PAX East 2015 Constructive Feedback

245

Posts

  • RappakRappak Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    Im mostly going to harp on cons as most of the good stuff has been talked about already.

    Diversity lounge needs an overhaul again. What's the purpose of it? The only thing i really saw was advertisements for panels and 6 booths. Was it a point for people to talk about stuff? Was it inflationary in charities? was it just a quiet area? I really did like the the mental health booth but there needs to be more with it. It feels under developed again. Maybe some other national groups need to attend but i didn't get information or much of anything about it.

    Edit: 6 booths. I forgot the pokemon league was in there which confused me.

    Speaking of the mental health, the afk lounge also needs to be better communicated. It is a good resource. I couldn't get help there after having a attack of some sort but it is needed.

    The side doors of the con was weird to deal with this year. I'm fine with bag checks but they shut down at 6 so people who went to get food or smoked had to walk all the way around to the front. I was also asked when the food trucks would leave so they can go. That seems like crap. They should have condensed it to one person but kept it open.

    One problem i had was with the indie booths. Game company names are nice but i had no clue where things were as people went by game names. I went to show a friend a cool game i saw but spent 20 minutes trying to find them. Have the game name and the company name so it would be easier to find on the flags and have the game name on the back of the card as well. Traffic is vital to these companies and this small change would help.

    One thing I'm really annoyed with that isn't at the fault of pax but the vendors, please save some stock for Saturday and Sunday. You know you have some limited addition stuff but does it really make sense to only have 50 and sell it in an hour? Square i heard was out of their stuff and made order forms for people to get stuff shipped to them. drinking quest also ran out and didn't come back Sunday. They should have done what square did at that point, demo their game and tell people how to buy it. I get having limited stock so you run out and don't have to ship it back but there are lots of people trying to buy but can't because they weren't there on Friday.

    Could there maybe be another beer place on east to take some pressure off of Sam Adams at night? It was nice having a beer in con but not so nice waiting about 30 minutes for one.

    Not a complaint but i noticed that Friday was a lot quieter than normal. I suspect that had to do with the flight cancellations that happened Thursday and Friday but it was kinda nice. I know a lot of people missed pax because of it.

    Ps. I lied about pros. Merch booth this year was well stocked for pax. I was really happy with them.

    Rappak on
  • BashinterothBashinteroth NYCRegistered User regular
    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.

    You may perceive that the bag check is useless; however, it acts more as a deterent. Think of it more psychologicaly, if somebody is planning to bring contraband in they would be more likely to reconsider if they see a bag check. Furthermore, those checking bags are not only looking for specific items in bags but also the demeanor of the individuals entering; if somebody is acting particularly suspicious it would be cause to inspect more carefully. Finally, the bomb sniffing dogs are very effective at finding explosive chemicals; the dogs would be alerted to anyone who has recently handled these chemicals (about 72 hours) from a pretty decent distance away. You have to understand that there is always a risk when there are large crowds of people, with a large event such as PAX security has to balance swift processing with providing a secure environment.

    However, that is not to say that the security situation is perfect --you can never have too much security. But rest assured that although you may perceive that the bag check is lax; it is assuredly more effective than you may think.

    Le_Goatstardust462ishtra
  • LimondLimond Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    I've been to all 6 PAX Easts and this one was another great one. I'm going to try and comment on things that have a possibility of being changed or were changed from previous years. Things like exhibitors not coming, or new games not being shown is out of PAX control.

    Pros:
    + Expo Hall Traffic: I don't normally spend to much time in the big booth areas of the expo hall but from what I did spend it was much better traffic wise then in years past. If it was just the absence of Riot, or some other layout change I hardly ever came to a complete stop when I was in on the show floor.
    + Making use of more rooms: Moving the coat/bag checks to the unused rooms was an awesome move. Things felt much more open in the wings of the center. Also opening up the unused rooms the the Handheld Wing always blocked was great. The other shaped comfort seats, Yogibos, or w/e they were called took up the slack from the reduced room there and it didn't feel lacking or cramped at all.
    + The food trucks: Ho boy the food trucks were just amazing. I ate there for lunch every day (and dinner Friday) so much better then the heaping pile of poo that the convention center food is. Much better quality for equal or lesser prices.
    + Jamspace: I used to always go to this on Sundays when it was just freeplay day. Decided to check it out on Saturday night and holy crap was this amazing. I was kind of disappointed that it was moved to a dead end because more people need to hear it! Though I do understand why it was moved from next to the escaltors.
    + Panel line management: MUCH MUCH better then previous years. In previous years we would have to be standing for over an hour getting yelled at constantly to keep moving forward when there was literally no more space to move into. It was much better this year. Only spent the last 15-20 minutes before the panel standing up and squishing in. So we actually got to meet people and interact with them with out being treated like cattle. This was the Giant Bomb panel, one that always fills up.
    + Table Top LFG Cones: So much easier then pooling around in a spot like last year to LFG or using Twitter to find a group. Highly visible and super convenient, met some cool dudes with the cones. If anything more visibility, like a balloon or flag, on the cones would be even better!
    + Indies on the Expo Floor: This is where I spend most of my time. I love the smaller games. They need more space! Get them more space! Best In Show for Indie Mini Booth was Dog Sled Saga for sure (though I hear 12 minutes is good also).
    + The Lanyard: I felt a million times more secure with my badge this year then all the other years with the Behemoth lanyards. The classic clip lanyard I feel is so much safer then the flat clips that behemoth had!

    Cons:
    - Soft voiced enforcers: Please don't put enforcers with soft and dainty voices in the expo hall. No one can hear them. I was at the back of a group watching a Nuclear Throne playthrough and was constantly told to keep pressing in when I couldn't. None of the people in front of me could hear the soft voice of the one female enforcer who was trying to do it. She eventually had to ask the Rami Ismail at Vlambeer to tell people to move forward, and he was already losing his voice (this was at 3 on Saturday). Get enforcers there who can make themselves heard over the roar of the expo hall please.
    - Convention Center Staff: I don't know if it was just the few people I talked to, but none of the red coat wearing staff could tell me where the Food Trucks were on Friday. I eventually found out their location because I checked reddit and someone mentioned where they were. Everyone I did ask only handed me a flyer for the lunch shuttle or directed me to the food court or the other convention provided food options.
    - Sunday Panels: I don't know if it is just me, but I always hit a lull in the action around 1pm on Sunday, by that point I've pretty much seen all that I want to in the expo hall (that doesn't have awful lines), and i've done laps of the wings to look in every nook and cranny. The panels later in the day on Sunday have always been rather boring topics.
    - Swag bags: A minor thing for me since I don't go to PAX for the swag (I only came away with 2 items this year) but they did seem pretty sparse LOL skin, two adverts for headphones, a pin, a game ad, some magic cards, and a super fight card. I think the best bags were the year that RIFT came in the bags, and last years with PWNmeal & CAH (Though i'm glad PWNmeal wasn't back since that expo center turned into oatmeal city)
    - The Indie Table Top: This isn't a bad idea. The placement of it in the middle of the expo hall was awful though. Move this to the Table Top Area to breath a bit of new life into that area (I can only see Miskatonic School For Girls so many times you know)
    - Table Top Freeplay Space: With the change to the convention provided food the space for freeplay seemed significantly smaller this year. If the layout is the same next year, then the MTG area needs to be cut back. It was always over crowded while I don't ever remember all the MTG tables filling up.

