Gaming Habits That I Chose to Stop

I had a lot of things to attend to that I can’t find the time to do my regular writing stuff. This busyness ate away a lot of my hobby time, including gaming. So sad OTL. Well, I give at least, equal importance to these other tasks that I’m working on (Life Hacks, Social Life, Career Goals, etc.), so I need some compromise on how to continue my gaming life, even for just a short while. With this, here are the gaming habits that I stopped in order to give way to other things that I added in my plate.

100 % Completion

There’s a period in my gaming life where I always want to complete all the unlockables of a game, from the elements that give significant contribution to the story like a hidden character, up to the minute details like collecting 100 small items scattered throughout a sandbox world. It’s quite fulfilling to complete the game, and it makes you feel more satisfied that you’re getting your money’s worth. However, pulling this off usually takes a lot of time. And I mean, A LOT OF TIME. This has gotten to a new level since the dawn of Achievements and Trophies. Even online games portal like newgrounds  and kongregate now implement such features. This is a real punishment for any OC gamer.

I’ve adjusted my goals in a game and consider it as my own version of 100% completion. This lessens the time that I need to consume in a single game. I determine which tasks are worthy of accomplishing based on rewards and the estimated time to finish it. If it requires me to replay the whole game, pass. If it requires me to complete huge amount of collectibles that are VERY HARD to find, and the only thing I get is a bunch of pictures in the gallery, no, not gonna happen.

Achievements and Trophies - An OC Gamer's Nightmare

Replay, Replay, Replay

In relation to the previous item, I’m not fond of repeating games after my first completion. My mindset is to play as many games as possible, so instead of investing more time to start the same game all over again, regardless of how good it is, I proceed to a new one. I remember Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition, wherein the other four difficulty settings are unlocked by completing the game for each preceding difficulty. The game contains 20 missions, do the math. Even if you’ve become an expert in using Dante or Vergil, it still takes time to finish. I’m really amazed by those dedicated gamers who practice for several hours in order to achieve such mastery, like the one posted in this video.

In order to unlock all costumes of Dante and Vergil in DmC3 special edition, you need to beat the game in Normal, Hard, Very Hard, and Dante Must Die mode for each character. That’s a total of 8 playthroughs!
(image courtesy of mobygames.com)

Spend Time Practicing

Speaking of mastery, I used to practice some of the games that I play beyond the main goal that is given to me, especially in fighting games where you hone your skills to utilize the abilities and fighting style of a specific character. Alas, I don’t have the luxury of time to do that now. I can only practice on mobile games since it’s more accessible, and the gameplay is separated into chunks that usually take 5 minutes or less to end. Hardest Game Ever 2 is a good example of such game. It is divided into several difficulty modes each with six minigames. In order to unlock the other minigames, you must acquire a certain number of S rank completions. This is motivational enough for me since I can get significant new contents for free.

Practice makes perfect. But nobody's perfect. So why practice? (courtesy of http://th07.deviantart.net)

Practice makes perfect. But nobody’s perfect. So why practice?
(courtesy of http://th07.deviantart.net)

Gaming Schedule

Before, I always have a fixed schedule for playing video games. Having a time block for PC, PS2, PSP, and NDS, I created a routine to make sure that the game I play for each platform will progress and eventually be completed. For weeks, I barely used the mentioned gadgets for gaming. Now I only use my PSP as a portable music player. I promise myself that if things loosen up, I will gradually return to this gaming schedule. After all, I’m the type of person who really wants to get the most out of the things that I buy.

What she said V(-_-)V (image courtesy of http://cdn.memegenerator.net)

No Guides or FAQ

I usually consult an online guide or FAQ if I want to check the things that I miss in the game, and if it’s worth a second playthrough. Now, I constantly use it in my gaming session. This shortens the time that I need to complete the game. I know, I know, it ruins the gaming experience. After all, solving the puzzles or discovering something on your own is a significant part of playing a video game, but I learned to be contented with running through the entire story. I still enjoy it since an FAQ cannot entirely remove the challenge of gameplay. Even if it tells you what to do, it is easier said than done.

There are times when I start a game without an FAQ and I already progressed quite far without noticing it. In those cases, I decide not to consult any guide at all since I will regret the effort that I have already given when I started  the game. I still monitor my gaming time though. If I observe that I’m stuck with one part of the game for a considerable amount of time, then hands-up and open GameFaqs XD.

FAQ? B*tch Please!

FAQ? B*tch Please!

