PAX East 2015 Constructive Feedback

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.



  • jdixon1972jdixon1972 Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    I hope it's ok to start this being that East 2015 has just ended. If not, could you please merge this where it would best fit.

    I wanted to do this while I had all this in my head. I'll probably add more later but here goes:


    1: I really think this was the best run PAX East 2015 of all 6 so far. Lines didn't seem unmanageable, all the enforcers I met were very friendly, the layout just worked, the expo hall wasn't a complete madhouse, outside line management wasn't that bad either.
    2: The handheld lounge section felt better organized and I fill that that section that had the Yogibo (spell?) bean bag chairs took some of the pressure off it.
    3: I finally feel that the expo hall was laid out in a better manner than any previous year (whether it was LOL/Riot not being there is always going to be a matter of debate)
    4: The general layout of the bottom floor (expo hall, que area, table top, pc freeplay/BYOC, and the few carny food stations) was so much better. Space allocation just worked. And I loved the part of the carny food section was merged into the perimeter of the expo hall. By doing that, you didn't have so much area wasted for the few carny trucks.
    5: Bag security check ran so much smoother this year. It seemed to go really fast and everyone was friendly.
    6: I got a swag bag this year!!!! Yeh, there was much special, but the allocations for them were better.
    7: I loved the free lanyards they gave out. I always thought the squeeze clips were a little dangerous (easy to press and loose your pass). The closed hook on lanyards are so much safer and prevent the "Oh my god, I just lost my pass!" syndrome.
    8: I liked that the coat check areas were in unused rooms. It gave so much more space to be used for other convention things.
    9: The allocation of the limited edition items in the merch booths seemed to be better.
    10: The Pre-PAX game night worked like a well oiled machine
    11: The ticketing and hotel sites actually worked this year. Yes, they both sold out faster than the blink of an eye, but there didn't seem to be any crashes or bad customer service that I heard of.


    1: I do wish that the con hours were longer. Maybe extending everything by an hour (expo closing at 7, concerts going till one)
    2: I really wish that East was four days long like Prime (I know east is smaller but it would get many more people a chance to get to attend). Plus, make it Thursday through Sunday instead of Friday through Monday.
    3: Guess this kind of plays off of number two, but increase the number of three day badges. Maybe make it so that only individual days are for sale, but if you choose all three days, you would get a discount. If you chose two days, you'd get a smaller discount. Choosing one day would be the normal price.
    4: Ticket and hotel availability in general. I know this is brought up every year. I have heard someone say something about offering them in batches at certain times. That way you avoid the "having to have twitter in front of you every second of every day" routine. Plus, the people handling the tickets and onpeak would have time to boost the reliability of there servers (not that reliability was a problem this year. See 11 in pros.
    5: With huge events like this, why can't there be more cabs available, atleast in the evenings. I waited in line for 15 minutes with 10 people ahead of me, and only one got a cab in that time.
    6: Booth sizes for some of the retail vendors (those selling classic games, etc.) was a complete nightmare. I can't think of the vendor, but there was one that was literally
    the size of a small closet. They had some Atari 2600 games in a corner at the back and I know I spent atleast 15 minutes on my knees getting shoved, kicked, and touched while I was trying to look through all the games to see which ones I needed.
    7: Computers in the pc freeplay were really quirky at times. We were in there three different times, and I know mine, and my sons pcs had to be rebooted atleast two times each.
    8: The lines outside in the mornings (especially Friday and Saturday) could have benefited from some better que management. On Friday, the line stretched through the small plaza to the road, then someone came and said to form a line from the entrance following the sidewalk down the side of the street. Someone then said that the line we were in was for handicap. Saturday, the same thing happened, but this time, a man said the line we were in was for exhibitors only. During both instances, we still were able to enter with no problems. It just gets you worried and makes you think that you may have to get in another line.

    All in all, the cons are little nitpicks. As I stated in the beginning, I really do believe this was the best PAX East so far (well, you have to give props to Will Wheaton as the keynote during the first one, however :)

    jdixon1972 on
  • WolfieeWolfiee MARegistered User regular
    edited March 2015
    Is this the 6th or 5th? Either way, I have been to every PAX East and each year it gets progressively worse, in my honest opinion. I definitely had more fun this year, as I told my impatient boyfriend/group that I WILL be waiting in lines this time to actually play something versus walking around the expo floor in circles, but the overall show was lacking for me.

    - Indie booth. I'm a AAA gamer - I come to PAX for the AAA games mostly. Since there was a severe lack in AAA games this year again, I spent more time in the indie booth playing some really fun games. Most that were, however, already available to play via consoles or Steam or early access.

    - While I WAS sad Riot didn't make an appearance this year (honestly they have the best booth), it was nice not to have the stairs blocked by the enormous crowd it draws.

    - People are great, enforcers are great. PAX has a great atmosphere and I always feel safe and welcome.

    - Oh, I had to add this. My boyfriend's little brother lost his three day badge on Saturday somewhere on the T. We went to the help desk, where someone took us aside. I told him I had my purchase receipt and that there was no way he could expect us to pay an additional $40 for something I had confirmation on of paying. By sheer luck, he happened to have a three day badge that no one claimed that he gave to my boyfriend's little brother. I am very thankful for this, but also unsure of what would have happened if he didn't have that extra badge. I feel like PAX should have extra badges or something else for those who lose theirs on accident, as long as they have proof of purchase.

    - PARKING. Either we are BLIND, or BCEC really dropped the ball this year in terms of parking. I'm an MA resident - Boston is an hour drive for us. Last year, we got a hotel, but did park the first day of the con because check-in wasn't until later; we had no issues following the signs and parking last year. This year, however, we drove around for an HOUR AND A HALF on Friday looking for the overflow parking lot. The signs just completely stopped. We followed the signs to the convention center parking, which was obviously already full, but once out of that area we were left for dead. No signs. We aren't city dwellers, we had no idea where we were going. After spending half the morning sitting in traffic and driving around in circles, we finally stumbled upon the overflow parking we parked in last year (a shuttle then takes you to the convention center from there). Sadly, it was also full (probably due to the snow). The guy sitting in his car blocking the entrance was less than helpful, saying that he "thinks" the only parking left was valet. So off we drive again until we eventually found the Seaport hotel's parking garage and ended up in there for $30. The next two days the group listened to me and we took the T.

    - As usual, the number of attendees is out of hand. Start charging more for badges and limit the amount of people. For the very few AAA games that were there, the lines were capped at all times. "Come back in 40 minutes" was bullshit - would have been better off just saying "you'll never get in this line so stop trying."

    - Lack of non-indie games? The Xbox and Gigantic booth were my favorite things on the show floor (and then Oculus and Overwatch, but they were impossible to ever get into so they don't count), everything else felt like non-gaming companies (NewEgg, YouTube, etc) or developers that had these big awesome booths with nothing except a few TVs to watch game play, nothing playable. No Ubisoft, Bethesda, Riot, 2k, RockStar, etc that have awesome booths and games. I really wish PAX East wasn't right before E3, we get shafted because of it.

    - I say this every year, but cut down on demo times. 20, 30, 40 minutes to try a game is absolutely outrageous. I rather stand in a 30 minute line and play for like 10 minutes than have to wait 4 hours. The Halo 5 booth DID THIS RIGHT. Halo 5 had 3 games going at a time and the game types were each around 10 minutes long - this line moved so fast I actually got to play it multiple times.

    - I have no idea what any of the panels were about. What were these terrible panels.

    Wolfiee on
    Badges [ ] Hotel [ ] Complete [x] Excitement [x]
  • SpiritmasterSpiritmaster Registered User regular
    I have been to every PAX East and each year it gets progressively worse, in my honest opinion.

    Agree with this. Fun levels for PAX were at a max the first year and progressively gotten worse every year. Numerous factors go into me experiencing this including huge lines (shorten demo times, pre register), lack of games to show, raffles that make you sniff others armpits (please no more floor raffles, just ban them), Expo hall floor being so backed you can even experience the show, panel lines that may as well just say "just go home". Just thinking about it makes me leave early again.

    The general rudeness of the population going too astounds me as well. The first few i remember as everyone being so nice and friendly, now, my pregnant wife had to basically make sure she wasn't assaulted on the expo floor. Terrible.

  • oytrayoytray PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    Third time at PAX East; I'm glad I came, but this was definitely nearly as frustrating as my last trip (and my last trip started with my car's engine exploding two hours outside of Boston and getting stuck on the turnpike all of Friday).

    1. The expo hall was much easier to navigate. I suspect it was the lack of big developers this year, but it did feel better laid out. I think that if Riot does come back next year, putting them further from the stairs and closer to a wall would somewhat replicate this success.
    2. The enforcers (minus an incident I read about yesterday) were very on top of their game, and did their best to keep everyone happy and entertained during queues and the general mayhem.
    3. The lack of big devs did basically force me to go to more panels, which is a good thing. I enjoyed them, and it meant space for other people was freed up in the expo hall too.
    4. The swag bags for free stuff were handled very well. Having people just walk through a line to grab a bag and go makes it a lot simpler than waiting around at each individual booth and clogging the entire floor with people who just want free things. Wish there had been a bit more in the bags, but I'm pretty happy with my magic deck and free LOL skin.

