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PAX Wisdom and First Timer Advice thread.

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Posts

  • CaptainTapoleCaptainTapole Awesome in the Possum - Yee-Haw! Northern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    thegh0sts wrote: »
    TeknoRed10 wrote: »
    $100 may be fine if you just wanna grab a few of the PAX shirts and stuff... once you start adding games, collectable goodies, and hardware, figure at least $250... made this mistake once, and missed out on a quality joystick, and the scarves at PAX east

    Is that 250 for the 3 days or for each day?

    I do $250 for souviners (all three days total) and then $50 for food (Subway will be your BFF.) Sometimes more and very rarely less than that. There was a year I barely visited the Expo-Hall, so I think I only spent money on food more than anything else.

    Oh! It's wise to have at LEAST your debit card (if you have one.) Maybe not at hand--to resist the temptation of buying more--but for emergency cases.

    The Girl Who Gave Everyone the Shortest Jenga Game Ever.
  • CommanderTonyCommanderTony Registered User
    edited April 2011
    I do $250 for souviners (all three days total) and then $50 for food (Subway will be your BFF.) Sometimes more and very rarely less than that. There was a year I barely visited the Expo-Hall, so I think I only spent money on food more than anything else.

    Oh! It's wise to have at LEAST your debit card (if you have one.) Maybe not at hand--to resist the temptation of buying more--but for emergency cases.

    If you don't have any need for bills, gas, etc. payments (namely the parent moochers like myself), then I suggest bringing a bit more. Like me, if your attention gets caught every five seconds by something shiny and vibrant, then you'll need a bit more spending cash/wiggle room on your debit card.

    I expect to spend anywhere from $350 to $500 on merchandise, collectables, etc. and a good $60 bucks on food (cheap lunches and snacks, good sized dinners).

    3-Day pass (X) | Travel plans (X) | Hotel room (X) | Enough money...god damnit!
  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    oh i'll be getting a travel card as i'll be from outside the US.

    Next PAX: TBA
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • heelsheels Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, PAX Staff mod
    edited April 2011
    Be excellent to each other.

    < devious1> heels: you are worst idea person ever

    http://twitter.com/h_e_e_l_s

    www.reedpop.com
  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    edited April 2011
    heels wrote: »
    Be excellent to each other.

    that... that's.... a GOOD idea ;)

  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited April 2011
    heels wrote: »
    Be excellent to each other.

    Party on, dudes!

  • beowuffbeowuff Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    heels wrote: »
    Be excellent to each other.

    Leave it to heels to sum up everything you need to know in one, 5 word phrase from one of the best movies of all time.

    <insert air guitar>

  • savagehartsavagehart Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Tukimoshi wrote: »
    Risia wrote: »
    Emerez wrote: »
    Be sure to bring a backpack or something with you. You'll want a way to carry free stuff and it's great to keep some water with you. Drink lots of water so you aren't getting thirsty while doing lots of walking.

    Last year there was an interesting debate of which was better backpacks or messenger type bags. Not sure who won, but I used a backpack last year and am planning on trying a messenger bag this year (more places to put buttons. You will most certainly need a bag of some sort. I'd also suggest a tube to put posters in.

    Doofenshmirtz: Wow, if I had a nickel for every time I was doomed by a puppet, I'd have two nickels, which isn't a lot, but it's weird that it happened twice, right?
  • beowuffbeowuff Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    savagehart wrote: »
    Tukimoshi wrote: »
    Risia wrote: »
    Emerez wrote: »
    Be sure to bring a backpack or something with you. You'll want a way to carry free stuff and it's great to keep some water with you. Drink lots of water so you aren't getting thirsty while doing lots of walking.

    Last year there was an interesting debate of which was better backpacks or messenger type bags. Not sure who won, but I used a backpack last year and am planning on trying a messenger bag this year (more places to put buttons. You will most certainly need a bag of some sort. I'd also suggest a tube to put posters in.

    I don't think there was a clear "winner".

    Backpacks are great because they distribute the weight evenly between your shoulders, so you can more easily carry them for a long time.

    Messenger bags tend to be more secure because the opening is under your arm. Also, the tend to be easier to get into when standing in line (you don't have to take it off to access it yourself).

