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PAX EAST 2012 SUGGESTIONS THREAD

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  • JerYnkFanJerYnkFan Registered User regular
    As far as the convention food prices go, yes they are stupidly expensive (no different than any other con or sporting venue), but they did offer free lunch shuttles or you could have just taken the Silver Line back to South Station and ate at the food court there which is what I did.

  • srboyceboatsrboyceboat Registered User regular
    The idea of staggered shifts with more employees means it costs them more to be at PAX. If it costs them more, you'll get fewer developer booths. It's already a failing proposition as it is, unless PA reduces the cost of exhibition space - and now PA is taking more of a loss. According to Khoo last year (dunno what he said at Khoo & A this year), they pretty much just break even at every PAX. Taking a net loss probably wouldn't kill them, but that's a lot to ask, you know?

    Organizing a show like this is rough. Any expo-hall hour changes would likely be non-negotiable for the exhibitors. Also, a lot of them legitimately just want to have some time to breathe. By Sunday, Morello and all the other Riot guys sounded like they'd been yelling for 72 hours straight. Because they had. That's a rough gig. They're human.

    Also, picking up random shlubs to run the booths would be a disservice to all the people who show up to talk to the devs and whatnot. Not that there's not a ton of jerks (lookin' at you, guy at the Rockstar booth), but most of the guys and gals are just excited by our excitement.


    That said, it was a semi-rough year for industry panels because of the holiday and the timing. I mean, let's be honest, they probably have to work a pretty rough pitch convincing these guys to come out to the East Coast. No one is over here except for 38, Irrational, and a small handful of others. Compare that to Seattle, which is where all those motherfuckers are anyway. The one really notable exception that was kind of a disappointment was a lack of Scott and Kris, Kris and Scott. I mean, Australia was probably awesome and an awesome opportunity for them, but I was disappoint not to laugh into the late hours of the morning with those two Saturday night. Considering how much of a blast it was the last two years, not having it was definitively noticeable. That said, I finally got to see VGO, Paul & Storm, and JoCo because they weren't set against K&S/S&K.

    But yeah, if you're doing lines for AAA games that you're probably gonna buy anyway? PAX: you're doing it wrong. Go check out all the small, indie games. Draw a a sign that says "Teach me a Cool Game" and hang out in the tabletop area (did that last year. Learned Puzzle Strike. It was awesome). My biggest regret was standing in line at Riot's booth to play the fastest game of dominion ever (btw, me and 4 randoms absolutely dunked on a premade. Get dunked.) It was a ton of fun to listen to the guys commentate on non-competitive play and the booth was a lot of fun - good energy, good atmosphere, not nearly as much dickery as is common in the actual game - but I would have been better served checking out stuff that I couldn't play when I got home.

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  • MrGone1980MrGone1980 Registered User regular
    This is a fantastic thread. I spent my PAX a little on the unorthodox side I should say, but it was overall fucking awesome. I went kinda alone this year (A friend met me on Friday but only had a pass for that day), and although I don't recommend it (I went with buddies last year) going alone IS a viable option at PAX and I think I proved it this time. You just gotta try to get in the mix with other attendees but don't feel weird if they're not dragging you with them to everything. Go alone and hang out but don't glom onto random peeps, you'll find the ones you connect with. It can feel weird cuz you're like "I think these people are cool, what if I don't meet any others..." you will, and when you vibe with someone it'll be immediately apparent. The people you don't vibe with will all be perfectly nice to you though, as is the way here.

    Here's the weird thing about this year: all I did was hang out in the Indie MegaBooth all weekend during expo hours. That's weird, right?

    Monaco was fucking amazing and I played it 4 times. Did you know that Andy and the rest of the squad were writing down bugs the ENTIRE time people were playing? They would go to their hotel rooms after the expo closed and debug and edit the game, every single night. Crazy! I was playing a level and I had a question about how to sneak past a certain guard in a tight location, I pointed it out to him, he came over and he's like "huh, ok. I'm gonna move that desk up later so you can sneak behind him." That was a cool feeling.

    You know what else is crazy? pretty much ALL the indie devs were doing the exact same thing, every single night. By playing their games we were actually shaping them.

    Craig from CapyBara (Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery) was, honestly, one of the most interesting human beings I've ever met. I started asking him some questions about the game and he just started riffing on the state of games in general, Dark Souls and Demon's Souls, just so much shit. He was holding court and I was absolutely mesmerized. What a mind on that dude. I guess this refers to what someone said about the Indie devs not knowing how to partition their time right but who cares? They're flying by the seat of their pants a bit. At least they're the actual devs and not some PR grunt getting paid by the hour. This means they'll talk to you as long as they feel like.