    Other musings:
    * Any chance of getting the PAXMANIA/Wrestling Shenanigans into the Main Theater on Sunday morning? They never have enough room it seems to fully let loose and the line always fills up. It is always one of the highlights of PAX because of the awesome production value behind it. Getting it on the Main stage would allow a lot more people to see what was happening.
    * To people complaining about the weather and travel, space, etc. that it effects. I think things went great considering the amount of snow that Boston has had this year. Sure a little more cramped if on foot when moving about the city.
    * As for the cancelled travel plans. That system that hit the east coast had been predicted for days before hand. It wasn't something that surprised people. Wednesday afternoon I saw that my flight was probably going to be delayed at the best or cancelled at the worst. So I looked for other travel options. I changed my plans around before the weather struck to get on Amtrak Thursday morning to get there. Sure it cost an extra 100 bucks, but it was either that or possibly miss a day or more of PAX. If anything I hope it means more people look at the weather before hand and always prepare a back up plan.
    * Final thought for now. Being an Omeganaut was great. I should try to get randomly selected more often.
    * At the top and bottom of escalators put signs on the pillars that indicate which direction theaters are to the left and right. This would help so many people!

    P.S. Ban Harmonix from PAX, Amplitude sucks and I hate them. /pout

    P.P.S Food Truck ranking Tenoch Mexican food, Pennypackers, Big M BBQ, Chicken and Rice (More like Rice, salt, and a little bit of meat. This one was a let down) I did not eat at the Grilled Cheese or Dining Car.

    P.P.P.S I got in an hour early for Media hour and checked out Splatoon. Immediately I saw an issue that was going to be a traffic problem. Roosterteeth booth set up right next to the line for Splatoon was going to cause problems immediately. Also the RT booth line marked out on the ground was laughably short. I could only imagine what it would have been like if the heavier hitters at RT were there.

    Limond on
    One clip, one kill.

    I am a monster truck that walks like a man.
  • Sgt.MaysSgt.Mays Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2015
    Pros

    -Enforcers and BCEC staff were great!.
    -Shuttles were also great, never had a problem and this year almost always on time.
    -No Riot Games!!!!!!!!!! that booth was a mess last year.
    -Bag checks were very quick and much better then last years 1 second pen poke.
    -Despite there not being a lot of AAA studios, lots of good booths and a good mix of things.
    -The PC freeplay and ESL area were quite nice, was nice to just go sit down and watch a tourney or play some PC games.
    -The management of panels and the lines felt much better this year.
    -Some great panels this year, 40ths really got my ideas flowing for a cosplay costume.


    Cons

    -Line capping again made it so i could not at all get into Rooster teeth to get anything signed, uncapping it for 2 seconds and the lucky ones nearby getting in does not seem fair. There has to be a better way to do things like either make those booths bigger or have bigger lines.
    -The crowds around some booths made it very hard to move, some i think in those areas enforcers are needed to keep people moving and move people closer into the booths.
    -I was trying to find a indie booth i had found on Friday, and could never find it again some signs are either too small and low down and the slow moving or stopped crowd does not make it easier. Maybe put the signs high up.
    -Too many Booths selling Valve stuff, i think i found at least 3 or 4.


    As for the weather, PAX dates are already booked to 2023 and BCEC being as massive as it is lots of other groups want to host there. So they can never get a good say on dates all the time, also that weather event was a rare one nobody had seen that much snow it was record breaking.

    Sgt.Mays on
    Gaymer, Nerd and Fan of Freeman's Mind/Half-life/GTA/Red Vs Blue

    Attended: East 14, 15 and West 16
    Attending West 2019
  • ClixClix This guy I know Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Pros:
    +Better use of space in the exhibition hall.
    +Not taking away so many women's bathrooms.
    +Expo hall booths didn't seem as loud this year. The Twitch booth had some moments, but thankfully scaled back on the volume. I think Wargaming.net wins the most annoying prize now.
    +Lots of coat check rooms.
    +Bigger space for indy booths.
    +Restaurant shuttles were great again, I just wish they ran into the evening instead of cutting out at 4 pm.
    +I only ever had positive interactions with Enforcers, BCEC staff, and security.

    Things that could be better:
    -Make a quiet/private spot for new moms, like a nursing room.
    -Better identify which Pinny Arcade pins are available by quest (like demos) and which are for sale before PAX starts.
    -Include BCEC room numbers along with theater names.
    -Parking shuttles dropped off a long distance from the main entrance in the mornings.
    -The Guidebook app was rather unreliable by requiring a data connection to load. I'd suggest PA make a stand alone PAX app that can be downloaded.
    -Now that I've seen others mention it, raffles should be banned from the expo hall. This coming from a person that went to a couple. The crowds become too big, and even Enforcers can't control the mobs. A solution would be to allow exhibitors to do drawings overnight and simply post winning results at the booth so attendees can check them at their leisure.
    -PAX Lines twitter account needs to be on the ball with line status. There were times when lines got capped and it took another half an hour for the tweet to go out.
    -For the love of God, please stop scheduling PAX East before April. We got lucky again that there wasn't a major storm during PAX, but the cold weather still blows. I know that some industry people gad trouble making both GDC and PAX.
    -I've been trying to think of how to put my thoughts into words for this last point. But it seems like the culture of PAX is changing, and not for the better. One of my friends skipped coming to PAX last year, and he said he noticed a much bigger change in the crowd. The d-baggery was at an all time high. Maybe I'm just old, but it seems like a lot more attendees are less focused on being an ambassador of gaming or being a positive part of the gaming community. There are a lot more "bros" now that seem to only care about themselves and they don't mind if they ruin other people's enjoyment of PAX.

    How can this be changed? Maybe the way that PAX is marketed needs to be changed, maybe take a look at vendors and see what kind of demographic they bring to the show. If they don't draw a positive impact to PAX then maybe they shouldn't be there. I know PAX is for everyone, but I'd argue that not everyone is right for PAX. Does that make sense?

    cancer
  • BrandchanBrandchan Registered User regular
    Over it was a good year, but marred by a few things that were mostly out of the convention's control.

    +I was super happy to see more women's bathrooms. This year I did in fact have a bathroom emergency and I was so grateful for this.

    -Shuttle bus route 3. This was a problem last year but it wasn't as much of an issue as we were staying at the first stop. But this is the route that always seems to have the least amount of buses and the most people. Nothing like waiting 20 minutes in the cold and a full bus just drives by. And the line Sunday night for the con was crazy. Longer then any other route.

  • BashinterothBashinteroth NYCRegistered User regular
    another thing regarding lines in the expo hall: I think booths could minimize lines by handing out numbered queue cards; I am sure it would not be hard to calculate how many people will be able to demo your game for the whole day. They could then have set times throughout the day where they give out queue cards (like every 2 hours for example) so everyone would have a chance to come and get a queue card and an estimate of when they would have to come back. Also, they could setup a smaller waiting line that would fill in for the queue numbers that don't show when their time is up and ... viola you have smaller lines, and more effecient use of space and time.

  • BinaryPieBinaryPie Registered User regular
    It's always interesting in the feedback threads how different of views people have on things, specifically AAA games this year. Also keep in mind alot of this stuff PAX has no control over.

    Pros
    Badges/hotels release was much smoother than last year. It's a difficult thing with the level of demand, and it went about as well as it possibly could. No complaints there.

    Floor layout was quite good this year. Didn't feel nearly as cramped as previous years.

    I couldn't care less about AAA (and AAA-level non-game, ie. twitch) booths. They're obviously supporting the con financially somewhat considering the sheer square footage they pay for, but I'd love for the whole floor to be a mega indie megabooth.

