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West 2019 Constructive Feedback

zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
Hey folks, it's that time again! Please leave your feedback for the show.

Reminder: not liking things is fine. Being a jerk is not fine.

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Posts

  • SweetCosmicPopeSweetCosmicPope Just Some Dude Lake Stevens, WARegistered User regular
    edited September 5
    So here's my Friday PAX experience and my thoughts on a few different things.

    First things first, I noticed that the organizers took note of the criticisms of the heavy streaming presence last year, and I did not find that to be an issue at all this year. Didn't get bumped by anybody and didn't have half the floor taken up by twitch (I didn't even see them at all).

    Now, we went to breakfast first, knowing that the show floor was opening up at 9:30 and we'd be able to just "roll right in" around 9:40ish, with a little bit of a wait likely because of security. However, when we arrived after eating neither the main queue nor the annex queue were moving. It was probably about 9:50 before the annex queue starting moving, but when it did it went very quickly. Not too bad, but I felt somewhat misled by the "earlier start time."

    Was it just me or were there more people allowed in the venue this time than normal? Don't get me wrong, in my few years going it's always been absolutely packed, but it felt like we were nut to butt the whole time we were in there. One of the first things we said was that we wanted to go to the 6th floor first and play some indie games while we let the initial rush from expo hall die down, but when we went to the 6th floor it was just as packed! Even some indie games that didn't interest me at all had really long lines and crowds around them. It also seemed like there were fewer games this time around. With the (seemingly) larger crowd and the fewer demos to play, this made for very long lines. I actually only got my hands on one game all day. My wife got her hands on two, and my son got spoiled with 4 games.

    I feel like I need to point out some PAX etiquette violations, as well. When there are limited numbers of items, only get one for yourself. We went to the Final Fantasy VII and XIV booths straight away (more on that in a minute), where they were giving away the foam swords. However, by the time we made it over there, they had given them all out for the day and said they'd have contests later in the day to give some more away(this was around 10am). But as I was walking around, I would see multiple people walking around with three or four of them in their bags. And these weren't moms holding them for their kids or anything. I'm talking groups of young twenty-somethings with 3 or 4 each! That's not right! And my son was disappointed.

    This isn't really on the organizers, but I felt like queue management could have been better for some of the vendors. We went to square enix's booth hoping to score a pass for Final Fantasy VII, well aware we probably wouldn't get one, and that's fine. But when we got there they said they were out. Fine. But when I asked how long they had them, they said they had them for a couple of hours in the morning before they gave them all out. What? We made a bee line for them right as the door opened. And while we were waiting to get our picture on the motorcycle they had a very long gap between when one group would demo and another, so there were long times when nobody was even playing. I feel like they could have squeezed a lot more people in there. Nintendo also had a big queue management problem. We had a warp pipe pass for Zelda and Luigi's Mansion. Keep in mind that these were intended for you to "skip the line" and were given out to a limited number of people (they gave them all out to mynintendo members and were all given away in about 1 minute). Even with that, the line for warp pipe pass users was longer than the regular queue and we ended up waiting a couple of hours, anyway.

    Did anybody ever find arcadia or prize towers? I never found a single one, but I was able to get a couple of trophys.

    Security. Security was actually pretty good. They were able to get people in very quickly while still doing their job thoroughly, and I felt very safe given all the things that have been going on. That was a nice addition. After lunch, it took a little bit longer to get back in since they weren't utilizing all of the security scanners, but it still wasn't bad. Maybe a 10 minute wait to get back in the building.

    Now, just so it's not completely negative:

    There were some really cool displays to get pictures of. I got to play a new game I enjoyed called Skellboy. We really enjoyed the aorus booth scavenger hunt while we killed some time waiting for our Nintendo RSVP. Secret Neighbor was a bit of a surprise to me. I always thought of that as a game just for kids, but it looked like a lot of fun (my son played while my wife and I watched), and they gave away plushies to everybody who played.



    I don't know. We still had some fun, and it's always a nice atmosphere with gaming and music and stuff, but I really didn't feel like I got my money's worth this time around. My wife has already said if I go next year she's not going, and I'm not exactly on a different page. I'm going to have to think long and hard before I spend that much money going somewhere where I'm getting to do less and less every year.

    SweetCosmicPope on
  • havok978havok978 Registered User regular
    edited September 5
    I feel like I need to point out some PAX etiquette violations, as well. When there are limited numbers of items, only get one for yourself. We went to the Final Fantasy VII and XIV booths straight away (more on that in a minute), where they were giving away the foam swords. However, by the time we made it over there, they had given them all out for the day and said they'd have contests later in the day to give some more away(this was around 10am). But as I was walking around, I would see multiple people walking around with three or four of them in their bags. And these weren't moms holding them for their kids or anything. I'm talking groups of young twenty-somethings with 3 or 4 each! That's not right! And my son was disappointed.

    This isn't really on the organizers, but I felt like queue management could have been better for some of the vendors. We went to square enix's booth hoping to score a pass for Final Fantasy VII, well aware we probably wouldn't get one, and that's fine. But when we got there they said they were out. Fine. But when I asked how long they had them, they said they had them for a couple of hours in the morning before they gave them all out. What? We made a bee line for them right as the door opened. And while we were waiting to get our picture on the motorcycle they had a very long gap between when one group would demo and another, so there were long times when nobody was even playing. I feel like they could have squeezed a lot more people in there. Nintendo also had a big queue management problem. We had a warp pipe pass for Zelda and Luigi's Mansion. Keep in mind that these were intended for you to "skip the line" and were given out to a limited number of people (they gave them all out to mynintendo members and were all given away in about 1 minute). Even with that, the line for warp pipe pass users was longer than the regular queue and we ended up waiting a couple of hours, anyway.

