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Constructive Feedback Thread - Aus 2013

zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
edited November 2013 in PAX Australia
Please consolidate all constructive feedback from PAX Aus 2013 into this thread.

Personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be civil.

In addition, this will not be a smelly nerds thread.

zerzhul on


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    solomanisolomani Sydney, AURegistered User regular
    PAX AUS was a ton of fun for both myself, my son and friends. It compares favorably to PAX Prime the only other PAX I have visited. As the first Australian PAX I understand there is a teething period. All in all I think the show was executed superbly. I do want to offer some suggestions though :

    The eating area needs more chairs and tables. More were added I noticed for Saturday but really need more. Or there needs to be a separate cafeteria area maybe.

    The boardgame area needs a lot more table and chairs and a lot less "reserved" areas. Or the whole area just needs to be expanded generally. It was otherwise well run, including the library.

    Also need to expand the smaller theatre sizes. All the panels seemed to turn people away consistently.

    The only real other difference I noticed between PRIME and AUS, apart from the scale and all that entails, is that freebies were almost non-existent in AUS. Maybe just a cultural difference between the two countries.

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    solomanisolomani Sydney, AURegistered User regular
    Also we need WOTC to put on some D&D events, like Dungeon Delve. Its a shame they did such a good job with MTG but no D&D :(

    Acquisitions Inc was sorely missed as well.

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    SurikoSuriko AustraliaRegistered User regular
    I agree on all points, aside from maybe the freebie one (I don't know what the US PAX cons are like). I think the only real problem I had with the con was the lack of sitting (both for general resting, and panels) and eating areas. This is very related to the more general issue with the size of the venue though, and from what was said in the second Q&A with Gabe and Tycho, that may well be remedied in future PAX AUs.

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    philomglolphilomglol Melbourne, AUSRegistered User regular
    solomani wrote: »
    Acquisitions Inc was sorely missed as well.

    This. I know Scott was at Comic Con and that probably couldn't be helped, but I was hoping in my heart of hearts for Scott and Kris to be in attendance also!

    Love Pokemon? Coming to PAX Aus? Challenge the PAX Pokemon League!
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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    philomglol wrote: »
    solomani wrote: »
    Acquisitions Inc was sorely missed as well.
    This. I know Scott was at Comic Con and that probably couldn't be helped, but I was hoping in my heart of hearts for Scott and Kris to be in attendance also!
    I think Acquisitions Inc has always been a Prime-only thing. I can't remember it ever coming to East even.

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    JeriXcoJeriXco Registered User new member
    I'll keep this brief and just do a PMI as I only have 15 minutes left at this internet cafe in Melbourne.

    - Riot Booth!
    - General convention feel!
    - Nintendo!
    - Enforcers did a awesome job!
    - Fire Jenga. That was intense.
    - Melbourne, great location and in the Central of Australia, which allowed me to catch up and hang out with a lot of friends from all corners of the country.
    - Cosplays were awesome. Shoutout to that Red Link, the Iron Man Link and Dr Strange.
    - The Protomen and the other Friday and Saturday Night performances. I wish other conventions in Australia did night time activities like these on the Saturday night.

    - Sanshee T-Shirts marking up their T-Shirts from $20 online to $30 at the convention due to 'Australian exchange rate and shipping costs'. Thanks guys.
    - Nothing from Sony (not anybodies fault except Sony Australia).
    - Booth Babes in my PAX? Its more likely than you think.
    - The enforcer that was ushering in the 'Strip Make' panel that wanted to fill the empty seats of the people that were standing up and asking questions.
    - Microsoft...why bother at all?
    - Dat Animal Crossing Panel.
    ( Nintendo Australia went to some awesome effort. The fact people got free stuff at the panel was cool, the opening video had an animation of the dog assistant from Animal Crossing introducing herself to PAX Australia and making a few comments about Aussie Culture that was a nice touch as well. Then the presentation started. The presentation was a video interview with the creative team behind Animal Crossing with questions taken from Facebook. It was nicely filmed. Only catch was it was sub titled and only the people in the first 3 rows (out of 20) could read them. The footage will probably get uploaded eventually though, so life will move on :P ).
    - Not much seating in Panels.
    - The Chip Tunes Panel was poorly organised. Two panelists were 15 minutes late and half the presentation footage just did not work.

    - People selling their Riot codes on Ebay despite they expire in 5 days.

    Special thanks to PAX for coming 'down under'. ;D
    Really fun weekend.

    4.5 Stars. Would con again.

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    JumbledPileOfPersonJumbledPileOfPerson Registered User new member
    I had a fantastic time and I can’t wait to go again next year. The only major disappointment was the extreme lack of swag. Although this was my first PAX, I've followed coverage of the US PAX for years. After all the reports I've heard, I was under the impression that I’d be acquiring mountains of free stuff, but unfortunately the swag was almost non-existent. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to sound ungrateful or entitled, I had a wonderful time playing games, going to panels, making friends and rocking out at concerts and I’ll be back next year regardless of whether or not the Swag situation improves. It's not like my sole reason for attending was to get a few free shirts and knick knacks. I just couldn't help but be disappointed when I was expecting something like this and ended up with almost nothing. Does anyone know why there was so little Swag? Can we expect more next year?

    There were a few other issues such as major panels like Bioware and Gearbox being held in tiny theaters instead of the main hall, and the scarcity of seating for both food and board games. But the swag shortage was my biggest concern.

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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Swag is very booth dependent. Not really something PAX can control. There were people saying similar things at the last PAX Prime and PAX East as well, and I think the answer is really that booths have somewhat changed their swag policies and/or made it so you have to work harder (read: advertise for them more) to get it. There's also luck and timing involved.

