The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 14
Like many of you, I’d consider myself a game collector. While I used to sell off games that I was done with to get cash for new ones, now I just toss ‘em on the shelf. I’m also a deal hunter. I’ll pick up games that I really don’t have any interest in playing, if the price is low enough. For instance, I snagged a sealed copy of the Black-Eyed Peas Experience the other day that was on the clearance rack. It’s not an experience that I see myself experiencing anytime soon, but it was only $5.
These two habits often smack into one another. Sometimes I’ll see a ridiculously good deal, but then I can’t remember if the game in question is already taking up shelf space at my house. Calling it a problem reduces the significance of the word “problem,” but it can be annoying. I’ve been looking for a way to get around this for a while now, and I think I’ve found the solution in a set of software tools.
I’ve seen plenty of applications that let you catalogue your collection on your PC or through a Web site. Those are great for what they are, but I was looking for something more specific. I wanted to have my collection available on my Android phone, since I almost always have it on me while I’m shopping. I also wanted to be able to browse my collection via a separate app, so I could access it even if I didn’t have access to the Web for whatever reason. Also, I didn’t want to use a database like Excel, because it is ugly.
Eventually I settled on a pair of programs from a company called Collectorz. Don’t let the unfortunate name turn you off; they’re powerful and easy-to-use tools that do exactly what I need them to do. Fair warning: They’re also a bit pricey.
I’m using a pair of the Collectorz components, though there’s more and less functionality available depending on your needs. The actual Game Collectorz software is essentially the hub of it all. The PC program (sorry Mac users) is where you input and edit your game collection. You can do so by entering keywords in manually or via a barcode scanning device. I picked up an inexpensive barcode reader when I started, but I found that it’s not significantly faster than simply typing in a word or two.
The software is available in a few different versions, too. The standard edition (about $30) provides just about everything you need to get organized. Once you enter your games, you can sort them by platform, add your own reviews, and geek out with a variety of pie charts. (I never said this was a cool activity, OK?) I opted for the pro version. For $20 more, you get the same features as well as the ability to add games in batches instead of one by one. It also allows you to access an online database, but I haven’t bothered with that.
Once I added in all my games, I went through and refined them all. The default game entries are pretty solid overall, but I found a few issues. The quality of the box art in the game sheets can vary, and my OCD doesn’t let me ignore that kind of stuff. Fortunately, it’s easy to do a Google search and replace any offending images from within the software itself. In the rare occasions when a game didn’t pop up in the database, I was able to add my own entries in a few minutes. It’s not perfect, but it’s much better than what I expected.
After I updated the images and made a few formatting passes (It’s Lego, not LEGO, **BRAAAHHHH**!), I exported the whole shebang over to the Android app. The app, and its iOS counterpart, costs an additional $10, but it’s the biggest component of what I wanted in the first place. Exporting the collection from the PC to my phone was easy, and now I have it all with me wherever I go. No more dupes of crappy games!
Like I said, it’s a relatively expensive proposition, but it does what I want, and it does it well. I’ve found that showing my collection off is an effective way to watch someone’s eyes glaze over in absolute boredom. Success!
Email the author Jeff Cork, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
This seems quite helpful for collectors. I'll see if I can get my hands on it. I just usually rely on Raptr or Trueachievements to organize my stuff, since they track my games on Xbox. Quite a lot of them too.
With so many of my games existing only on a hard drive on my consoles or PC, I'm actually sad I don't buy retail more often to make my own giant collection more impressive.
Though I do love the space.
I have easily the most minor issue possible with this article...It's LEGO, not Lego. The name is trademarked as all-caps.
That being said.
Holy crap, and I thought I was keeping my stuff organized. I've got nothing on this.
That software GUI looks really slick. I've been using a free open source personal collection software called GCstar for my collections.
Seems a bit pricey...I use backloggery.com it's free to sign up, you can add all your games across all systems, and update their status from unbeaten to completion and such. Doesn't have fancy pictures or anything like this one, or the app, but it works well for me, and it's free...
I just use an excel spreadsheet, one for each platform. I alphabatize my games and then put them in order of the story of the games i.e. halo reach before halo 1
That app sounds pretty cool. I've been organizing and reorganizing my bookshelf full of games for years based on my favorites, but I never thought about keeping a written record. Since I can't keep them all on the bookshelf, it might be a good idea for me to get that kind of comprehensive program to keep better track of them all.
I've been highly contemplating documenting my library for a long time with not only games owned, but even games played. Seems like a large undertaking but I enjoy the neatness and accuracy of a well kept catalog.
I've been using a free app called Shelves on my phone. It can store games, movies, books and other things to help keep you organized. You can use a search function or a barcode scanner option to add items, and you can use the barcodes to add in bulk. It's a little annoying to navigate if you have a lot of items in a category (only 4 items show up on the screen at a time, requiring you to scroll down) but overall for a free app, I really can't complain.
Glad to see the **BRAAAHHHH** filter still works.
I'm the exact same way, I never sell my games back, and I have a pretty good collection myself.
I'm going to go buy a wiiU yay
I'm sure most know this but Target usually has a small clearance shelf by the games/electronic section.(not the platinum games shelf)Its usually an end-cap. I've found great deals back there. FableII for $7, Bayonetta for $12, Naughty Bear for $12, etc. Its hit/miss but worth checking out.
Hm, I've never had that issue. Toss me a game title and I can tell you if I own it or not, regardless of how many games I have. Now, I couldn't sit down and list off my entire collection by memory. I could probably get really close, though. I've just never looked at a new game and wondered if I had it, I always know if I do, or do not own that title.
Still, it probably wouldn't hurt to catalog my collection.
If only they could link you achievements into this.