    This is a beef I've had with Square Enix in particular for a few years now. It's happened this year with FF7 Remake, last year with Kingdom Hearts 3, and I want to say it happened with FF XV too. If you're not like in the queue literally first thing in the morning, you're not getting to play the demo at all that day. Period. And as you noted, this gets compounded by periods where literally nobody is in the booth playing the demo. So you walk up and see an empty booth like "Sweet! I'm gonna get a chance to play this!" and get heartbroken to find out that all of the tickets for the day were given out like 5 minutes after the expo hall opened, and then you just look at this empty booth confused like why is this set up this way. On top of that, I had an issue on Sunday where I walked up to take a picture of the booth. I did not seen any signs for no pictures or video. All of the sudden I have all these Square Enix people running over to me, and the one dude is hovering over me like, "I need you to delete that picture you just took right now." Apparently, one of the other employees had a small handheld sign that said no pictures and she was standing on the other end of the booth. Maybe prominently display that so I don't feel like I'm suddenly being pounced on by security just because I wanted a cool booth picture. Really kinda soured my mood for the rest of my last day at PAX.

    Other than that, security went a lot better than I was anticipating. I feel like I've done a lot more this year and spent a lot more time in BYOC then I probably have in the past few years, which is a good thing.

    havok978 on
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    SweetCosmicPope
  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    So here's my Friday PAX experience and my thoughts on a few different things.
    Did anybody ever find arcadia or prize towers? I never found a single one, but I was able to get a couple of trophys.
    The Prize Towers were on the first floor (downstairs from the entrance) of the Annex and outside the Tabletop Expo room (in the Regency).
    Arcadia and the Trophy stops were all over. Basically there was one at most of the unique places, VR freeplay, tabletop tourney, TrueDungeon, the Pinny trading area near Merch, PAX Arena, etc... There was at least one in every building of PAX, and at least 4 in just the main part of the WSCC. My one complaint about Arcadia was there was one inside the Paramount past security, where you can't just go in normally. You pretty much had to be told it was there, then go and ask an Enforcer to scan your badge for you. I know they want to put them everywhere to encourage you to explore all of PAX, but having one you can't find defeats the purpose.

    Captain Ironsides
  • SweetCosmicPopeSweetCosmicPope Just Some Dude Lake Stevens, WARegistered User regular
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    So here's my Friday PAX experience and my thoughts on a few different things.
    Did anybody ever find arcadia or prize towers? I never found a single one, but I was able to get a couple of trophys.
    The Prize Towers were on the first floor (downstairs from the entrance) of the Annex and outside the Tabletop Expo room (in the Regency).
    Arcadia and the Trophy stops were all over. Basically there was one at most of the unique places, VR freeplay, tabletop tourney, TrueDungeon, the Pinny trading area near Merch, PAX Arena, etc... There was at least one in every building of PAX, and at least 4 in just the main part of the WSCC. My one complaint about Arcadia was there was one inside the Paramount past security, where you can't just go in normally. You pretty much had to be told it was there, then go and ask an Enforcer to scan your badge for you. I know they want to put them everywhere to encourage you to explore all of PAX, but having one you can't find defeats the purpose.

    Weird. I entered through the annex and never saw that one, and went by most of those areas and didn't see the arcadia scanners. I guess maybe they were less obvious this year? I didn't really have a hard time finding trophy stops, and there was that cool contest over by the first4figures booth (we didn't win).

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    I don't think attendee hygiene complaints are within the remit of this thread.

  • SweetCosmicPopeSweetCosmicPope Just Some Dude Lake Stevens, WARegistered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    I don't think attendee hygiene complaints are within the remit of this thread.

    Fair enough. Edited.

    IncreaseBlue
  • PavioPavio Registered User regular
    edited September 5
    So here's my Friday PAX experience and my thoughts on a few different things.

    Now, we went to breakfast first, knowing that the show floor was opening up at 9:30 and we'd be able to just "roll right in" around 9:40ish, with a little bit of a wait likely because of security. However, when we arrived after eating neither the main queue nor the annex queue were moving. It was probably about 9:50 before the annex queue starting moving, but when it did it went very quickly. Not too bad, but I felt somewhat misled by the "earlier start time."

    This was not the fault of PAX. The fire marshall did not let anyone in until 9:50. I was at the front of the main line, had already been through security quite some time before, and was in the building in front of the expo hall doors. They opened them just before 9:30 and we could see into the expo hall (Final Fantasy stuff), but didn't move until they finally ok'd it. That was not a PAX flub. Thankfully it did not happen other days.

    Pavio on
    6kzy1xcitc7s.png
  • IncreaseBlueIncreaseBlue Registered User regular
    This year PAX almost didn't happen for me due to illness, but I was able to go and had a lot of fun!

    Pros:
    • Most booths (save for FF7 or Oculus) were open for folks to walk into or check out. Of course you couldn't cut lines but I was happy that I could just step in and check out some Predator play or peek at MonHun if I wanted to. I even was welcomed to take a seat at some random booth just rest a bit and was intrigued by their game another attendee was playing (Baba Yaga).
    • Tabletop presence in the new Hyatt was super nice. Tons of rooms and exhibit area was very cool. I spent way more time here because it was easy to come and go, as well as open late.
    • New will-call pickup location in Sheraton was ACES! So much better than conglomerating outside of WSCC.
    • Security did more due diligence than similar cons I've been to. Still wasn't a fan of having to deal with it, but the staff tried to make it as painless as possible.
    • I loved the ACT theater being converted to RedBull Challenge area. It was neatly decked out and offered more chill opportunities to play stuff outside of the Expo area.
    • Lovely enforcers and booth folks working together to make sure that raffle crowds didn't impede on other parts of the walkways.
    • Cookie Brigade! Love you all and everything y'all do for such a great cause. The Acquisitions packs were mighty tasty!
    • The concert lineups were super cool!