    On that note, indie megabooth/minibooth was as great as always. This is why I come to PAX. I do wish the indie showcase was open to non-mobile games as well. Its incredibly limiting to restrict it like that. I don't get it.

    The tabletop area was great. I don't have anything specific to say, as this is the first year I really made a point to spend time over there. Especially a good place to go when the main floor is packed at the start of the day. Definitely will return there next year.

    Cons

    Swag bags seem to be getting worse every year. I don't think it would be a loss to scrap them totally.

    A lot of the panels felt repetitive. Too many 'social issue' panels and 'get into the industry' panels. Can't do anything about who submitted panels, but maybe be more aggressive about denying redundant or uninteresting (subjective, I know) panels.

    A few of the panel lines I was in were poorly managed. For CaH, the line was past the soft-cap before it even officially formed. For Acquisitions Inc. we got conflicting instructions a few times (asked to move as far forwards as possible, then to move back, then to move forwards, etc). Most of the other panels lined up smoothly, but they tended to be the "easy" ones, so that is to be expected.

    Bag Check

    I will always be opposed to this. It is offensive, unnecessary, and ineffective. The best thing I can say is it went much smoother than last year. I'm resigned to it at this point, and I do appreciate that PAX seems to be putting in the effort to make it go as easy as possible.

  • BashinterothBashinteroth NYCRegistered User regular
    BinaryPie wrote: »
    Bag Check

    I will always be opposed to this. It is offensive, unnecessary, and ineffective. The best thing I can say is it went much smoother than last year. I'm resigned to it at this point, and I do appreciate that PAX seems to be putting in the effort to make it go as easy as possible.

    @BinaryPie I respect your opinion of the Bag Check being offensive and ineffective; however, please don't consider i unnecessary. Unfortunately in the world we live in tragedies do happen. There is always a risk when there are large gatherings of people and I would rather the inconvenience over something happening. If it is really too inconvenient for you it is always an option to refuse to be subject to search; but you would also then be subject to being refused entry.

  • Stower2422Stower2422 North Boston Suburban HellscapeRegistered User regular
    The biggest issue I saw with PAX this year was the raffles. The raffles cause way too much congestion, disruption, and there's really no reason they need to be had on the expo hall floor. NewEgg and AlienWare want to have raffles to promote their products? Fine, let them give out tickets at their booth, but make them run the actual raffle somewhere else- the queue line room, the main entrance, or a spare room on the 2nd or 3rd floor.

    Other cons:
    TableTop: Tabletop was very crowded this year, both the tables to play on and the booths. Also, it took me most of Friday to find the tabletop freeplay checkout station.

    Timing: I'm a Boston resident, and running PAX in early March is just stupid. It's F***ing miserable for anyone who isn't a local and used to the weather. Even running it in early April is pretty stupid. PA should aim for mid April or later. PAX is the biggest convention the BCEC hosts every year. They should have the bargaining power to leverage a better weekend to use.

    The Tournament Area: So at first I thought it was just me, but upon asking the 20 or so assorted friends I know who went to PAX, no one cared to watch Halo or Evolved being played on a massive screen. Every time I walked by, it was clearly the most empty part of the entire convention center. That was basically just wasted space. If you wanted to run tournaments and draw a big, excited crowd into that area and away from the expo hall, maybe this is finally a space where Riot could be present without shutting down 1/5th of the expo hall. Say what you will about the Riot booth, it along with the Cosplay ratio and the MSI booth this year show that people love League of Legends. Pax should tap into that more, even if its not on the expo hall floor. If not, return this space to tabletop or PC free play.

    Demo play times for AAA games: Set a 10 or 15 minute cap to demo times for AAA games. I don't actually care about most AAA games, but most people do, and most people get pretty pissed when they learn that they would have to spend all of Saturday in line to play 2 AAA games - if they could get in line in the first place.

    More notice of the Bioware room: This year was the first year I knew Bioware was stashed away up on the 3rd floor. Even so, because there were no signs reminding me of this on the lower levels, I still never got around to checking it out. That's a missed opportunity for PAX and Bioware.

    TJ Collectibles/Magic the Gathering: Ok, I'm a huge magic fan. I've been playing since the mid 90's. I enjoy a magic tournament as much as the next person. However, the Magic Tournament Area taking up half of the greatly reduced tabletop area is a bit much. I saw huge numbers of people using the tournament area to freeplay until they got booted because there were not enough freeplay tables. Also, the PA announcers for TJ collectibles were absolutely annoying as hell. The PA was incredibly loud, and it seemed that not 2 minutes would go by without the booth announcing pairings being posted, calling for a named person to go to the booth, begging for more signups for an event, or just randomly putting a request out for judges to stop by the booth. It was incredibly distracting for anyone else in the area. I tried playing a game of Cosmic Encounters with 4 friends Saturday, and literally ever couple minutes we had to stop because a minute would pass where we couldn't hear each other over the PA. The same problem occurred on Sunday when I actually tried to play some magic. The announcer clearly loved the sound of his own voice, and would repeat the same announcement over and over.

    Freeplay timelimits: So this didn't affect me, but a friend ran into it and I remember this from past years. One of my friends got booted from PC freeplay midway through a LoL game. I understand the necessity of setting a max time limit of PC freeplay, but 1) if PC freeplay gets bigger in the future, expanding the time limit would be nice, and 2) the time limit should only be enforced if there are no unused hardware available. A couple years ago my friends and I got booted from an xbox 360 after like 3 matches of Blazblue. An enforcer told us we needed to give up the console. I look around the room, and there were at least 8 unused 360's in the room. What's the point?

    Hours: Is it just me, or does PAX keep getting shorter and shorter? I distinctly remember past years hanging out at the BCEC until like 2am when the enforcers finally chased the last of us out. I also remember this being an issue once in the past when daylight savings actually cost us an hour of PAX time, not just an hour of sleep. Also, the 10am start time? Has it always been that late? I don't recall, but I brought a friend to PAX this year for his first time, and he was surprised. Said basically ever other con he's been to starts at 8.

    Swag Bags: These were basically empty this year; a intro magic pack and a league skin. There were also like two advertisements for headsets. I know its huge pain filling like 100,000 swag bags with stuff, but having more advertisements for games, especially indie games, would be a great improvement.

    No Meat Tornado?: It seams the BCEC was not selling the infamous flesh cyclone this year. Not that I would ever eat such a thing, but every time I walked by the sign for it last year I chuckled.

    Pros:
    My pros list is less detailed because I think most go without saying.

    Expo hall organizing: It was noticeably easier to get around, even with the intermittent raffle hell.

    More indie games: I honestly didn't spend as much time in the expo hall as I would have like to due to being slightly under the weather, but I'm always down for fewer AAA games and more indies. AAA's have plenty of opportunity to hype their product, but PAX might be the only time I get to hear about an awesome indie game (Ex. Knight Squad from last year).

    Food trucks: I usually go all day without eating and then get a meal at Jerry Remy's or the like late at night, but I know most normal human beings require sustenance. The food trucks were a nice alternative to an immediately regrettable $9 hot dog from the BCEC.

    Relocating coat check was awesome. It gave the opportunity for the bean bag area (i forget what the company was called ,but people seemed to love it). I can't exactly remember what happened to the coat check areas downstairs.

    The focus on tubers, bloggers, and streamers: Ok, so I'm just starting to get into this aspect of gaming culture. Being a bit older, I think I missed the train on some of this, but League of Legends has exposed me to a bit. Meeting Keyori, Jaynee, and Sky was pretty cool (although I did feel a bit bad for them, they seemed a bit overwhelmed by the huge crowds of fans seeking autographs and selfies). This really is a new frontier in connecting players and industry, and building a new aspect of gaming community. This should be nurtured in future PAX's.

