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First PAX! Anyone have suggestions?

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Posts

  • BekerBeker Child's Play Program Director SeattleRegistered User, Penny Arcade Staff regular
    wolfemancs wrote: »
    I'm thinking about trying something new this year. I watched the 20 years of StarCraft panel from PAXEast on Twitch this year since I was at home in Seattle and not at PAXEast. I found it 95-98% as good as actually being at the panel. The only real downsides are if you want to ask questions (and the panel actually saves time for them) and any swag they're giving out.

    So my idea for this year is to skip any panel that's streamed on twitch, and just watch it in the following weeks from home (or work at lunch), and then use that time to actually play some more tabletop games. I love playing games, but usually don't end up making time to go play games at PAX. This idea is also much more time efficient, as it'll only take me an hour to watch the panel later, whereas it'd take 2+ hours at the con by the time you factor in transit time and line waiting time.

    I used to do that all the time. I would attend the streamed ones if I had nothing else to do, or just wanted to force myself to sit for an hour, but otherwise i'd skip them in favor of something else that I could not catch on the stream later. I've also on occasion (depending on connection speed) watched one panel while waiting in line for another.

    -Beker/Erick
    mV2y6kv.png
  • TOGSolidTOGSolid I didn't choose the tiki life, the tiki life chose me Inside a bottle of rumRegistered User regular
    Come a day early and go to the Start of Term Feast (6PM @ Barca) and the Triwizard Drinking Tournament (8:30 PM - Capitol Hill (starting bar changes depending on team) to meet awesome people, eat awesome food, and raise money for charity while drinking drinks!

    CKingjukkakhanforbiddenvoidmcweemsnixter
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    If your your into the hunt for free stuff I highly recommend Skelevader's Swag Hunters thread over at r/PAX. It's a fantastic way for people to help eachother find swag and raffle information.

    Side note if you wanna lose your mind, be on the lookout for manila envelopes on the ground bearing a exclamation/gear symbol.

    May PAX be upon you.
    DruidsFlame
  • Sergeant_SlashSergeant_Slash Registered User regular
    Side note if you wanna lose your mind, be on the lookout for manila envelopes on the ground bearing a exclamation/gear symbol.


    Wait, what? That sound both awesome and mysterious... I need to know!

    signature.png
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    edited June 10
    Side note if you wanna lose your mind, be on the lookout for manila envelopes on the ground bearing a exclamation/gear symbol.


    Wait, what? That sound both awesome and mysterious... I need to know!

    If I told you straight it would ruin the fun, this way I can give people a chance without spoiling it(we did this con for 6 years before my fiancee found it).

    I will say this though, I go to SDCC and PAX, and much of the great advice so far can be applied to both cons (swap indie games for indie comics, etc.). However what makes PAX different is that it tries to be a community as well as an event(it was conceived as a for gamers by gamers con if I'm not mistaken) and this means PAX is a convergence for ALL types of games/events, including those which are are run by groups of average people for fun.

    Spend time on the lead up to and during PAX monitoring the forums, the subreddit, and twitter to get an idea of what different people/groups run(or make your own!). Think of it as a sorta PAX meta, a way to have fun beyond the standard convention mindset. Not that that isn't enjoyable either! We had that mindset our first PAX and still had a blast even after only staying two days and driving 24 hours, but we approach it much differently now than I did then.

    Hoboking006 on
    May PAX be upon you.
    vespachica
  • BerythaBeasleyBerythaBeasley Registered User new member
    What's the real difference between pax prime and pax east?
    what is the difference, is one better than the other?

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    well, they're in different cities and venues, one is in one large building and the other is spread throughout a city.

    "better" is super duper subjective. I am sure many folks will think each is better than the other.

    P0fkRjI.png5OEMupX.png
    CKingIncreaseBlueHoboking006Croatian Sensationvespachica
  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    well, they're in different cities and venues, one is in one large building and the other is spread throughout a city.

    "better" is super duper subjective. I am sure many folks will think each is better than the other.

    West has a lot more stuff easily accessible. Many hotel and food options are within easy walking distance. As I understand it, East has improved, but still lags way behind. But East has a much bigger space. So there is more space for things like Tabletop (and you don't have to walk a few blocks to get to it).

    GONG-00
  • PavioPavio Registered User regular
    edited June 11
    What's the real difference between pax prime and pax east?
    what is the difference, is one better than the other?

    I agree with both posts above me, there are a lot of factors. I have been attending both recently and show-wise I've had the same experiences at both, which I love. East has a great convention center that is much easier for newcomers to navigate, but West has the better location in its city. But as cities go, I've loved exploring Boston just as much as Seattle (and in some ways more because of the history).

    Overall, I'd put them on the same level now.

