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PAX EAST 2012 SUGGESTIONS THREAD

12467

Posts

  • LuptoniumLuptonium Registered User
    The Good: The whole thing was mostly amazing, I loved the Swag bag and I never walked away from a con with so much tangible stuff.

    Also the handheld lounge/nap area was a masterwork.

    The bad: My main complaint is on how lines were handled. I was in the gearbox panel, but towards the end of the line. We were left to stand still for over an hour in one place, I literally almost passed out.

    Also on the first day when I cam in to the main entrance of the BCEC I was given really bad directions at the information desk about how to get to the queue room, they sent me into the expo hall instead.

    And speaking of direction, this was my first Pax, I was lost 90% of it. I undersand the need to give the theaters recognisable names, but half the time I had no clue where I was going. The Android ap helped a bit but I don't have an Ipad or tablet reader, those maps are tiny and hard to read on a cell phone. I understand there was a program booklet but with the schedual on my phone I honestly didnt want to be pulling it out every 5 seconds.

  • jar37jar37 Registered User
    Home over a day now, here are my thoughts; my pros and cons are just jumbled together

    Seems like the space on the main floor isn't being used well, that area set aside for the "carnie" food is wasted, lose it and expand the expo hall. don't add anything just make it a little bigger specifically for walking aisles and line up space.

    I've been to all three Pax Easts and this is year was only the second time I've waited in line for a demo, it's just not what I am there for, the line was like 1.5 hours (Aliens) but it was an impressive demo and I got to play against the Devs. I don't see a good answer for the lines although I did read a post that talked about one dev limiting the line size to 15 minutes, seems interesting.

    I was not as impressed by the panel options this year, not that they were bad but in three years of coming there was only a few I was remotely interested in seeing and we didn't even bother with those. To each their own though.

    Food in the building is still way overpriced for the quality/selection(I realize PAX has no control over this) but since this was my third year and my wifes second we didn't feel the need to shackle ourselves to the Con and instead hit Boston for food. Nafaniuel Hall (sp?) has awesome selections, was like a $10 cab ride(one way) and it's right by the Aquarium (something else we did while in Boston) We ate in the Pub in the weston Thursday and it was good but expensive but totally worth it since we got to sit right next to Tycho and KILROY, totally made the whole trip for me. the free food trolleys were nice since they took you and picked you up

    no wifi at BCEC ( I know it's there just overloaded) in previous years I didn't care but I brought my DS and my Kndle Fire and couldn't use either over the WIFI. I don't know my way around my DS well enough to use it for multi without the WIFI

    didnt see too many booth babes, there were some in bunny ears and mini skirts that I saw no purpose for. I didnt mind the lollipop girl since she was for a game and was actually invloved and passionate rather than the blank stares you get from some of the girls that get paraded around. I think last year was worse. I didnt see anything too inappropriate this year in cosplay either, last year there was a couple girls I thought were too scantily clad.

    Its a shame the expo closes as early as it does though I understand some of the arguments.

    I'm too old for how late the concerts go, I can't handle a full day plus a long night anymore. was dead by the time Proto hit the stage(i love that they are getting top billing, I hate that I have to wait through those other bands to see them) and barely lasted that and then I half slept through JOCO (it didnt help that I came down with Strep half way through PAX, just confirmed it today at the Doc's, I thought it was just exhaustion)

    it seemed more chaotic this year which seems strange since its the third year of it and the second at BCEC but this year the enforceres seemed a bit out of their zone. seemed like there were a lot less this year too, there were severeal times when we were trying to find something and we would come to a central hub and I'd say lets ask an enforcer and we couldn't find one anywhere near. last year they were everywhere.

    boy the ladies in the Starbucks in the Weston were getting MEAN, watched them rip apart a guy because he asked for a regular size beverage rather than their sizes

    lady in the gift shop hassled me becasue I didn't have exact change for a less than $10 transaction and I was paying with a $20, wanted me to use a card instead...

    All in all my wife and I had a great trip and will come back next year if we aren't working on baby number 2 (thats why I came alone last year, she was 7 mnths preg). the bad doesn't come near the good. if you're not enjoying PAX it's more than likely on you, change the way you're doing it, try something new.

  • CtrlAltDftCtrlAltDft Registered User regular
    Not a suggestion, but I overheard some of the people running Chainsaw Lollipop talking and they were laughing about some of the media people trying to cut in front of everyone else.

  • ParallelParallel Registered User
    I've been to PAX East all three years and I actually found this year the most enjoyable. I think my group has learned how to 'do' PAX more efficiently at this point and as a result felt less stressed and overwhelmed. I can remember coming home on the train last year feeling just completely shattered physically and emotionally, even though I still had a fantastic time. This year I felt like I could have handled a full week just fine.

    That said, I agree with many of the points that have been posted. When PAX opened we needed a lanyard for a friend and got herded into the queue for the Expo center when we really wanted to be at the keynote. We ended up wasting an hour in this giant mess of a line thinking it *was* for the keynote before we figured out we were in the wrong place. We asked an Enforcer how to get out of the crush and she basically told us to just start pushing our way back through the crowd. We did escape, but it was not a good way to start out our experience.

    Speaking of the keynote...I think the speaker was interesting and would have been a good choice for a panel, but I didn't feel inspired or proud to a gamer like I did with the previous two keynote speakers. He seemed very nervous and it was more about his experiences when the last two keynotes were more about the gaming community.

