I am a completionist.

I am a completionist. Not everyone is. This means certain game design decisions affect me differently than they affect other players.

See, for example, my post about Smash Ultimate giving a unique spirit to people with Dragon Quest XI save data. The non-completionist sees this news and thinks something like, “Oh, that’s a cute little reward to remind me of this other game I enjoyed!” Meanwhile, I’ve been maintaining a complete spirit collection so I see this news and think, “Dammit, Smash, why are you giving me homework?"

My reaction isn’t invalid, but neither is the other one. The annoyance I feel at the news is a fact about me and not an objective quality of the game itself. At most, I could say the decision to distribute this spirit in this way is likely to annoy completionists (especially ones who, say, already bought DQXI on PS4 ages ago) and not that it is an inherently annoying decision. That’s a statement about audience, not just about game design.

My completionism affects how I feel about a lot of game design decisions, but I don’t always realize that’s what’s going on. I’ve fairly-well internalized that some players aren’t annoyed by the things that annoy me about certain achievements, for example, because it doesn’t bother them to decide not to get an achievement. But that’s mostly because there’s been a lot of discussion about achievements, so I’ve heard other viewpoints and it’s easier for me to avoid the typical-mind fallacy. There are other less-discussed areas where I’m pretty sure I wrote things I wouldn’t have written if I were not a completionist, without acknowledging that as a factor.

It’s important to separate what’s true about a game and what’s true about an audience, so I’m going to try to be better about this.