TSM Episode 531: Spreadsheetcast

Imitanis spends most of his free time creating spreadsheets, including spreadsheets which organise his spreadsheets, in an endless recursion of spreadsheets.
A spreadsheet for everything and everything in its spreadsheet.

Download Link: Released 2019.04.29

The panel tackles the hardest of all video game topics: the best way to pick a game and stick with it until it is completed. Caspius is spoiled for choice, SiliconNooB is irredeemably distracted, and Imitanis has a worrying obsession with spreadsheets.


  1. I was thinking of doing a spreadsheet too, mostly to keep track of what I have. While that could be used to mathematically determine which game to play next, I don’t think you pick a game to play and dedicate finishing it just because it’s on a to-do list – it picks you.

    It’s fair enough to buy a lot of games you don’t intend to complete – after all, we’re not able to rent games at Blockbuster anymore! And it’s good to sample a variety of games to get an idea of what they have to offer or are doing differently. But you will never finish everything on your spreadsheet.

    So you just have to play whatever brings you the most joy. For example, I was surprised how much I enjoyed playing Final Fantasy XIII at that particular time in my life, even though I also had Valkyria Chronicles and others at the time which were objectively as-good-or-better, but playing through it is a fond memory now.

    “Should” is for real-life responsibilities – you “should” take care of your child, etc. When it comes to enjoyment – playing video games – “should” is an obstacle against doing what feels best for you. There’s need to over-analyze which game to play next, try a bunch and you’ll know which is the right one for this moment in your life when you can’t stop playing it.

    Right now, that game for me is Dragon Quest XI.

  2. How about go from the shortest timed games to beat to the longest. That way you can beat some relatively fast just to finish them. Also is that a new feature? Noob’s spreadsheet corner? Since Imatanus has the entertainment moment.

  3. @Caspius: When in doubt, Dragon Quest – back to basics, soul food, gives perspective.

  4. @PubPibbs: Now THAT’S efficient thinking. Maybe I should prioritise length when considering what to play: shorter games get addressed sooner. Of course, the major problem is with 40-hour JRPGs, which constitute the majority of my backlog.

    @Tanzenmatt: You misspelled Final Fantasy VII.

  5. I currently use a Trello board to keep track of purchased/currently playing/finished games. Although I tend to play the most recent game bought, whenever I have a few days off work I look over the list to see if there’s something I can feasibly start and complete within that time.
    This mostly applies to single-player games though, as I will usually favor a multiplayer experience with a friend over other games.

    @PubPibbs This approach is closest to my line of thinking, though I often stray from it when a new, shiny game is released.

  6. The gaming backlog is a hydra. You expend the effort and dedication to finish one game, only to find that several other games have reared their heads and taken its place!

    There are a few things that come into consideration for me when deciding what to play next. When a game releases from a long running series that I love, that is something that I like to start as soon as possible. Since we know release dates in advance, I try to time it so that I’m either finished or am very nearly finished with what my previous primary game was by the time the new release is in my hands. I also like to start games when I have other friends playing them at the same time, that way we can have discussions about it. I also do try to knock out shorter or simpler titles in between the epic, long games to break things up a little bit..

    Staying with a game to completion is another nice benefit of having a ‘gaming buddy’ that is playing the same game at the same time as you! I also think that sticking to one game per genre at a time is a good idea, or one per console. If completing any RPG is difficult, then why try to play through two simultaneously? Having a game from another genre at the ready can alleviate that feeling of mid-game fatigue that happens sometimes. Getting tired of killing adamantoises in Final Fantasy 13 over and over (I feel your pain there, Caspius)? Fire up a metroidvania, or a platformer for a little while!

    Getting platinum trophies does lend a sort of finality to a lot of games. For the most part, I do not go back to games after I platinum them either, though there are exceptions. I have installed the Borderlands Handsome Jack Collection 4 different times to play with friends and honestly should just leave it installed. I also go back to the Dark Souls games periodically.

    I like spreadsheets, so I should try to just lay it all out on one. It would probably be a depressing sight though!

  7. I put everything in a spreadsheet and it was depressing. I haven’t looked at it since.

    I have played some games though–well, a game. Borderlands. Always Borderlands.


  8. Good news – Donkey Kong Jr and Clu Clu Land are finally coming to Switch Online! You can just forget any others games for a while!

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