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    markjustmarkmarkjustmark Registered User new member
    First off, a HUGE thankyou to all those involved in organising and executing the Massively Multiplayer Offline game that was PAX Aus 2013.
    My kids and I had a fantastic time.
    The only real negative to the whole thing was missing out on attending panels that I REALLY wanted see, even though I was lined up an hour before hand.
    So here are some of the ideas that I and the people I was waiting in line with discussed... as we were waiting... and waiting...

    A) Have a single "Premium Reserved Panel Seat" with each PAX ticket that allows the attendee to reserve a seat in a theatre for a panel.
    The attendee would be able to make their choice online up to some arbitrary fixed time before the show, giving the organisers a clear picture of the popularity and potential audience size of each panel, allowing them to make suitable arrangements. There should only be one PRPS per ticket, to give it great value so that the panel choices people make are a reasonably accurate reflection of reality, as opposed to a system of asking everyone to pre-register for all panels 'cause ain't nobody got time for that!

    B) Repeated panels. I understand that this would require the cooperation of the panellists, but giving the attendees another chance to see a panel that they missed could go a long way towards dealing with the limits of smaller theatres.

    C) Similar to A, but have the PRPS available as a pre-purchase. This could work a couple of ways. Have the purchase cut-off date nice and early, so the organisers get the feedback on how many want to attend each panel. Alternatively, have no purchase cut-off date, but have a limited number of seats per panel for sale (front three rows?) leaving the rest for the line up.

    Thanks again,


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    solomanisolomani Sydney, AURegistered User regular
    Swag I am not fussed about but just comparing the cons there was a big difference. You didn't really need to do anything much in the Prime I went to (2009 so may have changed). But it's really up to the vendors not PA. I also think its a cultural thing. Australians are use to paying exorbitant prices for everything and in such a culture there is little expectations from the vendors to give anything away.

    Speaking of vendors I wanted to also give credit where credit is due:

    +1 to Microsoft and Nintendo for not only showing up but making a serious effort in their presentations and booths respectively. Whatever you may think of either company they didn't just make a token effort.

    -1 to Sony. After all the good reputation they earned at e3 I was looking forward to seeing something from them. But not even a token effort.

    +1 to world of tanks for having a real Stuart and WW2 era truck in the hall. Excellent! Where did it come from? Canberra?

    ++1 to whoever provided the board games. Selection was very good for a non-boardgame specific con like origins and GenCon.

    +1 to WoTC for the magic setup. Not only did they provide free swag they provided discounted cards as well. And the method of getting the swag made sense - you had to have a few games of Magic which I found thourugly enjoyable.

    -1 to WoTC for no 5e D&D of any kind.

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    RiotPunchRiotPunch Melbourne, AustraliaRegistered User new member
    edited July 2013
    On the whole I felt that while PAX Aus was worth every penny, it was not without issue.

    - Theatres not large enough. I was lucky to get into the Main Theatre just after doors opened on Friday and Saturday and got to see some great panels, but after that my friends and I would get turned away from everything else we tried to see. Something could have been done - the showgrounds has more indoor spaces, why not broadcast the AV feed to other indoor spaces so that people who missed out on a seat could see?

    - Not enough F&B outlets - a half hour in line to get a drink or some food only to find the outlet has run out of drinks

    - Crowd channeling - Queue Room queues for main theatre preventing anyone from getting away from the theatre/expo hall

    - Popular merch understocked

    - ATM availability - one in the Expo hall? Other events at the showgrounds have rooms specifically to hold a large number of ATMs

    - Not enough seating throughout the grounds. My wife is pregnant, and except for waiting for seats outside of F&B areas, there was nowhere for her to sit down that wasn't on the ground, which is not really viable for her to do for any period of time.

    Some of these complaints may seem picky, but it was still a great event, and I'd go again next year even if the majority of the issues remained.

    RiotPunch on
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    IMSanchoIMSancho Registered User regular
    I feel compelled to post here about the booth babes that were present at PaxAus, specifically the 'sexy cops' at the sennheiser booth. While it's true that PA does at time court controversy, something that has drawn a lot of praise has been the no booth babes policy at PAX. It's because of this that I was pretty disappointed to see 'sexy cops' posing in a photo booth to promote… headphones? It can sometimes be justified to have somewhat scantily clad models at a booth if they are portraying a character from the game in question, but there was really no valid reason for the dress of these models aside from to act as nerd bait.

    Gaming has long had issues with portrayals of women, be they as powerless princesses in need of rescue by a man, or as scantily clad eye candy dressed in bikini's while their male counterparts sport full plate armour. Having booth babes strutting around posing for photos simply enforces these stereotypes of women as nothing but objects. Some have said that they'd be OK with booth babes as long as there was an equal number of similarly objectified male models (booth bros?) I don't see this as a solution to the problem, simply an expansion and justification for it. I also don't think there needs to be a strict gender balance in reps as long as they are there to promote their products through engagement with their customers. If Sennheiser had hired the exact same group of models and put them in Sennheiser shirts and jeans I doubt anyone would have batted an eye.

    I'm sure these women took their jobs very seriously, studied their product briefs and made sure they could answer questions about the products on display, but this is hopelessly cheapened when they are then dressed up in skimpy provocative outfits. Some may think I'm unfairly targeting Sennheiser when World of Tanks also had booth babes of a sort. The difference here for me that gives them an only-just-pass is that the models were dressed in theme with the game. I also note that Sennheiser's AU social media reps have been quite receptive of feedback via twitter, and I really hope they read this post as it's quite difficult to get a point across in 140 characters without sounding like a killjoy having a knee jerk reaction. I think putting concerns to the companies in question and helping them understand why things like booth babes don't belong at pax is much more productive than simply slagging them off and accepting "that's just the way things go".

