Forums > General Gaming Discussion > (Tips?) Maintaining/Focusing on a playthrough is impossible for me
Nonemployee
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nonemployee
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# 1 - Posted on 7/07/17 19:59:06

First of all as per usual, I don't know which forum to put this in (this one seems the most logical to me) so if needed, do whatever :P

Second, long post is long. Skip to the bottom for the TL;DR if you wish.

So I don't think this is why others sometimes do it, but I have had the same missions for about 3-5 months now. My problem is even though I want to get those games out of my backlog (because some are freaking incredible according to others such as Banjo-Kazooie or been in my backlog since childhood) I can't pull myself through all the way to the Credits/Ending. Very rarely I can, and when it happens its an incredible feeling. (My second finished mission was Terraria, and beating the final boss of such a lengthy game was amazing)

I want to say it's part of the disaster that is video game burnout. I'm a Tourist, as dhobo would say. Using Dark Souls as an example, this is how things happen.

  1. Buy the game, start playing.
  2. Start loving the game, never wanting to quit.
  3. Constantly restart, because not satisfied with character or can't remember what I was doing/going for. (In Dark Souls, I have logged 7 hours only having gotten past the tutorial boss.)
  4. Repeat restarting until burnt out.
  5. Switch games until one settles again.
  6. Repeat the process.

It feels like such a curse, and I wish for the love of squirrels I could, you know, finish a game! Sometimes I can't even play a game for 5 minutes before quitting. I'm literally stuck, and I was curious if anyone has either experience or suggestions on this. I'm pretty sure there is no "magic fix" but any tips would be helpful.

TL;DR I'm constantly restarting my games and playing the first parts to death until I get burnt out, then switch games, repeat. Need halp

CardinalFunky
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# 2 - Posted on 7/07/17 21:42:07

Seems about right. It takes a while for me to get bored with something, but I tend to do so with Role-Playing video games.
If it's an adventure game or the game gives me a character to use, then I am more likely to just continue the game.

I find it easier to be around others, while I am playing a game, no matter who those persons are, in order to get through games I either do not enjoy or to play characters I do not want to play.
The people around me are a distraction, granting me a more solidified purpose in actually trying to finish and play my game.

It's not much advice, especially for those who are introverted and are hermits, buts its one that I have always tried to do, whenever I just don't feel like gaming.

Other than that, I tend to just "try" and do something else. If not, then I tend to drift away.

Nonemployee
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# 3 - Posted on 7/07/17 21:46:02

I can see that. I feel if I was playing around others, it would be more annoying to keep restarting than to just suck at a game, if I did xD I do live with family, so I could always play in the living room so I'm around them I guess :P

Although I forgot I get nervous when playing around others. Not sure why :/

Post Edited on 7/07/17 21:47:08
Ardraaken
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# 4 - Posted on 7/07/17 23:27:04

I generally tell myself 'This game isn't coming out of the machine until I finish it' then stick with it until it's done. Sometimes it's a boring grind other times it's great fun and sometimes I just need a couple of days away from it to psych myself up enough to finish.

Due to this mentality I tend to be quite selective about which game I'm getting out of my backlog to play next - do I want something in depth that's going to take 100+ hours (Dragon Age Inquisition) or do I want to blast out some quick wins? (Shovel Knight, Cursed Castilla EX). Sometimes I get a new game I REALLY want to play but I'm in the middle of something else (Nioh) and it has to sit there mocking me on the shelf as I'm part way through a playthrough and can't play it until I complete my current game

dhobo
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darwinsocialism
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# 5 - Posted on 7/11/17 1:11:15

With regards to missions I've been the worst offender when it comes to getting them done. I keep telling myself I'll start in on some of them once I finish off my active playthroughs but I'm still cleaning up the oodles of half-finished games I had on the go from ages ago... years of bad gaming habits sure piled up! Missions are a great concept and I love them, but I'm terrible at using the feature, haha.

I digress, however...