    Enforcers were awesome, as usual. The only exception was I heard of an enforcer basically stalking Brianna Wu, but it seems PA handled that immediately upon it being brought to their attention.

    BYOC: First year doing BYOC. I didn't actually spend much time there at all, but it was definitely nice to have a special place in the expo hall for me to sit whenever I needed a few minutes, and to stash my swag. 10/10 would do again.

    Cosplay: I know PAX doesn't actually have much control over this, but big thumbs up for all the peeps who went through the efforts of making PAX East look awesome this year. Your beautiful, creative designs are always one of the most exciting parts of the convention. I cosplayed for the first time in my life this year, and I had a blast. I'm probably going to step up the complexity and creativity for next year.




  • ClixClix This guy I know Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    I'd actually put the tiny swag bags as a plus. They cut out most of the worthless advertisements and left just the good stuff. And not having randomized CaH cards probably helped cut down on the amount of people using the swag bag pickup line as a merry-go-round.

  • millerm277millerm277 Registered User regular
    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.

    You may perceive that the bag check is useless; however, it acts more as a deterent. Think of it more psychologicaly, if somebody is planning to bring contraband in they would be more likely to reconsider if they see a bag check. Furthermore, those checking bags are not only looking for specific items in bags but also the demeanor of the individuals entering; if somebody is acting particularly suspicious it would be cause to inspect more carefully. Finally, the bomb sniffing dogs are very effective at finding explosive chemicals; the dogs would be alerted to anyone who has recently handled these chemicals (about 72 hours) from a pretty decent distance away. You have to understand that there is always a risk when there are large crowds of people, with a large event such as PAX security has to balance swift processing with providing a secure environment.

    However, that is not to say that the security situation is perfect --you can never have too much security. But rest assured that although you may perceive that the bag check is lax; it is assuredly more effective than you may think.

    I'm going to have to disagree. The bag checks are useless and not a deterrent, it's security theater. Most obviously, they don't even require you to open your coat. I was wearing a bulky leather jacket and anything I could have had in a bag could easily been concealed on my person. (And the wand things I saw a few times are well known to not work).

    Also, you certainly can have too much security. For example, even if staffed sufficiently to move people quickly, pretty much everyone would find (US) airport style security at the entrances unreasonably intrusive and annoying.

    TopherRocksilta
  • KinsleiaKinsleia Registered User regular
    Can someone please explain to me what the logic of queuing before the panels is? If the room is clean, why dont you just let people in as they come? You'd have a lot fewer enforcers if there was only a couple at the doors to count how many people come in leave before the panel begins. It just causes traffic in the hallways that difficult to navigate if you aren't going to the panel. This is particularly true for the main hall. The lineup for Acq Inc went all the way back past Dragonfly. At least that one isn't in the middle of the hallway like it is for every other one expect the one with the queue room.

    -Same as other people, ban raffles or have a raffle room and make the companies hold them there.
    -the E-gaming booth was fucking horrible and clogged up things the whole time , just as bad as Riot. It really needed to be moved near the Halo tourney booth out of the way. Everyone there on the edges seemed to be a prick too. I just want to pass by you.
    -Not having Funspot/ACAM was a huge mistake. The games that the party truck could get are all things you can still find in movie theaters. I dont want to play only Street Fighter. I definately dont want to play some Ipad game in a classic arcade room.
    -What was with the Swag bag? pretty disappointing
    -Sad no CAH exclusive
    -Panels get progressively worse every year. People do no preparation and winging it isn't a good idea unless you're a professional presenter or a comedian, and from what I saw this year, you are neither.

    -Food trucks were a blessing, so glad they were there and delicious. BCEC food sucks and didn't even have Meat Tornadoes this year

  • ClixClix This guy I know Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Regardless of the efficiency of bag checks, you guys do realize there are financial reasons too?
    Yes, it cost money to pay for security personnel, but insurance fees play a huge part of security too. The cost of security is most often far exceeded by the savings in liability insurance.

  • Stower2422Stower2422 North Boston Suburban HellscapeRegistered User regular
    BinaryPie wrote: »
    Bag Check

    I will always be opposed to this. It is offensive, unnecessary, and ineffective. The best thing I can say is it went much smoother than last year. I'm resigned to it at this point, and I do appreciate that PAX seems to be putting in the effort to make it go as easy as possible.

    @BinaryPie I respect your opinion of the Bag Check being offensive and ineffective; however, please don't consider i unnecessary. Unfortunately in the world we live in tragedies do happen. There is always a risk when there are large gatherings of people and I would rather the inconvenience over something happening. If it is really too inconvenient for you it is always an option to refuse to be subject to search; but you would also then be subject to being refused entry.

    "In the world we live in" has become the justification for any sort of bureaucratic bs. My backpack was full of large closed boxes of magic cards. They could have been filled with pipebombs and bagcheck would have never known. Last year All I had to do was open by bag and show them the sweatshirt I had crammed in there. They never bothered to look under it. Bag check isn't making you safer, its creating the illusion of safety. But really, that's all people actually want.

    TopherRocks
  • ItaraItara Registered User regular
    1st timer here! I’m going to touch on my thoughts over all. Most comments are a mix of pros and cons. And over all I enjoyed the con very very much. I met many nice people and plan to go again next year.

    + Food. I was actually pleasantly surprized by the BCEC food. I was lucky enough to find one sandwich (grab and go no line, wooh!) that was so good I ate it every day for lunch. (it was the roast beef one). Most of the food in the food court was okay. Not fantastic but good enough. That sandwich though.

    -Panels. I thought there were plenty of interesting panels and went to about 2-3 a day. Granted many of the ones I am interested are not the big name companies (see below for reason) so I could just show up at start and get in. Not enough of them had slide shows to keep you visually interested, or provide information. It was easy enough to not understand the title of a game, or a developer you wanted to check out, and then me SOL as to ever finding it. I went to a few board game panels (I’m really big into table top) and the panellist would mention the name of a game, and then describe it. Half way through the description I would think “THIS! I NEED THIS GAME!” But they wouldn’t repeat the name of the game. Adding a simple slideshow, even if it was just game titles they were talking about, would be a great help. A few of the panels I went to were straight Q&A, which was cool and I did like. BUT I wish it would have stated in the panel description that that would be the format of the panel.

    +Indies- I LOVE INDIES. So many AAA titles are just rehashes of their old tired games, I’m bored with it. (and ones I have gotten excited about have let me down releasing unfinished games to keep release dates) I want new, interesting, and unique games. So I felt no loss at the shorter list of AAA titles. And I loved all the indie games. It was great talking to developers of games that I already know and love, and seeing new games that I couldn’t wait to get home and play.

    -I love me some board games. But I felt the table top area was WAY too small. After the expo hall closed it was nearly impossible to find a place to sit and play games. Maybe add some chairs and tables after 6?

    -I’m a 1st timer. I got lost easy. So I was constantly on the lookout for red shirts to guide my way! Every enforcer I met was fantastic but sometimes I would go through long stretches of the convention, lost, without finding one.

    -Shuttles stopped running in the middle of the con. My group were all 1st timers to pax. We got a hotel on a shuttle rout thinking that we would be able to return whenever we wanted to, to the hotel. We were wrong. We found ourselves stuck there until the shuttles started up again. Which really sucked when one of our group became sick and wanted to return to the hotel.