    Pavio on
    PAX Prime '07, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16, '17
    PAX South '15
    PAX East '16, '17
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    Now we just need them to sell a PAX season pass so we won't have to choose.

    May PAX be upon you.
    IncreaseBlueRhea_starstormDruidsFlameKeroanPavio
  • alchahestalchahest Edmonton, CanadaRegistered User regular
    kaZombie wrote: »
    I'm coming down from canada for my first pax also! Me and my friend grabbed fri and sat tickets. That exchange rate is too crummy to do a whole weekend.

    Me and my friend are both cosplayers. Would people suggest skipping over the cosplay for our first year? What is the cosplay scene like with PAX west?

    Another Alberta visitor here - this is less "PAX" advice and more "Getting to PAX" advice - time your arrival for not-rush-hour. first year we hit the outskirts at like 5pm and missed will-call for the day so we had to line up on Friday morning. Last year we left Edmonton around 9:30 PM and drove through the night, and got there with plenty of time to relax, get our tickets, and make a quick lap or two around to get our bearings, and let us get right to PAXing on friday. Plus the Coquihalla is empty overnight at that time of year so despite it being spooky it's super chill and nice.

    As for at-PAX, so much good info here already, but the lifesavers for me, in particular, it's way more humid than the prairies, so you may want to bring a small towel and a shirt to change into, and definitely bring some spare socks. The skywalk has the best A/C in the convention center, so if you're going to pick a place to linger for cooling off, that's where you want to be. And bring one more bottle of water than you think you'll need. If you have a backup battery for your phone, you'll want to bring that as well, you may not always have easy access to a wall outlet, and because of the various towers and wifi in the area your phone might be cycling a little more than normal too.

    kbschmid
  • DruidsFlameDruidsFlame Registered User regular
    If you have any trouble standing for a period of time I can't stress the importance of a portable stool enough.

    I have had severe back pain for over a decade and it wasn't until my 3rd PAX that I thought to bring a stool for the lines that you will inevitably be standing in.
    What is funny is that I didn't really see anyone using them those first three years, but that year I brought mine I got so many comments (both directly and overheard) about what a good idea having one of them is. Then the next year I saw them all over the place 8-)

    sEf3HzW.png
    PAX PRIME 2018 Status: Badges [√] Room [√] Waiting [ :x ]
    PoGo Trainer Code:4505 8413 2232
    Nogib
  • kaZombiekaZombie AlbertaRegistered User regular
    alchahest wrote: »
    kaZombie wrote: »
    I'm coming down from canada for my first pax also! Me and my friend grabbed fri and sat tickets. That exchange rate is too crummy to do a whole weekend.

    Me and my friend are both cosplayers. Would people suggest skipping over the cosplay for our first year? What is the cosplay scene like with PAX west?

    Another Alberta visitor here - this is less "PAX" advice and more "Getting to PAX" advice - time your arrival for not-rush-hour. first year we hit the outskirts at like 5pm and missed will-call for the day so we had to line up on Friday morning. Last year we left Edmonton around 9:30 PM and drove through the night, and got there with plenty of time to relax, get our tickets, and make a quick lap or two around to get our bearings, and let us get right to PAXing on friday. Plus the Coquihalla is empty overnight at that time of year so despite it being spooky it's super chill and nice.

    As for at-PAX, so much good info here already, but the lifesavers for me, in particular, it's way more humid than the prairies, so you may want to bring a small towel and a shirt to change into, and definitely bring some spare socks. The skywalk has the best A/C in the convention center, so if you're going to pick a place to linger for cooling off, that's where you want to be. And bring one more bottle of water than you think you'll need. If you have a backup battery for your phone, you'll want to bring that as well, you may not always have easy access to a wall outlet, and because of the various towers and wifi in the area your phone might be cycling a little more than normal too.

    yehh we are flying out of Edmonton tuesday evening. so we can spend a couple of days in the city before the con. generally like flying out a couple days early for a con to check out the place.

  • [email protected]outlander317@icloud.com Registered User regular
    Enjoy the food. Enjoy the weather. You will walk more steep hills than you ever have just getting around. Pace yourself and have a great time. Go to Pike Place and eat some fresh fish made by a fishmonger. Nothing beats fresh Salmon. Be kind to yourself, you can't do everything AND look around. Make friends and share Ubers.

    Keroan
  • MonksterAZMonksterAZ Registered User new member
    First timer here as well. Bringing the whole family. The suspense is killing me; when does the schedule normally come out?

  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    MonksterAZ wrote: »
    First timer here as well. Bringing the whole family. The suspense is killing me; when does the schedule normally come out?

    They said their goal is to put it out this week (4 weeks out), but to not be surprised if they miss that goal.

  • MonksterAZMonksterAZ Registered User new member
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    MonksterAZ wrote: »
    First timer here as well. Bringing the whole family. The suspense is killing me; when does the schedule normally come out?

