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Constructive Feedback - West 2018

zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
edited September 5 in PAX West
It's time for the feedback thread!

Please remember that it's perfectly fine to dislike a thing or have negative feedback, but it's not ok to be a jerk!

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Posts

  • forbiddenvoidforbiddenvoid Cupertino, CARegistered User regular
    There is too much space dedicated to streaming now. I get that there are people who care a lot about their particular streamer, but it's getting a little out of hand. Twitch, FBGaming, Mixer all had sizable chunks of the expo hall floor. The Paramount was _dedicated_ to streaming, and there were still streaming booths on the 4th floor by the skybridge.

    Nearly all of that space is wasted on PAX attendees who are not _watching_ those streams, because we're actually at the event. I'd like to see ReedPop back off on that for next year. Let's get back to the games themselves.

    The second bit of feedback is related to the Fortnite mini golf at the Annex. The idea was creative and clever, but I dont think it worked out well. The line was routinely capped (for the day!) hours before the show even started. That's just not a pleasant experience for 90%+ of attendees.

    However! The sixth floor of WSCC continues to be a bright shining beacon of reasonable traffic, clever games and everything I want and expect PAX to be. So there's that.

    PAX. PAX. PAX. Boom.
    every day's greatmidnaGONG-00TOGSolidHelstrumDracilIncreaseBlueCroatian SensationBirrhangorgeousplanetYoungFreybacon_avengerEseellvespachicaRiDEDinnyVolkat
  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited September 4
    I'll preface it with this is my first pax in about 4 or 5 years.

    The Good:
    Open booths and being able to see stuff even when in line upon line upon line. Last time i remember being here everything was closed so you sat in line and just waited. It was nice being able to actually watch and see stuff while i waited. Also liked that the panels seemed to be spread out more as far as days/times at least for the stuff I wanted to see.

    Now for the bad:

    All of the social/streaming stuff and people. it was extremely annoying to see/hear all of the facebook, mixer, and twitch booths and the space they took up. Specifically the twitch booth and their partner only lounge smack dab in the middle of the expo hall. In the same vein wayyy to many streamers/youtubers/whatever else called themselves got to skip lines. I personally witnessed it happen at least 4 times where myself and other would wait in line for hours only for someone to run up and cut in line. If we're gona continue to have these booths and streams here I'd like to see them put in their own corner so theyre not in the way of everything else. Also if PA has any control over this they need to better screen/control who can call themselves "media"

    Lines/Demos/tickets

    The lines and demo lengths were kinda ridiculous this year. People would spend all day in one booth or all day in line because the demo lines. I saw demos be as fast as like 5 mins(jump force) and over an hour *cough* Artifact *cough*. I'd really like to see PA put limits on demo lengths. On the same line booths like SE doing tickets for their stuff right at 10am was just a mess, it pretty much required you show up at the latest 8am if you wanted to do it and caused a lot of rushing every morning. If booths want to do a ticket as the doors open they shouldnt be on the other side of the doors and iderally shouldnt even do them at 10am

    sanovah on
    midnaHelstrumevery day's greatgorgeousplanetDinny
  • midnamidna Greater Seattle AreaRegistered User regular
    edited September 4
    One thing that happened multiple times to me was that press/other exhibitors either got to cut in line, or kicked me/my husband off games completely to play. It really turned us off from the games, because we are the ones who will pay to play the game in the future. There were a number of small, handwritten notes posted saying that press got priority, but it seemed exceptionally crappy that you could be booted off your game that you waited in line for. I was in line to play Gris, but they let other exhibitors cut in line 2-3 times, and the wait extended from 1.5 hours to up to 2.5 because of this. I eventually just got out of line. I would at least appreciate it if the press/media people could wait at least 5 minutes before kicking someone off their demo. It would give someone time to wrap up what they're doing in the demo.

    Another thing I noticed is that demos were much longer this year. The Divinity II demo was 20 minutes long (!) and others were even longer. This is such a departure from previous years, I feel. Demos used to be about 5-10 minutes max. Of course, this has its advantages and disadvantages. I appreciate the fact that after I waited in line for ~1.5-2.5 hours I could sit and really play for a while, but at the same time that 2.5 hour line could be shortened to 1.5 hours if the demos were shorter. Overall, I think I personally liked shorter lines and thus, shorter demos. It allowed me to see more of PAX.

    The Indie Megabooth was a delight as per usual, but I noticed there was a LOT of extra space on the side. My husband has a social anxiety disorder, and is easily overwhelmed/panics with big crowds of people. He still wants to go, as he's studying to become a video game programmer, but the Indie Megabooth always proves to be the most difficult part of the day. This year, he turned to me and said "I would be so much more comfortable here if the aisles were even a little wider." The extra space on the side was not being fully utilized, I think. I don't think it would need to be shifted all the way to be flush with the wall, but maybe just shifted an extra 5 feet.

    I agree with the people above; I'm really glad there were no boxed in areas this year, or Sony trying to move you out of the booth if you didn't have a reservation. I also spent most of my time up on the 6th floor, because it was 1) less packed and 2) I could play many more games. I was missing We Love Fine/other apparel booths though - they would of course be AFK the first year I have real money to spend on clothes! I did find the Level Up Dice booth to be awesome though. Keep them around! :P

    Edit: Just realized Welovefine is now For Fans By Fans, who was there. I guess I was just disappointed in their selection. PAX has nothing to do with that though, so not blaming PAX!

    midna on
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    HelstrumgorgeousplanetDinny
  • every day's greatevery day's great Registered User regular
    edited September 11
    Fun/awesome!

    + Dreams - brilliant game, demos, and panel, and friendly developers!
    + DragonQuest XI - you could play it! you could get a shirt! you could see/meet Yuuji Horii!
    + Food/snack vendors didn't run out of food or cold drinks!
    + Line status in mobile app - very useful!
    + Acquisitions Inc., and Gabe and Tycho; green flame!!
    + Games that Inspire panel - inspiring!
    + Panels in general
    + Switch games everywhere! (I rarely carry my PS4 around these days)
    + Pre-PAX tabletop night
    + Smaller games and games with short lines
    + PAX socks (sox?) - surprisingly comfortable!

    less fun:

    - Valve/Artifact booth 4 hour 5 hour wait/line capping! Should have split demo vs. tournament and scanned badges to send you a beta code
    - Nintendo booth 3+hour wait/endless line capping! Only 250 Diablo pins for 35K attendees! Shouldn't have had a 1 hour demo slot per person - should move people through line much faster. Line also closed early (2pm?) on Monday
    - Square Enix/Kingdom Hearts 3 - ridiculously small number of demo slots, all given out before 10:00:01 am each day
    - Fortnite Mini Golf - also pre-allocated all slots by 10:00:01
    - Missing in action: Wizards of the Coast; Magic organized play; Pathfinder; Miniatures; Bioware
    - Lots of empty rooms in the WSCC
    - Much of the expo hall not used for game demos
    - More tabletop please - it seems that there are fewer exhibitors each year, maybe because of unplugged?
    - Rushing in at 10:00:00 but still failing to get into lines before they are capped; every day
    - Coming back repeatedly to find the line is still capped
    - Opening panel lines 3 or 4 hours in advance - who wants to spend their PAX time waiting in line?
    - Early line compression - get as uncomfortable as possible for as long as possible!
    - Fewer free pins than previous years - and very slow/capped lines for them
    - PA merch line seemed to move slower than in previous years
    - Jackbox game before Acquisitions Inc. didn't work at all for me - kept messing with it and either got errors loading or asked for a room code, which wasn't supposed to be necessary
    - Why doesn't Blizzard/Overwatch/etc. come to PAX?
    - PAX XP never worked for me - had to go to the help desk every time to get credit for a scan
    - Switch games are mostly retreads (but you can play them on the go and I still wanted to see how well the ports worked)
    - Being pushed/shoved/run into repeatedly by attendees, exhibitors and media (hint: that won't make the people in front of me move any faster)
    - Mobile phone and f2p games with abhorrent monetization schemes and/or slot-machine mechanics; Square Enix even had physical gacha machines to underscore the point - well played, SE!