    Cons:
    • I was not a fan of the Paramount being used for the main theater. The seats are incredibly uncomfortable regardless of your body type and it just doesn't have the broader viewing angles of Benaroya in my opinion. I know that this was a lot closer and worked better for other attendees that needed the accessibility, but I really did not care for the venue (even though it is gorgeous). It actually made me skip going to the other concerts because I was just so turned off after being cramped and stuffy during Acquisitions.
    • The limited entrances were a bummer. I was told I could use the entrance by the atrium or by the juice cafe (Jackbox area) to come and go after passing security but this never happened. I was siphoned through the main rear entrance or annex every time. I understand why this was done, but it really made me think twice about leaving WSCC, or even returning, and dealing with the limited security checkpoints. This also led me to completely circumventing the jamspace/jackbox area since traffic was rerouted in such a way.
    • Old complaint, but Megabooth still needs more space. It gets so jammed at times that it gets to be a pain.

    This is kind of a con for me, but it seemed like there wasn't as much cosplay this year? Maybe I just missed a lot of it, but I didn't catch a ton of folks in costumes. Also this isn't on PAX at all, but CDProjekt bailing was a disappointment. It made me appreciate how much PAX doesn't promote guests like other cons do so far ahead of time, because life and cancellations can happen.

    I met a ton of really cool people this year so I really thank everyone for making this an awesome PAX!

    Raptor007
  • PavioPavio Registered User regular
    Here are my thoughts from this year:

    After last year's streamer-heavy, attendee-event-light-PAX I didn't think I was coming back. But I decided to go one last time. I am so glad I did because it felt like PAX again. I can't tell you how much I love that the feedback was heard and acted on!

    Here are some major pros:
    Lots of things to do. Didn't get to everything I wanted but never felt like I was wasting time.
    Tournaments and events for attendees are back! I made it to 2nd place in Apex and the round of 16 (the Monday games) in Rocket League at PAX Arena. I had done Overwatch League and lost in the finals a couple years ago and those are exactly the kind of events I think are amazing for attendees.
    Streamers were limited and not having a waste of space Twitch booth was amazing. The other booths that were related this year (Mixer, etc) had games. Discord at least had some, though they had some wasted space.
    Some big stuff was there this year (Doom Eternal, Borderlands 3, Final Fantasy, etc), and I enjoyed getting to try the Stadia.
    Great indie sections once again.
    Acq Inc was mostly great, although... more on that later (the good stuff being the players, just great as usual).
    Randomly spotting Patrick Rothfuss signing books and getting his Rick and Morty/D&D comic also signed.


    Suggestions
    The DM for Acq Inc was fine, but I miss Chris Perkins. Don't take away opportunities to say "Green Flame", it was mildly entertaining the first time, but then to continue avoiding it meant taking away an interactive part of the show.
    Bring Chris Perkins back.
    I still think we can improve how many people get through booths/how much exposure these games are getting.

    TL;DR I'm very satisfied after this year and hope this means the attendee-focused PAX is here to stay.

    6kzy1xcitc7s.png
    midnaRaptor007
  • nevermore13nevermore13 Registered User regular
    I only saw this event by streaming panels so my feedback is based on that:

    For the panels I saw at least the chat was much better behaved then in years past. Huge thanks for the mods for that as I think they are a part of why that happens

    I think I say this every time I don't attend but I would like to see at least one of the smaller theaters streamed or maybe a rotation between smaller theaters as they often have interesting panels those of us who don't attend miss out on

    IncreaseBlueDaPaladin
  • midnamidna Greater Seattle AreaRegistered User regular
    edited September 5

    This is kind of a con for me, but it seemed like there wasn't as much cosplay this year? Maybe I just missed a lot of it, but I didn't catch a ton of folks in costumes. Also this isn't on PAX at all, but CDProjekt bailing was a disappointment. It made me appreciate how much PAX doesn't promote guests like other cons do so far ahead of time, because life and cancellations can happen.

    I was actually doing a cosplay this year, but for some reason it was extremely hot in the convention center. Typically they have the AC on full blast, but it seems like they didn't do that. Multiple people were fanning themselves, both in the expo hall and the 6th floor. I had to change out of my cosplay by 2:00 it was so warm. I'm hoping they blast more A/C next year - I personally would always rather be too cold than too hot. If I'm cold, I can just throw on a jacket!

    midna on
    l87ydtrwfiou.png

    [ ] Badges [ ] time off [ ] cosplay


    IncreaseBlueCaptain Ironsides Pavio
  • MarinoMarino Giant Bomb Moderator / League of Heels Webmaster Registered User regular
    Overall, it was another great PAX. My only gripe (outside of the previously mentioned cluster on the first morning) was the badge pick-up situation on Thursday.

    At 1 PM, there were no Enforcers anywhere to be found aside from the ones at the actual kiosks. There was this one dude in a flat-bill hat that was acting like he was in charge, but clearly had no idea what was going on. He was forcing everyone into the same big snake queue even though there were clearly lines set up for media/exhibitor/speaker badges.

    What made it worse was that a few of us got in the regular line, then got out to get into the separate roped off area that led to the non-regular badges only for that guy to come and tell us all to get back to the back of the main line. Meanwhile, the people tending the kiosks for EXH/MED/SPG/etc badges were just sitting there with nothing to do since the vast majority of the people in line were there for regular badges.

    It made no sense and several of us tried to explain it to no avail. As a result, my friend and I left without our badges, then came back around 2:30 PM to find that those side lines were now actually being used as originally intended and we got our speaker badges within 2 minutes.

    Long story short, there should have been Enforcers there at the door directing traffic as soon as it opened.

    Pavio
  • kebakokebako Registered User new member
    I really liked the wide range of panels this year. Please continue to bring in these voices we usually don't see in game media!