    1. Everything dealing with transportation. The first day I left Sturbridge (about an hour south of Boston) at roughly 8:30 AM. I arrived at the Convention Center around noon (so I was already in a bad mood). I was then directed to the normal parking lot, which was full (as expected), then directed around a few side streets and swiftly abandoned (much like Wolfiee experienced above). I had to make a full loop back to the center (which took an hour and a half), to go through where they were directing and rolled down my window to yell at the transportation authority person to tell me where I was actually supposed to go; he then directed me in the polar opposite direction from where they were waving people on. Neither of the other two times I went was this an issue at all. It soured the entire day for me, since I arrived after 2:00 that day having left my comparatively close hotel six hours prior.
    2. I think, following on the parking issues, it was a terrible decision to have the convention at the beginning of March. Travel in general was a nightmare, and I had to secure a last-minute hotel room on Thursday night to avoid driving from PA early in the morning on a sheet of ice. This is definitely the earliest I've seen PAX, and whatever the reason was it should have been moved, either temporally to a later date or physically to a warmer locale (DC, Atlanta, or Philly). I still don't grasp why Boston is the location when Philly is much more convenient to the entire eastern seaboard, but that's another matter.
    3. Big names were missing from the lineup, and some events were even canceled entirely (such as the NVIDIA one on Friday). I suspect it's a combination of E3 and the weather, but having gone other years I could tell that this year was pretty under-represented. The only big-name booth (Blizzard) I wanted to see was so flooded with people by the time I could force my way through the crowds that I never even bothered stopping by. A weird reversal when a company's booth that I thought lackluster two years ago is now the most popular one (and they generally don't care much about PAX since they have their own con anyway).
    4. PC freeplay room computer (like the OP). Two of my friends and I went to play a round of LOL, ended up playing L4D2 because it wasn't patched (??) and had to wait for an enforcer to log onto the Steam account, since the computer had to be entirely rebooted. On the plus side, we had other PAX attendees randomly jump in on our game of salvage, which was a fun surprise.

  • AlextheGreat77AlextheGreat77 Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    It was my first PAX, so my thoughts may be a little different than seasoned vets. But here goes!


    - Tabletop! This would probably my favorite part of the Expo floor. I had no idea PAX had such a strong board game presence. I was able to test out some really neat new ones and discovered games I otherwise would not have known (Alchemy, Pixel Glory, Sentinels).

    - Indies. Tons of great indies I wouldn't have known if I hadn't come, and it was a great opportunity to speak with devs and share in their passion for their work. A.N.N.E. comes to mind. Didn't even know that game was a thing. Loved it and can't wait for it!

    - People. Just about everyone we ran into was really friendly, especially the enforcers. One even came over unannounced and taught us how to play Sentinels for a couple of hours Sat night. Just about everyone was talkative and wanting to strike up a conversation.


    - Lack of interesting panels. Granted, I only went to a handful But I didn't find any of the panels particularly engaging. In fact, I walked out of one because the panelists weren't engaging at all and one panelist kept talking over the rest.

    - Lines. I understand lines are a given at any convention, and that patience is indeed a virtue. But I tried to hop into the Square Enix and Nintendo lines multiple times throughout the day only to be greeted by a "this line is full" sign. Missed out on some stuff because of this.

    - Congestion on the Expo floor. Very difficult to move around on Saturday.

    Overall, had a great time! Saw some amazing cosplays and made new friends. Look forward to next year.

    AlextheGreat77 on
  • AmandaGCGAmandaGCG Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    So this is my 5th PAX and it was my least favorite.


    1. Expo Hall was a little easier to navigate around this year and not as congested as normal (as stated prior prob cause of Riot not being there)
    2. Panels seemed not as hard to get into this year possibly because everyone was trying to get in line for a game.
    3. The temperature overall even in Cosplay was comfortable even with all the mouth breathers in the expo hall.
    4. The Bomb dogs are cute.
    5. The people at the information booth are actually helpful with information
    6. The people I'd walk by singing rock band out of key. I never smiled so much at bad singing so thank you cause it was sick.


    1. BAG/COAT check - YO. This was never a problem in all the PAX Easts I've attended. They moved the shit to rooms this year and on SUNDAY (WHEN THEY KNOW EVERYONE HAS THEIR LUGGAGE WHO CANT STAY ANOTHER NIGHT) all the rooms by noon were full on Bag Check. The employees working were rude and told some of us there's no other options. This is where the info desk kicks in to help because they set up an extra bag check in the Expo hall by indie tabletop and PC. Thank goodness for them because I was about to flip on them.
    2. Lack of bigger titles - okay indie is great but there are so many important AAA titles coming out this year and not one big developer with these was honestly there, not even ubisoft. Come on.
    3. LINES LINES LINES - Yeah the start says enough but nobody could get into play overwatch i swear.
    4. FOOD IS STILL CRAP - yes please invest with all our money into some banging good trucks. There are prob so many food trucks with unique and FLAVORFULL food who would love to rent a spot at the con I bet if they were allowed instead of the crappy same stuff every year.
    5. People still forget to bathe.

    AmandaGCG on
  • Pure DinPure Din Boston-areaRegistered User regular
    AmandaGCG wrote: »
    4. FOOD IS STILL CRAP - yes please invest with all our money into some banging good trucks. There are prob so many food trucks with unique and FLAVORFULL food who would love to rent a spot at the con I bet if they were allowed instead of the crappy same stuff every year.

    Umm, there were totally food trucks outside, I could see a parking lot full of them near the side entrance under the handheld lounge.

    cookiekrushLe_GoatDisruptedCapitalistAlextheGreat77PhoBaoBoazerzhulpardimatepeetsnackHearthsingerSteel Fireschuss
  • oytrayoytray PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    Pure Din wrote: »
    AmandaGCG wrote: »
    4. FOOD IS STILL CRAP - yes please invest with all our money into some banging good trucks. There are prob so many food trucks with unique and FLAVORFULL food who would love to rent a spot at the con I bet if they were allowed instead of the crappy same stuff every year.

    Umm, there were totally food trucks outside, I could see a parking lot full of them near the side entrance under the handheld lounge.

    I saw the Hot Pockets food truck, which gave me a much-needed laugh on Friday as I was driving around in circles. I think that was parked out front, though.

  • Pure DinPure Din Boston-areaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2015
    oytray wrote: »
    Pure Din wrote: »
    AmandaGCG wrote: »
    4. FOOD IS STILL CRAP - yes please invest with all our money into some banging good trucks. There are prob so many food trucks with unique and FLAVORFULL food who would love to rent a spot at the con I bet if they were allowed instead of the crappy same stuff every year.

    Umm, there were totally food trucks outside, I could see a parking lot full of them near the side entrance under the handheld lounge.

    I saw the Hot Pockets food truck, which gave me a much-needed laugh on Friday as I was driving around in circles. I think that was parked out front, though.

    No, this was on the east(?) side of the convention center, the entrance that is right under the handheld lounge, and goes into tabletop.

    Edit: Here's a map:

    Pure Din on
    Le_GoatPhoBaoBoaSteel Fire
  • rascrushrascrush Registered User regular

    . Not nearly as crazy lines when it came to the floor prob because a lot of the big people were not there
    . Everyone seemed to be very nice to people as pax always is and met a bunch of cool new people this way
    . Tickets and hotel did not crash this year

    . No bag check or very limited on sunday. I got there a lil after 11 on sunday to find out 1st two places could not take bags only coats after being told by a enforcer that a 3rd one had just opened i then walked all the way to the other side of pax again only to find out nope not really open. I guess the convention center did not have enough people to open the other one from what I have been told. This is something that for sure needs to be fixed as its sunday everyone has there bags sunday. The fact that I had a huge duffle bag with me made it impossible for me to go on the show room floor cause its hard enough without a huge bag never mind with one.

    . Taxi's Last year it seemed like there was always a bunch out front when u needed one this year just did not seem to be the case like they did not know were to drop or pick up like last year. Last year was perfect they pulled right in right in front and bam you good to go this year they were dropping people off in the street pretty much just not well run at all this year.

    . Shuttles I know they can not know what is gonna happen in traffic but if they could at least try to get there on time that would be very helpful.

    . Even though this goes against my 1st thing in pro's not enough big games there to me just was not enough and the ones that were there I just had no interest in at all so this sucked for me a lil. I did play some indie games which were good but i missed that standing in a long ass line for the huge game demo this year that I got last year.

    All in all still a great time though and I will for sure be back next year for number 3

  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    Am I at a different convention than everyone else? It's my 4th PAX East and I enjoyed this one more than the last two. Yeah, there were less AAA titles there, but I enjoyed that aspect because it gave way to a bunch of smaller things. Hell, 20XX was the best find for me! I also got more involved with the community events: Pre-PAX Game Night, Assassins Ball, Community Steins. I met so many awesome people and it just made everything exponentially better.

    I REALLY like what they did with the queue room this year. Having it placed as a separator was a smart move and gave a better feel to the back area than previous years.

    The only major complaint I have is with the panels. They used to be amazing and required choosing between panels in the same time slot. Now, I find maybe 2 each day, and even then I'm kind of disappointed. While I know they cannot control how the panels are run, some were just... well let's just say that next year I'm going to screen panels to avoid certain individuals so that I don't have to deal with those speakers again. The Achievement Unlocked panel was such a letdown. I go to a "geek parenting" panel every year to get some extra tips and the thing turned into a giant feminist rant at the end and had extremely little to do with parenting, which made me question why I was even there to begin with. At some points, the moderator had the attitude of "this is how you do it and if you don't do it my way, you're a crappy parent," which totally took me by surprise. The UX panel was fantastic, but the way they handled the lines was terrible, because they opened the door to the queue room and just let everyone run through the door, which totally blew because we showed up early for a good seat and ended up one of the last people to enter.

