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PAX 2009 Suggestions Thread

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    trickycooljtrickycoolj Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    A suggestion I have is for the free play areas. This was my first year, but talking around I heard this was a new method this year. It was unfortunate that they used the "take a number system." My group would take a number and hang around the area for about an hour to get called. Props to all the enforcers who sped the number calling to get us poor souls in that stuck it out and waited in the area! But it was a total bummer when someone came along with a number that was 50 below what was currently being served and would get ushered in because they didn't pay attention or stay close.

    It seemed like a lot of the backlog was waiting for 360 supplies to be returned and knowing this my group decided on Wii titles and even went old school and decided on a PS2 title, yet I think we had to wait for 360 stuff to be returned. My suggestion is instead of mixing the consoles in multiple rooms, have rooms with one type of console. That way a group of people can approach the Wii room, 360 room, or PS2/3 rooms and wait there. I doubt there was many (if any) playing the PS2 title we waited an hour for at 11:30pm Saturday.

    In addition to separated console rooms, it makes it easier to clear out rooms time wise. When there is a shortage on 360 stuff, or the line isn't moving, make a 5 minute all call for that room. We got caught up in a 5 minute all call when playing the PS2 because we were surrounded by 360's. No problem though we were stuck on a particular stage anyway and were ready to switch. (sorry to anyone who got stuck near my group playing Soul Calibur 2 and using one move that chanted "go away!")

    I was bummed that I didn't find the classic console area until 4:45pm Sunday... there's always next year for that! Don't get rid of it! Pong on an LCD TV is just so... silly and good.

    On a lighter note, PAX 09 sponsored by Axe body spray?? :p

    trickycoolj on
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    SecComSecCom Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Well I'm not sure how long this lasted exactly, but it seemed to be going on long after I got my ticket. Anyway, I ordered a will call ticket about a week in advance, my friend couldn't because they shut the window for will call off when he was about to order. We get to the event and see that the will call line is huge! About 15 minutes after I got in line, my friend came back with a ticket, and I was like WTF? I had to wait in line for my ticket for about another 45 minutes...kind of ridiculous when you consider that I technically planned in advance...almost punishment for being prepared. I was even more baffled when I got up to the counter and it look no more than 30 seconds to get my badge and grab bag. I mean really all it is is showing them your ID and them pulling you up in the system, so why the holdup?

    However, I ended up playing Mario Kart DS with a bunch of other guys in line, so it ended up being pretty fun, lol.

    edit: forgot to make a real suggestion, that was more of a complaint and not very constructive. Basically have more Will Call lines ready to go, or make it so that every counter can do both Will Call and a purchase. Perhaps just get rid of will call altogether if it isn't going to be an advantage.

    SecCom on
    Lead Editor of http://fullnovazero.com We like to write about video games.
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    xxhennersxxxxhennersxx Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    my friend preregistered and still had to do will call, thus eliminating the point of him preregistering.

    xxhennersxx on
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    CougRonCougRon Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I have a suggestion for the line room. Like others suggested there should be some projectors/screens/monitors setup in stategic locations to entertain those in the line room. Or maybe in other places where lines commonly form like the Satelite theater entrances. they can show game trailers and stuff. My suggestion is that some of that stuff be filmed skits and 'commercials' made by the enforcers or other groups. After PAX is over the videos can be made available through a podcast feed or something.. I'm imaging something similar to DragonConTV. I've never been to DragonCon but this looks like it could be entertaining. Hmm PAXTV...

    CougRon on
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    LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Consistent access for disabled peeps - I had to argue hard with the WSTCC people to not have to walk all along the queue for the Q and A stuff - I couldn't have done it, and they wouldn't budge - even though LewieP was in the queue for us both on Friday, and I wasn't trying to get in ahead of where he was in the queue. Saturday, Mentock, VT and a few others (thank you!!!) kept me a place in the queue, and Lewie talked to an Enforcer, who straight away let me in. I saw quite a few people with mobility impairments at PAX, its hard in crowds when you can't walk easily or far, so maybe in future, the WSTCC people need to show some common sense, or else be told what to do. Enforcers rock!

