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Constructive Feedback - East 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.

Yes, this does get read by show staff.

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Posts

  • SepiothSepioth Boston, MARegistered User regular
    Thursday was awesome. Due to it not selling out the expo floor was not overly packed. Made walking around and exploring enjoyable. Whatever amount of tickets sold on thursday should be the allotment for every day next year :-)

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    Streetlight345Le_Goatrek1aimerCanderson1989TopherRocks
  • nycguynycguy Registered User regular
    I had a great first pax all 4 days. I wasn’t particularly fond of the food options though — too much fast food and not enough variety. I ate bcec food on thurs and the remaining days I brought food that I purchased for my daily meals. It sucked because it required more time and planning.

    It would also be helpful if exhibitors reminded guests that they’d need to log off and stop using the computer before expo closure. Granted it was my fault for not staying up with the time I was kicked off the expo floor at 605 and had to leave a competitive game match where I got punished for it. All good otherwise. Looking forward to more pax!

  • std73std73 Weymouth, MARegistered User regular
    edited April 9
    I'm sure that this was brought up well enough already at the time, however, *Exhibitor access*.
    Each day, it seemed that access for exhibitors changed. The BCEC has signed posted specifically for Exhibitor Carry Access at the rear door by the rear lot. On Fri, there was a directive to change the access and not allow access at those doors, sending exhibitors all the way to the front of the building. The delay of getting through the front entrance caused many exhibitors to not be able to get to their booths for the show floor opening.
    There should be a consistent and clear option for Exhibitor entry, especially when the facility has a a dedicated entrance for such.

    std73 on
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  • VGguy49VGguy49 Registered User regular
    edited April 9
    I really hope Thursday stays as the day that doesn't sell out next year. It obviously was busy but being able to walk through the expo hall easily on that day was really nice. And the Nintendo booth didn't have a giant mob in front of it that day either. Also while I didn't use it this year I have heard that the cosplay lounge only was available certain hours of the day, if it returns I'd hope that they extend that. I am really happy that the cosplay lounge returned this year and I hope it continues to be a regular thing at the event. Also this year the panel variety was very good, I think that's the most panels I've ever seen at a PAX.

    Edit: I do agree about streaming. I love Twitch as much as everyone else but it makes little sense to have that take up so much space at PAX. No one needs to go to PAX to stream, and it's absolutely pointless to have a large chunk of the expo hall be the same Twitch streams I can watch at home. I like the Twitch booth itself and especially streams of unreleased games, but having places where normal streamers can play previously released games doesn't benefit attendees and only takes up space. If the goal of PAX is to create an event where every can come together as a community limiting chunks of it to streamers doesn't make sense. I personally wasn't too affected by this, I could get around these booths and the stuff I wanted to do was still there, but the traffic it created was a hassle.

    VGguy49 on
    Wishes he could change his username
    rek1aimernsanePavio
  • CabadrinCabadrin Registered User regular
    edited April 9
    Some thoughts immediately post-PAX. This was my ... eleventh? PAX and the second four-day show I've been to.

    What I liked:
    • Having Thursday was a great idea, with a quieter show presence meaning I was able to get into the show quickly (no lines on the skybridge!) and see a lot of stuff at an easier pace.
    • I loved having theater names on those large boards in the hall. It really made it easier to see where theaters were.
    • Diversity Lounge / Cospitality / Pinball areas are always a nice touch, glad to see them return / start this year.
    • The return of competitive stages to the show floor was welcomed by me, at least. I like the energy they bring, and they serve as a good break point between tabletop and digital.
    • Hallway spacing on the show floor remains great. I think that's three years in a row where I think the hallway size was great. You'll always get jams around popular games, giveaways, or merch areas, but overall I was happy with it.
    • GREAT selection of indie games, even larger than last year? Really happy with the selection.
    • The D&D pods are a great idea, and I love having the Adventuring League at the show. Please keep it up!
    • The weather was better than last year, though cold and windy. Oh well.

    What could be improved:
    • I'm not sure if it's the price or competition, but the 50x50 booths seemed a bit lacking this year. Many were hardware or platforms, and the two that were specific games (Dauntless and Ashes of Creation) had a long line wrapped around them. I know that's a manifestation of demos and interest, but I kinda skipped the area this year,
    • Many of the talks were uninteresting to me, and I only went to a few. The ones featuring streamers and podcasts or groups aren't my thing, and most of the others were specific talks focused on a tight subject. I say this having given a talk on a specific tight subject this year, but I still wasn't drawn to many of them.
    • Lines remain frustrating, but what can you do. As a BCEC veteran, I found that the lower-floor back entrances remained the best to try.
    • I'll continue beating a dead horse on the food. I know the food trucks are outside, but given the cold and longer lines to get in, I usually stayed inside.
    • Can we please re-open the bar for alcohol?

    Overall I had a great time, maybe the best time in years. Thanks for continuing to make PAX a good show for Boston-based game devs!

    Cabadrin on
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  • yutani sanyutani san MaineRegistered User regular
    Thursday - Literally the BEST day of Pax I've experienced over the past 5 years. It was so so so nice being able to walk around and not be constantly surrounded by mobs of people. I actually did things like the Blizzard booth and other booths I would usually pass on because of the lines. Please keep Thursday a thing. The best day by far! Also a nice warm up to see what I want to do all weekend and ease into things.

    Shuttles - Always a great service. Please continue to provide these for those of us who stay further away. One request that I make every year... please extend the hours for Sunday afternoon. I don't understand why you take away that block of all days, this is when people need to catch planes, trains and automobiles (lol). I have to leave super late simply because you don't offer a shuttle anytime sooner. Please consider this. Not to mention waiting until 5pm the shuttle is always full way before 5. Clearly there is a demand to leave sooner. Also just wanted to shout out to the great drivers. I always thank them when I get off the bus, and I do think they are some of the unsung heroes of pax.

    Panels with Q&A - Please do something about Q&A panels where people "Get in line" to ask a question. I was so upset that my view was instantly blocked by a wall of people for 45 minutes during a panel. This happened last year too. Its annoying. For one thing, that many people do not need to be in line. Obviously you won't get a turn if you are 35th in line. Go sit down and stop blocking the view. Please have them line up along the side of the room so no ones view is blocked, or limit each row to 10 people or so.

    Security check - Can we get some consistency? Some days I had to take my lanyard off, other days I got yelled at when trying to take it off and holding up the crowd (got stuck on my hood, I have a ton of pinnys). So the next day I left it on and then that person told me to take it off! Some days they made me put my cell phone in my bag, other days I had to hold it over my head. Its hard to be prepared to move the line along when the game changes every day.

    Enforcers - This year I have to say they were really awesome. There were no stand out people that were being rude or made you feel like they were on a power trip. They were all super nice, really funny, entertaining and did a good job "enforcing" when needed in a polite way without yelling and treating people like children. At least in my experience, they were respectful and received respect back and thank you all for what you do! <3

    VGO - Please dont make us wait another 2 years to get them back. Having them do their own concert was awesome. Almost 2 hours of pure VGO, it was the best.

    Food Options - This is probably out of your control, but is it possible to have more variety for those with food allergies or special diets? Something as simple as having gluten free buns available would be really nice. And more healthy dining options besides salads? Im not sure about everyone else, but eating like that all weekend doesn't make me feel the greatest. We tried to eat breakfast/dinner off site when possible but a lot of times it just wasn't an option without missing a significant part of the show because of the shuttle schedule / dining hours.

    Twitch Prime Lounge - Please bring that back. There was no real place to hang out when you needed a rest. The AFK room was nice, but too quiet. Having a place where you can sit and chill and refil water, get drinks and snacks was just so nice. It felt like there was a lot of exclusive rooms this year or placed that I didn't fit into, and Pax should be more inclusive. The twitch lounge was for everyone. Maybe work on a sponsor (doesnt have to be Twitch) who can do the same thing for next year.

    AAA Games - The expo hall felt really lacking this year. There as a ton of great stuff, don't get me wrong. But it feels like every years 1-2 big name companies drop out. Especially with the addition of a 4th day! I remember 2-3 years ago there were so many new and exciting games coming out to demo and it was so hard to just pick one or two to wait in line for. Now I think I waited in just one line (blizzard) all weekend. Please bring some more big titles to justify the cost of these tickets.

    I think thats it for now. Thanks for another great year, see you in 2019!



    Pavio
  • AirzonkAirzonk Registered User new member
    2018 was my first time going and I enjoyed it. There were two things I thought that could be improved upon.