My usual method for dealing with burnout of any kind consists of having one "main" game that I focus on, and a handful of "break" games that I use to change things up when I'm either frustrated with or plain worn out from the main game (I'm looking at you FFXV!)
So instead I break for a day or two at minimum and a week at most. That's what seems to work for me, at least. I'm sure everyone will have different thresholds before rust starts forming, making a game more annoying to resume, and discouraging you.

Other things I've found that can help breathe a bit of life into a playthrough:

  • Others: Like the funkiest cardinal mentioned above, game with others. Whether in person, or even via a group chat (Skype, PSN parties, discord, etc...) Having supportive friends/players around where you can talk about the game can help maintain focus, or on the flipside having people there to keep you semi-distracted with goofy antics/conversation so you can relax and not take things too seriously.

  • Tunes:Swap out the game soundtrack for some custom tunes if you've got something that pumps you up. Sometimes it's that little "extra" that gets you into the swing of things.

  • Playstyle Exploration: At the start of a new game, spend a short while in a non-committal 10-15 minute play to get a feel for each playstyle option then pick one that you feel suits you best. Conversely, watch a video of other people trying different characters/vehicles/whatever to get a sense of what to expect from each. Usually not too hard to find generic gameplay vids that are mostly spoiler free (depending on what you consider a spoiler, at least.)

  • Walk, don't run: This may not apply to you in this situation, but I have a bad habit of biting off more than I can chew with games. Picking the hardest difficulty on a game I'm going into blind, for example. When it works out, it's bloody great to get that sense of accomplishment, but when you're repeatedly pounding your head against a brick wall for hours because you've not developed the muscle memory or nuanced strategies to fully master a game it can really destroy your enthusiasm and put you on the tourist's path.

  • lrn2play: In a similar vein to the above point, there's zero shame in giving something a solid effort, getting stuck, then seeking advice on strategy/tactics/etc... to give you that last little push. Too many times I've struggled like mad to get past something in a game only to discover later on there was a much MUCH easier solution/tactic I could have used. Or worse, learned that was some helpful attack/move I didn't know existed because I'm a derp.

and lastly:

  • Discipline: Bad habits are hard to break, but with time and patience you learn to get them under control. Like Ardraaken suggests, sometimes the only solution is to force yourself to stick with something. If you don't have that kind of discipline built up yet, instead of restarting, take a break instead (watch a show, go for a walk, hang out with people, etc...) to get out of the bad habit headspace and promise yourself when you return to give the existing run another fair chance. The only caveat I would add to this point is if you are genuinely not enjoying the run in any way shape or form, don't torture yourself by forcing it. Games are for fun, not sadism (although you did use a Souls game as an example...)
Post Edited on 7/11/17 1:11:28
Nonemployee
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# 6 - Posted on 7/11/17 1:48:53

I wish I knew some of these word formatting codes xD like the bullets. Anyways...

I've been the worst at choosing games, which is why I generally rely on missions. (Literally today, I've done nothing but stare at my steam library looking for something to play) I'll respond in an attempt to make bullets :P

  • I do have a few friends I can try to talk to. Not sure how it will work technically though, considering using Discord while playing something as old as Windows 95 xD Luckily my friends can be silly so that might help.

  • I can agree this helps. While I wasn't actually playing a "finish-able" game, I definitely felt pumped when training my FPS aim while listening to an English dub of the One Punch Man theme :P

  • This is something I never do. In class based games, I almost never play bow or magic users because I've never liked them much....even though I've barely used them. Especially helps when my preferred class is weak when the magic user is OP

  • I just recently dealt with this. I was going to make TimeSplitters: Future Perfect my first 100%, but co-op story unlocks and luck-based challenges made me a tad bit irritable. But I guess that's part of being a Completionist, right? Although maybe me wanting to be a Completionist is another place where I'm biting off WAY MORE than I can chew.

  • I do this way more than I should. As in, before even starting a game. Can especially relate to being a derp. I got over 20 deaths in the first area of Dark Souls before realizing I was going the wrong way.

