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Constructive Feedback of South 2015

zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
Please post civil constructive feedback of the show here

As always, it's fine to disagree and dislike things, just don't be a dick about it.

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    leebozeeboleebozeebo Registered User new member
    edited January 2015
    I had a serious blast at my first PAX this year, with one small exception - it was hell on earth trying to find 1.) Any kind of family restroom and 2.) Any restroom that featured a changing table. My wife and I had to network with other parents to figure this one out and still only managed to track down two changing tables in the entire convention hall - one by the Tabletop area on the first floor in a women's restroom, and the other all the way up on the third floor in a private gender neutral bathroom. It was a major surprise to us as we just assumed that an event hall as large as this one would feature changing tables in all the bathrooms as a standard.

    Did other parents at PAX run into this issue? Were there any changing tables that we missed? The few parents I talked to at the con definitely conveyed some frustration at having to play a sort of scavenger hunt game in every bathroom we came across.

    Does anyone know of an effective way to maybe get a message across to Robert Khoo about this? Honestly, I'm not even insisting that somehow the convention center be strong-armed into installing more changing tables - I would have been perfectly satisfied just knowing where they are (like maybe a marker on the map in the guidebook or something to that effect).

    But overall I was really pleased with everything we saw. I was even pleasantly surprised to find there was a room specifically for nursing on the second floor. PAX is the first con I've been to that really seems to welcome all types and all ages very openly. I was never short on something rad to do or see.

    leebozeebo on
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    The AviatrixThe Aviatrix Registered User regular
    I think I remember seeing a couple "Family restrooms" around. The signage was slightly different than normal restrooms. (I believe it had three figures on the sign... Then it said family restroom somewhere.) I would imagine there'd be changing tables in those. You'd just have to know to look for something different than normal.

    I also could have just dreamed this as I never actually entered one...

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    PurpleSkyPurpleSky Registered User regular
    Pros: This PAX felt just like the other two. I enjoyed it just as much and a big thumbs up for the Console Freeplay area. I felt that was a great place to hold it.

    Cons: My only complaint is that the layout of the Bobcat and Armadillo theaters could have been better. I feel like everyone is going to have neck pain after this PAX since the panelists were so far to the left. Just felt awkward. Yet the panels were still fun and interesting.

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    oddspeedoddspeed Austin, TXRegistered User new member
    I had a great time and my expectations were exceeded, for sure.

    If I had to nit-pick, the audio levels were bad for The Returners and part of The One-Ups set. It seemed to correct mid-way through and sounded great thereafter. Which leads me to believe they figured it out.

    I did feel that there were not a lot of "big name" companies present, but I wouldn't say that bothered me. I did wonder if it was because of it being the first year, or perhaps because PAX is more indie focused. Being my first PAX, I have no reference. Not that indie-centric is a bad thing (loved Noct and just beats and shapes). Just an observation. And after having as much fun as I did, I am certain to come back.

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    kyan22kyan22 Tucson,azRegistered User regular
    For our first pax we enjoyed it. Some things that need to change I do agree with the first one since hopefully next year we will have a kid.also would be nice to have bigger industry people there but I can understand d it being the first year.also maybe work on a shuttle system with some of the hotels there were times Saturday night I was a bit nervous walking back to our hotel after midnight

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    KhadourKhadour Dinosaur Cupcake Hillsboro, ORRegistered User regular
    Just a few things that I noted while enjoying my PAX South:

    1) Why does the convention center hate water fountains? They are few and far between, and while bathrooms seem much better distributed, finding a water fountain to keep hydrated was a challenge at times. $3 for a small bottle of water seems a bit excessive.
    2) Tabletop emergency exits - the closure/blockage of all of the exits on the north side of the hall were concerning. In the event of an emergency, the closest exit is not exactly "close" with all of those closed/barricaded off.
    3) Tabletop vendors - I was amazed that there was not a single game store selling on site. Sure, the game companies were there, selling their individual wares, but I'm used to Prime and East where you have multiple local/regional game stores hawking all flavors of games from a variety of publishers. Hell, there are even publishers at the other two selling their lines of games. I was frankly surprised that Fantasy Flight didn't have a presence, with XCOM coming out. There are several games I would have purchased on site over the weekend that wound up being purchased elsewhere when I got home today.
    4) Tabletop location - after the expo hall closed, finding your way to/from tabletop was not exactly intuitive, or even remotely well marked. While I can understand wanting to have the Expo hall near the queue room . . . why not put tabletop where the queue room was, move expo to where tabletop was, and put the queue room where expo was? That would more effectively control access to the expo hall after hours, not require shutting down multiple stairways/escalators after hours, and make tabletop much easier to find/access after the expo hall closes (or even before).
    5) Indie showcase - there were some awesome games there - loved the tabletop indies! That being said, I wanted to purchase some of them that weren't even in the Kickstarter/funding stage yet. While getting the word out about them early is helpful, perhaps they should have at least a Kickstarter or other funding campaign in place to take advantage of the higher profile they will have as a result of being featured.
    6) Move the handheld lounge down to that HUGE space on the right before you get into the merch/queue area - it seems perfect in that it's out of the way of traffic, but still gets lots of people walking by, and it's certainly large enough to be comfortable and not have to worry about being stepped on (think it's labeled as West Registration on this map: http://d20inzoloc25ob.cloudfront.net/documents/maps/2012 Street Level.pdf ).
    7) The Gearbox room seemed like a mini-PAX all on its own - play tabletop games with developers, buy merch, play consoles, watch demos/panels/presentations . . . was just interesting to find a microcosm of what was going on outside in there.
    8) Pin logistics - get 'em there in advance. Having to be given a piece of paper and come back to pick up the pins that should have been there at the onset was a touch shady/frustrating.
    9) Area around the convention center had some reasonable food and beverage choices in easy walking distance, and the riverwalk was a nice option.
    10) Overall, San Antonio was welcoming. There seemed to be an unusually large police presence on site and in the surrounding area, or maybe I'm just not used to that.
    11) With East coming so early this year, I hope they can be spaced out better in the future - I feel that South was not only smaller for being as close to East as it was, but that it will have issues growing if they keep overlapping.

    Had a good time breaking in the new PAX. Can't wait to go back next year!


    Do unto others 20% better than you would expect them to do unto you, to correct for subjective error - Linus Pauling
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    BIGmogBIGmog DenverRegistered User regular
    The Freezepop concert was terrible to listen to. I'm not sure if this was due to sound mixing or cheap speakers. Several others I spoke to after felt the same. I didn't stay for the other shows after the deafening noise of that performance. I don't mean that Freezepop is bad at all. I'm a fan of them in fact. It's just the sound was really way too loud.

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    shadow17xshadow17x Registered User new member
    I had a blast at the PAX South event and was really excited to see this come to Texas. As a first time visitor to any PAX event, I didn't know what to expect and have to say that I did enjoy my time there. It did feel as though the Exhibition area was a bit smaller than I was expecting but like many others have pointed out, I am not sure if this is due to this being a first year event or just there being not as big a draw compared to other PAX events. I did enjoy being able to speak with the indie devs about their games and being able to share the enthusiasm they had about all of the work and future additions they would make. It would have been nice if we had been able to attend more panels as it felt Friday got the majority of the ones I had wanted to attend. I was only able to attend Saturday and there were only a handful of panels that seemed interesting compared to Friday or Sunday which seemed to hold much more interesting ones. Just didn't feel spread out as well as I would have liked to have seen. Overall a great experience and definitely looking forward to attending next year for all 3 days.