    Things that could be great to see in the future:

    * More space and demo stations for popular games
    * Line status (and time estimates) for expo hall lines - viewable in the mobile app
    * Maybe exhibitors can get their act together and get people through lines faster (see above)
    * Switch gaming meetup areas for pickup games of MarioKart/Smash/etc. and some clear way of identifying them
    * Game jam lab with things like Dreams, Pixel Game Maker, RPG Maker, Mario Maker, modding, level editing, etc. to help you learn how to make something
    * Bring back WotC, Magic, miniatures painting and gaming, Pathfinder and more RPG organized play
    * Bring back Acquisitions Inc. internships D&D games
    * Maybe move non-playable stuff (streaming and esports/arenas?) out of the expo hall and heavy traffic areas
    * More festive banners in the escalator area of the WSCC to get you in the mood

    every day's great on
    gorgeousplanet
  • every day's greatevery day's great Registered User regular
    edited September 4
    midna wrote: »
    The extra space on the side was not being fully utilized, I think.
    Expanding the aisles looks very possible to me. I wouldn't mind it if the expo hall didn't look as "busy and crowded." I really enjoyed PSX which was a lot more spacious.

    every day's great on
  • RavenHuskyRavenHusky Registered User regular
    Valve probably should have kept the Artifact demo down to the Tutorial game plus one game against another attendee instead of doing their gauntlet thing, where people who win keep playing until they lose. Probably would have made the lines move faster. Monday morning, in the line facing away from the escalator, I was 90th in line once the convention center opened, and was told that it would be a five hour wait to play. After that, one of the Valve employees told people who didn't want to wait to get the swag/game keys to come around to the back of the booth where they handed out bags, and I immediately bailed on the line.

    Game demos need to be kept to a limited amount of time so that the lines can keep moving.

    WAH1AQh.png
    2018 Checklist:
    Badges [X]
    Time off from work [X]
    Costume [X]
    Room Share [X]
    Patience [Non-existent since 2012]

    Rhea_starstormevery day's great
  • XalaraXalara Registered User regular
    • PAX and WotC need to find a way to make up. I realize WotC pulling out of PAX at the last minute last year made PAX angry but the lack of MTG, or rather, the lack of Cascade Games really hurts.
    • There needs to be some kind of throughput requirement put on booths. While I recognize PAX can't arbitrarily tell booths what to do with respect to their booths, they can at least encourage it by not giving Pinny Arcade pins to booths that don't commit to a certain throughput. In the past this may not have been as much of a problem, but recent trends have shown tabletop gaming de-emphasized so there's now less to do outside of the expo hall.
    • I've been seeing reports that Exhibitor badges were filling up lines before the show opens. This is something that should not be happening and needs to be looked into.
    • Cosplay weapons check Enforcers need to be trained better about how to identify props and be consistent. The one checking my Final Fantasy XV daggers clearly did not know much, if anything about prop construction. He had to ask if they were metal or not while holding them when the props are clearly plastic to the touch. Beyond that, it seemed that once the Enforcer felt how heavy they were due to being solid plastic, he wanted to reject them but had to find a reason and thus went down a list until he found a reason that would stick in terms of rejection: The daggers were too pointy. That's not a good look for PAX. The consistency part comes from this: Wandering the show floor I spied several other hard (not foam) cosplay props with pointy bits at eye level on the show floor. Additionally, last year I also got into the show with a piece that was slightly pointier than what I had this year. Heck, I even made sure that the dagger ends were rounded to about a 2mm radius so that it wasn't too pointy but apparently that wasn't enough.
    • Weapons check is easy to spoof. You guys are using U-Line zipties. If I really wanted to get my rejected prop onto the show floor I could've easily gone down to Ace Hardware a few blocks from the show and gotten the same zipties.

    ctiwolfEseellvespachica
  • Rhea_starstormRhea_starstorm Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 4
    Game demos need to be kept to a limited amount of time so that the lines can keep moving.

    Im not sure how much control pax has over this but I agree. 15-20min imo is perfect. The hour long artifact demo was ridiciolous.

    Rhea_starstorm on
    every day's greatvespachica
  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    edited September 4
    Pros:
    The 6th floor of the Expo was hands down the shining jewel of PAX this year. It was dedicated to games, had wide aisles to avoid crowding, and the exhibitors had large overhead flatscreens so you could see their games from across the room. Same goes for the Indie Megabooth. You had people dedicated to their creations and they wanted to get as many people as possible to play them, which meant high turnover in the lines.

    There were wide aisles throughout all Expo flooring. This is a definite good, considering in past Expos, if you took a wrong turn, you were stuck in the corner for the entire day trying to move through. I never felt pressured or claustrophobic from the press of people on the expo floors.

    I also want to give a shoutout to @LexiconGrrl for pulling PrePAX boardgame night together on short notice this year, as well as those that donated their games for all to borrow for the night. Top Notch.

    Cons:
    As stated by others, the number of streaming exhibitors were ridiculous. Fortnite was especially egregious. I know Fortnite is crazy popular right now, and I'm sure they dropped a truckload of cash to set up in the entire annex, but that was absurd, considering that's where RPGs and cardgames usually set up in years past. The big names in the expo, Valve, Capcom, et al, had such long lines, it wasn't worth my time to sit in them. Just see what they had to offer, take a few pics of what to keep an eye out for and move on. I simply didn't go to Valve's booth because it was line capped for the day by 1030 every day. The Blessed Unleashed booth was the exception. Long line, but exceptional high turnover, and open floor space so people could see those playing the game. Blessed Unleashed managed an almost 1:1 line wait/demo play ratio and that was pretty great.

    I'll be honest, I don't remember much of the 4th floor because there was nothing there truly worth my time to stand in line. Half the stuff being showcased is going to come out on steam between now and October and what I want, I've already wishlisted.

    I was able to get a Media sponsor this year, but I'll concur with others. I know Media are here for work (extremely tenuous, considering the number of media personnel that I didn't see with camcorder or audio recorders). This is a show for the attendees, not a vacation for someone with golden ticket line priority. Media need to wait in lines just like the rest of the attendees, or the exhibitors need to make the decision to have a separate setup for the media and plan accordingly.

    In summation:
    PAX was good this year, but it has been head and shoulders *better* in previous years. Tone down the streaming vendors big time and put up more games. Maybe there were not that many games this year, I'm not privy to that information, but the perception was that there were many more merchants and streaming booths than actual hands on product of years past.

