game-A-Long – #MitsudaMarch

Unfortunately, my Screen Time app doesn’t save far enough back for me to have tracked my time in game since I mostly played this over the first week or so of the month, but I would guess I easily got somewhere between 12 and 15 hours out of it – and that’s without coming anywhere close to finishing.

That said, the comparative ramp up in difficulty in Chapter 10 required a lot of grind leveling alternate characters, and it kind of turned me off. I stubbornly kept on until I managed to beat that boss, but I wasn’t particularly enthused to continue after that point.

I’m not saying I’ll never ever go back, but I’m also perfectly satisfied with the time I spent with it.

Ten Games to Tackle in 2020

I hit a big zero in this category this month. I played a couple hours of Far Cry: Primal, and then … forgot about it, and have yet to start on anything else.

Other Gaming

There’s not a lot else to say here. The majority of my gaming time in the later 2/3 of March went into Warframe.

Sure, some of that time was spent AFK or with just the launcher open, but it’s been a hot minute since I put that kind of time into any single game. Over a couple of weeks, I got a few warframes built, and got up to sixth mastery rank. Mostly, I ran around and destroyed stuff. Lots of stuff. It gave me an opportunity to spend some time gaming with my husband and friends, and although I don’t think it is going to have too much more staying power for me, I’m glad I gave it a whirl.

I also dabbled in some demos during Steam Game Festival.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time on any of them, but I did confirm that both Quench and Spiritfarer absolutely have a place on my wishlist – not like that’s an exclusive club!


Basically for the me, the first week of March was pretty normal, and everything after that was a smattering of this and that with a big ol’ Warframe binge in the middle. I didn’t even pick up a book. I watched a lot of completely unmemorable television. I struggled with pretty much everything.

But #Blapril2020 has already started, and this is – at least for the foreseeable future – the new normal. I’m optimistic that things will start to smooth out now.

In Review – February 2020

Low Spend 2020

Despite spending a couple of dollars mindlessly, I didn’t just throw in the towel. However, it did lead to me thinking more about what I’m trying to accomplish, and making a small revision to the plan.

Sure, some of it is about spending less money, but mostly, it’s about spending less money on things I’m just not using. There’s a huge difference with how I treat PC games and how I treat mobile games. When I’m looking for something new for my phone or tablet, I usually select something that’s a free download, and if I really like it, then I’ll spend money on it, either by purchasing it outright, purchasing a “remove ads” option, or spending an equivalent amount on microtransactions that I would consider paying for a game.

As I see it, I only make mobile purchases when I’ve already played and enjoyed a game, and I’d like to continue doing so. Since my health often keeps me from being upright at my computer for long periods of time, and let’s be fair – mobile games are frequently not endlessly replayable, I’m going to allot myself a $10 per month budget that I can only spend on tablet or phone games.

Otherwise, though, it wasn’t a bad month for testing my resolve. When a few things showed up that I wanted in a Fanatical Bundle, I managed to trade some old keys for them instead of buying the bundle, and getting MORE keys I wasn’t going to use.

Although the All Star Bundle #12 was a fantastic value, I only wanted The Testament of Sherlock Holmes and Tales from Candlekeep from it.

Most of the temptations this month came more from a desire to buy than a desire to own, but a few things did get added to the wishlist, two of which aren’t even out yet.

For the second month in a row, I didn’t use my provision for a paid MMO subscription, and I also didn’t renew my XBox Game Pass this month, so as far as non-mobile gaming was concerned, I played games I owned, or that were available with my (gifted to me) Utomik sub.

The Nope List

Dark Asylum: Mystery Adventure – Tried it out on Utomik, and it felt very very much like a mobile game with timers and lives and that’s just not what I want in a hidden object game at all.

Tiny Force Deluxe – I didn’t hate it. I mean, it’s fun to toss your little guys into the enemy little guys and watch them all bounce all over the place. But I didn’t find it particularly engaging either.

Community Game Along – #DatingSiMonth

I really thought I’d enjoy this one more than I did, but I did manage to complete it. I also did a full write up here.

I feel like my biggest complaint – the need to replay to get the whole story – is a “feature” of the genre, and not specific to Purrfect Date. However for someone like me, who likes my stories to wrap up tidily in the end, it made me hesitant to invest my time in other dating sims. I often struggle with completing a game once, never mind multiple times.

Ten Games to Tackle in 2020

On that note, I’m starting to worry that this was WAY over-ambitious of me. Of course, that’s also the reason I wanted to do this – it’s so hard for me to set aside dozens to hundreds of hours to play a game, no matter how awesome it might be.