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    antheremantherem Registered User regular
    I liked a lot about this show - the location (downtown SA is full of hotels and restaurants), the weather, the smaller size.

    The PAX XP thing in Guidebook didn't work very well on the iPhone 6, a lot of the time the pictures wouldn't show up after you scanned the code, until you switched to some other apps then switched back. Saw this on a couple different i6's, didn't see it on any other phone. (The picture was squished on the i6 too.) And it was a bit disappointing when the prize was the same cube from East, without even PAX South stickers added.

    Agreed on tabletop being hard to access after hours and very isolated, I didn't like the only access point being one escalator and one elevator. I'm honestly surprised the fire marshal didn't show up. (Does Texas have those?) At East, the setup is the same but there's the ground level access to the hallway. There were barricades set up in front of that ground level access at South. If those are going to be there again next year then there should be a path past the expo hall that stays open after the expo floor closes.

    Why were the doors into the convention center at river level locked from the outside? Just have someone there checking badges and sign it "badge holders only".

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    gunadicgunadic Registered User regular
    So, I kinda fell in love with how friendly the convention center staff was. They very quickly fell I to the groove and were much friendlier than any staff I encountered at the BCEC. Please, please, please bring them back/utilize them more next year. They made navigating so much easier in the odd moment I couldn't find an enforcer.

    Although I liked having an actual theater on hand, not being able to stand/dance during the shows was a bit of a downer. Can anything be done to open the area in front of the stage for this.

    What was up with the Gigantic Theater? There was no mention made of this on any map and it wasn't advertised except on signs. Even then sometimes it was open to the public sometimes it wasn't. That was kinda strange.

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    nevermore13nevermore13 Registered User regular
    I really liked most of the layout of the convention but I have to agree with the comments above regarding tabletop. It was nice having it next to the Expo hall when the hall was open but getting to and from it was an absolute pain after the expo hall closed. The main theater being an actual theater was pretty cool but I miss the ability to at least stand during the concerts if I wanted. Also, I don't know if anything can be done about this but the lights were shining in my eyes multiple times during the Freezepop concert.

    On a more positive note I loved console freeplay, classic console, and console tourney all in the same room which is an improvement from the multiple different room setup that East has. Also, the sheer size of tabletop was great. Lastly I loved the placement and layout of bandland, not only was it easy to find but having everyone easily visible was a huge bonus. Satellite theaters were great in my experience and the line management was done very nicely.

    Indie tabletop was really cool as well, but I wonder if it would be better placed in tabletop then in the expo hall in the future?

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    LemonPepperLemonPepper Registered User new member
    Greetings! First of all, a big THANKS to everyone who put together PAX South, the enforcers, the vendors, and of course, all of the devoted fans that attended that help create such a wonderful and fun environment for all. I have been to anime and other gaming conventions, but this is (by far) the friendliest convention I've been to.

    I am a Dallas resident that drove into town for the event, to give you a little bit of my background.

    PROS:
    -San Antonio in January = win (great weather)
    -friendly convention staff and Enforcers
    -the panels RAN ON TIME!! <3
    -pretty clean!
    -big table top gaming area (please keep the size or make it bigger if you are planning on expanding)
    -ease of accessing tabletop games (borrowing)


    CONS (improvement please):
    -parking: Friday/Saturday - locals are still working on Friday, and Saturday is the busiest day. Is there any way that the convention arrangement could supplement a distant parking lot? The convention center doesn't have its own parking, and my friends had to park far away (still taking them over an hour to find parking). Possible solution: use a parking lot that's 10 min away, and have a bus shuttle every 20-30 min for PAX pass holders up to 1am on Friday and Saturday.
    -Concerts - better sound checks please. We were very fortunate to have ear plugs.
    -Expo room - bigger/wider space for the more popular/mainstream vendors, please allow for more indie developers - their presence was fantastic
    -Vendors - would love to see more boardgames vendors for purchasing games after trying them out at the table top gaming
    -Bigger rooms for Omegathon viewing (pre-finale)
    -would like bigger AFK room, arcade, console gaming, and more space for handheld gaming area.

    Again, thank you for arranging the con. Can't wait for PAX South 2016!

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    StormypooStormypoo Registered User new member
    The amount of branded merchandise seemed pretty low. As a first time PAX'er, I was mostly following my friends around the first day. They knew all of the panels we had to get in-line for, so we mostly ended up avoiding the Expo and merch areas. By day two, quite a few of the merchandise items were sold out. I know it's a lesson learned for me as an attendee, but it'd be nice to have options.

    The experience of purchasing of Penny Arcade merchandise in general felt very haphazard (especially to a first time PAX attendee - this might be old hat to PAX vets). Why were the PAX South limited edition pins limited to a certain amount sold per day, but the Poly shirts were not? Why were there two PA merchandise booths, but only of them was selling the PAX South Pin? Could you buy multiple purchases per day and qualify for the Merch pin or did you have to spend $100 in a single go? Why were out of stock notices so rare?

    As for the Expo side, any chance of having that area stay open later than 6pm? Not asking for midnight or anything like that, but at least 8pm would be awesome. Seems like the majority of the panels were during the day and there was a lot of Expo | Panel time collisions. Since most panels required lining up for 30-60+min beforehand made it even more difficult to find time to spend in the Expo area. From everything I've read from previous PAX attendees, PAX South had a pretty small third party presence - so I'm assuming the Expo's footprint will only expand as the years trudge on. Actualy being able to spend "leisurely" amounts time there would be nice - instead of in small, disjointed, thirty minute jaunts.

    "People clumps" were also a problem in many of the high traffic areas. Having some Enforcers tasked with keeping the flow of traffic unimpeded would be nice.

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    merlinicorpusmerlinicorpus Registered User new member
    Overall, I thought it went great. Few minor quibbles here and there. Didn't think the swag bags were particularly interesting, it would have been nice to see more devs on the expo floor (although Gearbox certainly outdid themselves), finding a place to fill my water bottle was harder than it should have been (The AFK room became a literal oasis for me), and room layouts sometimes didn't make quite as much sense as they might have. That said, everyone was super friendly, food/drink prices were extremely reasonable, lodging was easy to find, and San Antonio turns out to be a pretty awesome town.

    For the people talking about the tabletop area needing changed, I agree, but it should be noted that part of the on-going expansion of the convention center will be complete by next year. We'll probably be seeing an entirely different layout in regards to the expo floor and tabletop just from that alone. It was kind of freaky to be in the tabletop area when they closed down the expo hall though. Felt like you were being sealed in, and it wasn't super obvious how to get in and out after 6.

    The only major issue I had was with the concerts. Sound levels for the first night's concerts were, to put it mildly, not good. It was bad enough that I decided to skip the other nights, for no other reason than I wanted to be able to hear the rest of the weekend. It wasn't that it was just way too loud either. Either there was some kind of equipment problem, or the soundboard was not set up correctly. Also, swinging high intensity lights across the audience during the Freezepop concert was a super bad idea. If that hadn't of stopped after their set, I probably would have left before MC Frontalot and the Minibosses. The sound was bad enough without being repeatedly blinded.

