39 votes

Announcing the Tildes Backlog Burner event for 2023: Shrink your unplayed games list this November!

What is this?

Your "backlog" is all those games you've been meaning to play or get around to, but never have yet. This event is an attempt to get us to collectively dig into that treasure trove of experiences!

How do I participate?

Choose a game (or several) from your backlog and play it/them. Then tell us about your experiences in the discussion thread for the week! If you're not sure what you might write, take a look at our 2022 or 2020 events to get an idea.

Do I need to finish the games I play?

Nope! Not at all. There aren't really any requirements for the event so much as this is an incentive to get us to play games we've been avoiding starting up, for whatever reason. Play as much or as little as you like of a given game. Try out dozens for ten minutes each or dive into one for 40 hours. There's no wrong way to participate!

What's the timeline?

I will post an update thread weekly, each Wednesday, all through November. At the end of the month, I think it would be neat to tally how many collective games we all removed from our backlogs, as well as what the best finds were from our collective digging into our libraries. I expect we'll turn up some good hidden gems, as well as interesting insights.

Do I need to sign up?

You don't have to do anything to officially join or participate in the event other than post in these threads! Participate in whatever way works for you. Also, because this is ongoing, it is okay to make more than one top-level post if you're updating the thread with new information.

Do I need to wait until November to get started?

Technically yes, but I won't police it. The first official discussion thread will go up on Wednesday the 1st, but feel free to kick things off here if you're wanting to pre-game the month!

But November has Big Name Release coming out. Why this month when people will be focused on that new game?

I'm doing the best that I can! A "problem" with 2023 is that it has been an absolutely stacked year for gaming releases. There simply hasn't been a "slow" month. With limited time left, I figured November was at least better than December. Think of this as an opportunity to cut down on your backlog before all the end-of-the-year sales hit.

What if I have trouble deciding what to play?

You're in luck! I'll be debuting a Backlog Bingo Card card system when the event starts. It'll hopefully help people cut through the difficulty of choosing and make decision-making easier for those of who are cursed with both big backlogs and unhealthy doses of analysis paralysis.

Let's burn through these backlogs!

27 comments

  1. [14]
    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    For those interested in participating, I'm looking for ideas for my Backlog Bingo Card system. The idea is that we have a bunch of different categories that can be slotted into Bingo cards. People...
    • Exemplary

    For those interested in participating, I'm looking for ideas for my Backlog Bingo Card system.

    The idea is that we have a bunch of different categories that can be slotted into Bingo cards. People can then try to complete five in a row, four corners, a full blackout, etc. Here's a book-focused example (PDF) if you need an idea of what I'm going for.

    I've got a whole list of categories I've come up with already. For example:

    • a game in a genre you don't normally play
    • a game someone on Tildes has recommended

    Still, I want to open up the idea to the community for brainstorming. I like the idea of having a long list of them (way more than the 25 slots on a Bingo card) and then people can roll their own individualized random card for the event.

    If you have any good ideas for categories let me know below.

    (Also, for those that don’t like this idea, the card system is 100% optional. You can still participate without using it at all.)

    17 votes
    1. [2]
      Lapbunny
      Link Parent
      A game you own on physical media A game already installed on your computer or console A downloadable game not found on any digital distribution service A licensed game An arcade game A ROMhack or...
      • A game you own on physical media

      • A game already installed on your computer or console

      • A downloadable game not found on any digital distribution service

      • A licensed game

      • An arcade game

      • A ROMhack or other significant mod

      • A co-op game or campaign

      • Game #20 in your Steam library list, from the top

      • La Mulana, you wuss

      • A game that hasn't been released, ported, remade, or re-released in at least 20 years

      • An 18+ game (free space)

      14 votes
      1. kfwyre
        Link Parent
        This is a great list with interesting categories. Thank you! I legitimately chuckled! I chuckled again, but I'll leave this one out of the bingo card. I want to make sure the event is friendly to...

        This is a great list with interesting categories. Thank you!

        La Mulana, you wuss

        I legitimately chuckled!

        An 18+ game (free space)

        I chuckled again, but I'll leave this one out of the bingo card. I want to make sure the event is friendly to all ages.

        4 votes
    2. GobiasIndustries
      Link Parent
      I'd like to suggest: Games you've been meaning to give a second chance, Finish a game that you've been meaning to go back to, and When the hell did I buy this?