    NotoriusBEN on
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    Steam - NotoriusBEN | Uplay - notoriusben | Xbox,Windows Live - ThatBEN
    every day's greatIncreaseBlueGONG-00Dinny
  • Rhea_starstormRhea_starstorm Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 4
    Good:
    * Mox games at the Olive 8, tabletop room was awesome and loved having teachers.

    *Looking for teacher/players signs in tabletop

    *The AFK room. Such a nice little break room from the craziness of pax.

    * Indie section/Pax 10 on the 6th floor was awesome

    *Ticketing systen for some demos (psvr, kh etc)

    *Fornight mini golf.

    *Pax xp teams.


    *Enforcers were super helpful and friendly this year (I know its a hard job)

    Needs improvment:

    * Like many others have said too many streaming booths in the expo hall.
    Maybe some of these like twitch/discord/fb could be in the annex or somewhere else next year? The expo hall is crazy enough as is imo.

    *Lack of WoTC, Im not sure how much control Pax has over this but its a little bit of a bummee that they weren't at pax again this year.

    *Riot games...I was disappointed that a company with such a horroble reputation to work for as a women had a panel/presece...however riot does seem to be making a honset effort to change their culture so im waiting to see what happens (I just would like it if PAX would vet panelists/ companies with presence for those inline with inclusive values).

    Autograph sessions not on schedule: I got really lucky and happened to be in the right place at the right time to get Pat Rothfuss to autograph my Rick n Morty DnD comic. Besides aqc inc I didnt see an autograph session for Rothfuss on the schedule.

    Rhea_starstorm on
    Dinny
  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    Xalara wrote: »
    • PAX and WotC need to find a way to make up. I realize WotC pulling out of PAX at the last minute last year made PAX angry but the lack of MTG, or rather, the lack of Cascade Games really hurts.

    We work with WotC every day and announced a new project with them at PAX. Please don’t use this thread to spread gossip.

    Rhea_starstormvidvespachica
  • Rhea_starstormRhea_starstorm Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 4
    Rhea_starstorm was warned for this.
    Xalara wrote: »
    [*] PAX and WotC need to find a way to make up. I realize WotC pulling out of PAX at the last minute last year made PAX angry but the lack of MTG, or rather, the lack of Cascade Games really hurts.


    Fwiw I heard a rumor that Hasboro, WOTCs parent company, refused to let them come to PAX

    Rhea_starstorm on
  • HelstrumHelstrum Bellevue, WARegistered User regular
    • Too much streamer focus. I realize that this is big for the industry right now, but it is taking away from the "Welcome Home" feeling of PAX. It sometimes makes "regular" badge people feel like second class citizens. It spills over from the convention even into the evening parties.
    • We need more theater demos! One of my favorite PAX memories is the demo that was done for Assassin's Creed way before it came out. The number of demos on the convention floor are causing too many line quests. I don't mind not getting to play the game if I can have a good look at it and good information from the developers. I see less and less theater demos every year.
    • We need to find a way to draw more people to the tabletop rooms or find a way to make better use of them. A lot of the time the rooms to the side of the escalators was empty. People were using other spaces and tables.
    • I liked the merch store at the Sheraton. In the evening it was quick and easy to go look at stuff and purchase without a huge queue.
    • PAX XP was more interesting this year. It improves every year.
    • The shuttle bus on day one was crazy. The driver didn't have a route or know where the locations were. Previous years were easy to use, this year, we used it once and then skipped it and just stayed at the convention center.
    • Swag is at a all time low. Not a huge deal to me, but I think people who don't play line quest will agree.
    • The one exception was there were some cool pins being given out.
    • I'd like to see a way to get non-video game gaming into the expo hall. It was on the sky bridge and on mid levels of the convention center, but those are walk through areas.
    • Where was D&D this year? Disappointed in the MTG booth. WoTC... I expect more effort from the home team.
    • The atrium outside of the expo hall should be numbered differently than the sky bridge. Example is the Java Monster booth was S4 while S1-4 and S5 were all on the sky bridge. Very confusing.

    Random idea. If we are going to continue the trend of people having to reserve times to get demos, can we do it via the app? Give people a couple picks per day per badge? Lotto system? Just something to spread out the opportunity and maybe decrease the space dedicated to lines.

    Rhea_starstormLogunDinny
  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    Xalara wrote: »
    [*] PAX and WotC need to find a way to make up. I realize WotC pulling out of PAX at the last minute last year made PAX angry but the lack of MTG, or rather, the lack of Cascade Games really hurts.


    Fwiw I heard a rumor that Hasboro, WOTCs parent company, refused to let them come to PAX

    What did I just say?

  • kbschmidkbschmid Calgary, ABRegistered User regular
    7th PAX West for me. Missed last year so not sure if improvements were made this or last, so please forgive me if this is old news

    PAX App: I feel like, in general, the PAX app keeps getting better in terms of line updates, being able to find places on the maps, etc.

    PAX XP: It was cool in terms of the possible loot and such, but there are definitely a few bugs to iron out (my wife could not get hers working the first day at all, mine kept being invalid at certain scan points, etc)

    Lines in Expo Hall: Echoing some previous comments, lines at games seemed longer than some years. I mean, I've definitely done the 4-hour wait for certain games in certain years, but it felt like most were well beyond what I was willing to do. That said, so much other stuff.

    Expo Hall: I actually found it really easy to move in the expo hall this year, moreso than normal. I don't know if there were less people, if I hit the sweet spot in times, or what.

    D&D: D&D area could use more space as well as sound dampers. I know it was not a PAX decision, but lining up instead of time slots was not my favourite decision, but there are pros/cons to each. Personally I find time slots better, partially because there are often times that make good sense for my group between panels.

    Theatres*: I can't remember if it was this way a few years ago, but I was actually intrigued by there being only one theatre (Cat) at the WSCC. Not a good/bad thing, but more interesting. It makes getting to certain panels a little more difficult (I'm sure those with mobility issues had it worse), but I felt like lines weren't as bad for panels possibly because they were so spread out. *Yes this is the correct spelling for theatre ;)

    Scalpers Alternative: I'm sure I've brought this up before but would like to retread. I totally get that a lot of suggestions may not work, but just in case... I would *love* to have a place where I can drop off my badge that I don't intend to use to a central location, get $0 for it, but have them be able to resell and give proceeds to Child's Play. If will call moved back to one of the hotels, that might make the ticket booth a potential place. Maybe it won't work logistically, but I hate seeing all those scalpers out there and would love to see the $$ go to CP

    Enforcers: As always, thank you thank you. 99% of the enforcers are incredible, helpful, fun, and just make the experience so much better for all of us.

    By day, a mild-mannered charity guy
    By night, a gamer.
    PAX Prime 09, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18
    every day's greatRhea_starstorm
  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    Two things I wanted to add in regards to the booths and lines.

    First wanted to praise bless unleashed. They had a super long line but it was always moving because of how many stations and the demo length. I dont wanna say they should be the standard, but they're pretty close.

    IDK how much control PAX has over this but some of the booths had just terrible line structure, or terrible placement of the demo stations, or just no signs/very small signs to direct people. The two big culprits of this were the playstation and xbox booths. And to a lesser extent SE.

