51 votes

What video games have had you taking real-life notes?

What are some games that have inspired you to break out a real pen(cil) and paper?

How do you feel about games that implicitly or explicitly want you to take notes?

Do you have any recommended “note”-worthy games?

74 comments

  1. [6]
    BashCrandiboot
    (edited )
    Link
    I recently did a Stardew Valley run where I ignored the wiki completely. Had a notebook at my side the entire time, and documented jar time, keg time, and sell prices for every vegetable and...
    • Exemplary

    I recently did a Stardew Valley run where I ignored the wiki completely. Had a notebook at my side the entire time, and documented jar time, keg time, and sell prices for every vegetable and animal product (including different flower honeys). Moving on to casks now.

    I also wrote down fish locations and times (just copied from the TV channel you unlock eventually), and I aspire to do each flowers base price, but haven't gotten around to it.

    I have another page with key ingredients to keep stocked in my fridges so that I can always make foods with the best buffs. I basically live off of Espresso and Crab Cakes (not far from real life). I really want to experiment with making and selling meals, but haven't quite gotten there yet. It doesn't seem like they're worth much, but it'd be fun to know for sure (don't tell me if you know already).

    I find myself focusing more on the day-to-day of the farm now. I unlocked Ginger Island, but don't have a ton of interest in that yet. I'm way more focused on documenting product prices and improving efficiencies on my farm layout.

    I play on PS5, so I haven't gotten the latest (and final) update yet, but my dream wish list is a more expansive recipe and product list. At one of the fall events, someone mentions Pumpkin Ale, and yet you can't make any (just pumpkin juice). And Ginger, for example, can only be made into pickles, not Ginger Beer or Ginger Ale. I'd love to do and make more with my crops, even things that involve second or third steps. I'd love to make different oil infusions, or even grind coffee beans or corn before being able to make coffee/tortillas. That extra layer is really what I'm missing now.

    While this all has made the base game way more fun, for me, I'm also happy to say it has completely changed the way I approach my day-to-day real life. One day while playing, I caught myself saying "okay, today I have to do X, and then Y by 2pm, and then I need to remember Z before bed.

    And then I was like "wtf, lol, why do I not do this every day when I actually wake up?" Ever since, I've been getting out of bed when I naturally wake up, and doing a lot more with my days. It has been very gratifying and given me a whole new lens with which to view my life.

    I'd love any recommendations for similar games that will help me scratch this itch. I love the simplicity of Stardew, but I'd like a bit more depth in the business side of things. Moonlighter comes close, but I find myself enjoying the time in the shop way more than in the dungeon, and the gameplay loop doesn't really allow me to take advantage of that (whereas Stardew allows you to accomplish a lot without ever having to fish or enter the mines that much if you don't want to).

    I've tried things like Tropico and that space one, but I always boot it up and then basically nope back out, because the game doesn't ramp up as smoothly as Stardew, you pretty much have to know how the game works right away. Any recs would be greatly appreciated!

    36 votes
    1. [2]
      fefellama
      Link Parent
      I haven't really played much Stardew (watched someone else play it a bunch a long time ago), but your comment really made me want to pick up and play it right now. I like the idea of not looking...

      I haven't really played much Stardew (watched someone else play it a bunch a long time ago), but your comment really made me want to pick up and play it right now. I like the idea of not looking things up online and just keeping track of things via a notebook. I think I'll give that a shot sometime soon, thanks!

      8 votes
    2. [3]
      solgrove
      Link Parent
      This game is simpler than Stardew because it's still in active development, but you should check out Palia. It's basically 3D Stardew, but you have waaaay more home customization options. Edit -...

      This game is simpler than Stardew because it's still in active development, but you should check out Palia. It's basically 3D Stardew, but you have waaaay more home customization options. Edit - it's more casual though. No combat, no health bar.

      I am hopelessly addicted to this game.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        BusAlderaan
        Link Parent
        I wanted to get into Palia, but the performance on my PC was terrible and it's no shlub, have they improved it?

        I wanted to get into Palia, but the performance on my PC was terrible and it's no shlub, have they improved it?

        2 votes
        1. solgrove
          Link Parent
          If your last attempt was a long time ago, I'd say give it another shot! I've heard they did a lot of optimizing in the past. It runs just fine on my laptop, but it's a gaming laptop so shrug

          If your last attempt was a long time ago, I'd say give it another shot! I've heard they did a lot of optimizing in the past. It runs just fine on my laptop, but it's a gaming laptop so shrug

          2 votes
  2. [8]
    Oxalis
    (edited )
    Link
    I tend to judge puzzle games on how many pages of notes they generate. It's not a perfect metric but if I felt that it was worth writing down things, then that means I was engaged. It doesn't help...

    I tend to judge puzzle games on how many pages of notes they generate. It's not a perfect metric but if I felt that it was worth writing down things, then that means I was engaged. It doesn't help that I find that scribbling down things helps the process sometimes. Even if it's just to offload some concepts onto paper.

    So far, The Witness takes the cake by a large margin. I have an entire notebook of scribbles that look like the scrawlings of a mad man.

    Titles like Myst, Cultist Simulator, the Faraway series, Minit, Outer Wilds, Quern, and the Puzzle Agent series are all in another notebook. Some of these games consist of puzzles that can be helped with visuals on paper (Myst, Puzzle Agent, Faraway, Quern). Others are more for notes to keep what you've learned around for later use (Minit, Cultist, Outer Wilds). They're all wonderful titles, just not as expansive in scope as Blow's 100+ hour line puzzle fest.

    19 votes
    1. [2]
      pi-rat
      Link Parent
      Myst was one of the first computer games I ever got to play when it first came out all those years ago. Not only did it make me take notes, I learned how to take notes from playing Myst (I was in...