    I love tabletop to death, but it seemed like they shortened the freeplay area pretty drastically. It could be the layout that gave that illusion, but I also don't think that Magic needs that big of an area. I never saw those tables filled to the point where they needed that many tables. I saw people wandering around trying to find a place to sit, but nope... those are Magic tables so go sit on the floor or something.

    Parking/transportation: If you've paid attention to the weather around here, you'll notice how crappy it has been for everyone. I don't even think it was possible to make this aspect of the convention decent; let's just chalk this up to a fluke because I cannot even begin to come up with a solution to this year's monstrosity of snow/ice. I pity anyone that had to deal with this.

    For those complaining about BO: just take a look at the type of convention this is. BO on this level is disgusting but expected. I warned my girlfriend about it before we came in: "Listen, there are a good deal of people here who have never heard the word 'hygiene' and cropdust like it's their job. Just giving you a forewarning." When I play in X-Wing tournaments, there are giant jars of odor eaters in the corners for this very reason; it's nasty, but at least they prepare for it. Hell, there were moments of the exact opposite where someone had WAY too much perfume or cologne on to the point where I would have welcomed a fart just to get the stench of that overpowering Sex Panther out of my nose. You cannot blame PAX for this. If it bothers you this much, bring tubes of Vaseline with you and put a bit under each nostril.

    Lines: everyone hates them (few more than I do) and there is no way to avoid them. Make a choice: either stand around for an hour to play (which I cannot stomach doing) or avoid the lines and watch from afar to determine if you want to play the demo in 3 months (which I do every year). I'm sorry that PAX will not grant you a super-skip-the-lines pass, so I really don't get why people complain so much about the lines. Was it like that 3-5 years ago? No. Why? Because badges were still available for purchase during the event and now it sells out crazy quick. If you can come up with a way to change how lines can be improved (realistically), then by all means do so because I promise you they have been working on it for decades and no one has come up with a solution for a reason: it's impossible to get rid of lines. All they can do is try to manipulate the flow with winding the lines around or telling people that the queue is full and come back in 30 minutes.

    I completely agree that this year had some real asshats who were cutting, shoving and just being dicks in general. One gem at the Westin Mezzanine was giving a bartender shit when he was asked to just put his glass on the table, and he responded with "So... you want me to do your job for you?" It was shocking really, because PAX crowds are usually the nicest people. Sadly, there isn't much that can be done because PAX cannot police rudeness and entitled jerks are going to continue being just that.

    Congestion: it was sooooo much better than the past couple of years, especially last year. They are fitting thousands and thousands of people into this hall and I think they did a great job this year. Having Riot gone was a massive help.

    I apologize for going after some of the cons that people are putting up, but the title of this thread is "constructive feedback" and there isn't anything constructive about complaining over lines and BO.

    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
  • kyoyakyoya Registered User new member
    edited March 2015
    This is also my fifth PAX EAST at the BCEC, and this year it felt like there was some community and togetherness missing. Here are my PROS and CONS:

    • The food trucks at the rear of the BCEC next to D Street were awesome, shout out to the Chicken & Rice Guys truck which I ate two days in a row.
    • Seeing a Dunkin' Donuts and Jimmy John's behind/next to the Westin on D Street was a great alternative for coffee and food instead of Starbucks and expensive hotel food. However, I don't think many people knew about these choices.
    • Security was faster with the bag check.
    • The Yogibo bean bag area was cool. More of that please.
    • The back area in the Expo Hall where the ESL Arena/Halo Tournament was being held was an excellent idea. Please consider giving these areas to broadcasters and stage events to Twitch, YouTube, Riot Games to bring down the general Expo Hall congestion.
    • Enforcers were super friendly and helpful.
    • Music concert line-up was fun.
    • Boston rocks, please keep PAX EAST in Boston, the proposed expansion of the BCEC with added hotels will bring good things.

    • Raffle giveaways need to stop - the crowds for these cause congestion in the expo hall.
    • A variety of drinks need to be added to the vending machines. Pepsi or Mountain Dew does not appeal - a little love for 7-UP, Dr. Pepper and even bottled water please?
    • The sound/audio mixing at some of the panels were awful, they need to turn up the volume a little more, perhaps if the audio mixers sat in the middle of the room instead of the front?
    • I was not impressed with the Classic Arcade, where were the classics? I'm sorry, but part of the spirt of PAX EAST is not there without ACAM. It's my hope that PAX could help bring ACAM/FunSpot back with a little donation help or reimbursement of transport/setup costs. Please move the Handheld Lounge and Classic Arcade room away from one another. No one wants to have to walk past bodies on the ground to play arcade games.
    • Please consider bringing the Jam Space and Classic Arcade to the center or front of the BCEC. These areas are part of the community and spirit of PAX and they should not have been in the back.
    • The BCEC needs to keep the escalators running and unblocked at all hours. Turning them off to get to Level 0 of the BCEC late in the evening on Saturday night to "go green" was an inconvenience and kind of a hazard. Many of us had to resort to elevators. Myself and many of the attendees also found the expo hall/food court entrances closed (leading from the escalators) on Saturday morning - again, an inconvenience.

    kyoya on
  • SkrepoSkrepo Registered User regular
    Another PAXEast vet (6th) checking in. I had a good time but it just felt a bit off this year.
    1) The new overall layout. Everything felt like it had just enough space. I was concerned about the tabletop move but I liked it a lot.
    2) The people were great, as always.
    3) The additional beanbags outside of the handheld lounge.
    4) The food trucks outside the convention center. Could of been advertised better somehow, though that may be an issue with the BCEC.
    5) The Riot cosplay lounge.

    1) Twitch is the new Riot. Having them and the other streaming booth right by the stairs created a jamb on Sunday. Though the Enforcers did do a good job on keeping a space open.
    2) Lack of big games.
    3) The overall vibe. Something seemed off, maybe it's because I'm older now and don't follow a lot of the twitter/twitch/Youtube scene. A lot of the congestion on the floor and in the halls appeared to be caused by people flocking to meet people from them.

  • cocowoushicocowoushi Registered User regular
    I really wonder if I went to the same con as some people, too. A lot of the feedback people are giving, PAX has like, no control over at all. Booths are as big as the vendors pay for. That's not PAX's ball drop. Develops bring 40min long demos isn't PAX's bad. (Looking at you ArenaNet.) Panels are submitted by outside people, PAX isn't at fault if there just isn't ones you want to see submitted. Same for AAA devs. Crappy/overpriced BECE food is BECE ripping you off. PAX can't hose people down if they reek.


    - After last year I was very concerned about what the women's bathroom situation was going to be like this year. I only saw one Women's-to-Men's bathroom conversion this whole time. Thank you SO MUCH for pulling through. Also, more Gender neutral bathrooms would be cool too, but the one near the diversity lounge is already a great step for the second year in a row!

    - Expo hall layout was the best its been this year. The ESL and other side shows being put off to the side and divided away with own seating was great.

    - Coat Check in spare rooms was fantastic. Please continue this.

    - FreePlay LFG room was a great idea. Managed to play some smash easily. Would be nice if it was a little bigger just to accommodate for the people waiting to get in on a game so it's not congested.

    - Lines were always long but walking around didn't feel like a hassle of people, considering the number of people and the environment. Enforcers with end line signs were present and helpful.

    - Please continue doing this format for Q&A. It really is the best. I wish other panels could do it this way.

    - Yogibo. Thank you for letting them have extra spots besides their booth.

    - I didn't see any signs for swag bag pick up line. On Sunday I was browsing Tabletop before 11:30 and saw this huge line forming in the queue area. Since this is the same area for signings, I didn't think anything of it at first, but decided to ask just in case. Sure enough it was for Swag bags, which I was waiting for. A sign for this or enforcer direction when the line begins would be great.

    - I remember Shuttle pickups at BECE being on the handheld lounge side of the building last year. (Maybe it was 2 years ago.) but that changed to the opposite side of BCEC this year and I had to ask the help desk where to go since I had no idea. Adding this info to the badges on the back or Guidebook would be helpful.

  • oytrayoytray PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    cocowoushi wrote: »
    I really wonder if I went to the same con as some people, too. A lot of the feedback people are giving, PAX has like, no control over at all. Booths are as big as the vendors pay for. That's not PAX's ball drop. Develops bring 40min long demos isn't PAX's bad. (Looking at you ArenaNet.) Panels are submitted by outside people, PAX isn't at fault if there just isn't ones you want to see submitted. Same for AAA devs. Crappy/overpriced BECE food is BECE ripping you off. PAX can't hose people down if they reek.

    I don't blame them for the long lines, and I enjoyed myself and am glad I went. I'm very mainstream as far as my games are concerned, however, so seeing so few big names there was a disappointment to me, and I do legitimately think that, had this not been so close to E3 (and if it had simply not been held in winter in Boston), there would have been more there. A lot of other devs have come other years (looking at you, Bethesda and your bar crawl), so something kept them away this time. There were even some cancellations, which isn't very common (especially for big names, like NVIDIA in the main theater cancelling on Friday).