    And just for those that are going to assume I must be gay/feminist/whichever other group who's concerns you immediately dismiss, I'm a straight white male gamer in my 30's, and I think it's just as important for those of us that this objectification is targeted at to speak up as it is for those being objectified. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    I don't think that very many exhibitors read these forums. I could be wrong, but if you have exhibitor specific feedback that you want them to get (aside from feedback to PAX itself) you are likely better off sending them a note somewhere directly.

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    TTTTTT Melbourne AustraliaRegistered User new member
    General the show was great with many nice booths in the expo hall and the talks that I could get into being the highlights , my thanks to penny arcade and attending companies

    Having the most popular developer sessions in a smaller theatre, causing many people to line up for hours and miss out while other cut in.
    - I suggest before the show commences having community voting to help determine potential popularity and have the most poplar event in the larges halls

    After event staff motioned the for future events they you would be looking into areas with larger halls sounds great , looing forward to the next one

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    DaCrawDaCraw Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    I agree that the Sennheiser example was pretty egregious, especially with the photo setup. That was insulting to both genders. That said, there were some examples of how it can be done well. Stirfire Studios (I think it was them, they were opposite the overflow section of the line for Rome 2) had three Boothe Babes, but the first time I saw them I honestly thought they were just regular (albeit good) cosplayers. Their outfits were not particularly skimpy, and they were dressed as characters from the game they were promoting.

    [edit]: Just to clarify, I think that Stirfire did a brilliant job with their exhibit. Their representatives were dressed as per the game (I honestly initially thought they were just regular cosplayers, it wasn't until I'd been past the booth a few times and noticed that they hadn't moved that I figured it out), their costumes were not offensive in any way, and they were both pleasant and knowledgeable. Everything that Sennheiser did wrong, Stirfire got right, and I wanted to give them credit for that. [/edit]

    I understand that this is largely determined by the exhibitors, and not PAX management, but perhaps there should be a guideline for future PAXes. Perhaps something along the lines that Booth Babes should be related to the content they are promoting (either by dressing as a character from the game(s) or being in some way thematically linked; just wearing company colours should not be enough) and should not be excessively skimpily dressed (within reason, some extra leniency may be called for if they are dressed as a character from a game).

    The lines were well handled overall, given the limits on capacity for the various theatres. The enforcers did a good job of keeping everything well organised and civil. That said, the larger panels in the main theatre caused traffic jams as people were herded from the queue room to the theatre. This was unavoidable given the layout of the expo, but having the queue and theatre for the biggest events on opposite sides of the main concourse was always bound to cause problems.

    Overall a great experience, though. I had a great time and will be looking at getting a 3 day pass or enforcing next time.

    DaCraw on
    Avatar is from
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    Redlance71Redlance71 Victoria, AustraliaRegistered User new member
    DaCraw phrased that so much better (re-booth babes) than what I had been about to post. I'm not against them per-se, but they should certainly be there for a reason related to the product, and know their product. The "World of Tanks" girls promoted their game well...though they could have dropped the "do you think I look hot?" question from their trivia sheet.

    I thought the PAX was great. Well run. Great variety of events, expositions and panels. A massive thankyou to the Penny Arcade crew for putting it together and bringing it to us.

    All the enforcers are to be thanked too. They were friendly, helpful, and had answers when we needed them. Actually, everyone was friendly. It was a great place to hang out for 3 days.

    I think the lack of space in some of the halls was the biggest problem I experienced all weekend...that and the $5.00 bottles of water. In what world is soft drink cheaper than water? Is this a normal thing in Melbourne now?

    Thanks again for a great event. I look forward to more awesomeness next year :)

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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    PAX definitely has rules for this sort of thing. My comment above was not to necessarily say that PAX has no say in those rules, but that if there was feedback meant specifically for the exhibitor, this isn't a spot where they're going to see it. If you see someone at the show that you think is in violation, get an Enforcer and make a point of mentioning it. I've definitely seen people be asked to leave or asked to cover up (both men and women) after being reported.

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    JazzyJazzy Melbourne, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    Don't post often but wanted to give some feedback. Overall loved it and can't wait for next year.

    highlights -
    amazing first up organisation, well done, super job
    discovering heaps of indie games and wandering around trying them out
    pug boardgames
    surprisingly decent food (they got nearly all of the boutique mobile food trucks from melbourne's to come, not just the boring fairground food
    expo area... sort of
    retro console gaming
    xbox one presentation (surprisingly)
    queues well managed... if you queue you get in, no queuing for nothing which is awesome
    everything undercover
    politest crowds you ever did see
    meeting the creators of boardgames, indy games etc
    world of tanks display / level of effort
    public transport (mostly)

    improvements -
    surprise, queueing for anything popular, turned up 60mins before bioware pres, queue already full
    bring your own computer section just didn't really work, not sure how t make it better
    enforcers being a bit confused and not sure of information... a lot of shoulder shrugging...
    size, number and quality of presentations
    lack of 'big name' companies
    companies confused as to why they were there... always amusing
    somewhere to sit and eat
    a lot of people leave at between 5:30 and 6:30 when expo closes and it's tough to get in to some other events, probably needed a bit more extra public transport

    Moon Wizard.
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    DoomweaverDoomweaver Registered User new member
    My major issue was the queueing. While larger venue sizes are promised, and will go a long way to fixing this problem, I still feel queues need to be address.

    I understand for many people queues are an acceptable part of the con experience. However, I find them extremely difficult to tolerate. We can send people to the moon but we can't come up with a way to avoid the massive waste of time that is queuing. It prevents one from making the most of the con when one spends half their day in a line. Not to mention the fact that the need to queue an hour and a half prior to panels meant it was impossible to see back to back panels at different venues.

