[PRIME] 2012 CONSTRUCTIVE Feedback/Suggestions Thread

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  • WedjatWedjat SeattleRegistered User regular
    I would do the LoL regionals in the annex or something, the way Halofest was in 2011... this year it was great to have them, and I'd love to have it again, but it definitely needs to be changed because of the sheer amount of people. The lines for the escalators coming down from the sixth floor after games, for instance, were kinda ridiculous. Them being set up the style the Dota 2 tourney was this year would be good, if that doesn't happen again next year.

    3DS 0404-6459-8631
  • tangerine tangotangerine tango Registered User
    edited September 2012
    Suggestions:

    Keep up the good work!

    Good
    +wide variety of panels focusing on interesting/topical/thought-provoking/controversial topics in game design and gaming culture
    +Enforcers keeping lines entertained with activities
    +Enforcers staying positive and trying to engage crowd/lines in participatory games
    +Cookie Brigade
    +tabletop checkout & freeplay
    +super excellent peeps
    +Cards Against Humanity
    +Mike, Jerry, Robert, Kris, Scott, and everyone behind PA

    Bad

    -None

    Thoughts

    PAX this year was really awesome =)

    tangerine tango on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    -pitting Robert Khoo (Main), Wil Wheaton (Pegasus), and Mike & Jerry (Queue Room) against each other on Sunday

    I'll just point out that this, in particular, is done intentionally. Counter-programming popular panels against each other makes it easier for people to get into at least one of the "big" panels/events, by forcing people to make choices.

    Aside from that, you might consider that the spectacle is part of the community and culture.

    tangerine tangojaberwockynmt
  • DaPaladinDaPaladin Registered User regular
    Pros:
    1) Pax did feel lighter, amazing how ~100 extra people make the con feel over crowded and not having that ~100 means you can walk the hall.
    2) Cancelled and Prototype Fiestathon, this needs to happen every year!
    3) Getting swag from little known developers without waiting for three hours and/or preordering.

    Cons:
    1) Swagbags, I think this would have worked better if people didn't stop to oogle the goods. It seemed things went smoother the other days with more lines and better flow, so I could see this working with a good setup.
    2) The Gearbox Panel, this was the only Shareton panel I went to so I can't comment on the whole weekend, but it was unfortunate. I think what happened was the Enforcers had to make a a terrible situation into something workable. We knew that we couldn't line up for the panel until 2:45 as the stated policy is "No queing until the previous panel has started", but we thought we might drop by early just to be safe (Visions of the Skyrim panel dancing in our heads), so 2:20ish. A kid told us that line was outside before we got to far and then after that the line move quickly until we got the lobby right at the escalators. The Enforcers here were good, kept a path open, answered questions, and even gave us an update on why we weren't going up stairs. I think the demand for this panel was so great people took advantage of the power of people enmass and just started the line. The Enforcers had to deal with it and I thought they did the best they could with what they had. If they were grumpy, frustrated, or cold its probably because they were reacting to an impossible situation WE put them in.
    3) Smacktards at the Gearbox Panel; yes you who came to the panel just to get the free stuff and then leave, plus yap your head off while leaving detracted from my experience of the panel. A complaint so ignore.

    This was my fifth PAX and after most years I say its my last, but this year I actually felt like I had a great time and was able to enjoy the whole event and community. Otherwise, fun had by all.

  • shidoshishidoshi Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    alegria wrote: »
    -Media gets into the Expo Hall at 9am each day, so they have an extra hour more than the general public. They should not be dicks about cutting in line during regular hours because of this, however, not all of them follow Wheaton's Law. Sorry. :(

    I'm not asking for people to feel sorry for me when I say what I'm about to say—I just want you to know the opinion of somebody from the media side of things.

    While that one extra hour of time is nice (and honestly, I thought it was only for the first day), it means little in the grand scheme of things. Companies set scheduled meetings for us media, so while we could wander around and try a few things out during that hour, it's not going to be of much help quite often when we've got no rep to talk to to get the details we need for coverage.

    When we're at an event like PAX, we aren't just there to play demos—we're also talking to companies, doing interviews, etc. It's pretty typical to have appointments booked throughout the entire day, with little to no time in-between. If we've got a half hour appointment at a booth and five games to see, there's simply no way we could even see one of those without line cutting. I know a response to that might be "that's what industry events like E3 are for", but in this day and age companies now do major announcements or big game reveals at every major event that goes on, even PAX. For me, I'm lucky—I work for a big outlet, so getting ahold of preview builds usually isn't hard. So, personally, I think I cut the line at Prime twice during my time at the show (and in one of those times, I'm not certain there was actually anybody waiting when I played that particular game). For smaller media outlets, however, doing their job may rely on the time they get to go hands-on with games at PAX.

    Trust me, I know how it can feel to be somebody who isn't media and watch as people cut the line. And with PAX being more of a fan event, that only increases the frustration over such things. As somebody who is media, however, I can see both sides of the argument. I had so much work to do at PAX that I had next to no time to actually see and enjoy the show—so while you may be mad at media people who cut lines, I'm envious of you getting to actually have fun during those three days.

    I would really, really love to go to a future PAX as a fan instead of media, because I can assure you that you're having the better experience.


    Suggestion: This was my first time at PAX Prime, and I was really, really lost for at least the first day. I'd really like to see a better map design for the program book, better signage, or both. My big problem with the map in the program was that it didn't really do a good job of explaining how building connect to one another. You have the escalators that are color-coded, but I'll be honest and say that I didn't notice that element until it was too late. What I really wanted/needed was a diagram to show how each floor sits on top of one another, so that I could get a handle on the overall layout of the convention center. For people who are new to that place, it can be downright confusion.