      I'd like to suggest:

      • Games you've been meaning to give a second chance,
      • Finish a game that you've been meaning to go back to, and
      • When the hell did I buy this?
      12 votes
    3. asukii
      Link Parent
      a game you got more than a year ago a game with less than 50 user ratings on metacritic (trying to think of a good way to quantify "not super popular"; maybe you have a better idea?) a sequel to a...
      • a game you got more than a year ago
      • a game with less than 50 user ratings on metacritic (trying to think of a good way to quantify "not super popular"; maybe you have a better idea?)
      • a sequel to a game that you've enjoyed in the past (or just another game in the same series)
      • a game from a studio you haven't heard of before
      • a game one of your irl friends/family has recommended
      • a game you can finish within a few hours tops
      8 votes
    4. [8]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Request for help from all of the knowledgeable techy folks here: I'd like for people to be able to randomize the list of categories for themselves and then dump them into a bingo card formatted in...

      Request for help from all of the knowledgeable techy folks here:

      I'd like for people to be able to randomize the list of categories for themselves and then dump them into a bingo card formatted in Markdown so that it can be easily posted in their comments here.

      At present, the best I can do is find a tool for randomizing the list and a separate tool for creating the markdown table. This is doable but requires a bit of legwork.

      I know this is a complete shot in the dark, but does anyone know if there's an all-in-one tool that could do both parts in one fell swoop?

      5 votes
      1. [7]
        Wes
        Link Parent
        I could probably spin something like that up. I'm just wondering, how exactly do players "fill in" the bingo card? Do they replace the text with the name of the game they played, or maybe just...

        I could probably spin something like that up. I'm just wondering, how exactly do players "fill in" the bingo card? Do they replace the text with the name of the game they played, or maybe just fill in a checkmark emoji?

        Editing markdown tables can be a little technical, so I wonder if just generating the initial bingo sheet markdown is enough, or if an editor to fill in their information would be required as well.

        The second step would require some extra dev time to build, and I likely wouldn't have it ready for the start of the event. Just the generator shouldn't take too long though.

        3 votes
        1. [6]
          kfwyre
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Oh wow, that's awesome, Wes! No obligation or anything, but if you want to go for it, please do! My vision is the following: Players start by curating the list of categories (probably around 50 in...

          Oh wow, that's awesome, Wes! No obligation or anything, but if you want to go for it, please do!

          My vision is the following:

          1. Players start by curating the list of categories (probably around 50 in total) to ones that apply to them or that they're interested in.
          2. They dump the list in a site which randomly chooses 25 of them, which then get put into a 5x5 markdown table that people can copy/paste into their comments here.

          Here's a short, incomplete example: (side note: is it possible to do a Markdown table without header rows?)

          2x2 Example
          Recommended by someone on Tildes In a genre you don't normally play
          Beatable in one sitting A licensed game

          As to your question, my thought is that they would strikethrough the category name and add the game name. With some bolding, an emoji checkmark ✅ (great idea that I stole from you, by the way!), and a <br> tag, it comes out looking pretty clean IMO:

          In Progress Example
          Recommended by someone on Tildes
          La Mulana
          In a genre you don't normally play
          Beatable in one sitting
          Super Hexagon
          A licensed game
          Garfield Kart

          To me, the biggest hurdle would be the initial setup of the table. Once the initial table is made, it's easy enough to edit it, especially because most people will only be editing one cell or two at a time as they play games.

          If you want to make something that does everything, that's incredibly above and beyond, but I think in terms of scope the initial table generation is the biggest bang-for-your-buck.

          5 votes
          1. [5]
            Wes
            Link Parent
            Gotchya! I need to go out for a few hours, but here's an early version. Web app: https://wescook.ca/TildesBacklogBingo/ Source: https://github.com/WesCook/TildesBacklogBingo/ It still has some...
            • Exemplary

            Gotchya! I need to go out for a few hours, but here's an early version.

            Web app: https://wescook.ca/TildesBacklogBingo/
            Source: https://github.com/WesCook/TildesBacklogBingo/

            It still has some lorem ipsum for testing the selection. I'll work on cleaning up the UI and code once I'm back. Just wanted to give you a chance to comment first.

            7 votes
            1. [3]
              kfwyre
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE, Wes! You are a saint. I was going to wait to launch my category list with the launch tomorrow to keep some mystery alive, but I legitimately didn’t expect someone to come...

              ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE, Wes! You are a saint.

              I was going to wait to launch my category list with the launch tomorrow to keep some mystery alive, but I legitimately didn’t expect someone to come along and make a custom web app for the event! And so quickly! You’re a saint and a wizard.