    LewieP's Mummy on
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    2VipeRS2VipeRS Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    1.) The Will Call lines were about 5 or so times longer than the registration lines. (Aren't they supposed to be faster? I know they are in GenCon!). There needed to be a way to handle the tickets so that they could run faster or handle a higher bandwidth.

    2.) We could use a Cookie Brigade Booth!!!! There was mass confusion in where to leave the cookies if someone missed the one scheduled drop, and lugging around 10# of cookies everywhere is kind of annoying when the convention center doesn't have lockers.

    3.) Lockers. Simply put, these would make PAX (already the most fun event) the BEST event!

    2VipeRS on
    '08 & '09 CCST Survivor (just barely)
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    Rocket TacoRocket Taco Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    On a lighter note, PAX 09 sponsored by Axe body spray?? :p

    Please god NO. This stuff literally causes me to choke and brings tears to my eyes, and I know many people with the same issue. The only person at PAX08 I actually hated was the guy spraying it at the Friday concert. It feels like your sinuses are bleeding.

    Rocket Taco on
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    SakebombSakebomb Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Please advise FedEx to have more than ONE employee working the shipping counter at the WSTCC.
    Personally, I didn’t mind waiting in line, but the guy was seriously overburdened with everyone who wanted to ship their schwag home instead of lugging it on a plane.

    Sakebomb on
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    EarleyEarley juicyjones Seattle WARegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Pacman wrote: »
    • Expo floor: There were lots of traffic jams around the popular booths near the entrance, while the fringes were relatively quiet. It seems like they should either be spread apart, or allowed to have more space.
    • I've never been able to figure out the point of the line room. The main theatre was the same size as the line room, so it seems like they'd save time by sending the presenters over to the line room rather than the other way around. :) Alternatively, why not open up a second entrance on the stage-right end of the theatre, so the line would empty twice as fast? (You'd probably have to empty the line row by row rather than in snake-fashion. Or just have two lines.)

    This has always boggled my mind. It's called a curtain, get one?
    On a lighter note, PAX 09 sponsored by Axe body spray?? :p

    Please god NO. This stuff literally causes me to choke and brings tears to my eyes, and I know many people with the same issue. The only person at PAX08 I actually hated was the guy spraying it at the Friday concert. It feels like your sinuses are bleeding.

    Haha yeah well the line for the Fallout 3 presentation might make one feel differently.

    Earley on
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    laserdoglaserdog Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Some constructive criticism to improve for next year:

    1.) Line Room Entertainment.

    Some more thought needs to go into the Line Room entertainment.

    The people trying to entertain us ranged from tolerable (the Khoo hiaku contest) to embarrassing (that Australian "what color are my undies?" guy).

    If you wanna do entertainment in there:

    A.) Put a stage in there so we can see who is talking and who is talking to them
    B.) Provide a mechanic for refinding your friends if the line starts moving while you were up trying to participate (e.g. official "placeholder" tall signs or something).
    C.) Test the sound system so that the whole thing isn't grating.

    Other ideas:
    * Rock Band Stage
    * Virtual jukebox, have an enforcer let people play a song of their choice via their portable music player for the hall.
    * Project videos of PAX past on the walls.
    * Line games: Do lane racing games. e.g. Which line lane can pass an object fastest? Which line lane can do the telephone game fastest?

    Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that they tried something this year, but it could use work.

    2.) Keynote

    Introduce the guy. Neither the keynote speaker nor the guy introducing him actually told us where he worked or why he was important, just his name.

    Also, next year can we have something other than a "empower the nerds!" themed speech? Wil hit it out of the park last year, but there is other subject matter out there...

    3.) Family Feud.

    I face-palm every year I watch this.

    This year the host was complaining about how the game was going too fast. Here are some easy ways to stretch the length of the show in non-irritating/obvious ways.