    They said their goal is to put it out this week (4 weeks out), but to not be surprised if they miss that goal.

    Thank you! Where did they say this so I can just check there in the future?

  • Croatian SensationCroatian Sensation Registered User regular
    Twitter is where they will announce it is live.

  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    This Twitter specifically is where I'd look for the schedule: https://twitter.com/Official_PAX

  • midnamidna Registered User regular
    Question in regards to the sitting part:

    Most years, I just sit on the ground (as previously stated), but I've just realized that this is the first year that I won't be able to do much standing (my vertebra on my tailbone slipped out of place and pinched my nerve; great news is I can walk again. Bad news is I can't stand for long). I'm going to be cosplaying, and I don't want to carry a small stool with me necessarily and have it get in the way of my cosplay. Has anyone ever brought one of those bleacher pads, with the back on it? I'll need the back support. Does it work? I'm trying to fit it all in my traveler's shield backpack.


  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    midna wrote: »
    Question in regards to the sitting part:

    Most years, I just sit on the ground (as previously stated), but I've just realized that this is the first year that I won't be able to do much standing (my vertebra on my tailbone slipped out of place and pinched my nerve; great news is I can walk again. Bad news is I can't stand for long). I'm going to be cosplaying, and I don't want to carry a small stool with me necessarily and have it get in the way of my cosplay. Has anyone ever brought one of those bleacher pads, with the back on it? I'll need the back support. Does it work? I'm trying to fit it all in my traveler's shield backpack.
    I would consider going to the registration area and applying for a medical badge. There are designated medical badge seating areas outside of most panel rooms for waiting for panels, at least. This does not always help with expo hall things, but could help some of the time.

    P0fkRjI.png5OEMupX.png
    CKingDruidsFlamemidna
  • CKingCKing Registered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    midna wrote: »
    Question in regards to the sitting part:

    Most years, I just sit on the ground (as previously stated), but I've just realized that this is the first year that I won't be able to do much standing (my vertebra on my tailbone slipped out of place and pinched my nerve; great news is I can walk again. Bad news is I can't stand for long). I'm going to be cosplaying, and I don't want to carry a small stool with me necessarily and have it get in the way of my cosplay. Has anyone ever brought one of those bleacher pads, with the back on it? I'll need the back support. Does it work? I'm trying to fit it all in my traveler's shield backpack.
    I would consider going to the registration area and applying for a medical badge. There are designated medical badge seating areas outside of most panel rooms for waiting for panels, at least. This does not always help with expo hall things, but could help some of the time.

    I second the medical badge. I don't know if it would still be in the way, but I used a rollator. Takes the pressure off while I'm walking, and then it's the height of a normal seat when I'm waiting in line.

  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    with the food situation at pax, I highly suggest looking a couple blocks around for other food venues.
    Sure there is the cheesecake factory and subway, but as others said, the lines are stupid long.

    also, brace yourself for the price gouge no matter where you go. the 15$ minimum wage has hiked the food prices a lot higher than what they were years before.

    notoriusben_zpsa205e831.png
    Steam - NotoriusBEN | Uplay - notoriusben | Xbox,Windows Live - ThatBEN
  • NogibNogib Registered User new member
    also, brace yourself for the price gouge no matter where you go. the 15$ minimum wage has hiked the food prices a lot higher than what they were years before.

    An easy offset to the prices is do like I have ever since they did that: don't tip.

    cRrHXkn.png
  • CKingCKing Registered User regular
    Nogib wrote: »
    also, brace yourself for the price gouge no matter where you go. the 15$ minimum wage has hiked the food prices a lot higher than what they were years before.

    An easy offset to the prices is do like I have ever since they did that: don't tip.

    There are plenty of places that don't cost an arm and a leg. Every place I eat at is on par with pricing in PA; where minimum wage is only $7.25. Still leaves enough to tip those that are working long hours keeping us happy and full during PAX. There's even a thread on here that gives you an idea of what something costs.

    gorgeousplanet
  • vespachicavespachica SeattleRegistered User regular
    Nogib wrote: »
    also, brace yourself for the price gouge no matter where you go. the 15$ minimum wage has hiked the food prices a lot higher than what they were years before.

    An easy offset to the prices is do like I have ever since they did that: don't tip.

    That is a clear violation of Wheaton's Law: Don't Be a Dick.

    ufq9gj8383nh.png

    CKing10KStreamsgorgeousplanetcurseGONG-00Initialdorbacon_avengerDashDmidna
  • MonksterAZMonksterAZ Registered User new member
    Reading further I have a follow up as a newbie; what can we bring into the con, bag/food/drink wise? Like, if I have a backpack with lunchables/gatorades, am I good? What's the outside food and drink policy?

