After looking back over 2022 in Tuesday’s review, it’s now time to focus on 2023.
The personal resolutions I make at the start of each year are usually quite generic. You know the sort of thing: be healthier, learn more, become a better person. I’ve never been that great at sticking to them so it’s best not to make them too rigid.
When it comes to the blog however, I’ve learnt over time that it’s more productive to set myself stricter annual goals. They give me something to aim for and track progress against, and this sort of focus motivates me to achieve more. Sometimes you need to change direction to adapt to new situations but it’s always useful to be aware of where you’re heading.
Some interesting findings came out of my review of 2022 earlier this week. The first was someone based in either the UK or America really likes jigsaws and photographs of Zelda sitting on top of puzzles. I was also a little surprised by the types of games I’d played throughout the year, and the kind of posts I’d published compared to those I really enjoyed writing.
I’ve used this information and the direction I’d like to go in to set some new objectives for 2023. It’s hard to predict how the blogging landscape will change over the next 12 months because things have been so unsettled for the past several years. But I’d love to see a return to the community aspect and more collaborations, and I need to put in the effort if I’m going to help make that happen. Here’s a round-up what I’ve got planned for both myself and Later Levels this year.
Play more detective and FMV games
The analysis of the genres I’d played during 2022 revealed that most of my gaming time (almost 25%) was spent on point-and-clicks. I doubt this is surprising to anyone who knows me, but what I didn’t expect was just how few full-motion video (FMV) and detective games I completed. They’re usually my favourite kind of releases outside of adventures. I’ve got a few existing ones waiting on my backlog already and there are several new ones coming out soon, so I’m going to try to play more throughout 2023.
Stream more, but less than before
The objective above ties in nicely with this second one. When Pete and I were streaming regularly, we found that FMV and detective games were great ones to enjoy with friends and viewers. This is something we’d like to get back to this year – but we don’t want to put ourselves under as much pressure as we did previously. While this means that we won’t be on Twitch as often and can’t publish a regular schedule, the result will be more energy when we’re onscreen and more enjoyable streams.
Grow the tabletop collection
A spontaneous trip to the UK Games Expo last June was the start of our small tabletop collection and this is something we’d like to continue to grow this year. There are several existing titles we’d like to stream one day, including story-driven card game Monochrome Inc. along with the Post Mortem: Murder Mystery series which was kindly gifted to us by Kevin from The Lawful Geek. Maybe there’ll also be a return of the Cat & Chat streams, where we try to do a jigsaw while Zelda ‘helps’ by rolling around on the puzzle board.
Start the quarterly blog parties again
It’s been a long time since I hosted a blog party here at Later Levels. These events used to take place every quarter and for 24-hours, gaming bloggers were invited to share a link to one of their favourite posts along with an introduction about themselves. It was a great way to meet others within the community and find new sites to follow. I’m therefore pleased the parties will be making a return in 2023, and you can expect the first to take place around the middle of March. More details coming soon.
Bring back #LoveYourBacklog and #MaybeInMarch
Forget February being about Valentine’s Day – it’s all about your backlog. Ellen from Ace Asunder and I created the annual #LoveYourBacklog event several years ago to encourage everyone to show a little love for their pile of video games rather than be ashamed by it. This was then followed by #MaybeInMarch, where the challenge was to finally play the title which had been waiting on your backlog the longest. I’m excited about bringing these back for 2023 and will be posting further information early next month.
Complete a 10K race
Regular Later Levels’ visitors will be aware that I support SpecialEffect through volunteering and participation in the annual GameBlast marathon. What they may not know however is that I’ve also taken part in the ASICS London 10K for the charity several times too. I’ve started training again this month and am hoping to complete a race in 2023. Tim from Timlah’s Texts & Unity3D Tech and I have formed the Fit As F**k Club, and we’re motivating each other to get healthy over the next 12 months.
Be more positive
As explained in my apprenticeship update in November, I’ve been trying to maintain a more positive mindset recently. I’m tired of all the negativity of the past few years, of seeing people tear each other down online and engage in a competition to see who can shout the loudest. I’m going to try to show my support for as many people as possible during 2023 and be the best ally I can. Things can only get better if we stand by each other and show both compassion and understanding.
Hopefully I’ll look back on this post in January 2024 and feel a sense of accomplishment at having completed at least some of these goals. Saying that though, it’s important to remember that blogging is supposed to be fun and this has always been the ultimate aim for me. If I can say I’ve enjoyed myself over the past 12 months, am still enjoying writing and have had the chance to get to know more awesome bloggers, I’ll consider them as a success and use that as motivation to keep moving forward.
What have you got planned for this year? Whatever your goals are, I hope they’re within reach and bring you much happiness in 2023.