  • SepiothSepioth Boston, MARegistered User regular
    edited March 2015
    - The food trucks. While I did not eat from them I was glad to see an alternative to getting food. They just needed better advertisement. I did not know until late Saturday they where there.

    - No Riot games

    - Parking. Saturday sucked. Like really sucked. There was one sign near the Expo that said Main Lot Full. So we went straight and found 2 dead signs with nothing on them. Really? (Last year on had the arrow pointing wrong way)

    - Floor raffles. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GAMING Ban companies like Newegg from floor raffles. We live in a world full of wonderful technology. Maybe offer a way to enter floor raffles by text or email. Why are we still using paper tickets? You win they text you. Then you go back to their booth to claim your prize. Don't have a smart phone to access texts or emails .. then you don't get to enter.

    - Food quality. Many times the food was cold. Cooked but cold. Also can you ask them to maybe turn up the soda coolers. I could never get a cold water or soda from them. Always warm.

    - Dining areas. WHY on earth was there extremely limited tables and chairs this year? Only place to ever eat was on the floor. 100,000 people at a convention 50 places to sit and eat. Last year they had tables set up near tabletop as well as food vendors. We need a place to relax and eat.

    - Lines. I did not get a chance to even try any games besides Indie stuff. These companies doing playable demos really need to manage their lines better. It should not be always up to the enforcers. Also impose a stricter demo time limit. 10-15 mins max. Why are they doing 30+ min demos? We are here to test/try a game not complete it.

    - AAA Companies. I know that GDC and E3 are around similar times but there really needs to be more of them.

    - Rude employees. While it did not happen much as I tried to avoid the BCEC employees. When I did interact they where typically rude.

    - The audio/video. Whoever was in charge of mixing the audio/video during the concerts needs to be fired and go back to college. Like seriously. It was so amateurish. At one point i looked over and saw him taking video with his cell phone. He seemed to have a fetish with mixing live video and recorded video onto one screen. There where two main screens on each side of stage and a center one behind stage. During MC Frontalot he was mixing Live footage (also shown on the two big screens) with MC Frontalot's music videos. You could not see the music video. While not a big issue it was stupid. Also the volumes where so off balance. While MC Frontalot sounded great Vic20 Was SOOO loud it hurt to listen to.

    - Swag bags. What's the point really. Another year another pack of Magic cards. But his year took the cake for complete lack of content. Magic cards and a few ads. YAY. And waht was with this years lanyard. While it was a relief to not see another blue Behemoth lanyard the Ubisoft one was odd. Where these left over from some event and had to give them away? Why not actually have you know a PAX themed lanyard. Black with PAX East 2015 on it.

    Unfortunately I know a lot of the cons posted in this thread will not go away as they have been addresses year after year and still happen.

    All in all I had a great time like I do every year.

    Sepioth on
  • PainePaine Registered User regular
    I confess that I'm confused by the most common comments so far in this thread. You want more AAA games but don't want to wait in line for Overwatch? How are those two things compatible? Every AAA booth is always going to have a full line all day, either you're willing to wait or you're not.

    Anyway. I've been to every PAX East so far and my focus is usually on attending panels:

    • Expo floor traffic was better than previous years. Still not perfect, but better.
    • Enforcers in line management were back to their usual high standards after some poor personal experiences in '12 and '13. They struck a good balance between compressing lines and still letting people sit for most of the wait. Lines in queue rooms were actively managed and the silo system was clearly explained when it was time to load the theater.
    • Panel selection was pretty good this year. I was able to find a panel I was at least mildly interested in every couple of hours each day. Some of them were not as engaging as I was hoping, but that's not PAX's fault.
    • Lanyard clips were much better, accidental badge loss seems much less likely with the new clips.

    • If an expo booth is going to have a raffle or show, they need to provide space for their audience WITHIN their booth. I was coming down the escalators from the main lobby on Sunday and the entire pathway was blocked by people standing and watching the Polaris booth. Not safe. Enforcers were there but weren't telling the people standing still in the middle of the pathway to move along.
    • Line Entertainment Enforcers are doing their best, but most people in the line are already entertaining themselves. Perhaps that manpower could be better used elsewhere?
    • I would have preferred fewer panels of the "How To Succeed As A [steamer/indie designer/blogger/etc]" variety as there seemed to be an overabundance of those types. This is a fan convention, not an industry convention.
    • BCEC wifi was noticeably worse this year. In previous years I was able to stay up-to-date on twitter fairly consistently, this year I could only connect to the network on rare occasions.

  • CabadrinCabadrin Boston, MARegistered User regular
    edited March 2015
    6th PAX East, 7th PAX overall.

    • Line control on the show floor was a lot better. Most likely due to the lack of huge AAA publishers like Riot and 2K. As much as they love showing off cool bug things, they provide huge traffic jams that always clog up the floor, and lacking them the expo floor was a lot better this year.
    • Loved the variety in booths this year! From the Oculus booth and their lounge, to the jaggy Polaris booth, to the awesome Monster Hunter trailer, the booths had a lot of variety this year.
    • Loved the expanded size of the indie area. Overall it feels like the expo floor was about 10% - 15% larger than last year.
    • Tabletop area remains awesome.
    • Magic area with an announcer was great, and a lot clearer for players.
    • Cospitality and Exhibitor lounges were awesome. Thanks to Curse for putting these on - the coffee, snacks, and just quieter areas were great.
    • Food scattered across the expo hall. This made it a lot easier to find food near where you were.
    • Food trucks! So glad this happened this year. There need to be more of them, and they need to be more prominent next year.

    • Same feedback I had last year, we have enough merch booths now that making a dedicated merch area probably has merit. Add in larger hallways there, design booths specifically for traffic in/out (lanes through the goods), etc.
    • Timing was awful. I know the PAX folks already heard this, but having PAX East right after GDC was not a great move. To the above posters, E3 is not the reason many developers had smaller presences - it was the fact that GDC was last week, and ended the day PAX East began. A lot of friends who were out at GDC couldn't make PAX East due to the conflict.
    • Weather. Last year, with PAX East in April, the weather was awesome. In the beginning of March is just cold and miserable. Let's do it a bit later next year.

    Overall, had a good time, although I am getting sick and am so incredibly tired after the show. Thanks for another PAX!

    Cabadrin on
  • VGguy49VGguy49 Registered User regular
    Second time at a PAX or PAX East!

    Pros: *More exhibitors (I care about) than last year (AKA Nintendo and Capcom)
    *Lines were a lot better this year
    *Lots of awesome games from indes and big devs
    *Lots of awesome people

    Cons: *The date. It was freezing outside, and walking for more than 2 minutes was awful. Also due to a combination of the whole plain crash thing and a blizzard, my flight got canceled which sucked. Good thing its late April next year
    *This is tiny but Shuttles seemed off schedule
    *Panel "cancellations" or panel on the schedule that did not exist (Jontron and NormalBoots)

    Wishes he could change his username
  • rtm416rtm416 NYRegistered User regular
    jdixon1972 wrote: »
    10: The Pre-PAX game night worked like a well oiled machine

    I'm so happy! I was worried I was gonna screw it up somehow.

  • MephistoN7MephistoN7 Sexual Tyrannosaurus Keene, NHRegistered User regular
    I'm going to jump in the same boat and question whether people attended the same PAX as me. I've been all six years, and this year easily had more pros than cons. Before listing mine, some comments on things people brought up.

    -Not having AAA titles isn't a fault of PAX, it's a fault of scheduling. What exactly was Ubisoft going to demo? Bethesda? Sony (who never goes anyway)? I understand people were disappointed that the big developers were no shows, but if they had nothing to show what exactly would be the point? Hell, the Capcom booth was a giant merch booth with a Monster Hunter area in front of it. PAX East is too far away from E3 to walk in and say "Here you go! Assassin's Creed 6! Fallout 4!". That's why Nintendo skipped last year and killed it this year. The focus on Indie titles also speaks to the unsettling vibe of the current debate in gaming: that AAA sequels are killing the industry's credibility, relying on indie games to fill the void- the irony being that those are starting to become the same (SNES graphics, zombies, Gauntlet tribute, tower defense, etc).
    -Speaking of scheduling, it's not like Penny Arcade sat there and said "Let's hold this in the dead of winter. Brilliant!". These dates are planned years in advance based on the availability of BCEC. "Well, just have it somewhere else." They're contracted through 2026, so yeah... not happening anytime soon. Ironically, this was the most beautiful weekend Boston has had in months. Not that the out-of-towners would know. Yes, you have to wear coats in March.
    -Food. Off site options are far more plentiful than people believe. I can't speak for on site because I always bring my own food. But I prefer efficiency vs succumbing to convenience.
    -Elevators. Enough said.
    -Dr. Pepper and 7-Up are Coke products. The vending machines were Pepsi. I hope this illuminates why these didn't exist. In past years, there were entire machines devoted solely to Redbull, so it's not too surprising to see half the Pepsi machine occupied by Kickstart.