    The swag bags had absolutely nothing we wanted in them, and haven't contained anything of value in my opinion since the first PAX East. I really wish the program had been included in the swag bag though. It would have cut down on work for the Enforcers too with one less thing to hand out. We ended up with a swag bag while we were trapped in the Expo line, but it took us another two hours to come across an Enforcer with programs.

    Maps...I have a terrible sense of direction and I have never been able to make heads or tails of that convention center. The maps show you what is on each floor...but they don't show how those floors connect to each other. With some areas being laid out like a U, you have to go downstairs and back up on the other side to reach various sections. I couldn't find the merman theater at all because the map made it look like it was it was just in back of the lower food court and it really isn't. The tabletop theater wasn't even on the maps. I would love a clearer map system that shows the full layout of the convention center.

    I completely avoided the Expo center...it wasn't worth dealing with the crowd, but then I've never been a big demo person. I went to many panels and only got blocked out of one (and that's the first panel in all three years that filled before I got there). I really didn't wait in line for any panel longer than an hour, but then I was going to the 'smaller' panels for the most part. I did find the speaker systems for many panels was either too low or echoing too much. There were panels where I really couldn't understand the male speakers with lower voices.

    I felt the crowd had a great vibe overall and the Enforcers were terrific. This was the first year I stood up and asked questions at panels, which is difficult for me to do because I have some social anxiety issues. I did feel nervous, but I got some great responses and never felt like I was at risk of being mocked or anything. I never thought I'd have the courage to ask questions in front of a packed room, but the vibe at PAX made that possible.

    At the same time, I spent a lot of time in the tabletop area and didn't really understand how to get involved in demos or anything. I did the D&D play sessions, but they had clear lines and times. With the other demos, I kind of just stood around hoping someone would invite me in (which didn't happen). The tables were always full and I wasn't sure if I was just supposed to walk up to a session that was already in progress or what. For example, I was interested in the Game of Thrones demo, but it seemed like it took awhile and I didn't want to interrupt a game in progress. Since PAX is about getting people involved, I wish there were clearer instructions on how to join demos. If anyone has any suggestions for me about this, I'd love to hear them!

    Overall though, it was fantastic as always and I can't wait until next year. I think another reason we had a better time than last year was that we gave ourselves more openings to leave the con and eat elsewhere. Eating something 'real' and sitting down for even an hour helped us keep going with more energy. Plus, of course, the prices were just insane. I don't mind paying twenty bucks for a full breakfast buffet in our hotel's restaurant, but paying 7 bucks for a single slice of pizza is just irritating no matter who is at fault.








  • bottledgoosebottledgoose Registered User
    Agreed on the wireless complaints; this is my third event at the BCEC (PAXEast 2011 and SIGGRAPH the one year it was out east) and this was the first year I was not able to find a consistent wifi signal anywhere. Last year was pretty good connectivity wise as long as you stayed off the expo hall floor. Hopefully the BCEC can come up with something that can accommodate 65K gamers all trying to hit the wireless at once? I also like the monitors idea, though I don't know how feasable it is, but if there's a place with event updates and the #paxeast twitter feeds updating regularly that people can see, that would take some of the strain off the wifi.

    I feel like there could be a better use of space in Expo Hall C. Those carnival carts always seem lost back there. I say get rid of them and expand the tabletop and show floor areas, and run the queue's all the way to the wall.

    Also agree there should be more off-floor show, maybe in the little meeting rooms? the expo floor is crazy enough without a four hour queue for borderlands snaking around the floor like the worlds most pissed off conga line.

    I think the booth babe rule should extend to paid cosplayers. It seems to be getting more and more like people are just getting around the booth babe ban this way, so maybe it's time to get rid of them altogether. Also there does need to be a marginal decency standard for attendees, cosplaying or no. Possibly with pictures. Less pasties and people dropping trou during panels that way.

    I also feel like there needs to be a universal procedure with regard to panel queue rooms. I noticed a lot of confusion with regard to how to line up within them and whether attendees needed to line up serpentine style or by column. It seemed to depend on whichever Enforcer was in charge at the time.

    People, please don't spank the Enforcers without asking first. Seeing this happen made me profoundly uncomfortable, even though the Enforcer in question handled it with grace and humor.

  • stardust462stardust462 Leominster, MARegistered User regular
    ottoman673 wrote: »
    3. While I imagine the food distributors are more than likely contracted by the MCCA, make a push to get food trucks in the area of the BCEC. Maybe not on the premises, but set something up shortly down the street, or near the Seaport, etc. The con food wasn't bad.. except for the fact that i paid $6.00 for ONE slice of pizza. Come on now, really? I found myself wasting valuable show time to either flee to the 7-11 or go to South Station for reasonably priced meals that actually filled me up.

    I would love to see this happen. The number of food trucks in Boston has been growing over the past few years. Unless there is some restriction where they can't come to the BCEC area, I think it would be a great idea to find a way to get them to set up during the con.

  • carstairscarstairs Registered User
    I was there Saturday and Sunday, all day on both, entering the convention center at 9:30 both days. I have been to every PAX East.

