WhereAmI.txt - "a solution to the replay but never finish an RPG"-problem

When we are honest, we all know the problem. We start an adventure-like game be it an RPG or a Metroidvania-style game and in the middle of the game we stop playing it. Hours and hours put into it but something else comes along and we just stop playing. Then a couple of months later, we pick it up again and ask: “What the hell am I supposed to do?”

We have no idea where we are, what we have to do and sometimes even what our characters can do. I might have found a solution for me: WhereAmI.txt

It is a little text-file sitting in my dropbox and when I stop playing, I use either a Drafts-action to append my current whereabouts and tasks to that file or just a text-editor.

Right now I am playing Final Fantasy IV Advance, and I need to grind, buy some stuff and then go to the next dungeon. Thus my last entry looks like this:

Final Fantasy IV Advance 2014-02-09

After Dwarven Castle, on my way to the Tower of Babil


  • Grind to mid-30s - level 40 (in the dwarve cave is a well that restores HP/MP)
  • Try to get 2x Flame Mail in Dwarven Castle for 30k each
  • After that Tower of Babil

So, I am using markdown-syntax for formatting the file. It is still my favorite way to mark up plain text. First heading level one, name of the game and the date of the entry. Since I am always appending because it is faster, and I know myself and won’t tidy up the file all the time, the date is important. YYYY-MM-DD as entry-date for easier searchability.

After that a heading level 2 “Tasks” That’s what I am up to right now. I need to grind and those are my target levels because I think that those might be the right ones to not get directly fried in the next dungeon. Some expensive gear I want to get and which I surely forget about after a couple of weeks and last my next destination. And for making my live easier to get back into the game, with a link to the walkthrough in the StrategyWiki. I will need it because I won’t remember each and every detail.

That’s my easy to go solution. I think it works but I have no idea how it will scale to games like Final Fantasy V or VI with the extensive job-system in V and the spell-learning system in VI which actually allows each character to learn each spell. It should work. Maybe I have to link back in the file to previous entries for that to work better.

Niels Kobschätzki @nielsk