    -Getting rid of Riot Games and other unnecessarily constructed booths (Wildstar, for a past example). It's nothing against Riot specifically, who should probably go the BioWare route and just hijack a conference room for all three days (seriously, it's the greatest solution- far more people with isolation from others to do whatever you want). But those concert-esque environments absolutely killed the ebb and flow of the show last year and 2013, and largely due to people's "shiny red ball' tendency to stop in the middle of the moving line of people and stare (please stop doing this: if you wouldn't do it driving, you shouldn't do it walking either). Although they were replaced by something else... (see Con 1)
    -Bag check efficiency. Last year was the first year of bag checks due to the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2012. In prior years we just strolled right in, which in hindsight seems like a really bad idea. But the amount of stations was double from last year, really moving the flow along (longest I was in line for bag check was 2 minutes on Saturday). On Sunday, I had my luggage with me and dreaded being "that guy" who had to open up the suitcase and everything else. But they simply waved me over to the canine unit and the dog just sniffed inside both bags. Simple, painless, *nerd voice* and safe!
    -FINALLY utilizing floor space. I love PAX East, but every single year I stare at the Expo Hall from the catwalk and say "Man, they really need to expand and capitalize". Done. Food vendors were consolidated near the back and the show floor was easily pulled back further. When I can walk from the main entrance escalators to the far back of the Hall and wonder when it actually ends, you know it's being done right.
    -Better line enforcement. Last year was an improvement, this year was the best. If it says "Come back in 30 minutes", talk to the person. Don't just assume. For all you know, he/she wrote that 23 minutes ago. It's how I got into Halo 5 and how I got into the FFXIV Shiva Challenge. But Enforcers were far more informed and truthful this time around. This is why the line is long, this is what the wait is looking like, and after X amount of time "No more people, because you won't get in before the show ends."
    -Spreading out Handheld Lounge. I know it wasn't exactly intended, but the second lounge set up to promote those comfy ass chairs really helped disperse the crowd from what is easily one of the best features of PAX. And being around the corner from the actual Lounge, you were still a target for Street Passes.
    -More informed Enforcers. I don't know if they were quizzed or had to go through boot camp, but it was hard to find one who didn't have an answer. The few that did clearly knew who would have the answer.
    -Better swag bag control. Anyone who attended 2014 knows the swag bag handling was a fiasco. For the unknowing, bags were always just left on the tables with lanyards and guides as you entered the Expo Hall to line up before the show. Leftover bags were left unattended on the tables for late attendees. But last year, they included PAX exclusive Cards Against Humanity cards- prompting people to literally take entire boxes of swag bags to swipe the cards. This year stepped the game up, forcing people to come back 90 minutes after the show began and corralling them into controlled lines monitored by several Enforcers to ensure that everyone- early or late- got a bag. Good thing, too. Superfight cards!!

    -Replacing concert boots with raffle booths. Raffles have been a part of PAX East since the beginning, and have never been an issue. Whether it's taking people's personal information and contacting them privately on Sunday or just having the drawing right then and there (Alienware's Wheel of Fortune), there was always an organized means to handling it. Then companies like Newegg decided to change it up, and things went completely downhill. The raffle lines seemed to degrade into large mobs hovering around which attracted the aforementioned "shiny red ball" group and quickly spiraled out of control. Now granted, they weren't plentiful and were kept isolated to the outset of the Expo Hall. And this isn't PAX's fault, but one would think the Exhibitor would disclose this to them when applying for booth space.
    -Restricting demo times. Again, not a fault of PAX. But still worth mentioning. Most long lines weren't even that long in size, just wait. Two that I played that were huge offenders were at Square-Enix, but for different reasons. The FFXIV Shiva Challenge was a short line in principle since each demo required 8 players with three stations set up. But teams were given 30 minutes to do whatever they needed, allowing them to get situated and setup their characters or wipe as many times as needed on Shiva. The demo ended either if she was defeated or if the 30 minutes expired. The problem is lots of players just spend 20 minutes dicking around and doing nothing (the group in front of us spent 15 minutes emoting), creating unnecessary delays. The Type-0 demo was just way too long for an expo. You were allowed to play from the demo's beginning all the way up to the boss. Beating her showed a new trailer for the game to "end" your demo. After waiting... 90 minutes or so (not a complaint on waiting- it's a convention, if you don't like waiting in lines go home), I got my chance at the demo and played it start to finish. When the final tally came up, 41 minutes. The trailer? Another 5 minutes. That's ALOT, even if there were some ungodly amount of stations set up to play it. Although in fairness, some people had to wait longer because "Ick, I'm not playing on an Xbox controller." and had to wait for a PS4 to free up (real gamers play multiplatform).
    -Not as much swag. Once more, not a fault of PAX and more a minor nitpick than anything, but the swag haul has gradually decreased year after year and this year's was at an all-time low. Now I completely understand the logic of wanting people to actually play the games or see the booth instead of just walking by and taking a free t-shirt or pins. But part of the experience of PAX was walking away with a bag full of promotional material and this year just didn't have as much as usual.
    -Extending the Expo Hall hours to 7pm would be a nice touch, allow just enough time for those who do wait in line for certain things to fully enjoy the show. The overall show itself ending at Midnight is still reasonable to me, especially given the 8am BCEC opening.

    Again, I've been all six years and this was easily one of the best. Met so many people, got so many signatures and photo ops, and enjoyed playing great games- doesn't matter if it was AAA or indie (diversify your options, people). Looking forward to it again next year.


  • FattyMcBlobicusFattyMcBlobicus Registered User new member
    3rd PAX East (2012, 2013, 2015) 2nd time springing for the 3-day pass, just registered here to share my thoughts.

    I live on the south coast of Mass. so when PAX East was first announced I was pumped, I feel truly lucky to have such a world-class expo so close to me, this also means I'm not surprised by Boston's traffic or confusing roadways/subways. First year I went on Sat. only, which was a huge mistake since it barely left any time to do any of the things I had in mind. This year I bought two 3-day passes and went with good friends on Fri/Sat and my girlfriend on Sun.

    This year was the best overall run event IMHO. What panels/vendors/Devs/etc... were there is a matter entirely up to opinion, and I'll get to mine later, but the 'system' of PAX worked better than in years previous.

    Fri: Arrived at the BCEC around 10am. Main lot was full but we were directed to the secondary lot by a series of Police officers and signage. It was pretty full as well but we parked and a shuttle whisked us away to the BCEC and I was in my seat for Telltale and the Q&A without much issue. I don't like to rush the expo floor, or merch, or anything that requires I wait in a giant line as my first experience. I also did not have luggage or a bag with me, so I was able to walk right in the building as soon as I had arrived. I could be called a 'AAA' gamer mostly, but I focused almost entirely on the Indie games this year. Usually you could sit down and play within minutes of waiting and most of the exhibitors were simply bursting at the seams to talk about their game. The booths selling games and systems were hilariously small and absolutely packed with people. I stopped briefly to watch Evolve being played in the ESL area and Sacriel42 from Twitch was live-streaming it, I've watched a ton of his stuff and is was an interesting twist to the evolution (heh) of the video game landscape. I watch a decent amount of content on both Youtube and Twitch these days in lieu of paying for cableTV and it's weird and wonderful how big some of these guys are getting. The food line was unacceptable and the food was utter shit. Waiting 35 minutes to wolf down the crappiest burger ever made is an atrocity. Having both food and the only bar in the whole building in the exact same tiny room is baffling, but that's on the BCEC. I waited so long for a beer with my friend the bartender actually gave it us for free. I brought my friend to his shuttle for the garage and set off to find mine, no thanks to the app, which lists every tiny booth on the expo floor but not where the shuttles thousands of people need will be located. Luckily I am a functional human adult and found my shuttle...and was the very last person let on to the tune of a "1 hour wait for the next one" If you don't believe me the good people of shuttle 3 can back me up.

    Sat: New day new friend. He was able to park in main lot and actually beat me to the BCEC since the first shuttle was full in the morning at the Hotel. Lines outside for bag check looked absolutely brutal, but bags. My buddy loved the live comic strip. He bought lunch much earlier and I had purchased energy bars the night before instead of eating overpriced garbage. Ran a similar route through the Expo with some exceptions. Really wanted to play the Oculus, but did not commit to massive waits. Hit the classic console and arcade area hard. Went back to the Expo late in the day and hopped to the front of several AAA lines quickly. Had a couple beers after the expo closed and chatted/people-watched. He went home to his wife and child, I got a great steak and live-streamed the night's festivities at my hotel room.

    Sun: Girlfriend and I pack up and the first shuttle is full, dick around and make the second one. Bag check fills up on main level, only way to the last check is through the Expo/tabletop/queue room area which is utterly stacked with people, huge pain in the ass. Line is already massive and growing by the second. My lovely woman offers to wait in line so I can go wander a bit first. Come back in a few and she's still in line. I feel really bad for the people who just bought a Sunday pass and had to use this bag check area, it burned easily an hour for most people and that's simply unacceptable. Did a little more waiting for games today. Acquisitions Inc game was hilarious, even to the layman like me and my girlfriend. Waited for the worst pizza ever created, which she barely ate, and wandered around pretty much the whole building for the duration. Omegathon final round was a blast, easily the highlight of the whole day. My g/f isn't a huge gamer but she is very supportive of my love for it, which is why she bought two 3 day passes the day they were announced. She was cheering and laughing like a madwoman at that final round and it was amazing. The Silver Line transit station just outside the BCEC stacked up on buses and made short work of the large crowds, from there to home was gravy.

    All 3 of my guests had one thing to say about PAX East. The people are incredibly nice and friendly and never have they felt so at ease in a large crowd. Food/Drink area was awful, Coat Check system collapsed on the last day, and the shuttles were not clearly marked where to go inside the building. Otherwise this was an amazing weekend at a truly amazing event.

