It’s September 2010. I’ve been playing consoles for the majority of my gaming life up to this point, and I have largely missed the boat on the digital distribution system Steam.

I purchase a pre-assembled computer with all the latest bells and whistles from Newegg. I hook it all up to my fancy shmancy monitor and speaker system, and I install Steam. 

I then proceed to spend countless hours and dollars using Gabe Newell’s beautifully simple Steam system.

Flash forward to today, June 16th, 2014. I now have 374 games and 618 pieces of DLC on Steam. It’s the first thing I open on my PC when I boot it up. And there’s a rumour that the Steam Summer sale will kick-off this week. My wallet is not ready.

Friday, 5:14 am – Ricky

Up early for work. I can only think about the Steam Sale. Must. Collect. Cards.

I haven’t picked anything up on day one of the sale, but I have been involved in playing Steam’s collectable card metagame. For those not in the know, many Steam games feature a set of cards you collect. You get the first 30-50% of the cards just from playing the game. You can then trade with others or buy from the marketplace to get the rest. Once you have a full set of a game’s cards, you can craft a badge. Crafting a badge gives your profile experience points (you have a level, like with Playstation trophies) and some stuff to use in chat sessions or to decorate your profile.

During the Summer Sale, crafting badges also gives you points towards your team. You can randomly join a team, and then earn points to help your team “win the day”. Team members that contribute to winning the day will be eligible for a random draw to win 3 games off of their wishlist (30 winners a day total).

It’s goddamn brilliant.

You don’t need to purchase anything to get involved, but if you don’t have a lot of friends, you can buy the cards you need from the marketplace. Most of the money goes to the seller, but there’s a fee that goes to Valve, and one that goes to the game’s developer. We’re talking pennies in most cases – although, I did get a “foil” card (a rare collectible card from a set) which sold for $5 within seconds of me posting it to the marketplace. People sure do have a lot of cash to throw around on virtual collectible cards…

I’m sure I’ll be picking stuff up in the sale, but I will try to control myself. Actually, I’ll probably be gifting stuff more than buying for myself. I’m a giver.

Thursday, 2:30 pm – Albert

Steam Sales are upon us! Gaze upon the deals that Gaben has given us!

Dead Rising 3, Xcom: Enemy Unknown, The Witcher 2, Don’t Starve, Democracy 3, Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, DayZ, Divinity: Original Sin, Farcry 3! Flash Sales Include: Dead Island: Riptide, Devil May Cry, Hotline Miami, and Mirrors Edge.

Out of these — I’m actually surprised about DR3. I didn’t even know it was coming to the PC. So… that’s getting bought. I have most of the others. C’mon new games in 8 hours in the flash sale.

Anybody buying anything? EVERYTHING?

Tuesday, 10:12 am – Gavin

I’ve been curiously absent from the Steam Summer Sales for quite some time.  I can’t recall the last time I really delved into anything on that front.  I’ve picked up the odd title here and there, but my Steam transaction account history suggests that I’ve purchased five titles since January 1, 2013: Gone Home, The Walking Dead s1, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, FTL, and Mark of the Ninja (not counting games I already own and have played, and I purchased the licenses for continuity’s sake, such as early Splinter Cell games and Fable: The Lost Chapters).  I’ve only bought Brothers for myself in 2014.

That said, over the past week, I did take advantage of the Origin sale.  I bought the Deluxe Edition of Mass Effect 3 for 60% off, as I bored through ME1, and I’m midway through ME2 as we speak.  My understanding is that the Deluxe Edition solves some of the problems that people had with the ending (I did manage to avoid spoilers for the entire series), and I’m enjoying the 2nd one quite a bit, so it seemed like a good idea.  I also nabbed some ME2 DLC from the Bioware Social Network.  About $15 worth, as I understand that stuff never goes on sale.  A slightly confusing implementation of it though – purchase it through the Bioware Social Network, download it from your Bioware/Origin account, run the executable file to install it into your ME2 folder, open ME2, and then log into the ME2 authentication service, “the Cerberus network”, to verify the installation.  It’s fairly seamless once you actually know what you’re doing, but it’s hardly intuitive.