    Number of people
    I accept that this is a massive convention and that there will be lines. PAX is a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and for me it's about playing unreleased games, getting swag, trying out a few of the smaller titles, and looking at any panels that interest me. This means that I spend the vast majority of my time at PAX on the expo hall. There were a couple of things that I didn't do because of lines (Borderlands 2, AC3, MP) and a few things that I either immediately went to or tolerated the lines for (Spec Ops only had a 30-40 minute wait when I got to it early Sunday, and I waited maybe two hours for the FC3 mohawk). If I had had three days, I probably could have seen almost all of the show floor, but with only two days it's just not possible. Saturday's a bit crazy, true, but I don't think the number of people is too high. I wouldn't want to see it grow, but it seemed alright to me.

    Demo length
    This is not PAX's jurisdiction, but I see no reason to limit developers in the length of their demos. Spec Ops definitely made itself stand out from other cover based shooters by showing 30 minutes of content and I am also more interested in the game than I probably would be with a brief five-minute in and out. Civ V was a 25 minute presentation but no one complained about that (maybe just because watching someone play a game doesn't draw the masses like a playable demo for a AAA sequel, but still). This should be up to the developer. It's in their best interest to have the best demo for the maximum number of people, it's not like they don't want people playing them.

    Panels
    Tragically, I couldn't attend the Rooster Teeth panel, but I went to three that I found interesting. There was maybe one more that I was interested in that I did not attend because it wasn't particularly appealing and because I was on line for something, but the ones I went to were enjoyable. The Irrational one on making bad guys was interesting, the journalism one was unexpectedly informative and funny, and the Giant Bomb guys were a riot.

    Hours
    6 p.m. works. I wish I had more time, but I was also there for just 2/3 days, so that's understandable. 10-6 is still a long day for attendees and workers, not even including panels after 6 for the former.

    Organization
    Some of the lines could have been a little clearer, but the lines I was on were pretty well managed. Entering all of the theaters was orderly, which I greatly appreciated.

    Enforcers
    I have yet to see a bad Enforcer. I could believe they exist, but all of the ones I saw were doing their jobs well and trying to help everyone have a good time.

    Parting shots
    Last year's massive Tyvek bags were beyond excellent, I wish someone had done them again. Dragon's Dogma, the shields were too cumbersome and unwieldy. Even Skate's actual skateboard decks were easier to handle. The convention center's food court was definitely improved over last year, not that it was exactly great or cheap. Also, Chevy, yay for easily-obtainable shirts and a clean PAX 2012 design, but an automaker at PAX was unexpected.

  • sassfactor4sassfactor4 Registered User regular
    My suggestion for penny arcade specifically would be:

    Produce more of the con specific merch, and dole it out on each day. Meaning that it would be available fri sat and sun mornings, rather than just friday.

  • EmpharaEmphara Registered User regular
    -Don't let Nathan Barnett back in again. His presence and behaviors degrade the PAX experience for other attendees. This year he interrupted the Rooster Teeth panel, stood in front of people so that they couldn't see the panel, wasted Rooster Teeth's time so that they couldn't talk about everything that they were going to, and stripped to his underwear. Seriously, don't let him back again, clearly he isn't going to change and start behaving. If he is going to degrade other people's PAX experiences every time that he attends, he should not be allowed to attend.

    -Somewhere online (or a form of some sort) to discretely explain problems we had with specific Enforcers. If I had gotten his name/handle I would message Tango or someone directly, but there should be somewhere that we can go to file complaints about specific Enforcers that were either rude or not doing their jobs. Most of them were awesome and nice and super helpful, but I ran into one particular Enforcer in about three different places and he was rude, completely unhelpful and not doing his job every single time. Most annoyingly, he was never paying attention to any of the lines that he was supposed to be watching and kept letting huge numbers of people cut in front of large lines of people that were waiting for booths and panels.

    -Rooster Teeth and Mega64 have huge numbers of fans and always have huge lines, but for some reason they had less room for lines than some of the random college booths did. They literally didn't have space for a line. There was a box of tape on the floor that extended about two feet out from their booth that enforcers were packing people into. That made it really hard to buy/get anything signed because if you weren't a bit pushy you couldn't make it to the counter to buy anything, and if you wanted something signed you had to wait until a spot opened up near whoever you wanted to sign your stuff and then rush over there and try to get to the counter before someone else did (repeat per number of people you wanted to sign your stuff). Sometimes Enforcers were making RT lines in the Cooler Master area, but it's silly that RT and Mega64 had such small amounts of space for lines when they are some of the biggest draws on the expo floor. If possible it would make sense to give groups like that, that are known to have huge fan bases booths with more space for lines, or at least enough room so that there can be some sort of line.

    -Also, ditto what @Pureval said "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 were problems with people doing that even as the first line moved out of the rooms. The Enforcers were usually in the hallways and didn't seem to see it happening. If there was a way to have another enforcer inside the room making sure the lines stay separated and leave in order that would probably really help.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Moderator mod
    My suggestion for penny arcade specifically would be:

    Produce more of the con specific merch, and dole it out on each day. Meaning that it would be available fri sat and sun mornings, rather than just friday.

    Pretty sure they already do that for many items (the rationing I mean). I could be wrong, but it seemed like there was plenty of everything (except the bonus hats) each day. But yeah, if they don't already do that, it's a great suggestion :)

  • clutch10clutch10 Registered User
    While having food trucks on the premises seems like a good idea, the reality is they would be relentlessly mobbed in no time at all. For my part, it was no big deal to walk over to South Station for a quick bite. Got me some fresh air outside of the crowded hall, and I didn't get ripped off like I did last year (when I didn't know any better and ate in the hall).