  • objectorobjector Registered User new member
    This was my first PAX, and I wouldn't even really self-identify as a gamer, but I had a really good time. I've done event planning in the past and was generally impressed with how things were run considering the sheer magnitude of the thing. Also, this thread makes me wonder: is there a post-event survey or feedback form for us to officially submit thoughts?

    • Boston
    • Expo floor layout made sense to me, even as a first-timer
    • Fast bag check
    • I thought people were pretty nice, including attendees but especially indie developers
    • Variety of booths and things to do/see/play
    • Highlight for me was clearly the Oculus Rift Crescent Bay demo, which blew my mind in a major way

    • Lines/crowds/total number of people... Add days, limit tickets, raise ticket prices, do something. There's clearly enough interest to sustain more days.
    • How do you run out of swag bags at a pre-registered event? Any event planner can offer many different ways to limit this possibility, especially when they were running out so quickly each day.
    • Floor raffles are a terrible idea. As others have indicated, just let us sign up and then text/email later with the winner. Also, make it clearer how the hell to enter; we got the vaguest directions sometimes (e.g. "Find Waldo, ask for the light green ticket, but not the dark green ticket, and say the right passcode" level of directions is moronic; I'll admit this is not PAX's fault)
    • The event guide/booklet had maps in the middle of it. I have never seen a conference, convention, or even city guide that throws the map in the center where it's least likely to be easily found
    • Console free play was a logistical disaster. No clear lines, so people were just everywhere (some couldn't even figure out where to check their stuff back in after 'rental'). Also, why would you not just have us sign up by console? I, and I would guess most people, didn't just go up there to play any game on any console. As it stood, you waited x minutes/hours and then had to do this back-and-forth around what consoles and what games were even available (and, if you were in a group, if they were even multiplayer). All of this managed completely sans technology, as if this event was being run by luddites. I could actually go on-and-on about this portion because in such a well-run event overall, I was completely mystified the details here could be so ill-conceived and poorly executed.

  • millerm277millerm277 Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    My 4th PAX East, and I'll agree that things felt slightly off this year as well, mostly for things that were outside of PAX's control though IMO. The weather making a lot of people come in late the first day started it off slow, Harpoon's St. Patrick's Day event dumped a ton of people who are....not similar to PAX attendees into the Seaport at 10-11PM or so, making it feel less festive afterhours, and of course being the same weekend as GDC along with so soon after South probably hurt attendance on the vendor/panelist side. These are all problems that won't happen next year and I can't blame them for.

    - Bioware is still the standard by which all other AAA's should be judged in terms of engagement. Bringing out a bunch of major figures, running their own panels and having them also sit on a bunch of main schedule panels (Ex: Foreplay: Romance in Games), and so on. Name another AAA where I can hang out and talk with the actual Creative Director of the franchise for a while? I wish more devs, especially those with long-running franchises would do things like it.

    - Another vote for banning floor raffles! They're completely ridiculous.

    - I'm still opposed to the existence of the queue room in the expo floor. I would much rather we stand out in the cold for an hour and use that space for anything else, whether it's more tabletop space, more booths, theaters, whatever. It seems absurd to waste 1/3rd of the expo floor with it. I can see a few aisles of it that get reused for other things like signings, but overall it's a waste.

    - Stick a barcode on the passes already. It would solve so many problems for both PAX itself and vendors with regards to "swag". I'm sure the people going around hunting for free stuff constantly and coming back repeatedly are why it's gotten less and less. I don't particularly care about it myself, but a barcode solves all of that. "Ding" "Oh, it looks like you already got a free shirt/swag bag an hour ago, sorry".

    - Organization IN the event this year was pretty fantastic in my opinion. I felt panel lines were far better controlled than in the past, and enforcers were more visible than in the past and seemingly better directed. The staff directing traffic out front also seemed to do a far better job with the pedestrians.

    - Food trucks out in the Lawn on D was a great choice. Invite more of them next year (seeing as lines got >30min deep at times, that wouldn't be a hard sell) and publicize their existence better, not many people go down that way accidentally. I only knew about them because of a Reddit post. I'm sure many didn't know about them at all.

    Some notes on what other people have said:

    - They've never been any good at directing people in terms of parking, and there's a mix of public lots (which is where the signs/workers are directing you to) and private (which they aren't directing you to), and the private lots have varying pricing for events some with the same, some with more. Look up places to park and the way the roads work in the Seaport before you come. I ignored the signs and drove right into the Northern Ave Garage through the back entrance of it (Seaport Blvd) on both days that I drove.

    - BCEC Wi-Fi is having a major upgrade done to it with to quadruple the number of access points, going live this fall. So it'll be drastically improved for next year.

    millerm277 on
  • coflroptercoflropter Registered User regular
    Please, please for the love of god, do away with the ticket based raffles. They make such a mess of the expo hall.

    Also, no more booths like the MSI one. That bugged the hell out of me. It was always a pain in the ass to get by, and the lines were 10 miles long all the time.

  • PhoBaoBoaPhoBaoBoa Squishy NYCRegistered User regular
    edited March 2015
    Welp, I had a blast this year as usual. My cons have less to do with anything PAX could handle, and more personal dings in my weekend.


    1) Food trucks! My amazing $9 meatball sub was outrageously better than a $7 BCEC hotdog.
    2) No Riot booth
    3) Our community! Each year I meet amazing people and overall the vibe is one of welcoming merriment. Starting to take part in various forum events is really adding to the greatness of PAX.
    4) Though I went to less panels than normal this year, the ones I went to were the best.
    5) Getting badges this year was less of a pain. Last year was the only year I've had to get single day passes, and hopefully it stays the only year.
    6) Overall setup of the Expo Floor level. I liked that they separated the Expo floor from TT/ PC by the queue room. Would be an interesting idea if they could throw some general use tables in there at around noon, as well.
    7) The Enforcers, and all the hard work they do making sure we have an awesome PAX!


    1) Not knowing about the food trucks until the last day. And at that, not being able to find them without asking 3 different people.
    2) No ACAM. I know it was because they couldn't afford to go, but I don't usually do the concerts and this used to be the highlight of my Saturday night.
    3) This is more of a confusion. Each year I spend more time in a certain area, this year being PC Freeplay. I don't really understand why, with a large number of unused computers, I had to get up after 45 minutes to go stand in line for 2 to get back on. Anytime I was there was without a massive line and it just confused me.
    4) When I was coming in from the Westin Saturday morning, the woman at bag check dumped my perfectly placed bag out. Dice went flying and snacks got crushed. She went as far as to open my deck boxes and brush through the cards.. ??
    5) The BCEC staff needs to check toilet paper levels more often.
    6) Swag bags were disappointing

    Like I said, with the exception of con 2 & 6 these weren't things that Reed Ex. could handle, but personal cons for my weekend. Still looking forward to Prime this Summer and East next year!

    PhoBaoBoa on
  • ClixClix This guy I know Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited March 2015
    Call me grandpa, but it seems like there is a wide margin between the PAX community and the younger Twitch/Let's Play crowd. That's the feel I got anyways.

    As with any PAX there were some bad moments, but there were far more incredible moments.

    I saw theft, line cutting, and I general immaturity.

    But I also saw a crowd rejoice as a pool Shamu was lifted into the air over the queue line. I got to see my baby girl sit in the captain's chair of a Star Trek set. I met game devs that were excited to show what they've worked so hard on. I got to meet awesome people that love the same things that I do.

    I'll have to think of how to list my positives and deltas, but PAX is still one of my favorite things in the world.

    Clix on
  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    Imsorad wrote: »
    I saw theft
    *hangs head in defeat* I knew this day would come, but I had prayed to the old gods and the new that it would not. That is so fucked up

    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
  • PhoBaoBoaPhoBaoBoa Squishy NYCRegistered User regular
    I agree. Saturday my friend and I went into PC Freeplay and someone had ripped the headphones from the wires and made off with them. It was jarring to realize that they had been stolen and weren't just missing. :(

  • Squire LegionSquire Legion Squire New EnglandRegistered User new member
    First time Pax goer. I scouted the forums out and looked for advice before going so I would have a general idea of what to expect and what was most likely going to happen.


    1: Enforcers were the best. Multiple times my friends and I would simply get lost or have no idea where something was or what time something was. Every time we asked an Enforcer they were courteous, knowledgeable, and friendly. I think this is the standard, and that's pretty awesome.
    2: Overall convention atmosphere was good. Nearly everyone we interacted with was nice. Cosplayers, vendors, developers, enforcers, and most other con goers were great. There were some select people who were obnoxious or downright rude but those were few and far between.
    3: Tons of stuff to see and do. I love indie games and AAA games all the same. While I would have loved to see some more AAA studios (more on this in the cons section) at PAX it gave me plenty of time to see other stuff. Ronimo Games, the guys making Rive, Drinkbox Studios, Prismata, Viking Squad, Brawlhalla and others were nice to hang out and see.
    4: Tabletop! My friends and I love that local gaming connection you get when you sit a bunch of people down on a couch and play Halo or at a table and play D&D. We were very happy to see that tabletop is alive and well and that most places had a demo set-up available. Would love to see more of this.
    5: Lounge areas. The handheld and console lounges were cool looking and I would have loved going there but I was quite busy just running around the place with my friends. It looked like an awesome time though.
    6: I saw two panels. I think that's normal? Maybe, maybe not? Both of them (Cox and Crendor Live! and Acquisitions Incorporated) were fantastic!
    There are numerous things that I loved and it was an incredible time. I just don't know how to list them.