    Lanyards-would it be possible to include one with the badges when they are mailed out? I didn't have one and had no idea where to get one. I had my badge in my pocket and was asked by BCEC staff quite a few times to produce it. After the third time of taking it out I asked about a lanyard and was told they had none left.

    Expo Hall Map-I wish that the BCEC directional exits could be added to the map. For example I saw exits marked east exit. It would have been helpful to have these on the map as I had trouble finding some of the smaller booths at first.

  • ZombiewskiZombiewski New JerseyRegistered User regular
    + Tabletop again was pretty much the entire show for me, and the selection has broadened and deepened. Old classics (saw an old 3M bookshelf edition of Acquire) and lots of great new titles like Captain Sonar, Flipships, and Flamme Rouge.

    + I was really happy that The Ultimate Clapback was featured in Indie Tabletop, as it's a game created by a black woman. Which leads me to my next plus:

    +++ Every year there are more and more kids, women, and POC at PAX, and every year my heart grows another size. I love it. Gaming is more than able bodied cis het white dudes, and the more PAX reflects that, the happier I am.

    + Medical badge seating. I didn't need it myself, but what a wonderful idea. It's like priority access seating on the subway.

    + Digital swag bags and the new PAX XP.

    + Never before have I been so glad to have the Handheld Lounge. It was my first time Enforcing, and by the end of each shift I was wrecked. A nice comfy place to sit/lay down was just what I needed. I finally understand the people who take a nap there.

    Unfortunately, this was my least favorite PAX so far.

    - There was essentially nothing that caught my eye in the Expo Hall. I think I found three indie games that grabbed me. It's a shame, because every previous year I get stopped dead in my tracks by at least half a dozen games that really grab me, but this year, the most excited I got was, "Oh. That was pretty neat." I know this isn't something PAX can control--developers show off the games they have--but it was still disappointing.

    - Tabletop REALLY seems to get the short end of the stick at the show. Lots of empty tables for tournaments, way in advance of said tournaments. (Also, a Fluxx tournament? Really?) Even aside from the fact that I'm a backer, I'll be glad when Thornwatch is released this year because that means, hopefully, the tables will be opened up for free play.

    - Streamer booths/lounges. I don't see the point of having them on the show floor. I get it, they paid for the space, etc., but can't it be curated a little better? Maybe take away a theater, even though it means losing some panels, and giving it to one of these booths that don't have anything to do in them.

    - By the same token, would it be possible to group booths by types, like get all the merchants in one area? Or to group them by theme and get Chessex (among others) closer to Tabletop?

    Soul Silver FC: 0045 5822 7430, White FC: 0175 2366 9720, White 2 FC: 1636 2031 2006
    My NES blog and my Pokemon Snap tumblr.
  • GrandCrossGrandCross Registered User new member
    Absolutely loved the indie mega booth it was great to see games I never even thought of looking at people and talking with the Devs was great. You could feel their passion for the creations they've made. Thursday was indeed the best day I managed to see everything I wanted in the Expo Hall (con for this later though). I loved the panels this year they just keep getting better and better! Enforcers once again did a fantastic job this year as well.

    Now for some cons.

    Saturday was a absolute nightmare in the Hall I spent maybe a half hour in there. There were way (and I mean wayyyyy) too many booths taking up the expo hall this year that were all about Fortnite and PUBG. I understand they are the most popular games out right now but I don't Go to PAX every year to see that stuff that I can just go home and play myself. Fortnite and PUBG were also one of the many reasons Saturday was such a nightmare. There were so many gridlocks everywhere of people just standing there watching it. Overall the Expo Hall this year to me felt like 40% Fortnite, 40% PUBG, 20% indie/unreleased titles and merch.

    Zombiewski
  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    I only went 2 days this year (Thurs/Fri) instead of the entire convention, mostly because I just can't stand the Saturdays anymore. It's too crowded and I spend more time trying to navigate the crowd. That said, I had a better time this year than the last 2 years (discounting the fact that I caught the flu last year). After Friday, I felt like I should grab a Sunday. Saturday afternoon, I was glad I only went 2 days. My knees and feet can't take it like they used to, and feeling like I want a little more is better than feeling like it was too much. Maybe that's the product of going 7 years now.

    Pros:
    • Thursday was the shit! It felt like PAX 5 years ago. The lines to get in weren't bad at all, the Expo floor was perfect, everyone was energetic... it was a great time. If I could get just one day like this at PAX every year, I'd be beyond happy.
    • The Friday crowd was obviously much larger than Thursday, but it still felt a ton better than the last 2 years. I'm not sure what caused it to be less congested, but it just felt less crowded.
    • Indie games: While I know some people felt let down, I found about 10 games that I am stoked to see finally come out. My prime goal this year was to find indie games and I felt like I scored big on it. On Thursday, it seemed like devs were just grabbing you to come try their game, which was really great.
    • Tea/Coffee Stations - I know it sounds silly, but having those on the floor were awesome. I was constantly leaving to get tea/coffee, and when I found stations on the floor, I felt relieved.
    • Pre-PAX Game Night. Not enough can be said about this and it continues to be one of the best parts.
    • Tabletop area Thursday: not too crowded. Easily found space to play.
    • Bathroom etiquette - Maybe I just had bad luck before, but this year, everyone was pretty damn nice in the mens room. One line for stalls, the other of the tinklepots. Never seen a mens room do that before, and without people shouting and yelling thinking people were cutting. An odd pro, but it was a nice thing to see. Perhaps in the future there could be lines setup that way using tape on the ground? It just made the bathroom a better experience... and we're in there a lot.
    • Merch booth lines were no where near as insane as they usually are. Maybe going during lunch helped, but the lines went quick and the staff were efficient
    • Lack of streamers getting preferential treatment - It could be that I avoided the AAA games and therefore didn't have to deal with them, but the last 2 PAX Easts had streamers cutting lines and causing all sort of resentment. I saw some booths with signs to designate only 1 spot as a press pass, which was nice to see they not just handing out seats like candy.
    • Security staff was consistently friendly to me. Of course, I show up to the detector with pockets empty, bag opened and ready, and a smile followed by a joke. Every security staff I dealt with seemed appreciative and responded in kind.

    Cons:
    • Friday's line to get in. What in the hell was that? I can't even imagine what Saturday was like, but that line density lasted for 3 hours. Was the entire thing single-file? I have no idea how to help the line situation, but that just looked like a nightmare.
    • Friday's tabletop after Expo closing: couldn't find anywhere to sit. It was so damn packed that we just went somewhere else. I'm not sure what to do about that either, but it was a bummer. See next item...
    • PAX Arena - I've never understood the draw to it. I'd rather play than watch people play. That area seems to take up so much space and over half the time it's practically empty. Not sure if it's possible, but slimming that area down could help increase the tabletop area.
    • As mentioned by others, the streaming at the show just is weird to me, but it's not my thing. Seems like a waste of space, but there is a calling for streamers and it's apparently popular, so it does make sense for it to have a presence. It's just not for me...
    • Lack of any beer at all... more on that below

    Suggestions:
    • Alcohol - Why not open up some rooms on the top floor and turn them into a bar-like atmosphere for responsible adults? I've heard rumor after rumor as to why it's not there, and I fully get it. Safety for everyone, especially the yoots, is a major concern and I fully empathize with that; I have kids, so I ge tit. I also get the notion of "you don't need to drink to have fun," but this is my only vacation of the year, and it is a massive pain to have to leave to get a beer. If you put something in a spot with secured entrances that can be easily monitored for IDs and refuse to let any alcohol outside of the room, you'd have a bar. The BCEC and us responsible adults would both win. I'm not looking to get wasted; I just want to enjoy a few beers as the day goes on without having to walk several blocks because the hotel bars are packed, and then go back through security. This isn't a make or break, but would be a massive plus if it could work out.
    • Section signs? Just a suggestion. I cannot tell you how many times I would find something awesome, go grab my friend and then have no idea where the hell it was. It'd be kind of awesome to have hanging signs for areas (maybe color coded?). The hall is massive with so many things crammed in there that I can't remember where half of the stuff is. Even when I look around at the surroundings, 30 minutes later I have no clue where that booth was. And because of the item above, some will say that's why I couldn't remember. Well, my memory already isn't great and I have the attention span of a squirrel drinking Mellow Yellow, so I typically have to check what section I parked my car in 5 times before I finally remember where it was, and even then have to write it down. Like I said, just a suggestion.

    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
  • klzklz Registered User regular
    Coming from another Pax where I assisted an Exhibitor (so I worked most of the time with an hour-ish a day to actually walk around):

    Pros -
    Finally having a world map for the tabletop area ahead of/alongside the convention is appreciated and made checking out the vendors much easier this year! Keep it!