I have nothing against long hours of gameplay (though too much of anything is bad enough XD). In fact, there are moments where I miss my gaming schedule. I’m totally envious of my officemates and students when I see them online,  playing something on Steam. Heck, I haven’t bought a single game while all my gamer friends are going crazy over the Steam summer sale. Well, that’s the price of setting priorities. I swear, when I sort things out and convert some of my tasks to autopilot, then I will gradually increase my gaming time once again. For now, I will settle with my short gaming breaks. (~^_^)~

Advertisements

Home Base Recon: The Factors of Moving In

Whew. How long has it been? Five weeks since my last blog post? Well, I had a handful of stuff that really consumed my time. It started with a week where I have to finish my lesson plan for my class (yep I’m now a part-time teacher, hoooray! ^_^), attend the company’s in-house game jam, catch-up with a project’s deliverable, resolve some personal pursuit, and prepare for moving in to a new house. Yes, it was a hectic week, and up until now, things are not that stable though it’s getting better. Among the things I enumerated, moving to our new crib (pardon the hip-hop term) posed one of the greatest challenges to me. The circumstance back then was not the most practical. To cut the story short, we had to find a new place in the span of one week. Thank goodness we found one soon enough, and it looks decent. In spite of this luck, I found out that I had several things that I have to cope with in this new home which I thought could have been prevented if we had considered some factors before deciding on which house to choose. Then again, the time constraint made it not feasible. So for those who are planning to move to a new location and have more time to weigh the options, here are some of the things I learned…

Location

Survey your possible routes from home. This can significantly affect your expenses.

Survey your possible routes from home. This can significantly affect your expenses.

The common things that people usually consider when choosing the location are the safety of the surroundings, rental fees, and the proximity from our workplaces. We chose the same thing. I actually got nearer from my office, and the neighbors were quite peaceful to say the least. Moreover, the rental fees were cheaper. However, I missed the part of transportation. The methods were less convenient, and the best option is far expensive. How ironic that this wasn’t an issue back when we’re living farther from my office. Back then, I’m battling with overcrowded train carriages, but at least the travel time was usually fast and the bus ride after that was pretty straightforward making it less prone for me to lose my track. With our new house, I have two options to go home.

Option one is to walk 15 minutes towards the terminal to ride a shuttle and then a trike all the way to our house. The shuttles come from different terminals and a lot of them are similarly labeled in destinations, but they actually pass through different routes, which is kind of confusing. Good thing I learned the right terminal to go to. This option costs four times my previous commute expenses.

Option two is to ride a jeep up to the railway terminal, ride the train, then ride two more jeeps to make it home. This costs half the price as option one, but with waiting time included, it will take me about two and a half hours to get home.  I guess cheap fares and convenient rides don’t get along too well in our new place XD

Lesson Learned: Know the modes of transportation available and cross reference it with the rental fee. See if you can really save money compared to other houses with higher rates.

Space

Put your Sim skills into good use and arrange your house items like a pro.

Put your Sim skills into good use and arrange your house items like a pro.

We got plenty of space in our previous home, and our new place is far from that. I’ve used the skills that I learned from Sims (haha, who said that games are just for entertainment) on how to efficiently arrange the stuff at home. However, due to the large space difference, we really can’t move all the stuff that we have to  our new house, so we rented a stockroom to keep the other things there. Probably, we will sell a lot of those stuff to dispatch them in the most useful way possible. Some of our things have to be replaced with smaller one to save space like our dining set. I’ll also replace my bed with a smaller double-deck bed. I bought a double-deck bed but I stupidly ignored the measurements of my room, assuming that beds come in standard size. My aim to save some space turned into a disaster, though I can still use the additional rack for my other stuff.

Lesson Learned: Consider the stuff that needs to be replaced with their smaller counterparts or contribute as a secondary storage. Always measure your room before buying a new bed OTL.

There was actually another house near our current place, which is considerably more spacious. The rental fee is about a thousand pesos higher than what we’re currently paying. Not bad at all. However, I chose our current home based on two reasons:

  • The latter was already furnished, which means we don’t have to worry about cleaning the house first before moving in. This saved a lot of time in our preparations.
  • The latter offers our own parking lot which we really need since we have a family car.

Ventilation

Add proper ventilation to your criteria or else suffer from sleep deprivation.

Add proper ventilation to your criteria or else suffer from sleep deprivation.

The former settler in our house installed an air-conditioner, and I found out the reason soon enough. It was still summer when we moved here and there’s a period of time where my room feels like a sauna due to all the heat that’s compressed inside. Good thing the summer season has just ended so it’s not as hot as it was back in our first week, though occasionally, the heat is still on XD. However, with the compact space that our home has, it will be easier to centralize the ventilation which I think is good since we will only need one air-conditioner to cool off the entire place. Just remember to review your contract since there’s a chance that you’ll be charged for setting up some appliances when removing or breaking some parts of the house (e.g. creating a hole through a wall for the air-con’s exhaust). Another option would be to use an air cooler which costs cheaper, but it can only affect a single room. While I’m still pondering about it, cool clothes (or no-shirt *cough* *cough*) would be my best bet against the heat.

Lesson Learned: Explore the house’s outlets for temperature circulation and try to plan on how cope with it. It may seem like a small problem but it affects your convenience at home. Worst case, you may suffer from sleep deprivation, which will result to more fatigue when you wake up the next day (i.e. if you were able to sleep)

There. I hope this can help you someday when you’re planning to move to a new house. Choose wisely and I hope you can acquire some place that is at least as comfortable as your previous home. Moreover, it still counts to have nice people around the house that can make the place a ‘home sweet home’. Hopefully, I can add another post next week, but for now, I’ll ponder on how to further improve my room. Till next time (~^_^)~

Photo Credits: Catherine (image from blisteredthumbs.net), Super Mario Bros. 3 (image from autostraddle.com), Sims Social (image from blog.games.com)