      Myst was one of the first computer games I ever got to play when it first came out all those years ago. Not only did it make me take notes, I learned how to take notes from playing Myst (I was in the 1st / 2nd grade when it released initially).

      7 votes
      1. Dr_Amazing
        Link Parent
        My copy actually came with a blank notebook.

        My copy actually came with a blank notebook.

        1 vote
    2. [2]
      Melvincible
      Link Parent
      The Witness was pretty captivating. I remember even having dreams about the environments while playing through it. It gave me such a weird feeling of only seeming to be alone, but probably someone...

      The Witness was pretty captivating. I remember even having dreams about the environments while playing through it. It gave me such a weird feeling of only seeming to be alone, but probably someone else was nearby and aware of me.

      4 votes
      1. ingannilo
        Link Parent
        I also had The Witness dreams during my playthrough! That game stole my heart for a few months. Whether I find myself dreaming about a game is one of my favorite metrics for quality. Jonathan Blow...

        I also had The Witness dreams during my playthrough! That game stole my heart for a few months.

        Whether I find myself dreaming about a game is one of my favorite metrics for quality. Jonathan Blow really knocked it out of the park with The Witness. Other games that have done this for me were Fallout New Vegas, Minecraft, and Disco Elysium.

        2 votes
    3. [3]
      Eji1700
      Link Parent
      I've always found it interesting how much I loathe The Witness in comparison to many others with similar tastes (wrote down several of the games you mentioned at the end). Blow himself said games...

      I've always found it interesting how much I loathe The Witness in comparison to many others with similar tastes (wrote down several of the games you mentioned at the end).

      Blow himself said games should respect your time, and I bounced off The Witness HARD because it really felt like it didn't.

      1. [2]
        Oxalis
        Link Parent
        I can totally understand it. When I first heard about the game I ragged on it for being 500 of the same puzzle. I don't really know what changed in my mind to actually try it out and have it...

        I can totally understand it. When I first heard about the game I ragged on it for being 500 of the same puzzle.
        I don't really know what changed in my mind to actually try it out and have it click; It might have been someone showing me a clip of how the perspective puzzles work, especially the one at the very beginning. (huge spoilers if you haven't played)

        That said, you might enjoy the free puzzle/satire game "The Looker". It's a short experience that pokes fun at Blow's pretentious presentation and how obtuse you have to get when you try to make hundreds of variations on the same idea.

        1 vote
        1. Eji1700
          Link Parent
          The spoiler puzzels were what I liked about The Witness, but I had basically 3 issues: Yes its the same puzzle over and over. It does NOT respect your time. Everything moves SO. SO. SLOW. I...

          The spoiler puzzels were what I liked about The Witness, but I had basically 3 issues:

          1. Yes its the same puzzle over and over.
          2. It does NOT respect your time. Everything moves SO. SO. SLOW. I suspect some of this is because of the spoiler puzzles, but still it was absurd how long things like elevators took.
          3. It is the only game in recent memory to consistently cause me motion sickness, which is weird because that never happens to me.
          2 votes
  3. [4]
    Noox
    Link
    Obra Din! I played this with my husband and we wrote down every single [redacted], including detailed characteristics of each [redacted]! Incredibly fun! Same goes for Her Story - we noted down...

    Obra Din! I played this with my husband and we wrote down every single [redacted], including detailed characteristics of each [redacted]! Incredibly fun!

    Same goes for Her Story - we noted down interesting [redacted]s we saw in each clip, and used those to find the next clips.

    16 votes
    1. [2]
      Protected
      Link Parent
      Definitely remember doing this for Telling Lies (same developers as Her Story).

      Definitely remember doing this for Telling Lies (same developers as Her Story).

      2 votes
      1. Noox
        Link Parent
        Ah good one - we already have it but haven't gotten around to playing it yet, I'll bring my notebook ;)

        Ah good one - we already have it but haven't gotten around to playing it yet, I'll bring my notebook ;)

        2 votes
    2. ShroudedScribe
      Link Parent
      I wanted to mention Her Story as well. I don't know how anyone would be able to play it without taking notes.

      I wanted to mention Her Story as well. I don't know how anyone would be able to play it without taking notes.

      1 vote
  4. [4]
    DeaconBlue
    Link
    Book of Hours is the only one that I have used a notebook on (at least beyond the old school password system for saving). The entire game is based on you being a librarian trying to archive books...

    Book of Hours is the only one that I have used a notebook on (at least beyond the old school password system for saving).

    The entire game is based on you being a librarian trying to archive books in an old mansion filled with eldritch and arcane items. There are entirely too many things to keep track of in your head (or at least my head). Between shuffling items around the game to group them and a notebook in real life keeping track of some of the storylines and important places in the game, I was able to keep some semblance of a system going.

    I highly recommend playing it. The game was very fun and relaxing. I did not finish it, but through no fault of the game itself.

    14 votes
    1. Jasontherand
      Link Parent
      I started with a notebook as well, but found I needed to move to an excel sheet instead to keep track of everything wanted to remember.

      I started with a notebook as well, but found I needed to move to an excel sheet instead to keep track of everything wanted to remember.

      3 votes
    2. Kopper
      Link Parent
      I adore Book of Hours for this because it makes you feel like an actual librarian/researcher when you're taking notes on esoteric interactions. I looked at my scribbled notes after I finished the...

      I adore Book of Hours for this because it makes you feel like an actual librarian/researcher when you're taking notes on esoteric interactions. I looked at my scribbled notes after I finished the game and it just looks like deranged ramblings.
      I saved my note pages so that I can revisit the game in three or four years, after I've long forgotten everything about it, and pretend that my notes were left by my predecessor in Hush House.