  • UtahUtah Registered User
    Seems to me that what the expo floor could really use is a great ability to handle large amounts of people. The exhibitors need to have a greater throughput.
    I was in the Steel Battalion line on Sunday. The have 2 stations set up to show a 30 minute demo. Which means if there are 12 people in front of you, you're looking at a 3 hour wait. That is ri-DIC-ulous! Expand the expo floor some more, give exhibitors (at least those demo-ing actual game) more floorspace, and a guideline that they should be able to handle X-number of people per hour.

    It's probably not that simple, but to me those wait lines were the biggest issue I saw this year that needs addressing.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Moderator mod
    @Utah: unfortunately I don't think PAX can control the types of demos that are shown on the floor.

    My two major suggestions:
    1) Eliminate the media badge entirely and enforce rules about exhibitors letting media cut lines, or put out a nice written explanation of why it is absolutely necessary. At the Khoo & A, it was explained that PAX won't bow to media/exhibitor pressure. Time to put that to the test.

    2) Somehow expand satellite theater line management. I know that [E] did not end up with the numbers they would have liked to have. If you're short next year, hire some professionals to take care of things that aren't public facing, and put more well trained [E]s into satellite theater line management.

  • PayneTraynePayneTrayne Canuck Registered User regular
    I imagine that the amount of rope would be intangible/expensive but having physical barriers so people couldn't just hop into lines would be great. I know I accidentally walked into a line once or twice and received many rude comments telling me to GTFO (instead of politely asking to leave).

    If possible, strike the queue room after the first day and move tables there if possible.

    PAX East 2013:Get on Pokecrawl Team Yellow Silver [X] Pass [X] Vacation Time [X] Hotel [X] Flights [X] PAX East 2013 Complete [ X ]
  • KoalaBro2KoalaBro2 Registered User regular
    First off, let me just say, very happy with the convention. On the whole, it was awesome! I've been to the last two, and will definitely be there next year. So please take the below only as constructive criticism to try to make a great event even better.

    First, I'd like to echo the idea for numbers on the tables in tabletop freeplay. That was a fantastic idea by WotC, and would be a big help to people trying to meet up or get extras for games.

    I agree that the Expo Hall remains the weakest part of the convention. I'm not sure which, if any, of the suggestions would be feasible or would help (more floor space, longer hours, banning media passes outside of pre-set hours, time limits on demos, etc.), but I would definitely encourage the organizers to continue searching for ways to improve the experience. Personally, I generally skip the area, which is kind of sad, because it should be something that's as awesome as the rest of the convention.

    Finally, I have no idea what happened with the swag pick-up, but that was kind of a disaster. Last year, I was able to stroll right in first thing in the morning, grab my bag, and head to the keynote line. This year, there were massive lines wrapping around the convention hall, and the lines persisted all day on Friday. I also remember that last year they had lanyards on the way into the keynote (can't remember if they also had the bags or not), which was a good idea, and I'm not sure why it wasn't repeated this year.

  • YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    - Panels starting 15 to 30 minutes past the posted start time sucked! This just leads the panel to run over 20 to 25 minutes past the posted end time.
    *I look at Gearbox's direction for making the announcement the panel was being let in early. Only to have everyone stand up & squish in tight for an hour. The room had been empty for awhile before the panel.*

    I'm gonna echo this one and repeat some stuff I said in the other thread. This was a consistent problem with many panels and caused me to miss other events I would have been able to attend otherwise. I'm not sure what the exact cause was, but I didn't have this problem last year.

    I think the enforcers need a better sense of organization. A lot of the line management left something to be desired and I've heard numerous reports of enforcers not being able to give basic information (where to get swag bags, where the coat check is, etc...).

    There was also a lot of technical glitches during the events in the main theatre (not sure about the concerts) that didn't occur last year, such as the big screens turning off or switching to the wrong camera angle or mic problems.

    Edit: I'm also going to agree with the suggestion of having a universal dress code. I was pretty agitated that Jessica Nigri was asked to leave (or whatever) before I got a picture. Though I did get to meet Suda51 which was bad ass.

    YodaTuna on
  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Moderator mod
    KoalaBro2 wrote: »
    First off, let me just say, very happy with the convention. On the whole, it was awesome! I've been to the last two, and will definitely be there next year. So please take the below only as constructive criticism to try to make a great event even better.

    First, I'd like to echo the idea for numbers on the tables in tabletop freeplay. That was a fantastic idea by WotC, and would be a big help to people trying to meet up or get extras for games.

    I agree that the Expo Hall remains the weakest part of the convention. I'm not sure which, if any, of the suggestions would be feasible or would help (more floor space, longer hours, banning media passes outside of pre-set hours, time limits on demos, etc.), but I would definitely encourage the organizers to continue searching for ways to improve the experience. Personally, I generally skip the area, which is kind of sad, because it should be something that's as awesome as the rest of the convention.

