Spacing Out: Getting Organized

This is what looking at Seam felt like every day...
This is what looking at Seam felt like every day…

I love video games. Love. Them. They’ve been a constant source of joy for most of my life, and we live in, what I feel, is a second golden age of PC gaming. There are just so many great games to choose from these days, and access to them has never been easier. Via sales, bundles, gifts, contests and so on, we can build a library of games that we’ll never have time to finish in our lifetimes, let alone play even a majority of the games.

That’s the pitfall I’ve fallen into. I love acquiring games, it’s like a meta game on its own. Bundles, sales and so on give me an easy way to get just about any game I’m interested, and I love having so much choice. There is a downside to too much choice, however:

How do I chose one game from that?
How do I chose one game from that?

On Steam, as I write this, I own 1,469 games. That doesn’t include non-DRM games, disk-based games, GOG-based games and so on that I also have installed on my hard drive. I’ve tried to organize things, but as you can see, even that has gotten a bit overwhelming. Sometimes I’d sit at my PC, ready to play a game, and have no IDEA how to go about choosing one. Again, I love having so much choice, but sometimes having all that choice is a bit much.

I therefore started to look for a way to pare this down further. Some external launcher or program that would allow me to select a portion of the games from those categories in Steam above and focus on them. Thankfully, I think I’ve found a solution in a program from Stardock called Fences. Observe:


This is what my desktop looks now now, organized into categories with a portion of each Steam category listed inside. This way, I can not only easily glance at the games I should focus on, but I can easily organize them as I need to to focus on what needs to be played first, like my top game rotation or games acquired from a recent sale that I need to play sooner rather than later, or games I really like and hope to play more of. This will allow my brain to wrap my head around what’s available to me in the short term, and I can add more games to these as I acquire them (which has slowed since I realized this was a problem) and remove them once I don’t feel they deserve to be on the desktop anymore. Therefore, my funnel is:

Acquisition -> Installation -> Organize on Steam Category -> Organize in Fence Category -> Play and promote, keep or remove

This should help me GREATLY in terms of knowing what I have to play available to me. Hell, I forgot I owned some of these games listed above, so it’s kind of a nice rediscovery of my own library as well. As I play games and either love them enough to move them up the priority chain, remove them from their fence or uninstall them entirely due to boredom or finishing the game, these fences can be updated with new games rotated in and how, so hopefully I’ll eventually hit everything in my library! Yay!

I just wanted to share this with y’all. I’m hoping that by clearing out my brain space a little bit by becoming more organized, I can work more on this blog and focus on what needs to be done. Thanks for reading, folks, and have a great day!


Author: Brian Rubin

7 thoughts on “Spacing Out: Getting Organized

  1. Dude, I always envied you, playing so many great games, have a great site about it. =D

    Now that I saw your list of games and your desktop, I don’t think I would be able to handle that much games, not even half of it!
    I struggle to play games that I like, I can’t even imagine playing those that I don’t!

    1. Yeah, this is totally why I’m funneling down the games I play to make them manageable. It was getting REALLY overwhelming just looking at Steam and going AHHH.

      1. Hey, ever thought about making a little app to help get you organized?
        A simple sqlite database with a few tables and you could categorize games, make custom lists, add screenshots, write scores and even attach reviews or texts related to it to publish later.
        It could have the shortcuts to launch games and even say when was the last time you played a game, how many time you spent on it, a bit like steam but without the horrible UI.

        1. I’ve no idea how to go about any of that, but if such a thing existed I’d pay good moneys for it.

          1. If you want we can try to create an open source MIT project about it, I know how to but if I’m not the one who is going to use it the application can become quite hard to use or have too much stuff that is not necessary.
            If you help we can make it so it fits your needs, that’s the best way to make an app, with the user interacting with it as it develops.

  2. And I thought I had it bad just managing the _tasks_ involved to deliver a game… man I don’t envy you :) Or I do envy you :) not sure which!

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