  • Discipline? What's that? Can you eat it? No, in all seriousness I feel I don't have any kind of it. Will try those when I can. (And I only got Dark Souls because I was interested in it, not for torture, even though that's kind of a side-effect lol)

And as far as Main and Break games go, I usually make my Main a mission while Breaks are either personal playthroughs or multiplayer games. Although I feel I've gotten burnt out on those too...I'm a very complicated gamer xD

EDIT: Oh hey that worked.

Post Edited on 7/11/17 1:49:11
jwcooley
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# 7 - Posted on 7/11/17 2:19:52

I would say your best bet would be to stick with the missions and bounties. I had a really strong addiction to the bounties on here for a while and they were a great way to finish games with other folks on here. Each bounty gets a forum post, so it's a great way to interact with others that are playing. I think the bounties help with motivation WAY more than the missions, but the missions are cool too.

Nonemployee
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# 8 - Posted on 7/11/17 2:59:42

Current problem with bounties is I only had 1 of them in my collection, and it was short to beat. So right now I'm just waiting for the next batch of new ones.

Ardraaken
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# 9 - Posted on 7/11/17 23:17:09

Dhobo - "The only caveat I would add to this point is if you are genuinely not enjoying the run in any way shape or form, don't torture yourself by forcing it."

Totally agree with this one - generally I can brute force through but my most recent example of this is the For Honor solo campaign - I got to Samurai mission 4/6 and it had no checkpoints anywhere in the level so you literally got one attempt at the boss, died and then had to go through the whole level again to do another attempt. This kind of poor planning put me off quite quickly, I did stick with it for a bit and had a few goes at the boss, but ultimately I found myself hating the game so called it there.

FWIW my first attempt at Dark Souls was in 2011 when it first came out (I was a very casual gamer and had never played a game like it before) - I logged about 30 hours, hadn't really progressed too far into the game, was banging my head against a brick wall trying to get further so I stopped playing. I didn't pick it up again until 2016 when I finished Dark Souls 2 Scholar of the First Sin on PS4 which I was playing (somewhat) competitively with my brother in law - after that I went through Bloodborne, Dark Souls 3, back to Dark Souls (it took me about 12-15 hours to reach the same point as my previous playthrough after restarting) and then finished off with Demons Souls. I found the latter to be the easiest (not sure if it's because of my experience with the other Souls games though).

moho_00
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# 10 - Posted on 7/14/17 22:29:40

Staying focused on a game until completion has been a struggle for me for many years. As a kid, I actually did a pretty good job of finishing a game (multiple times) before I acquired my next one. This was back in the late '80s / early '90s and you didn't have the internet / Steam shoving games in your face like you do now. I also didn't have any disposable income, so I pretty much lived in between birthdays and Christmas.

I'd say things started going downhill for me when I would buy cheap Genesis games at KB Toys. Seriously, do you guys remember that place? They had a couple of bins sitting at the front of the store with tons of brand new Genesis games (and maybe other systems, I only had a Genesis / NES at the time, so not sure) and if I remember correctly, they were all under $20 and many of them were $10. I distinctly remember picking up Zombies Ate My Neighbors! for $10 without knowing anything about it. It turned out to be a pretty awesome game, but just one of the many games I picked up in this manner that I didn't actually finish. The issue was that I was acquiring them far too quickly. Don't get me wrong, I didn't have that many Genesis games, but I recall this period being the start of me struggling to keep up with my acquisitions.

During high school, I picked up a Saturn, PS1, N64, Dreamcast, as well as my first PC. This ushered in a whole onslaught of games (culminating with an 8 game haul on 9.9.99) that left me forever buried in my retro backlog. No, really, I'm still catching up on my old late '90s games (ex. I'm playing Final Fantasy Tactics right now).