    I remember at one point going to the PC floor of the annex, and there was tape on the ground with labels and arrows pointing to different locations of interest—I loved that. Anything that helps give more signage and clarity to how to find what where would be a good thing I think.

    shidoshi on
    tangerine tango
  • leftofCenterleftofCenter Registered User
    Quintious wrote: »
    2) The security company that was hired. Seriously, they weren't even trying to hide the open levels of disdain and hatred they inexplicably had for every last one of us. EVERYBODY noticed this.

    4) Change security company. Seriously, the paid security people were so openly hostile towards everybody and not even trying to hide their disdain for us with their looks, even as people were just filing along minding their own business. I don't know if it was because most of them were so old that PAX'ers are just a shock to them or they were having flashbacks to being in high school and being able to beat up the nerds, only to be getting paid very little to have to watch the nerds have a good time, but those guys sucked.

    Which of the hired security companies are you referring to? There where three on the payroll, A large company with suits, a smaller company with black shirts and tactical pants and the actual convention staff who had green vests(?).

    The people in the green shirts were really friendly to me, or at least the few that I interacted with.

    I thought the guys in the tactical pants where cosplaying at first but then came to realize they were actual guarding statues (Seriously who's going to steal a statue?).

  • kfoilkfoil Registered User regular
    (Seriously who's going to steal a statue?).

    Probably not so much 'steal' as 'mess with/deface/stand on'. :)

    leftofCenter
  • ishmogishmog Registered User regular
    I just want to expand on a couple of points others have touched on already.

    - @pax_lines should kick it up a notch. It's inevitable at an event this size with limited seating for popular panels that there are going to be big, long, hairy lines, and that not everyone is going to get into what they want, and that some of them are going to have to waste much of their time doing so. But when you have a venue that is so spread out, you can minimize the problems with more communication. People can adjust their expectations and make better decisions when they know more what is going on.

    The feed wasn't covering the Tabletop Theater at all; without knowing what was happening with the line over there, people had to hike three blocks to see what was up, and either show up way early (wasting time) or miss the panel. I think one of the most important things that feed could do is communicate about the stuff that is further away from the main convention center. And I'd like to see better and more frequent updates for other queues. There's no sense wasting time waiting at a venue that isn't filling quickly when there is other stuff you can be seeing, and no one wants to miss a panel they really, really wanted to see because they didn't know it was filling early.

    I don't know that Twitter is all the answer, but I think a lot of other complaints that people are voicing about the queueing could be addressed with better information distribution helping them make decisions.

    - Venue access needs additional consideration. The elevator bank at the Red Lion just wasn't adequate for surge crowds around panel-times combined with other attendee traffic combined with the regular hotel traffic. Maybe it was assumed the TT stuff wasn't going to be that popular, I don't know. But in the future, I would suggest that any venue that is going to have panels should also have to have stair access as an alternate means of entry/egress. If people don't like waiting around in lines for panels, they hate waiting around for a faulty elevator.

    It would have been nice if someone could have called an audible over there after Friday and gotten Red Lion to open up the stairwells somehow. I imagine the concern was security, but there were scads of Enforcers standing around, I think a couple at the stairs could have handled it.



    All in all, though, best PAX I have ever been to, and I've been to all of them here in Seattle/Bellevue. There are always hiccups but it really does keep getting better and better every year.

  • TraitoriousTraitorious Registered User regular
    [snip]
    That's a lot of negativity in your post. I've only recently started attending PAX (Prime last year was my first.) I don't know how it was back in the day when PAX first started, but I assume that if you take away all the you want gone in your post; that is what it was like (which isn't all bad, but I'm sure there was a reason PAX only lasted 2 days back then.)

    I believe PAX was made to celebrate all things gaming in addition to the community. Doing away with pretty much well over half of PAX because you don't like it is pretty asinine. I didn't care for a few things each PAX I've been to, but I know everyone attending has different tastes; allegiances to companies; favorite genres; etc and that they are there because there each vendor believes/knows their crowd will attend. Whether you like it or not, peripheral companies are a part of gaming; media/content creators are a part of gaming, e-sports are a part of gaming and PAX is there to bring them all together.

    I know it's cliche, but you can always just skip the booths/events you're not interested in. I'm pretty sure everyone that attends PAX does this to some extent.

    In any event...

    Suggestions:
    1) The second (and I assume third day since I got my swag bag on the Saturday) day of swag bags was much better than day one when I initially went to get one around 2pm (and heard it was a 2+ hour wait.) After reading about the change before PAX, I thought the best way was going to be having enforcers sitting at the tables where swag bags were being handed out via multiple lines. Of course we saw what happened when that wasn't the case on Friday.

    This kinda ties into further badge security, but while the fix was in on Saturday for swag bags; even with enforcers there, how does that prevent people from coming back multiple times? We all know how coveted LoL codes are, and with their electronic signup kiosks setup on the 6th floor for the PAX skins; I was hoping that was going to negate the use of code cards again. So, my thoughts were that what if a unique ID number was embedded in each pass purchased that could be checked against a database when getting a swag bag?

    Something like each 3-day pass getting it's own code, one day passes sharing a code if purchased by the same person, etc. I know there would be some hang ups if someone bought multiple sets or a hodgepodge of one day passes (one full set, and maybe another set of just Sat/Sun for example.) Maybe sets purchased on the same credit card would be linked to together first, then hodgepodges linked next? Also, there could be the issue of someone buying multiple one day passes and different people thinking of going different days. Not sure, but I think something along the lines of this mixed with the enforcers at the swag bag tables would be more efficient and detract multiple acquisition without some kind of "penalty" (having to buy multiple passes, which is another issue in and of itself.)

    2) Anyway to have giant poster board schedules put up around the expo hall, annex, tabletop areas showing the daily schedule? The mobile apps are great, but sometimes you get way too into something and forget to check your phone for what's upcoming for panels. Having multiple, eye catching schedules in the high traffic areas would be a boon imo.

