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50-days of non-completion

Attempting a 50-day challenge for this year’s GameBlast20 event gave my other-half and I the perfect excuse to spend plenty of time with video games and each other. The idea was to get home from work in the evenings, be on Twitch for at least an hour and play as much as we could in just under two months.

We weren’t entirely sure whether we’d succeed when we started out on Sunday, 05 January 2020, as adult responsibilities and work commitments have a habit of getting in the way of gaming. But somehow we made it through: despite it being tough sometimes and struggling so much with the last hours of the final 24-hour stream, we got to Sunday, 23 February 2020 in one piece. We might feel as though we can now sleep for days but a lot of positives came out of the event.

Most importantly, the ยฃ600 raised will help SpecialEffect create even more customised gaming set-ups for people with physical disabilities across the UK. On a more personal level, the 50-day period gave us the opportunity to refine our streaming processes and be more comfortable in front of a camera (although neither Pete nor I are ever going to be naturals). And on top of that, people we already knew through blogging became good friends and we’re looking forward to hanging out with them again soon.

One of the best things was realising that we’re able to play video games after work even when we’re not feeling motivated. In the past, we’ve been guilty of collapsing on the sofa and using the excuse that ’20:00 is too late to start a game’; but from now on we’re going to put more effort into doing something we actually enjoy in the evenings rather than succumbing to trash television. Although we no longer want to restrict ourselves to a schedule, Pete and I are planning to continue streaming several times a week so we’ll see you over on Twitch.

The outcomes from the GameBlast20 50-day challenge weren’t all positive though, and I’m not just talking about the weariness we don’t yet seem to have recovered from. The thing I’m kind of sad about is how few titles we actually managed to complete during the event. I lost count of how many we started but at a guess, I’d say it was at least 45; and I’m pleased we tried genres outside our comfort zones and releases we wouldn’t normally pick up. But compare that to the number we finished: only one.

Over the past several years I’ve been working on getting out of the habit of starting titles and never completing them. As the rate of new releases increased rapidly, I found myself constantly distracted and jumping from game to game to the point where my experiences began to feel empty. It turned out that the thing missing was the sense of accomplishment which comes from seeing the end credits roll, so now I keep a list of the games I intend to play next to help me stay focused.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying you should stick with a title you’re not enjoying. As I’ve written before, what’s the point in spending your precious free time slogging through a release when there are so many others more worthwhile of your hours? But for me personally, there’s nothing quite like finally making it to the end of the game and seeing how the story wraps up – and then being able to begin a new adventure without the baggage of not finishing the last one.

Although I’m aware that everything we did for GameBlast20 was a great personal achievement, I can’t help but feel guilty we didn’t manage to complete more of the games we started during our 50-day challenge. The past couple of months has been fun and I’m sure I’ll remember it for a long time; but I really miss the sense of accomplishment that comes along with the end credits. So with this year’s event now out of the way, I’m ready to focus on getting that back again.

The first title on my list to finish is LUNA The Shadow Dust. A review code for Lantern Studio’s release was kindly given to me by Emily Morganti last month so expect a post soon. Next I need to finish Detroit: Become Human and Life is Strange, two of the most popular games during our streams; and then perhaps I’ll start Beautiful Desolation after receiving my Kickstarter backer key from The Brotherhood recently. And while that’s all going on, I’ll visit the Shade in The Longing to see how he’s getting on.

Does not completing games bother you at all? And if so, how do you stay focused? Give me all the tips you can, because I’d love to be able to report back on finishing several in March’s editorial at the end of the month.

Kim View All

Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.

10 thoughts on “50-days of non-completion Leave a comment

  1. Not completing games bothers the heck out of me! I can’t bring myself to start a new “big game” until I’ve finished the previous one to my satisfaction. That’s partly why I developed my Cover Game/MegaFeature format: to encourage me to stick with things, analysing them in depth as I go. My gaming experience has been richer as a result; it really works for me, and I can’t help but feel a bit sad when I look at achievement/trophy stats and see that, in a lot of cases, less than half of players made it through the entirety of a game I really enjoyed!

    Alongside that, I’ve found video good for the same reason you’ve been enjoying streaming: it provides a certain amount of structure and perhaps an excuse to do things you’ve been meaning to do for ages. I have so much fun doing my videos each week, whether it’s the historical research for the three Atari A to Z series, the silly voice acting for Final Fantasy Marathon or the simple catharsis that is enjoying a Warriors game — sure, it’d be nice to have a few more views (particularly when I compare YouTube views to my considerably larger WordPress numbers!), but mostly I’m just enjoying myself and creating something that I’m proud of, regardless of viewing figures.

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    • Well I’m pleased to say that I’ve managed to complete two games so far in March already. There’s a review of LUNA coming on Monday and I finally managed to reach the end of Detroit last night; then Life is Strange is next on the list this weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

      The GameBlast streams were fun, but I’ve really missed spending time with one game rather than jumping to the next every evening. I’m going to try and review more of what I play to help give me the sort of structure you mention above and help me stay focused!

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  2. When I have the urge to start a new game, I try and pick something short, which is sort of working for me. Previously it was Beyond Two Souls, which I managed to finish. This time its Afterparty, which I think I’m a third to half way through already, without noticing. It’s the way forward! These 50-100 hour beasts are just too common these days.

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    • I honestly haven’t played a game that big since Horizon Zero Dawn. I just can’t seem to bring myself to do it any more; there are so many games out there that I don’t want to spend so long on just one. Besides, I need to play as many as possible so I’m ready for this years ‘gamers guide to indie’ post. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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      • Hahaha excellent plug. There are so many games from those posts I haven’t tried yet too!

        I keep checking all the random stuff I’ve claimed on Twitch Prime and Epic Game Store, play something a little different (and much shorter).

        I’m 70 hours into Division 2 and hardly scratching the surface.

        Could Horizon Zero Dawn 2 tempt you? ๐Ÿคจ

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        • If you picked it up while it was on Twitch Prime (it was a while ago though), give The Red Strings Club a go. It’s only a few hours long but it’s so good. Also try Stories Untold if you were into text adventures when you were younger!

          I did enjoy Horizon, but can’t see myself jumping into a sequel. I know this might shock some people but there are genuinely some indie games I enjoyed even more.

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          • *faints* but I’m sure you’d watch someone stream it? SAY YOU WOULD! Did you find HZD a slog then? I’ve still got the DLC to do ๐Ÿ™ˆ

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            • I didn’t bother with the DLC and there are still some missions I haven’t actually completed. I just got to a point where I kind of said ‘I’m done’. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun and I loved Aloy’s character, but games that big just don’t seem to appeal any longer.

              Don’t worry Dan, there will always be streaming. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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