    Super Time Force, Charlie Murder, They Bleed Pixels, Skulls of the Shogun, Dyad, many more, incredible innovation and talent and the opportunity to pick the brains behind the titles pretty much defined my expo experience. Did anyone play Miegakure? It was incredible. The guy who made it kinda creeped me out, he was something of an intense character. He offered to spoil the mechanics of his game to me as I had difficulty understanding them. The Super Crate Box guy was hilariously opinionated and he played Muffin Knight on my droid phone with some excellent commentary.

    Ok ok I digress. But the best part of PAXEast2012 was what they did with the Indies, last year it was more than a bit disjointed but here they had a centralized location and it was where I happily found myself. I didn't play any AAA titles at all actually.

    The people were awesome, the enforcers were cool as always (I didn't have any give me bad directions, they just pointed me to enforcers who knew what they didn't know), I missed EVERY panel sans the keynote, just having too much fun doing other stuff. The swag bag situation was complete fucking horseshit, they started giving bags to the keynote line then just STOPPED for no reason so I never got mine, the wait for swag bags later was literally TWO HOURS for attendees. Bullshit bullshit bullshit. Last year I remember they were just out there in boxes and if you missed them coming in to the expo you could just freely grab one later. But it's cool there wasn't anything in there I REALLY wanted and I don't play Magic, just wanted the opportunity to get one for gits and shiggles.

    I drunkenly bothered people at night and always felt welcome (I wasn't a belligerent dick just wandered around talking to strangers). The Protomen burned the fucking house down and seeing ACT II complete was an awesome experience. I'm really sorry to hear that someone stole their shit, I hope those fucking assholes get alien scabies for doing it, and I'm betting they hope the PAX army never finds out who they are.

    The Curse afterparty was fun.

    Long post...shit. Ok ok last thing was the two peeps I took the bus back to NYC with. Totally unexpectedly, we started talking on line at the station and actually talked for the next 4 hours straight, no pause, no lie. One of them didn't even go to PAX, she was at the Anime Con. That's how PAX ended, in a bus with totally random love hanging with strangers that are now friends, as it should be. It was perfect.

  • avsfan590avsfan590 Registered User
    edited April 2012
    Longer Expo hall hours if possible. I found 10-6 a little short.

    avsfan590 on
  • XX55XXXX55XX Registered User regular
    A better and more concise map would also be welcome. I found myself getting lost at times. Also, second the request for longer expo hall hours, should be more like 10AM to 9PM.

  • vttymvttym Registered User regular
    I'll be more eloquent with my thoughts later, but my one suggestion I can offer now: Please move the media day back to Saturday. Many of the booths were either not setup, weren't staffed, or just weren't ready for the media time from 9-10 on Friday.

    It also removed any ability on my part to check out how things were on Friday during the day, to know which booth(s) to visit during the media time. Last year's was Saturday, so I had Friday to see which booths were in demand, and make a beeline for them on Saturday morning.

  • fyeahckingfyeahcking Registered User regular
    I'm not sure when baggage claim actually closed, but we'd heard it was supposed to close at 6:30, which made one of our crew have to leave the final Omegathon round/closing ceremony early to go get our things (he was a hero - thank you Xuri).

    We didn't know for sure if they'd just hold the baggage claim closing until the end or not, so either a pushing back on the closing time or a clarification that you're still safe if you attend the fully closing ceremony'd be nice.

    And, of course, if I just missed key info and this was publicized, oops. Ignore me. :)

  • WolfieeWolfiee MARegistered User regular
    People telling me not to go to PAX for AAA games - LOL. I'm going to PAX for EVERYTHING, including the AAA games (which is the type of gamer I am anyway). If I'm paying for tickets, for parking, for T fair, etc, I'm going to attempt to do everything they offer, as I should.

    AGAIN, yeah, the lines were long the first two years for the bigger games, but not even close to the length they were this year.

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  • therernothererno Registered User
    First I would like to say that PAX is my absolute favorite thing that I do out of the entire year!! I had tons of fun, however I do agree with some of the sentiments expressed in this forum.

    1. Too many people this year. There definitely seemed to be more people on the showroom floor, which may or may not have been aided by the number of long demos.

    2. Less long demos. It seemed like most of the big games and even some of the smaller ones had 30 to 45 minute demos. Personally I enjoy the 10 to 15 minute demos . (The Aliens vs Marines multi-player demo was awesome!!) I only expect to be able to get into one, maybe two big name games with a 3 day pass but I didn't expect the long lines for almost ALL of the games on Friday and Saturday.