              Here’s my current list. It ended up being a bit more than 50. I’ll keep you informed of any edits if other people suggest additions/tweaks:

              Category List

              You have to tinker in order to get it running
              You wanted to play it when you were younger but never did
              You can complete it in one sitting
              You can complete in only a few hours
              Known for its soundtrack
              In a genre you don’t normally play
              Recommended by someone on Tildes
              Recommended by someone IRL
              Chosen for you by someone else
              Begins with one of your initials
              Begins with the first letter of your username
              Owned for more than one year
              Owned for more than two years
              Owned for more than three years
              Owned for more than four years
              Owned for more than five years
              "When the hell did I buy this?"
              Has DLC
              Has no DLC
              Has achievements
              Has no achievements
              Has minigames
              Has cute, feel-good vibes
              Has creepy, unsettling vibes
              You can save/pet/care for animals
              Considered a “classic”
              Considered a “cult classic”
              Considered a "disappointment"
              From now-defunct dev studio
              Has one-word title
              Has a non-human player character
              Has an animal player character
              Has an aggregate review score above 90
              Has an aggregate review score below 70
              Has number somewhere in the title
              Has “Super” in the title
              Has the letter X somewhere in its title
              Has the letter Q somewhere in its title
              Has punctuation somewhere in its title
              Came out more than 5 years ago
              Came out more than 10 years ago
              Came out more than 15 years ago
              Came out more than 20 years ago
              Is one of the oldest games you own
              From a developer in a different country
              From a studio you haven't heard of before
              Solo-dev project
              Won an award
              You don't think you'll enjoy it
              You chose based on title alone
              You paid full price for it
              You got it on sale
              You got from a bundle
              You got it as a gift
              You own on physical media
              You can't remember where you got it from
              You regret buying it
              From a series you’ve never played
              From a series you have played
              Part of a trilogy
              Already installed
              Not found on any distribution service
              Licensed game
              Arcade game
              ROMhack or other significant mod
              Co-op game or campaign
              Unplayed game #x in your library list (use dice/RNG)
              Hasn't been re-released, ported, remade, or re-released in 20+ years
              You've been meaning to give a second chance
              You've been meaning to go back to
              Not super popular (e.g. <50 user reviews on Metacritic)
              Your friend swears it is the greatest game ever
              La Mulana, you wuss

              4 votes
              1. [2]
                Wes
                Link Parent
                Great! I'm glad to hear I was on the right track. I've implemented your suggestions, and cleaned things up a little now. Changelog: Updated categories with list above Now lists randomly selected...

                Great! I'm glad to hear I was on the right track. I've implemented your suggestions, and cleaned things up a little now. Changelog:

                • Updated categories with list above
                • Now lists randomly selected categories above Markdown table
                • Centered table contents
                • Cleaned up wording/instructions
                • Improved mobile responsiveness (better padding, shows 2 columns on desktop)
                • Added copy button with visual feedback
                • Minor CSS tweaks

                It should feel a little more polished now. The only thing left on my checklist is maybe cleaning up the spacing on the Markdown output to make it easier to work with. I'm still trying to decide the best way to do this. If we line up all the pipes in the tables using spaces, it can create extremely long rows. That may actually be more difficult to work with on mobile devices. Let me know if you have any thoughts on that!

                2 votes
                1. kfwyre
                  Link Parent
                  Update looks great! The event has officially started so I'm excited that people will now get to use it. As for the markdown, I'm thinking it's fine as is. Trying to line it up would end up...

                  Update looks great!

                  The event has officially started so I'm excited that people will now get to use it.

                  As for the markdown, I'm thinking it's fine as is. Trying to line it up would end up creating issues when people go to fill in categories anyway, and like you said, it would make it more difficult for mobile.

            2. kfwyre
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              Double commenting to say that I did a couple test runs and the tables come out splendidly. I also wondered what would happen if I tried to generate one with not enough categories selected, but you...

              Double commenting to say that I did a couple test runs and the tables come out splendidly. I also wondered what would happen if I tried to generate one with not enough categories selected, but you already thought of that and prevent it from happening!

              I also loved the third step which includes info and examples about marking things complete. You’ve made a full tool and tutorial!

              One thought: on mobile, selecting the text to copy is cumbersome in the way that selecting text on mobile is always cumbersome. Is it easy to add a “copy to clipboard” button that would make the table pasteable without needing to highlight it? (If this is a lot of work then just ignore this suggestion, by the way — the last thing I want to do is give you more to do — especially after you’ve done something so nice and selfless).

              I’m genuinely blown away that you made this, and I’m honestly honored that you took the time and effort to do so. Thank you.