There isn’t much I’m looking forward to this time around.  I’ll obviously be paying attention to the sale, but I’m keeping tabs on my backlog, and there’s been a bit of mission-creep with that.  Before last week, I simply had to get through Mass Effect 2, Bioshock Infinite, take a second attempt at Assassin’s Creed IV, and continue playing Mario Kart 8 and I was good for the year.  But I bought Mass Effect 3 and a pile of DLC for Mass Effect 2, I picked up The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (it was on the biggest sale I’ve seen in quite some time – 30% off, which is rare for Nintendo first-party titles), and Mario Kart 8 comes with the free game, and I’ll probably be grabbing The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD.  It’s easy to find time for OoT 3D, as I can play that one on the train to and from work, but while I’ve had a lot of spare time to play Mass Effect these days, I don’t want to take that for granted.

The Wolf Among Us is probably the most interesting 2014 title that I haven’t acquired yet, but I’ve learned my lesson with The Walking Dead: Season 2.  I’m going to wait until the season has finished before I pick it up.  I imagine it will reach my ideal price-point by the Thanksgiving Sale.  As for the other title that vaguely interest me, games like Gunpoint and Papers, Please, I can hold off on those.  I respect what they are and what they do, but I’m not burning to play them.

I did notice an enormous sale this week.  The RPG Maker Bundle is on sale from the Humble Store for $25.  This is noteworthy, because it normally costs $370.  I don’t have any particular interest in developing my own game, as most people are smarter and better writers than I am, but that’s quite the steal if you’re interested in it.  Gunpoint was developed entirely in RPG Maker by Tom Francis, who had never developed a game before in his life.

GOG is an interesting animal to me.  I appreciate and respect what it does, but I have never felt the need nor desire to purchase a game from them.  I find that it’s useful for going through and looking at the games I used to play, but honestly, I’m not going to go back and start playing a bunch of larger, older games, when I have no shortage of larger newer games to play, unless it’s a game that I loved in the past.  However, if it’s a game that I loved in the past, the odds are good that if I still want to play it, I probably already have the license for it somewhere.  With the older games, I’ve found that it’s often beneficial to preserve the memories that I have of them, rather than trying to relive them.  Too often, the veneer of nostalgia is peeled away to reveal terrible game mechanics, plot devices, acting, writing, graphics, engines, etc.  I don’t want to go back to NBA Jam – I want to remember it as it was, not as the game that has been rendered redundant and obsolete by a million new incarnations of accessible sports games.

That said, if the King’s Quest collection goes on a big sale, I’ll take it.

Tuesday, 8:35 am – Ricky

Looks like the Origin sale has wrapped up, but GOG is still going!

I picked up Company of Heroes 2 standalone pack The Western Front Armies off of Green Man Gaming yesterday. They have a 20% off coupon going, and I had some of their greenmanbux or whatever they’re called, so I picked it up at half price. This, along with Valiant Hearts from Ubisoft, will make next week our World War Week.

Other than that, I’m keeping an eye out for a couple of deals on games I missed last year:

  • Kentucky Route Zero
  • Wolf Among Us
  • Project Zomboid (yes, Albert, this is starting to look good)
  • Gunpoint

If there are sales on some newer stuff, The Golf Club, Transistor, and Wolfenstein: New Order are all near the top of my list, too.

My retirement will be spent agonizing over which of my 1000s of ancient games to play next, and then squinting at a massive 150″ wrap-around screen, praying I still had the reflexes of my 31 year-old self.

Monday, 5:29 pm – Albert

There are sales going on ahead of the steam sale: GOG and Origin are two that come to my mind. But I have remained true: I must save all my monies for the Summer Steam Sale. The triple S of Savings!!!

Ricky and I just collect games really. I mean it’s really more of a retirement fund. I’ll have plenty of time to play these games when i’m old. I’m hoping for a couple of games to be on sale and at #1 – Assassin’s Creed Blackflag — I have not played any of the new AC games since brotherhood, and I don’t think I will… so I mind as well skip them all and go straight to the latest and greatest.

What’s everyone else hoping for?

Monday, 8:29 am – Ricky

Here’s the weekly thread! Let’s talk about video games!