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PAX EAST 2012 SUGGESTIONS THREAD

SmallLadySmallLady Registered User regular
edited September 2012 in PAX Archive
Have suggestions for PAX?

post them here!! organizers will read this thred.

Please be constructive and respectful in your feedback and suggestions!

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"we're just doing what smalllady told us to do" - @Heels
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Posts

  • WolfieeWolfiee MARegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I apologize if there is already a thread for this or if its against any rules to make a thread like this. Just let me know :D I figured now that PAX East is over, it would a good time for everyone to leave a little feedback in hopes that the mods/admins/PAX people see it and maybe take some of our suggestions into consideration to better the event for next year and years to come.

    I would like to start by saying that my boyfriend and I have been to every PAX East since it started here in Boston, this one obviously being our third and also our least favorite. As some of your know, the first PAX East out grew its original venue and moved to its current location for the first time last year, which made it extremely successful in my opinion. Despite this year being at the very same venue, I feel its starting to outgrow this one as well. Below is a list and summary of some concerns and suggestions I would like to address for the future of PAX East.

    1. Number of people. This was out of control. I don't exactly know the number of attendees compared to last year's, but I don't remember having to wait in line for TWO HOURS for EVERY game I wanted to play. Nick and I were really looking forward to playing some Borderlands 2 today and decided to get to PAX much earlier than the last two days so we would be in a good position in the queue line. When the expo hall opened, we made a beeline for the BL2 booth. We must have got there within a minute or so and the line was ALREADY a two hour wait, with a line to get into the line. Really? Really. I'm sorry but that's just crazy.

    We had a three day pass, which we paid $60 for, and spent the entire weekend standing in line for both demos and panels. We showed up 3 hours early today for the Gearbox panel, and there was already a huge mass of people in front of us waiting. I think if we had waited to line up any longer, we wouldn't have made it in. It's a little ridiculous that we have to get to every panel almost two hours early so we're guaranteed to make it in. That's half the day right there considering the expo hall closed at 6 this year (???).

    I really feel like PAX should limit the amount of tickets available next year. No need to fill it to capacity.

    2. 30-45 minute demos/matches. Not exactly sure if this is something that's controllable, but I feel like half the reason why we're all waiting in line for so long is because some of these demos were almost an hour long!! In my opinion, the playable stuff in the expo hall should be no longer than 15 minutes. 45 minutes is a little unnecessary for what's supposed to be a sample of the game.

    3. The panels. Not sure about everyone else, but wow the panels this year were really lame except for a select few. Most of them were about health, fitness, depression, parenting, relationships, harassment online -- really? Isn't this a GAMING expo? I can understand having these for variety and to have something for everyone, but they shouldn't be the majority. There were very few panels I wanted to go to this year (last year I went to a ton!) and in most cases, the ones I WANTED to go to overlapped or came extremely close to one another. With each panel requiring a 1-2 hour wait, I had to sacrifice a lot of the panels I wanted to do.

    I understand panels are going to overlap/run close, but couldn't PAX at least overlap panels that were different from one another? Rather than having an awesome gaming company panel at 3:00 and then another awesome gaming company panel at 4:30, why not make one of them one of the health/fitness/etc ones? That way we're not missing out?

    4. Why did the expo hall close so early this year? With all the waiting being so ridiculously long, shouldn't the expo hall stay open longer?

    5. Organization. This is probably because of the ridiculous amount of people this year, but a lot of the organization for the lines, at least for panels, weren't very organized. Sometimes we never knew where the line began and ended and we were often moved around. As mentioned above, we would get in line really early for some panels (in fear of missing out), which sometimes granted us a front-row seat. However, there were many times where we would sit down in a line and then get moved to another room a few minutes later. This often resulted in a ton of people, who were BEHIND us, rushing to get in the front. This is unfair to those who were waiting longer. I also had a friend complain about a lot of people being confused as to where the line would start, causing them to just cut in front discretely. Again, unfair. I don't like waiting 2 hours only to have someone come in 5 minutes before the panel starts and get a better seat than me. Sounds whiny and babyish, but I can't help it.

    ----

    Now, to change tone here, I'll name a few things I DID like.

    1. Enforcers. These guys need to give themselves a round of applause. They were all great! Every enforcer I came across was friendly, helpful, and always smiling. It's nice to see such dedicated people really "giving up" a lot of their time to make an event like this happen. Thank you!

    2. Safety. For the past three years, I have never seen or a heard of any issues regarding safety. I feel well taken care of and worry-free at PAX, which makes things a lot less stressful for everyone.

    3. Comfort. With a BILLION people all being in one area at the same time, I never once was uncomfortably hot. In fact, I was even a little chilly sometimes! It just amazed me that I could be in a crowd or line with a bunch of people and still be able to wear a hoodie or any sort of elaborate costume without having to worry about dying of heat stroke lol.

    ----

    Sorry if I sounded really rude about any of this, but I just wanted to give some constructive criticism and voice my opinions/concerns. There was a reason this was our least favorite PAX and I feel as though PAX cares enough to listen to everything we say on the forums. I want to help better future conventions in any way I can because honestly, PAX East has been the best convention I've ever been to. Everyone is so friendly and it's just a great time. We will continue to return (unless things get significantly worse lol) for years to come.

    So what did everyone else think? Anything you loved or didn't love?

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  • avsfan590avsfan590 Registered User
    This was my first year at pax and found it to be good but still had a few problems. Overall I would say it was worth it and would go again but next time i am considering doing prime since I want to see Seattle. I made a list of some good things, bad and a few recommendations for future pax goers.