    It really comes down to what's more important to you. Comfort, security, and ease of access.

  • StupidStupid Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    beowuff wrote: »
    It really comes down to what's more important to you. Comfort, security, and ease of access.

    I bring a girlfriend and have her carry my stuff. :winky:

    <rimshot>

    fss.png
  • dyaballikldyaballikl PAX Main Theatre House & Security Manager • PAX Community Cartographer Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Stupid wrote: »
    beowuff wrote: »
    It really comes down to what's more important to you. Comfort, security, and ease of access.

    I bring a girlfriend and have her carry my stuff. :winky:

    <rimshot>
    As has happened SOOOO many times before, Stupid wins the thread.

    a.k.a. dya
    "Riding a mongoose reminds me of having sex with a man, which is something I do frequently because I am gay!" -Gabe

    Robot Ninjas Assassins Twitter
  • arwen_doll16_LOTRarwen_doll16_LOTR Commander Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    My advice is in general for the newcomers to PAX

    The forums are your friends!!! There is a ton of stuff you can do for PAX starting now and get to know some people in the forums. You can even meet up with them at PAX if you feel comfortable with em!

    Cookie Brigade
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=139210

    Buttoneers
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=140149

    Cosplayers
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=129084

    Many many more forums and groups are out there and are going to come as we get closer to PAX


    Also as far as money saving tips here is what my boyfriend and I have done
    We get in on Thursday and then find a groceery store. We bought snacks like granola bars for in the con (substantial snacks, not just candy) we also bought a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, and a jar of jelly and made sandwiches for in the con and only allowed ourselves to eat out at a restaurant once a day. And we didn't go out to the bars. Food and alcohol are expensive and if you can cut down on those costs then you cut down on your whole trip.

    If you do go eat out then ask about PAX discounts and always have your badge. Last year Hardrock Cafe and a few other places had awesome deals (30% off entire meal, free drinks, free appetizer etc.) You just had to ask and show them your pass. Worse case scenario they tell you there are no discounts for PAX goers and you get on with your meal =)


    Make sure you have a very good backpack!! This was a big point for me last year. I had a one strap halo bag, very awesome nerdy bag that I even got the guys at Bungie to sign for me but it turned into something miserable when I was carrying all the weight of my swag and cookies for cookie brigade on one shoulder. Make sure that it is comfortable and has space for free stuff from booths!

    Finally don't be afraid to talk to anyone at PAX. Think about it, you will always have something in common with the people around you in PAX (besides being at PAX) we are all there for the video games, table tops, and more. I met some awesome people in line from all over, if you feel like talking to someone other than your own group, do it!! Everyone is really friendly and all out to have fun.

    I should go.
    534159_4247466298641_1660805487_n.jpg
  • ElmoFuntzElmoFuntz Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    A good bag is a must. There will usually be carry bags like glorified oversized grocery bags available from vendors or the PAX intial SWAG giveaway but those in no way compare to a decent backpack type bag. I highly suggest you do not bring sling type bags or your shoulders will be bothering you after long.

    I bought this 2 piece combo from mountainsmith specifically for PAX last year after doing ALOT of research and while it looks small it holds a ton of stuff and I use it all the time even after so it ended up being well worth the cost. I will be going with me again this year as well.

    Lumbar pack
    http://www.mountainsmith.com/products.asp?productId=295&categoryId=42&subCategoryId=0&subCategory2Id=0

    Strappettes (these are defiantly needed I debated them for awhile. The added shoulder support is awesome)
    http://www.mountainsmith.com/products.asp?productId=146&categoryId=42&subCategoryId=0&subCategory2Id=0

    The strappettes go on to the pack a little funky so I actually bought some extra pieces to make the strappettes fully quick release. They work great either way though.

    I know REI had both items for cheaper than listed above. I think I paid about $100 total.

  • CommanderTonyCommanderTony Registered User
    edited April 2011
    I think i'm going to use my day pack for the majority of my carrying stuff (good sized, can fit in three normal jackets) and a messenger bag for my sammiches, snacks, water, etc. I'll probably only use the messenger if I buy or take too much...

    ...which knowing myself, will happen.