  • whypick1whypick1 PAX [E] Info Booth Manager ~2' from an LCDRegistered User regular
    As long as your bag isn't so unwieldy that it causes problems for others and you don't pack an entire 7-11 in it, you're fine.

    Is it PAX <insert nearest future PAX here> yet?
    MonksterAZvespachica
  • RiDERiDE the WORST! Hotel CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    I always bring my own food (and water) and have never had a problem; maybe just stay away from things that might have a strong odor (so don't bring a durian, har).

    "Try, try again. Then quit. There's no use being a damned fool about it."
    IncreaseBlueMonksterAZvespachicaDruidsFlame
  • vespachicavespachica SeattleRegistered User regular
    Yeah, I always bring my own food. Sometimes I'll grab lunch somewhere but I am all about the healthy snacks and water.

    ufq9gj8383nh.png

  • every day's greatevery day's great Registered User regular
    edited August 7
    My recommendations are:
    • Play tabletop games!! They are really fun and you usually don't have to wait in line (except for D&D maybe if it is happening this year)
    • Bring a Switch and play local multiplayer games!!
    • Bring "line games" that you can play while waiting in line
    • Use the PAX app to track lines; if there's something you really want to go to, go 1.5 hours in advance
    • If you like D&D spectacles (as I do!) go to Acquisitions Inc. (but you may have to line up 2 hours in advance, so bring line games)
    • Don't worry if you miss one thing, because there is something awesome elsewhere that you can go do!
    • Have fun exploring interesting areas like PC/Console/Retro/Arcade free play and stuff in other buildings than the WSCC
    • If you see something that is awesome - DO IT!!! :biggrin:
    I think the best thing about PAX is that it changes your perspective a bit on people, because you start thinking that everyone you meet is someone who you might want to have fun playing a game with!!

    p.s. Also cosplay is great - I really wish I had gotten a picture of all the overwatch characters together!!

    every day's great on
    CKinganettie76kbschmidmidna
  • midnamidna Registered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    I would consider going to the registration area and applying for a medical badge. There are designated medical badge seating areas outside of most panel rooms for waiting for panels, at least. This does not always help with expo hall things, but could help some of the time.

    Wow, I didn't know PAX does this, that's awesome advice!! I'm looking into getting one now, thank you!


  • InitialdorInitialdor Seattle's Carl Registered User regular
    edited August 14
    Here's my Fast Food Map of Downtown Seattle (Last updated August 12th 2018)
    177qd3g730b4.jpg

    If you don't bring your own food, take this! I've included most of the Foodie thread's picks in there, but the map's emphasis is on serving time. My own go-to's are the Jimmy Johns-es on 6th Ave or the pizza joints 'behind' the convention center. A Pizza Mart is a new-ish addition, and is one of my personal favorites: They use real friggin bacon, serve by-the-slice, and they're a 21+ only bar... These are all positives in Carl's book! If you go out the 4th-floor 'smoking' door, you can walk the lesser-traveled Freeway Park paths to get to MOD or A-Mart. (I've not been to Primo, but they're well reviewed and usually busy.) "I claim-a this saggy ring in the name of il Cartographer!" -Strong Bad

    My other piece of advice cannot be stressed enough: Comfortable shoes are a must! Take it from someone who's put in 5-10 mile days in cheap green plastic flip flops. (I'll be swapping out my cosplay footwear periodically this time; constantly wandering PAX is my bread and butter.)

    Initialdor on
    2018 West: Badges [x] TWDT [Rclaw TT] Cosplay: Still bald. Still single. Still lovin' it!
    "Fantasy football still counts as fantasy." -DnD Greg
    anettie76Paviobacon_avenger
  • MarinoMarino Giant Bomb Moderator / League of Heels Webmaster Registered User regular
    I've been doing this guide over on Giant Bomb for seven years now. Some of it is GB-centric, but the vast majority of it is good for everyone.

    https://www.giantbomb.com/profile/marino/blog/pax-guide-2018-west-edition/118098/

    Initialdoranettie76littlemisslion
  • Spokane_SnowManSpokane_SnowMan Registered User regular
    It is setting up to be a pretty amazing holiday weekend in Seattle. Get out. Walk. Explore. Some things going on:
    Thursday: Seahawks vs Raiders
    Saturday: Sounders vs Sporting KC
    Saturday: Foo Fighters at Safeco
    Monday: Mariners vs Orioles

    Bumbershoot goes Friday thru Sunday and has just an insane laundry list line up of musicians.

    When it comes to food. You'll have an easier time if you get more than a few blocks away from the convention center, but it doesn't mean things will be easy. It is a holiday weekend with a million things going on. Make reservations, call in orders or prepare to wait. You can be a dozen blocks from the convention center and still have a 30+ minute wait.

    gorgeousplanet
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