My Five New Year's Gaming Resolutions For 2015

New Year's Resolutions are normally focused on lifestyle changes — losing weight, eliminating habits, etc — but I thought it might be useful to write some gaming resolutions. Here are some of the bad habits I want to eliminate during the coming year, and some positive habits and I want to get myself into.

1. Play More Same Screen Multiplayer Games With Friends

Despite eating half my body weight in meat, here's what I did on New Year's Eve: I loaded up Steam on my living room TV, hooked up a bunch of controllers, and spent hours playing the silliest multiplayer games I could find. Nidhogg, Mount Your Friends, Starwhal — I had the best fun I've had in years, despite the varying quality of these games. It's strange, but I never really thought of my PC as a place where those sort of experiences could happen but, nowadays, it's just about the only place where it can actually happen. There are so many games that allow for those kind of same screen japes, and I could do with more of that hilarity in my life.

2. Give Up On Games I Don't Enjoy

Some games just aren't for everybody. I've spent more time than I care to remember playing games that I wasn't enjoying just because it was something I felt I had to 'be across'. That kind of thing will suck the life out of you. Take Dragon Age: Inquisition for example: 12 hours in and it's still not clicking with me. Did I really need to persist for so long with a game that just wasn't connecting with me? Life is short and so is my window of opportunity for gaming. I want the time I spend with video games to feel rewarding, I don't want to get caught up grinding, trying to convince myself I'm having fun just to be part of the conversation. That's a weird reason to play video games. I've wasted too much time engaging in that kind of behaviour. It stops now!

3. Seek Out Strange Gaming Experiences

Every Monday morning I trake through Steam in an attempt to find out what new games are coming out. At least two or three times a month I stumble across something weird and think, 'oh, I should check that out'. Then I just play Mario Kart 8 instead. There's nothing wrong with Mario Kart 8, Mario Kart 8 is top-notch, but every once in a while I reckon I should actually follow through and buy a couple of those strange games on Steam that elicit my curiosity. Yep, I'm going to do that more this year. Definitely.

4. Devote Myself To A Game I Actually Love For A Sustained Amount Of Time

My favourite gaming experience of 2014 was deciding to actually sit down and dedicate myself to Dark Souls to the exclusion of all other games until I finished it. In a strange way it was completely liberating. I didn't feel anxious about the games I wasn't playing, I didn't stress about not being up-to-date with the latest and greatest 'thing'. I just played a video game that I loved for a month. I'm pretty keen to do that all over again. Most likely that game will be Bloodborne.

5. Get Into Board Games

This is a very personal one. I feel as though I know next-to-nothing about board games. I want to change that. I want to play more tabletop games.

And those games don't need to necessarily be 'hardcore' games like Netrunner, I'm just as happy playing Balderdash or Say Anything. I think I just want to indulge a little more in the social aspect of sitting around a table with a group of friends and playing something. I'm hearing from a lot of people that Ticket To Ride is a good place to start, any other suggestions?

That's my gaming resolutions for 2015 — what are yours? Let us know in the comments below.


    I could say "actually play some games" but then I'd just be setting myself up to fail.

    Mark for the board games I'd suggest watching a couple episodes of Will Wheton's youtube show tabletop and seeing if anything stands out to you.

      Not really a board game but Cards Against Humanity is great. It's not deep at all but it's the funniest game I have ever played. Amazing with friends and a few drinks.

    My wife and I play Ticket to Ride Europe all the time with friends!
    You could try Airlines from the same guys.
    Its an oldie but a favourite - Catan!
    Another game we are obsessed with at the moment that is good for people who aren't really competitive and want to play together as a coop experience who aren't hard core table top gamers and that is either Pandemic (or the kiddie version but still awesome and preferred by my wife and friends Forbidden Desert).

    Dat bloodborne...

    There's lots of great board game recommendations that could be made, but the hurdle is that you'll need people to play with first. This is something to consider given that board games in Australia have a fairly hefty price tag overall; you don't want to shell out $60 or $70 to find that the people you're playing with aren't really into the game.

    Rather than choose games, the first step to introduce yourself to the hobby probably should be to hunt down an avid board gamer in your friends/family, or find where a local board game group plays. If that fails, the local board game store might have an area for people to play and try out games too.

    I'll add something to number 2 - give up on games I enjoy when I stop enjoying them (and before I start hating them). I play a lot of games that are super fun to begin with but eventually flip into a whole other experience. I hit end-game or get sucked into some other form of meta game that just isn't what I signed up for. It's often a very predictable or obvious turn but I stick with the game because I want the content past that point to be something it's not. I'll keep playing a MMO even though the raids are overly demanding junk fights rather than genuinely fun experiences like the smaller dungeons. I end up playing at a top level just because I want to continue which only leads to me hating the game.

