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Constructive Feedback - South 2018

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

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

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Posts

  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    It's possible it's just because I almost never get to the con the minute it opens, but the queue area next to the expo floor has been completely completely empty except for 3-5 people passing through every time i go by.

    I don't know if only gets used in early morning, or for very specific events, but it feels like a lot of wasted space. Not sure if there's any way feasible way to temporarily reclaim it by setting up "portable" charging stations, or demo/play areas for games like Happy Salmon that only require a very small tall table, but room to move around it.

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    Canderson1989Crippl3
  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    I kind of feel like the lines for autograph sessions should have been squeezed together a bit more, because when I got in line for the Rebel Genius & Acolyte one I was pretty close to the gate from the beginning but as more and more people came they did not get behind the people standing there already, they got beside them. I didn't get to move forward, despite having been one of the first people there, for close to 45 minutes.

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    PSN: AuthorFrost
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    Canderson1989
  • itstehchibinessitstehchibiness Registered User new member
    I've been to PAX South ever since it began, minus one year where I didn't get the chance to go. To me, it feels that PAX South has kind of become lackluster. Other than Capcom, in terms of big developers I didn't see much this year. I understand that PAX South perhaps is more geared towards showing indie games. However, I've been to PAX East and whenever I went it felt so magical, games from here to there from both big developers and small developers as well. I want to see Nintendo, Gearbox, Bioware, Sony, Namco Bandai, 343 Industries, or whatever y'all are able to bring, even if they don't seem to be promoting a new game, you could still have them set up a merch booth.

    I also understand that those big companies have to choose where they send their representatives. However, if I am going to be spending 70 bucks on a ticket I'd like to see more than Capcom in terms of big developers. I thought the premise of PAX was to bring developers both big and small to the gamers. For us to get a chance to meet, talk, attend panels and buy merch from. When I went to East it was overwhelming in a good way, and I'd like to see PAX South be overwhelming in a good way too. Remember the first year of PAX South when all the passes sold out immediately and then this year individual passes were still available online? PAX South isn't garnering the hype that Prime and East do, and I feel that y'all need to step up your game with this con.

    Tl;dr: Bring more big developers plz.

    Canderson1989
  • TheRockulatorTheRockulator Registered User new member
    So I had a Saturday badge and overall I was happy with the convention. I'm 35, a life long gamer and I've been an active musician in Austin, TX for the last 15 years. Recently I decided to try to break into making game music so I was excited to visit some of the panels and get some insight. I understood going in that it was probably going to be lacking in terms of audio specific panels but it seemed like the "Leveling Up: Monetizing Your Video-Game Inspired Music" panel was going to be somewhat helpful. I was really disappointed to find that the panel was essentially all nerdcore rappers discussing basic general practices in the music industry like booking shows and selling merch. I would have appreciated a wider range in genre representation and an actual discussion on their involvement with games. While the information they presented may have been helpful to musicians that are just starting there was really no difference in this panel than what you would get in any entry level panel in a music convention like NAM. After that panel I did just happen to wander into "Surviving Indie Presents: Surviving Development Hell" after I noticed all the presenters were in the audio field and I did get more information in line with what I was seeking in this panel. But if it wasn't for the fact that I checked out their job titles I wouldn't have had any idea it was specific to audio by the title of the panel or the description included on it. I hope that helps and I look forward to attending again in coming years.

  • jthom252jthom252 Registered User regular
    I've been to PAX South ever since it began, minus one year where I didn't get the chance to go. To me, it feels that PAX South has kind of become lackluster. Other than Capcom, in terms of big developers I didn't see much this year. I understand that PAX South perhaps is more geared towards showing indie games. However, I've been to PAX East and whenever I went it felt so magical, games from here to there from both big developers and small developers as well. I want to see Nintendo, Gearbox, Bioware, Sony, Namco Bandai, 343 Industries, or whatever y'all are able to bring, even if they don't seem to be promoting a new game, you could still have them set up a merch booth.

    I also understand that those big companies have to choose where they send their representatives. However, if I am going to be spending 70 bucks on a ticket I'd like to see more than Capcom in terms of big developers. I thought the premise of PAX was to bring developers both big and small to the gamers. For us to get a chance to meet, talk, attend panels and buy merch from. When I went to East it was overwhelming in a good way, and I'd like to see PAX South be overwhelming in a good way too. Remember the first year of PAX South when all the passes sold out immediately and then this year individual passes were still available online? PAX South isn't garnering the hype that Prime and East do, and I feel that y'all need to step up your game with this con.

    Tl;dr: Bring more big developers plz.