    So Ill throw my hat in the ring with a suggestion: Digital deli style ticketing. You know how when you go to the deli you take a ticket and continue your shopping while you wait your turn to be served? Why can't we do that digitally at a con?

    I see it as something like this: The organisers create the event with variables like capacity, time window in which tickets can be taken for an even, etc. A QR code will then be generated and displayed on screens or printed out around the venues. People will come up with their smartphone with app installed and scan it. It will then check with a server if there are still tickets available and then issue you with a unique barcode. There could even be real time feedback on the event, such as how many tickets are remaining and notifications to let you know when to start making your way back to the venue. When you arrive at the venue an enforcer scans the barcode off your phone, checking it against the servers list, and you enter. Maximum of a few minutes waiting to get your code scanned.


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    JazzyJazzy Melbourne, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    Oh, also, alcohol. Is there anyway we can have nice sort of temporary pub like the Belgian Beer Gardens set up? You already have my +18 age wristband!

    Moon Wizard.
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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    The problem with any queue bypass suggestion is: "what if people don't show up?" Well the answer to that is either overbooking or a queue line for "underflow seating". So now you have people that are queuing or booking and might not get in. I could be wrong, but I think in the eyes of PAX that is worse than just general queuing. Time will tell.

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    markjustmarkmarkjustmark Registered User new member
    zerzhul wrote: »
    The problem with any queue bypass suggestion is: "what if people don't show up?" Well the answer to that is either overbooking or a queue line for "underflow seating". So now you have people that are queuing or booking and might not get in. I could be wrong, but I think in the eyes of PAX that is worse than just general queuing. Time will tell.

    There was WAY more demand for panel seats than there was supply. If this system was implemented and people that had reserved a seat did not turn up by the appointed time (5 or 10 mins before the show) then someone in the general queue gets their seat.
    Even if 100% of the seats were pre-allocated by any of the methods mentioned above, there would still be a queue of people hoping to take the place of a no-show.


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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited July 2013
    Precisely, which still causes a queue issue, and means some people will be queuing that will not get in. I would guess that would be a situation that PAX would not want to happen. Anyhow, in the past for other PAXes, the solution to demand vs supply is attempt to increase supply. I would expect that would be what happens for next year.

    Never know though, PAX might decide to go in a different direction than they've gone before.

    zerzhul on
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    QuestorQuestor PAX Aus Tabletop [E] Melbourne, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2013
    I was only there on Saturday (sadly) so my experiences are limited to that day.

    This bit I just posted on BoardGameGeek so I'll just paste it in, then some general non-tabletop thoughts after:

    I thought the 'Tabletop' area was very well done - there were certainly not enough tables, but it's difficult to see how this could be done better.
    I thought there was too much space devoted to Magic. I appreciate that it's a huge thing, and Wizards I am sure paid a lot of money to be a main sponsor, but as well as the massive booth, there were at least 20 tables pretty much devoted to Magic. The only time we got a table was after 9pm when a lot of people had gone home! The rest of the time we had to play on the floor!

    The tabletop miniatures stuff I actually thought was a bit underdone - almost all the times I walked past that area (which was quite a few as we wandered around, game in hand, trying to find a table) there was only 1 or 2 of the 5 or 6 tables setup with scenery in use. I wandered over on Saturday at the time for the 'Intro to Malifaux' which I was quite interested in, only to find no-one there playing it. Everyone had either 40k or Warmachine stuff.

    OVerall I had a great time, tempered a little bit by being cold from having to sit on the floor a lot, and by a couple of things not being done when scheduled.

    As an afterthought I wonder if the tabletop games could be done in a similar way to the console area, where you sign out a game and get assigned a table. Difficult with some of the longer games I suppose....

    OK now some more general thoughts:

    I didn't get chance to see any of the panels I wanted to see just because of the lines - I was super excited for the Gearbox/Borderlands panel, but even after going to line up over an hour before, I was told the line was full. I couldn't justify taking THAT much time out of my con time. Yes having a 3 day pass would have meant I could have taken more time out, but sadly we didn't get chance to get 3 days passes! I think a pre-register for panels thing could be very cool - at least for SOME of the seats.

    The console area was well done I thought - the enforcers there were SUPER helpful and things seemed to go really smoothly there. Big thumbs up for that one.
    Same for the PC freeplay area - the games list was slightly limited but overall I was happy.
    EDIT: Also loved the retro area (big fan of that generally so I'm not surprised!) and would love to see more of that.

    Expo hall - mostly positive for me, especially the Indie games section - it was great to have chance to have a chat to some of the devs, and I have made a decision to buy a couple of games after having a play :)
    The selection of other exhibitors seemed a little limited - possibly a case of companies not being sure how it would be received? Hopefully next time there will be more people to go see.

    I had lots of fun - maybe spring next time? :)

    Questor on
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    SurikoSuriko AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Oh, that does remind me of a couple of points about the PC freeplay area. One, a larger game selection would be appreciated. I was hoping to have a little try of some games I was wavering on buying, but they were mostly nowhere to be seen. There were quite a number of games on the Steam lists that hadn't been installed, which left me wondering.

    Secondly... if there's a Minecraft tournament next year, please clear it with Mojang first, or do a staggered entry. For those that weren't there, most people couldn't play for a couple of hours because the Mojang account servers shut off access from PAX, assuming the ~200 people logging in at once to be a DoS attack. I gave up and left the tournament after the fixes being tried at the time didn't work for me. That was probably the only (mild, really) downer of the con. I felt sorry for the enforcers, who were left trying to fix a sticky situation that was largely out of their hands.

    Aside from that, my only real concerns come down to the venue size, which is being upped for 2014 from what I've heard.