    Finally, I have no idea what happened with the swag pick-up, but that was kind of a disaster. Last year, I was able to stroll right in first thing in the morning, grab my bag, and head to the keynote line. This year, there were massive lines wrapping around the convention hall, and the lines persisted all day on Friday. I also remember that last year they had lanyards on the way into the keynote (can't remember if they also had the bags or not), which was a good idea, and I'm not sure why it wasn't repeated this year.

    They had bags on the way into the keynote this year. I thought I saw someone with lanyards too, but I might have been wrong. I saw [E]s with lanyards /everywhere/ at the con, so I may be mixing those things.

  • YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    KoalaBro2 wrote: »
    I also remember that last year they had lanyards on the way into the keynote (can't remember if they also had the bags or not), which was a good idea, and I'm not sure why it wasn't repeated this year.

    They had swag bags at the keynote line last year. My gf and I were a little confused when they did not hand them out this year. Took us awhile to find them.

  • CreamsteakCreamsteak Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    zerzhul wrote: »
    2) Somehow expand satellite theater line management. I know that [E] did not end up with the numbers they would have liked to have. If you're short next year, hire some professionals to take care of things that aren't public facing, and put more well trained [E]s into satellite theater line management.

    I agree heavily with this. I also want to stress that while everyone groans about the line compression, it's important to note when there's actually a problem. There are larger and smaller people, and some people lugging around an extra bodies worth of bags... and on two occations I witnessed lines get "compressed" to the point where people were locked into a standing position. Basically everyone followed instructions and tried to be as amiable as possible to the [E]s, and we sort of overdid it. It's silly, and eventually was worked out, but it's one of those attention to detail things.

    Also +1 to the water fountain water pressure issue. So minor, but it would make me smile.

    The floor zero tabletop workshop wasn't pointed out well enough on the maps for me.

    I liked the Westin Mezanine gaming area, but I was pretty worried on Saturday night when a glass broke somewhere and the whole area applauded. I couldn't tell what happened, I couldn't identify if the clapping was intended to be positive or negative, I couldn't tell who it was directed at... but it appeared to me that this was interpreted very negatively by the Westin staff. I'm not sure what my suggestion here is other than, "Be mindful of where you are at, every attendee is a potential face for PAX at all times" and such. And we all like any extra gaming space (especially open at all hours) so we should try to be seen in the best light we can there.

    Also for an off-the-wall suggestion... One really really really long rectangular table somewhere in the food court area as a sort of huge common ground for a meal or game. The idea occured to me when I had five round tables all with common groups of friends in a cluster in the table-top free-play area. Just give gamers a single big table and watch what they make of it. I'm actually more curious what would happen simply as an experiment (I know I can throw-down and run some interesting 24+ player games if I prepare in advance).

    Creamsteak on
  • mgriff3456mgriff3456 Registered User regular
    The only thing that slightly annoyed me was some of the line management. Me and my friend were first in line by at least 15 minutes for the X-Play live taping. We headed straight to the main theater line as soon as the doors opened and we waited until 12:30 when it started. However, instead of letting people into the main theater in the order in which they got there, which they clearly should have done, they just opened all of the doors to the main theater at once and let everyone rush in at the same time. This caused a mass amount of chaos as everyone was pushing and fighting to get the best seat. We got a decent seat still but there were people there who got in the line way after us and got a much better seat then us which annoying me a little bit. I just feel like the way they handled the line was completely unsafe and the wrong way to do things. Having people file in in the order in which they were in line would have been the much safer and fairer way to handle things.

    However other then this small problem I had an amazing time and loved my second PAX East experience.

  • ShiosShios Registered User
    edited April 2012
    While I know it's difficult to extend Expo hours, I think that the hall should at least remain open later (8-9pm) on Saturday.

    Also, try to push exhibitors allowing demo play to have as many screens as possible. Ubisofts Future Soldier booth only had 8 screens (2 of which were used by exhibitors to walk the other people through via headsets), each of which were at least 41"+ which you sat maybe 2 feet from. They could have easily doubled that and put in 16 21"+ monitors and doubled the rate at which people could play their demo. Especially when each 3-person group took an upwards of 15 minutes. Assassins Creed 3 was pushing 50+ people through every 20 minutes which was pretty good imo.

    Those were the only 2 things I really had a gripe about. Both of which I could live with, but it made it certainly made it frustrating at times.

    Shios on
  • Steel FireSteel Fire Gunboat Diplomat PAI MarketingRegistered User regular
    To everyone suggesting longer expo hall hours, I think we'd all like that but you have to realize the exhibitors have to staff those booths and many of them are pushing 12 hour days already. They aren't just there from 10-6; they get there early and stay late getting things in order, fixed, prepped, changed out, etc. Keep in mind too, if the hall is open until 8 or 9 pm, what happens to the parties, hmmmm? All the same people working these things...

  • havok978havok978 Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Gaus wrote: »
    It's still pretty terrible. I was waiting in line for a few hours ( because the demo was a 30 minute demo ) and they let a media guy jump in. I totally understand why they did it, but everyone in line had the feeling he just used his media badge to jump the line. He didn't ask any questions about the game, or even make eye contact. He just played, took his t-shirt and left. Maybe he's just a terrible journalist. ( probably just a blogger )

    I know PAX thinks of itself as a convention for gamers, but it feels like it's changing into something else.