After high school, I worked at EB Games during college and despite my free time dwindling, my game collection continued to increase. After college, my free time went down even further and my gaming budget went up. Throw in Steam, cheaper games, nostalgia, and bundles and now my backlog is just completely wrecked. So wrecked, in fact, that I ended up building a site for it

I've tried so many different methods over the years, such as having one primary game and a smaller, secondary game. I've tried completing games for in an entire series. I've also tried picking a platform and completing all games on it that were in my backlog. Nothing seemed to work though and I always had an extremely high abandonment rate. It's amazing how much I would bounce around from game-to-game. I'm sort of typing in past-tense here because in 2017 (and to a degree, 2016), I've sort of found a method that works for me and it's the simplest method of them all: PICK A GAME AND STICK WITH IT!!!

Looking back on my 2017 completions, the vast majority happened one at a time, meaning I started and finished a game before touching another one. There have been exceptions, but this has been the most focused I've been since I was a kid in terms of playing one game at a time. I'm currently experimenting with playing two games (Final Fantasy Tactics and Ooga Booga) and it's working out okay so far, though I haven't touched Ooga Booga in several days. I think I could manage to get into a groove where if I'm playing a big game (i.e. 20+ hours), I could take on a smaller, short-burst kinda game. The jury is still out though.

But yeah, looking back at my 2017 completions, you'll probably notice a pattern. I'll play a longer game, then follow it up with a flurry of smaller games. For example, I finished Outcast 1.1 on 2/26 and it clocked in at nearly 25 hours. I then knocked out 16 very short games over the course of March and the first few days of April (I also played a bit of Breath of the Wild in there). After that burst, I went back to finish the Winter Assault expansion for Dawn of War, which I had previously started. I then did a few more shorter games and then went into Breath of the Wild for the long haul. I then came back down for a few really short games and then jumped into Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir. This process of long....short short short short....long has been working very well.

Another trick I've learned this year while focusing on a single game is to absorb myself into the game even when I'm not playing it. This might sound a little strange, but for example, since I'm playing Final Fantasy Tactics right now, I'll think about what I'm going to do in the game throughout the day. Like if I'm walking in the parking lot and have a couple of minutes, I'll just think to myself "okay, tonight I'm gonna try to finish a couple of story battles" or something like that. If I'm waiting somewhere and I have my phone, I might look up some info on the game, not necessarily because I need it or have anything specific in mind, but rather it's just to keep me engaged. By the time I get home and sit down to play games, I'm ready to go.

All that being said, I've been noodling with some potential enhancements to Completionator for helping with this. I think the site does a pretty good job of letting you enter / track your collection / backlog and has lots of tools for helping you manage them both, but I want it to provide motivation and ultimately help you complete your games. That's one of the end-goals for the site that I've had since before I wrote the first line of code. If there is any interest in taking this discussion further, I propose we have a Completionator gaming night on a Saturday night in the near future!

Post Edited on 7/14/17 22:30:58
Nonemployee
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# 11 - Posted on 7/14/17 23:35:45

I blame my brother as far as game collection goes. He is the kind to buy over 100+ games a year, and never touch any of them. And since he exclusively plays Steam (PC master race blah blah) I get to use library sharing, so I have access to his 300+ games... While this introduces me to some amazing games, it hurts my backlog more.

And I hear you with beating games a lot at a younger age. I beat Mega Man X at least once a month back then, which is why I can beat it pretty quickly nowadays. I was born in a family who already owned a NES, SNES, and N64 so I was kinda born with a huge backlog, which I still have. (still never beat Ocarina of Time or "OG" Mario 64...which I can't because our N64 broke along with our NES)

I don't have a huge income (about $600 a month, with $60 max to spend on games) but as I said, my brother screws me over in that department. I end up buying hardware I don't need instead. (2 different keyboards and mice, tons of controllers, accessories for my Steam Controller, etc) If I had some kind of discipline, I may own a new PC or Switch by now...