    Digital swag bag was nice and painless compared to the past problems with physical bags and I hope to see more use of it going forward.

    The RFID chip in the badges that had to be registered ahead of time made the one time I was able to use a prize station absolutely painless and the line moves quickly despite the length. Other places, like the Lenovo Legion booth helped speed up the info and contact requests. I hope more vendors can take advantage of this in the future and encourage people to preregister them for more than just Pax XP.

    Except for small pockets on Saturday and Sunday, it was not so super crowded on the floor where I could get from one end to the other easily. Great job with the layouts!

    There were a lot of complaints on Twitter over the handling of the big popular lines for Markiplier and Jack, but with the Pax tradition of trying to make everything as equal as possible and doing everything only the day of to give the best chance to everyone involved without going the greedy route of paid fast lanes and the logistical overhead of pre-registered things, I thought that giving out wristbands on Friday starting when the doors of the center were opened for queueing and tying it to the badges so that they couldn't be sold was a great idea. I understand that may have been a last minute decision to make the announcement, but given that the weather during Pax is not as good for the attendees like the weather the overnight campers at San Diego Comic Con for the infamous Hall H panels would have, I say don't listen to the haters here. It was probably the safest thing that could have happened.

    Cons -

    Maybe due to the unknown effect of the fourth day, but the panel schedule seemed a little too spread out and light this year. Sunday's main theater having nothing between the Q&A and the Omegathon was a particularly odd gap to see, but it felt like three days worth of panels spread out across the four days. Since there were no real big game company panels outside of the Starcraft one, that may have made the thin panel lineup seem more obvious to me, but I didn't feel like I had to make a decision on panels I wanted to see. It did also feel like there was less of a variety of interesting panels that I wanted to see, but the lighter schedule might just be making the panels I am not interested in stand out more since the ones I was interested in were not overlapping.

    The digital swag bag should be modified so that you can select what you want to receive and still change your mind on something you turned down earlier. It's not good to open up with something you aren't sure of and can only choose "interested" or "not interested" with no chance to change your mind later.

    The floor is hard on legs after four days now. Not sure if anything can be done, but maybe more rest areas with chairs or cushioned spots around the floor might help. Alternatively, see if there is some way to convince some of the companies like Twitch and Discord to sponsor non-VIP only lounge ares to help with this. The Sea of Thieves lounge, for example, was a godsend for a lot of people there.

    The shift in the percentage of attendees in the past couple of years of fans of streamers versus game fans has changed the way things should be, so the autograph signings for people like Jack and Mark, for example, I think should be allowed to go longer or have more than one or two sessions throughout the weekend like Comic cons do for their guests, but since the streamers are game fans themselves, that has to be fair to them as well. But I would not want to see something like NYCC where you can only see them if you paid for an autograph. I don't have an answer, but clearly, the audience seems to need more chances to get to meet them over the weekend and these folks do seem to hate to disappoint so many of their fans, and the Pax tradition of a single 2 hour autograph session and a panel aren't enough anymore.


    Overall, I do still think this is the best balance for (mostly) equal access for all attendees and the insane premium kind of event that DisneyWorld and Comic Cons present but where people who are regular fans do not even have a chance to see some things if they spend hundreds or thousands more to be a VIP.

  • millerm277millerm277 Registered User regular
    So, I've been to every East but the one at Hynes.

    Pros -
    • Indies continued to basically carry the show for me, lots of interesting stuff out there.
    • I liked the tabletop arrangement, something about it (both game space and booths) seemed better this year.
    • The little Kickstarter space/lounge in one of the side rooms was a very nice setup.
    • Neighborhood surrounding the BCEC has a little more in it each year, which has been a nice change.

    Cons -
    • Peak entry lines. Side doors at lunch, front doors in the morning, bus dropoff when that's peaking, etc. There has to be a better way to get people in.
    • Please reopen the bar. It's absence continues to be felt, when we had it the food court area was lively, fun, and a place people hung out to play games in the off-hours. Now it's dead space outside of food rush.
    • I strongly disagree with how much of the central floor space was devoted to things not really open to the public. I'm not a huge fan of streaming/esports in general, but things like the PAX Arena are for the attendees, walled off lounges in the middle of the show are a bad look.
    • Panels - The schedule felt like too many panels devoted to very niche topics or overlapping topics. And if they were filling maybe that wouldn't be a problem, but I saw more 50-80% empty panels (at the start of the panel) than I've ever seen at any previous East. That says to me like a lot of them aren't connecting with the audience. There need to be more panels with broad appeal, IMO. I'm not saying I want to only see "AAA devs talk about their game", but that at least will fill a room, and it'd be nice to see some panels with figures people have heard of. It seems like very small indies are the only ones sending people to participate in panels lately. If PAX wants to continue having the panels which are likely to be a smaller draw and the one smaller theater isn't enough, maybe one of the other theaters should be split to make two smaller ones. That said, I didn't see or hear about any total "train wreck" panels this year, so that's good I guess.

  • wizard2050wizard2050 Registered User new member
    Just wanted to say thank you to all the honest gamers out there. My son and daughter and I went on Sunday and I had bought a backpack and t-shirts and a bearicades card game and a coffee mug. But in the hussel of leaving I left the backpack with everything in it on the floor and didn’t realize I had left it til we got home. I called the venue on the off chance I would get lucky and was pleasantly please to find that the pack had been turned into security and was waiting there for me. To all of the honest gamers that attended this and all the other PAX events a really big THANK YOU!!! You guys are awesome.

    XenigmaLe_GoatBrandchan
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Le_Goat wrote: »
    Why not open up some rooms on the top floor
    I could be wrong but I am pretty sure every room is already used, even if it's not always obvious or public facing :)

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  • ironysparklesironysparkles Lowell, MARegistered User regular
    My one criticism this year was the BCEC security (or whomever they hire for bag check and metal detectors) is just awful overall. Half the time they didn't even check my bag. Half the time they had me walk through with my cane which inevitably made the metal detector go off, and they just shrugged and let me through. Other times they snatched the cane from me. Once I was told to walk through with it over my head??? No consistency which makes the whole security process ineffective.

    One lady was ridiculous - my husband went through her line, and when I stepped up to go next, she looked in my direction and then just walked away to go chat with another worker. I know I need a moment to take my bag off since I am using a cane, but that was rude. The guy manning the metal detector was trying to rush me through even though no one was behind me, and when I mentioned the lady had just walked off instead of checking my bag, he shrugged and said "That sounds right." Right?! He then said "I don't have anything to do with them" so I assume it was two different companies working. Either way, he didn't care and was also rude about it.

    The lady finally came back and I told her I thought she was very rude for walking away when I came up to bag check. She stared for a moment and denied she did. As we walked away I could hear her loudly complaining about me. Not at all professional, and if I knew where to make a complaint, I would.

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  • iltailta Registered User regular
    edited April 10
    This was another really great PAX for me. First up, the pros:

    + I thought I had lost my wallet in line for, or while watching, the keynote, and the enforcers let me run around looking for it, and one even took down my contact info if it showed up. It turns out it was back in my hotel in yesterday's pair of pants, but I had confidence that if my wallet turned up on the floor, it would have gotten back to me. A few days later, I left my DSLR camera at a booth because I was running off somewhere else and forgot it wasn't attached to my bag. The booth got it right to the enforcers at the info table, and the enforcers at the info table asked me many questions to prove that it was indeed my camera (which I appreciated!). So, besides this all being a much-needed reminder to me to keep better track of my stuff, this is also a big thank-you to all the people who help take care of one another at PAX, particularly the enforcers.

    + Thursday was fantastic. It felt so nice and chill, you could just wander around and not feel like you were pressured to keep moving. Plenty of time to try things and talk to devs, too, and very few lines for the cool stuff. Also so nice to have an extra day to spread out my walking-around time and not feel like I had to maximize every second to avoid missing things. Please keep Thursday.

    + In general, the floor layout was really good this year, with very few choke points the entire weekend, except for those damn raffles. Even on Saturday, just when it started to get crowded, the aisle opened up to a wider avenue. Also, the overall expo hall layout, with the queue line off in the back corner, was the best it's ever been. I didn't even feel like Magic was taking up too much prime real estate at Tabletop. Had a little trouble finding a spot to play a board game on Saturday evening, but eventually landed in a place.

    + The tabletop library checkout was super painless (badge scan! brilliant!) and generally well-stocked and organized. Props to the team there.