    A.) If you're playing family feud, you say "survey says" and dramatically pause after each answer before the reveal. He said "survey says" like 2-3 times during the entire show. It's a small thing, but it sets a rhythm for both you and the audience.

    B.) Stick to the formula and do a mini-interview of each new contestant after the face-off. This can be as easy as asking "where are you from, how many PAXii have you been to?" Those answers are likely to be more entertaining than attempting to nervously riff.

    C.) Prizes. Award them on stage.

    laserdog on
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    BaelzarBaelzar Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    PLEASE make the panel theaters larger.

    The Werewolf theater could hold 130 people, which is less than ONE HALF OF ONE PERCENT of the number of attendees. If you left one panel (and you were forced to leave) you had zero chance at seeing the next as the line was already 130+ long.

    Do not make them just a little bit bigger; plan early and get the big ballrooms. Better to have extra room than not enough.

    Baelzar on
    Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
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    daichiasukadaichiasuka Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Call me crazy, but I think the concerts would be generally more enjoyable if there were seats. Same with the final Omegathon round. There's really no reason why the chairs should be taken away. This way, things are more organized and you know how many people you can fit in. This locks out any kind of BS with moshers, and it leaves camera people room to move and it'd at least give enforcers a chance to sorta enjoy the show instead of having to guard rogue PAX attendees from futzing around near the stage.

    Chairs in the room would actually lower the number of people allowed into the event. Maybe they should just put a barrier in front of the stage so the camera men and enforcers have room to move.
    Perhaps a pre-reg of concerts should be done to gauge the amount of writsbands/ticket/stamp/tattoo/whatever would be needed instead of this first come first serve BS. It was a big waste of time for me waiting in line for two hours on Friday only for them to run out, then hanging around later near concert time to find out they fucking still had more wristbands to give out.

    The Friday night concert wristband fiasco was not because they ran out of wristbands. Apparently the people handing them out couldn't find the rest of the them and they were located later.

    daichiasuka on
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    ManitcorManitcor Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Many great suggestions above I won't go into detail but I will cast my votes on:

    Better Signage, better maps

    Monitors in line areas, outside theaters, etc. Maybe just a big Control Room showing feeds from all over the CON! Cheap 0.5 watt FM transmitters could be used for audio.

    Better line management - Lets do hard counts. tickets/wrist bands just create new lines.

    Perks for Pre-Reg - Swag, Early entry, something, if I pre-reg and people who walk in off the street have an easier time getting in, whats the point?

    Either Have a line room or don't, if you have it don't allow people to by pass it - A big issue on Friday which caused a lot of anger and pushing. When you spend 2+ hours in the line room only to pop out the long hall way and see the previously closed escalators allowing people who just walked in the door to go right into the hall and bypass the line room altogether. Not cool.

    I am going to pull a quote from another thread as this poster put it perfectly with regards to the line room:

    Third, the attendees: Everyone seemed really on edge on Friday, and it really did suck to be in the expo hall then. Most people had been waiting in line for 2+ hours only to find out that their buddies who just arrived were already in checking out Fallout 3 and such. This is such an aggravating experience for most people that there was a lot of "crowd anger" going on. People all unwilling to move to let you through, even after asking. A LOT of elbows and tripping.

    Saturday seemed to cool off a little, but Sunday was the first day that the crowd really seemed to calm down and started enjoying the show for the show.

    A little advice for next year; treat the crowds as they are - a big, dumb mass of animals waiting anxiously for their reward. If you make them wait, PLEASE prevent others from getting in ahead of them. If 250 people getting in early pisses off 5,000 people, it tends to make EVERYONE in the crowds pissy. Shit does roll downhill, and the mass effect of emotions on crowds is a very real phenomena. How else do violent mobs start?



    More Enforcers - It's a volunteer position which sometimes makes it hard to get enough people. It may be time to start paying people. Either professionals or volunteers. If you OPT for more WSCTC staff or some other professional company be sure to have an SLA in place that stipulates that their people must adhere to the "don't be a dick rules". Maybe have senior enforcers supervise the hired thugs. That way you have someone on "our team" who is authorized to put the smack down on any jack boot who decides he is going to play riot police.