    The playstation booth had one demo for KH3 almost at the corner of their booth and for some reason(not sure if it was enforcer or booth directive) they line didnt even go to the corner of their booth so it was at max like 5 people and capped. Kinda curious why they didnt wrap it around the edge and side like they did for so many other booths. Would have easily doubled the line length. Also didnt help people would huddle there waiting for it to uncap for 30sec even though the enforcer there kept telling people to move. Was a little frustrating the first two days trying to follow the rules for that and realizing I'd never get in because of those people. Not sure what/if anything enforcers could have done.

    The xbox booth was better in terms of actually being able to get into line but again some of their lines were just funky in terms of where to stand or enter. The game would be on one side and the entrance would be on a perpendicular side and then the would go into the booth and snake back and forth a few times. I would imagine it was done to fit more people in the space but was again was kinda difficult to find the entrance to their lines.

    The SE booth was kinda similar but mainly with the morning giveaways. People would rush into that desk thing they had bombard the guy up front and then run all around the booth looking for the line. Better or in this case any signage would have been nice.

    In general if we're gonna have giant games with giant lines or multiple games or games and merch in one booth I'd like to see better signage made or required.

    P.S get the enforcers some new bigger signage themselves for stuff like line caps. Felt bad for the enforcers that had to make paper signs

  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    Also wanted to say even though I did say I disliked the initial rush and having to be in line so early. The idea behind SE and the ticketed times was amazing. If you got a ticket/once you got one it was super nice to be able to come back at your time or a little earlier wait in a little bit of a line and play your game then go on with your day.

    Like others have mentioned I wouldn't mind seeing this method being heavily encouraged in the future and could easily be tied into pax xp. Like give a badge 2 maybe 3 things they can go to in a day via this system. Have them register it via their badge and when its their time go scan the badge like we did for the giveaway stuff. PAX would have to find a happy medium for how many a day but I believe in y'all. This isn't to say I want the regular lines to go away but like a disney fast pass where you can wait or come back at a guaranteed time.

    Rhea_starstorm
  • SynjaSynja Registered User new member
    - Why doesn't Blizzard/Overwatch/etc. come to PAX?
    Probably because they focus primarily on BlizzCon. It's a shame though. Ion's keynote talk was great and I hope they get invited back next year. That was definitely a highlight of PAX for me.

    Otherwise, I loved the tabletop/board games stuff, freeplay was awesome, the demos were fantastic. I'm very happy with the variety of board games I was able to demo and how short the waits were for those, and we walked out with a couple hundred dollars worth of board games that I'm looking forward to playing.

    The expo hall was subpar. I usually look forward to it the most, but there were too many capped lines, and in part that seems to be because exhibitor/media people were given priority. There was so much I never got to play because the lines were capped every time I came by on each of the 4 days. Very disappointing. As with nearly everyone else, I found the focus on streamers to be extremely discouraging. Streamers with media passes, what? They weren't even streaming; they were just using their passes to get in faster. And there was so much floor space dedicated to streamers and Twitch/Facebook! It felt like the regular gamers were no longer the target audience for PAX. A machine set aside for special badges is fine, but when those people get priority for every demo, it just feels like the rest of us are being pushed out of the way and don't matter anyway, even though we're the ones who will be buying the games in the end.

    However, the timed demos were great. Pathfinder: Kingmaker (and a couple others) had timers set up by the machines so you knew how much time you had left, and it made the lines for those games quite short and efficient. That was a very good setup and I enjoyed those a lot. PAX XP was pretty cool, too. I didn't decide to participate until the second day, but it was a fun little mini quest type of thing that felt more interactive than much of the PAX experience this year.

    The enforcers were also awesome and very helpful. I had no bad experiences with them. And the app was incredible! Made it very easy to plan out what I wanted to do and not miss the panels I was interested in.

    60zyj8p87qwn.png

    every day's greatIncreaseBlue
  • waffledogwaffledog OhioRegistered User regular
    Gotta talk about the CD scammers outside the WSCC doors. Feel like what’s making it worse is there’s also legit exhibitors doing on-the-street giveaways of shirts, bags, drinks, whatever right outside the WSCC. Scammers know this and camp right in the middle of the freebies, inevitably catching attendees in the mix.

    As much as I like the street festival vibe of PAX, maybe it’s best if the free swag handouts were restricted at the intersection of Pike and 7th.

    8350v4w8udyb.png
  • IncreaseBlueIncreaseBlue Registered User regular
    edited September 4
    I had a wonderful PAX this year and saw a ton of improvements that were very much appreciated.

    Pros
    -PAX app continues to be a boon. Loved the line updates being super accurate and up to date. I also tweeted at PAX lines about an autograph session missing from the app and they responded immediately. +1 for communication!

    -Offsites. This isn't in PAX hands but there were a ton of off site experiences that were really cool to hit up like the Red Bull challenge or MonHun truck. I liked these things a ton.

    -Staff. All of the WSCC and enforcers were fantastic to interact with.

    -6th floor. Seriously. I love this floor and spend a majority of my time here. Even more excited to see Finji titles there :D

    -Expo hall was great and very walkable (Nintendo overflow notwithstanding).

    -Digital swag bag. I've been asking for this for a while and I'm so happy it's happened. This is great and I like it!

    -Love that tabletop continues till midnight. Checked out a lot of games after the hall closed.

    -PAX XP is a lot of fun and gave me incentive to discover a lot of areas. Even though I wasn't into the Fortnite stuff, it was cool to check it out and see what was set up.

    -Concert variety was awesome this year! Loved seeing the (relatively) fresh faces performing.

    Cons
    -Pins. Pin traders, I respect what you do but you guys jumping in lines for games just to get a pin really got on my nerves. I wanted to play Overcooked 2 but had to wait over an hour because the line was full of pin traders. Same story for Donut County :(. I'm not sure what goes into pin quest planning but this isn't the first time lines got bogged down simply due to folks wanting pins (MonHun last year was a biggie). There should just be a buy option.

    -Sidewalk traffic. I'm not sure if this is just a general issue but there were a ton of folks blocking the sidewalk out front of the center in the morning. This seemed really dangerous and likely the fault of attendees (feedback for PAXers is good too!) that don't want to queue but man did it get a little scary trying to walk past.

    -OnPeak. For whatever reason, I had a lot of issues with onPeak. At first I got a notification that I had a cancelled reservation and had to call the hotel to reinstate it (they had no reservations for me a few days before PAX). And then when I arrived they suddenly had 2 reservations for me when I only needed 1. The hotel staff said there were some snags this year so I hope it gets resolved next time.

    -Thornwatch. I was bummed to find only 1 table demo of Thornwatch. I figure maybe PAX doesn't want to capitalize on space to push their game instead of all the others but at least 2 or 3 tables would have been nice.

    -Indie Megabooth still needs more space. I want so badly to check out stuff but it gets clogged too easily with folks.

    -Will Call. After wandering around WSCC for a half hour I finally stumbled upon the massive will call line on Thursday. I was irritated to find out they had separate lines for certain folks but it all boiled down to the same registry. It took over an hour just to get our badges in hand and was not at all the way I wanted to start PAX off.

    Overall my cons are minor and didn't have a large impact on my experience, but could use some fine tuning. I hope everyone had a great PAX!

