One of my New Years resolutions was to “play through my current owned but un-played list” of games. I spent some time this week updating my inventory of owned games and figuring out what belongs in the unplayed category. Two words: “uh oh”.
I’ve got at least 75 games in my collection that I haven’t played. This constitutes about 1/4 of my overall collection, which is a bit scary. I’m not going to start a dialog around how I get into this situation (duh), but let’s talk about how to get out of it and track progress.
Last year I proposed a lifecycle model for game development that made brief mention of agile development methods. My method of choice is Scrum, which we use heavily at Corillian Corporation for product development. Now I’m not considering using Scrum to help manage a project to get through my unplayed games, but I do like applying the concept of the burndown chart to track my progress. A burndown chart is simply a graphical depiction of the work remaining in a project, time-phased to provide some historical context and progress trend. A project that is tracking toward completion will generally show a linear trend towards zero work remaining at the scheduled project end date.
So, without further delay, here is the starting view of my burndown chart for 2006. As it is very likely that I’ll purchase more games this year (which in most cases start in the “unplayed” category), I’ll add those to the project as we go through the year. The total number of games I’m trying to tackle this year is essentially the scope of my project, and I expect a decent amount of scope creep. What would make this really interesting is if I tracked the estimated number of hours required to play each of these games to get a more accurate representation of the work required to get through the list.
There are going to be some serious challenges getting through this list. I wouldn’t be surprised if I revert to drastic measures like selling or giving away games (dropping features?) to hit my target. Some of these games are long and will require scheduling special sessions to pull them off (War of the Ring, Rommel, 1830). Some I’ve been very anxious to play (Battlestations, Vinci). You might be interested in the unplayed games with the highest and lowest rankings on BGG. Some of these are expansions, which should help as I don’t need to learn a new game system to get through it.
Highest Ranked Unplayed Games (best to good)
- War of the Ring
- Memoir '44 - Eastern Front
- Rommel in the Desert
- 1830 - Railroads and Robber Barons
- Duel of Ages Set 2 - Intensity
- Ark of the Covenant, The
- Memoir '44 - Terrain Pack
Lowest Ranked Unplayed Games (bad to worst)
- Mille Bornes
- Spy Alley
- 221B Baker Street and Expansions
- Sword and Skull
- Stock Market Game, The
- Rivers, Roads, and Rails
- Outdoor Survival
I’ll try and give quarterly updates on my progress. Let me know if you’d like me to send a copy of the spreadsheet I’m using to track this.