    Instead of the lounges out in the hallways have them in dedicated rooms. Use the lounge areas as spots for booths from smaller companies and such. This would have a 3 point advantage. Lounge areas don't become a problem and it would be quieter. Plus smaller vendors get more exposure as they will be out for all to see as opposed to stuffed in a corner of the exhibit hall. The third would be more room in the main hall for more or larger booths by main vendors.

    Manitcor on
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    lokar82lokar82 Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    My biggest complaints were trying to get into the smaller panels, on Saturday I missed getting into 2 D&D panels and waited an hour to get into Sex and Video Games only to not get in and it was very annoying knowing I could have done something else here. I saw a lot of frustration about this issue at PAX and I am glad that Robert said in his Thank You thread that these problems were noticed and that steps will be taken to fix them. I love the camera idea and capping daily attendance idea (Saturday was an absolute mob) and have one other suggestion.
    Reserve 25% (number open to speculation) number of seats in every panel for pre-registering people. During pre-registration, I noticed there were a few questions like "Did you want to participate in the Omegathon?" I propose adding another question "Which two (or three) panels do you most want to see?" Pre-registers would then get special tickets when they get their PAX pass that will let them into the panel. If people for some reason don't show up to their preferred panel something like 10 minutes in advance, give their seats away to people in line. This may help PAX planners as well showing what interest there is in certain panels and they can assign properly sized rooms accordingly. From what I heard, it sounded like a guessing game on the organizer's part as on Sunday night I heard a panelist say he was surprised over 10 people attended his panel (which was full).

    lokar82 on
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    TigerDawnTigerDawn Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I have a friend who's an Enforcer and I already mentioned this to him, but the place they need carpet, or something, is the theater. Freezepop sounded awful on Friday night. I'd like to think that if I bought a CD of theirs it would be better. Cement caves are not good places for loud music.

    No, that's just how freezepop sounds. Sunday night everyone sounded clear & wonderful

    TigerDawn on
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    j0hnz3rj0hnz3r Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    1) Open up all the floors of the convention center. PAX08 was awesome, but there needed to be more space. Opening up the other floors could alleviate this.

    2) Bring the analog games back to the main convention center. I think the tabletop stuff didn't get enough play because it wasn't in the main building. Most of us are tired enough as it is, to walk across the street was just too much.

    3) Line entertainment/concessions Some lines were ludicrously long and some of us spent just as much time in line as we did in panels. I think this hideously long wait could be alleviated by simply providing entertainment and food and drink.

    4) Better line sytem I think the LFG rooms had this down perfectly with the "now serving..." mechanic. I think this could be applied to other things pretty well, like the Rock Band stage, so that there wouldn't be a huge line and people could just sit down, wait, and enjoy the current group. I think you could apply a version of this to every panel as well, where you would sign up for your most and least favorite ones and they could give out, ya know, tickets.

    5) Better LFG systems There needed to be a better system for looking for people to play with/hang out with. Even with the friendly atmosphere, our people are still pretty shy and insular. I think someone before mentioned sign up lists and things like that and I think that's a great idea.

    6) Fans! Seriously, standing floor fans in the console freeplay rooms and line rooms would have been awesome to help blow out all the gamer funk.

    7) More Sumos Sumo bags are awesome. We need more of them!

    8) One more day. Maybe this is wishful thinking or just PAX withdrawal, but I wished it lasted from Thursday through Sunday.

    j0hnz3r on
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    rythos42rythos42 Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    This is unfortunately more of a complaint than a suggestion, but perhaps someone can take my perspective and turn it around and take the juicy suggestion bits out of it.

    I'm still confused about why I was in the massive line-up room on Friday afternoon. I have a small story.

    My friends all went to the BYOC, so I left them at the door at about 1pm and started wandering around. I found the line-up room, figuring it was to get into the Exhibit Hall. So I grab a spot, have a seat and pull out the Mario Kart.