      2 votes
    3. Oxalis
      Link Parent
      Book of Hours (BoH) is such a wonderful experience. I put far too many hours into their previous title Cultist Simulator (CS) too. I love how those two games intertwine; thematically CS is about...

      Book of Hours (BoH) is such a wonderful experience. I put far too many hours into their previous title Cultist Simulator (CS) too. I love how those two games intertwine; thematically CS is about the execution of specific rituals for a personal goal of some sort whereas BoH is concerned with the entire world that created/discovered those rituals and the tomes they generated.

      Both feed into one another and give the world and mythos that the solo writer/programmer has been building for over a decade such life.

  5. [4]
    runekn
    Link
    Heaven's vault requires you to decipher the writings of a fictional language. There's an ingame mechanism for 'learning' words, but manually writing down sentence structure, symbols, and other...

    Heaven's vault requires you to decipher the writings of a fictional language. There's an ingame mechanism for 'learning' words, but manually writing down sentence structure, symbols, and other patterns you uncover yourself naturally can significantly ease deciphering future puzzles. It's also overall just a great game. Highly recommended.

    12 votes
    1. [3]
      Lonan
      Link Parent
      Yes! I loved that game. I didn't take notes in it but played through the story 3 or 4 times. By the end I could recognise the words and little extra do-dad glyphs. One of the best rewards for...

      Yes! I loved that game. I didn't take notes in it but played through the story 3 or 4 times. By the end I could recognise the words and little extra do-dad glyphs. One of the best rewards for handing something over to your pal on Iox was more stuff to translate.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        sparksbet
        Link Parent
        How much is the story worth replaying? I enjoyed the first playthrough and was intrigued by the idea of newgame plus with more complicated texts, but I wasn't sure how repetitive it would end up...

        How much is the story worth replaying? I enjoyed the first playthrough and was intrigued by the idea of newgame plus with more complicated texts, but I wasn't sure how repetitive it would end up being.

        1 vote
        1. Lonan
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          You keep the fast travel routes, which reduces some repetitive play. There are a few things that I missed on first play, but none of it is really major. It's more like you notice subtle...

          You keep the fast travel routes, which reduces some repetitive play. There are a few things that I missed on first play, but none of it is really major. It's more like you notice subtle differences in what people say or choices made. Six reveals some more information, I think. I imagine you got certain characters to end up on different moons to where they started, and there are a couple of endings like that for different people, I don't think it's possible to see all of them on one run through. You should know what ends the game, as it were, so know when/how it will wrap up - this means you can keep exploring and avoid the end point, or if you are getting fed up then you can beeline for the end.

          For the translation, the texts you know for sure are kept, but you lose any "?" words and all previous full sentences. The latter is a shame because context helps with other words, but I got used to it.

          It only got really repetitive on the 4th run through for me so I stopped there, but I've read people online say that up to 7 times through they had new stuff.

          (edit to clarify what I meant about the end point)

          2 votes
  6. Wafik
    Link
    For me, it was probably TES:Morrowind. It was before the days where you could select a quest and it would just point you where to go. So I would write down notes on quests, locked chests, stuff I...

    For me, it was probably TES:Morrowind. It was before the days where you could select a quest and it would just point you where to go. So I would write down notes on quests, locked chests, stuff I wanted to do next, etc. Even modern games like Fallout 4 I still take notes. The Steam overlay note feature was a game changer for reducing note pages on my desk.

    10 votes
  7. WhiskeyJack
    Link
    The Zero Escape trilogy is the first thing that sprung to mind. It's a Visual Novel/Puzzle game trilogy, and the premise is you have 9 characters who get trapped in a "Death Game" and have to...

    The Zero Escape trilogy is the first thing that sprung to mind. It's a Visual Novel/Puzzle game trilogy, and the premise is you have 9 characters who get trapped in a "Death Game" and have to progress through a series of "Puzzle/Escape Rooms" to survive. For gameplay think of either Phoenix Wright or Dangonronpa where the game has a lot of people talking, then it gets broken up by interactive segments (solving puzzles).

    You don't need a pen and paper for all the puzzles, but there were definitely some where I had to write down notes and cross reference possibilities. I don't think it'd be possible to beat the game without taking notes as the later puzzles get very difficult and confusing.

    A more recent example I can think of is Crow Country, a Survival Horror game inspired by old school Silent Hill & Resident Evil. The puzzles aren't particularly difficult but there's a lot of number based puzzles (which are saved to a notes file your character has). However, you can only view these notes in the save room, so you either need to memorize the number codes or write them down somewhere in real life.

    There was also one puzzle towards the end of the game where you need to cross reference numbers presented to you on a slideshow across multiple slides, and It'd be quite difficult to solve without being able to write them down. (There is an alternative way to solve this puzzle that I won't spoil, which does let you bypass it though).

    I think I prefer games that make you break out a pen and paper to solve them vs everything being in game. I find it quite fun to remove myself from the screen for a bit, however this can be annoying if you're in a situation where you can't just pull out a pen and paper eg: playing on a portable console.

    I think a good middle ground is games where they have a "notes option", which let you scribble things down using a stylus or something similar so you can draw diagrams or other notes you may need.

    8 votes
  8. RheingoldRiver
    Link
    I ran a wiki about League of Legends (esports) for almost a decade as my fulltime job lol

    I ran a wiki about League of Legends (esports) for almost a decade as my fulltime job lol

    8 votes
  9. [2]
    Lonan
    Link
    Last game I used actual pen and paper for was Tunic. There is a rather nice puzzle that requires... well, I can't talk about Tunic because discovery is half the fun of it. But I took screenshots,...

