Evidence That You've Taken a Game a Little Too Seriously


Open Thread is where Waypoint staff talk about games and other things we find interesting. This is where you'll see us chat about games, music, movies, TV, and even sports, and welcome you to participate in the discussion.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/wjkbgm/evidence-that-youve-taken-a-game-a-little-too-seriously


I’ve got a terrible, terrible obsession with game artbooks - the kind that have all those secret lore details :slight_smile:


Games like Etrian Odyssey, Bravely Default/Second, and Octopath Traveler bring out this part of me that apparently loves excel spreadsheets and doing math that never showed up anywhere when I was in school, even though that would have been super helpful, thanks for nothing brain. I will pour through stats and notes trying to come up with the best possible combinations to essentially “solve” the game, making every battle trivial. I had a hard enough time picking my main team of four in Octopath, so when I found out that you can give everyone a second job my brain nearly broke.

But that’s nothing in comparison to my relationship with Gravity Rush 2.

There is a map in GR2. It’s not a very good map. It’s a really bad map, to be honest, essentially a bunch of blobs with markers on them.

I love Gravity Rush with a passion so bad that I can’t even finish the Raven DLC because it means I’ll have to acknowledge I’ve done everything there is to do in the series. So as you can imagine, this map wasn’t doing it for me. Since then I’ve decided to make my own as a bit of a personal project. I have a notebook of drafted out areas in each section of the game that go into more detail about typography and landmarks. Anything that doesn’t have a name, I try to guess what it is, or at worse, make something up. I’ve been doing this on and off for a couple of months now, but I’ve also included the map of GR1, so it’s actually a pretty big project. There’s also the fact that the world of the game is layered, so I’m trying to visualize those 3D aspects as well. How do you make a map of something that has a fountain directly under a skyscraper? is a question I’ve had to ask myself, for example.

The world of Gravity Rush is so beautiful and fleshed out that it kills me the map is so lame in comparison, and I’ve always loved to make maps (I made ones of my neighborhood when I was a kid, and have a bunch of imaginary ones for world-building purposes). I’ve never shared any of the notes or drafts that I have - in fact, this is the first time I’ve ever told anyone about the project, but it’s been a lot of fun.


I usually have one game at a time that I go full-on notebook-and-spreadsheet on. This began when I got a laptop for college and a friend talked me into getting Starcraft II, which eventually turning into watching videos, practicing builds, and writing out build orders. The next one for me was Dota 2 - the in-game builds kept me from taking too many notes, but I definitely went in on that game.

Currently I’m involved in Path of Exile, which is easily one of the most complex single-player experiences available, and I love it. It contains a passive skill tree with over a thousand nodes, lots of skills and support interactions, crafting, unique gear mods, and a massive endgame. I have a notebook full of builds for Path of Exile.



haha this was me last week, just replace these tabs with glamour items in FFXIV

I’ve spent more time in that game trying to look fashionable than I have actually playing it


When played above a certain level of commitment, World Of Warcraft becomes a game of spreadsheets.

I distinctly remember proudly going on Ventrilo to inform my raid members that my Paladin had, through extremely careful curation of abilities, timers, and gear, achieved the ability to cast Flash of Light, a quick healing spell, forever. I could cast that spell for all time, and given careful manipulation of some abilities and an arbitrary number of potions, I would never run out of mana. I could even cast Holy Light (a much bigger healing spell) once every 55 seconds and still keep it up.


When you’re an admin on the game’s wiki, that’s when you’ve taken it too seriously.


When you’re editing the wiki to make sure that everyone knows that it’s really about the evils of circumcision, you’ve really taken it too seriously

edit: for those unaware: https://web.archive.org/web/20180323083713/https://storify.com/jasperrolls/the-silent-hill-wiki-circumcision-meltdown-of-2015


When you’re editing the wiki to make sure that everyone knows that it’s really about the evils of circumcision, you’ve really taken it too seriously

rollsback edit

Blocks for one week

Reason: wtf.


Thankfully, I have a plan in place for the armor I want, as I played the PS4 version of Monster Hunter earlier this year. That took over my life for a week though.


For some reason I have never made spreadsheets or had multiple tabs on a web browser for anything really. I will read wikipedia articles about people or things sometimes, but that usually lasts for a day.


To kick it old school: if you spend a while editing ASCII for a cool logo to put at the head of the file you’re about to upload to GameFAQs


Oh man. I have an extremely sordid love affair with spreadsheeting my games.

The most obvious culprits for me are MMOs, where I will either find or build tools in order to get real fucking deep into the virtual economy. It becomes a game in of itself and I really can’t explain why its fun for me, but it absolutely is.