    + DDAL was, overall, AMAZING. Loved the mini-rooms with curtains, and loved the consistency of the Enforcers there that I got to know and who helped build parties and take requests for modules from those that had been through a bunch already and wanted to avoid repeats. It looked like everyone who wanted to play got to play, too. I ended up doing an extra round on Sunday morning just because that area was so well-run. (However, also see the pain-points below.)

    + Cookie brigade, pre-PAX tabletop night, the coins, Pax Yeast, and the forum badge all continue to be awesome community-driven parts of PAX. Seriously, great job to all those who organize and help make those things happen; they're always highlights of my weekend.

    + Twitch and streamers felt a lot less obtrusive this year. I never felt like I was getting bumped or ignored, I never felt like I had to dodge around selfie sticks and camera crews. If that was intentional, whatever you all did, please keep it up.

    + LOOOVE the international representation, especially from indies. I met developers from Brazil, Poland, China, Australia, Portugal, France, and more, besides the expected US and Montreal-based teams. That's so cool. Great job doing that outreach and getting them here. The AUS indie booth was especially cool.

    + Rotating tabletop indie booth was super cool, too. I kept meaning to visit the unpub area but never made it; please bring it back next year so I can check that stuff out!

    A few cons, most of them minor but all of them areas that could be addressed to form a more-perfect con:

    - End-of-day raffles suck. Enough already. Just ban them. They are loud and annoying and they block traffic and 90% of the people walk away disappointed. If booths want to give away things then have them take emails/phone numbers on a clipboard, pick one at random, and then contact people at the end of the day to pick up their prize. The worst offender this year was the Tomb of Annihilation videogame that was doing spins at their tiny booth, but only at designated times, and whose prizes included physical copies of the board game. To get a spin you had to wait in line to play the demo, play the demo (which was pretty long), and then get a ticket. Then you had to show up at some point of time and wait in ANOTHER line to actually spend the ticket to take one spin on the wheel, and you might not even get anything, and of course only the first few people had a chance at the good prizes before they were gone. Created a mess all three times I tried to get in, and I ended up not ever getting to spin the wheel. Give out prizes, or don't, but that many times standing in a line with no guarantee you're even going to get a shot to attempt to win something is frustrating and creates unnecessary gridlock.

    - Not sure what the deal was with the concerts not getting finalized until literally a few days before the show. Makes it really hard to plan things and I ended up missing out on all of them because by the time things got figured out I had already made plans. Maybe this was a one-time thing, but it might be a sign that musical guests need to get locked down a bit earlier?

    - Bag checks. Why is every Friday morning security check a mess? It seems like security forgets how to do it every year and then takes a day or two to remember that oh yes, they need to work at a certain speed to get this many people through. In particular, the Friday bagless line was longer than the line with bags, which should absolutely never happen. And every time I used one of the secondary entrances the rules were a little different (some new combination of hold your badge in your hand, put your stuff in your hat, hold your phone above your head, walk through faster, don't walk through yet, etc), and nobody could give me an answer what time any of them would open, including one instance where I walked up to a locked door, was told it would be an hour before it opened, I walked to another entrance, and then was told to walk back to the first one, which had just been opened up. I know a lot of this is BCEC and not PAX/ReedPop, but every year there's a learning curve and needless confusion at the gates. Tell them to get it together and do some training in the week leading up to PAX.

    - DDAL pain-points: I think the one-hour City on the Edge adventures can probably get retired; they always take the full 2-hour session, or close enough to it that you can't do two in a row, and you don't get the depth of story (or XP) that you do from the two-hour scenarios. "Pros & Cons", on the other hand, while fun, definitely takes way more than two hours and should be broken up into a Part I and Part II or else streamlined (the fetch quests are a bit repetitive, to be honest); my group only got halfway through, and apparently this HAD ALREADY HAPPENED to someone else in the group, so he basically ran the same first half of this only-at-PAX-East module twice. Not ideal. There was also one really bad DM who should not have been running adventures and who made the experience really unpleasant. I don't want to call him out by name here but I wasn't the only one who had problems with him or his approach (he was the glaring exception; the other DMs I had were all very good to great). Finally, it would also be really nice to list the times sessions are starting, and the queue policy, in the guidebook, perhaps even the modules being offered. It wasn't a problem to find out in person, and (unlike Unplugged) the policies were consistent all weekend, but it would have been even better to know without having to go back there, and ahead of time.

    - It's been suggested elsewhere but I want to echo the desire for some regular hanging landmarks above the expo hall or something. I wandered all over looking for a particular booth I had wanted to come back to on the last day, and basically finally stumbled into it by accident. Grouping the vendors by type might also help a bit with this, though I know that's not always possible and certainly wouldn't want to see that done if it undermined the excellent traffic patterns that we had this year.

    - A searchable map might help with this, too. Maybe have vendors pick out some key words and then let me look through lists of those, if you don't want to make everyone give a paragraph of who they are and what they're selling -- it would be nice to know who's an "indie dev" and who's "third party merch sales" and who's "tabletop accessories" and whatever other categories make sense.

    - The indie megabooth, with the stand-up consoles? That needed a liiiiiittle more breathing room -- you basically couldn't get through it because there was only just enough room for one exhibitor and one attendee playing the game. Good luck getting through that to look at the games being played. And certainly no way to stand there and chat with the devs, which is the whole point of seeing indies at the show!

    Overall, a really great PAX, as they almost always are. I'm looking forward to next year already.

    ilta on
  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    Le_Goat wrote: »
    Why not open up some rooms on the top floor
    I could be wrong but I am pretty sure every room is already used, even if it's not always obvious or public facing :)
    Well... damn. There goes that idea.

    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
  • ScoJoMoScoJoMo Registered User regular
    Some pros and cons:
    This was my 7th PAX East, and I'd say this was probably one of the more "successful" ones for my group. Maybe we're just getting the hang of it after 7 years. These are in no particular order, and some are, of course, out of PAX's control.

    The pros:
    + As MANY have already said, Thursday, Thursday, Thursday. It was almost as if half the PAX-goers forgot that this was added, and it was easy to get around, find a spot, get into a demo, etc. I know it didn't sell out, so maybe we should keep quiet about it, or word will get out and spoil our fun.

    + D&D Adventurers League. Having this running all the time was great. Efficiently run, and the separate "rooms" for each group is a great idea that I'm glad they kept.

    + The Expo Hall layout. This is one I'm kinda on the fence about, because even though it seemed uncluttered, it also seemed like there were huge empty spaces where I found myself thinking, "shouldn't there be like 3 more booths here?"

    + The signs on the smaller theaters was a good idea, even if I never went in them.

    + Pre-PAX Boardgame Night. This is one of my favorite parts of PAX. My friends and I being more tabletop gamers, this is a perfect way to start PAX for us. HUGE props to @LexiconGrrl and anyone else who puts this together every year!

    +VGO. Even though I have yet to even play Final Fantasy XV, I'm SO glad I went. Back in 2012, I went into the concerts not knowing what to expect, and they were the first band to play, and I was hooked. I always make time to go see them whenever they play at PAX, and they're always fantastic. Although, honestly, a couple years ago when they did the whole "Capcon Live" thing, it was kinda hot and cold for me. This year, having the full orchestra was awesome. It was also great that it leaned more heavily instrumental and only a few vocal tunes.

    + "Swag bags" gone digital. I liked this. The swag bags seemed to get worse every year and they just became a waste.

    + Mega Game Society. This seems AWESOME!

    The cons:
    - BYOC section. This just takes up space that could be utilized for the Tabletop section. It wasn't even half full every time I went by it.

    - No Newegg booth. I know that I'm in the very small minority on this one, but I love the raffles. And Newegg seemed to have them running all the time.

    - Chairs on the front floor section of the Main Theater. I don't know whose idea that was, but, no good.

    - The term "Esports." Not a PAX complaint. Just in general.

    - Again, not under PAX's control, but some of the cosplayers. I hate saying this one, because I love the cosplayers. It may have just been the few that I interacted with, but I didn't know that complimenting you would get returned with looks of disgust, like I just insulted your mom, or something. Oh, pardon me for admiring your work and/or you. How awful!

    - Not so much of a problem for me, because I don't go to them, but lines for "meet and greets." I just feel bad for the people standing in line for this. I'm sorry, but there's nobody at PAX with enough clout to warrant people waiting in line to meet them. That whole thing just seems bizarre to me.

    - Don't know if this is a BCEC thing, or a Westin thing, but the bridge not opening til 10:30. The bridge is one of the reasons why we stay at the Westin.

    Suggestions:
    Please keep Thursday!