    Edit: A dedicated arcade section with proper old school arcade cabinets for the next PAX would be pretty awesome. Set up a bunch of machines near the relaxation/lounge area for a bit of casual play, or do a tournament thing with them. Lots of possibilities.

    Suriko on
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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Suriko wrote: »
    Edit: A dedicated arcade section with proper old school arcade cabinets for the next PAX would be pretty awesome. Set up a bunch of machines near the relaxation/lounge area for a bit of casual play, or do a tournament thing with them. Lots of possibilities.
    I hope this is possible. PAX East has that (handled by a semi-local to Boston place) and it's fantastic.

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    billybobfrogbillybobfrog Registered User new member
    This was my first ever con/expo so I didn't really have many expectations going in about how things would pan out. In general I thought it was run really well.

    Stuff I thought was awesome:

    * Tabletop area. I expected to spend a lot of time in the pc games area but pretty much spend about 3/4 of my time in the tabletop area. Thanks to all the people who taught me how to play a whole heap of new games.
    * Food. I was really impressed by this. I was expecting crappy carnival food, but everything I ate was good - not entirely healthy, but tasty. A little expensive, but I kinda expected that. The churro stand got quite a bit of my business.
    * Attendees. I think I only saw one person violating Wheaton's Law the whole 3 days I was there.
    * Cosplayers. Wow. The effort some people went to. But I cannot decide if my favourite was the Toddler Altair or the Warrior Girl who gave an obviously shy boy a kiss on the cheek after plucked up the courage to ask for a photo with her.

    Stuff I hope to see made better for next year:

    * More tables for eating. This one is kinda tricky because they really only all used at the peak times and most people were pretty good at getting up as soon as they finished, but I always had to either wait a little while for a table or eat standing up.
    * More tables in the tabletop area. I suspect you could double the number of tables and still not have enough going by the number of people playing games on the floor.
    * More merch (quantity - not variety). Again a tricky one. I am glad I got pretty much everything I wanted on the first day, but it seemed a lot of stuff was already gone by saturday morning. If I only had a Saturday ticket I'd be a bit dark about missing out. Sunday was really slim pickings.
    * Queueing. A lot has already been said about this. I didn't end up seeing any of the talks I was interested in because I wasn't prepared to turn up hours early and stand around in the cold in the hope of getting entry. My two cents - some sort of deli ticket equivalent with overflow tickets. I realise it is a complicated problem, but I really think it could be done better. It could also have been a lot worse - the enforcers managing the queues seemed like they were doing a good job keeping things in order.

    Stuff that sucked:

    Nothing. Not a single thing. Except perhaps the weather. Can someone take care of that for next year please.

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    radaxianradaxian Registered User new member
    edited July 2013
    I was there Friday and Saturday, queued for 90+ minutes before the opening on Friday and managed to get into the keynote and Q&A. I wasn't able to see any other panel despite showing up 90 minutes early to a few. Seems like every panel could have been filled 3 times over at least.

    Aside from other suggestions already made about panels and queues, my suggestion would be:

    1) show a live video feed of panels somewhere else - that way people who can't fit in the room can still watch. There was heaps of space in the main entrance queue room for lots of the weekend. Or otherwise maybe there are other smaller rooms that (although too small to host another panel) could be used this way.
    2) provide attendees with access to videos of the panels afterwards online. Not sure what the rights issues are here, but even if it was time limited or something it would help.

    radaxian on
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    JazzyJazzy Melbourne, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Can someone take care of that for next year please.

    Already building my maniacal weather machine.

    Some feedback on PAX AUS in this WP thread as well - (link removed)

    zerzhul on
    Moon Wizard.
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    IMSanchoIMSancho Registered User regular
    Another thing I noticed was things got vastly better from Friday to Saturday and again from Saturday to Sunday. Part of this would come down to multi-day attendees getting used to the venue and how things worked, but also the enforcers really seemed to find their feet by the second day, and bringing in more food trucks pretty much alleviated the food lines. Noticeable improvements over such a short time give me a fair bit of hope that things will be much better next year. Hopefully there'll be a slight date change in either direction too, getting leave in the middle of Australia's largest annual military exercise was a bit painful, probably prevented a lot of ADF nerds from attending.

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    KatamaraKatamara Perth, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    This was my first time attending anything like this so take any feedback with a pinch of chocolate-ly goodness. None of the things I write was such a huge issue. I had a brilliant time and glad I went. I think everyone did a great job, I laughed so much my throat hurts (and I have to do a podcast tonight!). I know most of it has already been mentioned.

    1. I know it's been mentioned but I was really pissed off at the booth babe situation. Especially when the WoT girls looked hugely better on Saturday. The police chicks though, that was disgraceful. You know what sells better than sex? computer games! hardware! I was drooling over the other side of the expo and not at any chicks there. But anyway, I am happy with how the enforcers/organisers/whomever handled it. I would have hated if it was ignored. Other than that I didn't feel frustrated/alienated at being a woman at the event (besides maybe the lack of other women there!), except maybe that stupid one line that EA marketer said in the XBone presentation. Honestly, insulting people's manhood is as alienating to women and insulting to men as booth babes are.

    2. The size of the rooms/events. I wanted to visit so many panels but would rock up an hour before only to be told 'nope' so I never saw any. Even the Bioware signing on Sunday, I showed up just after 2.30 to have a guy say we probably won't get to the front then to have another guy say something to him and then the enforcer said ignore him. It's like, if you are going to say nope then say ignore me, at least try to explain why! I was so confused and it was 3pm and we had barely moved two steps in. So I left. I really don't mind queuing but I am not going to queue for an hour to be turned away.