    IncreaseBlue on
    Keroan
  • DrSwankDrSwank Registered User new member
    Went to PAX yearly from 2006-2009. Gotta say this thing is too big now and sketchy business is all over.

    Pro
    Met Suda51 qnd Swery

    Cons
    - Masses of people and no clear direction on where to start my day.
    - PAX now advertises like a black friday sale. Limited space/reources/quantities of time advertising AAA games, slots, and appointments that sell out right away and leave a regular attendee watching from a crowded aisle and left to spend money at merch stands
    - Tons of space devoted to selling me things but nothing to give me an experience
    - Offsite celwbrations are much better now. Will prolly skip the ticket and do those next time.
    - will not be coming back. Terrible experience hijacked by youtubers and streamers and left to be refused at every game I wanted to play.

    Dinny
  • Rhea_starstormRhea_starstorm Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 4
    Tube wrote: »
    Xalara wrote: »
    [*] PAX and WotC need to find a way to make up. I realize WotC pulling out of PAX at the last minute last year made PAX angry but the lack of MTG, or rather, the lack of Cascade Games really hurts.


    Fwiw I heard a rumor that Hasboro, WOTCs parent company, refused to let them come to PAX

    What did I just say?

    I meant this more as general info but Ill delete if wanted. My point was merely im not sure how much control PAX has over WOTCs presence. I think the DnD Adventures league was a great addition/fill in this year.

    Rhea_starstorm on
  • samuraichamploosamuraichamploo Registered User new member
    edited September 4
    Pros
    • Crowd management seemed pretty on point. Enforcers were especially jovial this year, and it made for a good start to see so many energetic folks.
    • Seriously. The enforcers were amazing this year. I cannot stress that enough.
    • This year's Dr. Exoskeleton game was fantastic. I've never seen the center transform as rapidly as when the start of round 3 began, and I really hope they do it again later this year. Easily the most exciting thing I did this year ( #LookingForAKeymaster). As a side note, if anyone knows how I can apply to volunteer I would love to be a part.
    • Acq. Inc was hilarious.
    • I'm glad that Fortnite wasn't allowed to COMPLETELY dominate the space. Thanks for that. PAX has always done a good job of preventing a singular entity from dominating completely (like League however many eons ago)

    Cons
    • Outside of the volunteer staff, it seems that PAX is losing its for-gamers soul a bit. Lots of complaints about lines from people I know lined up many hours ahead of opening, and getting there right before or right after it capped. Complaints about players being ejected for videographers.
    • The lineup this year was a bit weak, and was a little too streamer-centric. I know that's where the industry is going, but I'm not sure how fitting it is for a convention that happens once a year.
    • Missed MTG being in the Annex. I've been led to believe that there are complications around this that I don't know.
    • There could be a little more advertising leading to the board game sections. It's hard to navigate all the different rooms, and I wasn't quite sure how to get around without going to the info booth first.

    samuraichamploo on
    forbiddenvoidmidna
  • landsharkslandsharks Registered User new member
    My 3rd year coming to PAX West.

    Pros:
    > 6th Floor always having an amazing amount of games, short lines, and devs are always open to have a conversation. Please keep it this way, it is my favorite part of PAX.

    > Pax Rising always manages to have a game that is a must buy for me, soundfall being the one this year

    > Line caps were reasonable and while I didn't get to play a lot of games with them (KH3 and artifact) I appreciated not having massive lines on walls and preferred the "walk by" lottery method.

    > 2nd/3rd floor had a plethora of amazing demos for board games which I would like to see more of.

    > I felt like there was more breathing room on the annex side of the expo hall, which was really appreciated.

    Cons:
    > Far too much "exclusivity" dedicated to media outlets. Twitch and mixer should NOT be taking up space in the expo hall and should NOT only allow their members to join in on their "fun." It's a quick spiral until we end up in a situation filled with elitism at PAX. Pubg taking up the theater just to host an "exclusive" tournament for streamers is a gigantic slap in the face to the community at large.

    > I understand the need for indie developers to get their names out there via bloggers, streamers, etc. But I should not be cut in line on a game I've been waiting for. It is incredibly rude and disrespectful.

    > Hour long demos have got to go. A demo is a demo, not the first hour of an 8 hour game. Please put demo caps to increase throughput on stations.

    Suggestions:
    > Dedicate a day for media outlets to enjoy pax. Thursday and or Tuesday and give them a whole day to give developers the chance for exposure.

    > In the same vein as above: give media outlets after hours passes. 2 or so hours every day.

    > Another solution for media problems: have an entire pax dedicated to the industry.

    > Get exclusivity spaces/events out of pax. We are all gamers and we all deserve respect. We share a common passion and we shouldn't have "tiers" of that passion.

    > Mixer, Twitch, and other outlets that are not about games should not be on the expo hall floor.

    > Put a cap on demo times to increase throughput and enforce it harshly. It doesn't matter to me if you died 5 times in the tutorial, other players deserve a chance to play.

    > If there were ways for non-gamer companies (Asus, NVIDIA, AMD, Intel, Etc.) To partner developers so that these stations not only show off hardware but games as well, I feel like there was be a lot more to do at pax.

    midnaRhea_starstormvespachicaDinny
  • utopia2064utopia2064 Registered User regular
    edited September 4
    Pros:
    1. As always, every encounter I had with an enforcer was a positive one. Enforcers are a good crew.
    2. I liked the how-to panel topics, like getting in the industry, getting into streaming, etc. The one with the FTC on Monday was really cool, to get that kind of legal-ish advice was great
    3. I love PAX XP. It's one of my favorite parts of PAX this year. I like having the PAX XP Twitter account for more info, and the prize was nice.
    4. Having some demo content in the Sheraton was cool, like the Blackout Club. It was cool to find demo opportunities outside of the expo hall.
    5. Tabletop demos on the 2nd/3rd floor were good
    6. Thanks for streaming some of the panels on Twitch. I had to leave early on Monday, but there was a Monday afternoon panel I was super interested in. I was able to listen to it on the drive home.
    7. The app worked great!

    Cons:
    • Too much streamer-related stuff. I like the streaming-related panels as people can choose to go or not go to those. But on the expo floor, it was too much. To see so much of the floor dedicated to streaming, with their streaming pods and VIP lounge access. All places that the regular attended can't go. Those areas were always practically empty. To me, that is the antithesis of PAX values - to be exclusive rather than inclusive.
    • The concept of mini golf was good, but not the execution. It took up a huge amount of physical space related to the small ratio of PAX attendees that could participate every day. Something with that much physical space should be able to be enjoyed by more people.
    • Lines are out of control. I went four days and didn't play that much stuff because I didn't want to wait in line for more than an hour for anything. There were a ton of vendors who had crazy huge booths with lots of fancy, flashy, marketing taking up space, but a very limited number of demo booths. Get more demo booths to increase your throughput!
    • Get more PAX XP content in the hotels. I would have liked if Arcadia was spread out a little more rather than just in the convention center and Annex
    • Where was the VR content? I know there was still freeplay in the Westin, but no indie VR vendors this year and no VR panels. More VR! The hike to the Westin didn't seem worth it.
    • Indie Megabooth needs more space. It was always suffocatingly crowded there.

