Reconstructing and Recollection

Welcome to “Games of…” wait. This is not right. It’s April. Oh, yes! I remember. I made this, Games of Remaster! I also made this, a proper appendix! When I posted “Games of 2020,” I noticed the number of posts was getting too big to summarize at the beginning of each post. So, I slapped together this old appendix. The gaps between 2012 and 2013 gnawed at me. I thought, “Could I fill in the gaps?” After mulling it over, I determined I could do it and more. For four months I worked on gathering the data, drafting the posts, and creating a proper appendix.

I chose 2005 through 2014 purposefully. I started manually tracking my video gaming in 2015. I have a Google form I fill out when I start playing a game, and when I finish. I do this every time I play, so I know how many “sessions” it took for me to complete a game, and how long each “session” is. The form dumps the data into a Google doc. When I have time, I copy the information from that Google doc into a database. I have been doing this since 2015, so I am very confident in that data. I wanted accurate data from before 2015, too.

When I first started this project, I did not know how far back I could go, but I did want to identify which games I played and when. I determined which stats were required for me to move forward. I needed the game name, platform, release date, and the last time I played the game. If I could not get this information, then the games could not appear on these “remastered” posts. Hours played, achievements, and purchase information were optional.

I began looking at each platform individually to figure out which games I played on them. I started with the Playstation 4 and moved backwards from there, before looking at Nintendo’s and Microsoft’s consoles. On the newer Sony and Microsoft systems, achievements and trophies were a huge help. I was able to use the timestamps from those to determine when I last played a game. Save game timestamps also helped fill in some missing pieces. Some of the save game data even had hours logged. There were a couple of games I had to boot up to scrape some hours played.

Nintendo consoles are interesting. Without achievements, I thought it would be impossible. However, it turns out both the Wii and WiiU track when I played a game, and for how long. I was able to scroll through pages and pages of data and get every single play session for every game.

The PC was a mixed bag. Most Steam games have achievements, at least going back to around 2010. Then there are the games not on Steam, like games I played on Origin or Blizzard games. Mass Effect 3 and Titanfall were the only games on Origin that I was able to scrape together some stats. I relied on old save files I have backed up from old computers (thank you Game Save Manager). I was amazed that I was able to piece together all my game sessions for Call of Duty games, because of how their autosave works. I did not boot up any of the old save files; I did not want to install dozens of games on my current computer just to check for hours that may or may not be tracked. Modern Blizzard games do not directly track how many hours I have played them, but they do have some indications in-game. For example, Diablo III keeps track of how many hours I played with each character.

I explained I started manually tracking data in 2015, which is why I chose 2014 as my upper limit to create these posts. Why 2005 for the oldest post? I have been blogging since 2005 on royfuss.com. I have posts dated where I talk about buying a game, beating a game, etc. I used the timestamps of those posts as my “Last played” in those circumstances where I just did not have any save files. Because of those posts, I remembered playing through games like Warcraft, Unreal Tournament 3, and Super Monkey Ball. I do not remember much about those games, but reading those posts did rouse some memories from that time in my life. This is why I create gaming posts each year. Not to necessarily remember the games, but to remember my life around these games. Rebuilding and constructing these posts allowed me to re-experience some old memories I did not know I had.

The year 2005 is the perfect year to start “Games of.” I was a high school sophomore. My parents gave me my first car. I got my first job to fuel my first car. My first job gave me disposable income, which I started spending on video games. Before 2005, I rented games, and played the same game over and over. After 2005, the number of unique games I played started to rise. The more games I played, the more I followed the industry. The year 2005 was the jump start needed to kindle my passion for this art form.

I hope you check out some of those posts I created. I will admit they are not my best writing. However, there are some good games to discover in them. I have already created a list of games I want to replay from them.

-Royfuss

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