    3-Day pass (X) | Travel plans (X) | Hotel room (X) | Enough money...god damnit!
  • EmerezEmerez Registered User
    edited April 2011
    I think i'm going to use my day pack for the majority of my carrying stuff (good sized, can fit in three normal jackets) and a messenger bag for my sammiches, snacks, water, etc. I'll probably only use the messenger if I buy or take too much...

    ...which knowing myself, will happen.

    QFT, we got a huge Jansport with a bajillion zippers and pockets just for this purpose because the messenger bags hurt my shoulders too much.

    Also, for those that want to have a credit card along for (no good for things like gasoline, hotel rooms, or renting an auto) purchase power- the local grocery stores (QFC/Safeway) have cheap Visa/Mastercard loadables. Some of them have good policies if you register the cards in case they get lost or stolen. A card is usually around $3 to load. I only suggest it because its more portable and protect-able than a wad of bills (and also keeps you from spending more than you intend to, or a card skimmer).

  • savagehartsavagehart Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    beowuff wrote: »
    It really comes down to what's more important to you. Comfort, security, and ease of access.


    The backpack I used was formerly owned by (I'm guessing) by the Marquis de Sade. The most uncomfortable thing I'd ever used. So this year a GOOD quality messenger bag to "compare and contrast".

    Doofenshmirtz: Wow, if I had a nickel for every time I was doomed by a puppet, I'd have two nickels, which isn't a lot, but it's weird that it happened twice, right?
  • TeknoRed10TeknoRed10 Registered User
    edited April 2011
    last PAX east i carried a backpack all day, ended up just putting my jacket and camera gear in it. all that swag got ridiculous to carry after awhile... hope it isnt that cold in seattle this time...

    "Walking the path of Heaven, the man who will rule everything."
  • CommanderTonyCommanderTony Registered User
    edited April 2011
    TeknoRed10 wrote: »
    last PAX east i carried a backpack all day, ended up just putting my jacket and camera gear in it. all that swag got ridiculous to carry after awhile... hope it isnt that cold in seattle this time...

    It's normally rare (yes, even with our shitty weather) to have cloudy, rainy, and/or cold days throughout July and August, at least from what i've witnessed. If you don't want to carry around a coat, and you want to remove style points, then I suggest wrapping a sweatshirt around your waist. Gets it somewhat out of the way and prepared.

    Me however? I'm used to the cold and rain, a grizzly, gotta love living in the Pacific Northwest. 8-)

    3-Day pass (X) | Travel plans (X) | Hotel room (X) | Enough money...god damnit!
  • mavrick88mavrick88 Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Regarding the weather, don't get your hopes up. We have yet to reach 60 degrees this year in Seattle.

    I was driving some out-of-towner friends around, and I kept complaining about being blinded. They responded with "You see, where we come from, people tend to wear Sunglasses." I retorted with a simple "You people tend to have sun."
  • heelsheels Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, PAX Staff mod
    edited April 2011
    Oh, I thought of another good bit of advice.

    IF YOU HAVE A SMART PHONE USE THE MOBILE APP, it is super useful, the team and I keep it updated.

    < devious1> heels: you are worst idea person ever

    http://twitter.com/h_e_e_l_s

    www.reedpop.com
  • AnorornAnororn Registered User
    edited April 2011
    mavrick88 wrote: »
    Regarding the weather, don't get your hopes up. We have yet to reach 60 degrees this year in Seattle.

    No, I'm pretty sure it's hit 60 this year...y'know, once or twice. While it should be a lot warmer by the end of August, it's probably a good idea to pack a sweatshirt.

    All the stuff about bags earlier made me think that, no matter what you use, you should test it out before getting to PAX, especially if you've never been to any kind of convention before. Put everything you might want to carry around PAX with you in the bag (plus some extra weight to account for swag), then wear it around all day. Spend most of the day on your feet, then look at how comfortable you are (or aren't). Make changes as needed.

    Also: use shoe inserts (don't remember exactly what they're called...insoles? The foam things you put in your shoes). It's advice I took last year, and it kept my feet from hurting nearly as much as they would have otherwise.