    I've seen a few people mention having some sort of color-coded marking overhead in the expo hall. Good idea. Maybe break it up in quadrants? Like, "Blue 1, 2, 3, 4. Red 1, 2, 3, 4," etc.

    Don't know how this would look, but maybe have bag checkers going through the line, pre-checking bags and marking them with a tag of some sort saying they've been cleared. This might minimize the bottlenecks at the front of the lines and make them move faster? I don't know, just a brainstorm.

    Anyway, that's just my .02 dollars. See ya next year!

  • VGguy49VGguy49 Registered User regular
    ScoJoMo wrote: »

    - Again, not under PAX's control, but some of the cosplayers. I hate saying this one, because I love the cosplayers. It may have just been the few that I interacted with, but I didn't know that complimenting you would get returned with looks of disgust, like I just insulted your mom, or something. Oh, pardon me for admiring your work and/or you. How awful!

    I have never seen this happen before. I wouldn't put that down like its a common occurrence, those people were probably just rude in general. Getting upset at compliments goes against the entire point of cosplay, I doubt the people who responded poorly represent anything close to a majority, it's certainly not an issue I had.

    Wishes he could change his username
  • ScoJoMoScoJoMo Registered User regular
    VGguy49 wrote: »
    ScoJoMo wrote: »

    - Again, not under PAX's control, but some of the cosplayers. I hate saying this one, because I love the cosplayers. It may have just been the few that I interacted with, but I didn't know that complimenting you would get returned with looks of disgust, like I just insulted your mom, or something. Oh, pardon me for admiring your work and/or you. How awful!

    I have never seen this happen before. I wouldn't put that down like its a common occurrence, those people were probably just rude in general. Getting upset at compliments goes against the entire point of cosplay, I doubt the people who responded poorly represent anything close to a majority, it's certainly not an issue I had.

    I know, I've never had it happen before either, that's why I hated saying it. Like I said, it was probably just the few I interacted with, and it just so happened that those few were the only "Debbie Downer" types in the whole place.

    VGguy49
  • CatalepticalCataleptical New JerseyRegistered User regular
    Seventh-year PAX Easter checking it:

    I was a bit concerned how the new 4-day East was going to turn out. That was based on seeing only 2 days were sold out, forum activity at a minimum, and after parties being virtually nonexistent. However, it turned out to be one of the best PAX Easts I’ve been to in years!

    PROs:
    + Thursday: What can I say about Thursday other than I left the BCEC that night with a huge smile on my face. There were fewer lines, excited and not-yet overwhelmed devs, and more of a chance to explore and plan out the next few days. Loved it!

    + Expo Hall layout: Again, I had some concern, what with Blizzard being near the front escalators and (at least it seemed) more booths than previous years. It turned out to be absolutely fine. Even the raffles didn’t choke up too much foot traffic. I particularly loved how WD/iBUYPOWER were relegated to the front of the hall away from most walking paths.

    + Classic Pinball area: I miss the Classic Arcade. Classic Pinball certainly attempted to make up for it. Like all con goers, though, I’d like to see MORE. Give them a room, bring in more tables. Somewhere to hang out after the hall closes would be awesome.

    + SWAG: Booth SWAG was much better this year, including the beautifully designed postcards that are crucial to helping me know what to look for in the months ahead. Personally, I don’t care much for the cheap everyone-can-make-them buttons, unless they are really cool.

    + Some BCEC-related things: Theater signs? Super helpful. Food trucks? Pretty good. Even the bar area in the food court had limited items that served its purpose—get in, get out. Although I miss grabbing a beer with lunch, it was easier to grab a seat. Some of us are getting a little too old to sit on the floor and eat.

    CONs:
    - Other BCEC-related things: Limited number of exits at the end of the day. Why? One day, they funneled everyone out through the right side, which was more of a nuisance than a problem since we needed to take a left out of the BCEC. At least they opened up the left side as well the next day.

    - Entry line (specifically Friday): I called it beforehand that security would have completely forgotten how to handle the lines getting into the con. Thursday lulled me into a false sense of security (ha!) since it went so well. Friday, we decided to wait until 10:30 to head over, and what a cluster that turned out to be. Again, once the first pain point occurred, Saturday and Sunday were a bit better. There has to be a better way, though.

    - Expo Hall locations: I have a map, a booth number, and a name, but it’s still difficult to find the smaller booths. Overhead markers or aisle markers could greatly help this, or divide up the hall into quadrants like others suggested.

    - Panels: I had more time to see panels with the addition of Thursday, but there weren’t many I wanted to see. In fact, I often had to choose one over another because they were competing.

    - AAA booths: What happened to them? Companies/publishers like 2K, Ubisoft, and Bethesda (though offsite) were missing from the show floor. Yes, the lines could be obnoxious and eat up most of the day, but this is the closest to a consumer E3 that us East Coasters are going to get. I miss the pomp and excitement of some of the larger booths.

    - New gaming cultures: eSports, Streaming, multiplayer matches… eh, not a fan. Although, there’s not much to do about this but wait. Much like the MMORPGs and MOBAs of previous years, I guess I just have to wait for these to cycle out.

    Summary:
    PAX East 2018 was great. I think it’s one of the first cons where I left on Sunday seeing all I wanted to see and still felt fulfilled. Between after parties and community meetups (PAX Yeast!), I left with an excitement for next year’s PAX that I haven’t felt in some time. Kudos to the organizers and everyone involved!

  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    ilta wrote: »
    + The tabletop library checkout was super painless (badge scan! brilliant!) and generally well-stocked and organized. Props to the team there.
    Absolutely this. I was stunned by how smooth and easy this was. Totally do this again.

    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
  • MephistoN7MephistoN7 Registered User regular
    edited April 10
    Well, another year in the books. Like others, I do have positive and negative feedback. But first, a few notes on feedback not just here but at the show itself.

    -I know people always want every PAX to be overflowing with AAA games, but I feel that sometimes this borders on unrealistic. An easy example to draw from is a thread on this very forum where someone asking what games we were hoping would be there turned out shouts of "Final Fantasy VII Remake", "Shenmue 3", and "Spider-Man". No. This is PAX East, not E3. And unfortunately East has the downside of being so close to E3 that most companies are withdrawing into their shell and
    simply aren't going to talk about or go into their huge 2018 games so close to a major nationwide event. This is why Bethesda and Ubisoft disappeared this year. What is Bethesda going to rent two booths this
    year to show us, Doom VR? It's easier for them to outsource Wolfenstein II to Nintendo's booth in the same way Namco moved the Switch port of Dark Souls there so their booth could focus on Code Vein and Soul Calibur. I can understand this may be a disappointing thing to accept, but look at Square-Enix. They brought absolutely nothing new to PAX East this year, but that didn't stop them from
    having one of the more crowded booths at the show (discounted store merch helps!).

    -The debate about re-opening the bar seems to be getting quieter and quieter, but even as someone who doesn't drink during the show I would gladly toss my hat into the ring of some kind of adult lounge on the top floor for the 'responsible drinker'. Now, I know what some would ask. "Well how exactly would you tell who's a responsible drinker?". Simple, they're the ones who say "Hey, want to go grab a drink up at the lounge in Room 312?" instead of "DUDE! BOOZE UP IN 312!! LET'S GET SMASHED BEFORE THE ARENA!!".

    -I hate to say it, but panel lineups are up to the actual creators. Companies aren't kicking the door down to have giant hour long swag giveaways. After the annual IGN, FFXIV, and Kinda Funny, the rest are up to... well, everyone.

    Now, let's get to my Pros and Cons of this year's show!

    **PROS**

    -Better communication of what's going on and how likely you are to participate. The screens running the schedule with a 'line fill' percentage was a nice touch, but also each year it seems Enforcers are getting more and more confident with just being honest in how long a wait is going to be. This year reached that sweet spot, with more and more signage of "Line Closed" than I've seen before and booths going from "Well, I don't know how long it'll be so it really depends..." to "Look, it'll probably be another 2 hours. Your choice.".

    -Tabletop Map, and just the Tabletop Area in general. How did it take so long to utilize this area perfectly? Everything was spaced so well and the map was a tremendous help. Probably helped that this was the
    first year where it looked like the entire footage of the expo hall was utilized in an optimal way. This has been slowly improving over the last few years on the video game side, but tabletop never really found that ideal setup. This year was great, so please continue this going forward. Speaking of the video game layout....

    -Lane spacing! You did it. You have reached the apex of finding that balance between the realistic expectations of herding thousands of people and not feeling like a congested mess (with one exception I'll
    note in the Cons). You also had Enforcers who started really coming down on the "Stop standing in the middle of the road to look at the pretty colored leaves" and "Stop texting and driving because you're clearly not paying attention" mindsets that still plague PAX attendees.