    About an hour and a half later, I'm almost out of the door and I'm excited to finally get in. We walk out of the room, and dutifully walk down the hallway. After the first set of glass doors, the cordons ended. I'm thinking Ok...now people can just walk into the line...that sucks... Most people didn't, but it was still a little frustrating after having been in line for so long. We walked down the hallway that apparently smelt like BO, and then took a left past the WSTCC sign and then...the line up disappeared. I looked back, and saw that people were just entering and leaving as they saw fit with no regard to the line-up, and it looked to me like I had just spent close to 2 hours being a sheep in a corral because there was no where else for so many people to go.

    This might be the constructive part.

    Someone earlier in the thread suggested that you turn the BYOC room into the line-up room. This would make it much clearer what is going on, and would also prevent people from skipping line (likely they didn't even realize they were skipping a line, it wasn't obvious at all).

    Thanks for reading, I had a fantastic time once I got over my anger at this :D.

    rythos42 on
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    specspec Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Some suggestions:

    Move the BYOC/Freeplay area somewhere else (There is lots of room in the upper floor, they use it for Sakuracon every year), and increase the size of the expo hall to include that area also. Maybe that's not do-able, I really don't know the logistics of it, but it seems like the expo hall was too small to fit everyone and everything.

    More stuff should be reserved until the last day of the con. If people got points in the middle of the day on sunday, there wasn't a great selection of stuff left for them.

    spec on
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    DameSafDameSaf Registered User new member
    edited September 2008
    First of, I enjoyed myself, totally. Although I didn't go to much (I have a 2 year old, more on that in a bit) what I did go to was well run, the Enforcers were friendly & polite but firm. Especially the kid (what? he's gotta be a decade younger than me) Enforcing Wil's line on Sun. I made sure to get in line a half hour to an hour early, so my line issues were less.

    2 suggestions, one of which I think you figured out partway through.

    1) More 'Will Call' lines. If you can't mail out the international stuff, make sure there's enough lines for all of us to get through. All but one of my friends had pre-regged, and the guy who hadn't got through faster than those of us who had. I heard that you addressed this on Sat, so kudos for being on the ball.

    2) A Kids' Room. Gamers are getting older, they are marrying, they are spawning. And sadly, the little spawn won't sit through a panel, and get board at the stuff mom and dad think is *so* cool. Like I said, I brought my two year old. This meant Daddy had to watch her while I went to the 'Beyond D&D' panel, and that I had to keep taking her out of Wil's panel so she wouldn't be a distraction (I total hope she wasn't). If there was a room where you could leave your kid for a couple hours - with supervision, obviously - that would be great. Put some Wiis in there - as they have the most kid friendly games - some good ol' Milton Bradley games, a TV with some Anime (my daughter loves 'Hello Kitty') or Pixar shows. Our local IKEA has a room like this - you sign up for a time, and drop your kid for an hour - at PAX though, you'd need 2 hours. I did see other young kids there, so this is definately something that would be appreciated - both by the parents for the break & the non-parents for not having kids disrupt them. And you'd only need to run it for the hours that there were panels.

    DameSaf on
    Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
    Nothing is going to get better, it's not.
    - Dr. Seuss, 'The Lorax'
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    shakespearshakespear Registered User new member
    edited September 2008
    Frankly, the one thing that was not covered nearly well enough is food. Feeding this many people for three days is a real problem, and it wasn't addressed nearly well enough.

    Ways to fix this:
    1) Provide detailed lists of local restaurants in walking distance.
    2) Create a map with places nearby you can go to eat and estimate walking times.
    a) I saw the generic map that was in the bag, we need something more. This is a multi-day event, and there's a 50,000 people coming through we need some crowd control for food and bev.
    3) The Westlake Mall has a enormous food court only 4 blocks away. We need to educate people that it's okay to walk for 10 minutes and eat NOW, rather than waiting for 45 to get a subway.
    4) If we're making the city so much money lets get discount coupons in the bag from local eateries to inspire us to make the walk to someplace better than subway.
    5) Let's have more sports drink sponsors. Lord knows we're all drinking Rock Star, Gatorade, Red Bull, and Full Throttle to power through our late night sessions. The Idiocracy guys were cool, but let's get some real sponsors out on the floor handing out beverage.