    3. Late panels. I had the horrible luck of being in line for 3 panels which were VERY late (half an hour or more). This lead me to miss other things that I really wanted to go to.

    4. Expo hours. I understand closing at 6pm, since the vendors and exhibitors are tried and hungry but I felt like it should have opened a little earlier (8 or 9) on at least Saturday.

    Awesome things
    1. Food trolleys. you spend about the same amount of money at some of those restaurants as you would in the convention center and the food is way better.

    2. People! Table Top Games! and Everything Else!

  • Psquare75Psquare75 Registered User
    Regarding food. There were several carnival trailers at the far end of the expo floor that were brought in. $6 fried dough and pizza. Were those prices set by BCEC as well? (Serious question).

  • MrGone1980MrGone1980 Registered User regular
    I say it's always a good idea to leave PAX at some point as a quick palate cleanser. Take the time to go to Chinatown and grab some grub. There were local food trucks parked on the corner in the financial district on Friday and I had an absolutely stellar Banh Mi.

    If any of you have the opportunity to go to the Great Dumpling House, get there early and be patient, I had some of the best soup dumplings of my life in there on Saturday, absolutely fantastic food, family-style seating and reasonably priced, but if you're late the wait time is severe. 11:30 or so is good for a 12PM lunch.

  • GhostDanGhostDan Registered User regular
    Psquare75 wrote: »
    Regarding food. There were several carnival trailers at the far end of the expo floor that were brought in. $6 fried dough and pizza. Were those prices set by BCEC as well? (Serious question).

    Pretty sure part of the terms of the contract PA signs is that they can't bring in food, it's all provided by BCEC [and part of their money making, even if half of the people ate there, figuring a slice of pizza and a soda was over $10, that's over a million dollars just in lunches). Also part of why the cookie brigade can't sell cookies.

  • Anla-ShokAnla-Shok Registered User
    edited April 2012
    First off, thanks for hearing our suggestions, I really appreciate it!

    I would suggest adding more information to the twitter feed regarding the state of the free play areas, or perhaps a third feed dedicated to it.

    In particular, I tried twice (on two separate days) to use the PC Free Play area, and the network was down both times. People want to get the most out of PAX, and waiting in line to sit at a PC that can't play the majority of the games on it is a drag.

    Of course, my other suggestion would be "figure out what went wrong with PC Free Play," but I feel like it probably had something to do with MCAA's network and not PAX administration.

    Anla-Shok on
  • Psquare75Psquare75 Registered User
    Yikes.. I didn't find the demo lines that bad.. But then again, I specifically avoided the Rockstar/riot booths. I was pretty content at say, the Invidia booth, wargaming.net, alienware, indies.. Even the games they had running on their demo machines were all new to me, waited maybe 5 minutes at most to play World of Tanks and no wait at all for Ghost Recon.

  • ChorazinChorazin Registered User regular
    Really, complaining about the content of panels? What you like isn't always what I like, and insinuating that panels you don't like have no value is the ultimate in dickishness.

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  • purevalpureval Registered User regular
    I would like to suggest more merchandise be available. It was rather annoying to have things (PAX Easter shirt, the hat they were giving away) be sold out on Friday before I even had a chance to get to the booth.

    I think that using rooms as queue lines was a good idea, but the Enforcers need to make it more clear how the line works. After the first couple of lines moved out of the room everyone else just moved as a mass. Maybe having an Enforcer at both ends of the room would help.

    There seemed to be a lot less of the "throw swag into the hoard of people" thing going on this year, and I hope that continues.

  • d0ughb0yd0ughb0y Registered User regular
    Laemkral wrote: »
    As for why the exhibition hall closes at 7, it's because you're asking every company to tell its employees to work an extra 3 hours now to stay open until 10. I don't know about you, but I'm not a fan of working 12 hours a day, never mind the showing up early for setup and staying after close to put everything away for the night.

    You see, while you and I are having fun and playing video games and going to panels and doing whatever we want, these people are actually WORKING. Convention staff? They want to go home to their families. Presenters and exhibitors? They would really like to have some fun, too. And there's a very good possibility that in order to comply with labor laws, groups would have to bring out additional people to meet the longer working hours, and that's more expensive and costly for them (and in turn for us, because the convention center will charge more for the extra staff requirements).

    It's never as simple as "just stay open later", there are second and third order effects that go along with it.

    I've worked at a company that does a convention every year. Not nearly on the same scale as this, however we also attend conventions that are this be for our entire industry and we run booths.

