Welcome to June’s editorial post, a monthly progress report which rounds up all the happenings here at Later Levels in case you missed anything. With several digital expos and another blog party now behind us, let’s have a quick recap of recent events.
||Other posts worth checking out:
The Great Blog Crawl 2020 (@GreatBlogCrawl) June 22, 2020
June wasn’t the best month for the blog. Solarayo from Ace Asunder and I made the difficult decision to postpone The Great Blog Crawl as it didn’t feel right to celebrate when sad events were taking place in America. Then my motivation for both blogging and video games took a massive hit as I struggled to work up the same level of enthusiasm for them. Not even the increase in the number of gaming expos this summer was helping; I just didn’t feel excited about getting the chance to play demos for upcoming games or finding out about the PlayStation 5.
What I realised was that I’d spent so much time in front of a screen since the COVID-19 lockdown began here in the UK in March, I was completely digitally drained. The situation at work had exacerbated the issue (more about that later) and all I wanted to do in the evenings was switch off. Although I had a few posts I’d already drafted so I was able to stick to my normal blogging schedule, my other-half and I decided it would be best to take several weeks out of streaming to give ourselves a break.
June wasn’t all bad though. It was fun to respond to a Real Neat Blog Award from Hylian-Hobbit over at Hobbits of Hyrule. The summer 2020 blog party in the middle of the month saw 26 posts shared and over 125 comments left; and my piece about Murray from the Monkey Island series for The Characters That Define Us collaboration hosted by Normal Happenings. Thanks to a suggestion from Pete, I’m now working on a series about bloggers-who-stream for July and my motivation is slowly starting to come back.
||Games reviewed and previewed:
Later Levels (@LaterLevels) June 12, 2020
I’ve recently been seeking out other forms of entertainment in my desire to get away from screens this month. This has been perfect for a giant cross-stitch (although I’m still nowhere near being finished) and I’ve also learnt how to make bread by hand, but it hasn’t been so good for video games. The title I’ve been concentrating on during June was To The Moon for the play-along event hosted by Naithin from Time to Loot – and yes, despite all my preparation, the story hit me hard yet again and I found myself in tears.
So what are all those games listed in the box above then? After realising I had far too many titles on my Steam wishlist, I decided to so something about it and started by playing those which were short and free. Watch out for a round-up post about those on Wednesday. Last week, the summer edition of the Steam Game Festival gave me the chance to try loads of demos and I loved The Wild at Heart by Moonlight Kids; and I backed the Kickstarter campaign for Whateverland by Caligari Games.
Congratulations to Kevin from The Lawful Geek, who hit Twitch Affiliate status this month! This happened during one of our fortnightly Shadowrun sessions over on his channel and it was great seeing his reaction when he received the notification. Speaking of reactions, if you want to see what caused Pete and I to pull those expressions opposite, go check out the VODs. The last couple of game sessions have been rather eventful and things are starting to get real for our characters… we’ve now received a wetworks contract which will put us in an extremely difficult position during the next episode!
Project managers who always book meetings during lunch breaks. https://t.co/K7E0LNr20D—
Later Levels (@LaterLevels) June 01, 2020
Work has been completely crazy this month. The need for IT has increased hugely while everyone is working remotely and now several massive projects have been added to the workload, along with having to learn the skills necessary to complete them. The recent news that the company is now also ‘starting to consider headcount’ as part of their plan to recover after the lockdown hasn’t helped my nerves at all: I’m the junior in the team so if anyone is going, there’s a good chance it’s going to be me.
I’m pretty good at dealing with stress but when it gets to a certain level, my wellbeing suffers. The positive thing is that I’ve learnt to recognise the signs over the years and Pete is aware of them so we both know when I need to take a break. Although I still feel a little on edge, the break in June has helped and I’m taking it one day at a time. We’ve both missed streaming and are planning a gradual return to Twitch, with our attention turning to the new date for The Great Blog Crawl 2020 virtual pub on Saturday, 18 July 2020.
My stepson turned 13 this month and I’m having a hard time figuring out how he grew up so fast. Gone are the days when he used to wake me up early in the morning to teach me how to play The LEGO Movie Videogame; now it’s all about Overwatch with friends and Dungeons & Dragons. The easing of the lockdown rules meant we could finally see our parents again and the timing was perfect, because it meant we could all get together for a barbecue for Ethan’s birthday, my dad’s birthday and Father’s Day.
And now over to you guys: what have you been up to lately, and what have you got planned for the coming month? Is there anything the community can help with or get involved in? Let everybody know in the comments below so we can show our support. Thanks for reading!