In Review – May 2020

I can’t say I’m sorry that May is over, because it’s been one of those months that’s felt eternal, not in any sort of ethereal sense, but in the sense of getting a tooth drilled at the dentist when the Novocain isn’t quite working, and that’s being kind, I think.

Most of the early part of May saw me struggling with weird and difficult to diagnose computer problems, while also battling insomnia and a bit of COVID-inspired existential crisis. The whole experience was pretty much a 0 of 10, strongly do not recommend.

The second half was a pretty substantial improvement, but it’s only been here, in the final week that I’ve started to feel like myself again, and like I am at all capable of maintaining a semblance of normalcy in a world off-kilter.

Crashing to Black Screen

I realize I never did get around to blogging about the resolution of my computer issues, probably because I was just so relieved to have them behind me.

Although my hardware definitely needed a good clean out, as it turned out, it was not a hardware problem. A couple of days into attempting to trouble shoot software issues, I discovered that the only games that crashed on me were games that used the Steam launcher, and they did so regardless of how much (or how little) else was actively running at the time.

Now, I had recently installed Corel’s PaintShop Pro Ultimate, hoping it’d be an adequate replacement for Photoshop, since I had to let my Adobe subscription lapse. While muddling through background processes, I discovered it was constantly running a check to see if updates were available. Uninstalling the program completely cleared up 98% of the problems I was having, so I expect that something about that process and Steam couldn’t figure out how to get along when a game was actively running.

I’m okay with the money wasted on the program (purchased through Humble in a very reasonably priced bundle), and relieved that I did not have to replace significantly pricier hardware. However, this put me drastically behind in other things I wanted to accomplish this month.

Community Game-A-Long – #MusicGameMay

With everything else going on, I almost forgot about the Community Game-A-Long this month. I was so very excited for Distortions, but it ultimately ended up disappointing.

With only a few days left of the month, I decided against starting another new-to-me game this month, and elected instead to play a few rounds of Chime Sharp to keep in the spirit of things.

Other PC Gaming

I managed to meet my goal of unlocking Battle for Azeroth flying. I’d hoped to take advantage of the buff to start working on the bee mount, but unfortunately, that was one BfA rep where the bonus wasn’t applied, so after a couple of very very tedious farm sessions, I let the last 10 or so days of my sub just run out. I did manage to pick up a cheap token to replace the one I had used, however, so I ended the month even.

The big success of the month for me as far as gaming was concerned was a kind of impulsive decision to pick up Din’s Legacy when I thought my PC problems were a hardware issue. During my frequent breaks when troubleshooting got to be too much, I put over 25 hours in.

However, it is also my biggest failure of the month, because all of those hard crashes seems to have corrupted something in my save data, and as of yet, I have been unable to find a way to fully clear that out and start fresh. Although now I can play most anything without issue again, this game still crashes regularly.

It only took me a little over two hours to complete Varenje, an odd little hidden object adventure game with some seriously tone-deaf cut scenes in between. I’m not sure what pushed me to finish it (except maybe that it was so very short).

I have kept up with my commitment to Long Live the Queen! in Civilization VI, although I was definitely responsible for a bit of delay of game this month. We’re really starting to get deep into it now, and seem to have a collective drive towards a science victory, and I find myself eagerly awaiting each new blog detailing another 10 turn effort.

I also played one other hidden object game to completion – The Fog: Trap for Moths. It wasn’t stellar, but it was solid enough, and it was just nice to finish something for a change.

From there, I tackled The Room, a game that’s been sitting in my library forever, and that I played the first chapter of once upon a time. I’m not sure I am in love with the almost pure puzzling of it all, but again, nice to have another game completed.

Stay-At-Home Gaming Spending

It’s no surprise to me (since I’ve known myself a long time now) that the worse I feel, the more I want to just buy things because new things are good for at least a spark of joy. However, I’ve been trying to make smarter purchases in general, and for the most part, I made sure my purchases were well thought out and reasonably good deals.

I picked up Warlock 2 on the strength of Paeroka’s recommendation, Sonic Adventure DX to have something to play during #SonicTeamSept, and Agents of Mayhem because I have low expectations, and will be content with even a fraction of that Saint’s Row spirit.

The lowest tier of the Asmodee board game bundle had three games I was intrigued by, all of which have a single player mode and two of which have Remote Play Together, so seemed like a good way to spend a dollar. Even with these few small purchases from the Humble Summer Sale, I’m still below the halfway point of my isolation budget at $44.31.

I did a lot of waffling about picking up CHKN, and early access title that’s been on my wishlist for awhile that gives off some very strong Spore-vibes. Ultimately, it was a decided for me when a dear friend gifted it to me after I asked Twitter to talk me out of purchasing it.

I played around with it for a few hours, and there’s a lot of potential in this one, but it’s still very very rough around the edges. It’s something I’ll check back on every now and then, and probably spend some more time in the creative mode, but I don’t know that the main survival mode has enough going for it just yet to be truly enjoyable.

Good Reads Challenge (30/36)

When I can’t sleep, I tend to read. A lot. Which means I blew through a lot of books this month, absolutely making my Kindle Unlimited subscription worth every penny.

BR Kingsolver’s five book series about Rosie O’Grady’s Bar & Grill was a great story with a kickass female protagonist, and I’d definitely read more by this author.

I had read the first nine books in the EA Copen’s Lazarus Codex back in August of last year, and on a whim, I decided to check if any more had come out. To my delight, not only were the last three books of the series available, but also a five book series featuring some minor characters. I zoomed through them all.

I’m currently working my way through Brad Magnarella’s urban fantasy series which revolved around the wizard Professor Everson Croft in a alternate universe’s New York City. The insomnia has mostly resolved, but I find myself back in the habit of reading a few chapters before falling asleep each night.

But probably the highlight of my month as far as books were concerned came very close to the end, when a dear friend of mine made two of her books available for Kindle for the first time. I’ve read them both in the past (and even had a small hand in the editing), and I couldn’t be more delighted that these are now available to a far wider audience.

One thought on “In Review – May 2020

  1. Glad over the last little bit you’d been coming back to feeling like yourself again Krikket. And definitely glad you sorted your PC issues too! I can’t remember if mentioned already on the Discord or not — but starting to get some of my own. But pretty clear source — one of my older HDD’s has finally had enough. Unfortunately, it was also the one I had most of my games installed to.

    Plenty of space for what I’m playing on the remaining drives, just frustrating having to reinstall and (in some cases, i.e., WoW) reconfigure addons etc.

    Anywho, don’t worry at all about any potential delay in the Civ VI game. Definitely meant as a low stress thing. While it does depend somewhat on when I get the save game over to me, I’m typically waiting for the weekend before playing and posting it out now. Just much easier that way.


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