    If you're doing that for your job, you're at work the whole time. If you're on the floor or if you're out to dinner with clients/customers, or you're cleaning up... you're WORKING. Labor laws? ROFL. Longer hours means more pay? Nope... salary. You do what your job requires.

    When you leave the hall, you're going out to dinner or you're going back to your hotel bar. You're not 'going home to spend time with family'. Anyone that does these knows that you're going to be putting in 16-18 hour days to set up, to do the con, and to break down. You relax when it is over, not for a few hours each day.

    The people going to the convention are the people that make it possible for your company to do business. Without those people to see, to try things, to learn about the new stuff your company is doing, you're out of business... Every company should be so lucky to have their customers demanding they get to market their stuff directly to their target audience for a couple more hours.

  • MrGone1980MrGone1980 Registered User regular
    Just wanted to say that the Indie MegaBooth was such a fantastic idea.

    I, like everyone else, wish that the expo was open longer but I understand that the logistics of even increasing it by one hour are more than I can fathom.

  • XX55XXXX55XX Registered User regular
    Oh yeah, and in case I forgot: Please have reliable WiFi available everywhere! I was relying on it for communication purposes, and having the network go dark on me was rather frustrating at times.

  • LimondLimond Registered User regular
    Bean bags out in the open. Not restricted to the handheld lounge. In the corners of the convention center hallways (mostly the right and left of main theater escalators. It is relatively quiet and boring up there. Toss some beanbags for peace and relaxation.

    Also the NVidia/Intel area was absolutely a piece of shit layout wise. There needs to be a path going to tabletop gaming from the escalators. That was absolutely horrible having just come to the food court going either through the expo hall or through the sky-bridge and back down then across.

    Also in the queue room trashcans and recycle bins are needed to be dispersed through out the lines. Every day when I went in, a mess of garbage and abandoned swag was left behind.

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  • ElzemereElzemere Registered User regular
    Most of my concerns have been addressed here.
    However being soemone who lives in the Boston area..and seeing the ammount of access PAX and the city itself is giving to cab drivers. It saddens and enrages me when I hear stories of people getting shafted for longer rides than what is fair.
    Iheard about happening in 2010. Again last year. And this year Brian Crecente tweets , 'Boston cabbie just doubled our fare with an unrequested tour of the city and then tried to drop us at the wrong hotel.'


    Luckily Boston makes it pretty easy to prevent being taken advantage of, or if such does happen to report the ocurrence.

    I'd suggest the first thing any cab passenger should do before stepping into one is making note of the cab company's phone number. Further still requesting the driver's badge number (which by law they have to relinquish, if requested) will further let them know you're not one to fuck with.
    Because if you have that badge number and they screw with you, you can report the incident at cityofboston.gov/police/taxi.asp


    PAX Officials, this where you come in. As you've now entered an agreement for the next 10 years, it'd serve you and our community well to nip this in the bud before it becomes more entrenched and systemic. Contact the Mayor of Boston and let him know you're displeased with these incidents and get the word out to those in the pax community to be aware of their rights while traveling in the city.

  • nippernipper Registered User new member
    Maybe I missed this, but putting the room numbers that the convention center uses next to the various theatre names would help a lot. They do have a lot of signage and it'd be easier for example to go to room 210 instead of the Manticore. Less flavorful sure but even if it was just listed like Manticore(210) or something like that it'd be very helpful.

  • Dr ValkyrieDr Valkyrie Registered User
    Elzemere wrote: »
    Most of my concerns have been addressed here.
    However being soemone who lives in the Boston area..and seeing the ammount of access PAX and the city itself is giving to cab drivers. It saddens and enrages me when I hear stories of people getting shafted for longer rides than what is fair.
    Iheard about happening in 2010. Again last year. And this year Brian Crecente tweets , 'Boston cabbie just doubled our fare with an unrequested tour of the city and then tried to drop us at the wrong hotel.'


    Luckily Boston makes it pretty easy to prevent being taken advantage of, or if such does happen to report the ocurrence.

    I'd suggest the first thing any cab passenger should do before stepping into one is making note of the cab company's phone number. Further still requesting the driver's badge number (which by law they have to relinquish, if requested) will further let them know you're not one to fuck with.
    Because if you have that badge number and they screw with you, you can report the incident at cityofboston.gov/police/taxi.asp


    PAX Officials, this where you come in. As you've now entered an agreement for the next 10 years, it'd serve you and our community well to nip this in the bud before it becomes more entrenched and systemic. Contact the Mayor of Boston and let him know you're displeased with these incidents and get the word out to those in the pax community to be aware of their rights while traveling in the city.