    3) It seemed like there were less water stations setup this year than last year. My suggestion is a little obvious, but I was wondering if this was indeed the case?

    HeyJoetangerine tangoadias.angel
  • tsrblketsrblke Registered User regular
    @tangerine tango

    My understanding is that the developers buy booth space which does help keep ticket prices low (PAX needs to at least break even to keep happening if PA wants to run it as a service, if they want to run it as an actual business arm it needs to do more than simply break even).

    Having said that, This was only my second (and likely last) PAX, but the indie zone seemed much bigger than last year to me, although it could have been easier to find (but that may be me constantly getting lost.) Better Maps (maybe with "You are here" stickers) would be huge.

    I'm a bit leery about excluding things just to keep people out, that seems a bit like trying to "define" the culture, and I'm not a big fan of that. If people just want to come for LoL and they have a good time, that's awesome. Khoo talked about "cross pollination" in his Khoo and A and I thought "yeah, that pretty much explains how I ended up here."

    Having said that, perhaps panel/Theater alignment could have been better (I liked playing panels against each other hoping to draw away some of the crowds.) I think they were hoping the NASA panel would play better against Gearbox (and NASA clearly needed the big stage of AWESOME to do their bit.)

    If I ever get a chance to go back, I'd like to see more panels like that. I'm not sure how to describe what "that" is (Future Technology?)

    tangerine tango
  • phoophoo Registered User
    Perhaps more signage as to where things are located? Things like "annex" or "escalator down," etc. I realize there are theoretically signs for elevators and whatnot but with the huge booths, I really can't see them til I get up on them. This may be different if I were 6ft+ tall (I am 5'5"). I don't know how people in wheelchairs can find anything at all, since with the crowds, they probably can't see more than 1ft in front of them.

    I was glued to my guidebook map and it still took me until Sunday to find the lower floors of the annex after a very extended hunt. I couldn't find the way down from the 4th floor. Then there was more confusion as I had to hunt down each set of escalators. There were markers on the floor which was great, but no markers as to where to go for the next set of escalators.

    I didn't figure out where the swag bags and programs were being distributed until Saturday after I asked someone. I did find the pax swag booth on Friday, after asking around. I do want to give a congrats for having plenty of programs and swag bags (even if there wasn't really anything interesting in them) to go around. I assumed I had missed them, but there was plenty on Saturday with the advantage of no line.

  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Bring on more experienced logistics personnel to interface with the satellite locations and planning. There's a built-in community of really good event planners right under the proverbial nose here on the forums, who run pre and post PAX forum events and would kick ass at things like communicating with hotel management, planning for crowding and line control, and generally being good at handling the complexities and communications of the satellite locations.

    EDIT: BTW, Crowd control is both an art and a science.

    I agree that some of the larger events draw a crowd of folks who wouldn't come otherwise. How about separate tickets for those events? I know that suggestion touches on the question of why PAX would host an independent LOL tourney, but if they were placed in a satellite location with different badges, and at least given the option to buy a whole-PAX pass or just a LOL (or whatever) pass, that could help spread the joy.

    EDIT: Alternatively, what about the possibility of selling independent passes to particular sections of PAX? Expo Hall = Blue Area, Tabletop = Red Area, you know something along those lines. I understand that it's good to expose people to new things and 'cross pollinate' (well, whether it's good depends on who you're talking to) but the naked truth is that PAX is getting really big and starting to host events that change the demographic. It's marketing 101: if you offer a product that's attractive to a particular market, that market will come.

    If PAX is now opening up its doors to an whole additional population of gamers, then we've got to recognize that ahead of time and plan for how to handle the increased attendance interest. Old school PAXes worked because they attracted a very specific handful of gaming types and like a goldfish, PAX grew to meet that level and style of attendance. Newer PAXes are really expanding the available products and with that comes more people and more crowds which means there needs be more planning and more recognition that it's neccessary.

    LexiconGrrl on
    Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
    BIGmogMarsCheliostangerine tangothebigears
  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited September 2012
    After reading that thread as well.as this one suggestion would be the following. If pax is going to host big events like lol or halo fest or another big one specific game event. Host them in a satellite and make them special byoc type badges that don't require a pax badge with them.

    I don't want to say your game doesn't deserve to be here or you're not pax material, but is hard to deny that a couple thousand people bought badges solely for the lol finals. I suggest satellite because as anyone who had a 6 floor panel could tell you. Unless you were right next to the panelists you couldn't hear anything over the league stuff.

    Now don't get me wrong I do love and play a bunch of league, but pax isn't just about league or whatever the big event will be next year and its semi sad to see it take so many passes and completely ruin panels on the 6th floor.

    So in conclusion my suggestions are as follow
    A) put big event X in a sattelite location
    b) if they have to be put in the convention center, invest in some sound proofing stuff. Sixth floor panels were completely ruined by the noise
    B) sell seperate from PAX, BYOC type tickets for these events so real tickets aren't taken by those only interested in the big event.
    C) make it EXTREMELY clear you don't need to buy a reg pass to go to these but will need one of these to attend such event.
    D) profit??

    EDIT: let me clarify something since zer brought it up. By byoc type badge I mean something that's not directly related to your pass and can be bought as an addition, just like byoc badges. The only difference would be the fact that these badges could be bought without a regular pass and would ONLY grant access to the big event. this way those who only care about the event can go to it without taking a real badge, and those who want to do both can purchase one along with their real pass just likedo with a byoc currently.

    sanovah on
    tangerine tangothebigears
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    sanovah wrote: »
    After reading that thread as well.as this one suggestion would be the following. If pax is going to host big events like lol or halo fest or another big one specific game event. Host them in a satellite and make them special byoc type badges that don't require a pax badge with them.

    I don't want to say your game doesn't deserve to be here or you're not pax material, but is hard to deny that a couple thousand people bought badges solely for the lol finals. I suggest satellite because as anyone who had a 6 floor panel could tell you. Unless you were right next to the panelists you couldn't hear anything over the league stuff.