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    PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    Khadour wrote: »
    Just a few things that I noted while enjoying my PAX South:

    4) Tabletop location - after the expo hall closed, finding your way to/from tabletop was not exactly intuitive, or even remotely well marked. While I can understand wanting to have the Expo hall near the queue room . . . why not put tabletop where the queue room was, move expo to where tabletop was, and put the queue room where expo was? That would more effectively control access to the expo hall after hours, not require shutting down multiple stairways/escalators after hours, and make tabletop much easier to find/access after the expo hall closes (or even before).
    5) Indie showcase - there were some awesome games there - loved the tabletop indies! That being said, I wanted to purchase some of them that weren't even in the Kickstarter/funding stage yet. While getting the word out about them early is helpful, perhaps they should have at least a Kickstarter or other funding campaign in place to take advantage of the higher profile they will have as a result of being featured.
    8) Pin logistics - get 'em there in advance. Having to be given a piece of paper and come back to pick up the pins that should have been there at the onset was a touch shady/frustrating.
    11) With East coming so early this year, I hope they can be spaced out better in the future - I feel that South was not only smaller for being as close to East as it was, but that it will have issues growing if they keep overlapping.

    Had a good time breaking in the new PAX. Can't wait to go back next year!


    4 - More signage is required if that same layout is going to be used. But yes, maybe a rearrangement will help.
    5 - Sometimes the Indies need a public playtest so they can get feedback. I know that Wizard Dodgeball is running a Kickstarter. Go throw money at them.
    8 - I'm surprised this hasn't happened before. The Pins come straight from the manufacturer, and with the weather, port strikes and just plain bad luck it's amazing they were there on Friday at all. Yes, hopefully they can plan out the schedule with more lead time to avoid this happening again. But whilst the voucher system did cause a little backlog in the Merch queue, I am not going to complain about it. Both PA and vendors were fantastic on this issue.
    11 - East is especially early this year because it was the only slot available. It should be back to April next year. I think that the vendor list will increase as the space available increases.
    Stormypoo wrote: »
    The amount of branded merchandise seemed pretty low. As a first time PAX'er, I was mostly following my friends around the first day. They knew all of the panels we had to get in-line for, so we mostly ended up avoiding the Expo and merch areas. By day two, quite a few of the merchandise items were sold out. I know it's a lesson learned for me as an attendee, but it'd be nice to have options.

    The experience of purchasing of Penny Arcade merchandise in general felt very haphazard (especially to a first time PAX attendee - this might be old hat to PAX vets). Why were the PAX South limited edition pins limited to a certain amount sold per day, but the Poly shirts were not? Why were there two PA merchandise booths, but only of them was selling the PAX South Pin? Could you buy multiple purchases per day and qualify for the Merch pin or did you have to spend $100 in a single go? Why were out of stock notices so rare?

    As for the Expo side, any chance of having that area stay open later than 6pm? Not asking for midnight or anything like that, but at least 8pm would be awesome. Seems like the majority of the panels were during the day and there was a lot of Expo | Panel time collisions. Since most panels required lining up for 30-60+min beforehand made it even more difficult to find time to spend in the Expo area. From everything I've read from previous PAX attendees, PAX South had a pretty small third party presence - so I'm assuming the Expo's footprint will only expand as the years trudge on. Actualy being able to spend "leisurely" amounts time there would be nice - instead of in small, disjointed, thirty minute jaunts.

    "People clumps" were also a problem in many of the high traffic areas. Having some Enforcers tasked with keeping the flow of traffic unimpeded would be nice.

    The merch side was a surprise for them as well. Based on everything they had learned from previous PAXen, they thought they had enough shirts. They were wrong. Brian is likely to make sure there are enough shirts next year. Texas just seemed to really want to put PA over their bodies.

    Limited really does mean limited. The shirts weren't meant to be limited edition, they simply didn't print enough for the shockingly high demand. Two Merch booths is to allow for purchases outside the Expo hours. Merch Pin qualifier (and other levels too) needs to be a single purchase.

    Expo is 8 hours a day. You aren't able to see everything at PAX unless you perfect cloning or time travel (and even then probably not). Pick your battles, enjoy what you can.

    Enforcers controlling the crowd blockages are a Thing, but with it being a new PAX they have a large percentage of new Enforcers who may not be as quick to move people on as veterans from East or Prime.

    For my own part, I already spoke with the almighty Khoo about the biggest issues, which were Channel Fireball related. Other than that it was an exceptionally good PAX. Having the Club PA meetup in an actual room with seating and a chance to really talk needs repeating everywhere. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a test box of Thornwatch at East. A++ would PAX again.

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    AshTRAshTR Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited January 2015
    First off...
    Khadour wrote: »
    Just a few things that I noted while enjoying my PAX South:

    1) Why does the convention center hate water fountains? They are few and far between, and while bathrooms seem much better distributed, finding a water fountain to keep hydrated was a challenge at times. $3 for a small bottle of water seems a bit excessive.

    This is how they make as much money off you as possible, silly.

    Anyway...
    As I spent most of my time in the BYOC because I seriously hate lines (and probably shouldn't have because I had a bit less of a spectacular time [not the faults of the Enforcers, they were awesome] than others) being that I'm not good at meeting people in lines and I was roughly alone most of the con:

    Pros
    • BYOC was staffed perfectly, everyone was friendly, attentive, and kept my stuff from being stolen.
    • The medal I got for being a "BYOC Badass" is totally awesome, and makes me feel okay that I didn't get a PAX South LE pin. (The medals are probably more limited anyway, aren't they?)
    • I really liked that indies got a chance to shine and it's one of the things I was expecting and glad to have seen happen over a few other cons I'd seen screw over indies, say like the now Bethesda monster that is QuakeCon.
    • Gearbox did pretty much everything right for what they had set up.
    • The PAX South vs. MAGFest Katamari Damacy was awesome, especially that we won! I loved that this was right out in the open so anyone could participate.
    • Having the concerts streamed into the BYOC was great! This way I was able to watch Freezepop and still participate in BYOC activities.
    • I was so glad that "torrent" traffic wasn't blocked inside the network. This way I was able to get the proper Goldeneye: Source files around to people via BitTorrent Sync and we had (what I would consider) the best multiplayer match of the whole BYOC.
    • I loved that the Cookie Brigade was everywhere. I would've gone for a cookie from them, but they came by so early that I didn't feel like cookies!
    • I was so glad the AFK Room existed. I was getting a headache during part of the con and I walked in there to lay down to check my StreetPasses on my 3DS and was able to completely relax so my headache disappeared.