    Bad:

    1. The lines, the AAA titles like borderlands 2, AC 3 and spec ops were awful and were around a 3 hour wait but once you got in you got at least 20 minutes of gameplay. Max payne had an alright wait considering the other lines but they only let you play 5 minutes which was really short and by day 2 they ran out of shirts.

    2. Disorganization of enforcers, even though most if not all were very friendly and were doing there jobs I found it very hard to get directions to the coat check. I talked to three enforcers and they told me three different directions. All though they did help me find the cat theatre.

    3. Expo hall hours, I really wished they stayed open till 10 or even 9 so I could have gotten more time playing the demos I found 6 VERY early. This would be the only thing I would recommend changing about PAX.

    The good:

    1. The panels, I went to maybe three panels not many since I spent a lot of time in the expo hall but the ones I went to were really fun and were pretty good with seating. All though I agree most of them were pretty uninteresting and the ones that were awesome had Mad lines.

    2. PC free play, played CS:GO for 40 minutes the enforcers there were pretty chill about play time. The wait was only 16 minutes which was really good.

    3. Play time at the demos, i played spec ops: the line for a good 40 minutes and nobody really had a problem with it. Wish Rockstar was like that.

    Recommendations:

    1. Go with a buddy, went by myself this year and was a little duller than if i had gone with a buddy or did a pax meetup. The lines were pretty boring if you have nothing to do and no one to chat with all though I did meet some people and had a few chats but most people were thinking about the line.

    2. GO EARLY, if you want to play the good games and get some decent swag or play at least one good title without a huge hassle. Would reccomend being there right at 8 and wait. Cause I went at 11 on the Friday and already the lines were jam packed and really hard to get in to.

    3. You don't need a lot of cash for pax, This was my mistake cause I convereted a bunch of canadian money to American and found I only needed maybe 100 bucks for pax including two days worth of food, souvenirs, taxi to and from the convention and a few bucks for some stuff from vendors.

    4. visit Boston as well as PAX!!, if you just go to pax and your from far away your really missing out on a good time. I found two days at pax and two days exploring was great and got to visit Harvard U, Salem and lots of Boston.





  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I pretty much echoed the same sentiments as the OP did in my Day One thread, and totally agree. The crowds and lines were out of control, and I would be fine with it, but I felt there were a lot of things that could have been done to reduce congestion. Based on the size of the conventional hall, unless PAX plans to expand the exhibition floor next year to take up a larger part of the convention center, than the reported number of 75,000 attendees is too many, and the show simply cannot accomodate that many people. Based on the size of the convention center, I think a cap of 50,000 people would be better. When you've got a 45 minute line to play games that came out 6 months ago, or games that are available for free to begin with, then someone is doing something wrong.

    Oh yeah, one more thing. I don't really know if PAX investigates or cares about which vendors rent space on the floor, but I really could have done without the booths with surly looking comic book guys selling their retro games for absurdly high prices, I'm talking higher than you'd pay literally anywhere else including eBay or Amazon.com. Thankfully I don't think I witnessed a single person patronizing any of these idiots, but get rid of them.

    gamerman1227 on
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    The lines were no worse than in previous years. If you want to see the AAA titles, you're going to be waiting in huge lines. You're also doing PAX wrong. ;-)

    My only real complaint was echoed by others... most of the enforcers did a great job, but at least two of the panels started more than a half-hour late, and there was no updating or anything, just a line of people getting progressively more irate (the people near us were going absolutely crazy waiting for Gearbox).

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  • PayneTraynePayneTrayne Canuck Registered User regular
    To be fair, there was more than one coat check.

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  • Dr ValkyrieDr Valkyrie Registered User
    Exactly. The lines were the same last year. You just need to find the right time to go. Today I went to the AC3 booth and only waited about 30 minutes. Not long after the wait was back up to an hour. Timing is everything here. The lines will always be long no matter what. It's how PAX is.

    I actually loved the panels. They may not have been interesting to you but I went to quite a few actually. They all related to games and what games can do for us and for the world in general. I consider that part of gaming don't you? The only panel I didn't like was when the panelists never showed up.

    The indie area was fantastic. Everyone who had an indie game there was so polite and great to talk to about both their games and the industry. I hope the developers there next year are just as wonderful to talk to.

    My one thing was that I was freezing on Saturday and Sunday. Better then being boiled alive and having the place reek but man did freezing suck. Walking around in just a t-shirt should be alright. I was bundled up with my scarf and a light jacket because of how cold it was.

  • RygarieRygarie Registered User
    The Bad:

    Expo Hall closing at 6pm, I won't beat the horse any further

    Line for PAX gear on Expo Hall friday. Probably need a bigger space for that.

    Stupid food court in queue area, too much wasted space. Which is the problem of the entire queue area, its wasted space. MORE TABLES!!!!!

    Enforcers that did not know anything about MIKE and JERRY signing on Sunday. There was pretty much a lack of knowledge. I do not blame the enforcers I blame the chain of command, it seemed that the more senior enforcers had a monopoly on the information.

    The Good:

    The increased space on the Expo Hall floor.

    Food at convention center was way better than last year.

    Price of parking was amazing!

    The spread of swag was better but needs to be optimized.

    Internet signal was way better but still stalling.

    The People of PAX as always were awesome!

    Easter Sunday festivities was a plus.

  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    The indie area was fantastic. Everyone who had an indie game there was so polite and great to talk to about both their games and the industry. I hope the developers there next year are just as wonderful to talk to.