    utopia2064 on
    bacon_avenger
  • ctiwolfctiwolf Registered User regular
    My biggest gripe was the exhibiters getting line priority and the massive amounts if medical badges getting through and leaving and bringing more people in. From somebody who has only missed a few pax primes since it was in bellevue this was extremely aggravating to be wait outside for so long then when we get in first to have over a two hour wait because the exhibiters are already in line with media and watching the medical fiasco. Cant this be done like disneyland where they get priority but only so many of them per regular people? I really didnt like the new pins they gave to staff to give out in the wild as i felt like an ass disrupting their time to ask if they have a staff pin which they never have seeing an exhasperated look and them saying hey dont have any. I dont think i will miss next years pax but i did pull the plug on supporting pa and will let fate decide if i go next year as they seem to be stripping all the fun stuff i liked most like the cascade games area to relax after the con and play some games

    Dinny
  • every day's greatevery day's great Registered User regular
    edited September 4
    Helstrum wrote: »
    [*] Where was D&D this year? Disappointed in the MTG booth. WoTC... I expect more effort from the home team.
    D&D Adventurer's league was in the Olive 8 with Tabletop next to the Alexandria RPG library, but I think it was smaller than it has been it was independently organized? The line system worked out OK for me and was less frustrating than sign-ups in previous years.

    every day's great on
    Lackey
  • ctiwolfctiwolf Registered User regular
    Helstrum wrote: »
    [*] Where was D&D this year? Disappointed in the MTG booth. WoTC... I expect more effort from the home team.
    D&D Adventurer's league was in the Olive 8 with Tabletop next to the Alexandria RPG library, but I think it was smaller than it has been it was independently organized? The line system worked out OK for me and was less frustrating than sign-ups in previous years.

    I think a ton of people were frustrated with that and the current lack of information on all sides. The only things i saw that were legit on why this was was a bunch of smoke about not being able to come. Just jumped to conclusions as nobody is saying anything

  • every day's greatevery day's great Registered User regular
    landsharks wrote: »
    > Another solution for media problems: have an entire pax dedicated to the industry.
    Hehehe. They could call it E3....or maybe E4. :P

    IncreaseBlue
  • ctiwolfctiwolf Registered User regular
    Kind of miss he good old days when the exhibiters just let them in an hour early on the downlow to try out the games. Used to be a courtesy between vendors

  • kaZombiekaZombie AlbertaRegistered User regular
    It was my first year at pax

    I loved how good the app was. This has been the only useable event app I have ever used in my life.


    Gotta agree on the streamer presence, there was so much space dedicated to it.

    Also as a newbie I found the board game stuff hard to navigate. I knew there was rooms all around WSCC but there was no signage saying how it all worked. I ended up not checking it out cause I didn't want to storm into a quiet room of people playing board games and social fauxpa-ing it up.

  • olanmillsolanmills Registered User regular
    I know they've already heard this, but the stickers on the badges were annoying. They should stickers that are easy to peel off (like the ones that come on a new credit card, for example), or just not use them at all as the sticker's message wasn't really that important anyway (it's already on the badge and at the XP stations).

    IncreaseBlueRhea_starstormDracil
  • LogunLogun Registered User new member
    edited September 4
    This was my 3rd PAX and they have slowly been going downhill. Very simply I echo the theme of "Is this still for gamers"?

    At no time should a Twitch streamer, journalist, media nor any other exhibitor cut in line at all. Period.

    On the games floor it should be games only. No twitch space. No streaming pods for anyone. Move that off into their own rooms and arenas.

    I think it's time to kill the pin trend - or at the very least remove it from the regular convention hall / game demos. If people are lining up just for the pins and not for the games I think that shows that things are going the wrong way.

    The enforcers I saw in action were all doing their jobs to the best of their abilities. At one point I found a lanyard with multi-day passes on it and with the help of the enforcers we had that back into the person's hands within 30 minutes of them losing it.

    I love the cosplay. I REALLY look forward to what some people have created.

    Is it possible to extend hours from 6pm to 8pm?

    Do we possess the technology to create 3D maps? Finding out how to get to Level 6 was very confusing until I actually did it.
    Can we create an interactive map? Highlight the buildings involved in PAX and then allow the drilldown to see what/who is there and where inside?

    Is there any value in creating a pre-show convention digital package showing trailers of each of the games at the convention (wherever possible). I would love some reference material to go back to to remind myself of some of the better games I wanted to keep on my radar.

    The console rooms are a favorite. The arcade machines were awesome. I would love to see more next year (and more recent games too like from the 90's)

    I didn't see too much tech at all this year. I would love to see more 720d machines people are making, or omni-directional treadmills for VR stuff. I didn't see any of that this year.

    The LAN center is EPIC. If only there was a way to allow the LAN games to have the games at the show too. I did find the list of LAN games was a bit weak sauce.

    Please reach out to the peripheral makers and find a way to allow us to sign out their peripherals for use in the LAN. (Similar to the console sign out)

    Finally - the lines. Honestly - if this convention is for the gamers, then every vendor should be required to have X number of machines per square foot of space they occupy. Demo's should all be capped at 15mins. Do not allow vendors to hide their games behind closed doors. I'm not standing in line for 2 hours just to get a glimpse of a game to realize it's not for me. I'd rather look over someone's shoulder for a bit to see it first.

    Also - go hi-tech with your passes. Record what games you play via your pass for reference post-convention.

    The police presence was very high compared to other years and every interaction I had with them was awesome.

    One last thing - maybe think about having a Lost Child strategy and advertising it clearly with your material (like on the app). I watched one child become separated from his dad and it was amazing how quickly it happened with the movement of the crowd. We got them back together after a few seconds, but the child was incredibly scared when he turned around and realized his dad was nowhere to be seen and he couldn't see through the crowd at all.

    Thanks!!!!

    Edit> would love to see some artists become part of this event. Whether it be sideshow collectibles or independent artists. I think that would be cool.

    Also get a beer company on board and create a beer tent.

    Logun on
    IncreaseBlueDinny
  • LogunLogun Registered User new member
    edited September 5
    double post

    Logun on
  • SinoSambaSinoSamba CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    What I liked:

    Indie games are always fun, love also being able to talk to the devs

    Enforcers were all great, can't imagine the stress managing the areas around the most popular booths

    Console/PC free play areas

    The AFK room - first Pax I've used it and it's awesome. Very quiet and not crowded

    The PlayStation app to book time for VR demos. I'm getting older and I appreciate that a LOT now, was able to test 2 games just by paying attention to the time while in line to get into the WSCC

    Moving Fortnite and PUBG offsite was great planning. Can't imagine how the Annex line would look like if it was all inside o.O

    Complains:

    The show floor has more and more space dedicated to not-game-demoing - Twitch, Facebook, ebay (?) Of the 3, I have always been really irritated w/ Twitch, their area is always roped off, like they want to show how regular gamers are nothing compared to the affiliates that can get in their booth. Well, I run Twitch on my browser with ad block and I don't stream, so :P

    Increase time for media, streamers, etc.. to play before show floor opens so they don't cut in line.

