I’m a little late off the mark on this one. Sort of. I mean, there is another day left in the month — so perhaps rather than ‘late’ it is more accurate to say I have left starting my homework to the very last moment. *cough* Anyway, if you’re unfamiliar — the idea is simply to kick off any feelings of guilt or shame associated with the backlog (not something I’ve really struggled with!) and to instead shower it with love.

Yep. Still over 500 unplayed games in my library. That’s not even considering the started but not completed ones.

Recognise that a backlog can just be a sign of how much we enjoy the hobby of gaming.

This year the event is being co-hosted by Kim and Ellen, and is my second time participating. Last year’s answers are here. :) The event isn’t all over in Feb though, as it continues into #MaybeInMarch where you can take a look at your backlog and pick a title to play, perhaps complete, and write about over the course of March.

So perhaps worthwhile considering participating even if you’re even later than I am! ;)

This year’s prompts/questions are as follows:

  • The effect that the 2020 apocalypse had on your backlog
  • The oldest game in terms of release date
  • A game you bought on day one, only to not play it
  • The game which has spent the most time on your backlog
  • The most recent addition to your library
  • The person responsible for adding the most entries to your backlog, due to their good recommendations

So here we go!

What effect did the 2020 pandemic have on my backlog?

My gut reaction is to say ‘bugger all’. I don’t feel like it made any difference to my playing or purchasing habits. But between Steam purchase history (which won’t be 100% — but a fairly good indicator nonetheless) and my own game time tracking habits… Perhaps I can take a look at this.

I didn’t include games added via Humble Choice, nor any purchases made as gifts for other people. If I bought a DLC bundle with a game bought, I counted that as just one purchase. But if I bought DLC for a game separately, then I counted it separately.

I didn’t start tracking played data like this until March 2019, so I don’t have Jan / Feb, but given the pandemic was officially declared March 12th 2020, I think that’s OK. Or at least — it isn’t the biggest issue with drawing too many conclusions from this data set.

That would be that it’s only a single Year-on-Year comparison.

Still; with that in mind overall I’m still inclined to say that — by and large — the pandemic had no real impact with the major exception being in December 2020. Where had there been no pandemic it is highly likely we would have taken at least a week or two holiday somewhere. Then even given the fact it was a month of heavy play due to a new WoW expansion — by power of being elsewhere alone, the hours would’ve been more inline with ‘normal’.

The May 2019 dip is also an outlier in that I stepped away from gaming a little to work through a restructure impacting my team at work. Which, despite the pandemic, has thankfully not had a repeat in 2020.

If you’re curious — the averages between the two years are pretty close too. Average hours played in a month for 2019 was 85.1, and 2020 saw 97.9. Remove December 2020 from consideration though and it drops to 83.8! In terms of games purchased per month, 2019 saw an average of 3.9 and 2020 4.3.

What’s the oldest game in my backlog, by release date?

Err. I have Wasteland Classic in my steam library, which is from 1988. So… Definitely that.

This window reminds me hugely of classic Duke Nukem and Commander Keen.

I think I would’ve obtained this through my kickstarter backing of Wasteland II. I have a dim memory of adding the key for that to Steam also adding this classic.

In 1988 I was… Well, let’s just say I hadn’t seen a double digit birthday yet and leave it at that.

In terms of oldest game in my backlog that I actually intentionally bought and haven’t played either before Steam (or even just before Steam started tracking played time in the cloud) then I think that award goes to Gothic. A title which, according to Steam, came out March 2001. I would have bought it much later than that as part of a Gothic bundle though.

My first Gothic experience was with Gothic III. :)

A game bought day one, only to then be never played…

Oof, OK. I feel this one. My last year’s Maybe in March pick – Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 – fell into this category.

The other example of this that comes to mind every so often is The Evil Within 2.

I don’t recall how I came by my copy of the first game, but I remember it wasn’t really on my radar. So possibly it was from a bundle or just went on an exceptionally deep discount sale? However I got it — it was something of a sleeper hit for me.

I enjoyed it way more than I thought I was going to.

So I dutifully bought The Evil Within 2, probably even as a preorder, when it came out.

That was October 2017. Still haven’t so much as launched it to menu yet.

#MaybeInMarch? ;)

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

I struggled with this question last year, and was going to again — until I saw that Steam purchase history goes back to the beginning of time. Well- beginning of meaningful time. For this conversation.

Reverse scrolling through my purchase history suggests that Shadowrun: Dragonfall, from March 2014, has probably spent the longest time on my backlog.

I played and completed the first in this series — Shadowrun: Returns — and looooved it. I picked this one up and I believe also got a copy of Shadowrun: Hong Kong via backing the Kickstarter project.

From all accounts — Dragonfall (and Hong Kong) were quite major steps up from Returns. I think I would’ve just wanted a change in pace of game style before getting to these ones, and then never quite going back.

However, I could actually see myself doing so. These games age pretty well by and large, so I don’t think they necessarily have an expiry date like some other games that rely more heavily on either their visual appeal or their modern-feeling action.

Most recent addition(s) to my library?

Ummm. Well…

I was reminded that I still hadn’t done this post yet after rather substantially adding to my backlog with a Steam purchase earlier.

Yep. Another of those impulse bundle purchases I make every so often.

If we extend out the view to this month, then I should also include Dyson Sphere Program and Everspace 2.

Of these, it’s hard to say what I’m most excited about. I think — while not quite there yet — my mega enthusiasm burst for Black Desert Online might be coming to a close. I’ll almost certainly complete the Season Pass as I’m so close, but we’ll see if I’m still as gung-ho about jumping immediately into the next season when it starts. It might be time for a break.

In which case, consider these purchases a precursor to one of my gaming fishing expeditions. :)

Who is the person responsible for adding the most entries to your backlog, due to their good recommendations?

I can’t really blame anyone else. Usually I am the bad influence within my friend-group in picking up something new. I’m not sure they’re always good recommendations though.

And my tastes certainly run more eclectic than most.

Outside of that though, I’m also quite easy to convince. So almost anyone in our community talking about having a good time with a game is enough to, at minimum, pique my interest. :)