A Hard-Learned (Yet Obvious) Lesson From My April Game Challenge

mr muddle

Each month I do a monthly game challenge. There is usually a theme. This month was no different. BioShock. I had set out to play each one including all story-based DLC.

Now this wouldn’t have been a difficult challenge (and certainly one of the most enjoyable, as the BioShock series is my favorite of all time), had a handful of small roadblocks not come into play.

mr busy

The early part of the month was both busy, as well as filled with not feeling well. The kind of not feeling well that results in a lot of laying down and sleeping. Sleeping isn’t super conducive to getting things done, other than, you know, sleeping.

When you are bopping around doing errands, writing, and generally just living, sometimes a month can seem like a reasonable amount of time to get something done, say, a video game challenge.

This is not always the case.

mr forgetful

When I realized it was getting down to the wire (the last week of the month), I went to one of my favorite websites “HowLongToBeat” to calculate how I would have to budget my time to complete this challenge. I mistakenly looked at the story completion times…not the completionist times.

Super oops.

Those vary wildly. I realized I had over-conservatively estimated, and that there was likely no way I was going to get this challenge complete. I had forgotten how in depth the games could get. The initial estimate of hours to complete the trilogy including story DLC was 44 hours. Over the course of a week, that’s about six hours a day, and that’s doable.

The actual estimate for a completionist run of the series is around 85 hours. That’s nearly twice the amount of time. That also clocks in around 12 hours a day.

mr impossible

I realized that as I had four days left in the month. There was no feasible way I was going to be able to complete everything in time.

That was disappointing.

So in the face of impossibility, I decided, what the heck! And I figured I would play them through anyway, even if I didn’t make it to the finish line on time. At least I will have completed the challenge in some way, albeit a couple of days late.

Or so I figured.

mr grumble

This is where things get tricky and I learn my lesson.

As each hour would pass, I would be torn. On one hand, I was having a great time in Rapture, getting to experience these games all over again. The BioShock games are an amazing experience and I love them all (yes, even 2).

On the other hand, I started getting impatient that I was taking so long to thoroughly explore each map. Yet I didn’t rush. I didn’t want to speedrun anything. The world is too compelling to race through.

But as the hours clicked by, I was getting pretty grumbly at my lack of progress. It’s no surprise really.

One shouldn’t try to wad three amazing games into a four or five day period if they want to remain objective and not get burned out.

Okay, allow me to amend that: I shouldn’t do that.

mr grumpy

Last night I told myself I wouldn’t go to bed until I completed BioShock 2. I had thought it ended shortly after a sequence that deals with the perspective of a Little Sister.

I was so super wrong and at the ripe hour of 2AM I just full on grumped out. I realized I still had an entire map to go (and a large one, at that) and I didn’t have it in me to stay up until 4AM to complete it.

So I went to bed grumpy with myself for poor time management on this challenge in general, and the last four days in particular.

Friends, I am 100% certain I will not finish on time. It makes me a little sad that I couldn’t bring success home. However, I’m hoping that allowing myself to continue to finish them (even if it means I am done on May 2nd, as projection seems to indicate) will still count as completing the challenge.

The lesson for me is: be reasonable, and if other things get in the way, amend as necessary. Cramming 12 hours a day of even your absolute favorite game series into a short time span is not the party you might think. In fact, it can even make you unpleasant.

And on that note, off I scoot to finish BioShock 2, and start immediately in on the Minerva’s Den DLC.

I literally just heaved a huge sigh.

I want a nap.

Here’s hoping next month’s game challenge is executed in a timely, and joyful manner.

Fingers crossed.

P.S. I have many fond memories of the Mr. Men books from my childhood, and they seemed a reasonable choice of images to use based on the subject matter. I hope you enjoyed them. :)

6 replies »

  1. That’s rough, but it sounds like you could’ve enjoyed the trilogy the way you wanted to in the time you’ve set without the unforseen “lifey” things that tend to happen from time to time. Don’t let it get you down. Sometimes we must fall to see what our limits are.


    • indeed, that is true. here is hoping no weird “lifey” stuff drags me down in may! :)

      in honesty, i’m just glad to have replayed the first two so far. they are so very good.


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