    -Whoever decided to put up giant vertical signboards you could see across the hall with a theater name on it deserves a promotion. It's silly how something so simple could be that much of a huge help, but even as a 'seasoned veteran' I still easily get turned around in BCEC's outer rim. So if I round the corner and see a giant Dragonfly Theatre sign in my view, even if I'm not looking for Dragonfly specifically it helps re-orient me to exactly where I am to get where I need to go without the app or World Map displays.

    -Digital Swagbag worked exactly as well as I hoped it would. The days of mad dashes and having some poor Enforcer be a babysitter for plastic bags filled with coupons are long gone, and replacing them with 30ish digital coupon codes I feel is a huge step forward. My only critique is I don't know if there was enough communication on this- not for the oldies who were looking for physical bags (I feel the vast
    majority knew the switch took place, and the rest never got the bags so they simply didn't care), but for new people who just operated under the assumption that swagbags don't exist period.

    -Autograph Bracelets. I'm too old to get the appeal of YouTube personalities, but I acknowledge that they're a pretty big deal. I also remember the years where Mark signatures were just a 'first come, first serve' line queue that devolved into Woodstock '99 fairly quickly. So it's good to see these steps being implemented.

    -Emphasizing condensing lines without asking us to spoon the person we're next to. I get the "we want you to minimize the open space as much as possible" reality 100%, and could not agree more. You don't need 12 of us sitting or laying around when that could be 6 more people who could fit. But in the past, this turned into the biggest personal bubble invasion imaginable (although, PAX isn't exactly designed for this to begin with, but semantics aside). Yes, you need to condense lines. But no, you do not need 100 of us to stand shoulder-to-shoulder like sardines. And I'm glad to see this disappeared this year for a more favorable approach.

    **CONS**

    -Folks, I don't think the 'zig zag' BCEC entrance queue is working anymore for many logistical reasons. For starters, unlike most line queues inside the show where Enforcers encourage attendees to fill empty spots the outside queue line operates almost single file- which serves no purpose and is counter-intuitive to the function of a queue line. Second, it's the human psyche of keeping that same distance from the person in front of you as the ripple of free space moves through the line from people going through the security gate. And lastly, you can look no further than the skybridge from the Westin as proof of concept for how to make these work cohesively: 8 single gated straight lines that converge from a single large gated entrance. Less room to move creates less margin of error in conserving space, and allows for a proper flow into the center. Example: Sunday, for some inane reason, was somehow busier than every other day of the show. The line outside
    was reminiscent of Saturdays long passed, and the line in the Westin to get onto the skybridge security wrapped around the upper mezzanine of the hotel. And yet, the time it took starting all the
    way around the back end of the mezzanine to actually walking into BCEC was maybe 8 minutes vs. the reported 35-40 minutes outside. Because it
    was all one big straight line, and there was nowhere to go but forward. Just something to think about. If you're going to continue to leave the corrals outside to the discretion of the attendees to maintain, it's never going to improve.

    -The far right and far left lanes of the Expo Hall are still a danger zone of epic proportions. In particular, the left side of the hall (when facing the floor from the front lobby) is just a giant traffic jam of hatred. A lot of this is due to being adjacent to the merch
    booths, which is going to draw every instance of 'stop and stare' attendees. The problem is this is alleviated everywhere else by the expanded lanes. For that particular aisle, it's still stuck in PAX East 2011. And there were times where I saw everything screech to a grinding halt for minutes on end. Not to be that guy who brings up fire codes and yadda yadda, but there is no way either of those aisles
    could be considered safe or acceptable. As to a solution, I have no clue. The most obvious one would be to remove vendors from those areas and keep them isolated to independent developers and others who are less likely to have leaf peepers. The problem with that is some of the indie developers on the right side were also vendors (IntiCreates, for example). So I'm not sure if it's a matter of properly policing who gets what booth when assigning the Expo Hall, but something definitely needs to change in that regard.

    -Setting up a photo device in front of the PAX logo is a nice touch (Square used a similar one for their photo ops), but putting the touch screen to enter info on the same side as the camera is just bad design. So after a picture is taken, people had to wait for the person to enter their email or phone number because they were essentially standing in front of the camera to put this info in. Somehow this station was more intuitive when people were just asking strangers to take photos of them, which makes as little sense as possible.

    -I get that Fortnite and PUBG are popular, but not so popular as to treat them like they own Penny Arcade. One area each is more than sufficient. I know this may sound over critical and out of touch, but if your goal is to come to PAX to watch one of a dozen booths playing a game that's been out for over a year then perhaps PAX isn't the show for you. Or maybe it is, since it catered to this to a tee. Even if it wasn't intended, it came across as "We have no ideas and need to pad the show, find out what the kids are into and get lots of it!" rather than trying to appeal to 'the masses'- especially since those masses didn't seem to be there judging by the turnout for all these booths all four days.

    -R.I.P. to the Smash Bros lounge. We'll devote 40% of PAX East to a year old PC game, but a popular area for years is shut down completely this year? I just assume it was because everyone traded in their WiiU for a Switch so none were available. :biggrin: And yes, this area was just a congested fog of hot air and Axe body spray. But still, it was sad to see this tradition go away completely. Here's hoping it makes a return next year with the impending new game this year.

    -Raffles need to be done on Twitter, Facebook, email, etc. I know this was brought up in an actual forum thread during the show, but the idea of companies holding public raffles in the Expo Hall during the show is the absolute worst practice possible and just screams "Hey, remember that time we kicked Riot Games out because their booth was a rock concert from hell?". It's extremely disappointing to see PAX take such strides in utilizing floor space and Enforcers doing their best to keep areas congestion free, only to have these smack in the face of all that effort. These have to go, plain and simple.

    -This is not PAX's fault, nor am I holding them accountable. But this is a con of the show and I want to make it known here. If I see you walking slowly and holding up a line of people because you're browsing your phone, I should legally be able to break your phone into a million pieces. If you argue the legality of my actions, then I should subsequently be allowed to mix these pieces into a milkshake and force you to drink it. I'm sorry, but this isn't a generational thing (that would be me yelling at people who go to a concert just to record the whole thing on your smartphone, why are you even there?). This is a common sense thing. STOP. WALKING. AND. TEXTING. You cannot multitask, you are contributing to the show congestion, and you should be expelled. From life. Just move to the side like a considerate person. Unless you like the taste of broken smartphone and cream, then by all means continue what you were doing.

    Overall, I enjoyed the show. It was not one of the best years, but I'm definitely satisfied and enjoyed my time. And as always, thank you for another swell year and for listening to our banter yet again. Err, sorry. 'Constructive feedback'. :biggrin:

    MephistoN7 on
    Le_Goat
  • ScoJoMoScoJoMo Registered User regular
    MephistoN7 wrote: »

    -This is not PAX's fault, nor am I holding them accountable. But this is a con of the show and I want to make it known here. If I see you walking slowly and holding up a line of people because you're browsing your phone, I should legally be able to break your phone into a million pieces. If you argue the legality of my actions, then I should subsequently be allowed to mix these pieces into a milkshake and force you to drink it. I'm sorry, but this isn't a generational thing (that would be me yelling at people who go to a concert just to record the whole thing on your smartphone, why are you even there?). This is a common sense thing. STOP. WALKING. AND. TEXTING. You cannot multitask, you are contributing to the show congestion, and you should be expelled. From life. Just move to the side like a considerate person. Unless you like the taste of broken smartphone and cream, then by all means continue what you were doing.

    HAHAHA!!! This makes me want to set up a "Smartphone Milkshake" booth next year. Love it!

    Le_GoatstarNOstarMephistoN7
  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    It really isn't hard to avoid that and I don't get why so many people cannot comprehend it. If I need to text, I pull off to the side with my back to a wall and text. It gets me out of the way and lets the flood of people continue.

    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
  • CaveCibumCaveCibum Registered User regular
    Reiterating what some folks have said here already, but here goes:

    Pros:
    + Those theater signs were great! I knew exactly where I was!
    + First Look area in tabletop. I LOVED having an Enforcer who was able to teach a game in 10 minutes versus having to read through a rules book in such a loud environment and try to understand and then reexplain the rules from there.
    + Most of the Enforcers in general. I don't know how these guys do it all weekend long!
    + Chips in badges - I started playing PAX XP but got distracted halfway through the weekend (no surprise). I would love to see this used by exhibitors for raffles and as a way of signing up for email lists. Professional conferences do this all the time - saves time and stops "what does this handwriting say?!?".