    Last game I used actual pen and paper for was Tunic. There is a rather nice puzzle that requires... well, I can't talk about Tunic because discovery is half the fun of it. But I took screenshots, then copied out the clues on paper to piece together the information in the screenshots. Several end-game puzzles required drawing things actually. It's a weird game because the first two-thirds was mostly pure actiony, then the final part went full on puzzle madness.

    8 votes
    1. secret_online
      Link Parent
      TUNIC was the last game I used pen and paper too. Finding out that puzzle mechanic was such a great experience, and had me going "oh, right" to many things throughout the world is already...

      TUNIC was the last game I used pen and paper too. Finding out that puzzle mechanic was such a great experience, and had me going "oh, right" to many things throughout the world is already explored. Actually that kind of moment happened a lot in TUNIC. Such an incredible game.

      Spoilers for secondary puzzles in a 2012 puzzle game (another spoiler wall after I mention the game's title)

      The game is FEZ.

      Spoilers for secondary puzzles in FEZ

      FEZ also had puzzles that used the d-pad (plus rotation) to unlock some of its anti-cubes. Finding out what those vertical lines on obelisks actually meant and how to read them had me deciphering and writing down the codes so I could just read a series of inputs off paper. That game was full of secrets, too.

      3 votes
  10. [2]
    Eji1700
    (edited )
    Link
    Myst/Riven (and the rest of the series but those two especially. 3 probably doesn't need them at all)- The original for me. I was still quite young buy my dad figured out quick we were going to...

    Myst/Riven (and the rest of the series but those two especially. 3 probably doesn't need them at all)- The original for me. I was still quite young buy my dad figured out quick we were going to need to take some notes.

    Tunic - The less said the better. If you like zelda or puzzles, play tunic.

    The Journeyman Project 1 and 3 - Another from my childhood/adolescence and something I've been dying to go back and play. Some intuitive stuff, LOTS of "wait what" moments that require note taking.

    I'm sure i'm forgetting a ton at the moment

    Edit spot as I remember things:

    Most recently Submachine Legacy. Old flash game that finally came to steam. Doesn't really require notes for most of the puzzles through the normal game, but like most of these games there's some deeper secrets.

    7 votes
    1. Handshape
      Link Parent
      My father was a commercial artist. The scribblings he made while we played Riven as a family are an anchor to a treasured memory. There's a little part of me that likes to imagine that he's out...

      My father was a commercial artist. The scribblings he made while we played Riven as a family are an anchor to a treasured memory.

      There's a little part of me that likes to imagine that he's out there among the Ages, scribbling drawings of impossible places in a little book.

      4 votes
  11. caliper
    Link
    Recently picked up a couple of adventures, one of which was Quern - Undying Thoughts. I always keep notes during adventures, although usually it’s very messy. It starts on an opened envelope or an...

    Recently picked up a couple of adventures, one of which was Quern - Undying Thoughts. I always keep notes during adventures, although usually it’s very messy. It starts on an opened envelope or an old bill that’s close to the computer. It gets doodled and scribbled on until full, both sides, sideways, etc. Once nothing else fits on there, some new piece of paper is found to continue doodling on. I’m usually pretty organized, but not while playing adventures. That doesn’t stop me from completing them, so I think that’s just how it is.

    6 votes
  12. [3]
    RNG
    Link
    EVE Online While it was pen and paper initially, it quickly graduated to spreadsheets, though most larger companies in-game have proprietary systems you can SSO into that track most of what you'd...

    EVE Online

    While it was pen and paper initially, it quickly graduated to spreadsheets, though most larger companies in-game have proprietary systems you can SSO into that track most of what you'd use spreadsheets for.

    6 votes
    1. JCPhoenix
      Link Parent
      There's even an Excel plugin for Eve these days! For those curious, here's an example of an Eve spreadsheet. I didn't make this but I used it. Might not be up-to-date anymore, but it hooked into...

      There's even an Excel plugin for Eve these days!

      For those curious, here's an example of an Eve spreadsheet. I didn't make this but I used it. Might not be up-to-date anymore, but it hooked into the game's market API. In this market/industry segment, it showed what would be the profitable thing to make at current, depending on the player's stats, input costs, shipping costs, and time requirements. It also spit out a schedule for the player to follow to ensure max profitability and efficiency.

      Eve is just a spreadsheet simulator dressed up as a video game.

      6 votes
    2. Eji1700
      Link Parent
      I know someone who did logistics for EVE and described it as a second job you don't get paid for. Oddly that was one of the more appealing definitions of EVE for me, as I probably would enjoy that...

      I know someone who did logistics for EVE and described it as a second job you don't get paid for. Oddly that was one of the more appealing definitions of EVE for me, as I probably would enjoy that side of things.

      1 vote
  13. [2]
    TheRTV
    Link
    Not the whole game, but a puzzle in Dishonored 2. You run into a lock and it's a combination lock of a bunch of names. There's a riddle you have to solve. It's about seating at a table. Usually...

    Not the whole game, but a puzzle in Dishonored 2. You run into a lock and it's a combination lock of a bunch of names. There's a riddle you have to solve. It's about seating at a table. Usually try to do these kinds of things in my head, but I needed paper and a pencil to figure it out. Proud to say that I got it on the first try! You could also just explore and find the answer, but that's not as fun.

    5 votes
    1. secret_online
      Link Parent
      I did the same in Dishonored 2. I spent a good while solving the puzzle, and then went off to explore the rest of the dust district because I wanted to see what else was there too. Once you know...

      I did the same in Dishonored 2. I spent a good while solving the puzzle, and then went off to explore the rest of the dust district because I wanted to see what else was there too.

      Once you know how to solve those kinds of puzzles, they're reasonably easy to solve. It just takes time. I think Dishonored's one was probably the right difficulty to put in the game; just hard enough that you can't brute force it, but few enough variables that you can figure out where to start with the solving.