    Cons
    • I was a little frustrated that most of the contact between the BYOC Enforcers and the rest of us was done via on-screen or in a tiny chat box. An alternative like an IRC channel would have been so much better and easier to read. Sort of a minor irritant though.
    • The BYOC Ventrilo kept having PC Freeplay users mixed in with the BYOC users. I don't understand how this wasn't corrected with permissions or something by Saturday or Sunday. I feel like a lot of people weren't on it because of this and because there was no specific info for half the people in there that probably have no idea what Ventrilo even is.
    • I really didn't like that some of the contests were either switched out randomly or, say with the Grey Goo tournament, put on at the same time as Gearbox's event in the Main Theatre.
    • I was disappointed that I had to wait an hour plus in line to find out the LE pins had sold out. I don't understand why there isn't some sort of ticket-like system for this. Have some sort of side line queue at open for those buying a LE pin when they first enter the line, give them a plastic sort of ticket that they take up to the front and buy the pin (reuse per Saturday and Sunday), then people aren't waiting in line and getting frustrated when they can't get the LE pin. It may not be the best idea, but surely there is some sort of better way to do this.
    • I would have liked if the PAX Lines Twitter was actually more updated with most of the panels, instead of just the big ones. It was frustrating to go 45-60 minutes early to certain panels I thought would be smaller and intimate only to find them having just reached 100% capacity, while there were others that didn't fill up even 10 minutes before the panel started.
    • No bathroom in the BYOC. It was a fair bit annoying walking in and down a few hundred feet to a bathroom and back, especially if you have a backpack/messenger bag for swag. This became frustrating being put into a situation where we were asked for/that Enforcers had to ask about people's bags as they could easily appear as if they were stealing equipment when they're just trying to relieve themselves.

    Might be more, but it's 5AM, I just got back a few hours from San Antonio. I'll probably make another post calling myself out or adding to this later.

    AshTR on
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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Stormypoo wrote: »
    As for the Expo side, any chance of having that area stay open later than 6pm?
    This is extremely unlikely to ever happen. All the PAXes have had a 6pm expo close for as long as I can remember, it's a huge toll on exhibitors to be open as long as they are, and adding more time to that might kill them ;)

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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    AshTR wrote: »
    First off...
    Khadour wrote: »
    Just a few things that I noted while enjoying my PAX South:

    1) Why does the convention center hate water fountains? They are few and far between, and while bathrooms seem much better distributed, finding a water fountain to keep hydrated was a challenge at times. $3 for a small bottle of water seems a bit excessive.

    This is how they make as much money off you as possible, silly.
    I think this is a known quantity. That hasn't prevented the other PAXes from having appropriate water dispensing for healthy hydration throughout the day. It's an extremely important point, imo.

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    chanforceonechanforceone Registered User regular
    I really loved this first PAX South. I've been to two in Seattle ('09 and '10) so I have those to compare it to in my head. Of the three PAXes I've attended, I liked this one the most. The surrounding area downtown/riverwalk was full of very friendly and lovely local folks; San Antonio really made me a fan. I was kind of skeptical about the location before coming down but now I understand why it was picked.

    I felt like a lot of the exhibitors I talked to were just super excited to be able to demo their game to us. I hope PAX South will continue to bring in game creators that are really passionate about their games. There was some chatter around how this PAX didn't have enough "big names" attending but I honestly did not miss them too much since I'm not usually the type to wait in a really long line to spend fifteen minutes playing. The developers that were there were just awesome to interact with.

    There are some things that need improvement, though:
    • One thing I really missed from the Prime PAXes was the entertainment in the morning expo hall queue. It seemed like if you didn't have a 3DS or other handheld entertainment on you, you were in for a very dull wait.
    • The swag bags were very underwhelming; I think I tossed everything that was in mine and the two other folks with me did the exact same thing.
    • Very low volume and variety of merchandise. I really expected to find more things to purchase, but unless I wanted t-shirts there wasn't much selection overall on the exhibitor floor.
    • I felt like the Diversity Lounge was kind of shoved into a low-traffic area and there wasn't much in there. I don't know if that's by choice or design, but it felt awkward to me when I visited. There wasn't a Diversity Lounge at the other PAXes I attended so I can't compare to what it's like at other PAXes now. I am glad to have it at all but the implementation just seemed to reinforce an "othering" feel, which was disappointing.
    • I did not find the convention hall very easy to navigate. I was constantly getting turned around and wandering hopelessly to my destination.

    Overall, negatives were outweighed heavily by positive experiences. I would totally come and do this again, hopefully next year!

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    ImumoriImumori Registered User new member
    Aloha,

    I’d like to preface this with the fact that I am a “casual nerd”. What I mean by that is I play board games on a semi regular basis (I’m a part of a weekly gaming group), I play lots of video games, I read sci-fi / fantasy, but I also work in sales for a major international conglomerate with lots of “normals”. All that being said my three friends and I loaded down a SUV with blankets, pillows, back packs, travel bags, and a giant cooler filled with soda and snacks, and we headed down from Dallas.

    With this being my first PAX I didn’t really know what to expect, because the only other “Con” I’ve been to is San Diego Comic Convention which is a beast in itself. I will say that I was very surprised by what all PAX South had to offer, and how incredibly smooth it ran for it being the first one in Texas. Both the convention center staff and the PAX Enforcers were unbelievably polite and helpful. Having PAX South right off of the River Walk made for immediate access to restaurants and bars, which was a very big plus. There were lots of things I enjoyed about the experience, and there were some things I think could have used some improvement. Some of which were;

    Cons

    •Food and Beverage Vendors and the lack there of. While I assume most, if not all, concessions are dictated by the convention I would have liked to have seen a better distribution and variety of food and drink for purchase. While we all love Mountain Dew and Mini Pizzas, spending three days at an event makes even the most staple of nerd diet foods unappealing.

    •Concert Audio Levels were just very bad. As a semi-enthusiast when it comes to music and audio I was very upset with the quality to the point that I left early Friday and Saturday, because I could not deal with it. The bands were great, but hearing double bass pedals drown out the vocals, guitar, flute, and keyboard made it sound like listening to a high school band at a skate park.

    •Pre and Post Events where somewhat lacking. I understand that Penny Arcade is obviously focusing, very successfully I might add, at running a massive convention, but I would have liked to see more events like the Pub Crawl on Thursday. My friends and I had a blast at the crawl, and I think more breakfast, lunch, or dinner type events would have been cool. The best time to meet people is obviously in the convention, but it’s awkward asking another bearded dude to come chill in your hotel room without coming off as creepy.

    •The Smell was unimaginable. I had heard many jokes from my buddies as we drove down, but dear sweet 8lb 6oz baby Jesus was that awful. If there is any way that Penny Arcade would be able to rope AXE or Old Spice in as a sponsor it would make things significantly better.

    Pros

    •Enforcers and Event Center Staff were some of the most friendly, polite, and helpful people I’ve ever dealt with at a large event. I didn’t once come across anyone that was even mildly dickish when I was asking for directions to something, or when things started. They all seemed very enthusiastic and genuinely happy to help me.

    •Board Game Rental was probably one of the coolest things about PAX. I got to play a bunch of games I had never seen before, and the ease of doing it was phenomenal. There were an abundance of tables to choose from, and once again the staff working it was awesome!

    •Penny Arcade and Other Vendor lines went very smoothly. As I understand it things sold out at a higher than anticipated pace after day one, and Penny Arcade had more gear shipped in for late Saturday and Sunday. I was stoked about this, because on Friday night some of the shirts I wanted had been sold out, but I was able to get them Sunday. The other vendors all seemed pretty well organized as well, and I was able to come away with pretty much an entirely new T-Shirt wardrobe.

