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GameBlast19: the countdown begins

Here’s the latest on our plans for GameBlast19, an annual gaming marathon for SpecialEffect. This amazing charity puts fun and inclusion back into the lives of those with physical disabilities by helping them to play video games using a range of technology, making a positive impact on confidence and rehabilitation. Take a look at this update on the SpecialEffect website or click on the link to see all Later Levels’ posts about the event.


Later Levels, Instragram, GameBlast, Wotsits, laptop

The pace is picking up in the Later Levels household with only one day left to go until GameBlast19. If previous marathons have taught us anything, it’s that you can never have too many Wotsits close at hand; so we’ve bought more packets of the neon-orange-snack than two gamers could possibly eat in a weekend. They’ve also shown us there’s no such thing as too much testing so we’ve been triple-checking our kit over the past month to make sure the sound issues experienced in past years don’t come back to haunt us.

During GameBlast17, my capture card stopped pulling game sound into the stream. Post-investigation revealed it really didn’t like hot-swaps so we took the decision to stick to PlayStation titles only for GameBlast18. However, our new microphone then decided to keep turning itself off after several hours of streaming – a problem our pre-event testing didn’t pick up because it hadn’t taken place over a long enough duration. We made it through both events with a couple of sneaky workarounds but we want better for GameBlast19!

This time around we’ve gone all out, in terms of the amount and length of testing as well as equipment. A 12-hour stream of The Elder Scrolls Online and another of The Secret of Monkey Island earlier this month revealed a few minor issues but nothing that couldn’t be solved with several small tweaks. Our set-up is very much improved from least year and we’ve had fun playing around with a bunch of new kit recently:

  • A PlayStation 4 Pro to go alongside our existing console (which has meant Pete and I can play ESO together)
  • A new PC to replace my old beloved machine, which we’ll use to handle all of the streaming during the event
  • An additional microphone to improve sound quality (but that won’t mean you’ll be able to understand my Essex accent)
  • My new toy: a stream deck, set up with a bunch of animations, holding videos and a few other surprises for those watching
  • And finally, a GameBlast19 hoodie – because it’s important to stay warm and look cool while streaming

  • Overall the equipment has behaved and the only real problem highlighted by our test streams is just how physically demanding a 24-hour marathon can be. In previous years our dream-team has included Ben and Nathan but, due to a spouse’s birthday and newborn son, it’s going to be just Pete and I for GameBlast19. The community has helped choose some great video games for us to play however so hopefully the enjoyment and adrenaline (as well as copious amounts of caffeine) will see us through.

    We’ll be going live at 08:00 GMT tomorrow morning and are going to do our best to keep the Later Levels Twitch channel on air for 24-hours until 08:00 GMT on Sunday, 24 February 2019. You can take a look our schedule here to find out what we’re playing; and if you fancy joining in with any of the titles, get in touch and let us know. Say hello in the chat if you’ve got a spare moment and we may even play a special little animation or two just for you.

    All donations received via our JustGiving page go directly to SpecialEffect and help them continue their wonderful work. There are other ways in which you can show your support too: watch us on Twitch tomorrow, host the Later Levels channel, share our press release, tweet about GameBlast19. We really appreciate every little action, and are looking forward to doing our bit to helping the charity level the playing-field for everyone!

    Kim | Later Levels View All

    Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.

    13 thoughts on “GameBlast19: the countdown begins Leave a comment

    1. Wotsits, the choice of champions! All the best for tomorrow and hope you have a great time. I’m going to be busy most of the day but I’ll be checking in when I can to see how it’s all going. Have fun!

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      • A number of past GameBlast events have proven that you can’t make it through a marathon stream without Wotsits. This year however we’re thinking of upping our game, and will picking up an additional supply of Penguins too. 😂

        Thank you for the support!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well you know what they say: you’ve got to pick up a Penguin :). That might be showing my age. Personally, I’m more of a Wagon Wheel lad but a Penguin is ideal for streaming. One hand, wrapper as handle, few crumbs. Perfect.

          Enjoy and make sure to have plenty of tea, coffee or energy drinks at the ready.

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          • I think this is where I fail as a streamer: I don’t like coffee or energy drinks so I have to stick to tea and water. It’s a good excuse to just eat more Penguins though. And possibly now get some Wagon Wheels too… 🤤

            Liked by 1 person

            • I don’t stream but we’re in the same camp on beverage choice. I love the smell of coffee but not the taste and energy drinks, well I had a can of Red Bull once (only other times are Jagerbombs if I’m honest) and it just let me feel the blood in my veins, which I found very unusual.

              Mugs and mugs of tea with a plethora of biscuits is definitely the optimal choice. The stream will be a roaring success if you stick to that rule so the more biscuits, the better 🙂

              Like

    2. I’m looking forward to seeing how you get on with this. I’ve managed to find a date to do a Gameblast marathon myself! It’s not until April but I’m looking forward to it nonetheless.

      Like

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