There is one particular story that stands out for me though. Ages ago when I lurked the Something Awful Lets Play forum (and only that forum), someone started a Monster Rancher tournament. This sounded fun to me, so I did what I thought was reasonable to be competitive at the time and did some in-depth research on the actual mechanics and how to do a little min-maxing within the constraints of the tournament. There were spreadsheets involved.

Turns out it wasn’t reasonable. I maxed out every one of the monster’s stats. I didn’t even want to enter it in the tournament, though eventually someone convinced me too and it lost do to luck and I was, in a way, relieved.

They modified the rules for the next round and my next entrant was much more reasonable. (I don’t really remember what changed unfortunately)

Anyway, the same as @neau I’m deep in Path of Exile right now as my “crunchy” game. There’s a lot of room for optimization as well as build diversity and self-expression, so it’s scratching all the itches for me. I am extremely frustrated that there isn’t a full build calculator / sim for mobile however. :weary:


It’s definitely a bit much to be making spreadsheets of stats for a games that is essentially fancy looking spreadsheets of stats. I am of course talking about Football Manager (though to be fair these days it’s no where near as spreadsheety as it was during the Championship Manager days). I’ve got a folder on my computer with a dozen Excel files covering various saved games from FM10 to FM13, in which I have recorded the number of appearances, goals and assists made by my players over the seasons, keeping track of every player that has made a single appearance for the mighty Middlesbrough FC (the team I pretty much always selected to manage for many, many, many seasons) while also keeping a squad list for the current seasons with my preferred 1st and 2nd teams planned out.

It’s quite interesting to go back through all this, and note that I had to manually take all these stats from the game and insert them into the spreadsheet. I think it started as I was disappointed with the fact that over time some player history would be lost and I wanted to preserve the hours I had put into the games. The first sheet from FM10 is the longest, covering at least 35 seasons I even went so far as to keep recording the stats for the players that I had brought to the club long after I stopped managing them. That was a little excessive but not surprising for a game series that I have sunk at least 6000 hours into, for releases from 2009 to 2016 anyway. I won’t even go into the files I’ve got related to the FIFA series from around the same time. But as someone who still records the season by season stats of the real life Middlesbrough FC team, I guess stats and football is just an itch I have to scratch.


I had notebook pages full of potential NFL Draft prospects in Madden 2002 and NCAA Football 2002 back when I was still playing franchises in those games years ago. I also made highlight VHS tapes and kept box scores of those franchises. I’m grateful that I did that because I have tangible evidence of how a certain playthrough of a game went for me, but I’m sure that I was taking it more seriously than the vast majority of players who played both of those games were.


I guess it’s kinda funny that I mainly do this for games considered more on the casual side. I always play The Sims 4 (and TS2) with super detailed spreadsheets. I play each household in rotation for a set amount of game days so I use a xls to keep track of the order of the families, keep a census of all the sims I play with, maintain a list of random occurrence scenarios that I occasionally use to spice things up, and have lots of other self-imposed rules that make the gameplay and storytelling a little more challenging and interesting to me. I don’t go out of my way to make the sims suffer or anything like that, but they definitely don’t live the usual super easy rich life hehe.

Also made spreadsheets for many past Harvest Moon games, Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing: New Leaf (mainly for all those collections).


As a person who does a lot of simulation gaming, I know this feeling a little too well. Everything from Total Extreme Wrestling (a game that is literally using excel coding if I remember correctly to mirror the ability to book your own wrestling promotion) where I would write out title changes, storylines, match ideas, character changes, etc in a separate spreadsheet just to keep my ideas in check.

On to DCS where you basically have to have your own real life knee board in order to start up the plane, let alone use it’s many and myriad features.

On to Eve… a game that has been called, again quite literally, a Spreadsheet Simulator.

Yeah I have a type I guess. I love games that I can get lost in, make my own narratives in and splash around in. Depth for it’s own sake for many people is rightfully seen as a flaw, but honestly I am a sucker for it. To me a lot of Paradox’s titles got significantly less fun to play when they finally started to surface all of the stuff that made them tick to the players. It was more fun, in my twisted mind, to play with things I -thought- it cared about than the stuff that I -know- it cares about.


I have a Google Sheets doc with XCOM 2 soldier breakdowns.

Everything from stats to who they have strong relationship match with so I can properly play matchmaker with my soldiers that will inevitably die in 3 missions requiring me to recalculate everything.

When I was in middle school I hand wrote down Action Replay codes on to notecards while at the library because I did not have internet.

Also while I was in middle school I recorded all the Sonic Adventure 2 tracks that had vocals on my mom’s old microcassette tape recorder. I also recorded all the cutscenes on to a VHS so I could watch it like a movie. I was a very Sonic obsessed middle schooler.


I went and pulled out one of the early Gravity Rush map sketches I did on one of my small notebooks. Here it is:

This is of Jirga Para Lhao’s Marketplace. The southern half, specifically.