  • TeknoRed10TeknoRed10 Registered User
    edited April 2011
    i think i used the Conventionist app for everything info related for the convention. Gave you maps, schedules, and even would set up alerts to let you know something you wanted to do was about to start (which may mean its packed, and you aint getting in anyways lol)

    "Walking the path of Heaven, the man who will rule everything."
  • BekerBeker Enforcer - Lieutenant SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Regarding coats. PAX Prime has NOT had a coat check in recent years, unlike PAX East. Dress\Pack accordingly.

    Also, for anyone feeling lost, confused, sad, happy, in need of motivation or direction, come visit us at the Info Desk. We should be able to help you, or at least point you in a good direction.

  • WesleyWesley Registered User
    edited April 2011
    The title says it all. This will be my first PAX and flying from Arkansas to Seattle will be the first time I've ever flown. So if anyone has any suggestions they would be much appreciated.

    Wes

    First PAX here I come!
  • oxfroggyoxfroggy Registered User
    edited April 2011
    Wesley wrote: »
    The title says it all. This will be my first PAX and flying from Arkansas to Seattle will be the first time I've ever flown. So if anyone has any suggestions they would be much appreciated.

    Wes
    general flying advice:
    get to the airport early
    wear easy to remove shoes
    bring a snack.
    drink lots of water (airplane air is dehydrating)
    figure out how you are getting from your airport to the hotel ahead of time.

  • DeliciousTacosDeliciousTacos Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Don't lose your badge. I don't know how it is at Prime, but this year's East was my first PAX and I managed to misplace my badge on Saturday (due to general PAX craziness). It was a total clusterfuck trying to get a replacement -- I got put on a waiting list and didn't get a call until an hour after the convention started on Sunday. They can't just check your name in a database and send you on your way. It is an arduous ordeal.

    So: Don't. Lose. Your. Badge.

    Don't take it off. If you absolutely have to take it off, put it straight in your pocket. I saw a few people whose lanyards had broke, so make sure your badge is absolutely secured (it seemed to work better just threading the cord through the hole in the badge as opposed to clipping it)

  • MTSonic11MTSonic11 Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Wesley wrote: »
    The title says it all. This will be my first PAX and flying from Arkansas to Seattle will be the first time I've ever flown. So if anyone has any suggestions they would be much appreciated.

    Wes

    I'll try to add a few more things from personal experience:

    -My number one rule, don't forget your license, wallet, plane tickets and PAX Badge! Almost everything else is easily replaceable, but you will not be able to board your flight, get into your hotel or PAX without these items.

    -Make sure you read the TSA rules on what is allowed through security and on board the plane so you don't end up having to throw away or take more time to check an extra bag.

    -If you are flying through a busy airport, make sure you arrive at least 2 hours ahead of time. My arrival standard time for my local airport (BWI) is 1 hour. However, on a busy August morning last year, I literally had to run to my gate so I didn't miss my flight. It couldn't hurt to look at your local airport's website to look at the terminal maps ahead of time either.

    -Depending on your flight time and stop overs (if any), bring plenty of things to do. The first and last 15ish minutes are the only times you can't use electronics. I usually bring an Xbox/PS3/Nintendo magazine or graphic novel for the no electronics part of the flight. For the rest of the trip, Kindle, laptop, DS, etc. are perfect.

    -Check bag fees ahead of time if you're on a budget so there are no surprises when you go to check your bags. I always fly Southwest domestically, but you'll run into bag fees with most other airlines.

    -Speaking of bags, pack an extra bag inside of your suitcase. You will end up bringing more stuff then you left home with.

    -Even if you don't plan to sleep on the plane, I like to bring ear plugs (which are good for hotels anyway once you get where you're going) and an eye mask just in case. You never know what the noise level will be (kids, loud people in general) and also I hear engine roar can sometimes bother nervous fliers.

    Sorry for the long winded response, but I hope some of it helps!

  • causaboncausabon Registered User
    edited April 2011
    MTSonic11 wrote: »
    -Check bag fees ahead of time if you're on a budget so there are no surprises when you go to check your bags. I always fly Southwest domestically, but you'll run into bag fees with most other airlines.

    Also strongly consider whether you need to check bags at all. A full-sized airline carryon (for most US carriers, that's 22" x 14" x 9" and 40 pounds max) is really quite a bit of space if you pack efficiently -- plenty of room for three days' worth of clothing, toiletries, your DS, and whatever other little things you pick up at PAX. You can also bring a second small carryon bag (like a medium messenger bag) on top of that. Even if you just have a backpack, do a test run and see how tightly your clothing compresses down. Don't go overboard with what you bring!