    This is 100% true that the cabbies will screw you. I had to get to South Station on Sunday after the con. Normally I would have walked but I was wiped from wearing heels for 3 days. I also had two big bags. This guy decided to take me on a tour of South Boston. I should not need to pay 12 dollars to get to South Station when it's down the block and not really that far.

  • BigDumbHippyBigDumbHippy Registered User regular
    How about different bands for next year?

  • avsfan590avsfan590 Registered User
    XX55XX wrote: »
    Oh yeah, and in case I forgot: Please have reliable WiFi available everywhere! I was relying on it for communication purposes, and having the network go dark on me was rather frustrating at times.

    This was a pretty big problem. wifi only worked for maybe 15 minutes for the 2 days I was at the convention.

  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    How about next year you offer packages to allow people to pay extra to get in an hour or two before the show or an hour or two after to get on the exhibition floor and avoid the lines? If you limit it to maybe 5000 people before and after each day, it might reduce the lines.

  • clutch10clutch10 Registered User
    Organize the media presentations in a different fashion. Can't tell you how much of a bummer it is to wait in line for an hour and a half, only to see a select group of media members ushered into the exhibit ahead of you. I don't remember this being as prevailent last year (my first PAX) as it was this year.

    Also maybe set up some sort of wristband or fastpass system, so that people won't be forced to sit in those long lines. Go to the exhibit, register your fastpass, then come back at the appointed time (rather than waste valuable time, yes, in line...sensing a theme to my gripes? :) ) The thing is, some of us opted for a one-day pass, and given the limited amount of time, it's a bit disheartening to eat up 1/3 or more of one's time waiting. I did have a great time this year, but just wanted to add my 2-cents...thanks for listening!

  • jdixon1972jdixon1972 Registered User regular
    I hope this is ok. I posted this in another thread, but felt it really fit in more here.

    Ok, I first have to say that I thought this was the best Pax East yet.

    Second, I can understand some of these questions coming from first timers, but seriously, a large majority of these questions/complaints sound as if they are coming from experienced Pax attendees. This is my third Pax East, so I've learned a few things over the past few years. It's a given that some booths are going to be packed, and it's always going to be their responsibility to manage their lines. It's a given that Enforcers are not perfect. They are not paid, so basically you're getting people who are hard core gaming geeks that probably want to get into Pax for free and don't have degrees in crowd management. It's a given that technology is not perfect. There will be the inevitable sound/video problems. There will be internet/connectivity problems. There will be lighting/stage issues. It's a given that line management for panels will be problematic or in some cases a complete cluster f**k (and yes, i'm especially pointing out the handling of the Xplay panel, totally unfair in all respects). And finally, it's a given that it is not a god given right that you must get swag at every freakin booth you visit. The main reason these companies are here are to display their warez. And yes, if they want to force you to stand in line for 2 hours to watch their 3 minute game video or play their 5-45 minute game demo, it's totally their choice.

    Finally, you know what? Despite everything listed above, you will most likely still keep coming to PAX. You'll be trolling the forums at the faintest hint of any sign of tickets going on sale or hotels beginning to offer rooms. You'll still keep buying anything PAX related. You'll still be waiting with baited breath, wondering who'll be at the concerts, what vendors will be there, and what parties you can possibly sign up for/sneak into. And most of all, you'll attend the next Pax (either Prime or East) and this whole game will start all over again. The whole history repeating itself thing definitely applies here. Yes, the PAX organizers will try to learn from all these mistakes, but they will always happen again in some form or another.

    You know what? I tolerate all these things because we as gaming fans have been snubbed by the american industry for far to long. We have had to set back and let the media tell us what we should be playing, what we should be buying, what we should be telling others about. E3? It's a complete joke and a reason to get the gaming media together to give them the elite swag that us, the fans, aren't good enough to get. The CES? Yeh, a show that at one time embraced gaming, then snubbed it, only to realize that it truly is a money making machine. It's also a whore to the electronics media spin machine. Even Nintendo and certain other companies think it's better to have special media only events. It's one humongous spin machine. A game may be utter crap, but give the media perks and they're bound to pimp out anything.

    Pax provides that one glimmer of hope that we may eventually be offered the chance to make up our own minds about products before someone else can spin it any which way they like. Because of this, I can feel confident in buying a game and it not being utter crap. And if you buy a game you actually like, you wont run into that dreaded "You can't return the game because it's been opened" line that every major retailer has adopted. I liked the fact that they put a tighter reign on issuing media badges this year. It's not for them, it is for us!