    We stopped by the Kickstarter room today and met the designer of Code Hero. Spent a fair amount of time talking to him (and a few others there), and he was the most genuine, friendly man I met the whole weekend. The wife and I gave him $20 to put toward the game and he's adding us to a list to get into the game ASAP. Awesome fellow.
    My one thing was that I was freezing on Saturday and Sunday. Better then being boiled alive and having the place reek but man did freezing suck. Walking around in just a t-shirt should be alright. I was bundled up with my scarf and a light jacket because of how cold it was.

    Not from the northeast, are you? Wuss. ;-)

    I think the lowest it got was the mid 40s at night, which for my wife and I is like summer (we're from Vermont). ;-)

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  • Dr ValkyrieDr Valkyrie Registered User
    My one thing was that I was freezing on Saturday and Sunday. Better then being boiled alive and having the place reek but man did freezing suck. Walking around in just a t-shirt should be alright. I was bundled up with my scarf and a light jacket because of how cold it was.

    Not from the northeast, are you? Wuss. ;-)

    I think the lowest it got was the mid 40s at night, which for my wife and I is like summer (we're from Vermont). ;-)[/quote]

    I go to school up here and have been for two years. I just can't stand the cold very well I guess. Just wished they turned down the AC a little bit that's all.

  • TennbergTennberg Boston, MARegistered User regular
    The bad:

    Media passes. This is an expo for gamers, not some bossy 20-year-old who thinks he's the s&*t because he writes some poorly-written blog that has 20 subscribers. I can't tell you how many time my friends and I were about to hop onto a demo, but told we had to wait because a group with media passes showed up. Or how we discovered the reason that so many demo lines were so long was because half of the demo stations were for media people. Or how we were often pushed around in booths by "media" people setting up their crappy camera on cheap tripods to get the "perfect shot" for their vlog that will be seen by their 20 subscribers.

    Either make the Thursday before PAX a media-only day (where their media passes are not valid on main expo days) or get rid of them entirely. It was bad enough in 2010 and 2011 dealing with them, but it reached epic levels of annoying this year.

  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    I agree with your assessment on the media guys, although I've heard that you need to have some pretty strong credentials and credibility to get a media pass, they don't pass them out to any schmuck with a blog and a youtube channel. That being said, most gamers I know and talk to have been jaded towards the industry media for a long time anyways, so are they really important enough to get preferential treatment? I totally agree with giving a specific time and place for media people to go.

  • ConandoConando Registered User regular
    Yeah, I saw some of those folks around. There wasn't too many times I ran into them but, there were times I noticed when they were hogging up demos. Really, they should have a different time for them to do that. It's ok if they want to attend like normal patrons too but, they shouldn't get special treatment when the show has actually started.

  • CoolMarquis97CoolMarquis97 Registered User
    The Bad for me was almost the same as everyone else except for a couple of things.

    1.) Make Pax end at around 10-12 PM. Their definitely isn't enough for a person to do everything he wants to do when the convention ends at 6. On Sunday I went straight forward AC3 and then Hit up X-Play the live show taping. After that it was already 2:30 which left me to only get a couple of games in due to waiting in lines.

    2.) Don't have ID checks. I am a 14 year old kid. Now if you look at the FAQ it says that any aged kid could go. So i went but couldn't play Borderlands 2 and Spec Ops the Line due to them checking ID's. I guess it depends on how picky the developer is as seeing how Rockstar let me play Max Payne 3 easily.

    3.) Don't "Set up Shop" so early on Sunday's. Me and my Cousin had done most of everything on Friday and planned to finish the last of it on Sunday. We did must of it but then at around 4 o clock we noticed Developers shutting down their consoles. This happened at the Ghost Recon Online station. We still had 2 hours left but the Developers decided to shut off all the consoles and i guess they called it a day.

    4.) Rude Staff at Ghost Recon Future Solider demo. The ladies and men took it upon themselves to swear out loud, throw middle fingers in the air, and they even took up two of the consoles. Mind you their was only 8 stations and this man and 2 ladies that were supposed to be running the station decided to sit down, take up seats, and start playing. This kept the line backed up.

    The Good.

    1.) Everything Else

  • ConandoConando Registered User regular
    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.

    Conando on
  • CoolMarquis97CoolMarquis97 Registered User
    Conando wrote: »
    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.

  • CoolMarquis97CoolMarquis97 Registered User
    Not to Double Post or anything but did any of you go on Friday? It took them to about 10:30 before they let everyone in the queue line in. Also on Friday, Swag Bags were not properly handed out. There was no clear set up station to get them until almost the entire queue line went in. Me and my cousin then had to go back and wait in another line just to grab a bag that they promised would be distributed to us

  • PayneTraynePayneTrayne Canuck Registered User regular
    I got my Swag Bag by jumping rope in front of a room of people. No line. >.>

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  • DaenythDaenyth Registered User regular
    Not to Double Post or anything but did any of you go on Friday? It took them to about 10:30 before they let everyone in the queue line in. Also on Friday, Swag Bags were not properly handed out. There was no clear set up station to get them until almost the entire queue line went in. Me and my cousin then had to go back and wait in another line just to grab a bag that they promised would be distributed to us

    The Queue room was awful on friday morning. Also definitely agreed on the swag bag - I was told they were in that room but when I got in we were more or less herded into one of the queues - I never even saw a table. Didn't end up getting one at all since by the time I figured out where they were being handed out, there were none left.

  • ConandoConando Registered User regular
    I went on Friday, and the start to the whole thing was pretty rocky. Other than that, it was ok until the whole Borderlands 2 thing when I remembered a group of kids was behind me when I learned about the carding. In fact, I talked to one of them and let him through to meet with his friend when I was in line.