    Now don't get me wrong I do love and play a bunch of league, but pax isn't just about league or whatever the big event will be next year and its semi sad to see it take so many passes and completely ruin panels on the 6th floor.

    So in conclusion my suggestions are as follow
    A) put big event X in a sattelite location
    b) if they have to be put in the convention center, invest in some sound proofing stuff. Sixth floor panels were completely ruined by the noise
    B) sell seperate from PAX, BYOC type tickets for these events so real tickets aren't taken by those only interested in the big event.
    C) make it EXTREMELY clear you don't need to buy a reg pass to go to these but will need one of these to attend such event.
    D) profit??

    I know you keep mentioning BYOC, and it makes me think you don't understand how BYOC badges work. BYOC lets you into BYOC once you're inside of PAX, but you still need a PAX badge to get inside of PAX. It isn't separate, it's additional.

  • makrmakr Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Good:
    -Panel Content- there was always something I wanted to see. The Gaming addiction panel was amazing and I had a lot of fun at the Acquisitions Incorporated, Loading Ready Run and Extra Credits panels.

    -I actually got to play some games on the show floor without a minimum wait of a hour.

    -I actually got to see gameplay of other people playing games because exhibitors didn't enclose their spaces as much.

    Bad:
    -Bottlenecks- at the top of the sixth floor on the expo hall side where the escalator lets out and the two single doors on one side and the flow from the expo hall on the other is a terrible thing. If you don't know what i'm talking about here's a photo- http://i.imgur.com/n9FjY.jpg

    -Expo Floor- you SHOULD be able to walk freely on an expo floor, regardless of the exhibition. Which says to me PAX needs to move. Now, I know that's not a popular idea around here but it's the truth. There's a saying about the viability of a organization and it applies to PAX. "If you're not growing, you're dying." PAX Prime has been hovering at the 70k mark for three years now and expanding to hotels doesn't work.
    My suggestion is three hours north, but that's my bias showing. Fact is that PAX needs a bigger convention space, and it's just not getting that in Seattle, even if you expand to four days and add PAX Australia.

    And to those that say that moving north won't happen because of the cost? Exhibitors don't care, they do this kind of thing every year for all sorts of events, otherwise far less lucrative events wouldn't bother going north of the border. And for Attendees? Getting a passport isn't that hard and quite honestly Vancouver is much better set up for folks coming in from out of town.


    tl:dr

    Loved the content and people, HATE the venue.

    makr on
  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited September 2012
    zerzhul wrote: »
    sanovah wrote: »
    After reading that thread as well.as this one suggestion would be the following. If pax is going to host big events like lol or halo fest or another big one specific game event. Host them in a satellite and make them special byoc type badges that don't require a pax badge with them.

    I don't want to say your game doesn't deserve to be here or you're not pax material, but is hard to deny that a couple thousand people bought badges solely for the lol finals. I suggest satellite because as anyone who had a 6 floor panel could tell you. Unless you were right next to the panelists you couldn't hear anything over the league stuff.

    Now don't get me wrong I do love and play a bunch of league, but pax isn't just about league or whatever the big event will be next year and its semi sad to see it take so many passes and completely ruin panels on the 6th floor.

    So in conclusion my suggestions are as follow
    A) put big event X in a sattelite location
    b) if they have to be put in the convention center, invest in some sound proofing stuff. Sixth floor panels were completely ruined by the noise
    B) sell seperate from PAX, BYOC type tickets for these events so real tickets aren't taken by those only interested in the big event.
    C) make it EXTREMELY clear you don't need to buy a reg pass to go to these but will need one of these to attend such event.
    D) profit??

    I know you keep mentioning BYOC, and it makes me think you don't understand how BYOC badges work. BYOC lets you into BYOC once you're inside of PAX, but you still need a PAX badge to get inside of PAX. It isn't separate, it's additional.

    Sorry let me clarify what I meant. I fully know what a BYOC badge is and what it isn't. When I say "BYOC type" badge I mean a seperate badge that isn't directly related to the convention. Kinda like a BYOC. I didn't need a byoc badge to get in, but I needed one to bring my computer.

    So when I say byoc type I envision a seperate badge that would only grant access to the big event. This badge could be bought alongside a regular 4 or 1 day pass next year. This way those who only want to attend the big event can do it without taking a real badge, and those who might want to go can pick one up upon checkout like they already do withb byoc if they want to bring their computer

    So yeah sorry maybe byoc wasn't the best example. I'll edit the post to clarify

    sanovah on
  • XalaraXalara Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    A couple of things:

    - Counterfeit badges this year weren't a problem, despite what some people are saying, so great job. I had a chance to examine the security features in the badges and unless PA wants to spend ridiculous amounts of money on badges, this is about the best we're going to get so kudos to them.
    - While I loved watching some of the matches since my friend's brother was playing in it, I think that the League of Legends tournament should be moved to a separate venue and have a separate pass to get in much like the DotA 2 tournament. That way people who only want to see the League of Legends tournament are not taking spots from general con goers. Edit: After thinking about it a bit more I am conflicted, especially since I think that people who go to the BYOC LAN should still be part of the main convention. At the very least I would suggest putting it in one of the satellite hotels and taking a serious look at whether or not the tournament brings a net positive to the convention.
    - Especially since PAX is moving towards a 4 day program next year I think there will need to be better ways of making sure that Enforcers get rest and don't push themselves to their limit and burn out. While I am personally not an Enforcer, I have been involved with a similar style week long event for the past 6 years, and have found that three days is really the limit when it comes to volunteers going all out. I suspect there's a similar thread on the Enforcer forums for this type of thing, but I do want to express my concern since burn out is a very real issue.
    - The location of the LAN parties in the annex was perfect. Do this again next year.
    - Hire police officers to manage street and pedestrian traffic around the convention center. It was getting rather dangerous at times. Hiring a police officer to do this shouldn't be an issue since I know companies around Southlake Union and other parts of town do this for rush hour in the evening.
    - Keep the big sign out front warning about forgeries and the Enforcer that was checking fake badges. I thought it was a great idea, heck perhaps even have more visibility for this station since I thought it was awesome.