    •Panel Times and Over All Schedules ran like proverbial clockwork. Every panel I went to ran within five minutes on time, and I was able to get out of them quickly so that I could make other events. Once again big ups to the enforcers for keeping things moving quickly without being dicks about it.

    •Video Game Arcade was the dopeness. I got to play in half a dozen tournaments on a bunch of old school cabinets, and it was definitely one of the major highlights of my time at PAX. Expanding it further would probably be detrimental to my PAX experience because I would never leave, and miss all of the other cool panels and events.

    •The Bands That Played kicked all sorts of ass. Though the audio levels were probably the biggest detractor from my first PAX experience I do want to say that the bands themselves were amazing. We ended up getting music from everyone over in Bandland, and all of them were super cool and willing to talk to us for a pretty extended period of time. I was surprised at how accessible they were, and I couldn’t ask for better people, well maybe Power Glove…

    Overall I’d rate my first PAX experience as Overtly Badass. I had an amazing time, and got to meet lots of really cool people, vendors, artists, and nerds. With lots of options for ways to spend my time from board games, arcade cabinets, consoles, panels, and vendors I was able to see and do a ton of stuff. Especially with this being the first PAX South I’m super excited to see what next year is going to look like, because I would think it’s only going to get bigger and better from here. Mad props to everyone at Penny Arcade that helped get this thing to what it was, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for PAX South 2016!

    Mahalo,
    Imumori

    The internet makes you stupid.
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    CodextehFishCodextehFish Vancouver, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I really enjoyed this PAX. It was my first "first PAX" so it was nice to be able to spend some time there. My main criticism was the amount of space that Gearbox had. It was relatively small for a group that was doing their Community Day deely-o at the convention and resulted in needing to deconstruct a room to get everyone in for their final panel. As one of the biggest groups there it did feel a little like they were shoved in a corner and given a relatively small space, but again it was a first con and a test for both groups involved so I can understand it.

    That said, I thought overall the convention was super successful. I can't wait to see it grow more as time goes on!

    Attendee:
    Prime: '10, '11, '12, '13, '14, '15
    West: '16, '17
    East: '14, '15, '16, '17
    South: '15, '16, '17, '18
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    BrackardBrackard Registered User regular
    This was my first PAX. Can't tell you how happy I was there was one close enough to attend, so thanks much for that.

    Couple of observations:

    1) There has to be a better mechanic to create groups in the tabletop area. I saw entirely too many people playing games that were playable with 2 people, but better (and intended) for more. I know there was a tweet, but based on observation, it wasn't being used (much?). I guess there's also an informal mechanic that if you had the game box up, you were looking for people to play with? That wasn't something that was widely known or publicized. I don't know if a separate LFG waiting table would help, or something along those lines. This is a gaming celebration, let's make it easier to find people to play with.

    2) I would have loved to be able to watch the final round of some of the TT tournaments but minor complaint.

    Other notes have already been commented on. Had a lot of fun, look forward to doing it again!


    f71belxn5ee5.png

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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Imumori wrote: »
    •Pre and Post Events where somewhat lacking. I understand that Penny Arcade is obviously focusing, very successfully I might add, at running a massive convention, but I would have liked to see more events like the Pub Crawl on Thursday. My friends and I had a blast at the crawl, and I think more breakfast, lunch, or dinner type events would have been cool. The best time to meet people is obviously in the convention, but it’s awkward asking another bearded dude to come chill in your hotel room without coming off as creepy.
    These are all run by the community. It's hard to gauge what the interest level will be for a first PAX, and getting people to commit to things is hard. Organizers can get left in the cold pretty easily if they put forth their own time/money for an event with no guaranteed attendance.

    Given how successful this first PAX South was, I would expect to see more community events in the future.

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    KarickKarick Registered User regular
    This was my 4th PAX. I have been to Prime three times. I know this is the first year so it won't be perfect but here is what I have for feedback. (Some repeats from above)

    1. Tabletop area needs to be moved. It was very hard to get to after expo hall closed.

    2. Merch sales seemed very slow. I got in line Friday at 7:45 for merch. They started selling at 9:15 and I was not checked out until almost 10:30. I was about 90th in line. It took over an hour to ring out less than 100 people.

    3. Queue room entertainment. I am spoiled by the activities at Prime possibly. Would be nice to see the same things in South.

    4. Swag bags were a let down. I know this is more dependent on the company's that come and provide the swag but it was underwhelming. I remember getting t-shirts, DLC, and even whole games before.


    Pax Soth was great overall. This is just being nit picky.

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    podunk the mightypodunk the mighty Game Designer TexasRegistered User regular
    Please have a set up for Guitar Hero/Rock Band somewhere. At other (even non-gaming) conventions I've been to it's always been a highlight playing Rock Band with strangers. I even offered to bring my own instruments and game to the enforcers at the free play console game rentals but they said I would 'have to talk to someone higher up than them' and then when I asked who that would be told me 'they don't want people bringing in outside stuff because it's hard to keep track of'. I get where they're coming from, but I am just a little disappointed there was no Rock Band.

    On Their Merry Way Is On Kickstarter Today!
    I design games under the name New Experience Workshop.
    Website. Facebook. Twitter.
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    EseellEseell Phoenix, AZRegistered User regular
    edited January 2015
    This was my 7th PAX, having been to both Prime ('09-'13) and East ('14). Girlfriend and I are also hitting PAX Aus this year to collect the whole set :) Overall, we loved it and we plan on being back next year. We especially like that it's reasonably drive-able for us and our Phoenix crew.

    Pros:
    • The location was great; I think that overall, the layout of the convention center worked well and the proximity to so many restaurants, hotels, and the riverwalk was awesome. Also, it looks like there's a lot of room to grow in San Antonio so I look forward to seeing how PAX South evolves.
    • I actually appreciated that so few major devs were present in the expo hall. It felt like there was a bigger indie presence there at PAX South and it gave the devs that showed up a chance to shine without competing for expo space and sheer booth presence with folks like Blizzard and BethSoft and Riot. I expect with the success of PAX South, though, that we'll see more major devs next year.
    • It also felt like this convention was less crowded than Prime or East. I was able to see and do more events at PAX South compared to other PAXes.
    • All the enforcers I interacted with were awesome, as always.

    Cons/Could Improve
    • It seemed like none of the restaurants near the convention center were prepared for the deluge of PAXers. I hope that next year they have a better understanding of the effect of PAX on the area.
    • No presence from either Wizards or Paizo, or very many tabletop RPGs at all. A fair amount of tabletop games, but few RPGs.
    • The arcade area was small and it seemed like the music in there was excessively loud.
    • Even though I liked the venue, I agree that the tabletop area was kind of a pain to find/get to when the expo hall was closed.
    • The PAX Lines twitter feed was much less active than usual, it seemed to me. You couldn't really count on it to let you know when the smaller panel lines were filling up, or the progress of the main theater line until it was getting close to full.

    Eseell on
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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    Brackard wrote: »
    This was my first PAX. Can't tell you how happy I was there was one close enough to attend, so thanks much for that.