    The big US Army arena in the main expo hall is weird, and felt like a recruitment tool. I don't think that's appropriate, especially in a setting with a lot of kids and teenagers. If you have to have it due to funding, I think having its own venue would make more sense.

  • PavioPavio Registered User regular
    edited September 6
    kebako wrote: »
    The big US Army arena in the main expo hall is weird, and felt like a recruitment tool. I don't think that's appropriate, especially in a setting with a lot of kids and teenagers. If you have to have it due to funding, I think having its own venue would make more sense.

    It's PAX Arena, not US Army arena, and the Army had events Fri/Sat. I participated in one of those (Apex). It wasn't weird. It was also Team Envy there as well. The Army guys were chill, excited to be there, and even as a participant and chatting with them backstage it didn't feel like recruitment. It never came up. However, it is obviously advertising and good PR for the military, which I'm good with.

    Chipotle sponsored the Rocket League events Sun/Mon (which I also participated in) and they did not try to sell me any Chipotle.

    Pavio on
    6kzy1xcitc7s.png
  • IncreaseBlueIncreaseBlue Registered User regular
    edited September 6
    Pavio wrote: »
    Suggestions
    The DM for Acq Inc was fine, but I miss Chris Perkins. Don't take away opportunities to say "Green Flame", it was mildly entertaining the first time, but then to continue avoiding it meant taking away an interactive part of the show.
    Bring Chris Perkins back.

    I found the green flame thing funny since it went off like 4 times back to back, but at that point it had gotten a little old. I like that Crawford is incorporating other ways for the audience to participate, like the poll before the show that dictated the kind of hell Jim would be in (owls with Omin's face). It's neat and a bit different, but I get folks missing Perkins.

    IncreaseBlue on
    Pavio
  • kropotkinkropotkin Forum Badge Creator London UKRegistered User regular
    This is my 11th PAX West (Prime) and I've only ever attended as media so please understand this as I make this post.

    Pros
    • Daily early access was an inspired idea. Getting in at 9am every day gave me 2 extra hours on the show floor every single day. Brilliant idea, just brilliant.
    • Media room in WSCC Level 3 was perfect. Existed in splendid isolation and the meeting room was blissfully quiet for podcast recording and interviews.
    • Sectioned off access for media, exhibitors and medical allowed for free passage to and from WSCC, which was very much welcomed and mirrored what is done at PAX East
    • Separate building for tabletop was inspired. I ran a Warhammer Fantasy Role Play 4th edition game on the Sunday evening and it was a personal highlight for me during the whole of PAX West.

    Cons
    • Having the Paramount as the Main Theatre was a bad idea. Lining up stretched over a highway bridge and did not come across as very safe.
    • Standing only for the Omegathon Final was a very odd decision to make and was a lot to ask for some to stand for an hour.
    • TinyBuild's booth hid the Indie Megabooth with a massive Secret Neighbour banner. This made it difficult to navigate the show floor as the Megabooth is a landmark that is typically easy to find.

    On a side note if I got a dollar the amount of times I got smacked by massive backpack I would have had enough money to get a refund on my flight home. Honestly people really need to be careful when going to cons and wearing backpacks.

    4l5an2be1x0r.png




    IncreaseBlue
  • kebakokebako Registered User new member
    Pavio, it doesn't matter if some people are OK with it and of course Chipotle is there to sell more Chipotle, like the US Army is there to recruit teens & young people.

    Seattle schools for example ban military recruitment except in strict circumstances, and students/parents can opt out of any contact. The US Army is obviously trying to circumvent these democratic restrictions by going to PAX where they know they'll find kids who don't even know they'll be there, whose parents often don't know the army will be there, and without the ability to opt out of ads or hearing their spiels over the loudspeakers.

    Honestly it feels like if PAX had Marlboro booths or Democratic Party booths. A lot of people would be fine with it, but that doesn't make it sleazy...

  • midnamidna Greater Seattle AreaRegistered User regular
    Overall, I liked this year more than last year. As others have said, there was less space dedicated to streaming services, and even if there was streaming space you were able to at least play something at their booth (ahem, Twitch). I saw more games than I have in previous years, I feel like. And I liked that some of the games in the indie booth switched out (although I was there all four days, so I think that could have been a bummer for other people).

    The 6th floor is a delight as per usual. And I liked that there was more tabletop stuff at the Regency. Giving them more space to spread out was great.

    Security this year was a little ridiculous to me. I personally felt no safer than I did last year - instead, it was a major inconvenience. On Monday, they shut down a number of metal detectors, which just increased the lines even more. If you're going to have security, have it be the same all four days. We always started our day elsewhere and then moved over to the expo hall. We also hardly left the expo hall once we were in it. The entrances being at the back of the convention hall was pretty dumb, in my opinion. More people are entering the expo hall than leaving at most points in the day - If they had also opened another entrance in addition to the Annex and the one at the back, that would have made it more bearable.

    Overall, a better PAX year than a lot of others. Already excited for next year!

    l87ydtrwfiou.png

    [ ] Badges [ ] time off [ ] cosplay


  • MarinoMarino Giant Bomb Moderator / League of Heels Webmaster Registered User regular
    midna wrote: »
    The entrances being at the back of the convention hall was pretty dumb, in my opinion.

    Unless they work out a deal with the city to shut down Pike Street, which is highly unlikely, then this is the only option. There just isn't enough space on the sidewalks for the number of people crowding around the front entrance.

    GONG-00
  • PavioPavio Registered User regular
    edited September 7
    kebako wrote: »
    Pavio, it doesn't matter if some people are OK with it and of course Chipotle is there to sell more Chipotle, like the US Army is there to recruit teens & young people.

    Seattle schools for example ban military recruitment except in strict circumstances, and students/parents can opt out of any contact. The US Army is obviously trying to circumvent these democratic restrictions by going to PAX where they know they'll find kids who don't even know they'll be there, whose parents often don't know the army will be there, and without the ability to opt out of ads or hearing their spiels over the loudspeakers.