    Xalara on
  • Sharkey1337Sharkey1337 Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Absolutely loved my first PAX, there were so many awesome cosplayers I saw over the weekend, but so many more that I missed! I would love to see an official cosplay showcase/panel where cosplayers can meet, show off, and get tons of pictures of each other.

    Sharkey1337 on
  • matguymatguy Registered User regular
    Wedjat wrote: »
    I would do the LoL regionals in the annex or something, the way Halofest was in 2011... this year it was great to have them, and I'd love to have it again, but it definitely needs to be changed because of the sheer amount of people. The lines for the escalators coming down from the sixth floor after games, for instance, were kinda ridiculous. Them being set up the style the Dota 2 tourney was this year would be good, if that doesn't happen again next year.

    From what I understood the LoL tournament needed higher ceilings for some of their content/equipment/etc. than the 2nd floor of the annex could provide. Plus the open nature of the 6th floor allowed much better spectator viewing. (more on that below.)

    I know it's not a suggestion, and it furthers chit-chat here, but it's a bit of (rumor) insight in to why it wasn't in the annex.

    I would suggest, for something like that, if it does have to be in the main building(s), maybe create a dedicated spectator area rather than the hallway. It could allow for the wall to be closed and the volume reduced (since people inside should be able to hear just fine, rather than raising the volume to allow the hallway spectators to hear better.) Since it's already basically converted to an arena look, maybe bleachers or something. Yes, it takes up floor space, so it might result in a lower participant number, but I think drowning out all the panels in the 6th floor with the noise of one event is a bit rude. The coverage shown in the queue room was pretty decent, so it's not like people really -have- to be right there; yes, it's more exciting, but... yeah.

    I am, like some others here, of the opinion that something like that could be done external to PAX, at least in a separate building. I'm sure it could have been part of the reason that PAX in general felt a bit less packed, and I'm not one of the "sell moar badgers!" or other methods of distributing badges differently camps. But, I'm just not a big fan of national tournaments being at PAX like that. It looked cool, but they just didn't have a "hey, let's have fun playing games" feel that many of us love about PAX.

  • SampsenSampsen Registered User regular
    ishmog wrote: »
    - @pax_lines should kick it up a notch. It's inevitable at an event this size with limited seating for popular panels that there are going to be big, long, hairy lines, and that not everyone is going to get into what they want, and that some of them are going to have to waste much of their time doing so. But when you have a venue that is so spread out, you can minimize the problems with more communication. People can adjust their expectations and make better decisions when they know more what is going on.

    The feed wasn't covering the Tabletop Theater at all; without knowing what was happening with the line over there, people had to hike three blocks to see what was up, and either show up way early (wasting time) or miss the panel. I think one of the most important things that feed could do is communicate about the stuff that is further away from the main convention center. And I'd like to see better and more frequent updates for other queues. There's no sense wasting time waiting at a venue that isn't filling quickly when there is other stuff you can be seeing, and no one wants to miss a panel they really, really wanted to see because they didn't know it was filling early.

    I don't know that Twitter is all the answer, but I think a lot of other complaints that people are voicing about the queueing could be addressed with better information distribution helping them make decisions.

    I was the Enforcer taking care of Tabletop theatre Fri/Sat nights, and if I had to turn you away, I am very, very sorry. It wasn't personal! pax_lines not communicating about TT theatre was our fault over in Red Lion, we didn't give them the info to send out. It always seemed like the lines were going to be alright, then 5 minutes before the start 20 people would show up and we would fill up. It's a poor excuse, but it's all I have. If I'm doing theater again next year, I'll make sure I relay information regularly.

    For suggestions, I would love to see a larger venue for tabletop theater; it was very popular, even being 3 blocks from the convention center. I would also love to see all of tabletop in one building.

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  • mikeywhipmikeywhip Registered User new member
    Hey Tangerine those big blockbuster titles bring alot of people to PAX. And most of the stuff you find fault with other people really like likefirefall anf league of legends. Most of what you would do away with would make this con mediocre. I agree with giving the big panels bigger theaters but as far as crowds go their is nothing that can really be done other to grin and bare it. Most of what you are purposing would kill PAX, and why did you list G4/X play in BAD?. What did they do wrong?, they just sold some shirts and signed some autographs and it didn't cause the crowd around them to be out of control or anything.

    HeyJoeSkeleVaderChopstangerine tango
  • alegriaalegria Registered User regular
    makr wrote: »
    -Expo Floor- you SHOULD be able to walk freely on an expo floor, regardless of the exhibition. Which says to me PAX needs to move. Now, I know that's not a popular idea around here but it's the truth. There's a saying about the viability of a organization and it applies to PAX. "If you're not growing, you're dying." PAX Prime has been hovering at the 70k mark for three years now and expanding to hotels doesn't work.
    My suggestion is three hours north, but that's my bias showing. Fact is that PAX needs a bigger convention space, and it's just not getting that in Seattle, even if you expand to four days and add PAX Australia.

    And to those that say that moving north won't happen because of the cost? Exhibitors don't care, they do this kind of thing every year for all sorts of events, otherwise far less lucrative events wouldn't bother going north of the border. And for Attendees? Getting a passport isn't that hard and quite honestly Vancouver is much better set up for folks coming in from out of town.

    We cover this every year, multiple times. Here it is again. :)

    1) Penny Arcade began and is run out of Bellevue, next to Seattle. Mike and Jerry want to keep it local.
    2) The next largest convention spaces are in Los Angeles or Las Vegas - there is NOTHING bigger in Vancouver BC or Portland OR.
    3) PAX Prime is not going to move, and this has been stated multiple times by PA staff.