  • kingjeffkingjeff Malden, MARegistered User regular
    I had a mostly excellent time the whole weekend. My observations:

    1. I don't wait in lines to play demos, so I have no feedback on line waits. I did get shut out of the Mass Effect panel. I arrived to get in line 45 minutes before it started and they had just closed the line. I guess I can watch it on youtube. I got into everything else easily without too long waits.

    2. The merch area on the floor Friday morning was insane. I went early this year because they sold out of a lot of stuff almost immediately last year. Waited in line for an hour and a half to check out. For the first half hour or so they only had 2 cashiers working it. This year they had almost everything until Sunday (I still saw a bunch of scarves on Sunday).

    3. The food is soooooo overpriced. $7 for a piece of pizza? $9 for a cheeseburger (that tasted like cardboard)? With their location they pretty much have a monopoly on food, so BCEC should relax the prices a little and more people will eat (concentrate on volume over price). The food down in the queue room was gross, but the food court upstairs was decent. The Chinese place was actually pretty good!

    4. There is a lot more space, so the constant "everyone squish together as tight as possible" isn't as necessary. I was tired of hearing it by Sunday afternoon. I'm not someone that has issues with being in crowded places or really demands all that much personal space, but I'm not a fan of having some mouth-breather who hasn't showered or brushed his teeth in at least 3 days being all up in my business. I went to the Harmonix podcast Sunday morning (hilarious - maybe the best panel there) and they told us we all had to squish in very tight because the queue room was going to be full. The room was less than 1/4 full.

    5. The temperature and climate indoors was nice. So it didn't get too funky in there. Shorts and t-shirt all weekend very comfortably.

    6. The WiFi was turrible. I only connected once all weekend for about 5 minutes before I lost the signal. I had pretty much no phone signal in there either (Sprint).

  • ConandoConando Registered User regular
    Should have went to the burrito bar, guy. Those were good. The food quality would be a BCEC issue, and not anything the Penny Arcade fellows could do something about, though.

  • JarsJars Registered User regular
    I wish there was an alternative to waiting in lines for hours, but I'm not exactly overflowing with suggestions about how. I waited for an hour and a half for the final main event on saturday, I could have put it off longer but I didn't want to chance it.

    a place to eat that didn't involve price gouging would have been nice

    my only complaint about the events was I wish the VGO would have played one less FF song, I would have given all my dicks to hear something from like radiant historia or golden sun

  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    Yeah, cell phone service was very hit and miss. I have AT&T and had almost zero service on the exhibition floor and couldn't connect to any WiFi on my iPhone. I suspect it was because the exhibition floor was more or less underground and on the bottom floor of a four floor building, but still it was pretty tough when you got split up.

  • CoolMarquis97CoolMarquis97 Registered User
    I got my Swag Bag by jumping rope in front of a room of people. No line. >.>

    Same here. I wasn't going to wait in line for something that was supposed to be handed out to me

  • PayneTraynePayneTrayne Canuck Registered User regular
    I got my Swag Bag by jumping rope in front of a room of people. No line. >.>

    Same here. I wasn't going to wait in line for something that was supposed to be handed out to me

    I wouldn't have minded a line, but there was an incredibly polite enforcer who, when I asked for directions, gave me a program and swag bag. No need to be bitter.

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  • WolfieeWolfiee MARegistered User regular
    Glad to see I'm not the only one with the same issues :)

    kingjeff - We got to the Mass Effect panel about an hour and a half early and were in the mid-section of the line.

    People telling me about the lines - lol. This is my third PAX East. We know the ropes, we know how to get there early. I know "how to do PAX East." We did exactly just that and it's still impossible for the AAA titles (which there should be way more of). I'll say that on Saturday, we had a good spot in the queue line and went directly to ACIII and only had to wait like 15 minutes, which was great. However, by then I think most people knew it was just a video and not a playable game.

    We were literally some of the first people in the expo hall today, but somehow that line for BL2 was ALREADY a two hour wait, with a line for the line, 30 seconds into opening. I'm sorry but that's ridiculous.

    Again, I did not have this much problem with the lines last year or the year before (even when the venue was too small). Yeah, we had a good wait for some, but no more than an hour. This time around it was 2+ hours for everything good.

    Comment on the media - Yeah, I totally agree with that statement. To be honest, I never had an issue with media people getting in the way of my play time (or I just didn't notice as I was sitting down from agonizing leg cramps from standing for 2 hours lol), but I know exactly what you're talking about. Little silly if you ask me. I agree there should be a set day or time for those dudes.

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  • WolfieeWolfiee MARegistered User regular
    Jars wrote: »
    a place to eat that didn't involve price gouging would have been nice
    Totally agree. Unfortunately, that's what happens at events like that. They know a bunch of hungry gamers are going to eat, despite prices, so they jack them up. Nick and I only packed light snacks instead of lunches our first year and learned never to do that again after paying $10 for 4 chicken nuggets.

    I also noticed the drink vending machines were $3.50! Ridiculous.

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  • ChenzillahChenzillah Registered User regular
    This was my first pax as well.. though I only went for Saturday and Sunday I heard from the people who went on Friday that prior to the expo hall opening it was crazy and disorganized (swag bags weren't passed out and line organization was messy)..
    However, I was told that by a person who heard from another person... and we all know how that is... I came Saturday and everyone seemed to have filled the lines correctly, the enforcers knew what they were doing and the Swagbags were there too.