    3. The lack of merchandise, XP packs etc. I'm not sure how Americans like it but Australians love unique stuff and spending money. To run out of so many things on the first day was very frustrating. It would be nice to get some things either at American like prices or things we can't buy here in Australia. I know though that it is a huge learning curve but this sort of thing could be prevented by thinking of this as a convention for Australia and not just a convention located in Australia.

    4. Personally I would love to see more attractions, new games and merchandisers, especially from places which get a lot of sales in Australia (thinkgeek, teeturle etc.) As an MMO player, I would have loved to see some new upcoming patches/games with hands on stuff. I wore my Captain Planet/Avatar mush up shirt and many people stopped me to ask where I got it from. If they had a booth there, they would have sold heaps!

    5. Lack of facilities like tables and chairs/ATMs/food etc. I never had a probably buying food, but I know people that did just like I could never find a table to eat my lunch at but others didn't. Also have different size tables. It would stop one person eating at a huge table and having chairs stolen from every where so some tables didn't have any.

    6. More chillaxing areas. I loved the boardgames area, it was a great place to just chill and play with friends but there are so many times you just need a breather. It's pretty overwhelming the event and it would be fantastic to have some chill spots. I hear the American ones are more central so people tend to come and go from the event which I think would be brilliant. I know there are times I would have liked to just go somewhere else for a couple of hours/lunch and then come back refreshed.

    7. The general layout with the one central hallway with everything leading off it. It created some pretty bad traffic jams at times. I know there's not much that can be done because it's the layout of the showgrounds and because of weather, the tents made the walkways smaller.

    8. I know there are rules but I was a little upset at people taking photos of me without asking permission. I thought that was pretty common etiquette to ask first. I wasn't cosplaying, I just had my Necomimi ears on which I know, they are fricken awesome but I was feeling very self consious about them (first time in public, I have worn them on youtube but that's different) and seeing people taking photos out of the corner of my eye while I was standing around/sitting in a line was frustrating. Just ask people! I would have said no, but every cosplayer I asked was more than happy to (plus they posed!)

    I really loved it and am definitely already planning my next PAX. I loved how quickly things changed whenever issues came up and I think it was a very well organised event. It's just a few little teething problems :D

    Joust was awesome! I didn't play it but it was always fun to walk past and I heard so many people going on about it. It had no queues and even though 7 or so people can only play at one time, it didn't stop the audience having fun. Queuing by yourself is boring, watching people trying to beat others is fun!

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    discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    As I said in the other thread, my biggest issue was with the BYOC TF2 comp. There just wasn't enough people playing to run it, and so a group of unorganised and unfamiliar team members was placed up against the organiser's team and promptly lost. Switching to another format, such as ultiduo (2v2) or simply DMing on that 1v1 map that I can't remember the name of (first to 20 etc), would have allowed bad teams to play against bad teams and good teams to play against good so some actual competition and fun could be had. As it was, it was a straight boring steamroll, and no-one ever finds that fun.

    The BYOC in general was sort of dead too. Coming in as a lone BYOCer, it was nice being able to get into PAX at 10, but otherwise there wasn't much being played that I was interested in or had installed, and it was far more interesting going to the Expo Hall or trying to get into panels than being in the BYOC area. I was probably doing it wrong though, and coming in with a group of friends and just moving from to game to game with them would be more fun.

    Queues were an issue that I don't know how to fix. Either you sell less passes / rent more Melbourne (which is expensive) so that people don't need to arrive as early to each panel, or you use some sort of booking system so that people don't need to stand around waiting for the panel to open, at which point they start queuing for the bookings. Probably the best option would be to have separate ticket sets for each panel at each theater, which can be picked up in the queue room after 9 or so, and still have overflow queues for each panel as well. That way everyone has equal access to the tickets at the beginning of the day, and if people don't turn up for a panel, people who missed out on the ticket collection can grab a seat. You'd still have issues with people queuing/mobbing to get the tickets at the beginning of the day, so I don't know how you'd fix that without a hard limit on the number of panels you can grab tickets for.
    But yeah, any solution where you don't have to queue some hours beforehand would be great. I wound up not attending panels on Sat/Sun because I just didn't want to waste the time queuing just for a chance at overflow 'seating'.

    Which leads me to the good stuff. All the indie showcase and otherwise indie exhibitors were great. I spent most of my time that was not spent trying to follow (queue for) the Omegathon just moving between these booths and talking to these guys. Huge props to the creator of Antichamber, Alexander, for letting me into his head for a good couple of hours Saturday morning. It's frankly amazing how much thought has gone into that game's design especially with regards to player flow and learning. The other indie guys were happy enough to chat too, but since I haven't played their games yet, or at least didn't let myself complete their demo versions, I didn't have quite so many questions to ask them. And the indie showcase panel was also amazing.

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    AnteCantelopeAnteCantelope Registered User regular
    I loved PAX, and the only thing I think could be improved on next year is just more. More room in theatres, more seating, more room. And more merch at the store, I bought a big bunch on friday but on sunday when I wanted some other stuff it was all gone.

    The only panel I saw in the three days was the closing ceremony, because the others I wanted to see seemed to fill up over an hour in advance. I think some way of watching those panels from outside the theatre would be great, for those people who couldn't get in to still be able to watch. Also, I had a seat at the closing ceremony but couldn't see the stage or more than half of the screens because of the people standing in front. Putting standing people in front of seated people seems like an odd choice.

    Otherwise it was excellent and I know I'll be there next year and every other year.

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    SaffSaff Registered User new member
    edited July 2013
    Queues and overcrowded areas were definitely the biggest problem.

    -We went to the Tabletop area every day, and only got a table once... then were promptly asked to move, as it turned out to be a MTG exclusive one. All the other times, we were sitting on the cold concrete, only just out of the walkways, and right in front of the air vents of cold air direct from outside.
    Lack of places to sit and eat, or just rest your feet was disappointing, too.