    So sorry, despite your anger and your mistaken belief there is a better location in Vancouver, PAX Prime is highly unlikely to move out of Seattle.

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  • emimonsteremimonster Silicon ValleyRegistered User regular
    edited September 2012
    I agree with the LoL thing. People know about LoL. The Cross-pollenation ideal isn't necessary for this. PA talked about it on their site tons and tons. It has spread like wildfire. We don't need already-scarce PAX badges being lost to the LoL tourney. It's like, why don't we start hosting EVO at PAX while we're at it? Yeah, I'd love to see EVO, but c'mon, that'd be moronic. Also they were obtrusively loud, as previously mentioned.

    I understand the Sheraton had an event on the 2nd floor that relegated us to the 3rd floor. I was there for Wil Wheaton and Evening with Scott waiting for hours and didn't see any issues. The enforcers were nice. They asked people to stand back from the door - to - escalator path because they don't want you to be trampled or cause congestion issues. They want what's best for everybody and I didn't see anybody being mean about it. Hopefully we get 2nd floor next year! : )

    Enforcers were on the whole friendlier than last year, and line entertainment was better than it's ever been in my limited experience (also big thanks to the flash gangam style pre-omegathon finals).

    -edit- I'll mail Child's Play coordinators directly.

    Robert Khoo, you moved your panel so I missed it before I found out! I realize you're busy and maybe this had something to do with NASA (well worth it, I go to NASA talks at science conventions and they are always the highlight.) BUT STILL! Perhaps next year in these very forums there will be retibution. It will (hopefully, if all goes well) be hilarious. I have a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a yadda yadda yadda.

    As last year, it was very difficult to hear the Acquisitions Inc DnD panel. Last year I was in the main theater for it and couldn't hear so this year I watched it in Wolfman. I was in the front and couldn't hear very well again. Perhaps the speaker volume just needed to be turned up, I don't know. I'm 30 so I like to think my hearing is top notch, and others complained at the start of the stream that they wanted it turned up, too.

    Thursday at the Sheraton - thank you thank you thank you LexiconGirl for getting us rooms. Pax started at 4pm on Thursday thanks to you. Please let's do that again. We made money for Child's Play while we were at it.

    Convention hall floor was less crowded than last year's debacle. Not sure what people are complaining about. Anybody who's been to SakuraCon or Blizzcon know it's a horrible idea to make people wait in 4 hour lines to receive a badge (and that's a much smaller convention). I do think we get them too early, gives way too much time to replicate. I would be happier paying more for a more intricate badge.

    I didn't know about the Red Lion til I overheard somebody mention it in line. Crazy! Never got down there, but every bit of expansion helps alleviate the congestion. Hyatt was great. Great place to put the popular Cards Against Humanity dealio.

    Game Show Night was fantastic. Please ask them to do it again (I did as well when I was there). It was full up in a large space. The audience was a bit rude to them, though, so I hope they will be willing to do it again.

    emimonster on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    I would totally buy a non-expo pass, really. Like, have separate daily badges for the expo hall floor, and a general badge that gets you into the free play areas and satellite events.

    I feel like I could enjoy pax just as much even if I only had floor access for like one of the days.

    Does this make sense to anyone else?

    jaberwockynmt
  • HeyJoeHeyJoe Registered User regular
    I have to echo Mikey and agree with his points. The blockbuster titles are a huge draw, and if they are not your thing then just go look at something else... I did!
    Also, for those against swag, realize that for many, swag is an important part of PAX. It irks me to see all of these "you're not doing it right" posts simply because I enjoy different aspects of the con. This is the very point of PAX.... something for gamers and nerds of ALL stripes.

    SkeleVadertangerine tango
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    @emimonster the Khoo panel was moved and the guidebook guide was updated well before PAX.

  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    HeyJoe wrote: »
    I have to echo Mikey and agree with his points. The blockbuster titles are a huge draw, and if they are not your thing then just go look at something else... I did!
    Also, for those against swag, realize that for many, swag is an important part of PAX. It irks me to see all of these "you're not doing it right" posts simply because I enjoy different aspects of the con. This is the very point of PAX.... something for gamers and nerds of ALL stripes.

    I don't think the community as a whole has an issue with big titles themselves. Most of us 'cross pollinate' (gah, I hate that term) between gaming genres too, but the issue is that those big titles and tourneys do attract people. Too many people. So many people that many forumers believe that they're partially responsible for how fast the badges sold out. So the folks who say they want the big titles gone are often actually saying that they want less people at PAX.

    PAX isn't really big enough to have something for 'gamers and nerds of ALL stripes.' It would be nice if it did, but if we invite 200,000 people to a party with 25,000 seats, nobody's happy because the con is trying to do too much for too many demographics. Or only those people that came for a single event/tourney are happy. But the whole-con experience suffers. Does that make sense?

    Of course, sometimes they just hate the game.

    Re: Swag. I think Robert already figured out that self-serve swag wasn't a good idea. He's got this one already.

    LexiconGrrl on
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  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I would totally buy a non-expo pass, really. Like, have separate daily badges for the expo hall floor, and a general badge that gets you into the free play areas and satellite events.

    I feel like I could enjoy pax just as much even if I only had floor access for like one of the days.

    Does this make sense to anyone else?

    You gonna do anything other than criticize? Seriously all i've seen you do is complain about peoples ideas.. It's fact that a lot of people came solely for the league thing eating up already limited passes, its fact they pretty much ruined every sixth floor panel, and it's highly unlikely these types of events will magically stop happening.

