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.

Blog life

  • WordPress:   1,460
  • Twitter:   597
  • Facebook:   85
  • Instagram:   202
  • Twitch:   138
  • Posts:

  • Total published:   16 posts
  • Most popular:   Gamers’ blog party: summer 2020 invitation
  • Most liked:   Gamers’ blog party: summer 2020 invitation
  • Most discussed:   Gamers’ blog party: summer 2020 invitation
  • My favourite:   Coming of age: gaming with my stepson
  • Traffic:

  • Views:   1,894
  • Visitors:   1,149
  • Likes:   301
  • Comments:   307
  • Best day:   Mondays
  • Other posts worth checking out:

  • You’re An Adult Geek And That’s OKAY by John from 101 Militia Gaming
  • Do you still buy physical games? by A Most Agreeable Pastime
  • When We Played With Power by Cameron from Dragon In The Castle
  • Indie Variety Hour: Summer Gaming Festival by Frostilyte Writes
  • 21 Years of life, 12 Years of games by Ian de Villiers
  • 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.

    Gaming life
    Games played:

  • A Short Hike
  • Answer Knot
  • Burn Me Twice
  • Burning Daylight
  • Dry Drowning
  • Metaphobia
  • Off-Peak
  • The Mirror Lied
  • The Supper
  • To The Moon
  • Whateverland prologue
  • Demos from the Steam Game Festival
  • Games reviewed and previewed:

  • To The Moon
  • Demos from the Steam Game Festival
  • 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!

    Real life

    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.

    Coming up

  • 01-12: The Great Blog Crawl 2020 quiz
  • 01-31: Summer Game Fest
  • 09: Shadowrun stream
  • 18: The Great Blog Crawl 2020 virtual pub
  • 19: London Gaming Market
  • 23: Shadowrun stream
  • Every Thursday: #BloggerTalk
  • Take a look at the Side-quests page for more!
  • Posts planned:

  • Free and easy: more no-cost games on Steam
  • Whateverland preview, Kickstarter now live
  • A two-week series about bloggers who stream
  • My thoughts on Metal Gear Solid 2 for AmbiGaming
  • Something for the International Day of Friendship
  • 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!

    Save point: June 2020

    19 thoughts on “Save point: June 2020

    1. Thanks for the shout-out Kim. Always appreciated. 🙂

      I’d be lying if I said I haven’t missed you and Pete streaming, but I’m glad the break seems to have been helping. Looking forward to whatever the new schedule looks like when you guys ease back into things.

      As for things on my end, I’ve got nothing planned aside from hitting up the blog crawl social on the…18th? I think I’ve committed that date correctly to my head. Very much looking forward to hanging out with everyone on that one. 😀


      • Thanks Frosti, I really appreciate the kind words. Other than the blog crawl virtual pub on the 18th, we haven’t thought too much about what the new schedule will be like so we’ve got some planning to do…

        We’re both really looking forward to the stream on Friday! It’ll be great to get to see you in action and put our art skills to shame. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • As well as can be really. Scottish schools decided early on that nobody was going back before August at the best. Kyle is therefore doing a lot of his work online with mixed results.

          Looking ever more like I’m going yo be back at work in July though.


          • How has Kyle been dealing with the lockdown? I think my stepkid is about to start climbing the walls and he really misses seeing his friends in person. He’s been doing a lot of his schoolwork online too and I’m not sure how I feel about it; on one hand it’s been good for him to have a routine but on the other, the little amount and quality of work he’s being assigned just doesn’t seem suitable. I think we’re both looking forward to September!


            • I think some teachers are better at structuring the online learning than others. I do feel for them all as they’ve had to cobble together an alternative learning plan with about three days notice back in March. Kyle had this problem on the first day when he was trying to stick to his usual school timetable. He was at the computer for 9 doing English, got distracted by something in his room and then had a panic because he noticed it was now 10am and ‘everybody will be in Chemistry by now apart from me’.

              It took us a while to convince him that the timetable was put of the window for now.

              We’re looking forward to August for the same reasons!

              Liked by 1 person

    2. I’ve missed you guys so much, especially on Wednesday and Sunday nights, its just not the same without you, after 6 months of watching your streams!

      Glad you’re taking a break though, especially after all that time in front of the camera. Hope everything works out for you, if you need to talk you know how to find me <3.


      • Thanks Dan, I really appreciate that. Sometimes you’ve just got to admit to yourself that you need to take a break and step away for a while. We’re doing some planning at the moment and will be back soon though – we’ve missed you and the gang a lot! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I’ve missed you both on stream so much! However, I am glad you took the break to look after you. I count both of you, but you especially Kim, as my friends and amazing ones at that so I just want you to take care of yourselves. I am excited to hear the day when your giant cross stitch is finished though!

      I hope easing back in helps and we will all be here to support you. I’m very excited to hear about all the things you have planned for the blog as well.

      If you ever need me I’m here 💜

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re always so lovely GD. Thank you. 😘

        I don’t think the cross-stitch will be finished any time soon… I’ve completed two sections out of about 50 so far, so there’s still a long way to go ha ha! Who knows, maybe there’ll be a cross-stitch stream at some point in the future, although I can see Pete falling asleep during that one. 😉


    4. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been having a rough time, but it’s good to hear that you’re able to recognise the signs when things are getting too much. I know how hard it is to get to that stage, and also how invaluable it is to have a partner who recognises those signs and supports you when you need it. I’m not always great at noticing those moments myself, however, my fiance Chris notices every time. By doing so I’m gradually learning them too.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your work situation. I’m not going to give you the usual platitudes, just know that I’m here if you need anything.


      • Thanks Heather, that’s very kind of you. ❤️

        The break has been just what I’ve needed, although it was hard to admit it. Bloggers always feel so guilty about taking time out because we think we should always be writing and we put so much pressure on ourselves to keep doing it. It’s important for us all to realise that you’ve just got to take it one day at a time, and the community will always be very supportive. 😀


    5. Hope you’re doing better, I totally get taking a step back to focus on your own health. I’ve still had ideas here and there that I want to work on for blog stuff, but it’s been tough at times generating the words from my brain to screen. I’ve still been attempting to stream on Twitch at least a couple times a week to get more comfortable and feel like I know what I’m doing 🙃

      Looking forward to the Blog Crawl on the 18th and to hearing your thoughts on Metal Gear Solid 2! 😁


      • I haven’t started MGS2 yet and it might sound weird, but I’m kind of nervous about it. I think I’ve said to you before that I suck at action games (even though I can enjoy playing them) and I don’t want to let Athena down with my poor skills! It should be fun though… I just hope I don’t make an idiot of myself. 😆

        Do you have any set times and days for streaming? Time differences can make it difficult to watch sometimes but I want to get over to your channel if I can! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • I remember playing Metal Gear Solid 2 for the very first time on PS2 and not entirely understanding the controls in the game, it feels a little weird at first. I’m sure you’ll do fine 👍🏻

          I don’t really have any kind of schedule other than trying to stick to streaming at least a couple times a week. During the week it would have to be after I finish work(typically 8pm) so the time zone difference makes that one difficult. Otherwise it’s been mostly Saturday or Sunday during the daytime.


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