    Cons:
    - Security of course. I have been to MANY other conventions and conferences of all sorts at the BCEC, and PAX is the only one to have security like this. Some of the guards were nicer this year, but there were still plenty that barked at folks for no reason or got pissed off for having to repeat rules (which, by the way, they had to repeat to the crowd because they seemed to change by the hour). Between the way security continues to be handled and some other issues, it feels like the BCEC just doesn't want PAX there. I have never been made to feel uncomfortable by security at ANY other convention - at the BCEC or elsewhere - other than PAXeast.
    - Blocking entrances to bathrooms in Expo and TT. There are giant bathroom symbols on the walls, and naturally you head right towards them, especially when it's hard to see the way in Expo. But when you get there, there is no path to the bathroom, just more booths. Or in TT, the signing lines are set up across the bathroom area, so you have to go well out of the way when you're already so close to your destination. Please create gaps in booths and move the signing lines (maybe along the back of TT instead of the side?) to make bathrooms more accessible.
    - The Arena section is a huge waste of space and is loud and obnoxious to those in TT who are trying to play a game with the person next to them. There should be some way to hang sound baffles between the arena and TT. I know it's never going to be *quiet*, but I shouldn't have to scream to be heard by the person next to me.
    - I see some folks were happy with the space for TT, but I still felt it wasn't enough. It's still near impossible to get a table there in the evening after Expo closes.
    - Like others above, I had a terrible time trying to find booths in Expo. Please hang aisle markers like every other convention.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    I agree that people should pay attention to where they are going, but even jokingly please do not threaten to destroy someone's property.

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    XenomasterCatalepticalaeurigaSleep
  • panberb panberb Registered User new member
    Trying to find a good way to please everyone with the autograph sessions has to be very difficult, but if we could find some consistency that would be great. There should be no favoritism in this when wristbands are gone they are gone. I unfortunately witnessed several people getting wristbands after we were told they were all out. I then asked why that was happening and the enforcer told me that they were for patrons holding medical badges. Ok, I can accept that, but not when the person sitting next to me had a medical badge for her son and she was denied a wrist band before this other family was pulled asides and given theirs was just wrong. Especially when the bands were given to the others in front of the kids that were denied entrance. Those in charge of the wristbands were not polite or consistent with the rules. When the wristband line begins, rules should loudly be announced. Like no holding spots no getting wristbands for others, etc. My daughter was very lucky to get into two of the sessions, but in all honestly I felt so bad for those who didn’t get into any. Maybe each guest should somehow only be allowed to into one session. Or if there was an autograph session for each person each day that would nice as well. I know the you tuber/ celebrity doesn’t want to be tied up in a session everyday but only having one session for 200 people disappoints many.

  • kensborokensboro Registered User regular
    edited April 11
    It was harder to see/play indie games this year, especially the ones that were jammed together in that tiny arcade-like area. Please give them some more breathing room.

    Personally, I'd give some more space to the indies, and take a bit away from the streaming. I go to PAX to see what's new in gaming/hardware/gadgets/boardgames; not to watch PUBG or Fortnite which I can do anytime without having to pay for a badge and $200+ a night for a hotel.

    Unlike the prior 2-3 PAXes, I didn't get shoved around or out of lines by Twitch streamers and their camera crews acting like they're better than everybody else; which is really insulting for those of us who are on our only vacation of the year. This was 100% better this year, whatever the change is, please keep it up.

    Thursday... wonderful! Could explore a bunch of the Expo Hall without the crazy crowds. Thursday needs to stay :)

    Moving Acquisitions Incorporated to Thursday night meant still having the whole 3-day weekend to enjoy PAX. You pretty much have to get in line 2-hours early prior to the 3-hour show, so 3/4 of Sunday's shorter PAX day was lost if you wanted to see AI. Please keep AI on Thursday night :)

    Security check: empty everything out of your pockets into the dog bowl; open zippers on bags. OK, do all this again later while they're taking care of someone in front of me (and I want to save time and be nice to Security)... then I'm yelled at: "Why did you put your stuff in the dog bowl, put everything in your bag!". "Take your badge off"... "Don't take your badge off". I get it, it's cold, and they don't want to be there; but it feels like they don't want us to be there. I try to be "a good kid" and follow the rules, but they seem to change every hour depending on the mood of Security. I go to NYCC every year, it's just as jammed as PAX (no, it's worse), and the whole Security/Badge thing goes much smoother there. This is the eighth PAX at the BCEC, somebody should have dialed this in by now. NYCC doesn't have those cattle chutes, and they don't seem to need them at all. Both cons are run by Reed, so what's different about New York vs Boston???

    Badges the last couple of years go on sale at 3pm. I work 2nd shift, starting at 3pm. That means I have to buy a Saturday badge on eBay for $100 because by the time I get home from work at midnight, Saturday passes are -long- gone. OK, jump ahead a few months to show time, and there are the scalpers on the bridge... "who needs passes?". Attendees yelling: "Passes? you don't need passes to get in". Security is so busy with the bag searching and metal detectors that there's a bunch of people in the show without badges (which was a running joke among the attendees). OK, I sort of don't care, I'm there to enjoy the show, but then why did I drop a C-Note just to get a Saturday badge if I didn't need one at all???

    Enforcers were terrific as usual. :)

    I was only turned away from one panel (from it being too full). Are the panel rooms bigger? Because getting in panels was so much easier this year. :)

    Cookie Brigade... you rock!

    Oh, one PAX Pro Tip... when you're on the escalators, there's a hundred people on it behind you, so when you get to the bottom please walk a bit farther before texting that "life or death" message with your phone; because if you're shoved a bit at the bottom of the escalator, or that expensive Cosplay outfit you spent months working on is damaged, it's your own damned fault.

    kensboro on
  • CybitCybit Merch Underling RedmondRegistered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    Le_Goat wrote: »
    Why not open up some rooms on the top floor
    I could be wrong but I am pretty sure every room is already used, even if it's not always obvious or public facing :)

    Actually, if I interpreted some conversations correctly - we may be able to use some more of the expo hall next year. So that should be fun. :) Could be wrong though.

  • TopherRocksTopherRocks Rockstar Beard Grower Long Island, NYRegistered User regular
    edited April 15
    Pros:
    - I was skeptical but Thursday was nice. Felt easy to get around, nothing really overwhelming to deal with. Very much the same feel of the early few years of East or even Unplugged's Friday.
    - Enforcers. You're rad.
    - Community projects and events. Game night, challenge coins, all the cool stuff that brings us together are always a treat.
    - The aisles were generally pretty easy to move through again. Got a bit bogged down near the corners and at a few intersections but generally flowed well.
    - The diversity lounge is always a treat.
    - The AFK Lounge. I already adore Take This for their work but this year was the first any of my crew needed to go AFK. A friend of mine had a rough anxiety attack on Saturday and came to me knowing that I'd be able to get her somewhere safe and the AFK Lounge did the trick. Got some time to unwind and recenter over a coloring book and really got to feel the value of it first hand this year.

    Cons:
    - Cost. Isn't there something to level it out a bit for people buying multiple passes? I'm the buyer for my friends and we get the full set. 3-day badges were a big help in the cost but the 4 individual days is so damn expensive.
    - Security. It's theater at best and an absolute farce at worst, per usual. The guards are inconsistent from table to table and day to day.
    - No minimap on the badges! I've just about got it down by heart but having just the shape of the building with the ABCD in their respective corners would be a big help.
    - Friday and Saturday morning lines were terrible to get through. They seem terribly unorganized and nobody seems to know what's going on, line cutters are absolutely rampant.
    - What's the point of numbering booths in the directory if they aren't being labeled literally anywhere else? I've been saying this for years and I see others saying the same, please hang some flags with the row numbers from the rafters!
    - Still can't stand the arenas on the floor, as well as Facebook/Twitch style booths taking up so much space for hardly anything. If you want to have a lounge go sponsor a room off to the side instead of wasting so much space on the floor.
    - Am I insane or was Gearbox entirely missing? My group always looks forward to their panel each year.
    - The floor seemed lacking. Obviously part of this is preference but there was nothing that really jumped out at me this year on the video games side.
    - The absurd idol worship culture that follows streamers. I really wish they'd just stick to vid/twitchcon. I go to PAX for games, not to be stuck fighting past mobs swarming someone who plays them on the internet.
    - The app seemed a bit unstable this year. I never once was able to load the XP page in the app.
    - The digital swag bag is pretty pointless. Did anyone actually do any of it? I gave it a shot at Unpluigged and it seemed okay but this time I swiped through and it looked more like sales than actual offers.
    - Panels seemed lacking this year. Not sure if it's just that the returning guests are getting too samey for me or an actual lack of content but there just didn't feel like there was really much to go see.