    So here goes my Pros/Cons:

    Cons:
    -Crazy long lines (yeah yeah...) ...is there a way to implement a queue system via phone app for the people who want to wander?
    -Expo closing time! 6 seems so early, I felt like I hit second wind at that point and ready for some more lol

    Pros:
    -I was actually surprised with the amount of space the expo hall had... then again I came in with the expectation with sweaty geeks running around aimlessly in packed spaces (...wait a minute)
    -Enforcers were helpful and did what they were suppose to do, so pat yourselves on the back for a job well done :)
    -Was it me or was league being played just about everywhere? alienware... gunnars... etc booths (that was pretty cool imo)


    ---
    I know I have a lot more pros and cons but I just can't think of anymore right now... all I know is I had an extremely good time running around and experiencing each booth (or at least tried too)

  • Psquare75Psquare75 Registered User

    Oh yeah, one more thing. I don't really know if PAX investigates or cares about which vendors rent space on the floor, but I really could have done without the booths with surly looking comic book guys selling their retro games for absurdly high prices, I'm talking higher than you'd pay literally anywhere else including eBay or Amazon.com. Thankfully I don't think I witnessed a single person patronizing any of these idiots, but get rid of them.

    There was a vendor that had a TI-944/A with games at a VERY good price, and I was pretty aggravated I didn't buy it because I didn't want to lug it around all day (totally forgot about coat checks).

    My second PAX.. had 3 day passes this year.

    The Good.

    1. Felt larger than last year. Not sure if it was, but it felt it.
    2. Thank god for South Station (cheap eats). It was worth the time out and the walk down there.
    3. More vendors than last year, this could be '1a'
    4. ACAM is great as always. Shout out to Gary and the gang.
    5. The weather! It was actually decent out.
    6. I have gone from 10 3ds friends to 260 or so.. I forgot about Street-pass!

    The bad.
    1. The selling vendors seemed a little intermixed. Minor quibble, I suppose, but one would think the dice vendor (Chessex?) would have been on the tabletop side.
    2. $9 for a cheeseburger? (See good #2)
    3. Last year, I was forced to que in a line outside the BCCE... then gue in another line inside.. followed by yet a third line to get on the expo floor. None of that this year. Good and bad. I just hung at escalators until the security guard said we could go down. Good, because I wasn't herded like cattle. Bad, because it had a heavy air of disorganization.
    4. 6 pm closing time for the expo floor. Even when not waiting in massive lines, it comes fast.
    5. Sometimes I think people like to immediately stop to check their phone, with people walking behind them, on purpose, to cause everyone else to trip. Treat aisles like streets.



  • thespianthespian Registered User
    I was very happy with a lot of PAX East this year. I want to make an important note: there were no Booth Babes. Thank you, thank you, thank you for listening to us after the issues that we had last year with the companies who ignored the rules.

    I was also very surprised by the exhibit hall closing so early on Saturday. I understand why (10am to 6pm is 8 hours: a legal workday), but I do wish it had been open later.

    I had one issue that will not be a problem for many other people, but it needs to be mentioned; I have epilepsy, and was in the handicapped seating area at the Saturday concerts because I was having dizzy spells and auras and using a cane Sat. During the VGO performance, they did one song that had a *hell* of a lot of strobes. Because the handicapped area is where it is (close enough to the stage to look up into the lighting assembly), the light itself was aimed *right* into the eyes of everyone in the handicapped area. I had to cover my eyes, turn my head to my lap, and ask the neurotypical person next to me to tap me when it was over. I know lighting has some restrictions, but I was in a real amount of pain from that flashing, and it should be avoided (higher rack, strobes moved to the front rack, strobes pointing straight down instead of angled, something).

    Aaron from Portland who wears the kilt is a great guy and an Enforcer to be treasured. Many of the other Enforcers did not know anything about anything...very simple questions were responded to by comments that they did not know...so they pulled out the smartphone app. I can do that myself.

    Why was Chevrolet there? Really?

    Someone should do a run through with the Indie Alley designers about being at a trade show; several of them were new to the business and it showed like mad. They would start talking to their friends, ignoring people who wanted a look, they had demos set up that would take 25 minutes to play, they wandered off from their booths and such...it was just confusing. I have found some excellent games in indie alley the past few years. And I did this year...but having a session for the devs about how to man a trade show booth would be beneficial to both the devs and the attendees.

    S.

    (who was fine today in a sleeveless dress, and yesterday in pyjamas. the temp was good for me)

  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    Yeah, maybe I did unfairly malign all the vendors. There was one stand selling retro games that actually had decent prices, where I purchased a mint complete copy of Three Stooges for NES for $18, more than I would have liked to pay, but I was fine with it given it's good condition and relative obscurity in the landscape of NES titles.

  • FlapjaxFlapjax Registered User
    edited April 2012
    This year was the first time I could actually attend (having graduated my mid-Western college last year) and I really enjoyed it.

    I never actually noticed the media people, but that could've been because I only waited in line for the Borderlands 2 demo on Friday. Other than that I didn't bother much with the AAA titles, as I was aware of what the wait was going to be.

    The problem is, if you don't buy a ticket because you don't like long lines, I assure you twenty other people will want it. I don't expect them to lower the number of passes sold, as that is simply bad business. The fact of the matter is there are plenty of things to do, but if you're dead-set on the most popular things, well, there's a reason they're popular. If it helps, there are no videos that won't get on the internet, and there are no games you won't be able to purchase sometime in the future.

    The food was terrible and overpriced because it can be. I got a muffin and coffee on my drive in and had a big dinner at home, problem solved.