    Honestly it feels like if PAX had Marlboro booths or Democratic Party booths. A lot of people would be fine with it, but that doesn't make it sleazy...

    It's ok, we can disagree on this. I don't find the army being there sleazy, and I don't think the examples you provide equate.

    Pavio on
    6kzy1xcitc7s.png
  • PavioPavio Registered User regular
    kropotkin wrote: »
    On a side note if I got a dollar the amount of times I got smacked by massive backpack I would have had enough money to get a refund on my flight home. Honestly people really need to be careful when going to cons and wearing backpacks.

    This a million times.

    6kzy1xcitc7s.png
    zerzhul
  • ClixClix This guy I know Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    My biggest gripe of West 2019 was security at the WSCC. I absolutely understand the necessity of heightened security and am not advocating against it. But there has to be a better and/or faster way to get into the convention center. On more than one occasion I simply didn't return to the expo hall after visiting one of the other venues because I didn't want to walk the extra block to the entrance then have to open my entire pin collection in the chaos of the security line. It shouldn't be so difficult to move between venues.

    Also it would be great if PAX gave pin traders a legitimate trading area. It was nice to see pin trading added to the merch banner, but it's obvious that no resources are being dedicated to the community. Blizzard and Disney have made it a point to give pin traders space, tables, and staff to oversee pin trading at their events. It would be nice if PAX had anything even close to that. Staff trading is one of my favorite events at PAX, and there wasn't even any line management until there was already a big cluster of attendees waiting to get in.

    bacon_avengerRaptor007
  • MarsDragonMarsDragon Registered User regular
    I opted out of ReedPOP emails because they were spamming my inbox, which seems to mean that I don't get the official feedback mail. Such is life. Guess you have to listen to me here.

    Cons:
    -The security was never going to be good, but putting it only on the convention centre was hilarious. All it does is add extra time for getting into one of multiple venues. Oh, and it creates huge lines in case anyone that did want to attack PAX needed a nice big target they can get to from one of the city's major streets. Though to be fair, anyone who knows anything about Seattle saw that one coming. You could also really tell that the security folks stopped caring after awhile. Can't blame 'em!
    -Facebook and Google still have a lot of space they're not doing anything with, though it is a lot better than last year. It was nice to have the Google booth as a convenient shortcut, though.
    -The indie megabooth is way too packed. It's hard to get around. Most of the expo floor felt a little less crowded this year, but not in the megabooth. It desperately needs more space.
    -The second and third floors of the convention centre feel really underused now that Nintendo and Tabletop have moved elsewhere.

    Pros:
    -Best console freeplay I've ever seen. Letting it take over the annex was a great idea. Scattering various classic mini consoles with no timelimit around the classic console area was brilliant. The various rooms that just had fighters with no timelimit were also amazing. And a wonderfully expanded arcade! I spent most of my time here.
    -Expanding the sixth floor. Goes with moving console freeplay, but this was also great. It really gives the sixth floor room to breathe.
    -Letting tabletop take over a hotel. I'm not into tabletop, but when I went to the Raven it was obvious how great it was for them to have all that space. I could see some of my friends hanging around there like I was hanging around console freeplay.
    -Was really glad to see the Cookie Brigade return. It felt like they've been less emphasized the past few years, but this year I saw/heard way more calls for cookies.
    -The weird rave thing Red Bull was doing in the ACT Theatre was cool.
    -As usual, most panels were good, enforcers were good, etc.

    Suggestions:
    -Do more with the second and third floors. I'd love to have Nintendo back on the third so I could actually play a Nintendo game at some point, but anything would be good.
    -Pie in the sky: Move Facebook to the second floor where they can have entire rooms to VR in, expand the indie megabooth to the space Facebook left behind.
    -Or let medium-sized companies move in instead, but I'm a lot more okay with moving a big company like Facebook off the beaten path than someone who needs the foot traffic.
    -The handheld lounge really needs more beanbags. Give someone the job of finding a new beanbag distributor, it's getting sad.
    -The attempted hard sell on Monday tickets was one of the funniest things I've seen in years. I realise it's dangerous to lower the price, but...Monday just doesn't sell. Maybe lower the price. PAX is already out of budget for a lot of people.

  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    I saw a number of strollers on the Expo floor. The FAQ still says they are prohibited. I didn't see any of the huge kind (and I'm pretty sure those would have been a problem), and there is usually a complaint in here most years that somebody was prevented from bringing in their stroller. I'm not complaining about the strollers, just saying the FAQ should be updated. Ideally (since this seemed to work pretty well) to say something like "strollers under X' by Y' dimensions are permitted". If the alternative (that they are still prohibited but it's being unevenly enforced) is true, that should be fixed too.

    The addition of the Regency was fantastic. Lots of tabletop space and reasonably close the the WSCC. It was so much more space than before, it was unreal. Tabletop expo, freeplay, a huge room for the library, RPG space, and the Alexandria RPG Library. But the Raven theater there was the real winner for me. Nearly every popular panel I normally go to was in Raven this year. Previously they had either been in the Hyatt or Sheraton and filled up pretty early, like Late Night Dub Fight. It would mean I'd usually have to be in line and hour early or more. This year they went from filling up early to not even being 1/2 full in the cavernous Raven. I love this. I just walked in and took my seat right as it was starting. I even left one Raven panel and circled around to file in for the next panel, something that would have been impossible before since it'd have capped before the first ended.

    I didn't see any problems from attendees cosplaying on the expo floor this year, but Capcom had a spot with their own cosplayers. While those cosplayers did stand inside the booth space on a corner, it meant an arc had to be kept clear of foot traffic so the further arc of photographers could get their shots. Not the worst, but irritating.

    I don't know how much of it was deliberate or Twitch's choice, but I was really happy to see them gone from the expo floor.