    That means something needs to be done and the most logical solution in at least my mind is to create a seperate ticket for such events that could be bought seperate of the actual convention pass or alongside your pass. This would allow those who only want to go to the big event to go and not use up a valuable ticket, and it would also allow those who want to do both to go to both. Just like how currently if you want to bring youjr computer you buy a byoc. I wanted to bring my comp but I didn't get a pass but by your logic I should have been able to since I bought a convention pass. Does that make sense to anyone?

  • ChopsChops Enforcer, line entertainer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    @mikeywhip Weird. My name is Michael Whipple. Same?

    This being my first PAX, I was blown away by what I saw. No issues with counterfeit badges, expo hall was a blast, and x-com. X-COM! The Attendees were among the best people I've ever met, I was generally amazed by everything. My only suggestion would have been to extend it by a day, but they apparently can read minds, so...

    tangerine tango
  • emimonsteremimonster Silicon ValleyRegistered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Oh yes Zerzhul, I am sure this is the case and not everybody schedules out their time early so they can schedule in volunteer shifts like I do. Panel schedules and locations are all subject to change! But I have this idea for payback and it has to happen! <('.'<).

    Somebody mentioned on the 1st page of this thread wanting info on food. There is a HUUUUUUUGE thread and guide in this very forums on the Great Foodening. Like, srsly, for real er meh gerd.

    emimonster on
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    sanovah wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I would totally buy a non-expo pass, really. Like, have separate daily badges for the expo hall floor, and a general badge that gets you into the free play areas and satellite events.

    I feel like I could enjoy pax just as much even if I only had floor access for like one of the days.

    Does this make sense to anyone else?

    You gonna do anything other than criticize? Seriously all i've seen you do is complain about peoples ideas.. It's fact that a lot of people came solely for the league thing eating up already limited passes, its fact they pretty much ruined every sixth floor panel, and it's highly unlikely these types of events will magically stop happening.

    That means something needs to be done and the most logical solution in at least my mind is to create a seperate ticket for such events that could be bought seperate of the actual convention pass or alongside your pass. This would allow those who only want to go to the big event to go and not use up a valuable ticket, and it would also allow those who want to do both to go to both. Just like how currently if you want to bring youjr computer you buy a byoc. I wanted to bring my comp but I didn't get a pass but by your logic I should have been able to since I bought a convention pass. Does that make sense to anyone?

    I think you quoted the wrong person, based on your response.

    Also, leave personal attacks out.

    In addition, this isn't a debate thread. Obviously there will be some disagreements and agreements on suggestions, but there's no reason to get heated.

    thebigearsjaberwockynmt
  • ishmogishmog Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Sampsen wrote: »

    I was the Enforcer taking care of Tabletop theatre Fri/Sat nights, and if I had to turn you away, I am very, very sorry. It wasn't personal! pax_lines not communicating about TT theatre was our fault over in Red Lion, we didn't give them the info to send out. It always seemed like the lines were going to be alright, then 5 minutes before the start 20 people would show up and we would fill up. It's a poor excuse, but it's all I have. If I'm doing theater again next year, I'll make sure I relay information regularly.

    For suggestions, I would love to see a larger venue for tabletop theater; it was very popular, even being 3 blocks from the convention center. I would also love to see all of tabletop in one building.

    No worries, I only missed one panel. But after that, I often wasted time showing up early for others that ended up never filling up, just because I didn't know.

    You're never going to avoid some bunch of folks showing up at the last minute and filling things up. But I'm going to plan my day differently if I know there are fifty spots left with ten minutes to go versus fifty spots left with forty-five minutes to go (for example). I'm not saying anyone needs to forecast when the line will fill or whether it will still be open, just throw me a count and I'll weigh the odds and decide how much time I want to invest in waiting versus maybe not getting a seat.

    I have mixed feelings about combining all tabletop in one place, if that place isn't the main building. It would definitely be cool to have it all together, but on the other hand I felt like if it were all in, say, Red Lion this year, a lot of people wouldn't have found it. As it was, a lot of folks who might otherwise have missed out on some good fun playing tabletop wandered into it in the Convention Center, even if they never made it over to the Red Lion venue.

    It's also a little hard to imagine what they would do with all those small rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Convention Center if not for tabletop; they're not big enough for much else. No sense wasting space in the main building!

    ishmog on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    EDIT: Actually, I'm going to go with zerzhul's assumption that you were just quoting the wrong damn person. That, or you just read that other thread about badges/scalping, and my adorable Josh Lyman avatar was seared into your consciousness
    . But seriously, if you have a problem PM me.

    I will still take this opportunity to expand upon and clarify my suggestion, though!
    It's fact that a lot of people came solely for the league thing eating up already limited passes, its fact they pretty much ruined every sixth floor panel, and it's highly unlikely these types of events will magically stop happening.

    That means something needs to be done and the most logical solution in at least my mind is to create a seperate ticket for such events that could be bought seperate of the actual convention pass or alongside your pass. This would allow those who only want to go to the big event to go and not use up a valuable ticket, and it would also allow those who want to do both to go to both. Just like how currently if you want to bring youjr computer you buy a byoc. I wanted to bring my comp but I didn't get a pass but by your logic I should have been able to since I bought a convention pass. Does that make sense to anyone?

    BYOC is an expanded level of access, just like I'm suggesting expo floor access might be an expanded level of access. Here's what I'd envision, you'd choose what you want to buy (as available):

    A) One day or three/four-day general con access
    B) One day or three/four-day expo floor access
    C) BYOC access (probably only for multi-day)
    D) Access to <random regional tournament or whatever>

    Note that (B) and (C) would probably require (A) for that given day, since you'd likely need to traverse the general con space to get to those things. (D) may or may not be available entirely as a standalone pass if it's located in a satellite location, or in conjunction with a general con pass. The main point to me is that this would (perhaps?) alleviate expo floor crowding. Some people, including everybody I know who attends, spend a fair amount of time on the expo floor just kinda lurking, killing time between panels or tabletop play or whatever. They're on the floor because it's just something to do. Sell that as a separate access, and those people might go...somewhere else. Even outside the con center, since you're in downtown Seattle already. There's stuff around to do.