    Couple of observations:

    1) There has to be a better mechanic to create groups in the tabletop area. I saw entirely too many people playing games that were playable with 2 people, but better (and intended) for more. I know there was a tweet, but based on observation, it wasn't being used (much?). I guess there's also an informal mechanic that if you had the game box up, you were looking for people to play with? That wasn't something that was widely known or publicized. I don't know if a separate LFG waiting table would help, or something along those lines. This is a gaming celebration, let's make it easier to find people to play with.

    Maybe a combination of an LFG table, and some of those little wire stands with signs like restaurants put on their tables to deliver food saying LFM + the game box visible, would sort of formalize and make explicit the invitation to join.

    steam_sig.png
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    chanforceonechanforceone Registered User regular
    Just thought of something that needs improving: the ticket shipping! It seemed like ticket shipping was VERY late for this PAX. Some folks came home from San Antonio to find their tickets waiting for them in their mail, a weekend too late. Of course PAX did a great job of getting folks in through will call, and of course a few tickets are always going to disappear in the mail under even the best conditions, but the number of folks that were biting their nails hoping their tickets would show up in time mere days before the con was a little high and was a source of anxiety that I'm sure a lot of people would have rather avoided.

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    joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Class Traitor Smoke-filled roomRegistered User regular
    Every problem was really minor. The biggest issue for me was that the fighting game tourneys did not have sticks available. This wouldn't ordinarily be a huge issue (i.e. bring your own stick if that's what you normally use) except that nobody was given a choice of which system to compete with. I could have brought my PS3 stick and ended up on a 360.

    Fighting game enthusiasts do tend to prefer sticks, so in the future it would be really nice to have at least a couple of loaners available for those of us who use them and want to compete fairly.

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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    Just thought of something that needs improving: the ticket shipping! It seemed like ticket shipping was VERY late for this PAX. Some folks came home from San Antonio to find their tickets waiting for them in their mail, a weekend too late. Of course PAX did a great job of getting folks in through will call, and of course a few tickets are always going to disappear in the mail under even the best conditions, but the number of folks that were biting their nails hoping their tickets would show up in time mere days before the con was a little high and was a source of anxiety that I'm sure a lot of people would have rather avoided.

    I very nearly had a similar situation. My wife and I moved a couple months after we bought our tickets. We updated our address information on the website a month before they shipped but it still got routed through the old address and reached us the day before we flew out.

    steam_sig.png
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    LetMeInLetMeIn Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    I enjoyed south mostly. There are a few things I had problems with but nothing that can't be fix and they didn't ruin PAX South for me.

    Cons:
    1!!!!!.Wizard of the coast failings.I still get angry thinking about it.*RANT*
    I can't believe they thought to save pins by damaging/vandalizing people's badges and thought that was fine.I heard later that the first that got there pins didn't get it marked and they came up with the marking later(my guess would be when 1 person asked for 10-20 pins at once but I have no idea when they thought to mark the badges or why) but while making a complaint to one of the judges, he tried to claim that Penny Arcade had them do it.Which after the Naughty Dog pin stuff we know that it is the company not Penny Arcade that set-ups distribution.I know I shouldn't be so angry about it because the person that had the idea and told the judges do this just had a very bad idea and it was possible to fix but I'm betting no matter how many more years I live, whenever I remember this I am still going to get angry.I NEED wizard of the coast to apologize for this screw up.My biggest hope is that this was a big enough deal that a policy gets put in place that no one has the right to damage the badges anymore unless the owner of said badge request it.I could go on about this like talk about the fact the judges should have told their boss that they are not going to continue to damage the badges but instead they defended it by claiming it is only the person that put the value on the badge and from their company view the badge had no value other then getting into the show but then by that defense I guess I should be allowed to go around with a marker and mark everyone of their cards because I see it as just a piece of cardboard and if you're still able to read what it does then it change the value.The company puts a value on a pack and all packs are the same cost but their players(the people that put a ton of money into their product and go to theses shows) are the ones that put a value much high then a piece of cardboard...sorry for the rant, this was almost something that ruined Pax South for for me but I lucked be because someone had explained how to fix but if I went there without knowing and the judge asked "can I see your badge" and he marked it,like he did. I know I would have jumped over that table and hit him.I know this because even when knew it was coming , I still felt great rage towards this guy and when I got my badge back I started heading for the info desk for hand sanitizer because I need to fix this. They even had to call me back before I got to far because I didn't even get the pin before I started to leave.I have to leave this here now or else I'll go on for day.
    the badge marking thing. Part 2 of their failings is where was D&D.Come on Wizards you should always have a few D&D games going

    2.The horrible map in the guide book(can't think of what else they are called). This one isn't that big of a deal,sure I got lost a few times while trying to follow the book but I'll chalk it up to first time there.So if they do it in the same spot next year maybe they will have more understanding of the convention center layout for a more accurate map

    3. Water.Needs more water everywhere.I went to cvs and got some water bottles friday, so I wasn't that bad but by mid monday I was dry as a bone and I'm the type of guy that if I'm in a white shirt it looking like I'm always the ugliest wet t-shirt contest.For me not to be sweating buckets on the full plane ride home means I was dehydrated but I'm drinking plenty of water now.I hope no one got to dehydrated while at pax.

    4.This one was more my fault then pax schedule but if there is a signing and panel on the same day please try to space them out more because I went to Autograph Session: Gabe and Tycho (Sunday Signing) after Inside Gearbox Software but the line had already been closed.I didn't think that I had to rush that and didn't account for the the hour between the signing and the Q&A was for them to get food not for them to finish clearing the line.Darn them why do they have to keep proving to us they are humans too :biggrin: . another one I messed up with the time between the Pinny Arcade Pin Trading Session and club pa meet-up.That time I thought with the trading ending at 9 then the club meet-up was later and my phone changed the scheduled from 9 to 11 because I changed time zones. When I checked the what time it was suppose to be on my phone I thought I would have enough time to find my way there but I was WRONG. was my stupid stupid fault :bigfrown:

    Pros:
    1!!!!. Got tickets even after they had be on sales for months.I know this won't last long but I have glad I was able to set up the trip so late because I didn't have the money for it till way past the tickets going up for sale

    2!!!!. Undead labs. I think I fell in love with this company and I need to find a way to get their moonrise exhibitor's shirts. That picture on the back is awesome.They give away pins.They are extremely nice people.Their new moonrise pins are going to combine into 1, which makes me think someone at prime suggested it to them or maybe they read it on the forums because that seems to be something that pin traders want.That makes me believe they do listen to the people.Just seems like an all around great company and I hope the remasters state of decay is a huge seller, so they have the motivation to start work on a new engine for state of decay 2 with multiplayer.plus can't wait for moonrise to come out so I can play it without time to read everything and not holding out a line

    3.This one I never got to because poor time management but all the talk of what gearbox set-up sounded like something everyone should have went to.So I hope it happens every year, I would like to hit it next year if I'm going south again.