    1: Certain booths downright sucked. Maker Studios and Twitch always had this massive glob of people restricting access to walkways. Having to deal with that was infuriating. It was even worse at that vendor area where Newegg and MSI were.
    2: Speaking of not having enough space... I don't know if that was normal or not, but most of the Tabletop area was incredibly full all the time and the Magic area seemed to definitely not need that much space. I don't know if I didn't see it ever get full or not but that seemed like a misuse of floor real estate.
    3: Demo areas for the AAA games were utilized poorly. 30-40 minute demos for games with 2+ hour lines? Either they needed more set-ups available or those demos need to be cut down. Overwatch and Oculus were pretty terrible for this but even Final Fantasy Type-0 HD had this issue.
    4: Convention food; I understand that it's supposed to be priced heavily, much like hotel food. But those food trucks outside were awesome (so I hear) and at no point did those ever seem accessible. That's a shame.
    5: Shuttles. First things first, thank you so much for the shuttling service. My friends and I walked to the con on the first day from near Boston Park Plaza and that was dreadful. We got in after 1 PM so the shuttles were not running and figured it wouldn't be bad. We made sure to get on the shuttle after that point.
    For the most part, it was alright. I would much rather have the shuttles than not. But the biggest flaw here is that there was zero information given anywhere at all. My hotel had no idea where the shuttle was or what it did other than what the flyer stated. Which wouldn't have mattered because no where else was there information on what was going on. My group ended up going back to the convention on a shuttle because at no point were any stops listed. In addition, the route I was on was so crowded that on Sunday, my friend and I ran to the shuttle, got two of the last standing room spots, and watched as we passed by the next two stops, crowded with enough people for 3 more shuttles.
    6: Floor Raffles need to go away. They are hellspawn.
    7: Weather. We had a particularly rough winter but last year PAX was hosted in April. I don't know any of the logistics and inner workings of why this year was March but March is not a great time.

    Overall PAX was an amazing time and I will absolutely be going next year if I can. But ya know, some things were awesome and some things...were not. It's how it is.

  • DanQDanQ Registered User regular
    Well first off, the topic title should be feedback, not feedbad, lol.

    But I dunno. Mostly my advice is keep doing what you are doing. No major complaints. I still have my annual complaint about making the signage in the place relevant. Don't just use the ABCD animal names for the theaters, but also use the BCEC numbers so the permanent BCEC signage is relevant. The expo center is adequately signed, but it's useless when PAX doesn't use the room numbers in any of the listings. Would it be that cumbersome to change "dragonfly" to "dragonfly/209" (or whatever the number is)?

    Only other thing I can really say is providing more information ahead of time about tournaments wold be helpful in setting people's expectations. On the show schedule, when you click on the panels, it gave more info about them, but there was nothing about tournaments listed other than the game and the time. I understand this isn't EVO (a convention dedicated solely to game tournaments) so I'm not expecting anything to be professionally run on a level like that. I understand given the staffing and resources available, asking for that isn't going to happen, so I'm ok with letting things slide and judgement calls made on the fly, or leaving things to random chance to break ties, but I've seen people get upset over the way tournaments are run because they are less than a 100% well oiled machine about pure competition. I've also seen issues between players because some are in the mindset of entering mainly for fun, while others are in it for a sense of strict competition and winning. I think setting people's expectations more accurately would go a long way to making people walk away satisfied. I've also noticed people tend to be less upset with games which do not have a large tournament scene, and personally I like the random obscure games, or less popular ones with no real competitive scene. I join because I feel there might be some small chance I can win, even if I barely (if ever) played the game before. I know there isn't a chance in hell I'm going to win something like smash bros or halo even though I play those games.

    Oh and speaking of tournaments. Good choice for omegathon final game. It felt very well paced, unlike last year's cornhole which had the filler (and more interesting of the two) game between the staff, and no technical difficulties holding things up like spaceteam. Not as intrinsically interesting a game to watch like spaceteam, but it doesn't have the potential to go bad by having players simply suck so bad that it turns boring, like cornhole. Plus it was obscure enough that watching a new game felt like an interesting novelty.

  • [email protected] Vryce Rhode IslandRegistered User regular
    edited March 2015
    Have to add to the Pro's here and say the food trucks were an awesome addition this year. I retroactively regretted my food choice from Friday after eating at them on Saturday.

    From a Con perspective, and its really a compliment to PAX in general, but the community seems to have taken a step down this year, and it scares me. From running into a total of 0 dicks across my previous 5 years. I ran into several that were just line cutting d-bags with no care or consideration. I am hoping it was just luck of the draw, and it certainly won't dissuade me from attending next year.

    PAX for me is about the people, you could strip away the booths, and panels, and meeting and gaming with a spectrum of cool people is what makes me want to go every year. No way to say this without sounding like the typical "PAX WAS BETTER WHEN IT WAS UNKNOWN" but I start to get concerned that the more people who know the con, just for being a con, are going to lessen the best experience of PAX.

    **Edit** - That feeling you get when you realize that you set your email address to being your user name for life 4 years ago. Oye.

    [email protected] on
  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    • A lot of more food carts around the area, which I think helped decongest the main food court area just a tad. I may not always get my first choice for food, but if I needed to eat something quick I didn't have to sit in line for long.
    • A good variety of panels covering things from light to heavier subjects.
    • Everything was running properly in spite of the nasty weather just days prior to the event.
    • I liked the layout of the expo hall. Clean delineation between the video games and tabletop area.
    • Bathrooms were back to normal! I assume Boston relented on the weirdness from last year.
    • I liked the additional TV near the seated area during concerts/Omegathon.
    • My friends liked the food trucks.
    • This was the first Omegathon in years to be really good. Probably the best one since crokinole.

    • Ban raffles. Please please please ban raffles. They clog up the expo hall terribly, and it's almost impossible for enforcers to clear the area.
    • Enforcers were doing bizarre things with people forming lines for panels. I get that they don't want lines too early, but all people do in response is move away from the enforcer's line of sight and form a pre-line there. There was even one enforcer that said people could pace up and down the hall so long as they didn't form a line. That's just congesting the halls for no good reason.
    • I understand the changes to the coat check were done so the other wing of the convention center had an area for food, but the lines early in the day are awful so there needs to be a bit more forethought to this.
    • It'd be nice to have one gender neutral on each wing of the convention center instead of the just the one we had. Also BOTH the men and women's rooms should converted instead of just changing the women's and leaving the men's as-is. I dunno, maybe Boston interfered with that.
    • No idea how feasible this is, but Daylight Savings Time in the middle of a con suuuuuuucks, and it'd be nice if Sunday entire schedule got pushed back an hour to compensate for that. Like I said, that is probably unfeasible and I'm sure you all try to avoid DST weekends when you can, but maybe something to consider?

  • ironysparklesironysparkles Lowell, MARegistered User regular
    I really had the most fun this year, which was a combination of how smoothly the con seemed to be running this year and my own stuff (anxiety is crazy better lately, went with more friends, etc).

    -Expo was less crowded overall, though Saturday was still crazy. Walkways between booths seemed wider, but in indie they still got congested Saturday afternoon with the sheer number of people. But still, it was better!
    -Giving out lanyards by the main entrance. I don't care much about the swag bag, so this was awesome and saved me the haul to get a lanyard first thing.
    -Using the main queue for signings, and its placement this year. Good use of space, great buffer between Expo and tabletop.
    -BATHROOMS. Last year finding a lady's room was a hassle often combined with having to trek across the entire Expo hall or tabletop area. I'm glad that was not the case this year. And I'm glad for the gender neutral bathroom, even if there was only one.
    -Panels. Lines weren't crazy and the few panels I got to attend were run well (the Take This panels are always great, love those guys). I'd love to see more game-show and interactive type panels though.
    -Everyone was super nice, as always!

    -TABLE SPACE. I'm sure tables are limited and renting them is a pain, but tabletop was ALWAYS full, and when my group wanted to find a place to have a D&D session, tabletop was a nightmare to find space for the 6 of us. Table space elsewhere is lacking - we ended up by Dance Central, which while adding interesting background music to our T-rex chase, was quite loud. Wider hallways such as outside console freeplay could perhaps be used for more table space. A couple tables with chairs could totally fit between each pillar by those windows.
    -One of the enforcers managing the Patrick Rothfuss signing line Sunday was obviously frazzled and rude. At least one other group in line had the same issue. An isolated incident, but it really put a damper on that experience for me.
    -Food prices, ugh. I know that's not going to change, but damn.
    -No Protomen again. I know they're recording right now but two years in a row and I'm itching to see them at PAX. The weekend just doesn't feel complete without their show.

    Huge suggestion: Signs at the bottom of stairs and escalators pointing out which rooms are closest. "Bumblebee ^ and >" or similar. I'm dyslexic and maps are my enemy. This would be a small change to really streamline finding the right halls!