    I didn't get swag on Friday because I decided I cared more about seeing Mike and Jerry in person for the first time. As I now go through the bag I got on Saturday, I don't really see anything that I couldn't live without. Free stuff is nice, but you really end up paying for it with your time.

    The only things I really, really cared about were the PA Q/A and Draw a Strip panels, which I made sure to get in line 2 hours early for. I will agree that in their attempts to condense the lines, some people further back got pushed ahead of people that had been there longer, but I didn't see anyone simply cut into a line 10 minutes before a panel. Most everyone I struck up a conversation with were very pleasant people.

    Other than that I just wandered around. I regret not trying the tabletop games or making an effort to meet more people, but that's my own hangup.

    For the future, I know I'm not going to be so gun-shy about trying out tabletop or various other games with people I've never met, which seems like a fun and easy time sink. I don't expect lines to get shorter or the volunteer Enforcers (who were all awesome, by the way) to have some sort of omniscient hive-mind.

    I guess the one thing I would hope for was an earlier, and maybe additional, Khoo and A. Also, Scott Kurtz, because seriously, who needs Australia.

    Flapjax on
  • ShiosShios Registered User
    edited April 2012
    The Bad
    - Convention food prices. I know PAX doesn't control this, but goddamn.
    - Expo hall closing at 6pm. First year here, so idk if it used to close later but it just felt so early.
    - Some of the play time for some games, with very limited seats. Ghost Recon was only letting 6 people up at a time, each play was lasting 15+ minutes. AC3 on the otherhand was letting 50 people in every 20 minutes. Could have easily been avoided if Ubisoft used 16 smaller monitors instead of sticking people two feet from what looked like a 41"+ television.
    - Some people being dicks. Had a group of kids with "You suck at Halo" on their shirts skip a good amount of us in line for AC3. Called them out on it, they ignored us. Grabbed an enforcer though and they took care of it. Retards still tried to lie. Leave it to the Halo community. That said...

    The Good
    - Enforcers were all friendly
    - Lots of cool swag. Are there always this many masks? lol
    - Downloaded an app called GrubHub that let us order any type of food from anywhere in the city and have it delivered to our room. Really helped with the food situation and avoided us walking around in the cold (Florida resident here)
    - Location. We stayed at the Seaport right over the bridge. Took us a total of 5 minutes to walk to and from the convention center. And we took the T to and from the airport right to our hotel. Only cost us 8 bucks the whole weekend. The area also felt very safe. I stayed not too far from Dragon*Con in Atlanta and I couldn't wall 100 feet from the con area without feeling like I would have a gun in my face 10 seconds later.
    - Apart from food, very inexpensive. After hotel, flight and ticket I spent maybe 75 bucks all weekend. And that includes stuff I bought from vendors. I came with over $500, expecting to spend it all.

    Shios on
  • UnnDunnUnnDunn New York, NYRegistered User regular
    Cons:
    1. Enforcer-run console/handheld tourneys generally needed a better level of organization, especially on Friday. Half the time, the Enforcers didn't know what was going on in the tourney, made poor game-setup choices (single elimination one-and-done battle mode in Lumines Live? WTF! Matches were over in 30 seconds, with the first-round losers heading out of the room a minute or two after sitting at a station to compete... Not a good experience. I got my opponents to agree to best two out of three, despite the Enforcers' wishes...), didn't make the brackets clear enough, didn't have the right number of controllers at each station, etc.
    2. On a related note, a bit more pomp and circumstance could be useful for the console tourneys... places for an audience to sit, a big-screen for the audience to watch games on, better scheduling/staggering of games to lessen the confusion, a podium/victory lane... maybe it was only because I entered small-time console tourneys (Lumines Live, Blur, GeoWars2), but still...
    3. Console freeplay stations should be networked for LAN play. The 360s at least.
    4. Chevy. WTF? (Though, to be fair, Khoo did explain that one at his Q&A... which was amazing, by the way.)

    Pros:
    Are you kidding me? This has been and will be one of the best weekends of the year! Nearly every second of it was just pure bliss, from the Jordan Mechner keynote to the truly epic Crokinole Omegathon finals. But if I had to pick out highlights...
    1. The Enforcers. Like Khoo said at his Q&A... without them, the show would suck balls. It was great to be able to look in any random direction and see one or more people in red shirts who you knew would be as friendly and helpful as they could.
    2. The Handheld Lounge. Damn those beanbags were comfortable. I dunno who paid whom for them, but Sumo must have gotten a ton of business from that lounge.
    3. The Cookie Brigade. $13,000 for Child's Play. Wow.
    4. Filling Wil Wheaton's twitter feed with ASCII dicks. Fun times.

  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    Totally agree with the affordability of everything besides the food. I'm not too familiar with the world of Geek and Sci-Fi conventions outside of PAX, but what I am familiar with is the world of Professional Wrestling shows, and a lot of times with those, $500 is just about what it takes to get you through the door, let alone do anything. Props to PAX on that front.

  • KiashienKiashien Registered User regular
    Wolfiee wrote:
    I would like to start by saying that my boyfriend and I have been to every PAX East since it started here in Boston, this one obviously being our third and also our least favorite.

    I prefered the first PAX East due to the mobility and centralized location- it was much easier to do multiple things. At the BCEC I have to factor in 10-minute walks for most things. This won't change, and once I got used to it after last year, it's not that bad- you just have to choose things more carefully.
    Wolfiee wrote:
    1. Number of people. This was out of control. ... were really looking forward to playing some Borderlands 2 today and decided to get to PAX much earlier than the last two days so we would be in a good position in the queue line. When the expo hall opened, we made a beeline for the BL2 booth. We must have got there within a minute or so and the line was ALREADY a two hour wait, with a line to get into the line. Really? Really. I'm sorry but that's just crazy.

