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Save Point: August 2022

Atari, computer, PC, monitor, floppy disk
wine tasting, guide

August has been a time of both ups and downs.

It was the month that COVID-19 finally got the Later Levels’ household. We’d been careful since the first lockdown here in the UK in March 2020, but our luck run out when both Pete and I succumbed to the virus. In a weird way though, testing positive was almost a relief after several years of waiting.

We were unable to go to work for a week because we felt so rough and spent most of that time either sleeping or watching video game playthroughs on YouTube. I tried to continue with Kentucky Route Zero but quickly put it down again when I just didn’t have the energy to concentrate on it. This explains why the figures in August’s progress report below are so much lower than those for July.

The virus meant we had to reschedule our tickets for a few events this month. We couldn’t go to Phantom Peak as we were booked for the day after we found out we were positive, and it would have been irresponsible to put others at risk. We also had to cancel our wine-tasting evening but are looking forward to doing it retrospectively – and in the meantime, I thought about pairing wine with video games.

Although we’re not yet back to 100%, we’re feeling better than we were a few weeks ago. The fatigue is still there so it’s difficult to maintain concentration and late afternoons at work can be a bit of a struggle. But we’re well enough to make it to Phantom Peak tomorrow and the EGX expo at the end of September, so things are starting to feel as though they’re getting back on track. We’ve also started the planning for GameBlast23 in February so stay tuned to see what we’ve got coming up for the next charity event.

Progress report

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Game of the month

COVID has meant I haven’t played as much during August as I normally would so I’m therefore going to nominate a game I’ve watched for this section. After seeing Darkshoxx complete Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma recently, I became curious about the series and tracked down a playthrough of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. It’s not something I’d play myself as it’s a bit too much like a visual novel for my taste, but I’m really getting into the intrigue and am looking forward to seeing where the story ends up.

Event of the month

As mentioned above, we had to cancel a lot of our plans this month thanks to COVID. But we did manage to make it to the Great British Beer Festival at the beginning of August and spent a lovely day with Darkshoxx and Ashnas, drinking a wide variety of tipples and laughing at the puns on the menu like those opposite. It was also the eighth anniversary of Pete and I meeting; how on earth has he managed to put up with me for so long? To celebrate, I reminisced about some of the games we’ve played together during that time.

Photo of the month

After a week of feeling sorry for ourselves, we gradually started feeling better and decided to attempt the EXIT The Game puzzle I’d picked up at the UK Games Expo back in June. In The Deserted Lighthouse, you put together a jigsaw and solve the clues within the image to move on to the next scenario and progress the story. It wasn’t long before Zelda wanted to get involved and roll around on the board that we’d set up in the garden. It’s amazing we haven’t lost any pieces for our jigsaws yet.

Plans for next month

September is going to be busy: we’ve got Phantom Peak lined up for tomorrow, followed by the Meatopia barbecue festival on Friday and then EGX at the end of the month. It’s so nice to be getting back to normal after feeling ill and being able to catch up on all the things we’ve missed. Saying that though, our experience with COVID has made us more cautious and we’ll be taking more precautions from now on – there’s no way I’d want to put my body through that stress again because it was horrible.

As explained during my apprenticeship update on Monday, the Hackathon is coming up soon and I’ve got the onboarding session for the Elevate programme next week too. I’ll let you know how those both went towards the end of September. There’ll also be something about my history with the charity SpecialEffect and their GameBlast event to give us some inspiration for the next marathon stream coming up in February. Something tells me I’m not going to be able to persuade Pete to do it in his Pikachu costume again though…

In terms of gaming, we still need to finish Inscryption. The first two acts have been enjoyable but it’s quite brain-intensive and so not the sort of thing we’ve been in the mood for during August. We’ve also got the last third of Stray to complete and I need to continue with Kentucky Route Zero too. On top of that, there’s an As Dusk Falls playthrough with Ellen from Ace Asunder and friend-of-the-blog Phil which needs to be wrapped up. It’s been a lot of fun playing with them so far as they encourage me to make crazy decisions I normally wouldn’t.

Now over to you guys: what have you been up to lately, and what have you got planned for the coming month? Enjoy yourselves and take care out there.

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