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How to PAX? First Timer questions

WizarDruWizarDru Registered User regular
So it has become abundantly apparent over the past few weeks that PAX Unplugged will be different in format and approach from many of the formats currently established at our gaming conventions. This is fine, as Unplugged is clearly going to be its own thing (i.e. it's a PAX show about board, card and role-playing games, as opposed to a board game convention by PAX, if you get the distinction). My only issue, however, is that having no PAX experience upon which to draw, a lot of the information coming from the PAX Unplugged site, twitter feeds and so forth all seem to assume/expect a certain degree of PAX knowledge that many of I and my friends simply do not have. I'd like to think this is more an issue of oversight than insular community.

In that spirit, I'm trying to ascertain what may be basic questions, but ones for which I haven't found obvious answers (arguably because I'm just looking in the wrong locations for them).


1. I have the App. It is quite impressive. I like that it lets me set up a schedule.
2. How does PAX open? That is, what's the process for attending the convention? Do I just show up and stand on a line until the doors open? My wife and I are pre-registered. Do we have to wait on a specific line to enter?
3. I know you need to register (and pray) that you can get into an event. Is this done at one location? Tournaments will likely be impossible to get into (and it seems odd to me that a convention of 23-30,000 people has a bunch of tournaments for...8 to 24 people. The two things I most want to attend are panels in (iirc) the main theater. Do I need to register for these or are those just 'show up and the main theater and hope that some seats are there'?
4. How will the freeplay tables work? Huge swaths of the Philly Area gaming community are going and looking to play games...are tables requested/assigned?
5. How does the LFG/LFM area work?

I'm hoping these are all basic and obvious questions. I'm pretty excited for PAX Unplugged, but I wish there wasn't this huge ball of uncertainty hanging over the whole thing. I understand this sort of 'media blackout' until a couple of weeks prior to the con is normal for PAXes (though I'm not sure it's great for new attendees). There is a lot of crossover between the video game and board game communities, but I feel like PAX doesn't really have a grip on the differences, yet. I'm hoping I'm just over-thinking it and everything is going to be great.

Thanks!

bubba0077drakuldragon

Posts

  • whypick1whypick1 PAX [E] Info Booth Manager ~2' from an LCDRegistered User regular
    edited November 13
    1. That's not a question silly
    2. Do you have your badge? Great! Doors open at 8AM, head over to the appropriate Queue Room for what you want to do first when the show opens at 10. If you don't have your badge yet, get that at Registration (which you can get to starting at 8, or Thursday afternoon if need be). After ~10:15-10:30 the Queues will be empty so you can just head straight to where you want to go.
    3. Panels are FCFS lines. No pre-registering or anything like that. The only events you pre-register for are tournaments and possibly demos held by exhibitors. For the PAX-run tourneys, signups are day-of starting at 10AM at Tabletop Tourney.
    4. Thunderdome, basically. No assigned tables or anything like that.
    5. Can't help you on that one, a TT Enforcer will need to chime in.

    whypick1 on
    Is it PAX <insert nearest future PAX here> yet?
  • SchmulkiSchmulki Registered User regular
    I'll take a swing at 5. Have a specific game you want to play but not enough people? Check it out from the library and say that you're looking for more/post it in the app/etc. More show up to play said game with you. Don't have a specific game? Check the app/go to the area and find people looking to start a game and go, "hey, I'd like to play that!"

  • GundabadGundabad PAX East & Unplugged Tabletop Manager NJRegistered User regular
    This isn't too far off. We have some fancier ideas that will come to pass as Unplugged grows, but LFG at this show will be done in one of two ways:

    High tech:
    - Use the LFG area in the PAX Unplugged app, and/or use the #ttlfg hashtag on Twitter

    Low tech:
    - We will have an area just outside the library where you can pick up one of our traditional "LFG" cones. Display on your table and attract players. (I recommend standing the box lid up and placing the cone on top)
    - We have also created a bigger, improved version of the LFG cone in prep for Unplugged. This will also include the option to advertise "looking for teacher."

  • MelSnyMelSny New JerseyRegistered User regular
    Quick points on Question 3: I just wanted to say that in my past PAX experience, unlike other cons I've attended, the Enforcers are great about line counts for panels. This means to me, I show up at the panel queue area and get in line. The Enforcers attempt to count the people as they join the lines (and several times while you are in line). If the Enforcers counted out enough people that the panel is full they will Capped the line and will tell you so you as you try to line up so you dont waste your time standing on a line for something you will not get to see. For other PAX events, the key to lines that very popular panel lines will start about 1.5 hours in advance and will fill up quickly. Other panels you can walk right in as just before the panel starts. Since this is the first year for Unplugged it will be hard to figure out what panels will be the popular ones. I also dont know when lines will be allowed to start forming at Unplugged. It is usually a space issue. Other PAX events they will allow you to start a line when the prior panel goes into the theater.

    Also of note. At PAX East I've enjoyed walking around the tabletop area and watching games played over peoples shoulders for a while. I've always found PAX attendees really nice to chat with and willing to explain a game you dont know. As long as you aren't annoying about it! Also if you see a game being played see if you can "get in next round" or something. Remember that PAX/Cons are one of the few places you can go where you already have something in common with everyone else around you!

    signature.png

    "You want to kill me? You couldn't even kill my boredom" - Roronoa Zoro (One Piece).

    Attending PAX East since 2011.
    Gundabadbubba0077
  • WizarDruWizarDru Registered User regular
    whypick1 wrote: »
    1. That's not a question silly
    2. Do you have your badge? Great! Doors open at 8AM, head over to the appropriate Queue Room for what you want to do first when the show opens at 10. If you don't have your badge yet, get that at Registration (which you can get to starting at 8, or Thursday afternoon if need be). After ~10:15-10:30 the Queues will be empty so you can just head straight to where you want to go.
    3. Panels are FCFS lines. No pre-registering or anything like that. The only events you pre-register for are tournaments and possibly demos held by exhibitors. For the PAX-run tourneys, signups are day-of starting at 10AM at Tabletop Tourney.
    4. Thunderdome, basically. No assigned tables or anything like that.
    5. Can't help you on that one, a TT Enforcer will need to chime in.

    In my defense, it really is a swell app. :biggrin:

    Thanks, this is very helpful. So we'll make sure and queue up extra early for the panels we want to attend, then. Otherwise, sounds more straightforward than I expected. We do have our badges, so it's just sign up for stuff and then get our merch and then the world's our meeple, it sounds like.

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