As for the site, I was going to say it'd be great to have a forum for playthroughs like the bounties, then the obvious hit me: TOO MANY GAMES. Maybe we can have some kind of journal on user's profile for playthroughs where others can interact? I've heard keeping a journal as you play really helps, or is at least fun. Whether its just opinions, or some kind of story of your experience in the game. I guess it'd be like Articles, but I haven't thought too much of it other than that. We already kinda do that with the "Thoughts" feature, but maybe this can do it without showing up on the game's page :P I dunno

And I could possibly be up for that game night, but I'd like to know more about it XD

Ardraaken
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# 12 - Posted on 7/15/17 0:20:27

I tend to do the same as Moho with regards to choosing which games I'll play - if I'm planning a long one I'll stick with it (most of my December 2016 and beginning of January 2017 were dedicated to Dragon Age Inquisition - 100 hours to Platinum (although I did have a week off for Christmas)) then I'll pick one or two smaller ones to follow up or go back to something I started long ago and finish that off. I'm currently bouncing between Devil May Cry 2 (although I haven't played in about a week) which should be around a 10-12 hour completion and Persona 4 Golden which is a 100+ hour completion (I'm currently 33 hours played and haven't cleared the second dungeon - playing on Very Hard and there's a lot of grinding to get up levels) - the plus side to this is it's on my Vita so I can pick it up and put it down at will and knock out 30-40 mins whilst watching TV with the wife... who says men can't multitask!

I like the idea of journaling my gaming and have toyed with the idea of blogging it but then that's more time...

Teamtom15
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# 13 - Posted on 7/17/17 13:44:47

I was in exactly the same position as you about 6 months ago, until I found a method that really worked for me. Before I used to spend the majority of a Saturday just staring at my Steam library; now I have 3000 games on there so it is very silly to think I will play all those games, so what I did (prior to finding Completionator) was make a spreadsheet of all the games out of my collection that I wanted to play. This narrowed it down to around the 300 mark. From those 300 games I head straight over to howlongtobeat.com and entered the estimated time to beat in the spreadsheet. Sort them from longest to shortest. I then broke them down into different categories, Fast (>10 hours hours), Short (10-19.5 hours), Medium (20-29.5 hours), Long (30-49.5 hours), Giant (50+ hours). I then went about picking a game at random from each of the categories and adding them to my Completionator playlist. So as you can see from my profile over the past month I've gone from Telltale's Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zero (fast) > Telltale Minecraft Story Mode (Short) > Dishonored 2 (Medium) > Ghost Recon Wildlands (Long) > World of Warcraft (currently still playing).

As you can also tell I have a few other games as "Currently playing" Hearthstone is always being played. I play around 2 hours a day. Zelda is my portable game on the Switch that I try whack out when I am on the road with work, Lego Star Wars I am playing with my partner, Crash I play when I feel like a break from other games and Vanquish which I started last night will be my "fast" game as I start the process again as WoW is never really going to be finished...

Marcelloz
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# 14 - Posted on 7/19/17 8:16:05

I'm another one of those that went through a whole process before finding some rest en discipline to actually stick to a game and finish it. You cannot change that overnight, it's a whole process (at least that was with me)

I used to be a collector buying almost every game that got published .Everything was interesting. But that left me starting\quicklooking dozens of games every month without finishing them. I always needed to see that other game I bought. It left me in the end utterly unsatisfied and frustrated because I started so many games and wanted to finish so many that I didn't now where to start.... and then all those new games!

Like Teamtom I started to draw up a list (in Trello in my case) to list and sort the games I really wanted to play. I also added the average gameplay time and that helped me a lot to get things a bit organized.

But the real breakthrough was the update of the playthrough section on this site. You can add goals to a playthrough so I began to look up FAQs and copy-paste the chapters\levels as goals for that playthrough. That gave me focus and it allowed me to get things going. That was half a year ago and since then I have finished several games and it feels sooo good.

Also, about restarting a game because you want to have the best experience. Just check faqs beforehand, make your puppet and stick to it. Don't worry about all those discussions about the best build etc, just go with your decision even if it is not the best one. Once you're in the game it doesn't really matter most of the time.

Last advice: just choose normal or easy mode. Sometimes that is the best option to just enjoy the game. Hard makes it just hard and longer. Best is of course the game that allows you to up the difficulty spike, but there is really no shame choosing a lower bar.

Good luck !

Forums > General Gaming Discussion > (Tips?) Maintaining/Focusing on a playthrough is impossible for me