    The expanded classic arcade was great.

    I enjoyed doing PAX XP but I have a couple quibbles. The system was kind of buggy and some of the trophies didn't pop up after I scanned them, or not for a day or so. One of the Arcadia stops was inside the Paramount behind security. Not only did you have to know it was there already and get an Enforcer to carry your badge in, at some times there was just nobody there. I get wanting to have a point in every venue, but please meet us half way and limit it to places we can get to.

    A great PAX, more of what I like, less of what I don't

  • midnamidna Greater Seattle AreaRegistered User regular
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    I saw a number of strollers on the Expo floor. The FAQ still says they are prohibited. I didn't see any of the huge kind (and I'm pretty sure those would have been a problem), and there is usually a complaint in here most years that somebody was prevented from bringing in their stroller. I'm not complaining about the strollers, just saying the FAQ should be updated. Ideally (since this seemed to work pretty well) to say something like "strollers under X' by Y' dimensions are permitted". If the alternative (that they are still prohibited but it's being unevenly enforced) is true, that should be fixed too.

    Emerald City Comic Con allows those cheap, sling, umbrella strollers, which seems like a good compromise. They're small and lightweight while still letting the kid have a stroller. Anything bigger than that though and it becomes an issue.

    l87ydtrwfiou.png

    [ ] Badges [ ] time off [ ] cosplay


    adias.angel
  • XalaraXalara Registered User regular
    edited September 9
    Pro: What Sony and Square-Enix did for their booths were the correct ways to handle highly sought after demos. Square-Enix in particular had tickets available for a long time even on Saturday due to the fact they were running 50 demo stations. You could line up at 8:30am, only an hour before the show opened, and you were guaranteed tickets for the FF7 demo if you went straight there.

    Con: On the other hand, the way Nintendo did signups through Twitter, and only once for the entire show was garbage. The feedback is here because it was disseminated through PAX's Twitter.

    Con: The way Square-Enix did the line for the FFXIV t-shirts was terrible. They had far less queue space than PAX East. The Enforcers certainly didn't help either and failed to actually take control of the situation other than yelling at people floating around trying to enter the line to "keep moving," which only served to escalate the situation mildly. A proper solution to the situation would've been to close the line and let it drain for a bit, then open it up at regular intervals (there may need to be some consideration here to prevent stampedes). This would allow for controlled line entry and give people who really want to do it a better chance, especially if they already had a group. However, the way the line was being constantly "topped up" by random passerbys was *not* working.

    Meh: Security. I understand now that insurance/celebrities are starting to require it. It still sucks but will largely be alleviated when the new convention center opens in a few years and we won't have to move in and out of various locations.

    Xalara on
    IncreaseBlue
  • bacon_avengerbacon_avenger Defender of Pork Products Pacific NW, USARegistered User regular
    Clix wrote: »
    My biggest gripe of West 2019 was security at the WSCC. I absolutely understand the necessity of heightened security and am not advocating against it. But there has to be a better and/or faster way to get into the convention center. On more than one occasion I simply didn't return to the expo hall after visiting one of the other venues because I didn't want to walk the extra block to the entrance then have to open my entire pin collection in the chaos of the security line. It shouldn't be so difficult to move between venues.
    Very much this.

    My SOP for previous years was to wander the expo floors randomly as time allowed between panels and other events. This year, not so much when navigating the crowd in front of the expo and going through the bag check eats into the small amount of time before the next panel. I'm sure I missed 'cool stuff' because of this.

    There was a pair of detectors up by the main merch stand, why those were not in use... I also felt that once past the check, funneling everyone down to the front of the building just to turn around and go back toward the escalators was less than optimal. Setting up the check in the 'exit area' would have made a lot more sense IMO, especially considering there was a secondary escalator right there in the area, which might have helped prevent the failure of the one leading up to bandland.

    PAX Prime 2020 Checklist:[ ]Hotel [ ]Time Off [ ]Bobcats [ ]Challenge Coin [ ]Forum Badge
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    IncreaseBlueRaptor007midna
  • MarsDragonMarsDragon Registered User regular
    Oh, and one more thing: the controllers for the Neo Geo X in the classic console freeplay desperately need to be replaced. A and C literally do not work on the 2P controller, and A is starting to go on 1P. Please allocate some budget to get new controllers for next year.

  • adias.angeladias.angel Tech-Savvy Wife Kalamazoo, MIRegistered User regular
    I was very disappointed in PAX this year. It has been billed for a long time as family friendly. This year we brought our son for the first time (he is going on 2) and found it to actually be the opposite. While everything was G rated it was very hard for those of us with little ones to get around. The family friendly term means that the event has accommodations for all ages which is not the case here. The main issue we encountered was related to strollers. There are no signs saying which areas were not allowed to have strollers. Eventually we found out through an enforcer that the 6th floor expo hall where we were was a no zone for strollers. No problem. When we asked where we could park it we were told "just carry it" and then we were dismissed as the enforcer glared at our sleeping son. The stroller is 20lbs, his diaper bag is probably 5-10lbs and he is 30lbs. That's over half my weight to haul around which isn't realistic. How do I know it's not realistic? We tried and I literally had to drag the stroller behind me after a while as my whole back hurt. Needless to say I was miserable and my son had no where to rest when he was tired so he became miserable. Like most parents all day events are no issue with little ones IF you have a place for them to rest - which without the stroller we really didn't. I talked with a lot of other parents at the con who had strollers and they all said they same thing, if they had known they would have not come also. As parents in a walking city we need those strollers to get around without having to carry our kids everywhere. THEY ARE HEAVY!