      That's what happened to me with Bravely Default. At one point I stopped caring, as the grind became too much.

        but but, level 9 conjurer + growth egg + mandragora X 6. BOOM max level in 1 hour or less.

      That happened to me with the evil within. Half way through I stopped enjoying it and started becoming incredibly frustrated with it

    For boardgames, popular gateway games are Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Dominion (my favourite!) and Carcasonne. If none of those interest you, try watching some end of year wrapups from board game review channels or shows and see if anything there sparks your curiosity!

      My two friends introduced me to Settlers of Catan. I'd never even heard of it and thought it was one of their weird nerd games (which it kinda is).

      But it's great fun

    I only really have two gaming resolutions. The first is to play less, more. I've noticed that in the past few years I've stopped playing a game out, opting instead to just finish the core experience and move on. I want to play less games but more thoroughly is probably a better way of saying it.

    My second is to buy games I will play relatively soon, or if they are an absolute must have right now. I have a large list of regretful game purchases simply because I got caught up in the hype of others instead of deciding if I actually wanted to play it.

    Further to number 5, try out Dungeons and Dragons at least once. You might find that you enjoy it.

    But yes, board games and tabletop games are pretty great and retain a lot of the personal and physical multiplayer joy.

    My gaming resolutions are kinda similar...

    1. Don't buy any games. I'm sorry developers, but it has to end somewhere. Overloaded with discounts and bought big, I still have plenty of awesome titles I've not played that I got in 2013 (and some from 2009 and worse, shame shame shame).
    2. Don't buy any bundles. I'm sorry charity, but you too have contributed to game-bloat.
    3. As with DogMan, give up on 100%. I'm aiming to finish a games story, sidequests and if there are things to collect, well thats just a good excuse to explore the artwork in the game, but frustrating challenges and obscene grinds are no longer for me.
    4. More co-op titles. They're a great way to catch up and spend time with friends. Escape the world together with a buddy, even for just an hour.
    5. As with every year since my first born, my goal stands to beat more games than I did in 2014. That goal stands at 95 games beat (as with point 3, "beat" doesn't mean 100%).

      I have already kicked these exact steps into place :)

      2014 was definitely a weird year for Gaming it became much more mainstream to the masses but ended up with watery - rushed and broken results.

      I gave up on completing games 100% unless I am totally compelled to play them and the 100% is just because I want to keep playing that game and any excuse will do. I have not 100% a game for a good 2 years now because I'm playing multiplayer titles but I'm sure if I had more free time I would go back.
      I like the idea of beating more games but I just play it by ear on which titles I like that come out.

    First few hours playing DA:I there is too much to learn and almost too much to do. The difference between really enjoying it and getting bogged down is to skip the repetitive non essential mission that just task you with tediously placing stands at locations for no reward. I love this game!

    After I gave up on all of my pestering, cajoling and evangelising is when you finally decide to try out some board games?

    I'm still claiming responsibility for this.

      Mark did not heed your rallying call to board games. Move back 1 space...

      Mark is now considering board games, the kind heralded long ago by Trjn. Move forward 2 spaces...

      Mark is lost to board games. Move back 5 spaces while all other players announce "Good one Trjn ya boofhead"...

    My resolution: Play every game on my Steam library for at least a half hour before buying another game.

      That could be a very ambitious goal depending on your library size... It would take me about 360 hrs to log 30 mins on each game I haven't played :-\

    I am so with you on resolution number 2! I always feel really bad if I start a new game before I've finished the current one, and I rush through a game I'm not really into anymore just so I can start a new one. Gaming time is precious!

    Resolution number 5 will change your life, Mark. Tabletop games are a ridiculous amount of fun. Tabletop gaming is something I've only really gotten into over the last 3-4 years although I played a few things casually for about a decade prior to that. Ticket to Ride is a good place to start and once you're hooked then you won't be able to stop. There are soooo many amazing, engaging and challenging games out there for 'hardcore' and 'casual' gamers (I hate those terms but never know what other terms to use). If you're looking for something cheap and fun to play with a group of family members and friends then I quite enjoy The Resistance (5-10 players, less than 30 mins). Takenoko is a must if you love pandas - don't know why I felt the need to say that, just did. Seriously though, imagine someone telling you that they want to get into video games and asking for a recommendation...there are just so many possibilities. My honest advice is to find your nearest tabletop gaming store and spend some time perusing the shelves. It's more fun than sifting through BoardGameGeek.