  • ishtraishtra Long IslandRegistered User regular
    edited March 2015
    • Aside from the raffles, Overall expo floor flow seemed much better this year.
    • Liked having the space at the bottom of the down escalator cleared of stationary people, as that was horrifying last year arriving automatically without anywhere to step off.
    • Food trucks were a great idea. I didn't eat there, but my crew did and I heard good things

    • The tabletop space seemed VERY cramped compared to last year
    • Please, OH GOD PLEASE, especially if there aren't that many tabletop tables, can we move the Fried Food trucks away from areas in which people sit for hours playing a game?? I love eating fried dough, but the smell of the constantly frying oil was rough, esp as the only free tables we found after a lot of wandering were right next to the truck for both Saturday and Sunday. I don't know if they are BCEC trucks, as I see them every year, but would love them set up somewhere with better ventilation.
    Overall I had a great time. Swag lines were manageable, the enforcers were great managing open spaces, and I felt like more of the booths were better designed to keep people inside instead of along walls. I was bummed ACAM didn't come, but was happy there was Some representation of classic arcade games.

    At least next year we hopefully won't have all this snow :)

    ishtra on
    Attendee: PAX East 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, Unplugged 2017
  • TopherRocksTopherRocks Rockstar Beard Grower Kent, OH or Long Island, NYRegistered User regular
    edited March 2015
    This was year 5 for me.


    Removing Riot and other giant crowd/fire hazard creating booths was a plus.

    Having the ESL arena area isolated was a great idea to keep the congestion on the floor down.

    Aisle flow seemed to be better than I remember for the most part except from the North escalators.

    Somewhat intangible but this year felt better than the last two did. Nothing has felt as good as 2011 did but part of me wonders if that's the awe and wonder of first time nostalgia shining so brightly.


    The timing lining up with GDC was garbage.

    I know it's out of organizers hands but the crowd in general was shit. I can count the number of assholes from the past 4 years combined on one hand and this year just seemed ridiculous.

    The bag checks still seem like a joke. I understand why they're there but of the 5 times I got checked, only once did it feel like they actually looked at anything.

    Not announcing an apparent "No masks" rule for cosplayers. Friday morning I was stopped by an enforcer as I was coming in from the queue and told to remove the mask I was wearing for my cosplay. I asked why and they couldn't give me more reason than just "it's a new rule". Nowhere did I see this posted and I wasn't stopped in the lobby when I did a weapon check or came down the the queue room so it seemed fairly odd. I talked to about a dozen other masked cosplayers and they all said they had similar experiences. To my knowledge there was nothing posted about this anywhere online before the show.

    Maybe this is just me but I had no clue there were food trucks outside besides the hot pocket one out front. Was this organized by the event or just opportunistic drivers? It'd be great to see some signage to show where to find them in the building.

    No ACAM.

    TopherRocks on
  • ASimPersonASimPerson Cold... ... and hard.Registered User regular
    Just an FYI on the date of the show this year:

    Conventions are generally booked years in advance, and it's generally first-come-first-served. I believe that much like Prime this year, there was/were a conflict/s that prevented them from getting a weekend in April. I would doubt that PA wanted the weekend after GDC and when DST starts.

    A fair point to speculate on for that front, though, is that South also did not have many of the AAA players. However, Bioware and Gearbox were still present, but off the show floor and in their areas. I wonder if more arrangements like that will become more common. (Of course, it was also the first year for South as well. I'd suspect with East not being a month and a half afterward next year it might have some of the bigger players.)

    Some other things I've seen in the thread so far:
    - PA has not released official attendance numbers in several years, but at least in terms of exhibitor space, East is larger than Prime. (By that metric, the WSCC is the smallest PAX venue, hence the off-site main theater, panel theaters/tabletop in nearby hotels, etc.)
    - On passes: PA has generally said that their goal is make sure as many people get to go to PAX as possible. I've generally taken this to mean that, if anything, the number of multi-day passes for sale will be reduced. I don't have any guess on whether East will go to four-days like Prime, as Prime has the advantage of being a holiday weekend most years.

    SE++ Forum Battle Archive | PDT is not PST | DRUNKSTUCK: A Homestuck recap
  • GeekyPanda404GeekyPanda404 The Geeky Panda ConnecticutRegistered User regular
    - Bag checks were a breeze, thought it would take longer but it was quick and easy.
    - Enforcers seem to be knowledgeable and nice when I asked them questions about layout, and where stuff was.
    - Great variety of Indie Games to play.
    - Cospitality Room definitely was a great addition to con.

    - Raffles caused a huge issue with lane crowding and almost grid-lock status. I think Raffles should be opted for more online that on the floor itself.
    - League of Legends Tourney at MSI booth cause pretty much grid-lock status with crowds. It was hard trying to get around that area.
    - Relocate booths that will bring in high attendance of people away from major access points to the Expo Hall, ex. Twitch, Xbox, etc should be pushed back a bit since alot of people were hanging around.
    - SWAG Bag was lackluster.
    - Cospitality Room needs to be alot bigger due to many cosplayers going in and out to prep/fix up their cosplays. Recommend also having a 2nd entry into that area as well.
    - Food Prices at the Convention Center is the MOST expensive I have ever spent than any other con I have attend. I understand if you can't help it since its the Convention itself but still its pretty darn high.

  • pardimatepardimate Registered User regular
    Wolfiee wrote: »
    - Oh, I had to add this. My boyfriend's little brother lost his three day badge on Saturday somewhere on the T. We went to the help desk, where someone took us aside. I told him I had my purchase receipt and that there was no way he could expect us to pay an additional $40 for something I had confirmation on of paying. By sheer luck, he happened to have a three day badge that no one claimed that he gave to my boyfriend's little brother. I am very thankful for this, but also unsure of what would have happened if he didn't have that extra badge. I feel like PAX should have extra badges or something else for those who lose theirs on accident, as long as they have proof of purchase.

    - Lack of non-indie games? The Xbox and Gigantic booth were my favorite things on the show floor (and then Oculus and Overwatch, but they were impossible to ever get into so they don't count), everything else felt like non-gaming companies (NewEgg, YouTube, etc) or developers that had these big awesome booths with nothing except a few TVs to watch game play, nothing playable. No Ubisoft, Bethesda, Riot, 2k, RockStar, etc that have awesome booths and games. I really wish PAX East wasn't right before E3, we get shafted because of it.

    My boyfriend almost lost his badge Friday morning, so I sympathize with that. However, what is to stop people from saying they lost their badge, showing proof of purchase, and getting another one for a friend?

    As far as the lack of indie games, I think PAX occuring on the tail end of GDC might have had something to do with that. Next year should be better.

  • KaronethKaroneth Elder Scrolling Online Co-Host Lakehurst, NJRegistered User regular
    I know much of this Penny Arcade/Reed had no control over.

    Bag security check was improved this year, very fast.
    Booth layout seemed much improved, traffic flowed much better than last year.
    Panel selection seemed improved. I attended a reasonable balance of panels and the expo hall unlike last year when I attended few panels.
    Boston police did an excellent job getting us across Summer street with little waiting.
    Community activities such as the coin, stein, forum badge, plus the various meetups and meals were improved even over last year. Thanks to all who helped arrange such and vote on them.
    The ice cream sundae vendor with tables to sit at was appreciated. I don't remember one last year. It was the only food I ate at the con and it was refreshing.
    Boston handled the snow well. Only once when going for long sightseeing walks did I use my boots.
    Wargaming party was awesome. I enjoyed it much more than the others.
    Bioware base looked awesome. Sadly I didn't get to attend its events as I didn't see the room or schedule until Sunday, but more vendors should have a similar setup. I'll go right up there next year and take a photo of their schedule but I'd prefer their activities to be posted on the PAX site in some way, even if only a forum post so we can plan ahead.

    Negative things amount to a longer list. But overall I had more fun at this PAX East than last year's.

    - Raffles were annoying, would be better to do after the show. A positive example is the Intel LANFest raffle. Not only did it start 15 minutes after expo hall closed so it did not create a traffic jam, but they showed the omegathon before it at the giveaway stage so waiting there was a productive use of time. A negative example was the Newegg raffle that had a crowded area just like last year at giveaway time. Although the prizes given out by them were excellent.
    - The line for Saturday morning to get into the Con. I got there around 10 AM, the line went many blocks west of the BCEC, and then doubled back to the BCEC. So just an estimate it was more than a mile in length a half hour after the con was supposed to have been open. Unsure what caused that. A half hour later friends got in with no line at all. Whereas on Friday the line didn't exist at that time.
    - The lines and crowds at the BCEC food market, for what was probably mediocre and overpriced food, were ridiculous. Had awesome meals with little waits by merely going to area restaurants outside of the BCEC.
    - I noted the MSI booth had become the new Riot booth. Little did I know they were showing a Riot game. :) This wouldn't have been too much of an issue as the booth placement was fine for it, but trying to get your LANFest card stamped there was an exercise in futility to the point I had to report it to the LANFest staff.
    - Timing of the con was about as bad as it gets with the time change, cold weather, and other events too close to it like GDC.
    - Although the indie games were entertaining, I do prefer more AAA titles to be present and games or hardware announced. No Fallout announcement when it is supposed to be based in Boston? How about other upcoming games, or even existing ones? Surely a booth would get more sales/subs. On a positive note here, Intel did announce a new PCIE NVME SSD drive at PAX.
    - Wizards of the Coast D&D presence. Saw plenty of Magic, and I know D&D had a major panel, but I never did actually locate their booth amazingly. Only saw D&D items for sale at one booth.
    - It was unfortunate that panels, parties, and attendees (including a friend whose flight was cancelled) had to cancel at the last minute, possibly due to the weather situation.

    But overall, it was great and I can't wait for next year!

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