    I kind of agree with this but just more developers in general, way too many booths felt like they were for booths or used games. If this show could attract the same level of attention that the Indie MegaBooth does at West I think I'd be more interested in actually spending time on the expo floor. In general it just felt like the growth of the show itself is somewhat stagnant compared to the others.

    Having Unpub here was pretty fun too, I enjoyed it at Unplugged this year and was glad to get a chance to try it out. I didn't see it being too widely used but I hope it sticks around. I'd love to see it open up to more than just board games.

    Speaking of Unplugged I feel like that show robbed some of the experience from South, the crowd size was pretty similar if not larger at Unplugged despite it having issues. I feel like South just doesn't have a big identity to it. I still plan on going but that's mostly just because it's cheap and I have people to hang out with.

    Classic console and tabletop freeplay are still both great, True Dungeon was entertaining, and I keep wondering if there'll ever be another Protomen concert at South.

    Also more hand sanitation stations would of really been nice, I think I only found one that actually had anything left in it the entire show.

  • PreacherChePreacherChe Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    edited January 17
    Fourth PAX South for a friend and our collective 4 kids [2 adult guys in mid-40's, all kids 13+]...

    Equally awesome as last year:
    • Bag check was again very efficient
    • Enforcers were just as awesome as previous years
    • Merch Lite booth opening at 9am and their efficiency in moving people through
    • Plenty of seating near eating areas
    • Acquisitions Inc and that whole crew

    Even more awesome than last year:
    • Tabletop area seemed even bigger, plus new (I think) "first looks" area was cool
    • Improved Enforcer management around some booths in the expo hall to prevent blocking aisles
    • PC free play wait line moved *fast*, game selection seemed better, and the overall system setup seemed cleaner
    • Appreciated the full True Dungeon experience (although this)
    • Badge RFID scan for PAX XP was even a step up further from the QR code scan of last year
    • Map seemed to better match the actual setup (last year had a few errata)
    • Managed to get the whole Acq Inc crew autographs, including M&J and Pat Rothfuss

    Could stand to be more awesome (a few are leftovers from my feedback last year):
    • PC free play being in the big open space and bright lights kind of sucked, although I'm not sure what other options exist.
    • If you can't pull in big name vendors, please at least try to pull in more celebs (e.g. YouTube), to build up attendee interest.
    • Separate morning queues for the expo hall versus tabletop/PC area would still be nice, to avoid having to walk a long stretch up front, from main entrance to queue hall, then long stretch from queue hall to tabletop/PC area. This would help spread the respective crowds and allow those signing up for tabletop or PC tournaments to avoid battling expo hall attendees on their way to the back, not to mention avoiding an unnecessarily crazy long walk, if you came in the main entrance.
    • The location of the VR room this year was... suboptimal. Although, it didn't seem to be poorly attended, so obviously a lot of people made it up there, just seemed like a lot of time wasted walking. If anything, it needs to be bigger, especially when your keynote was all about VR.
    • The last two combined + the location of True Dungeon = a LOT of walking. I know I'm going to get my FitBit steps in no problem at PAX, but I threw out my back the previous week, so all that extra walking through uneventful hallways suuuuuuucked.
    • PAX XP was even more confusing, this year. Some of the waypoints said to check your PAX XP page, but I couldn't find anything in the app and the web page was only for registering. Enforcers weren't in the know, either. I finally gave up figuring it out. It wasn't even until later in the con that we noticed there was a story to the whole thing, which was ultimately lost on us and could have been motivational instead. (Edit: Oh, I found it in my spam folder.)
    • The expo hall queue area was incredibly wasted space. We had to walk across it many times throughout the con. A big expanse of nothingness on sore feet. Perhaps the queue area could be better positioned at an extreme end of things, and then it becomes big empty space nobody need walk across after it's served its purpose.
    • The virtual swag bag was seriously lame. If you're not going to do a real swag bag, or a real bag with no tangible swag, please don't even bother.
    • Vendors should be encouraged to bring more product to sell, assuming they have a ready product. We tried to buy some things on the first day at a couple of booths, and they were already sold out.

    All in all, had a good time, if not as good as previous years, but that could have been my back pain coloring things. You bet we'll be there next year, hopefully to see an even bigger and better PAX.

    PreacherChe on
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  • ahstoddardahstoddard President-kidnapping Ninja Houston-ishRegistered User regular
    It's possible it's just because I almost never get to the con the minute it opens, but the queue area next to the expo floor has been completely completely empty except for 3-5 people passing through every time i go by.

    I don't know if only gets used in early morning, or for very specific events, but it feels like a lot of wasted space. Not sure if there's any way feasible way to temporarily reclaim it by setting up "portable" charging stations, or demo/play areas for games like Happy Salmon that only require a very small tall table, but room to move around it.