    I would absolutely, 100% prefer to meet more gamers. It was not packed- not even remotely compared to the first PAX East, where we were literally flooding corridors. If you aren't reaping the benefits of it, then you aren't trying to meet people- either by playing games in freeplay (console/tabletop/whatever floats your boat) or just are just there to play games that aren't out yet.. which leads into
    Wolfiee wrote:
    We had a three day pass, which we paid $60 for, and spent the entire weekend standing in line for both demos and panels. We showed up 3 hours early today for the Gearbox panel, and there was already a huge mass of people in front of us waiting. I think if we had waited to line up any longer, we wouldn't have made it in. It's a little ridiculous that we have to get to every panel almost two hours early so we're guaranteed to make it in. That's half the day right there considering the expo hall closed at 6 this year (???).

    A) It was $55 unless you scalped it or bought it off someone else at a markup OR were international, in which case your price is correct.

    B) ...It's a AAA panel. Yes, it's full. Do you have any idea how many not-full panels were going on at the same time?

    PAX has many things. Some are popular. You can get into those without a real wait. (Concerts is a good example, as unless you REALLY REALLY want to see the first band, you can just stroll in)

    Some are "Bioware is holding a Panel about their AAA game that they just released that has tons of controversy."

    Others are Borderlands.

    Yes, you have to wait in line for those. You always. Always will. If PAX was only 10,000 tickets large, and either of those panels existed, then all of those tickets would be solely to try and see those panels.

    Bluntly put, PAX is to play games. If you want to play games, this is the right con. If you REALLY WANT TO PLAY ALL THE UNRELEASED GAMEZ!!!

    ...Then maybe you should apply to game tester jobs, or go to a tech demo sort of gig like SWSX or E3.

    I've done the cost-gain ratio and for a game I was on the fence for one year, I did wait in the line for 3 hours (That wasn't this year, by the way, it was last year) and decided I didn't want to buy it after the trial. Every game I know I want to play? Never wait in line. It's just a time waister, especially when the 35 billion indie games are around that want me to try their games and have no line and I have no idea if I want them or not.
    Wolfiee wrote:
    I really feel like PAX should limit the amount of tickets available next year. No need to fill it to capacity.

    No. See above.
    Wolfiee wrote:
    2. 30-45 minute demos/matches. Not exactly sure if this is something that's controllable, but I feel like half the reason why we're all waiting in line for so long is because some of these demos were almost an hour long!! In my opinion, the playable stuff in the expo hall should be no longer than 15 minutes. 45 minutes is a little unnecessary for what's supposed to be a sample of the game.

    I don't speak for PAX, but I'm relatively certain that PAX lets game devs decide this, since its their game ,and they have a right to decide what a "fair" sample is.
    Wolfiee wrote:
    3. The panels. Not sure about everyone else, but wow the panels this year were really lame except for a select few. Most of them were about health, fitness, depression, parenting, relationships, harassment online -- really? Isn't this a GAMING expo? I can understand having these for variety and to have something for everyone, but they shouldn't be the majority. There were very few panels I wanted to go to this year (last year I went to a ton!) and in most cases, the ones I WANTED to go to overlapped or came extremely close to one another. With each panel requiring a 1-2 hour wait, I had to sacrifice a lot of the panels I wanted to do.

    I understand panels are going to overlap/run close, but couldn't PAX at least overlap panels that were different from one another? Rather than having an awesome gaming company panel at 3:00 and then another awesome gaming company panel at 4:30, why not make one of them one of the health/fitness/etc ones? That way we're not missing out?

    Popular panels are ran that way on purpose. It's to make you choose. Otherwise, everyone goes to the same panel, and a bunch of people stand around scratching their balls. Not cool.

    Pick a handful of panels, and live with it. I'm not trying to be a dick, it really is the fairest way to manage Fifty Tens of Thousands of people with similar interests and make sure most get into some things they want.

    Wolfiee wrote:
    4. Why did the expo hall close so early this year? With all the waiting being so ridiculously long, shouldn't the expo hall stay open longer?

    As far as I can remember for East, it closed between 6 and 7 every day for every year I've gone. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure.
    Wolfiee wrote:
    5. Organization. This is probably because of the ridiculous amount of people this year, but a lot of the organization for the lines, at least for panels, weren't very organized. Sometimes we never knew where the line began and ended and we were often moved around. As mentioned above, we would get in line really early for some panels (in fear of missing out), which sometimes granted us a front-row seat. However, there were many times where we would sit down in a line and then get moved to another room a few minutes later. This often resulted in a ton of people, who were BEHIND us, rushing to get in the front. This is unfair to those who were waiting longer. I also had a friend complain about a lot of people being confused as to where the line would start, causing them to just cut in front discretely. Again, unfair. I don't like waiting 2 hours only to have someone come in 5 minutes before the panel starts and get a better seat than me. Sounds whiny and babyish, but I can't help it.

    Lines were screwed up due to Convention staff this year is my understanding. They're working on it, but it wasn't Enforcer's fault. Also, you weren't supposed to be allowed to line up at all until X minutes before the start to dissuade people from lining up 2 hours early. Again, more inter-staff confusion is my understanding.
    Wolfiee wrote:
    Now, to change tone here, I'll name a few things I DID like.