    Things to help to create a actual family friendly event:
    1. Stroller parking area. Something the size of a bike rack up on the 6th floor could hold 30 folded strollers. While strollers are heavy to carry around, they are very compact when folded.
    2. Signs for where strollers are not allowed. Based on the number of other parents I saw and talked to with strollers they also had no idea that strollers were not allowed on the expo floor.
    3. When buying badges please ask if you will be bringing a child under X age and pop up a message of where strollers are allowed. Again based on the number of strollers we saw and parents we talked with many of us simply didn't know.
    4. Enforcer training. While we only had a handful of issues with nasty looks and glares at well behaved children from enforcers, there were a few. Enough so that it made me and other parents take note. If the con is really child friendly all enforcers, regardless of personal feelings, need to treat the kids with the same respect they would any other attendee. Next year my son will be old enough to understand what these looks mean and I don't want him to feel he has done something wrong for simply existing. As the next generation of this community, we should be fostering their love of gaming.

    Prime '12, '13, '14, '15, '19 .. East '12
  • adias.angeladias.angel Tech-Savvy Wife Kalamazoo, MIRegistered User regular
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    I saw a number of strollers on the Expo floor. The FAQ still says they are prohibited. I didn't see any of the huge kind (and I'm pretty sure those would have been a problem), and there is usually a complaint in here most years that somebody was prevented from bringing in their stroller. I'm not complaining about the strollers, just saying the FAQ should be updated. Ideally (since this seemed to work pretty well) to say something like "strollers under X' by Y' dimensions are permitted". If the alternative (that they are still prohibited but it's being unevenly enforced) is true, that should be fixed too.

    Many parents didn't know as when you purchased badges nothing was mentioned and there were not signs anywhere say no strollers. The event is billed as family friendly which means stroller accessible. I think what they really mean is the event is G-rated, not family friendly.

    Prime '12, '13, '14, '15, '19 .. East '12
  • BekerBeker Child's Play Program Director SeattleRegistered User, Penny Arcade Staff regular
    Certainly PAX could improve some in signage and messaging, but "no strollers in expo hall" has been on the ticket buying page for years and is still there. That policy has not been true for every PAX, but the last several years of East and West it has been. Granted ticket purchasing is usually a rush, so I fully understand why you missed it.

    Far as the Enforcer, they do take things like that very seriously, and if you can, getting that kind of feedback while at the event would be ideal so follow ups and potentially training corrections can happen on site. Unless you happen to luck across that Enforcers manager, the Info Booth can always take any feedback about Enforcers (positive, negative or neutral) and make sure it gets in the right hands.

    RE: Megabooth size question, while I don't know the details of that relationship with PAX, i'd be surprised if as an exhibiting organization they don't get the amount of space they pay for, and they choose how many devs to fit in that area.

    While i'm not on the PAX team anymore, I know they crave feedback since its a giant show with a gazillion moving people and parts and truly appreciate your thoughts and want to make it better. Doesn't mean everything noted will be fixed, some things they don't have control over or are a certain way for reasons that may not be obvious, but they do read these (and the surveys, etc).

    -Beker/Erick
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    IncreaseBlueCKingbacon_avenger
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    I think a lot of people probably don't know that the indie megabooth is an independent thing that buys a big space and then sells small chunks of it to indie devs, and isn't just pax organizing the indies into one place themselves

    IncreaseBlueYoungFrey
  • adias.angeladias.angel Tech-Savvy Wife Kalamazoo, MIRegistered User regular
    Beker wrote: »
    Certainly PAX could improve some in signage and messaging, but "no strollers in expo hall" has been on the ticket buying page for years and is still there. That policy has not been true for every PAX, but the last several years of East and West it has been. Granted ticket purchasing is usually a rush, so I fully understand why you missed it.

    Thank you for responding. Based on the number of parents with strollers I wasn't the only one. A simple question of will you be bringing a child under x age and a quick pop up listing which areas of pax are stroller friendly and which are not would solve a lot of this... and of course sings too.

    Prime '12, '13, '14, '15, '19 .. East '12
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Beker wrote: »
    Certainly PAX could improve some in signage and messaging, but "no strollers in expo hall" has been on the ticket buying page for years and is still there. That policy has not been true for every PAX, but the last several years of East and West it has been. Granted ticket purchasing is usually a rush, so I fully understand why you missed it.

    Thank you for responding. Based on the number of parents with strollers I wasn't the only one. A simple question of will you be bringing a child under x age and a quick pop up listing which areas of pax are stroller friendly and which are not would solve a lot of this... and of course sings too.

    Signage I agree with. But I don’t want any extra checkboxes or pop ups in the already stressful ticketing process though. I think having it mentioned in the FAQ prior to ticketing is sufficient. Which it is.

    I don’t think it’s excessive to expect people bringing children and equipment to click the FAQ before tickets go live.

  • adias.angeladias.angel Tech-Savvy Wife Kalamazoo, MIRegistered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Beker wrote: »
    Certainly PAX could improve some in signage and messaging, but "no strollers in expo hall" has been on the ticket buying page for years and is still there. That policy has not been true for every PAX, but the last several years of East and West it has been. Granted ticket purchasing is usually a rush, so I fully understand why you missed it.

    Thank you for responding. Based on the number of parents with strollers I wasn't the only one. A simple question of will you be bringing a child under x age and a quick pop up listing which areas of pax are stroller friendly and which are not would solve a lot of this... and of course sings too.

    Signage I agree with. But I don’t want any extra checkboxes or pop ups in the already stressful ticketing process though. I think having it mentioned in the FAQ prior to ticketing is sufficient. Which it is.

    I don’t think it’s excessive to expect people bringing children and equipment to click the FAQ before tickets go live.

    Why would parents only need to read an FAQ for a family friendly event? The bigger issue here is the way the con is advertised for families. Family friendly is very different from simply G-rated.

    A check box that by default is empty would cause no additional time to most people except those kdnus it will effect.

    Prime '12, '13, '14, '15, '19 .. East '12
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Why would parents only need to read an FAQ for a family friendly event?