    I think that has been sort of my pet peeve with media badges since maybe last Prime. I totally get that PAX has become more of a media coverage event in recent years, and I totally get the reasons for letting them jump, but I don't know... Maybe it just didn't seem so blatant until the past few PAXes. I remember last Prime being next in line for a game and being bumped twice in a row by media, and the rep feeling pretty bad about it. One of those folks was from a podcast I listen to and I never saw a write up on the site, or heard a mention on the podcast of said game. I can't speak for East this year as I was determined not to do the long lines for the bigger titles, but it seems like on those rare instances I run across media, like at the airport on the way home, they're practically bragging about being able to jump the lines. I don't know what, if anything can be done about it. I don't know if you can just scrap media badges altogether. I noticed that some booths at Prime had an appointment/scheduling system as well as maybe a dedicated media console or area, which I think worked well. Maybe that's the way to go if that's not being done already. I think the real key is that some of these media folks just need to not be blatant dicks about it,

    havok978 on
  • adastraadastra Registered User regular
    Parallel wrote: »
    At the same time, I spent a lot of time in the tabletop area and didn't really understand how to get involved in demos or anything. I did the D&D play sessions, but they had clear lines and times. With the other demos, I kind of just stood around hoping someone would invite me in (which didn't happen). The tables were always full and I wasn't sure if I was just supposed to walk up to a session that was already in progress or what. For example, I was interested in the Game of Thrones demo, but it seemed like it took awhile and I didn't want to interrupt a game in progress. Since PAX is about getting people involved, I wish there were clearer instructions on how to join demos. If anyone has any suggestions for me about this, I'd love to hear them!

    The Tabletop demos were being run by a bunch of different people/booths - both game developers (like Steve Jackson Games) and game retailers (like Pandemonium). Some of them were clearer about how their demos worked than others, but it really varied from place to place. In general, demos aren't rigidly structured because tabletop games have varying lengths and need a certain number of players to commence. Some booths were offering demos of specific games, where others would pretty much offer to demo anything they had on sale if they had time/space. I'll give a shout out to Pandemonium for having a schedule of which games they would be demoing at specific tables within a window of time, which helped keep their demos more organized.

    Getting a demo is sometimes a trick of luck and good timing, to stumble onto the booth when they have an opening to play something. More times than not, you'll come upon in-progress games more than opportunities - but don't hesitate to ask the person running a game how to get the chance to play a game yourself! They want to show you these games, and most of the folks running a booth in Tabletop are friendly and excited to enable you to try and buy what they're offering. ;)

    And when the demos don't work out, the Tabletop HQ library can be the next best thing - or better. Check out a game, tweet with #TTLFG (or stand next to the library, hold up the game, and ask if people would like to join you), and play-test to your heart's content! I've had great luck with finding another attendee who has played a game and is willing to show me the ropes, which isn't that different from a demo in many regards.

  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    I never bother waiting for the big game demos - a lot of times they are for FPSs or RPGs which aren't really my genres anyways so it just isn't a priority for me. With that said, I don't understand why PAX can't put some things in place to help avoid the issue of 2-3 hr waits. Either have a requirement in terms of "your outside queues must move xxx people per hour", or even offer extra rooms for additional demo space off the floor if needed.

    I put this in another thread too but: Reduce the price of Sunday only tickets.
    We did Sunday only - had a great time, but to say that Sunday should be a full price ticket isn't fair...

    Sunday has:
    No concerts
    Less panels
    No late night gaming
    Limited swag/giveaways as many booths run out of stuff
    Less events - seems most big things happen Fri/Sat

    I would ask that they either expand Sunday to the same hours as Fri/Sat, add a Sunday afternoon concert, or do something awesome to bring Sunday up to the same level as the rest of PAX.

    steam_sig.png
  • ZeroHourHeroZeroHourHero Registered User
    JerYnkFan wrote: »
    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.

    My wife and I had chinese food every day because of the shuttles, and once brought back some takeout, which caused many many people to ask where we picked up Duck at the con.

  • vttymvttym Registered User regular
    Speaking as someone who has had a media badge for the last two PAX Easts, I can say that any time I have been let into a line, it's because I had an appointment scheduled ahead of time. This year was no exception: weeks before the show, we are contacted by the various vendors who have booths set up asking to schedule times to visit them. We schedule times, we show up, and we're given access without waiting on line. This allows me to see a wider variety of what's available, and consequently be able to write and speak about what I saw in greater volume. If you think doing this is easy, you're welcome to try - my time at PAX is spent running from one interview to another, while trying to balance lines for things I'm interested in seeing for my own personal interests (which this year, sadly, I did little of).

    I never flash my media badge at the front of a line that I don't have an appointment for, expecting to get in. I will say I'm more likely to get approached by exhibitors if I'm lingering around, or already checking out things in the booth, but that's about it. If you see vendors letting Media cut in line, that's an issue to take up with the vendor, not with PAX on a whole. Just be aware that many times, these "cuts" are actually scheduled ahead of time.

    - And now that I've veered wildly off topic to stem the Media pass bashing, let me also put my vote towards more signs indicating how much further it is to main things in the expo (theaters, freeplay areas, BYOC, etc). I found signs were very noticeable at the entrances, and then became sparse as you moved around the perimeter of the building.

    - Swag bag distribution was a little sloppy on Friday, but seemed better on the subsequent days. I think there was an issue with not having the maps in the swag bags ahead of time, which was causing the delay, if I understood the Enforcer correctly (and yes, even with a media badge, I went through the Queue line to get a swag bag because there was confusion about whether any would be in the media room, so better communication between the enforcers would have been nice).