    I've been thinking that a sort of spread out Art Gallery would be an interesting use of that area. Just have double ropes between each segment and art in that gap space. Anything from PA sketches, fan art, to items from game artists and designers. Something to look over when lining up in the morning, and could be a little break during the day. Not as quiet as the AFK room, but could still be peaceful since it is otherwise empty the rest of the day

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    TofystedethsADDad
  • PreacherChePreacherChe Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    @zerzhul Do you know how official this thread is, in so much as the feedback makes its way back to the event organizers? I remember seeing some PA folks step in during last year's thread. I just completed the survey email and I ended up pasting the URL to this thread several times in the comment areas, rather than repeat all of my feedback there.

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  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    zerzhul Do you know how official this thread is, in so much as the feedback makes its way back to the event organizers? I remember seeing some PA folks step in during last year's thread. I just completed the survey email and I ended up pasting the URL to this thread several times in the comment areas, rather than repeat all of my feedback there.
    This thread is definitely read by PAX. So are the survey results.

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    PreacherChe
  • ElectropowElectropow Master of Da Ways Registered User new member
    If a panel isn't using the projectors, get a video feed of the panelists up on it.
    Steam/Smoke/Mist from PAX Arena would drift over to tabletop area.
    Add a way to request games for PC Freeplay if there's not a way already.

    Merch Lite booth line was better handled.
    Bring back the LEGO tables next year even if it's not part of a Minecraft area.

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    sADDad
  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    Oh speaking of PAX Arena I thought it was really cool that the Super Puzzle Fighter tourney final 4 were done there. Though it did put a lot of time pressure on the third round to get down there in time.

    What wasn't really cool was when the casters for the stream called it not really competitive because it's just a silly puzzle game. That really riled me up. If it's competitive enough to put on that stage, show some respect.

    Also make sure the seating positions of the players matches the screen position. They were backwards which caused a lot of confusion.

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    Canderson1989ahstoddard
  • The AviatrixThe Aviatrix Registered User regular
    edited January 25
    A thing I realized when talking to somebody after PAX...

    The expo halls was fairly bright. Usually, the expo at PAX is dark - which allows for a greater "wow factor" from booths and causes a certain feel. This year, that felt minimized. At first it was assumed the lack of big devs, but as we talked we realized that it was the lighting. He said it felt more like the vendor hall of an anime convention than the PAX expo hall. And I completely agree.
    As odd as it sounds, it'd be awesome if the expo was a bit darker.

    (More AL space and DMs would be awesome, as has been said repeatedly.)

    Also.... all the empty hallways felt awkward. Maybe just add some signage on those halls - especially the one on the third floor to VR Freeplay. Something that says "You are still in PAX!" as you walk. It almost felt like I was going the wrong way even though I knew it's not.

    The Aviatrix on
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  • Crippl3Crippl3 oh noRegistered User regular
    Late response because I don't check this part of the forums, but
    • The Classic/Freeplay Arcade needs a bigger room. It was nearly impossible to get around, especially if you have a bag or backpack like many attendees.
    • Please don't give the US military the biggest booth in the place for recruiting. Please.
    • I don't know if this is a convention center thing or if you guys would have any control over this, but the food in the expo hall was terrible. Please consider a different catering/food company, if you can.

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  • Cantilever10Cantilever10 Registered User new member
    My friends and I attended the first PAX South and had a great time. This was our first year back and immediately you could tell that it was way more streamlined than the first year. We all personally enjoyed the tabletop area and the access to the developers of the games. I do agree with some of the previous posters though that some of the wow factor in the game dev area didnt seem to be there. I almost felt like the first PAX South had more pop there. That could be because I'm romanticizing my first PAX experience, but something seemed off and I cant place my finger on it. I found it interesting that Bioware wasn't there considering their HQ is about two hours away (that may have something to do with Mike and Jerry's distaste for EA as of late, but still). There just seemed to be a lack of energy over all in the main exhibit hall. Phantom Doctrine/Monster Hunter had a really nice setup and which reminded me a lot of how Frontier Designs did theirs for Elite Dangerous at the original PAX South and I'd love to see more devs put that effort into showing off their game. We left that year and immediately bought copies of Elite from how impressive the demo was.

    We did not attend many panels and the one we did attend was a little underwhelming personally. The title made it seem more exciting that it turned out to be. I can't remember the name of this panel but it had to do with Zelda Breath of the Wild and looking into the future of Zelda. Which basically turned out to be nothing. Since nothing is scheduled on the horizon for Zelda. Make a Strip was great as always. Mike and Jerry keep doing your thing!