  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    i'm just gonna take about 2 days worth of clothing: so packing light!

    Next PAX: TBA
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • TNTrooperTNTrooper Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    If you go look at the schedule ahead of time and make a plan for all 3 days don't be surprised when it's been 2 hours since the doors opened on Friday and you aren't doing anything on your plan.

    steam_sig.png
  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    TNTrooper wrote: »
    If you go look at the schedule ahead of time and make a plan for all 3 days don't be surprised when it's been 2 hours since the doors opened on Friday and you aren't doing anything on your plan.

    so we should just wing it or pick a few things and wing the rest?

    Next PAX: TBA
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • MTSonic11MTSonic11 Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I would pick a few things (panels, tourney's, whatever you see as a "must") and then just chill the rest of the time. I totally over planned for the first PAX East. This year, we chose a few panels and then just rolled with anything else that caught our eye.

    Our other big change this year is we didn't spend almost any time waiting in lines this year in the expo hall. We stood and waited for LA Noire, but that was the only line of any significance. We felt like we spent way too much waiting in lines the previous year.

    Now of course this will vary for a lot of people and I'm not knocking whatever decisions people make. My feeling was, did I want to see Portal 2 before it came out? Yeah, but to me, it wasn't worth waiting 2 hours to do so when I would be playing it a month later.

    PAX is a once or twice a year thing, I wanted to spend time doing things I couldn't do anywhere else. Seeing panels, talking to my favorite game devs, etc. Playing games that were almost out or getting free swag (that I could otherwise buy) wasn't worth it most of the time to me.

    Plan to an extent, but accept that you won't see or do everything.

  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    i only have like 1 panel i want to check out: major nelson's podcast :p

    Next PAX: TBA
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • SilvertwinnSilvertwinn Going on 40. "Get off my lawn!"Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    heels wrote: »
    IF YOU HAVE A SMART PHONE USE THE MOBILE APP, it is super useful, the team and I keep it updated.

    Which app? I got the Conventionist app (so, so handy. I just looked over last year's PAX Prime's stuff to get a better idea of what sorts of panels there were).

  • Dragon6860Dragon6860 Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Yah, which app, and for what OS? All three, or just iOS?

    FTC: honk.
    FTC: HONK.
  • MarkJWMarkJW Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    The Conventionist only supports Android (meh) and iOS (bleh) at the moment. They're working on a Blackberry (meh) version and HTML5 (bleh). The WinMo version (awesome) is supposedly going to be almost identical to the HTML5 version (bleh). Why you do this, ProximaLabs? WinMo is the easiest platform to code for. ;_;

    PAX Prime 2013 Checklist   ➤   ✔ Enforcer Badge   ✔ Hotel   ✔ Flight

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  • Dragon6860Dragon6860 Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Aww...I'm gonna be getting a WP7, drat! Ah well. Perhaps if we ask nicely :)

    FTC: honk.
    FTC: HONK.
  • S2000GanS2000Gan Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    wearing a costume all 3 days is a bit of a pain.
    Will post more as I remember them xD

    Clan Fuzzy Bunny
    My 405th Profile
  • ChaossebbaChaossebba Registered User
    edited April 2011
    I'm coming out all the way from belgium, first time I'm going someplace alone and my first time in America - I'm sure I'll have a good time and all of these are good tips!

    Sheraton hotel is settled, 3day pass has been confirmed, now just a flight!

  • GeekyPrincessGeekyPrincess Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Chaossebba wrote: »
    I'm coming out all the way from belgium, first time I'm going someplace alone and my first time in America - I'm sure I'll have a good time and all of these are good tips!

    Sheraton hotel is settled, 3day pass has been confirmed, now just a flight!

    We'll be over in your area just before PAX visiting my in-laws!

    As I told some friends that are going for the first time this year, wear comfortable shoes, pack light, drink lots of coffee, have fun, don't panic, and just go with the flow!

    Cookie Brigade Prime 2011 and 2012!
    Shipping cookies for Prime 2013
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