    1. Enforcers. These guys need to give themselves a round of applause. They were all great! Every enforcer I came across was friendly, helpful, and always smiling. It's nice to see such dedicated people really "giving up" a lot of their time to make an event like this happen. Thank you!

    2. Safety. For the past three years, I have never seen or a heard of any issues regarding safety. I feel well taken care of and worry-free at PAX, which makes things a lot less stressful for everyone.

    3. Comfort. With a BILLION people all being in one area at the same time, I never once was uncomfortably hot. In fact, I was even a little chilly sometimes! It just amazed me that I could be in a crowd or line with a bunch of people and still be able to wear a hoodie or any sort of elaborate costume without having to worry about dying of heat stroke lol.

    Yay good stuff. Love your Enforcers- and for the record, East doesn't have enough and they know it and most East Enforcers overwork themselves due to it. They are trying their damndest to recruit- so if you think you want to do it, look out for apps next year.

    kingjeff wrote: »
    I had a mostly excellent time the whole weekend. My observations:
    2. The merch area on the floor Friday morning was insane. I went early this year because they sold out of a lot of stuff almost immediately last year. Waited in line for an hour and a half to check out. For the first half hour or so they only had 2 cashiers working it. This year they had almost everything until Sunday (I still saw a bunch of scarves on Sunday).

    There is a merch booth on the exhibit floor and near the entrance. I feel like a sign should be hung near the start of the entrance line going "Dudes... the Exhibit hall has one too. If this line is too long for your tastes, go check that one out!"

    Otherwise, mostly spot on, but as you noted, they didn't sell out- [people just rushed it because they sold out last year.
    kingjeff wrote: »
    3. The food is soooooo overpriced. $7 for a piece of pizza? $9 for a cheeseburger (that tasted like cardboard)? With their location they pretty much have a monopoly on food, so BCEC should relax the prices a little and more people will eat (concentrate on volume over price). The food down in the queue room was gross, but the food court upstairs was decent. The Chinese place was actually pretty good!

    I feel you. I'm from Boston, and the BCEC makes us look bad- like burritos are jacked, but they're at least sorta sane- only a $3 markup, woo!

    But I can tell you that PAX has no control over those prices- they can only influence food choices (Which... apparently the BCEC ignored this year. I dunno, Moe or Khoo can chime in on that)
    kingjeff wrote: »
    4. There is a lot more space, so the constant "everyone squish together as tight as possible" isn't as necessary. I was tired of hearing it by Sunday afternoon. I'm not someone that has issues with being in crowded places or really demands all that much personal space, but I'm not a fan of having some mouth-breather who hasn't showered or brushed his teeth in at least 3 days being all up in my business. I went to the Harmonix podcast Sunday morning (hilarious - maybe the best panel there) and they told us we all had to squish in very tight because the queue room was going to be full. The room was less than 1/4 full.

    Some of this is actually insane MA fire codes. Others is insane predicted lines. Others is just bad guesses. Sorry in all cases but the fire codes, since my state is dumb in that case.

    kingjeff wrote: »
    5. The temperature and climate indoors was nice. So it didn't get too funky in there. Shorts and t-shirt all weekend very comfortably.

    If you were wearing shorts and a T-shirt all weekend, then it was too hot. And I'm from Boston, and hate the cold and prefer a solid 73+ degrees.

    But we're in Boston in the spring and the temp was often 40- encouraging properly dressed people to boil their nuts off (like me) because you won't wear pants isn't exactly fair.

    But meh. It was what i was, I don't consider this a serious complaint or negatives since opinions on temp vary all over the goddamned place anyway.

    kingjeff wrote: »
    6. The WiFi was turrible. I only connected once all weekend for about 5 minutes before I lost the signal. I had pretty much no phone signal in there either (Sprint).

    Set up a building that can handle 110k+ wifi connections better than they did. Even on fiber. I dare you.

    It sucked, but as a Software Engineer... I can tell you it was goddamned amazing we had a connection at all. (I kept one from my sprint smartphone most of the weekend- it dropped for a minute or so now and then, but it was mostly up)

    Anyway....

    Major confusing moment for me: Why the hell do the shuttles stop at 7? What do they think, we're 80 years old? Jeez, I leave work at 5, get home at 6, and eat at 7 or 8 normally.. on vacation you want me to eat... earlier???

    The pirate hat riding bobcat compels you...

    Relevant info: #PAX East: 3 Coin Lunch organizer. 2012 Trading card available. Pokecrawl Assistant 2012. Pokecrawl attendee 2011. Cult of the Leaf attendee 2012.
  • LaemkralLaemkral Captain Punch King Registered User
    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.

    Avatar courtesy of MKR, and the strip I appeared in.
  • Dr ValkyrieDr Valkyrie Registered User
    Chenzillah wrote: »
    -Crazy long lines (yeah yeah...) ...is there a way to implement a queue system via phone app for the people who want to wander?

    I 100% disagree with this. Not everyone has a smart phone. What would the people without one do? Be not allowed to see anything because theycan't afford a phone? That seems pretty bad.

  • Psquare75Psquare75 Registered User
    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.

    The simple 'why didn't I think of that' solution is charge more, and have staggered shifts with more employees.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 2012
    Psquare75 wrote: »
    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.

    The simple 'why didn't I think of that' solution is charge more, and have staggered shifts with more employees.

    Except Exhibitors don't get paid, they are paying to be there. That's a silly solution.

    Also, lol @ the earlier "it closed at 6 this year????" It's closed at 6(ish) for at least the last 5 paxen, if not all of them.

    zerzhul on
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