I didn’t stop playing Far Cry: Primal because I wasn’t enjoying it. But once I took a week or so off, it seemed less pressing to go back to it. There’s always other things I want to check out.

After a whopping six-week hiatus, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t feel an overwhelming need to restart the whole game. Sure, I forgot almost all of the key binds for the game, but otherwise, I didn’t find it particularly hard to get back into.

I am, however, finding all the map markers a little bit overwhelming. I’ve decided for the time being to focus primarily on capturing outposts and bonfires, and doing major quests when I stumble across them. I already know that I’m not going to want to be bothered with finding all the collectibles and such.

Even if I put aside some time tonight to play, and I can get a decent session in without the game crashing, I might get 6 hours in for February.

Other PC Gaming

Cryofall kept me logging in for several days, but mostly, I played things that were super casual.

I somehow managed to play the third Snark Busters game first, and I found it rather enjoyable. Going back to the first in the series was a little jarring, and if I’m totally honest, a whole lot less fun. They’re hidden object / adventure game hybrids with utterly forgettable stories and a neat quirk with mirrors.

Pickers is something I’d dabbled in before, but never finished. I sat down one evening and just played through the 30 day campaign and really enjoyed it. It’s something I might play again down the line – there’s no real story to it other than “find the good stuff & make the money”, but it was a fun little challenge, and a good way to spend three or so hours.

Mobile Gaming

This month was rough for me in a lot of ways. There were a couple of days I barely got out of bed. There were many others that I was up, but only got as far as the couch. And on these days, being able to play SOMETHING on my phone or tablet was a lifesaver.

The surprise “must have” mobile game for me this month was BitLife. It’s fascinating and appalling, and many times, it’s just plain wrong. So far, I have mostly been playing it with an eye towards getting a “win” (a successful happy life), but I expect it won’t be long until I feel like exploring the seedier side of this life sim. A one-time payment of $4.99 unlocked all its features and got rid of ads.

GoodReads Challenge (8/36)

In anticipation of watching Netflix’s Locke & Key, I decided to run through the graphic novel series via Kindle Unlimited. This was great for the first five volumes. The main story has one more collection, but I decided against buying just the last book, which wasn’t available to borrow, and instead decided to just read some summaries online. I suspect this wasn’t the best of decisions, but I couldn’t justify the expense for a digital book I’d likely only read once.

I also hunted down some used physical copies of some of my all-time favorite books, and ordered the newest novel by my favorite author that no one has ever heard of, so I have those to look forward to.

Nerd Girl Goals – February 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

  • Finish up Far Cry Primal.
  • Start Borderlands.

#DatingSiMonth – Community Game Along

To tell the truth, my initial reaction to #DatingSiMonth is “What the hell am I going to play for this?”

As it turns out, I had more options than I realized. This, friends, is what happens when your gaming library gets out of control.

I’ve already played Danganronpa 2, and put over 100 hours in to Stardew Valley.

Then there were a few that seemed to be … miscategorized. (Of course, if Killer is Dead is actually a dating sim, feel free to correct me.)

I settled on Purrfect Date to be my primary Community Game-A-Long game this month, although I did also take a peek at free Dating Sims on Steam, as well as browsed through Itch.io for free dating sims, so it’s entirely likely I may hit up more than one.

Other Gamestuff

  • World of Warcraft: I’d really like to put some time in grinding out the rep for BfA flight. Also, there’s that bee mount I’ve been ignoring that I would like. And two plus worth of patches to check out. I guess I’m back (but I’m still on token-time, so we can see if I can also rack up some gold while I’m at it).
  • Utomik: For my birthday, I was gifted an entire year of Utomik subscription. Since I checked last, they’ve added Rise of Industry, Coffee Talk, and Ministry of Broadcast to their offerings. I would like to try out at least one of those this month.
  • XBox Gamepass for PC: Although I currently have my sub paused, it’s active through mid-month or so (and let’s be real, I’ll likely renew it because it’s only $5). Here there are also a handful of new-ish games that I’m interested in, namely Gris, A Plague Tale: Innocence, and Children of Morta. I’d like to dabble in at least one of these as well.

I think that’s probably more than is realistic, honestly, especially if I’m going to read another 3 or more books, finish up the deck building, and maybe even start trying my hand at making some custom Magic: The Gathering lands and tokens.

I’ve ordered myself an inexpensive set of acrylics, and bookmarked a couple of tutorials, and I absolutely intend to document the process. I have very little innate artistic talent, but a near insatiable drive to make stuff, so this should be interesting if not immediately successful.