    Those who want expo floor access on all days should absolutely be able to buy that (as available). But those who don't? Everybody benefits if they don't buy it.

    I can't imagine I'm the only person who doesn't really care that much about the floor, and who has more fun in the freeplay areas, at offsite events (some of which require the con badge), etc. The cool part is that if you can show that this reduces the actual density of humans in the con center at any given time, I imagine there's the possibility that this would make it possible to sell more badges overall (to the general con). And by allowing somebody like me to opt-out of the expo floor on one or more days, you'd probably let more individuals enjoy that (discrete humans, not attendee-days), on the whole, over the weekend as well.

    mcdermott on
    jaberwockynmt
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Really I'm just building on the idea of decoupling things like the LoL tournament from the con, and thinking about the idea of (somewhat) decoupling the expo floor from the con. It's really a huge question of "what exactly is PAX to you" which tangerine tango's post got me thinking about.

    mcdermott on
  • alegriaalegria Registered User regular
    The fire codes for the WSCC don't change, however. If someone has an Expo Hall pass, they count for the whole WSCC as that's where they will be, and same if they have a pass that lets them into the theaters on the sixth floor of the WSCC. This *might* work for offsite events with their own fire code numbers, but then those events might not be accessible to those with regular PAX passes, I'm not sure. The point is, there are fire code occupancy numbers to deal with that will make splitting up PAX into "zones" much more difficult than the idea, which sounds awesome at first glance, will turn out to be to implement. :)

    And remember, guys - your PAX experience is in YOUR hands. It's not in Khoo's hands, it's not in the [E]'s hands, it's in YOURS. Don't like how busy the Expo Hall floor is when you go first thing Saturday morning? Then try Friday afternoon or Sunday morning. Sad that you missed out on Wil Wheaton's Awesome Hour? Next time, watch PAX_Lines and get there in time to line up (I was willing to show up at 9am for that 11:30am panel, because I wanted to see it *that badly*).

    Complaining about the number of tickets sold, the venue size, and the line waits isn't very helpful for Khoo and his staff. Suggestions about duct-taping arrows on the carpet, using WSCC room numbers in addition to PAX theater names, and so on are much more helpful and stand a chance of being noticed and implemented, thereby improving the PAX experience for everyone. :)

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  • SampsenSampsen Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Really I'm just building on the idea of decoupling things like the LoL tournament from the con, and thinking about the idea of (somewhat) decoupling the expo floor from the con. It's really a huge question of "what exactly is PAX to you" which tangerine tango's post got me thinking about.

    PAX is so many things to so many people that it's completely ridiculous to argue about what someone else wants from it. I'm a tabletop fanatic, so any suggestions I have are very much centered around it. Know what I really, really want? More hours to play board games with random PAers. I got what I want with the convention going to 4 days.

    Can we please not deride other people's suggestions for what might make PAX better for them?

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Ah, gotcha alegria. For some reason I had it in my head that actual attendance was a factor considered in the fire code enforcement, not just badges sold. I thought this had something to do with the additional badges being released back in...2009?...for sale on Saturday, because the fire marshal assessed things and determined that the occupancy numbers weren't being exceeded.

  • CybitCybit Merch Underling RedmondRegistered User regular
    Just some thoughts of my own... (also, mcdermott, I think he quoted the wrong post)

    1) As a whole, this PAX seemed far more organized and well-ran then the other sold out shows (I split PAX up into two eras, one before it became super big, and the other is after it started selling out). As much as it sucks, putting several of the big hitters in terms of panels against each other was a good idea to keep people from just clogging up the same panels over and over.

    2) Swag lines were poorly implemented on Friday, and well, I'm pretty sure they will go back to the bags, so, the issue has been dealt with in my eyes.

    3) 4 day PAX will hopefully help alleviate the congestion; my suggestion would be to sell all passes as single day passes. A good chunk of the attendees are still locals, and with the multiple other events going on (Football / Baseball / Bumbershoot), you would have a much better chance of someone deciding to take one less day up and go do one of those other things instead, freeing the pass up for someone else who wants to go. If you want to go all 4 days though, you pick up each 4 day badge. Also lowers the incentive to scalp as well.

    4) Regarding LOL / eSports; I think it was Riot who wanted to do it during PAX, and actually, the first day of the tournament happened on Thursday, not Friday. I'm not sure how much coordination was done with PAX specifically for it. It was fun to watch on Thursday, but I could see how it could get messy on the other days.

    5) Cross Pollination is not a bad thing. I think the gaming community is in very real danger of just turning into a bunch of cliques from high school and not being as accepting and open as it should be. I am all for forced cross pollination of folks to other forms of gaming. Mostly because people tend to end up liking what they have been shown.

    6) Separation of badges by section would be a nightmare. Also, stuff like the fact the expo hall has a connection directly to the annex, etc etc, would be a nightmare to manage. You would need tons more enforcers / security, which means less passes for everyone overall.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    @mcdermott I actually just found this tidbit from the saturday PA panel about doing separated badges. http://www.twitch.tv/pax/b/330725797?t=1h07m35s

  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    Enforces generally know how much.theater x holds right? If they do I might suggest implementing a policy of sending out the line tweet at a uniform level.

    I know from personal experience and watching twitter some lines were getting tweets at like 10% and some at like 50 or 80. Like for example wil wheatons was getting tweets before the line even started, the future of gaming didn't get a tweet at all I think, and the MTG one didn't get a tweet until over I thimk like 50%. I get there are a lot of panels to keep track of and at some points there are like 5 panels at once, but sending tweets out at say 20%, 50% 70% and full as well as a start time for big ones would really help. It would allow people to better plan their days and would help alleviate crowds since people would leave once the line is full

This discussion has been closed.