    True Dungeon I'm sure would have been awesome if not for an oversight of the person that purchased our tickets. We purchased our tickets for True Dungeon when they were available for purchase immediately. Unfortunately the tickets were purchased so far in advance that we forgot the date that we purchased them on and somewhere down the line we believed the day to be Saturday. So we scheduled accordingly and left for True Dungeon at about 3 to check in at 4 (sadly missing Acq Inc). Well it turns out our tickets were purchased for Friday and we had missed our scheduled time. This was a major disappointment mainly because we had searched our email the day before and nowhere on the email did it have a date, and the link the email had also did not include a date. When we showed the attendant she scrolled down the page that the email had linked us to and clicked on another link that lead us to a page that had the date on it. So this was completely our fault, but I think a small adjustment could be made on ReedPop's side to include the date the tickets were purchased for in the email and also not behind a second link from where the email directs you. 4 people at 40 dollars a piece hurts on top of the 8 hour drive to San Antonio. Especially since it was to be one of the highlights of our trip, but life goes on. We took our punishment and gave the appropriate lashings to the friend in charge of that part of the trip.

    A minor personal scheduling wish...Both times we have attended PAX South one of us has come back with the flu. So pushing it out of Flu Season would be awesome. Also pushing it back some(maybe Late Feb/Early March) might have an additional benefit of getting more of the big devs to show up with something new to show off for their upcoming fiscal year.

    Despite these things though, we all had a great time! And will most likely still attend in the future.


    TL:DR

    -More Energy in the Exhibit Hall Area
    -Loved the Tabletop Area
    -Date for purchased True Dungeon put into the Email not hidden behind 2 links
    -Not in Flu Season!!

  • whypick1whypick1 PAX [E] Info Booth Manager ~2' from an LCDRegistered User regular
    A minor personal scheduling wish...Both times we have attended PAX South one of us has come back with the flu. So pushing it out of Flu Season would be awesome. Also pushing it back some(maybe Late Feb/Early March) might have an additional benefit of getting more of the big devs to show up with something new to show off for their upcoming fiscal year.

    1. Per the CDC:
    The figure below shows peak flu activity for the United States by month for the 1982-1983 through 2015-2016 flu seasons. The “peak month of flu activity” is the month with the highest percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza virus infection during that influenza season. During this 34-year period, flu activity most often peaked in February (14 seasons), followed by December (7 seasons), March (6 seasons), and January (5 seasons).

    2. Late Feb/Early March is right next to PAX East's March-April timeframe. The fairly short turnaround between South and East is bad enough for the people who run and work the show, let's not make it any worse.

    Is it PAX <insert nearest future PAX here> yet?
  • Cantilever10Cantilever10 Registered User new member
    whypick1 wrote: »
    A minor personal scheduling wish...Both times we have attended PAX South one of us has come back with the flu. So pushing it out of Flu Season would be awesome. Also pushing it back some(maybe Late Feb/Early March) might have an additional benefit of getting more of the big devs to show up with something new to show off for their upcoming fiscal year.

    1. Per the CDC:
    The figure below shows peak flu activity for the United States by month for the 1982-1983 through 2015-2016 flu seasons. The “peak month of flu activity” is the month with the highest percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza virus infection during that influenza season. During this 34-year period, flu activity most often peaked in February (14 seasons), followed by December (7 seasons), March (6 seasons), and January (5 seasons).

    2. Late Feb/Early March is right next to PAX East's March-April timeframe. The fairly short turnaround between South and East is bad enough for the people who run and work the show, let's not make it any worse.

    Like I said, personal wish based on personal experiences. I don't go scouring the CDC website for when peak flu season is (Thank you for the info regardless). Also, the time frame for PAX East has nothing to do with PAX South. It was merely a suggestion for improving the amount of vendors at PAX South. I'm aware that scheduling is always going to be an issue, but I believe that as close as PAX South is to Christmas its going to make it hard for any of the major players to care about it because that is their downtime. Which makes PAX South more of an indie showcase. I'm fine with that personally, but I also enjoy seeing AAA titles and so do many others.

  • The AviatrixThe Aviatrix Registered User regular
    Also, the time frame for PAX East has nothing to do with PAX South.
    When the same people work both... The time frames of the two have a lot to do with one another. Not just at the convention, but all the behind the scenes work that goes into it before and after each show.

    That being said, I do feel it was too close to Christmas/New Years this year and know of at least one (indie) exhibitor that agreed. The prep time felt crunched. Personally, I adore late January.

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    Ketar
This discussion has been closed.