    Last edited 05/01/15 4:09 pm

    As a collector + gamer, my resolution is only to purchase games that I will play rather than buying everything.

      On that note I need to hammer into my brain that the 'collectors edition' isn't automatically the best version. Just because it comes with a Happy Meal toy and a tin case that looks super out of place in my DVD racks doesn't mean the game itself is somehow better.

    My resolution is 2560x1440, hopefully. But I'll need to buy more RAM, a new card, and a new monitor :(

    Serrels: have you left the Hinterland yet? Is that your problem?

    Mine is to play exclusively while standing. This is basically my new religion.

      I did that last year. Now I'm considering setting a squat time target. See if I can hold horse stance like Jackie Chan.

    A newly turned 22 year old here and I feel like I'm drifting away from gaming. I still love games and I doubt I'd ever stop playing completely, but I'm just getting less and less enjoyment out of them.
    There's the argument that there's no time in my life for gaming - I'm in my third of four years at Uni, I have relationships that need time and effort devoted to them to sustain and flourish, etcetera, but it goes deeper than that. I have a decent amount of spare time that I could devote into games, but whenever I do I feel like it was time wasted. I feel like I'm beginning to turn into someone who doesn't understand how seemingly rewarding and all-consuming gaming can be: "Why would you spend all day playing nonsense when you could go and do something real, something tangible?". That is exactly what my parents would say, a sentiment shared by most of the baby boomers and older I'm sure.

    I think that's what's putting me off. No matter how much time I put into games I'll never get anything 'real' out of it other than fleeting personal enjoyment and bonding with friends the occasional times I play co-op in something. I'll never become like Cosmo Wright in his pursuit of the fastest OoT speedrun, who helps facilitate money for charity while achieving records. I won't become a sponsored FPS or MOBA 'athlete'. I don't participate in team games like many assorted MMOs as a basis for any friendships (nor do I want to).

    I just sat down at my piano and struggled to remember all the songs I used to love to belt out. Why don't I devote more of my time to this? If I put more free time into doing this, I could play a half decent 'Piano Man' - now that's something I'd get real enjoyment out of, even if it won't net me fame and fortune. Maybe I could actually turn my garden into something that doesn't cause me endless shame when I bring people around (not that extreme but you get the picture). These are all past times that won't change my life or make a career out of, but leave me feeling satisfied that I've actually used my time to do something that can be noticed, seen, heard, maybe even enjoyed by someone else. It's gotta be more satisfying than getting all 121 stars in Mario Galaxy, topping a leaderboard in CoD or getting a pentakill in DotA.

    Don't think that I'm trying to preach to anyone. Maybe you do get personal satisfaction from reaching personal games - I am not one to diminish that sense of achievement. I just like to express my opinion, get it down in written form and see what others think.

    In summary, I guess that I feel like the limited time I do have is wasted on gaming, I'd rather use my time to leave my mark in the real world. I guess that counts as a gaming resolution, I want to be able to show someone something I achieved and say, "I'm L-O-Quince, I did that/made that/can do that and that makes me happy".

    Last edited 05/01/15 5:16 pm

      Time spent enjoying something isn't wasted. Simple as that :)

    Stick with dragon age it takes awhile to pick up, but when it does it's worth the wait.

    Last edited 05/01/15 5:32 pm


    1) Buy no new games for 2015.

    I'm cheating a little with having pre-ordered Bloodborne and Witcher 3, and allowing myself the one exception of preordering Final Fantasy 15 (literally the majority of the only games I'm actually looking forward to in 2015. I can't believe people thought 2014 was shit, 2015 is a wasteland by comparison) and having bought or received as gifts a craptonne of gaming to last a man for several years... but if a 2015-of-no-games goes well, I may even buy no games in 2016.

    Last edited 05/01/15 5:39 pm

    I recommend three games for beginners.

    1. Love letter
    2. Sushi go
    3. Ticket to ride

    In fact if you bought all three games and played them all in a single night I reckon you would have a good time.

    For beginners it a important to make their "choices per turn" limited to around three or less because for a new player (even coming from videogames) they just become inactive from too many options.

    After that you can start getting into more intermediate introductory games like pandemic or forbidden desert.

    I fully agree with stopping games where you're not enjoying it or not getting anywhere - except Deus Ex HR determined to beat those POS bosses if I'm still keeping the 360 on life support 5 years from now

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