    Can we get a time limit on demos? Artifact would not be a 3h line if you did not take a good 20-30 mins or more w/ the game. Nintendo's "roaming" booth set up also is terrible. Yes, I wanted the D3 pin, but if it was ONLY D3 after a 3h line, I would have just bailed out to play Goose game instead. Meanwhile, Pokemon Go always had empty demo stations. This set up also makes you spend a lot of time in the booth after you go in cause you waited so long, might as well play everything (I would do it even without the passport to get a bag/pin). I remember on previous Pax they had a room just for Nindies so their main booth was for the heavy hitters only, I miss that.

    The digital swag bag was sad

    The Pax XP sticker is really hard to remove, please find another way to ask people to register their badges

    3DS FC: 3239-2323-6239
    Rhea_starstormvespachica
  • ZorkinianZorkinian Registered User new member
    The experience outside of the expo halls was good. Panels, events, and staffing were pretty great across the board.

    The expo hall experience seems like a victim of its own success. I only have anecdotal evidence, but some game demos seem aimed primarily at journalists & influencers rather than the community at large; demos are long and media folks are getting priority. This probably leads to better marketing overall, but is a bummer for the typical attendee (line capping, more time spent waiting in lines in general, etc).

    I'm not going to offer any suggestions, as I don't have enough visibility into the convention/exhibitor relationship, but the external perception reminds folks of E3's slow transformation into a media-only event.

  • OccamOccam Registered User regular
    Pros:
    1. PAX XP and the app in general. Like many others have said, the app and the activities (arcadia/trophies) worked great and provided a fun quest. And the reward for arcadia portals was awesome! My last time at PAX was in 2016 and there were all kinds of technical glitches, we were walking all over Seattle to each hotel multiple times, and when we finally completed it, we got a little keychain thing that was pretty much garbage. This time, I didn't have high expectations, and was blown away when they handed us PA mugs.
    2. Acq Inc was brilliant, as always.
    3. Everyone in the AI autograph signing was extremely friendly. That probably sounds like a no-brainer, but I've gotten autographs before and was made to feel like I was such a huge imposition on them (and this was AT SIGNINGS, not just accosting them and asking for one. I get super nervous and awkward around anyone remotely famous for some dumb reason, but felt super at ease this time, so I guess just props to them on their interpersonal skills.
    4. 6th floor was the best area of the convention center, for reasons everyone else has covered.
    5. The tabletop tournament area in the Olive 8 was also a fantastic time. Not just tourneys but getting to learn about games from the creators themselves was really fun.
    6. The Sheraton swag line went surprisingly well, despite that being the only place to get LE pins. I would have expected that to be horrendous. But on Saturday we got there later than we wanted and weren't even planning on merch that day and just decided to swing by and see. Got into line in time to get the LE pins and the line was orderly and relatively quick.
    7. Every Enforcer interaction I had was purely positive, no complaints. Props to every single one of them. Even the guy I kind of dread encountering (used to man the swag line at Sheraton and would pounce on you and loudly tell you off if your toe touched the tape) was somewhere else and seemed to be in a much better mood.

    Not-so-pros:
    1. Gonna repeat everyone else and say streamers. Unlike many complaints I've read, I actually like the concept of streaming and acknowledge that it should have a presence at PAX. But to have so much sheer square footage dedicated to little glass rooms where the exalted ones sat and ate their catered meals and relaxed while the rest of us peasants were herded around like cattle left a really bad taste in my mouth. Gaming is great because of its inclusiveness (or at least its potential for such), so why are we turning around and putting people on pedestals at everyone else's expense? PAX should be for everybody, not for propping up "celebrities."
    2. There is no cure for lines at PAX, but there are treatments. Demo times were absurd. The shortest demo I played was like 10 minutes, and that's because the guy before me left with most of the level already completed.
    3. With how well PAX XP went, let's take it a step farther and allow exhibitors to key things to your account. Might cut down on people simply farming the most lucrative swag for resale on ebay.
    4. Very minor nitpick, but if you say you have digital swag bags, you should call them "digital swag bags" in the app. I thought the "ebay rewards whatever" thing was a sponsored thing in the list and had no idea where to get the swag bag. Also once I finally did learn what it was, it always froze up on number 11/12. I never did find out what those last two things were.
    5. I think exhibitors should have to agree to a few things if they want to offer official PA pins:
      • make a minimum number available. Nintendo's Diablo pins were like 200-250 a day or something like that? And the first day I believe many were passed around to other exhibitors. 1000 pins vs how many total attendees? That's insane.
      • Maximum game demo times (already been covered).
      • Clearly mark their lines' entry points. It was irritating circling booths trying to figure out which line was which. Again Nintendo was a big one here.

    Rhea_starstormvespachicaDinny
  • oldskoolboarderoldskoolboarder Registered User regular
    edited September 5
    Wow, looks like we all have the some complaints...

    3rd year in a row for my son and I.

    PLUS
    - PAX XP app was much better. I like the digital swag bag vs having to go somewhere and pretty much get a plastic bag of cards that I could easily find online.
    - Enforcers were awesome as usual this year.
    - Indie MEGABooth was great, the titles were interesting and very fun. This year, we spent more time here because other booths were too crowded...

    MINUS
    - I'll have to jump on the bandwagon w/ the media and streamers taking up the 'gamers' time. There should be some press time set aside, and A LOT OF IT. Many of us gamers come to play the games we've seen online or read about. Let us play them. Letting people jump in line after you waited so long is a bit rough. A few times we got bumped right at the front of the line and just walked away because we didn't want to waste time standing.
    - Some demos are WAY too long. We really wanted to play Tick Tock from the PAX 10. We came 2 times and there were 3 groups of people each time. Demo time was TWENTY MINUTES which seems ridiculous for a PAX 10 game. Pubs REALLY need to come up w/ shorter demos to get more exposure from us, the people who actually buy your games. I personally think small titles should be 5-10 minutes, other titles can be 15 minutes.
    - Lines were ridiculous this year for the AAA booths. We have yet to ever make a Resident Evil booth, despite being on the show floor at 10:05 AM EVERYDAY. Same goes for Nintendo, Ubisoft, and Sony.
    - Personally, I REALLY hated how Nintendo handled #NINDIES. I much preferred having the conference room space so we could schedule time better. That also allowed us at least a slim chance of getting to play. They also allowed people to play EVERY #NINDIE game, that's too long. Give people a few options and keep the line moving.
    - The popular titles REALLY need to come up w/ a better line solution. Wasting 1.5 to 2 hours in line makes so many of us miss the opp to try so many games and watch panels. I understand that it's a natural crowd control but there's a better way. Sony does have their app where you can reserve but it only works on VR. That type of capability should be expanded.

    oldskoolboarder on
    Rhea_starstorm
  • SerenitySerenity Registered User regular
    edited September 5
    After a 3 year hiatus, it was good being back 'home' at PAX, however...
    I can't quite pin the exact reason but it felt a little less like 'home' this time around.
    2015 was a good year and 3 years later PAX did not feel the same to me.