              3 votes
    5. Monte_Kristo
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      A game your friend swears is the greatest game ever.

      A game your friend swears is the greatest game ever.

      1 vote
  2. [3]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    Perfectly timed for a rash of games I have in my backlog that I themed together, installed, and intend to play next. They are... Evil West Hard West 2 Weird West West of Dead ...not hard to guess...

    Perfectly timed for a rash of games I have in my backlog that I themed together, installed, and intend to play next. They are...

    Evil West
    Hard West 2
    Weird West
    West of Dead

    ...not hard to guess the theme here. If you have any other western games you think I should try out let me know, no promises they'll be played in this month (or anytime soon as it's called a backlog burner for a reason).

    These games kinda lead into a Ultramodern 5e Western-esque campaign I'm about to enter with some friends. Thinking of either playing a Snake Oil Salesman Healer or a 49er/Prospector Assassin, thoughts or ideas on others I should consider?

    6 votes
    1. 2crzy4uall
      Link Parent
      This sounds like the making of an hour long YouTube video I would watch.

      This sounds like the making of an hour long YouTube video I would watch.

      1 vote
  3. boxer_dogs_dance
    Link
    A funny or silly game, a cozy or relaxing game, a horror game

    A funny or silly game, a cozy or relaxing game, a horror game

    4 votes
  4. TheRTV
    Link
    Oh this is a great idea! I actually have a couple games that I was already planning on playing. So this works out perfectly!

    Oh this is a great idea! I actually have a couple games that I was already planning on playing. So this works out perfectly!

    4 votes
  5. smiles134
    Link
    Oh, this is fun. I've been basically doing this myself all year and I'm actually to the point where I'm... Just about caught up. But I've got some games to go through still and I'll post about...

    Oh, this is fun. I've been basically doing this myself all year and I'm actually to the point where I'm... Just about caught up. But I've got some games to go through still and I'll post about some others I've played recently too!

    3 votes
  6. Trobador
    Link
    I'd sure like to give this a go. My backlog is bloody massive and it's a bit of a problem... Not sure what to pick, but Wuppo is a given seeing as I got it some weeks ago, made some progress and...

    I'd sure like to give this a go. My backlog is bloody massive and it's a bit of a problem...

    Not sure what to pick, but Wuppo is a given seeing as I got it some weeks ago, made some progress and then neglected it somewhat up to today.

    3 votes
  7. [3]
    DefinitelyNotAFae
    Link
    It took me far too long to realize this was video game focused. Am I alone in having too many board/card/ttrp games that haven't been played? I'll have to participate in this next year

    It took me far too long to realize this was video game focused. Am I alone in having too many board/card/ttrp games that haven't been played? I'll have to participate in this next year

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      aphoenix
      Link Parent
      You know, I don't think there is anything stopping you from doing board games! The bingo card isn't really going to work, but you could certainly participate with games of the non video variety. I...

      You know, I don't think there is anything stopping you from doing board games! The bingo card isn't really going to work, but you could certainly participate with games of the non video variety. I also have a dozen that I want to play; maybe after I fill my video card bingo later this week, I'll add in a board game.

      2 votes
      1. DefinitelyNotAFae
        Link Parent
        The next six weeks are some of the busiest at work for me. But I'm hoping to have some downtime over Thanksgiving and the winter break. I won't "make" it this year but I'm loving the idea of doing...

        The next six weeks are some of the busiest at work for me. But I'm hoping to have some downtime over Thanksgiving and the winter break. I won't "make" it this year but I'm loving the idea of doing it next time

        1 vote
  8. iamnotree
    Link
    I'm very excited to participate in this. I recently split my steam games up into completed, backlog, and a need to try collection. I have 40 games in my need to try with 40 in my backlog. So this...

    I'm very excited to participate in this. I recently split my steam games up into completed, backlog, and a need to try collection. I have 40 games in my need to try with 40 in my backlog. So this is going to be fun.

    2 votes
  9. [2]
    Sapholia
    Link
    Do I qualify if I coincidentally started playing some of my backlog in mid-October? I've already got a few under my belt, be a shame to "waste" them as I'm now working on a bigger title.

    Do I qualify if I coincidentally started playing some of my backlog in mid-October? I've already got a few under my belt, be a shame to "waste" them as I'm now working on a bigger title.

    2 votes
    1. aphoenix
      Link Parent
      There's no particular rules - you certainly qualify! Join in, burn some backlog, use a bingo card, or don't, it's all good.

      There's no particular rules - you certainly qualify! Join in, burn some backlog, use a bingo card, or don't, it's all good.

      4 votes