    Because apparently the definition of "family friendly" is ambiguous? A quick google search for "family friendly" in the context of events does not in any way suggest, to me, that it implies strollers may be taken to all portions of the event. This is why FAQs are a thing, and why it's always good to skim them. In this case, "I have a stroller….can I use it?" is one of the first questions listed. Shouldn't be surprising, given that this would be a common question families would have, and this is a family-friendly event.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    So for my feedback, one thing that put a subtle but real damper on the experience this year was the Annex entrance. I won't go too deep into arguing about metal detectors themselves (I'm against them, hard, for multiple reasons) and instead I'd rather focus on the implementation. Compared to previous years the Annex entrance was incredibly sterile. For many attendees, this is the main entrance they use daily (especially for the BYOC crowd) and in past years that entry area and first floor was somewhat hopping. Some years there were big displays, some years there were vendors, some years there were exhibitors, or tabletop, but it was always a "welcome home" vibe there. And this year...nope. It was an airport lobby. A small town airport lobby.

    I do understand that there are some limitations placed on needing to move people through security and away from the checkpoints, but if no exhibitor wants (or can have) that space maybe the con itself can work toward some kind of set dressing there? Something? The couple pinball machines down the hall (and guitar hero on the second floor) weren't cutting it. It was really a way to start the con with a sad vibe every day.

    Can't speak to the main entrance, it looked like it had a different set of problems but only went through like once.

  • adias.angeladias.angel Tech-Savvy Wife Kalamazoo, MIRegistered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Why would parents only need to read an FAQ for a family friendly event?

    Because apparently the definition of "family friendly" is ambiguous? A quick google search for "family friendly" in the context of events does not in any way suggest, to me, that it implies strollers may be taken to all portions of the event. This is why FAQs are a thing, and why it's always good to skim them. In this case, "I have a stroller….can I use it?" is one of the first questions listed. Shouldn't be surprising, given that this would be a common question families would have, and this is a family-friendly event.

    For parents the term family friendly means all ages. I understand that for people without children that have not been in that world you do not know what these terms mean which is why I'm trying to inform everyone. Proper terminology goes a long way when advertising family events. I don't mean to make the sound mean but I do want to make it clear as I would not have understood this prior to having children. being a parent is a very different world with a whole new set of terms and rules. ❤️

    Prime '12, '13, '14, '15, '19 .. East '12
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 17
    mcdermott was warned for this.
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Why would parents only need to read an FAQ for a family friendly event?

    Because apparently the definition of "family friendly" is ambiguous? A quick google search for "family friendly" in the context of events does not in any way suggest, to me, that it implies strollers may be taken to all portions of the event. This is why FAQs are a thing, and why it's always good to skim them. In this case, "I have a stroller….can I use it?" is one of the first questions listed. Shouldn't be surprising, given that this would be a common question families would have, and this is a family-friendly event.

    For parents the term family friendly means all ages. I understand that for people without children that have not been in that world you do not know what these terms mean which is why I'm trying to inform everyone. Proper terminology goes a long way when advertising family events. I don't mean to make the sound mean but I do want to make it clear as I would not have understood this prior to having children. being a parent is a very different world with a whole new set of terms and rules. ❤️

    “All ages” doesn’t have to mean mean “strollers allowed in all spaces.” I did actually do a couple searches before replying, and yes for events “family friendly” means access for all ages and content more or less appropriate to all ages. Looking at various conventions’ stroller policies, though, PAX is *not* the only family-friendly convention that restricts strollers on crowded main floor areas.

    Also amusing you’re gonna play the condescending “you’d understand if you had kids” card, when you’re the one that demonstrably didn’t know what the term meant in this case, and assumed instead of skimming a FAQ.

    Congrats on being a parent.

    mcdermott on
  • adias.angeladias.angel Tech-Savvy Wife Kalamazoo, MIRegistered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Why would parents only need to read an FAQ for a family friendly event?

    Because apparently the definition of "family friendly" is ambiguous? A quick google search for "family friendly" in the context of events does not in any way suggest, to me, that it implies strollers may be taken to all portions of the event. This is why FAQs are a thing, and why it's always good to skim them. In this case, "I have a stroller….can I use it?" is one of the first questions listed. Shouldn't be surprising, given that this would be a common question families would have, and this is a family-friendly event.

    For parents the term family friendly means all ages. I understand that for people without children that have not been in that world you do not know what these terms mean which is why I'm trying to inform everyone. Proper terminology goes a long way when advertising family events. I don't mean to make the sound mean but I do want to make it clear as I would not have understood this prior to having children. being a parent is a very different world with a whole new set of terms and rules. ❤️

    “All ages” doesn’t have to mean mean “strollers allowed in all spaces.” I did actually do a couple searches before replying, and yes for events “family friendly” means access for all ages and content more or less appropriate to all ages. Looking at various conventions’ stroller policies, PAX is *not* the only convention that restricts strollers on crowded main floor areas.

    Also amusing you’re gonna play the condescending “you’d understand if you had kids” card, when you’re the one that demonstrably didn’t know what the term meant in this case, and assumed instead of skimming a FAQ.

    Congrats on being a parent.

    I'm very disappointed in your replies as mansplanling me about parenting isn't helpful. I'm trying to express a point of view that I think the organizers may have missed as events that are listed as family friendly are not something that I would normally look at FAQ's for. This thread was for feedback which I'm trying to leave. considering I saw over 30 other strollers at the convention there is some kind of miscommunication happening and I'm just trying to show the areas where we could try to clarify. Many of the other parents I talk to express similar frustrations as I did. Please don't dismiss our viewpoints as we want to be part of an inclusive community that we have always supported. comments like this make me think that it's only inclusive to certain demographics.

    Prime '12, '13, '14, '15, '19 .. East '12
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