    If I have read previously posted material correctly, I gather that Pax is a for profit event. That is fine with me. You can't expect, however, that they have the resources to place guards at every entrance to police for counterfeit badges. You can't expect them to have a vetting process on the level of FBI agents for enforcers. You can't expect that they would have the resources to pay every enforcer. You can't expect that they would have that much pull to get every major industry player to come to their event. You can't expect that they would have the resource to manage lines like you would find at any major amusement park or venue. If you do expect this stuff, you would literally have to pay upwards of $200-$300 for a single day pass, not to mention what a 3 day pass would cost.

    Pax East does not have the convenience of being in the middle of a major metropolitan area like Prime does. I think the organizers do their best to put together a great show while still trying to give its attendees the best of all things (ie. shuttles from farther hotels, instructions to get to restaurants, instructions for doing stuff in the city, etc.). Most of all, the majority of this could not be done without volunteers and sponsors.

    The bottom line is this. We can post our bad experiences and problems here. Yes, it will surely help them in planing for next year. Nothing will be perfect, however. We just need to go into every Pax with the 'Nothing will be perfect' attitude and just enjoy it!

  • klzklz Registered User regular
    For everybody asking for longer expo hall hours, it's simply not realistic for many of the booth employees to accommodate this because they've been setting up their booths for days prior to the show and are likely there at least by 9 if not 8 (or earlier) to test out the equipment and make sure everything is running. I'd also be surprised if the short time before is the time that they use to also briefly chat or visit the other vendors because they are in the industry because they are gamers too, and they don't have time to do that whenthe show floor is open. After the show floor closes, it takes a few hours to pack everything away for the night. I imagine for the publicity and word of mouth the companies would love to accommodate this, but the limits of human endurace simply don't let them.

  • tvethiopiatvethiopia Registered User regular
    XX55XX wrote: »
    A better and more concise map would also be welcome. I found myself getting lost at times. Also, second the request for longer expo hall hours, should be more like 10AM to 9PM.

    seconding the map bit. even if there is no change to the map itself, there should be more of them. i seem to remember there being a lot of maps posted last year, but i saw maybe one or two the whole weekend this year. sure there's one in the program and the guidebook, but if you're carrying a bunch of stuff and trying to find your way around it can become a bit of a jugging act to use those. it's so much more convenient when the maps are posted.

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  • aikoeaikoe Registered User regular
    This was my first PAX and I have this to say: Amazing, amazing, amazing.

    The good:
    Panels. I went to several and every last one kept my attention and left me wanting more.
    Enforcers. They were at the top of their game. One of them even remembered my name on Saturday after I'd made one witty comment on Friday night. Out of 70000 people, HE REMEMBERED MY NAME.
    Lines. I'm going to go ahead and disagree with a lot of people and say that every line I was in was perfectly fine. I never had to wait more than two hours for anything, and even those two-hour bits were entertaining. I honestly expected to have to wait longer for a lot of things. I was also impressed by how well-organized the lines were. I never encountered confusing or misleading information regarding them.

    The bad:
    The QR codes didn't scan for the PAX XP game. Yes, okay, this is a minor thing. But there were instances in which it took me five minutes to get a code to scan, and a lot of the codes were in places where you'd be blocking traffic if you had to stand around that long. I assumed it had to do with the light glinting off the laminated surface of the paper.
    Expo hall organization. For the most part it was fantastic. But I had a few times where traffic got ridiculous to the point of intolerable. The worst time I can think of is when a couple people dressed in crazy armored outfits kept stopping IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AISLE and setting up platforms to take photos. Fortunately, Enforcers converged upon them within minutes and told them to cut it out. Even without that, though, I think some sort of "traffic light" system would've been neat in a few of the more heavily-trafficked areas.
    Smartphone reliance. I have a smartphone, and they're the way of the future, so this wasn't an issue for me. But a couple of my smartphone-free friends got WAY butthurt about it. The one thing I can think of that bothered them in particular was the "send me a tweet to win something" during the keynote.

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  • jsh357jsh357 Registered User regular
    I never entered the expo hall myself. Spent all three days in tabletop and panels.

    My biggest complaints about the experience:
    1) Overpriced food. Guys, I know you need to make a profit, but Jesus Christ! I'll pay $9 for a cheeseburger if it's filling (it wasn't), but humor me here.

    2) Instead of having the queue room and cafeteria area take up all that space with nothing in it, why not reduce the size and make the expo hall a little less cramped? I took one look at the sea of people in there
    and flat out refused to go in.