      3 votes
  14. CaptainMeme
    Link
    The Painscreek Killings was one some friends and I were playing where we were leaving notes about characters, motives, story events etc in a discord channel and ended up with a mountain of info to...

    The Painscreek Killings was one some friends and I were playing where we were leaving notes about characters, motives, story events etc in a discord channel and ended up with a mountain of info to comb through. That was a very different experience to other detective games I played, I really enjoyed it.

    More recently we've been playing Lorelei and the Laser Eyes, which is more keeping notes about puzzles and suchlike, but also very enjoyable so far.

    5 votes
  15. [2]
    pridefulofbeing
    Link
    Arma 3. There are some extensive military simulation groups that go in depth on tactics and different trainings. A lot of it is real world applicable! Good just in case information! lol

    Arma 3. There are some extensive military simulation groups that go in depth on tactics and different trainings. A lot of it is real world applicable! Good just in case information! lol

    5 votes
    1. Markpelly
      Link Parent
      I had huge ambitions to get into ARMA3 after it was released, but it took so long to make it to a full public game that I lost contact with my old game friends. I preordered probably 3 years...

      I had huge ambitions to get into ARMA3 after it was released, but it took so long to make it to a full public game that I lost contact with my old game friends. I preordered probably 3 years before it became available, probably exaggerating. I had many years of being on large Call of Duty teams in the early days (Cod2 and 4), Arma2 and 3 seemed like the next thing for me.

      1 vote
  16. [5]
    fefellama
    Link
    great pun, OP As for the question: I have regularly taken notes IRL when playing any of the Football Manager games of the last decade or two. Mostly for either squad composition/management or for...

    Do you have any recommended “note”-worthy games

    great pun, OP

    As for the question: I have regularly taken notes IRL when playing any of the Football Manager games of the last decade or two. Mostly for either squad composition/management or for drawing up tactics. Newer editions of the game have made in-game planning and designing easier, coupled with things like Steam notes makes it so there's not as much need for pen and paper nowadays, but nothing makes you feel more like a real football manager than scrawling some half-baked formations on the back of a napkin when inspiration strikes you.

    Another game I have taken a lot of notes for is Europa Universalis IV, but that might just be because of how complex it is and how much I've played it in the last 12+ years. Happens less so now that I'm much more experienced in the game (2000+ hours) and am well versed with its minutiae, but in previous years I would watch Youtube videos or read Reddit threads about very specific details and mechanics and strategies and then take notes to make sure I didn't forget anything while trying to min-max my own games.

    4 votes
    1. [4]
      CptBluebear
      Link Parent
      Ah, I see you've beaten the tutorial. Such a timesink. There aren't many games that have taken more or similar amounts of my time as EU4. I consider myself a quick study and even then EU4 took a...

      2000+ hours

      Ah, I see you've beaten the tutorial.

      Such a timesink. There aren't many games that have taken more or similar amounts of my time as EU4.

      I consider myself a quick study and even then EU4 took a while to fully understand, obscure mechanic or specific AI behavior not withstanding, and it was at least 150-200 hours before doing (the easiest) world conquest.
      And that was before I understood how trade worked!

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        fefellama
        Link Parent
        Greetings fellow masochist. Yeah I think what helped me learn the game was the fact that I started playing it right as I was starting college and had TONS more free time than I do now. So I would...

        And that was before I understood how trade worked

        Greetings fellow masochist. Yeah I think what helped me learn the game was the fact that I started playing it right as I was starting college and had TONS more free time than I do now. So I would hang out at the library with my laptop and play for hours between classes. I had previously played a lot of total war games and civ, but the detail in EU4 blew my mind.

        I'm impressed you managed to do a world conquest! I've never had the patience to finish one. Once you're dominating half the world by like 1600, finishing the WC is pure endurance, attention span, and mental fortitude, all three of which I lack, lol. I probably have like 500 games started in EU4 and maybe a handful of those that went all the way to 1821 (and those were mostly.

        This massive learning curve makes me both super excited for and scared of EUV that's now in the works. On the one hand, I'm so familiar with 4 that it should help tremendously in learning 5. But on the other hand, I'm sure it's going to be a crap ton more stuff to learn and I no longer have the same free time that I did a decade+ ago.

        1. [2]
          CptBluebear
          Link Parent
          I did the Austria Emperor vassal swarm way back when. Turns out it's not as tedious when you don't fight your own wars anymore. I've pretty much abandoned every other WC attempt rather quickly...

          I did the Austria Emperor vassal swarm way back when. Turns out it's not as tedious when you don't fight your own wars anymore. I've pretty much abandoned every other WC attempt rather quickly though when it's both clear that it'll work and it becomes too much tedium.

          Have you played other Paradox games that released after EU4? They're either easier or easier to understand because you're familiar with their design methods. Like yeah, I'm having a difficult time designing an effective army composition in HoI4, but at least their UI is relatively recognizable and I'm not spending hours looking for where I'm supposed to do that.
          I'm sure EUV will have the same difficulty curve where the specifics of a mechanic are based in experience, but understanding that they exist and how they function in general should be rather intuitive.
          ... If you catch my drift. It's actually rather difficult to put those thoughts into words.

          1 vote
          1. fefellama
            Link Parent
            Oh yeah. I also have a couple hundred hours in CK3 and maybe a few dozen in Vicky 3. They're definitely easier on the UI side of things, but EUIV is so ingrained in my brain that it's almost...

            Have you played other Paradox games that released after EU4?

            Oh yeah. I also have a couple hundred hours in CK3 and maybe a few dozen in Vicky 3. They're definitely easier on the UI side of things, but EUIV is so ingrained in my brain that it's almost relaxing at times. Like I know where all the buttons are and what everything does (well, almost everything). If I notice a problem, I know exactly which steps I can take to solve it (whether I remember to do it or not is another issue, but at least I know how). It's like comfort food to me at this point, all that's left is to optimize for efficiency or to try wacky runs to spice things up, whereas the others still feel like actual games with challenges and hurdles to overcome and things to discover.