    I'm sure there is plenty I missed or can't think of. Either way I know I had an amazing time

    message me if anything need correcting.I'm to tired right now to proof read it for typo or to find where my hands typed something my head wasn't thinking

    EDIT: Just wanted to add(after reading some other post) That I also noticed that the staff at this convention center seemed more like they wanted to be there and enjoyed being there. This is only my second pax(first being last prime) but the staff at pax prime seemed almost tired of being there, almost kind of annoyed . Like I said first pax ever was that one, so maybe it isn't how they normally at pax prime and maybe a stricter rule was but in place or something. I don't know just trying to come up with something but either way the staff at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center(HBGCC?) seemed very happy to be there. Not everyone around the convention center seemed that happy though. There was a few employee in the stores, restaurants and hotels around that that wasn't nice in any way shape or form but who know maybe a bad day or something either way I don't know there life or why they needed to be so rude to me

    LetMeIn on
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    LisabeybiLisabeybi Registered User regular
    This was my first PAX, and my inner nerd was pretty happy at the end of the weekend. I read through a few of the posts before I came to the bottom to add mine to the queue, but I might repeat some things. Sorry if I do.

    Pros:
    *Being in SA, it was fairly centrally located. I live in Dallas and the only thing better would have been for y'all to come up here.
    *The venue was large enough to encompass pretty much everything, with hotels and food within walking distance. The only time we waited for a table was Friday night when it was nasty out and no one wanted to eat outside along the Riverwalk.
    *There were a few places to get food and drinks inside the venue. Prices were higher, but you have no control over that and it's like going to the movies.
    *There were plenty of enforcers. They were nice and polite. I would expect nothing less in Texas.
    *The panels were informative and in rooms large enough to accommodate almost everyone. I think a few latecomers were either turned away or asked to wait until those in line were seated to see if there were any leftover seats.
    *The table for Jerry and Mike to sign stuff was in a good area the day I went (Sunday). I did not feel rushed, yet the line moved pretty fast.
    *Loved the pre-selected questions for Mike and Jerry's Q&A. It cut down on time wasted with people getting in line for a mic and getting tongue tied once it was their turn.

    Things What Could Be Improved Upon:
    *Swag bags... Never having been, I'm not sure what I expected, but the reality (again, on Sunday) did not live up to the hype.
    *Panel set ups were weird with the tables to the left and a screen on the right that almost no one used.
    *Although the panels were informative, where was Felicia Day? Where was Wil Wheaton? Where were many of the other actors/celebs who do voice overs for our favorite games? There weren't any fun-fun celeb panels. I know this is PAX, not a comic con, but maybe next year we could have a Jonathan Coulton sing along.
    *Please add to the things for purchase next year a small string backpack with the logo. Backpacks were everywhere. I forgot mine and would definitely have purchased at least one, maybe a few extras for gifts.
    *I almost forgot... the rooms for expo and the tabletops could probably have been reversed, leaving more room for the demos and vendors and making it easier to see lines or get in line to play. The large table top area was nice, but underutilized.

    All in all, THANKS for coming to Texas!!! I've been trying to get my husband to move to Seattle. Until that happens, We'll always have San Antonio.

    <3 Gracias

    p.s. It's got thumb holes!!!!
    ... and a secret pocket
    ... and a grommet!


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    voxparsevoxparse Registered User new member
    I had a great time as I have at previous PAX events and really enjoyed the massive tabletop area. The one thing I found disconcerting was the fact that the diversity lounge was sort of stuffed in a corner. I commend PAX for the effort but not the execution. It felt haphazard.

    If PAX and the greater gaming community want to make diverse groups feel welcome and included, I don't think I'm going out on a limb suggesting that they be included in the main Expo hall. Maybe there were reasons or maybe someone felt that giving them their own room was a way of creating a safe space but that safe space should be the entire convention. Including people from all walks of life means including them in the same way as all other parties as much as possible. Separating and spotlighting groups that are different is little better than excluding them in the first place.

    All that said, the convention was great and I'm sure if something can be changed for the better, it will. I get the very strong impression that the folks who run PAX very much care for the community.

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    JensunamiJensunami TacomaRegistered User regular
    Ive been to Prime so I have some experience with PAX. I felt like this was a more intimate PAX which I enjoyed a lot. Swag bags? There were swag bags? WHERE? Sounds like I didn't miss anything but I would like to know where they were.

    Enjoyed the console play and Indie games. I admit there wasn't as many big names as I saw at PAX two years ago but I found plenty for entertainment. I do think the poor enforcers in the handheld lounge needed some type of microphone during tournaments because they had to yell out peoples names.

    The music in the arcade was super loud... we played two games and left.

    More vendors next time would be nice. I was hoping to buy tons of stuff but just saw t-shirts. Otherwise I had a great time :)

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    Scipo9thScipo9th Registered User regular
    Another PAX Veteran here. I will agree with Jensunami this was a smaller more intimate PAX, which I think made it more enjoyable! I was able to meet a bunch of new people who were super nice and local. And it was nice having the longest line I had to stand in to play a game was an hour long. (For Dreadnought FYI). I look forward to seeing this con grow!

    Some minor complaints I have:
    1) The map in the guidebook was near useless and hard to read.
    2) The free to play arcade, volume control, or lack there of, made it hard to hear anyone/anything near or in it.
    3) Better signage for areas as well. I didn't realize there was a console free to play area on the third floor until half way through Saturday.

    My biggest complaint was from Friday. Why wasn't the main theater cleared out between panels? It was frustrating trying to find seats for the RT panel and my friends and I were given the run around, mostly due to lack of communication between the Enforcers inside the theater and those outside in the lobby, not to them being jerks. Next year if you guys could please clear the theater between panels please?

    And not a complaint but more of a curiosity, because all the Law Enforcement personal in the expo hall were super nice, a few asked for pics of my cosplay(s), but why were there so many police officers on site?

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    zealezeale Saint LouisRegistered User regular
    This was my third PAX... I've been to Prime 13 and East 14 before this. Here's my take:

    Plusses:
    1) The venue was fantastic! Not just the expo hall, but San Antonio itself. Shitty weather before and after aside, the riverwalk area and so many hotels being so close to the convention center was awesome. There was a lot of great scenery and everything was very conveniently located. I enjoyed this part much more than the slim picking surrounding the BCEC.
    2) The somewhat smaller crowd capacity made the expo hall very enjoyable. I think this also has to do with less AAA booths vomiting their lines and massive raffle crowds into the walkways, but it was much easier to get from point A to point B and it was a refreshing change.
    3) The massive space for tabletop was great and it was cool to see it so active. Also, having it adjacent to the expo hall was a good way to intermingle the different breeds of gamers, versus Prime having it located offsite.
    4) The food and water seemed reasonably priced considering that it was a convention. I never felt like I was spending entirely too much for my meals and snacks.
    5) You guys really did a great job of bringing a good cross-section of companies to this inaugural PAX. It felt like a scaled-down version of the big ones, and there was something for everyone, even if it was in lower quantities.

    Areas of opportunity:
    1) Please find some way to arrange the AAA booths to create their bottlenecks in less-conspicuous places. The biggest booths were (understandably) placed right at the main entryway to the expo hall, and of course they had to have their crowd-generating screens both facing the primary walkway, making this portion of the expo hall feel much more crammed than it needed to be. I think if some planning can go into booth orientation, it would help alleviate some of the chokepoints. East and especially Prime both need this attention to detail as well.
    2) Swag bags are getting to be unnecessary I think. This PAX's bag wasn't worth the lineup for anyone, I don't believe, and while I get that those companies want to get their advertising out to everyone, the vast, vast majority of it ends up being thrown straight into the trash once people realize that it's nothing of value. I don't have a fix for this, but if South's swag bag is going to be the precedent, I won't even bother with picking it up any longer and it seems like those resources could be better used elsewhere.