    + Cospitality was fantastic! (Especially when I got to the con and realized that my buttons were loose!) but I would love that to have been larger. The 1st time I went in there to see what it was all about I was completely overwhelmed because it was filled with nothing but people in bulky costumes, in a tinny space. I had a hard time getting out without breaking something (either of mine, or someone else’s). I would love to see this lounge next year, but I hope it’s a bigger room.

    -Saturday pat downs. When we got to the convention on Saturday the Bag Line was moving Faster than the non-bag line. Turns out that they were giving pat downs to the people in the non-bag line, slowing down the flow in. This wouldn’t have been bad if there had been more than one line, but it took those in our group without bags twice as long to get though the line as those with bags. (and we had consolidated to only 2 of us carrying bags to speed up our entrance.) Not only were that, but those with bags not getting a pat down at all, just the bag search. I felt the whole thing was very weird.

    -Swag bags. I didn’t come to pax for the swag. But I do wish that there were more than some ads in the bag. Special games additions (like skins, or Superfight cards) would be fantastic. Or at least a nice pax tote bag that could be used to carry all the loot acquired on the floor.

  • KinsleiaKinsleia Registered User regular
    Solution to lines for AAA games, but it's not cheap

    Have PAX owned (maybe 30 or so) in an area near the BYOD systems. Have designated times for big games for a couple hours. Image every machine to run your demo, limit it to 15 minutes, clear the place, repeat. Honestly, if there were to raise the ticket price to be able to do this I'd be set

  • DanQDanQ Registered User regular
    So am I the only person who didn't notice a single raffle going on in the expo hall? I had no issues with raffles and didn't notice any traffic jams from them. I spent maybe a couple hours a day in the expo hall.

  • KinsleiaKinsleia Registered User regular
    While I'm sure they remember this after past experiences, obviously no one told hem early March is extremely unreliable, although it really only impacted parking in the worst possible way this year

    Easter:
    2016 Sunday March 27, 2016
    2017 Sunday April 16, 2017
    2018 Sunday April 1, 2018
    2019 Sunday April 21, 2019
    2020 Sunday April 12, 2020
    2021 Sunday April 4, 2021
    2022 Sunday April 17, 2022

    Anime Bosotn:
    Anime Boston 2016: March 25-27, 2016
    Anime Boston 2017: March 31 - April 2, 2017
    Anime Boston 2018: March 30 - April 1, 2018
    Anime Boston 2019: April 19-21, 2019

    cancer
  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    Imsorad wrote: »
    I've been trying to think of how to put my thoughts into words for this last point. But it seems like the culture of PAX is changing, and not for the better. One of my friends skipped coming to PAX last year, and he said he noticed a much bigger change in the crowd. The d-baggery was at an all time high. Maybe I'm just old, but it seems like a lot more attendees are less focused on being an ambassador of gaming or being a positive part of the gaming community. There are a lot more "bros" now that seem to only care about themselves and they don't mind if they ruin other people's enjoyment of PAX.

    How can this be changed? Maybe the way that PAX is marketed needs to be changed, maybe take a look at vendors and see what kind of demographic they bring to the show. If they don't draw a positive impact to PAX then maybe they shouldn't be there. I know PAX is for everyone, but I'd argue that not everyone is right for PAX. Does that make sense?
    I've thought a lot about this as well, as this year was practically embarrassing with how some were behaving. One of the greatest things about PAX has been that this is a place where we all get to come together and not be judged. It's been said time and again (by many including myself) that when we were growing up, we didn't have anything like this and it was hard to find others like us. We got picked on and made fun of because we were into gaming, wizards, spells, comics, sci-fi, etc., etc. I still run into some people that overhear one of my discussions about things like theory crafting in a game or specific aspects of the Star Wars universe, but said individuals tell me that I need to grow up. I shrug it off, because I enjoy this stuff so whatever; I'm sure you get the point. Anywho...

    [Enter stage right PAX and cue angelic music]

    It's absolutely amazing how things have changed where anyone can come in and check out this cool little world we're in. Want to know how to play this game? Just ask! Stuff like that. While I so very very very badly wish there was a way to police the absolutely deplorable dickatude that some displayed, there just really isn't. And if we start saying "Sorry, bros/brahs, you're not allowed in," aren't we just doing the same thing that was done to us years back? Now if someone gets caught stealing something, I'm all for totally banning them because that's just garbage; I don't know how to enforce that either, but it's shit like that which just flat out saddens me. This is the only place I know of where you usually never ever have to worry about things like that.

    I totally sympathize with what you're saying and on the surface I would love to be all "High-five, hell yeah, let's do it," but morally I just can't do that because PAX is about everyone coming together to share what we love doing most without being ridiculed for it. I'd feel like a complete hypocrite if we started pulling the old "We don't server your kind" at PAX. It's just... I don't know. Maybe this is a necessary evil of PAX growth. If things start going towards only sports and Call of Duty, then I'll check out.

    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
    AlextheGreat77Clixstardust462Pure Dinvryce666@gmail.comStreetlight345zeromystDevereaux
  • rascrushrascrush Registered User regular
    @Kinsleia what are these dates for you posted?

  • LimondLimond Registered User regular
    Stower2422 wrote: »
    BinaryPie wrote: »
    Bag Check

    I will always be opposed to this. It is offensive, unnecessary, and ineffective. The best thing I can say is it went much smoother than last year. I'm resigned to it at this point, and I do appreciate that PAX seems to be putting in the effort to make it go as easy as possible.

    @BinaryPie I respect your opinion of the Bag Check being offensive and ineffective; however, please don't consider i unnecessary. Unfortunately in the world we live in tragedies do happen. There is always a risk when there are large gatherings of people and I would rather the inconvenience over something happening. If it is really too inconvenient for you it is always an option to refuse to be subject to search; but you would also then be subject to being refused entry.

    "In the world we live in" has become the justification for any sort of bureaucratic bs. My backpack was full of large closed boxes of magic cards. They could have been filled with pipebombs and bagcheck would have never known. Last year All I had to do was open by bag and show them the sweatshirt I had crammed in there. They never bothered to look under it. Bag check isn't making you safer, its creating the illusion of safety. But really, that's all people actually want.

    Most of the work is done by the dogs that they have there, and the guards watching the body language of people, not the physical inspection of the bags. The physical inspection is just there so the dogs don't get overwhelmed by masses of people going by all at once so they can't easily pinpoint the smell, as well as for the guards to do the same thing with suspicious activity. Would PAX every be attacked, probably not, it isn't as public as an event as the Boston Marathon, also people never thought that it would be attacked but hear we are. It creates an illusion of safety, but it also serves a purpose, to help prevent future attacks. If you don't like them, take a smaller bag, or no bag at all. Or don't come to PAX. They aren't invasive and don't take much time at all. Now if metal detectors were added in I could be on your side saying that it is to much. Just having bags checked is not to much to ask though.

    One clip, one kill.

    I am a monster truck that walks like a man.
  • JohnBlazeNYCJohnBlazeNYC Registered User regular
    38 yr old dad here and this is my 3rd time attending PAX East. My sons and their friends had a blast. Less AAA games was a good thing. That just meant less longer lines! More AAA games would mean more longer lines and less stuff to play. You have a problem with long lines? Then get up early and hit the best ones first. Sit on a line for an hour or so if you really wanted to play it. Four hours for a game is insane, not much more to say about that one. The food trucks were a great idea. Better if it was spring because standing outside without a jacket on was brutal.

    Classic Arcade was the best! Dimmed lights, great fighting games, we couldn't have asked for more! There was also room left open in the middle so we wouldn't feel packed in. Maybe add more pinball games.