    -We didn't even get close to seeing 3/4 of the panels we had wanted to, as they filled up over an hour before starting time. There were a lot of times where there was nothing scheduled in the Main Theatre for hours, so perhaps utilising this space better in future PAXii could be a way to address the queues/overflow of interested people without needing to move venues.
    The idea of it being streamed into the Queue Room came up in this thread, and that seems like a fairly sound idea. Most of the time it was fairly empty, and has a lottt of space.

    -Crowded walkways. The marquees covering the walkways needed to be wider, as congestion was constant, especially when a panel ended in the Main Theatre and suddenly ejected ~1,800 people right into the very centre of it all. That, or provide doorways outside every so often, so that you can risk braving the elements to actually get anywhere. :P

    -Running out of merchandise so quickly. We went to buy pins first thing Sunday morning, and got told they'd been sold out since the previous morning. :(

    -Lack of large gaming companies there. Tabletop area was fairly awesome. Indie representation was aweeesome. Plenty of comic/gaming item stores and hardware places, but very little in the way of biggish names. One of the biggest booth areas never even got filled. Gearsoft, Bioware, etc had panels, but no space, though I'm not sure if you guys have any power over this. Just an overall impression.

    -"Swag bag" was pretty much just a bag with a bunch of leaflet advertisements. WOTC and Riot, I believe, were really the only ones with anything of much interest in them. I know the whole, expo for fun and not free stuff, but with them being refered to as a "Swag bag" beforehand, I kinda expected... swag.

    Saff on
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    AusghostdogAusghostdog Registered User new member
    I was happy with the event over all, even my wife was overly supprised at how enjoyable it was to her.

    Few things we noted,
    1. It wasn't until the Saturday that we were informed regarding the medical pass, so more information on this when we were buying tickets would have been nice.

    2. As many others have said, the queue for panels was HUGE and the space very small. Large space for these next year would be nice.

    3. Larger companies, I know this was the first year and companies need to see if it would be worth while to make the trip but please bigger people next year

    4. SONY!!!!!!!

    5. More areas for seating.

    6. Path finding! People going one way to stay on one side and people go the other the other side.

    7. I found the security guards, not the enforcers to be right royals pricks. My wife had cos played on both Friday and Saturday and they kept pulling her up for her pass, we had no issues with any one else but the security guards.

    6. The rail system, stopping the trains in the middle of the day! The trams were over loaded, they need to keep the train running around the clock, maybe every half hour or even hour not stopping it all together in the middle of the day.

    7. The ability to buy every single pin at pax in a collect or case. Except for certain one like the MGT pin or the WOT pin, but still have a spot in it to add the pins for it.

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    AusghostdogAusghostdog Registered User new member
    Another thing, on the saturday out the front of the table top area. The security guards have people going in on the right and out on the left, compleaty backwards to the flow of traffic.

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    DrassanDrassan Registered User regular
    My kids and I had a great time. I'd been to PAX Prime in 2009 and was kind of half-expecting this show to be a poor copy but was blown away by how awesome it was. I was asked by a friend what my favourite part of PAX was and my response was, 'Just being there'. Asked my son the same question and his response was similar.
    In terms of improvements - pretty much ditto of many of the above posts. I wasn't fazed by queues as I expected that but they definitely need to put panels in larger rooms. As it was I went to less panels this time around and spent more time gaming. One of the great things about PAX is there is more to do than you have time for and it is what you make it.
    I'll add my request for more tables in the tabletop area. Also more beanbags in the console area and maybe scattered around other locations would be nice. I would have played more games if I could find a spot (can't sit on the ground for too long unfortunately). I plan on bringing foldup chairs and table to next year - just in case :)
    Thanks to the PAX staff and enforcers for putting on a great event and thanks to everyone that came for making it such a great atmosphere.

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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    The issue I had was mainly with traffic control, and on two levels.

    The main artery walkway was a big problem. At PAX Prime, you have multiple access points an pathways between parts of the con. Here, only one path was fully under cover, and a quarter of the space is filled by queues.

    Throw in a cosplayer or Mike/Jerry and you have a very clogged main artery. If you're in a wheelchair or have a pram with you? Good luck getting through.

    The second part is where PAX was located. F&B has to be provided onsite due to a lack of F&B places in the area around show grounds (apart from Coles and the few places at the nearby complex). And with a one-hour round trip to the CBD and back, no one is going to leave the showgrounds just for food. This means a massive amount of people eating within the same time slot using all available table space at once.

    This also means tabletop gaming space doubles as food space, which is something PAX prime doesn't contend with as badly because it's easy to go offsite to sit down and eat (like flooding Taphouse or the Chessecake Factory :p). So you have double demand on a small collection of tables.

    Plus, because the expo was smaller in terms of booths to visit, it meant that you DID get to see everything before the weekend was up so you WERE spending time looking for space to just chill and play.

    Overall I'm sure these issues will resolve themselves in time. I definitely enjoyed myself even though I didn't get to a single panel. Props to Riot Games for being absolute stars. Props to the enforcers who were understaffed by over 100 people. And god I enjoyed Johann Sebastian Joust entirely too much.

    Also, re booth babes: did anyone notice that the world of tanks girls wore tights on Sat and Sun? It wasn't cuz they were cold; it was because their original outfit (which was different to the one pre approved by PA staff) broke the dress code!

    The Sennheiser girls also buttoned up on the second two days, but I absolutely agree that the photo booth was gross as hell. Could barely stop myself judging everyone who stepped in for a photo.