    3) Like the first post mentioned, why are there so many "filler" panels concerned with content that a one page article in an online publication could cover instead? I've got nothing against people wanting to go see them, but I had to miss out on several "fun" panels that were stacked on top of other similar events. On that note, the two panels I was most looking forward to were pretty much train wrecks in my opinion, but I'm gonna hold my tongue because I am pretty sure that's on the panelists themselves.

    4) Line organization. I had to ask an Enforcer where the line was ending at every panel I went to. I know that's why they're there, but if it were obvious from the start I wouldn't have to waste their time! Get more signs out there. It would help a lot.

    5) The classic console room needs more games! They rely on donations, right? I guess there's not much that can be done, but it's kind of lame to be missing titles that should really be there like Kirby Super Star. On the same note, if you're going to have Game Boy titles, Super Game Boy / Gamecube with Game Boy Player is a must. Half the fun is sharing the nostalgia with others after all!

    6) Too many people. I was at PAX last year, and it seemed like maybe half the people were there. I got in to every panel I wanted with ease, played every game I wanted in the expo hall with ease, etc. I'm not sure what can be done about this as the venue is already huge.

    Props:
    1) The hotel shuttles were always on time and pretty quick for me. Huge thanks to the drivers.

    2) Saturday's concert... holy crap, it was amazing. Excellent lineup that night, plenty of variety and energy. Was worth the massive line.

    3) Tabletop area seemed to be organized almost flawlessly. I had zero complaints about anything the whole weekend (and I spent the most time here).

    4) Almost everyone I talked to was friendly and interesting (well, aside from the parents some poor kid had dragged along, but it happens).

    Overall, I had a great time and my criticisms are only meant to help you guys better the experience. I went through hell getting a 3-day pass but it was worth it.

  • klzklz Registered User regular
    The PAX XP hunt was fun but too many people had trouble scanning some of them, with the Tabletop HQ sign and the CAt Theater one being two I know about (and we ended up giving up on solving it because of that).

    While I understand the prime Expo Hall space is the ares right as you enter from the escalators, is it possible to redesign it so the big booths are alon the outside so lines could wrap around the walls/empty space more? Max Payne 3 and last year's SW:TOR lines worked to an extent that way, but the Borderlands/Assasin's Creed 3 locations (and even League Of Legends to an extent) just made it impossible to get around in the confusion.

  • CthulhuKatCthulhuKat Registered User
    This was my first PAX experience and I must say I *loved* it.

    Lines to get in were super fast (Way better than ICON). I queued at 10am-10:15am each day and was inside the expo hall by 10:30 latest (on the day we got there at 10:15).

    As far as lines: You needed to be smarter. (No offense) On Sunday after about 1pm there were NO lines for almost all the games. I was able to walk up and grab a free system for the following games:

    SWTOR
    Borderlands 2
    Diablo III
    Street Fighter vs Tekken
    Secret World
    Tera
    Firefall
    as well as several other smaller game titles and mobile games.

    There were also either incredibly short or non-existant lines at that point for Assassins Creed III, Aliens, and Max Payne.


    And long demos... I really enjoyed them. The shorter ones (5-10min) didn't feel long enough. Many times it was too short to really get a good feel for the game, but the longer ones where you could really enjoy and not feel rushed were amazing.


    Civ V was great- I wish there could have been some playability there but with the nature of such a long game I guess I can understand not being able to play.

    Kickstarter stuff - Awesome. I was able to snag some games that I had missed supporting initially and learned some really nifty stuff.

    Panel for using Games in Education + Making History/Muzzy Lane - As an educator I really enjoyed this panel and seeing this booth and would love more like it. I would have liked more of that panel but we ran out of time. :-(



    CONS:

    On Friday no one checked badges. I didn't have a lanyard yet so my badges were in my pocket... until about noon.

    More demo tables for certain board games would have been nice. Having only 2 tables for Game of Thrones (A 3-4 hour long six player game) was kinda crazy.

    Huge jack-ups on prices of games. I understand this is vendors and not PAX but seeing games that retail for $40-50 going for $65+ was a little annoying. :-/

  • CthulhuKatCthulhuKat Registered User
    edited April 2012
    "Oh, that reminds me! The way they checked IDs was really REALLY stupid. They didn't card anyone until they already spent an hour+ waiting in line. I remembered there were some kids further back in the Borderlands 2 line, and felt like shit knowing they had to endure that long wait for nothing. My brother and I brought that up to them before we were lead to our demo kiosks but, I doubt it did any good. Honestly, if you're going to age restrict the games, do it at the start of the line. Not the end.

    or even just have signs stating clearly that you need to be a certain age to play. How hard could it be to print a piece of paper with 1 sentence. "



    You need to be a certain age to play M rated games. This is not new, or news. You should know if you're of an age to play M rated games. And if you're not don't get in line in the first place. That's like going into a grocery store, shopping around, getting on line and getting mad at the cashier for IDing you for the beer you picked up. It's to be expected.