            And as for EU5, honestly my main worry is that I won't connect with it in the same way that I did 4. I previously used to play a ton of Civ V as well, and had a similar familiarity with its systems (regularly played on deity difficulty). Then when Civ VI came along, it was a perfectly fine game, but I just never enjoyed it as much as V, and ended up dropping both altogether. I know that I can always boot up V and play it whenever I want, but for some reason it just feels different to me now that development is over and VI is the premier game. I'm sure I'll pick up on the mechanics of EU5 relatively quickly given my background in EU4, I just hope that my brain releases all the proper endorphins necessary to keep me hooked on it for another 2000 hours.

  17. Tuaam
    Link
    Any of the Professor Layton games count because it's easier to write down notes on the puzzles than use the memo function, minus any puzzle where you trace a path. I think the only game I ever had...

    Any of the Professor Layton games count because it's easier to write down notes on the puzzles than use the memo function, minus any puzzle where you trace a path. I think the only game I ever had to write down notes was Ultima Underworld (Or any 90s-era CRPG), only because there's alot of dialogue quotes which you need to take note of to progress in the game. System Shock 1 and it's reboot are also games where you do need to write down codes, but it's not as note-heavy as Ultima Underworld. Ultima is also a very slow paced game so that means you'll be moving at a snails pace taking notes.

    I've noticed that many new games have completely ditched the quest marker or have made it more in-depth, I was able to play prey without the quest marker fully and the game was much more fun that way. Obviously this is different from preparing and writing notes for a video game, but I think this is a wholly good thing as we have figured out how to telegraph directions to a player in a more clever way than what was done with Skyrim.

    4 votes
  18. JCPhoenix
    Link
    Minecraft. I used to play a lot of creative mode. I'd often have some graph paper nearby so I could plan designs and such. I never sketched out a full building, but it often helped with...

    Minecraft. I used to play a lot of creative mode. I'd often have some graph paper nearby so I could plan designs and such. I never sketched out a full building, but it often helped with foundational stuff like sizing and an initial look. I did use equivalent online tools pretty frequently, especially for curved surfaces.

    Satisfactory is another. Really, any game that has some manufacturing/production. While I'm not one looking for max, perfect efficiency, I like to get pretty close. Which necessitates writing down and looking at ratios and relationships between inputs and outputs, which become inputs for something, so on and so on.

    4 votes
  19. Nemoder
    Link
    Star Control 2 was definitely a note-taking game for me. Will be fun to see where the new sequels go with it!

    Star Control 2 was definitely a note-taking game for me. Will be fun to see where the new sequels go with it!

    4 votes
  20. Woeps
    Link
    I do some old school VOR flying in Flight Simulator. So often I write down the direction I need to go together with the frequencies. Also if the airport has an ILS I write this down.

    I do some old school VOR flying in Flight Simulator.
    So often I write down the direction I need to go together with the frequencies.
    Also if the airport has an ILS I write this down.

    3 votes
  21. hamstergeddon
    Link
    Majora's Mask. Before you even leave Clocktown you've got: Bomber hideout code, multiple ocarina songs, and a ton of things you want to take note of to check out on different days once you've got...

    Majora's Mask. Before you even leave Clocktown you've got: Bomber hideout code, multiple ocarina songs, and a ton of things you want to take note of to check out on different days once you've got the ocarina. I never got past the first temple in that game, but I still wrote a ton of notes as a kid just experiencing Clocktown.

    In fact, I recently started up a new playthrough of it and the first thing I did was dig out an old notebook I could use to take notes. There really aren't any other games where I feel the need to do that. I've mostly turned to looking things up online, but going handwritten felt right for Majora's Mask.

    3 votes
  22. FishFingus
    Link
    Oooooergh, lemme see <shifts bulk in armchair>. Hway back in the day, I used to jot down lots of item console commands and hexadecimal codes for Morrowind and Oblivion, as well as the locations of...

    Oooooergh, lemme see <shifts bulk in armchair>. Hway back in the day, I used to jot down lots of item console commands and hexadecimal codes for Morrowind and Oblivion, as well as the locations of various secret items and locations. I wouldn't normally need to, since I managed to find all the info on the Internet, but Bethesda's games would have a stroke if you tried to alt+tab in and out, so I had to write it down.

    Really, I don't write much on a physical pad anymore, unless it's to compensate for technical and/or design shortcomings like that.

    3 votes
  23. [2]
    JRandomHacker
    Link
    I think most of mine have been mentioned in this thread already, and I'll be taking a very careful read for more recommendations. The Witness is probably the big one (it's a shame Jon Blow went...

    I think most of mine have been mentioned in this thread already, and I'll be taking a very careful read for more recommendations.

    The Witness is probably the big one (it's a shame Jon Blow went off the deep end). Especially in the greenhouse, diagramming out what colors were visible under which light sources was a big help.

    TUNIC as well, especially with some of the larger puzzles. It was super satisfying to

    TUNIC endgame spoilers

    see the Golden Path fill in as I figured out each piece

    Another one I've done is Satisfactory - while I'll usually go to one of the various online planners, when I'm trying to lay down a factory super precisely, I still prefer good ol' graph paper to draw my building layouts.

    3 votes
    1. sparksbet
      Link Parent
      I love the language puzzle in Tunic. I gave up and googled for the last page of the manual (the one that gives you the biggest hint on how to decipher the script) and then just spent ages...

      I love the language puzzle in Tunic. I gave up and googled for the last page of the manual (the one that gives you the biggest hint on how to decipher the script) and then just spent ages deciphering the pages of the manual I'd already collected rather than playing the game.

