PAX East: Things To Remember For Next Year

04.09.12 6 years ago 3 Comments

Spending two days at PAX East means that you see an insane amount of stuff. There’s no way to do a post about each individual thing…so here’s a bullet-pointed list of the surprising, the weird, and the unexpectedly awesome.

  • On the first day, it helps to not drop your camera in such a way that the lens shatters. Something I learned the hard way this year.
  • If you want to start an indie game, put together a demo and go to Kickstarter. Kickstarter was a relentless theme in my interviews and conversations with people. Either they’d gotten their initial round with Kickstarter, or had just blown past what they thought was an obscene goal for Kickstarter. In some cases these companies had been trying to develop a game for more than a decade. And none of them had stumbled onto the site post Tim-Schafer.
  • Pretty much any nerd band is gracious to a fault, so if you get in a long line with lots of fans, be ready to wait a solid hour. This is especially true of Jonathan Coulton and Paul and Storm.
  • There does come a time when you cannot wear a Pokemon hat or try to cosplay as Jigglypuff or a squad of Squirtles, and that time is sixth grade.
  • Console freeplay will eat up way more of your time than you’ll be willing to admit.
  • Tabletop freeplay will eat up even more, especially if you stumble across a game built around screwing your opponent, like “Miskatonic School for Girls”.
  • Do not try to compete in Magic drafts unless you’re pretty much an Olympic level strategist, because you’ll get murdered by a thirteen year old. No, seriously, I didn’t even bother, but I did see a forty-year-old man get knocked out of a draft in less than ten minutes by a kid who in ten years will probably be at West Point, terrifying the generals with his mastery of strategy.
  • Speaking of which, a PAX survival kit: some reasonably healthy snacks, extremely comfortable shoes that you’ve broken in, a messenger bag with lots of space, a small still camera, a tablet computer, and a couple of card games that take a while, like Magic or Munchkin.
  • You need the space in the bag because you aren’t leaving without buying at least three articles of clothing, one of which will be a scarf; at least one unique and loopy toy; a couple of used games; and a tabletop game of some sort.
  • Yes, bag check will be crucial at some point.
  • PAX is the one place where no matter how much you suck, you can play games like Dance Central and Rock Band and not be self-conscious, even if you’re dressed as Astro Boy.
  • The big game booths are ultimately never as interesting or exciting as the smaller games.
  • Any claims of free wireless on anybody’s part around the BCEC are blatant lies.

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