    Suggestion - A paid for Photo Booth/Section. This way if people wanted to take a professional picture taken with a cos-player or just with their buds they can. Pay a couple of bucks and then have them emailed or printed for an extra fee. Or maybe like have a picture guy that hands out a card with your number on it in order to retrieve your picture later on in the day.

    We had a great time and will continue to return. Until next year!

  • KinsleiaKinsleia Registered User regular
    rascrush wrote: »
    @Kinsleia what are these dates for you posted?

    Things that have conflicted with PAX in the past. Out of the 6 years, they've hit DLS twice, Easter once and Anime Boston once, which isn't a great track record

  • LimondLimond Registered User regular
    Kinsleia wrote: »
    rascrush wrote: »
    @Kinsleia what are these dates for you posted?

    Things that have conflicted with PAX in the past. Out of the 6 years, they've hit DLS twice, Easter once and Anime Boston once, which isn't a great track record

    They have little control over what date they actually get for the convention center because they need an entire weekend where no one else has any rooms booked. As PAX grows and continues bringing in more money for the MA Convention people they will get better choices of dates and will be able to get smaller time frame windows. Next year is set for April 22-24. So unless you are a huge fan of Earth Day on the 22nd, then you don't have to worry.

    One clip, one kill.

    I am a monster truck that walks like a man.
    ishtraJosh5890Steel Firezeromyst
  • PilotPSKPilotPSK Registered User new member
    I have been going to PAX (both Prime and East) for 5 years now and this was definitely an off year.

    PRO
    1. The expo hall was easy to navigate, an unexpected positive to a major negative.
    2. People, as usual.
    3. The bag check seemed to move quickly.

    CONS
    1. The lack of big publishers was a giant negative. This is the East Coasts chance to see some major publishers in action and with many of the big players absent, it hurt the show.
    2. Why can't the shuttles bring you to an open entrance? Every shuttle I took either dropped you on the side of the main entrance (which wasn't terrible) or they dropped you on the first floor where you have to walk forever to get to the main entrance. Granted, we got dropped off in front of an entrance, but it was closed all the time. It would be nice, especially for people with disabilities, to be dropped off at or close to an entrance that they can immediately enter. Having to walk around the building and up the stairs to the main entrance was bad.
    3. I never had an issue with the Riot booth, sure it was placed badly, but it brought a ton of people to their booth and injected some life to the show. However, I think giving these video network booths over actual game companies was a poor decision. It tends to shift the focus away from games and more towards individual personalities. Sure, it's cool to see your favorite YouTube personality, but it would be better for the show to take a little less money and get a major publisher on board. This was the least video games-oriented show I've been to.
    4. They need better communication when the main lot fills up. There weren't a ton of signs or people directing traffic which made getting to and from the satellite lots more challenging then they have been in the past.
    5. They should not allow people to queue-up for certain panels as early as they did. I know getting into the Final Fantasy panel, there were people there two hours early and the enforcers let them stay the whole time. I think if they would have started the line an hour before the panel or whatever, that would have made the panels more organized and easier to attend.
    6. They need a greater variety and number of panels. It seemed there was less to see than in other years.

    cancer
  • DeviousPorkinsDeviousPorkins Registered User regular
    Le_Goat wrote: »
    Imsorad wrote: »
    I've been trying to think of how to put my thoughts into words for this last point. But it seems like the culture of PAX is changing, and not for the better. One of my friends skipped coming to PAX last year, and he said he noticed a much bigger change in the crowd. The d-baggery was at an all time high. Maybe I'm just old, but it seems like a lot more attendees are less focused on being an ambassador of gaming or being a positive part of the gaming community. There are a lot more "bros" now that seem to only care about themselves and they don't mind if they ruin other people's enjoyment of PAX.

    How can this be changed? Maybe the way that PAX is marketed needs to be changed, maybe take a look at vendors and see what kind of demographic they bring to the show. If they don't draw a positive impact to PAX then maybe they shouldn't be there. I know PAX is for everyone, but I'd argue that not everyone is right for PAX. Does that make sense?
    I've thought a lot about this as well, as this year was practically embarrassing with how some were behaving. One of the greatest things about PAX has been that this is a place where we all get to come together and not be judged. It's been said time and again (by many including myself) that when we were growing up, we didn't have anything like this and it was hard to find others like us. We got picked on and made fun of because we were into gaming, wizards, spells, comics, sci-fi, etc., etc. I still run into some people that overhear one of my discussions about things like theory crafting in a game or specific aspects of the Star Wars universe, but said individuals tell me that I need to grow up. I shrug it off, because I enjoy this stuff so whatever; I'm sure you get the point. Anywho...

    [Enter stage right PAX and cue angelic music]

    It's absolutely amazing how things have changed where anyone can come in and check out this cool little world we're in. Want to know how to play this game? Just ask! Stuff like that. While I so very very very badly wish there was a way to police the absolutely deplorable dickatude that some displayed, there just really isn't. And if we start saying "Sorry, bros/brahs, you're not allowed in," aren't we just doing the same thing that was done to us years back? Now if someone gets caught stealing something, I'm all for totally banning them because that's just garbage; I don't know how to enforce that either, but it's shit like that which just flat out saddens me. This is the only place I know of where you usually never ever have to worry about things like that.

    I totally sympathize with what you're saying and on the surface I would love to be all "High-five, hell yeah, let's do it," but morally I just can't do that because PAX is about everyone coming together to share what we love doing most without being ridiculed for it. I'd feel like a complete hypocrite if we started pulling the old "We don't server your kind" at PAX. It's just... I don't know. Maybe this is a necessary evil of PAX growth. If things start going towards only sports and Call of Duty, then I'll check out.

    Not to mention the fact that PAX itself has changed from a tiny show that was about gamers and not the industry into the gaming industry itself. That's what happens. This show is not the same show that we attended in 2007 etc. That show is long gone. This is an industry mouthpiece a lot of the time now.

    vryce666@gmail.comLe_GoatBigRed
  • millerm277millerm277 Registered User regular
    Imsorad wrote: »
    I've been trying to think of how to put my thoughts into words for this last point. But it seems like the culture of PAX is changing, and not for the better. One of my friends skipped coming to PAX last year, and he said he noticed a much bigger change in the crowd. The d-baggery was at an all time high. Maybe I'm just old, but it seems like a lot more attendees are less focused on being an ambassador of gaming or being a positive part of the gaming community. There are a lot more "bros" now that seem to only care about themselves and they don't mind if they ruin other people's enjoyment of PAX.

    How can this be changed? Maybe the way that PAX is marketed needs to be changed, maybe take a look at vendors and see what kind of demographic they bring to the show. If they don't draw a positive impact to PAX then maybe they shouldn't be there. I know PAX is for everyone, but I'd argue that not everyone is right for PAX. Does that make sense?


    On the flip side of this though, I noticed drastically improved behavior in some respects from PAX attendees this year.

    For example, I barely had to smell anyone this time which was a pleasant change.

    I also felt that things like audience Q&A were a bit less cringe-worthy than usual, less people asking obnoxious nitpicky questions (ex: "In the 3rd minute of the cutscene after battle X, their armor is intact when it was clearly damaged in the battle before. Why is that?"), telling a 5 minute story without a question, or trying to argue with the panelists when the answer isn't what they wanted. Still a problem, but less of one than in previous years.

  • stardust462stardust462 Leominster, MARegistered User regular
    I think April is pretty tough for PAX to schedule in Boston because one weekend will never be available because of the Marathon. Then if Easter happens in April that's another weekend that doesn't work. May though. PAX East in May would be amazing.