    All in all, I had an absolutely wonderful time and the post-pax comedown has been hard so far. I will do everything I can to attend next year and I can't wait to see what PAX South 2: The Sequel looks like!

    dgiab0m7h15x.png

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    SwordMageSwordMage Registered User regular
    The husband and I have hit Prime several times, as was observed in a few conversations between us, this felt like a baby PAX, and there was more space then was known what to do with.

    This is not bad.

    The lack of multiple big companies was, for me, actually a bit nice. About the only thing I was terribly interested in was Gearbox, and I knew in advance they'd be there. Having smaller projects, studios, and even some Kickstarters meant that there were (to my mind), more people to actually interact with, which is what I like. I'm more inclined to buy something these days if I can get my hands on it first and chat about it. Hearing thought processes, plans, and so forth is important. I felt like there was more of an opportunity for that here, and I appreciated it.

    It does bring us to one minor complaint from a friend of ours - she'd *really* have liked to see BioWare listed more prominently, as the only reason she found it was by stumbling across their rooms. (A check in the paper guidebook does show them listed, though. Clearly we all missed it there, as it wasn't *really* prominent. A discussion in another thread about why they weren't listed had points I agree with and won't reiterate.)
    zeale wrote: »
    2) Swag bags are getting to be unnecessary I think. This PAX's bag wasn't worth the lineup for anyone, I don't believe, and while I get that those companies want to get their advertising out to everyone, the vast, vast majority of it ends up being thrown straight into the trash once people realize that it's nothing of value. I don't have a fix for this, but if South's swag bag is going to be the precedent, I won't even bother with picking it up any longer and it seems like those resources could be better used elsewhere.

    Yes. Very much yes. I know that everyone *likes* swag, but I find that as I get older, I'm not as interested in it, or I'm after certain things from certain companies. I'm perfectly fine without the bag of pointless stuff.

    I do agree with the desire to see something better for Looking for Tabletop. While the hashtag on Twitter's nice, sometimes the connection can be a bit rough. However, I also get that logistics of that would be something to sort out, and it's a minor quibble.


    TL;DR:

    Pros:
    1. Fewer giants meant more space for the smaller outfits.
    2. San Antonio is pretty spiffy.

    Cons:
    1. Guidebook unclear about what was there.

    Other thoughts:
    1. I'm over swag bags.
    2. Easier Looking for Tabletop methods.

    SwordMage, aka Willa
    ---
    twitter: SwordMage86
    XBL: SwordMagelet
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    AnterranAnterran San Angelo, TXRegistered User new member
    This was my first PAX and I loved every second. I've been other other big conventions like BlizzCon multiple times, but I very much enjoyed the laid back atmosphere that PAX presented.

    Pros
    - Very friendly enforcers. My friend and I got lost and actually ended up in the currently-being-constuctred Expo area before the con began. Instead of someone berating us and saying we can't be here, an enforcer kindly informed us of the situation and we escorted ourselves out. No yelling, chastising, or making us feel bad.
    - Great booths. There were so many companies and developers that, even though I walked through the expo area three or four times, I kept finding little booths that contained great merch. Even found someone selling old 64 games and picked up a classic I haven't played in over a decade. I know if I went on eBay I'd have to pay some crazy high price.
    - Few AAA games and lots of indies. I'm not sure if it is because it was after the holidays and all the companies released a majority of their AAA titles, but I actually preferred seeing the little indie booths instead of there being a giant Activision or EA booth. I wouldn't have heard about half of these indies if a larger company had come and taken up their spaces. Yes, Nintendo was there, but it was a pretty concise booth that contained maybe one or two dozen New 3DSs to demo. Otherwise there was so much space for unknowns to show off their products.

    Cons
    - While I very much enjoyed the concerts, someone messed up with the audio balance. Freezepop was nearly unbearable and during the Minibosses the bass would randomly explode in volume. The second day was better, but that first night was rough.
    - Perhaps PA should create their own PAX App instead of using Guidebook because it didn't feel very fleshed out for me. It worked well as a map, but I found myself checking Twitter more often to see what the lines were like or if someone was doing a signing. Basically I wished Guidebook provided more real-time details, but that is very much nitpicking the app.


    Overall I had a fantastic time. I got to see all the panels I wanted, Mike and Jerry answered my question during one of the Q&As, demoed Majora's Mask on the New 3DS, got lots of free stuff, my Pinny collection skyrocketed, and I didn't catch the PAX pox! I will absolutely, without a doubt, be going to PAX South 2016. And who knows, I've got friends in Seattle now so I might just take a trip to Prime later this year.

    The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering. ~Bruce Lee
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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    voxparse wrote: »
    The one thing I found disconcerting was the fact that the diversity lounge was sort of stuffed in a corner. I commend PAX for the effort but not the execution. It felt haphazard.

    If PAX and the greater gaming community want to make diverse groups feel welcome and included, I don't think I'm going out on a limb suggesting that they be included in the main Expo hall. Maybe there were reasons or maybe someone felt that giving them their own room was a way of creating a safe space but that safe space should be the entire convention. Including people from all walks of life means including them in the same way as all other parties as much as possible. Separating and spotlighting groups that are different is little better than excluding them in the first place.

    I think the whole point of the various different lounges was that they were all out of the way and low key so people could relax and chat without having to yell.

    Tofystedeth on
    steam_sig.png
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    DedwrekkaDedwrekka Metal Hell adjacentRegistered User regular
    ~ The area is great, I had this conversation with friends a couple times, and while we'd love it if it was in the DFW area, there isn't that level of centrism with hotels and sights within walking distance.

    ~ Aside from the area between Twitch and Grey Box the floor didn't feel too crowded. I will say that Twitch should be given a wider space around it, not because I feel any favoritism for it, but because it is very much a "stop and stare" booth. A little into the second day I just avoided that corridor between the two booths.

    ~ I know the onus for this is mostly on the exhibitors and not PAX, but the vertical space could be utilized a lot better. The space in the Exhibition Hall and Tabletop area are huge! Signs or banners above the crowd would have been much more helpful than the stand up directions which become instant leaning-posts. Especially as exhibitors rotated in and out of the hall over the several days it would have been good to know who was where.

    ~ I enjoyed Guidebook and was utilizing it constantly throughout the weekend. I used it to direct friends and plan out my day, however the alerts for that need a serious kick in the pants. They don't do much of anything and there's no options to tweak how they're delivered or change to a sound notifier.

    ~ I felt the theaters could have been optimized better. On Sunday I was surprised to see how big the Falcon theater was after sitting in on several packed-to-the-gills events in other theaters.

    ~ Enforcers deserve a pay raise....or pay...They were awesome and super helpful and friendly.

    ~ More space, more exhibitors, more people

    ~ The first sponsor to put a free bottle of water or empty bottle into the swag bag will get all the love possible in the world. Slap your sticker on the side of a 10 cent bottle and I will buy your product out of sheer gratitude.

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