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    JFedJFed PAX AUS PC Competitions 2IC MelbourneRegistered User regular
    Hey All,

    I'm Jeffy (using JFed here because Jeffy was already taken). I am your competitions deputy at PAX AUS 2013 and wanted to respond to a couple of concerns that I've seen and sort of at least share with you our experience and hopefully take much of this back into our planning meetings for PAXAUS2014!
    Suriko wrote: »
    \Secondly... if there's a Minecraft tournament next year, please clear it with Mojang first, or do a staggered entry. For those that weren't there, most people couldn't play for a couple of hours because the Mojang account servers shut off access from PAX, assuming the ~200 people logging in at once to be a DoS attack. I gave up and left the tournament after the fixes being tried at the time didn't work for me. That was probably the only (mild, really) downer of the con. I felt sorry for the enforcers, who were left trying to fix a sticky situation that was largely out of their hands.
    Yes, I agree entirely. I personally didn't forsee this as an issue (probably because I'd gone to speak to Riot on an unrelated matter and they had completely white listed our IPs at the showgrounds to stop this from occurring). It was a horrible situation and I'm sorry you had to leave. I never wanted people to walk away from a tournament in any stage. I can tell you about 45mins after it was scheduled to start we had found a work-around and the head of the Freeplay arena was on the phone with Mojang getting it sorted also. This is something we have definitely added to our feedback sheet in competitions and it will form part of our build up for 2014! Again Suriko, I'm really sorry you didn't get to play in the tournament.
    Jazzy wrote: »
    bring your own computer section just didn't really work, not sure how t make it better

    My personal thought on this matter is, when 3DY & Single day passes sold out, all that was left was BYOC. The BYOC passes were more expensive than the 3DY passes however people who missed out on them bought them instead. This meant many BYOC passes were snapped up by non BYOCers in my opinion leaving many empty seats. I had many competitions planned for BYOC that ultimately had to be cancelled due to lack of people. I've spoken to our PAX contact and shared my thoughts, hopefully next year we'll have it far more awesome. Let me tell you though, we had a "Last Man Standing BYOC Rock/paper/Scissors" contest that was positively hilarious.

    discrider wrote: »
    As I said in the other thread, my biggest issue was with the BYOC TF2 comp. There just wasn't enough people playing to run it, and so a group of unorganised and unfamiliar team members was placed up against the organiser's team and promptly lost. Switching to another format, such as ultiduo (2v2) or simply DMing on that 1v1 map that I can't remember the name of (first to 20 etc), would have allowed bad teams to play against bad teams and good teams to play against good so some actual competition and fun could be had. As it was, it was a straight boring steamroll, and no-one ever finds that fun.

    The BYOC in general was sort of dead too. Coming in as a lone BYOCer, it was nice being able to get into PAX at 10, but otherwise there wasn't much being played that I was interested in or had installed, and it was far more interesting going to the Expo Hall or trying to get into panels than being in the BYOC area. I was probably doing it wrong though, and coming in with a group of friends and just moving from to game to game with them would be more fun.
    Discrider, I'm really disappointed to hear this. I know the team you speak of who won the competition and I will be definitely bringing that back into planning and debriefing meetings. As with my thoughts above this is only my thoughts but to hear this, I am really saddened by this. We understand many people did not like the selection of games. Ultimately we went with the more popular selections at the moment, however if you've got suggestions, once I know what's happening with 2014, I'll gladly open a BYOC COMPS 2014 thread to get ideas and game selections off you guys the players to make it better.

    To everyone who replied, I am loving this constructive thread. Much of it when it relates to BYOC/Competitions/Freeplay is a little upsetting to hear that we didn't meet your expectations, however I can tell you I have taken all of this on board and when we have our planning and debriefings I will be bringing this feedback into the meeting. Your voices will be heard, you have my promise on that!

    Thanks again!

    Jeffy (JFed) 2013 AUS PC Tournaments Deputy Manager

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    OlerheadOlerhead Krytenton AustraliaRegistered User regular
    The queue issues were up and down for me. I had to queue up for many things but there wasn't one thing I missed out on. The only thing that I worried I would miss out on was the signing Mike and Jerry did and they stayed around past the scheduled finish time just to make sure they got everyone. I was really grateful for that.

    I didn't intend to go to the Sunday Q&A because I decided to go in during the afternoon on Sunday but I was just walking down the main walkway and the Enforcers waved me over and told me that there was space available in the Q&A and I should go in. I went in and got a seat. Not near the front, but I could see the monitors. The Friday Q&A and the Make A Strip (as well as Ron Gilbert's keynote) were all things I got a seat right up the front with. I suppose this could've had a lot to do with being by myself and not having to worry too much about gathering my group together and finding a sufficient amount of seats.

    I'm not sure what could be done to manage queues, though I will say that having the beach balls in the pre-opening queues were a lot of fun. It became a game to try and spike the balls over the top of the signage. Also, I'd encourage anybody who has the social fortitude for it to start up conversations in the queues. Though I agree that larger areas for big panels would be a welcome addition, as well as a way to watch them if you can't get in (big screens, etc.)

    I saw mention previously of a possible beer garden style affair. I enjoy a drink as much as anyone but some people can't handle alcohol and I'd worry about what that would invite into the whole experience. Everybody I met was extremely pleasant and I'd hate for anybody's experience to be ruined by someone getting aggressively intoxicated. A party-pooper attitude, I know, but that's just what I think.

    I heard mention that the event will most likely not be held at the same time next year. I'd suggest maybe the Australian summer? Not only do guests from overseas get to 'winter' somewhere warm, but it'd open up big swathes of the Showgrounds to things that could be he held outdoors - provided shade cloth got put up. Or maybe look at another, larger venue? The occasional traffic jams in the main walkway feel like something that might've been avoided.

    Overall I had a great time and I can only see it getting bigger and better.

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