    Here's my feedback:

    I would love to see all the vendors in their own area, instead of mixed in with the developers. That way more room can be given in between rows so that more people can look at the products without causing bottlenecks.

    Shorter demos. I'm looking at you, Final Fantasy Type-0.

    There should be a definite answer about when the Westin skybridge can open. One morning I got in a little after 10am, and other I tried to cross at 10:15am and they told me to go to the front.

    I'm wondering if the food trucks weren't highly publicized because this was their first year there - i.e. to prevent a huge influx of people to overwhelm them. I've love to see them back next year, I didn't know there were there till Sunday.

    As much as I would love to see PAX East go to four days, PAX Prime benefits from often being on Labor Day weekend so many people are off from work and school on that Monday. Maybe PAX East could do a preview night on Thursday, like 2-10pm or something? That would be pretty cool. The demand is definitely there.

    cancer
  • ElbasunuElbasunu Registered User regular
    Just a reminder: Here's what Khoo wrote about Scheduling PAX East back in 2011, as far as conflicts go:
    There are a number of factors playing into the decision to choose Easter Weekend, including:

    1. Actually having dates where the entirety of the convention center is open, and that's not just for show days. It takes us five full days to setup and two full days to strike.
    2. Not overlapping the Boston Marathon
    3. Not being close to any large event/conferences within boston that would hurt our ability to negotiate for lower hotel room rates for attendees.
    4. Not overlapping with GDC (since many developers and publishers go to both)
    5. Not overlapping with Anime Boston
    6. Not overlapping with SXSW
    7. As far away from PAX Prime the previous year (so not too early) so we can plan the show.
    8. As far away from PAX Prime, E3 and SDCC the next year (so not too late).

    So, that said, when looking at that list, I came to the realization a long time ago fulfilling all of those is an impossibility. One of two of those gives every year. (same with prime, only with different criteria/shows) For instance, this year we needed to overlap with SXSW, and tons of speakers and guests couldn't make it because they were booked for that. It's just a reality of the show.

    That list is pretty much in order of importance. Tough decisions need to get made because of it, and to get #s 1-3 in alignment, #s 4, 5 or 6 had be compromised. It's unfortunate, but it had to happen.

    Full post here: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/comment/18678526#Comment_18678526

    It sucks, but some years you're just going to hit either DST, Easter, or whatever. Hell, this year GDC was the same week. Yikes.

    g1xfUKU.png?10zfegkyoor3b.png
    Steam ID: Obos Vent: Obos
    revengeancefulSteel Fire
  • AlextheGreat77AlextheGreat77 Registered User regular

    There should be a definite answer about when the Westin skybridge can open. One morning I got in a little after 10am, and other I tried to cross at 10:15am and they told me to go to the front.

    Agreed on this point. Friday I was able to get across right at 10. Saturday they told me the Sky Bridge wouldn't be accessible until 10:45, and I had to go to the front.

  • ClixClix This guy I know Seattle, WARegistered User regular

    There should be a definite answer about when the Westin skybridge can open. One morning I got in a little after 10am, and other I tried to cross at 10:15am and they told me to go to the front.

    Agreed on this point. Friday I was able to get across right at 10. Saturday they told me the Sky Bridge wouldn't be accessible until 10:45, and I had to go to the front.
    They probably don't provide a specific time because they don't want a line to form in the hotel. Just a guess.

  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    Pros:
    • Food trucks. Didn't find out about them until Friday night, but they were great on Saturday and Sunday.
    • Arcade room. I know others are upset that the classic arcades weren't there, but the 90s was my arcade era, so playing all those 90s fighting games was awesome.
    • The large area for tabletop and PC gaming. Not sure if it was actually larger, but that's how it felt.
    • Best placement and handling of morning queue lines I've ever experienced. Keep it this way next year.
    Cons:
    • When expo booth lines were bad, they were really bad. Most lines were fine, but some lines, and the enforcers handling them, were horribly bad, like someone should be fired bad. They should have rerouted those lines to better fit demand.
    • No recent PC games in free play. In prior years, the PC game area was great for play testing recently released games, but this year, I found zero games released within the last year loaded on the PCs.

    hsu on
    iTNdmYl.png
  • oytrayoytray PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    Limond wrote: »
    Kinsleia wrote: »
    rascrush wrote: »
    @Kinsleia what are these dates for you posted?

    Things that have conflicted with PAX in the past. Out of the 6 years, they've hit DLS twice, Easter once and Anime Boston once, which isn't a great track record

    They have little control over what date they actually get for the convention center because they need an entire weekend where no one else has any rooms booked. As PAX grows and continues bringing in more money for the MA Convention people they will get better choices of dates and will be able to get smaller time frame windows. Next year is set for April 22-24. So unless you are a huge fan of Earth Day on the 22nd, then you don't have to worry.

    Someone from Boston stated earlier that PAX East is the biggest event that the center holds each year. I don't think it's a matter of growth, it's a matter of flexing some muscle. PAX East is bigger than Prime (I'm guessing attendance is well over 100k at this point, since they stopped tracking attendance years ago). I understand avoiding overlap, but I should hope they prioritize some of the overlap issues over others. Early March is bad because of weather, and GDC yanked a lot of publishers from going at all. Obviously avoid the marathon as well. Khoo's post from 2011 shows what they're trying to avoid, but frankly some of those are less important than others. I don't care about how far away PAX East is from Prime, especially now with the other ones they're doing anyway. Winter in Boston is the worst; I'd prefer they move it to another city with fewer scheduling conflicts, but if they're under contract to stay in Boston then they can at least leverage some better dates, given the business they bring.

    KaronethClix
  • LimondLimond Registered User regular
    oytray wrote: »
    Limond wrote: »
    Kinsleia wrote: »
    rascrush wrote: »
    @Kinsleia what are these dates for you posted?

    Things that have conflicted with PAX in the past. Out of the 6 years, they've hit DLS twice, Easter once and Anime Boston once, which isn't a great track record

    They have little control over what date they actually get for the convention center because they need an entire weekend where no one else has any rooms booked. As PAX grows and continues bringing in more money for the MA Convention people they will get better choices of dates and will be able to get smaller time frame windows. Next year is set for April 22-24. So unless you are a huge fan of Earth Day on the 22nd, then you don't have to worry.

    Someone from Boston stated earlier that PAX East is the biggest event that the center holds each year. I don't think it's a matter of growth, it's a matter of flexing some muscle. PAX East is bigger than Prime (I'm guessing attendance is well over 100k at this point, since they stopped tracking attendance years ago). I understand avoiding overlap, but I should hope they prioritize some of the overlap issues over others. Early March is bad because of weather, and GDC yanked a lot of publishers from going at all. Obviously avoid the marathon as well. Khoo's post from 2011 shows what they're trying to avoid, but frankly some of those are less important than others. I don't care about how far away PAX East is from Prime, especially now with the other ones they're doing anyway. Winter in Boston is the worst; I'd prefer they move it to another city with fewer scheduling conflicts, but if they're under contract to stay in Boston then they can at least leverage some better dates, given the business they bring.


    I'm sure PAX has plenty of muscle when it comes to negotiating contracts but when the first 10 year deal was made they didn't have that much. Last year they extended their contract till 2028. With that extension they probably renegotiated some terms to get better days but we won't know for sure until 2017 at the earliest if that is true or not. The MCCA mentioned PAX East twice in its fiscal year 2014 report which is good news for all involved (no other con was mentioned twice)

    You may also not care about the importance of some of those things on the list but others sure do. There are so many cons a year that having them so close together will burn out the developers, and press. The first one is vital else there is no one there to show off. The second one is also important because PAX doesn't have marketing, it is all done via the press. That gets people there in the first place.