    CthulhuKat on
  • nevermore13nevermore13 Registered User regular
    These have been covered to an extent but I wanted to reiterate some of them.

    I remember a lot more maps last year but that could be based on it being the first year. I would agree that posting more maps would be helpful.

    Additionally, I would like longer expo hall hours but I understand why that may not be possible. If possible it would be great to have the wait time posted for a line in the expo hall. This would especially be useful for the longer lines/more popular expo hall games.

    The concerts are great every year, but if they are willing to come and play I would love to see Freezepop make a return to the concert lineup.

  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    tvethiopia wrote: »
    XX55XX wrote: »
    A better and more concise map would also be welcome. I found myself getting lost at times. Also, second the request for longer expo hall hours, should be more like 10AM to 9PM.

    seconding the map bit. even if there is no change to the map itself, there should be more of them. i seem to remember there being a lot of maps posted last year, but i saw maybe one or two the whole weekend this year. sure there's one in the program and the guidebook, but if you're carrying a bunch of stuff and trying to find your way around it can become a bit of a jugging act to use those. it's so much more convenient when the maps are posted.

    In addition to maps, I would really like to see fork-in-the-road signs like you see on hiking trails. "Manticore Room, this way, 600 feet." It would be a lot more work than maps, but with the odd three-dimensional navigation necessary for getting from certain main rooms to other main rooms (going from PC Freeplay to Tabletop, for example), I think it would really make a difference in navigating the BCEC for PAXers new and old.

  • BigDumbHippyBigDumbHippy Registered User regular
    I enjoy the protomen, Metroid Metal, JC, etc, but it's been the same lineup every year. a little variety would be nice

  • erunamaerunama Registered User new member
    This year was my first PAX East, after attending four years of PAX Prime.

    Overall, I think the experience was better at East. For all of the people complaining about overcrowding and long lines, the situation is definitely worse at Prime. BCEC blows away WSCC in terms of space. Everything is in a single building, there is more aisle space on the expo floor, and significantly more room for tabletop gaming.

    Sure, East is still crowded, but it is easy to get away from the crowds. After the first two times at PAX, I switched to spending more time at panels (typically choosing the smaller ones and avoiding the big publisher/developer panels), playing indie games, and tabletop. I found that waiting in a long line to play a AAA game is almost never worth it. At Prime 2010, I waited over an hour to get into the Portal 2 booth, only to find out one person got to pay, while the other ~50 people just sat and watched.

    I don't mind the Expo floor hours, as many others have complained about. Especially for indie developers, they already have a small staff operating their booth for 8 hours a day over three days. Extending the floor hours would be too much for them. The only problem I have with the expo hall hours are that it causes a big strain on everything else after 6pm. If you're not in tabletop before 6pm, good luck finding the game you want, or a nice table to play on.

    As far as downsides, here's what I can think of:
    - Swag bag: got there around 11am on Saturday and they were all out of swag bags. This needs to be fixed (even if there "wasn't anything good in it", I still should be able to get one). Why not include a coupon/token with your badge that allows you to pickup one swag bag? This would cut down on attendees grabbing more than one, and hopefully let everyone get one, regardless of what day or time they are able to arrive.
    - The panel selection was a little below that of Prime. This could be attributed to location and timing. Most of the big developers are West coast based, plus it was Easter weekend.
    - Queue lines were sometimes in odd places, along hallways that carried a lot of traffic. I wonder if they could block off various sections to make the flow through the building better, as well as carve out better out of the way space for queuing.

  • WolfieeWolfiee MARegistered User regular
    CthulhuKat wrote: »
    As far as lines: You needed to be smarter. (No offense) On Sunday after about 1pm there were NO lines for almost all the games. I was able to walk up and grab a free system for the following games:

    SWTOR
    Borderlands 2
    Diablo III
    Street Fighter vs Tekken
    Secret World
    Tera
    Firefall
    as well as several other smaller game titles and mobile games.
    That's funny because the enforcer at the line for Borderlands 2 was holding up a sign on Sunday that read "Come back after 1:00" because there was already a 2 hour wait, plus a line waiting to get in the line. We left and came back at 1 (before getting in line for Gearbox at 1:30) to see if it got any better and it was still a 2+ hour wait.

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