      The one thing I dislike about Tunic's language puzzle is that it isn't different for people playing in different languages. This means that it's basically completely inaccessible to anyone who doesn't speak English, which is a shame. I totally understand why the dev couldn't add translations for the manual because of how much extra time/money that would entail, but it does make me sad that those who don't speak English get such a degraded experience of that puzzle.

      2 votes
  24. RoyalHenOil
    (edited )
    Link
    In addition to some of the games already mentioned, I took a lot of notes for Roadwarden. This is not strictly necessary to play the game, but it helped me organize my thoughts about all the...

    In addition to some of the games already mentioned, I took a lot of notes for Roadwarden. This is not strictly necessary to play the game, but it helped me organize my thoughts about all the different characters and communities so I could prioritize how to help them (or hurt them in some cases).

    Taking notes really helped me feel more immersed in the world as well, seeing how all the characters' stories are deeply interwoven. I really loved this game and I'm eager to replay it and make some different decisions (I space out my replays so that they feel more fresh) because when my partner played it, he learned different information than I did, suggesting that the story is even deeper than I realized.

    3 votes
  25. Bwerf
    Link
    The cyan Games, myst, ... Nowadays if a game would require note taking on that level I'd have more fun programming.

    The cyan Games, myst, ...

    Nowadays if a game would require note taking on that level I'd have more fun programming.

    2 votes
  26. lou
    (edited )
    Link
    I had a 2000 words document when I was playing Aardwolf MUD last year. Most MUDs would either require or benefit from that approach. A lot of people still draw maps on paper, and when they don't...

    I had a 2000 words document when I was playing Aardwolf MUD last year. Most MUDs would either require or benefit from that approach. A lot of people still draw maps on paper, and when they don't they use semi-manual mapping on their clients, which I still consider a form of note taking.

    2 votes
  27. Macha
    Link
    Anno 1800 has a language/hieroglyphics deciphering questline in one of the expansions. Previous times I just looked up the answers for the best results, but this time decided to actually try work...

    Anno 1800 has a language/hieroglyphics deciphering questline in one of the expansions. Previous times I just looked up the answers for the best results, but this time decided to actually try work it out.

    2 votes
  28. zod000
    Link
    Zelda 2, and a bunch of older PC dungeon crawlers had me creating maps as a kid. I don't see how it would be possible otherwise. Also Darklands, as mentioned by another user, was very complex and...

    Zelda 2, and a bunch of older PC dungeon crawlers had me creating maps as a kid. I don't see how it would be possible otherwise. Also Darklands, as mentioned by another user, was very complex and didn't give you any built in tools to keep track of quests or other noteworthy details.

    2 votes
  29. Kopper
    Link
    I see Book of Hours and Cultist Simulator already mentioned, so I'm left to recommend Lobotomy Corporation. It's essentially a worker management game in a similar vein to SCP Foundation where...

    I see Book of Hours and Cultist Simulator already mentioned, so I'm left to recommend Lobotomy Corporation. It's essentially a worker management game in a similar vein to SCP Foundation where you're tasked with containing dangerous creatures and anomalies while also extracting power from them.
    There are many, many ways that your workers can die. Carelessly setting the wrong worker to a task can get them immediately murdered, so you end up having to keep quick notes as your facility grows larger and more dangerous.

    2 votes
  30. farllen
    Link
    Text adventures! (Infocom/Legend Entertainment/etc) Most playthroughs had me filling up journals with endless notes and maps. They're such a deliciously convoluted bunch of games.

    Text adventures! (Infocom/Legend Entertainment/etc) Most playthroughs had me filling up journals with endless notes and maps. They're such a deliciously convoluted bunch of games.

    2 votes
  31. clayh
    Link
    Fez definitely requires taking notes! My best memories are from mapping Zork dungeons, though.

    Fez definitely requires taking notes! My best memories are from mapping Zork dungeons, though.

    2 votes
  32. chizcurl
    Link
    Monster Hunter World takes the cake for me when it comes to note-taking for a game. I've got a 14-page google doc that I created when I was learning each new weapon! Plus the updates to weapon...

    Monster Hunter World takes the cake for me when it comes to note-taking for a game. I've got a 14-page google doc that I created when I was learning each new weapon! Plus the updates to weapon movesets after the Iceborne expansion.

    Devil May Cry 5 forced me to break out the pen and paper too. Compared to the other DMC games, #5 seemed to have way more characters with different weapons and fighting styles that actually matter if you're trying to get high damage scores. 😵‍💫

    I don't mind having to do additional studying or note-taking if I enjoy the combat. I'd recommend both games if you like the action RPG genre. However, MHW can be harder to get into since the gameplay is essentially a grindfest with a ton of resource management activities, and it requires an extensive amount of knowledge that lives outside of the game.

    2 votes
  33. Pavouk106
    Link
    I don't remember ever doing that. It may be partly because of my playstyle - I play one game to finish before playing another one, thus I remember a lot of things from the game and I don't need to...

    I don't remember ever doing that. It may be partly because of my playstyle - I play one game to finish before playing another one, thus I remember a lot of things from the game and I don't need to write stuff down.

    Well, thinking about it now, I do takenotes here and there. I did draw specific thing from Outer Wilds (who played it knows what I'm talking about) and I have written down numbers in System Shock. I do this probably more often than I think but I do it just in cases where you have to memorize some sequence or shape for specific part of the game.

    2 votes
  34. Rich3yy
    Link
    I know this sounds weird, but for me it was Amnesia: The Bunker. I wasn't sure in the beginning how much of a map we would get (especially when), so I printed the map (before you unlock the other...