    As for moving it to another city that one is also real hard. First you have to find one on the east coast. That city also has to have a convention center of at least the same size. The city must have the infrastructure for it. The city also has to have done connection to having to get local developers. That doesn't leave very many cities at all. Only a handful really. Then you have to find one that can be taken over completely by PAX for 10 full days. The only other city it could have a shot at being in would be DC. Good luck with that one though.

    One clip, one kill.

    I am a monster truck that walks like a man.
  • cky71321cky71321 Boston, MARegistered User regular
    Something a lot of folks from outside the area need to understand:

    The storms leading up to PAX East weren't just bad, they were HISTORICALLY bad. Hopefully this means the T can finally get a bit of love in terms of becoming a bit more modern - next year will be better regardless. The T being at 100% capacity reduces the number of folks driving in and taxis/Ubers being used around the city. The BCEC should also have 2 extra hotels next year, along with extra parking - the full expansion is quite some time away.

    As for the event itself - I think it's safe to say we're over 100K on attendance at this point. Even with line capping, the expo floor still felt very crowded despite the space being used far more efficiently. This was very reminiscent of East at the Hynes - it was almost too big. The upcoming BCEC expansion will help a bit, but that's still a few years out. So - how to help with the crowd issue next year?
    • Late April will help - more people will be willing to go check out the city during the days.
    • To add to this - it will open up the D Street park, which will make the food trucks more appealing during the day.
      Game demos should be limited to 10-15 minutes. PC games that go over this should be deployed on PC Freeplay machines. A few games (Dreadnaught) were very good about cycling the crowd. Not sure of a console suggestion.
    • I would almost suggest a dedicated raffle stage - I know this has been mentioned in the past. Give vendors a 10 minute appointment to get through stuff. The queue area could also work for a quick stage.
    • MTG almost feels like the Riot Games of tabletop - it's not loud and obnoxious, but it almost felt like they had a lot of unused space, which could be utilized for other things. I say this with a grain of salt, as I didn't see it much on Saturday.
    • With the coat checks moved, it opened up a lot of space outside of the hall that was used for a few food carts. Extra seating out there would help a ton.

    I don't list higher pass prices or changing the Fri/Sat/Sun/3 Day structure because it won't help an event that sells out in 10 minutes. The only realistic solution at this point is obtaining more space - the BCEC expansion will help, and there's always the WTC/Hynes if they really need more space.

  • FunnelKing27FunnelKing27 Registered User regular
    Pros:
    - The people. The people are the real reason I attend every year. The games and panels are great (although I thought they were extremely lacking for my taste this year) but being surrounded by fellow gamers is the greatest part of pax.
    - The Cosplay. I have so much respect for the people who make these awesome costumes and props themselves and bring our favorite characters to life. I have to do it next year.
    - Fast bag check. It was very quick although I did have a rude person check my bag Sunday.

    Cons
    - Less AAA games. I know this is a mixed topic and not very controllable due to whats coming out and timing of event. I think it could have made some lines shorter as it would have split the huge draw a bit. People there for AAA games (which seems to be many by looking at the lines for them) only had a few options to flock to. I like a heavy mix of AAA, Indie.
    - Panels. just a preference thing but the panels just weren't my cup of tea this year.
    - Timing. I know its not very controllable but I hate the cold.
    - Use of space. I always see so much space not being utilized. The expo hall needs more room.

    I know I listed more cons than pros and that makes it seem like it was a less than great time and thats not the case. Its always awesome. These are just things I think could be better.

  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    tabletop freeplay was way too small. People were circling constantly looking for a place to sit.
    There were a group of Alien Model UN people that took up a huge chunk of real estate all day Sunday. Please just give them a room or something.

  • oytrayoytray PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    Limond wrote: »
    oytray wrote: »
    Limond wrote: »
    Kinsleia wrote: »
    rascrush wrote: »
    @Kinsleia what are these dates for you posted?

    Things that have conflicted with PAX in the past. Out of the 6 years, they've hit DLS twice, Easter once and Anime Boston once, which isn't a great track record

    They have little control over what date they actually get for the convention center because they need an entire weekend where no one else has any rooms booked. As PAX grows and continues bringing in more money for the MA Convention people they will get better choices of dates and will be able to get smaller time frame windows. Next year is set for April 22-24. So unless you are a huge fan of Earth Day on the 22nd, then you don't have to worry.

    Someone from Boston stated earlier that PAX East is the biggest event that the center holds each year. I don't think it's a matter of growth, it's a matter of flexing some muscle. PAX East is bigger than Prime (I'm guessing attendance is well over 100k at this point, since they stopped tracking attendance years ago). I understand avoiding overlap, but I should hope they prioritize some of the overlap issues over others. Early March is bad because of weather, and GDC yanked a lot of publishers from going at all. Obviously avoid the marathon as well. Khoo's post from 2011 shows what they're trying to avoid, but frankly some of those are less important than others. I don't care about how far away PAX East is from Prime, especially now with the other ones they're doing anyway. Winter in Boston is the worst; I'd prefer they move it to another city with fewer scheduling conflicts, but if they're under contract to stay in Boston then they can at least leverage some better dates, given the business they bring.


    I'm sure PAX has plenty of muscle when it comes to negotiating contracts but when the first 10 year deal was made they didn't have that much. Last year they extended their contract till 2028. With that extension they probably renegotiated some terms to get better days but we won't know for sure until 2017 at the earliest if that is true or not. The MCCA mentioned PAX East twice in its fiscal year 2014 report which is good news for all involved (no other con was mentioned twice)

    You may also not care about the importance of some of those things on the list but others sure do. There are so many cons a year that having them so close together will burn out the developers, and press. The first one is vital else there is no one there to show off. The second one is also important because PAX doesn't have marketing, it is all done via the press. That gets people there in the first place.

    As for moving it to another city that one is also real hard. First you have to find one on the east coast. That city also has to have a convention center of at least the same size. The city must have the infrastructure for it. The city also has to have done connection to having to get local developers. That doesn't leave very many cities at all. Only a handful really. Then you have to find one that can be taken over completely by PAX for 10 full days. The only other city it could have a shot at being in would be DC. Good luck with that one though.

    I'm not saying it's feasible, it's more wishful thinking. I do think that moving it to Philadelphia would actually solve a lot of issues, but again I don't think it's feasible, just more convenient for a lot of people. Philadelphia has an enormous (and desperate) convention center (at last check nearly twice the size of the BCEC, but I don't really follow things that closely), and a much more robust public transit system (and it's not as expensive a city as Boston); it's also more central to the rest of the east coast. Boston does have a larger developer scene, but considering how many fly to Prime, I think a trip to Philadelphia to strut their stuff would be pretty manageable.

    That being said, I'll just reiterate: I don't expect it to happen, due to many factors. Speaking from the standpoint of a consumer, even if this time was a fluke and it'll theoretically be better next year, I'm not sure I'm sold on going again. I do think a lot of the suggestions here would be very welcome, especially moving the raffles or eliminating them entirely. I'm still glad I went this year, it was just my least favorite of the three I've been to thus far.

    Geth
  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    I am well aware that they have no choice in the dates, and if it were up to them it'd probably be some non-Easter weekend every year in April.

    It would be nice, however, if they would adjust the Sunday schedule whenever DST crops up. I dunno how feasible that is (maybe the convention HAS to close to at 6pm each year), but it'd be nice to push things back an hour just to make it a tad easier on everyone.

    YL9WnCY.png
Sign In or Register to comment.