    - I actually liked the expo floor layout this year, it felt more spread out than last year, though this was at the expense of feeling like there was a lot there (I couldn't shake the feeling that I was seeing less booths than last year. I don't know if this is true or not). But the extra room meant a lot less bumping into people's backpacks (or people bumping into mine).

    - Better security is needed for checking passes - on Sunday, a friend who was leaving gave her pass to my wife who, while not a gamer, I was happy to have her along for the afternoon. She had a stroller, with my daughter in tow. We took the elevator down to the floor, and never had anyone check her badge. We were legit, but anyone could have used the elevator to get to the show floor without an issue.

    - I did like the use of rooms to hold the queue lines, but enforcers should be used to ensure order is maintained in the room once the line starts moving, as it ended up just being a mass of people moving towards the door rather than following the snaking pattern.

    - There needs to be clearer communication around what doors open when in the morning. I felt bad for the enforcers who had to constantly tell people grouping up at the front doors that they needed to go to the queue line, particularly on Friday, when media was congregating at the front doors as they were directed, thus causing everyone to start doing so. Perhaps some labels and signs directing everyone to the proper area they need to go, based on what kind of badge they have.

    That's all for now. As I reflect more, I'll plop it up here.

  • KainEnableKainEnable Registered User regular
    Psykus wrote: »
    I wish there was a way to get a convention map/guide on the first day outside of getting a swag bag. Due to all the other free stuff in the bag, the lines were absolutely massive on Friday and I really didn't want to wait in line just to get a map, though I got one later on Saturday when the free stuff had ran out and the lines were non existent. Having a map for the first day without waiting in massive lines would have been nice.

    That is a great idea. I suggest that in strategic places place a stack of maps. I found that I was only using my pax program for the map. If they had maps lying around I would not have needed my program at all. Think of the trees that could be saved.

  • tvethiopiatvethiopia Registered User regular
    KainEnable wrote: »
    Psykus wrote: »
    I wish there was a way to get a convention map/guide on the first day outside of getting a swag bag. Due to all the other free stuff in the bag, the lines were absolutely massive on Friday and I really didn't want to wait in line just to get a map, though I got one later on Saturday when the free stuff had ran out and the lines were non existent. Having a map for the first day without waiting in massive lines would have been nice.

    That is a great idea. I suggest that in strategic places place a stack of maps. I found that I was only using my pax program for the map. If they had maps lying around I would not have needed my program at all. Think of the trees that could be saved.

    this. late on sunday, they were trying to get rid of stacks of extra programs and lanyards, though they were out of actual swag bags. would have been nice if these had been offered separately throughout the weekend for those who just wanted the basic map & schedule info.

    <3 Daintier. Smarter. Better dressed. <3
  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Moderator mod
    vttym wrote: »
    Speaking as someone who has had a media badge for the last two PAX Easts, I can say that any time I have been let into a line, it's because I had an appointment scheduled ahead of time. This year was no exception: weeks before the show, we are contacted by the various vendors who have booths set up asking to schedule times to visit them. We schedule times, we show up, and we're given access without waiting on line. This allows me to see a wider variety of what's available, and consequently be able to write and speak about what I saw in greater volume. If you think doing this is easy, you're welcome to try - my time at PAX is spent running from one interview to another, while trying to balance lines for things I'm interested in seeing for my own personal interests (which this year, sadly, I did little of).

    I never flash my media badge at the front of a line that I don't have an appointment for, expecting to get in. I will say I'm more likely to get approached by exhibitors if I'm lingering around, or already checking out things in the booth, but that's about it. If you see vendors letting Media cut in line, that's an issue to take up with the vendor, not with PAX on a whole. Just be aware that many times, these "cuts" are actually scheduled ahead of time.

    One more reason to strike media badges entirely. If it's all about scheduling appointments ahead of time, why does anyone need a media badge?

  • YeildForNothingYeildForNothing Registered User
    Clearly mark when shuttles to off site parking stop running. Sunday I tried to get on at 715. A security guy told me it stopped. I went and found the transportation lady and she told me they stop at 8 but sent me all the way to the other side of the building to get on. I got to the other side and went into restricted areas to get to where she sent me to. Then walked all the way back to be told I was in the right place to begin with!!!

    Also, have the Guide app be correct. I missed Omegathon because it was wrong one day.

    And I'll agree with more frequent map posting. And better interwebz. And more swag. I got 8 free shirts last year. 2 this year.

  • purevalpureval Registered User regular
    My wife suggested that more time be given to the acts at the concerts. The VGO felt over before it even began (they did not even bring out the whole orchestra) and Paul and Storm only did 5 songs (partially because they chose to that overlong joke in the middle). I know they shorted them to squeeze an extra band on each night, but I am not sure it was worth it.

  • ExplosionExplosion Registered User
    Logistical suggestion:

    For the first hour or two of Friday, block Tabletop from the Queue room and Expo Hall, but then let people enter Tabletop from a different way. We had no interest in the Expo Hall crush of people, just wanted to play some games, but had to "sneak in" to an otherwise mostly empty Tabletop area because the Queue for the Expo Hall blocked it.