    Anyway, here are my comments for this year:
    *bolded for easy reading*

    Pros
    • 6th floor was GREAT - so much quality content in such a small area. This is where I spent most of my time because of that.
    • Indie booth continues to be great - merch booth was lovely in that the developers all get a kickback from merch sales.
    • Food truck/'food swag' was pretty cool - this year was the year of 'food swag' for sure.
    • Enforcers at raffles - spot on and they did an amazing job making sure they ran smoothly. I didn't see a single raffle where Enforcers were not waiting for it to start and control the crowds.
    • I really liked the PAX XP scavenger hunt - sounds like it's been around for a few years now but having not used it in 2015, I found it a really interesting idea and enjoyed playing it.
    • Enforcer line management - continues to be spot on.
    • Having an accurate line status in mobile app was invaluable
    • Shuttles were great but VERY under-advertised I feel. They were empty most of the time we took them.
    • Bread and butter events such as Acquisitions and the Omegathon are always golden and did not disappoint this year.
    • Merch booth seemed well run as usual. I hear others in here complaining about the line but Sat/Sun/Mon I thought the line was reasonable and seemed to move quickly.

    Cons
    • No WotC - so sad
    • Not as many tabletop vendors as I remember in 2015
    • PAX XP links kept showing 'DNS error' and I'd have to re-scan 2-3 times usually
    • Omegathon final round seemed shorter and less hype than previous years. I was surprised they didn't have a 'best of 3' for the claw
    • 'Register' stickers on badges were really hard to get off
    • Indie Megabooth was PACKED and hard to move around in. It died down a lot on Monday
    • Too many streaming booths
    • PAX arena was really cool but underused.
    • Media getting priority seemed a little unfair and was hard to watch excited attendees get kicked off mid-demo because a media rep showed up.
    • Offsite venues seemed to be monopolized this year. It was disappointing to see the Paramount get taken over by 1 event
    • Some game demos were way too long
    • PAX XP was cool and an interesting alternative to swag bags and it saves on needless flyers but I miss the exclusive 'items' in the bags such as magic cards or cards against humanity.
    • PAX XP card scanning was interesting but overused and I didn't really enjoy the lines for scanning badges.
    • Intel's 'contest' this year was disappointing. I LOVED their twitter hunt they did a few years back where they'd give out prize cards in certain locations and then had a 'prize booth' where you could go redeem them.

    Suggestions
    • More small developer hosting by the larger booths - there was a year where Intel(?) had a huge booth but the amount of time I spent in it was much higher because it was so content rich with smaller games scattered throughout.
    • Make badge registration stickers more easily peelable.
    • Please see about controlling the amount of streaming booths next year - that was ~80% of the main show floor
    • Perhaps make the PAX Arena un-sponsored and lend/sell time on stage to different vendors instead of letting them oligopolize the show floor with their own stages. (I say un-sponsored as eBay was sponsoring this as an esports sponsor and this would perhaps deter other esports companies from collaborating with PAX on the stage)
    • Introduce more variety in the games that are featured at hardware vendors. It was basically just fortnite and pubg EVERYwhere
    • Bring back the large crazy cool sculptures such as the Magic the Gathering monster crushing a car outside the Annex or the giant Dark Souls ichor spilling statue near the merch booth in 2015
    • I know PA prob doesn't have much control over this but the Monster Hunter Truck was cool but announcing the location beforehand just created too much of a jam on the sidewalks where they were going to set up. Would have liked to have seen 'hints' about where they'd be and then you'd get less people just wanting free food and more happy people figuring out they got the clue right.
    • Indie Megabooth. I understand this might take away from the 'feel' of it but perhaps control entry somehow? Create a line to get in? It was way too hard to move around in there the first 3 days.
    • Media skipping lines. Maybe set aside a 'media only' area of the expo floor where they can go separately so as not to aggro long lines as much. I know there's already a 'media chill area' in the Annex but this needs to be expanded or moved somewhere else.
    • Move the e-sports and streamers to their own area. It's getting big enough that they're just too noisy if they're mixed in with the rest of the convention.
    • Cap demo lengths As others have said, the lines for demoing games would be much more tolerable if there was a shorter wait and a shorter demo time.
    • Swag bagsMaybe see about starting an 'item only' swag bag? Only promotional items - no flyers allowed?
    • Off-site venues Not sure how much control they have over this but they should not be allowed to get monopolized by singular companies. PUBG and Fortnite were kind of ridiculous. I realize it's a lot smaller than Benaroya but it was disappointing to not have anything besides PUBG at the Paramount.
    • PAX XP Find a different way for attendees to win prizes besides lining up for badge scans. There was a lot of needless Enforcer effort put into managing the lines for these badge scans. More notably the one on level 4 near the Geico booth.
    • Encourage vendors to find a different way for raffles besides just giving out tickets and expecting a chunk of people to show up come raffle time. It just aggravates passer-by-ers and clogs up aisles. I'd like to see maybe a whiteboard system where tickets are drawn beforehand and then attendees are told to show up at a certain time to read the numbers off the whiteboard.

    Serenity on
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    midna
  • spookymuffinspookymuffin ( ° ʖ ° ) Puyallup WA Registered User regular
    Pros:

    Got a hotel room through OnPeak, stayed at the Olive 8 and got to look down at the Fortnite outdoor area when I was in the room. Good deal, nice view.
    6th Level was a delight, as was the indie megabooth. Best places in the show.
    I liked the PAXXP ARG, it was neat to run around and have a reason to visit multiple areas. Just need to make it consistent and have a way for it to work when the connection sucks.
    The panels I went to (Just Cause 4 and Nerdcore Hip Hop in particular) were all fun and the lines weren't so long that you couldn't get in.
    Enforcers were super helpful, anytime I had a question or asked for directions, they were on top of it.
    Bless Unleashed easily had the best setup. Tons of stations, line kept moving. This is what other booths should do.
    The concerts were fun as always. Super Soul Bros & Sammus were the best.

    Cons:

    The main show floor was kinda terrible. Tons of reasons already stated.
    Exhibitor and Media badges ruined the lines. The cutting and filling up before the floor opened was ridiculous. Kicking people off of games for press is absolutely ridiculous, let them finish the demo.
    Capcom was especially disappointing, with only 2 demos and no official merch store. The Mega Man 11 demo only had a few stations and the line was capped from minute one til the end of the show. RE was the same.
    Magic the Gathering events were held at MOX, so if you wanted to play magic you had to leave the con and find a way to their store. Also it opened them up to the public so it wasn't really "PAX" events.
    If you wanted to play Fortnite minigolf, you basically had to show up at 7am to reserve a tee time. Still not sure why they got 2 huge areas to themselves.
    No physical swag bags. If the ticket price keeps increasing, why are things like this are going away? The digital swag bag was underwhelming.
    No MC Frontalot? Weird.

    Suggestions:

    Cut the show back down to 3 days, and give the media & streamers their own day so they can do whatever it is they're doing without disrupting everyone else's experience.
    If you're going to have big booths like Facebook and Twitch that offer little to the average person, put them in a corner. There was a guy streaming Super Mario World at the Facebook booth. Why is that a thing?
    Mandate a certain number of stations for demos. If your demo takes 20 mins, bring 20 stations. Keep those lines uncapped and moving.
    Limit medical badges to +1 people they can bring with them. Having a person with a medical badge bring 5 people ahead in line is kinda suspect.
    Bring WotC back to the main show so we can have PAX exclusive events like in previous years.

    PSN: MegaSpooky // 3DS: 3797-6276-7138
    Wii U NNID: MegaSpooky
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