    EDIT: Added a Pro.

    TopherRocks on
  • Streetlight345Streetlight345 Seekonk, MARegistered User regular
    Pros
    -Enforcers, especially the Classic and Console Free to play areas. Amazing job and super friendly.
    - Attendees. A father in Classic console who explained his process for bringing his daughter to PAX every year. The polite mom who apologized for thinking she accidently skipped the line because she wanted to stand behind her son while playing Trailblazers (I told her she didn't do anything wrong). I felt like the attendess were nicer than the past couple years. I can't wait to bring my daughter in the future.
    - Concert. Holy shit, VGO was amazing. I can't stop thinking about their concert. Saturday was amazing too. Powerglove rocked the shit out of the theater.
    - Thursday. I got so much done since it felt like I was the only one there.

    Cons
    - Media. I tweeted about video games....Canz I have a media badge? I finished playing Omensight and a gentleman was talking to the exhibitors. I overheard him say "Oh, we don't cover games". Then move out of the way so I can talk. What are you doing at PAX?
    - Youtubers/Streamers. Why are people getting special treatment at PAX?
    - Lounges. Like everyone else has said, give them a room or something, don't put them on the show floor. Isn't this what the AFK room is for? Or maybe put the Kickstarter room on the show floor and move the lounges to the side. Or maybe bring in the food trucks that are outside and give them some show floor and put Facebook and Twitch outside.
    - PUBG/Fortnite. I love league of legends and I remember when everyone complained about Riot on the show floor. I get it now. Felt like every other booth was playing this game or having a streamer play this game.
    - Security. My bags were never checked. I could've brought anything I wanted in. Some days, I didn't bring a bag and went in throught the "No Bag" line. People with bags still got in this line some how.
    - Riot employee. Lady that was sitting on an ottoman handing out landyards and skin cards. Rudest lady I have ever met.

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    PAX East 2017!
    Badge [X] Time off [X] Hotel [X] Pokecrawl [ ] Pax East coin [X]
  • GrimglaiveGrimglaive Registered User regular
    edited April 11
    PROS
    -The classic/console freeplay area continues to be not just fun but an important repository of stuff that can be hard to find. It's a library, really! And the enforcers who run it are the bomb. I wouldn't mind it being expanded, since it's always packed and is a GREAT SOCIAL ACTIVITY! Maybe LFG cones like the TT area has?
    -Later in the year THANK GOODNESS! Boston's weather is a bit too brutal. Even April can be rough!
    -Thursday. Praise the Sun!
    -Panels: I loved seeing the panels being run by a more "indie" kind of crowd with more specific/niche areas and topics. This gives me hope of seeing not only established creators but the great creators to be having a place to do their thing.
    -This may be personal but the Steel Battalion room always tickles me! Those guys are a hoot. HAIL HYDRATE!

    CONS
    -How has no one mentioned coat check? Those people were so clueless and unprofessional. Playing on their phones, daily changes to which area would accept which items, no signage saying when they were full (so you could end up waiting in line just to be turned away when they knew already), loud complaining, misplacing items. I feel lucky to have got out with my coat intact. And what happened to free coat check? :\
    -My badge wasn't ever checked until Sunday. Also see previous concerns comments about going through the security lines.
    -The only other bad thing is that PAX only comes once a year! :D

    SUGGESTIONS
    -Anything that encourages more opportunities for social interaction! (People complain about things "I can do at home" but that would go for most of the expo floor aside from the indie booth. I don't get it either, and would like them gone, but the complaint seems hypocritical.) I mostly spent time in freeplay areas where there was a chance to play games WITH people. I can stare at my computer at home alone any time I want.
    -Pay little heed to TT getting shafted somehow. They just got their very own convention, and PAX is a video game convention foremost isn't it? Don't get me wrong, I love me some tabletop and had a lot of fun there! I just think it's rich to say they're screwed over somehow.

    Keep up the good work guys!

    Grimglaive on
  • divisiontendivisionten Registered User regular
    Re coat check last year: it was free because twitch paid for it.

  • ironysparklesironysparkles Lowell, MARegistered User regular
    CaveCibum wrote: »
    Cons:
    - Blocking entrances to bathrooms in Expo and TT. There are giant bathroom symbols on the walls, and naturally you head right towards them, especially when it's hard to see the way in Expo. But when you get there, there is no path to the bathroom, just more booths.

    YES! The wall of booths/black curtains to walk all the way around to find the restroom whose sign you could see was really obnoxious, and seeing the back of the booths looks really sloppy and cuts off the line of sight to all the fun stuff going on on the expo hall floor.

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  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    - Lounges. Like everyone else has said, give them a room or something, don't put them on the show floor. Isn't this what the AFK room is for?
    I am not the biggest fan of lounges on the show floor, but no, that is 100% not what the afk lounge is for.
    For more info on the afk lounge, look here: http://www.takethis.org/afk-rooms/

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    Streetlight345
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Cybit wrote: »
    zerzhul wrote: »
    Le_Goat wrote: »
    Why not open up some rooms on the top floor
    I could be wrong but I am pretty sure every room is already used, even if it's not always obvious or public facing :)
    Actually, if I interpreted some conversations correctly - we may be able to use some more of the expo hall next year. So that should be fun. :) Could be wrong though.
    I'm not sure to what you are referring, but I'm not certain that will free up any meeting rooms? We can wait and see. My point was that there isn't just a free room or two to have a booze lounge in ;)

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  • VGguy49VGguy49 Registered User regular
    Yeah now that I think about it no one checked my badge once.

    Wishes he could change his username
  • JJKOOLKIDJJKOOLKID Registered User new member
    I've been going to PAX since the very first year it came to Boston. Back in the old Hynes Convention Center days. I have not missed a single year, and each year has topped the last in so many ways!

    That being said, i've been depressed on and off ever since this year's expo ended. I think you guys dropped the ball on a minor issue, that affected me personally in a significant way.

    I am a huge Brawlhalla fan. After participating in a PAX Brawlhalla tourney last year, I started playing relentlessly. I play for at least 2 hours a night, every single night. From about September of last year, I have been counting down the days until this year's PAX; to enter into the Brawlhalla tourney!!!

    I carried my Steam controller around all weekend. I waited in line for a legitimate hour to play the developers, only to find out they were unable to allow a steam controller or even change the button settings. I can't play with the factory settings, so I politely excused myself and did not play. I didn't want to embarrass myself after telling a developer how much I love his game. Plus I knew the tourney was coming up.

    And then I was hit by a bombshell...

    ..........I couldn't use my steam controller? In the PC tourney?

    I had to play on a PlayStation controller, and was at a significant disadvantage. The responsiveness is nowhere the same. I tweak my twitchiness all the way up.

    I was told boilerplate responses about not being allowed to use external hardware on the machines. I understand its easier that way to organize.

    But I've been crushed all week, and admittedly I feel stupid about it. But I went to PAX to win that tournament! I would have won. I'm good enough, and I wanted it badly enough. It's been the biggest thing I've been excited for, and I've been practicing everyday for months.

    I never even CONSIDERED the possibility I wouldn't be able to use my steam controller. I just feel robbed: that I never got to see how far I could've gotten.

    I get the idea behind tech safety and all that. But come on, it's just a steam controller. This is PAX!! The most technologically-savvy gaming space of the year!!!

    It should be about the best gamers who have the best chance to win. Big prizes were given away!

    I got to the top 12. But I would've won. And I've felt robbed ever since. My opponents were robbed of the chance to have the best match. I just cant shake this empty feeling. I practiced for 6 months.

    PLEASE allow steam controllers next year. My friends all came to watch me win! My fiance has been wonderful letting me practice every night with no complaints.

    And I let them down.

  • CaveCibumCaveCibum Registered User regular
    Grimglaive wrote: »
    -Pay little heed to TT getting shafted somehow. They just got their very own convention, and PAX is a video game convention foremost isn't it? Don't get me wrong, I love me some tabletop and had a lot of fun there! I just think it's rich to say they're screwed over somehow.

    PAX "celebrates gaming and game culture". Yes, Unplugged is just for tabletop, but that doesn't mean any of the other PAXs are just for videogames. TT is simply a mess 6pm and later. People also use it as a place to just sit or eat (which is totally fine), but you don't have folks doing that in console freeplay, for example.

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