    I know this sounds weird, but for me it was Amnesia: The Bunker. I wasn't sure in the beginning how much of a map we would get (especially when), so I printed the map (before you unlock the other parts of the map), added a map key and started noting where certain items were that I couldn't bring, where the holes for the monsters were etc. (I even outlined every room). Later I didn't really need it that much, however it was a lot of fun to do so I continued doing it.

    So my entire first playthrough of this horror game was build a lot on strategy, which helped to immerse myself much more than without a map. It's something that absolutely helps with staying immersed and adding some "spice".

    2 votes
  35. Dr_Amazing
    Link
    Her Story - I highly recommend it. You're basically piecing together the events leading up to a murder by combing through fragments of interviews with one of the suspects. It didn't take long...

    Her Story - I highly recommend it. You're basically piecing together the events leading up to a murder by combing through fragments of interviews with one of the suspects. It didn't take long before I was grabbing paper to start writing down timelines, lists of names and relationships and so on.

    2 votes
  36. kej
    Link
    Back in the day, I kept a notebook by the family computer for Darklands, since there was no built-in quest tracking and it was useful to remember which cities could teach you about which saints or...

    Back in the day, I kept a notebook by the family computer for Darklands, since there was no built-in quest tracking and it was useful to remember which cities could teach you about which saints or sell you certain alchemy ingredients.

    After using a guide to get 100% of Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, it was refreshing to just use a notepad in The Wind Waker to track clues. It reminded me of playing the original Zelda and relying on schoolyard conversations to learn where new dungeons were located or how to get past tricky sections.

    1 vote
  37. Froswald
    Link
    Not a physical pen and paper as my handwriting is atrocious, but I created and kept an extensive commodities spreadsheet for WoW: Classic Vanilla. Primarily focused on herb and fish prices at...

    Not a physical pen and paper as my handwriting is atrocious, but I created and kept an extensive commodities spreadsheet for WoW: Classic Vanilla. Primarily focused on herb and fish prices at first, but it grew until I was tracking most every item used for or produced by crafting in the game. I tracked daily prices, fluctuations from the previous day's price in absolute value and percentages, a weekly price history as well as an aggregate average, and a few other elements I forget off the top of my head. It had about six sheets to it and a ton of basic but overlaid conditional formatting to make it as plug and play as I could get at the time with my skill in Excel/Calc, but I had a ton of fun making incremental gains in the latter stages of the game cycle. I've not gone as hard on market tracking since, largely due to me discovering other avenues of moneymaking--but that was a ton of fun to do. I even set my bank alt that I did the lion's share of my financial work on up as an in-character fiduciary.

    1 vote
  38. blindmikey
    Link
    Grab some graph paper and load up Legend of Grimrock! Sequel was really good too! I used to play dungeon Master and black crypt back in the day - notes and graph paper help immensely!

    Grab some graph paper and load up Legend of Grimrock! Sequel was really good too! I used to play dungeon Master and black crypt back in the day - notes and graph paper help immensely!

    1 vote
  39. teo
    Link
    Strange Horticulture is a puzzle game about identifying and using plants. There is an in-game book that gives you plenty of information on the plants, but keeping my own notes in addition helped a...

    Strange Horticulture is a puzzle game about identifying and using plants. There is an in-game book that gives you plenty of information on the plants, but keeping my own notes in addition helped a lot and made the game much more enjoyable.

    1 vote
  40. zoroa
    Link
    This might not be in the spirit of the question, but mine is Valorant. I could go on a really long tangent on the ways I think the game is user-hostile, and especially beginner-hostile. But I'll...

    This might not be in the spirit of the question, but mine is Valorant.

    I could go on a really long tangent on the ways I think the game is user-hostile, and especially beginner-hostile. But I'll stop at saying that I don't think the game does a good job at setting up its new users to play the game well. Valorant was my first FPS game I ever played, and that might've been a mistake the game is deceptively complicated.

    I was really frustrated the first few months. I had no idea how to think about the game strategetically, and had no clue how to evaluate whether I was doing something right or wrong. Made worse by having to sit and spectate rounds when I died, and feeling like I was letting my friends down when we lost.

    So I started studying.

    "Educational Content" is a pretty popular content genre for Valorant content creators. I found a couple who explained the game in ways that made sense to me, and started committing a lot of that knowledge to notes.

    One of those content creators advocates for having "playbooks" for the character(s) you play. You can source pro-level playbooks for the popular characters, but I like to play a character who is unpopular at all levels of the game. So I write down notes every time I find interesting plays for my character.

    1 vote
  41. Minty
    Link
    Subnautica. I printed out a large, blank map of the game ocean, and started carefully charting the positions of my outposts, resources, cave locations, wrecks, Leviathan sightings... and paths...

    Subnautica. I printed out a large, blank map of the game ocean, and started carefully charting the positions of my outposts, resources, cave locations, wrecks, Leviathan sightings... and paths using those as waypoints. It's not often I get so immersed (ha) in a game like this, and it was an unforgettable experience. Shame the sequel didn't vibe.

    1 vote
  42. kaffo
    Link
    Animal well was the most recent one, for obvious reasons, but I was surprised by my lack of notes by the end of it. I was also playing a game called The Slaverian Trucker and writing down notes...

    Animal well was the most recent one, for obvious reasons, but I was surprised by my lack of notes by the end of it.
    I was also playing a game called The Slaverian Trucker and writing down notes for truck parts in different towns and cargo.
    I had pages and pages of notes when I played Contraband Police earlier this year, that was a lot of fun. I had notes every day for the suspects and the current orders for what to watch out for and it was a lot of fun to cross reference.

    Related, the new Steam ingame note tool is pretty good for pinning stuff that's really important. But it sucks for long form notes, nothing will beat pen and paper for that.

    1 vote