    Oh, and ban whiners who expect PAX to be a special demo hall just for them. PAX is not about the expo hall or about the demos, it's about the experiences, the fun, the panels, the games, and the people. If you choose to wait in a line for over 3 hours to play a demo that'll be available online in a month or so, it's on you, not on the PAX organizers.

  • TJBrady22TJBrady22 Registered User
    I agree that maps were an issue, but not the same as the map being confusing. I found it as easy to navigate as previous years, but my issue came from getting a map. Last year there were a dozen tables with landyards and swag bags (which actually had maps in them) laid out before entering the queue room. Apparently we ditched that idea and used the 'Pass the bag through the queue line' Friday morning, and even when you did get one, there wasn't a booklet in it like previous years.
    Find a better way to distribute swag bags, and include a map in it (or even set it out in boxes near the swag bags) so that people who want/need the paper version can have it, while those who use their phones can ignore it.

  • vttymvttym Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    zerzhul wrote: »

    One more reason to strike media badges entirely. If it's all about scheduling appointments ahead of time, why does anyone need a media badge?

    Don't want to start a war on Media badges here, but do you also expect cops to drive the speed limit? People from the Media are at PAX to do a job. If scheduling appointments helps make doing the job easier, I don't see the problem.

    As much as it may surprise some, vendors don't spend money being at PAX to manage lines and shovel out swag. They're there in hopes to expose their product to as many people as possible. Part of that is letting the community experience it at PAX. And part of that is letting the media write about that experience.

    Truth be told, I'm seriously considering picking up a standard 3-day badge next year, regardless of whether I'm eligible for a Media badge, so that I don't have to be bound to writing about what I see, making appointments, and missing panels or meetups due to scheduling conflicts. I'd like to be able to just sit in the Tabletop Freeplay area for a day if I want; something I don't have the luxury of doing now.

    My best time at PAX this year was Sunday afternoon, when I was done with all of my commitments, and my wife borrowed my friend's badge, so that her and my almost 3 year old daughter could come in and see PAX for the first time. Watching my daughter be excited while walking around, and then sitting and listening to the Rock Band freeplay area near the food court for an hour made me realize that I was missing so much to PAX in all my running around.

    Being upset about how Media badges are used is a valid suggestion, I'm not saying it isn't. I just wanted to make sure that all facets of what a Media badge means was understood. At this point, in the interest of keeping things on topic in this thread, if there's any further disagreement, I'll just respectfully agree to disagree.

    vttym on
  • thespianthespian Registered User
    adastra wrote: »
    Getting a demo is sometimes a trick of luck and good timing, to stumble onto the booth when they have an opening to play something. More times than not, you'll come upon in-progress games more than opportunities - but don't hesitate to ask the person running a game how to get the chance to play a game yourself! They want to show you these games, and most of the folks running a booth in Tabletop are friendly and excited to enable you to try and buy what they're offering. ;)

    This! Ask ask ask. I was running Dominion demos for Pandemonium, a game of which takes about 35-45 minutes (they can be shorter, but usually about half the people at the table were completely new to the game, so there was more explanation involved and the first couple rounds are handholdy). So I was taking phone numbers, and I would call people when the next game came up. I try to keep an eye out for people looking wistfully at the game tables, but I was also teaching between 4 and 7 people the game each time.

    Also I have demoed games for Looney Labs, the Compleat Strategist, Days of Wonder, a couple import game companies at closed trade shows as well as Pandemonium. I am not bad at playing, explaining AND watching the floor, since several of these things have been paid. But many of the people running demos are doing it because they just LOVE the game, and so they are *playing* the game. You might need to get their attention. Always feel free to at least ask if they can call you for the next round (unless you have a MASSIVELY hot game, there is always a lull between one game finishing and the next starting; demoers usually love to know that lull will be shortened because there is a virtual lineup).

    S.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 2012
    Yeah I'm not upset at the Media for using what tools they have available to them, but if it affects attendee experiences then that toolbox may need to be adjusted or removed.

    zerzhul on
  • darren66darren66 Registered User regular
    - Panels starting 15 to 30 minutes past the posted start time sucked! This just leads the panel to run over 20 to 25 minutes past the posted end time.
    *I look at Gearbox's direction for making the announcement the panel was being let in early. Only to have everyone stand up & squish in tight for an hour. The room had been empty for awhile before the panel.*

    Panels being run by a company is basically a commercial. They make it run late on purpose so you don't have time to make it to one of their competitors commercials (I mean panels).

    PA staff should crack down on this.

    WiiU/3DS: da66en Steam: route66
    2009 PAX Puzzle Quest Champion
    I have beat Rygar on the NES and many of you have not.
  • darren66darren66 Registered User regular
    Lanyards that don't self destruct.

    WiiU/3DS: da66en Steam: route66
    2009 PAX Puzzle Quest Champion
    I have beat Rygar on the NES and many of you have not.
  • shadowfaeshadowfae Registered User regular
    In the console freeplay area, it would have been nice to be able to tell from the paper games list which ones were useful if 2 or 3 of us were wanting to play. This was a combination of partially just being unfamiliar with which games have multiplayer options, but also, even if we knew a game had multiplayer options, we weren't sure if it was only available over some sort of network (which wasn't helpful in this setting). It seems like it should be possible to include some sort of notation on the list to indicate the max number of players that can be accommodated on a single system.

This discussion has been closed.