    Personally I don't want to leave the expo to eat, but I started checking out the local eateries because the Expo hall was a total waste of time when my group wanted to eat. 30 minutes to an hour in line to get a sandwich is insane!

    Subway was dramatically under-staffed, and I got the impression from talking to their people, and the folks at the burrito place, the pizza place on the first floor, and both subways inside and outside the conference center that they had no idea how big this expo was going to be. The food people need to know in advance what kind of numbers of people they should expect.

    Some of the lounge areas outside the exhibit hall could be turned into food/bev sales stations. Bring in Carnival food stalls or something. I don't know if that's against code, but Carnies know how to sell cheap food fast to customers and they know how to keep lines moving.

    The concession stand in the exhibit hall kept running out of food. Both times I stopped by they were low or out of food that could be eaten on the spot. (Side note: The clerk didn't understand it when I asked her, "WTF?" Using the letters not the words verbally I got a WTF look right back at me from the girl.)

    I know it seems like I'm being a food nerd with this post, but it's a serious problem.

    shakespear on
    And the rest is silence...
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    ArcoArco Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    My suggestions after going to my first PAX:

    1) Line room entertainment. Lots of other people have posted about this, so I'm just reinforcing it. Add some TVs or a projector something and show some fun stuff. Put a DS download station in the line room or something. I understand the need for line room (I didn't before I went), but that kind of sucked.

    2) Panels/Theaters. It would be really nice if outside of each of the panel/theater areas there were a few TVs or projectors showing video footage of the event inside. I know a lot of people who weren't able to get into certain events because they filled up, and they were all being filmed, anyway. I don't think it would be a big deal to get that footage onto a few monitors outside the event for all those who couldn't be in there, and it would really please the people who couldn't go.

    They could even take this a step further and put big monitors in the big, open areas, like bandland, the line room, and the big central staircase area where the console freeplay area was. Put that footage all around the expo, maybe switch between events if there are several going simultaneously, to give people an idea of what's going on at PAX that they're not seeing in person. There had to be someone in charge of all the audio/video going on, so they could coordinate what footage goes where.

    3) Bigger expo hall with more frequent events. Every time I went by the BioWare castle thing, the line was wrapped around it and the wait was way too long. I don't want to waste my con standing in line, even it means free stuff. Have these people do more frequent, shorter events to accommodate more of the massive amount of people.

    4) Better keynote. I may be in the minority here, but I feel like the keynote is a wasted opportunity. Ken Levine's speech was cute, and funny at parts, but really it just felt like a lukewarm celebration of what we were already there to celebrate. We know we're nerds, and we know you're a nerd, Ken. Why didn't you use this opportunity to talk about something a little more... substantial? You can still celebrate our cause without pandering to us and not giving us any real stimulation or information aside from slam dunk jokes that you know are going to get you some laughter. Talk about how video games are coming into their own as a legitimate form of entertainment, with writers and storylines and beautiful settings and epic musical scores, and that we're starting to eclipse Hollywood. Talk about how gamers are wonderful people, not monsters, and that this expo should be a rallying point for every gamer to showcase how awesome their culture is, just like Child's Play. Talk about that kind of thing. Give me something to get behind and talk about, not "I was a nerd as a child." That's just kind of hollow, you know? Give me something to sink my teeth into. Take a little bit of a risk. Take a stand. Like I said, maybe I'm alone in this. But I felt like the keynote was pretty lame and a big waste of an opportunity.

    5) This is more of a suggestion for the guy running the pizza place downstairs, not PAX overall: buy more dough. There's 60,000 of us, we all like pizza, and you were closed every single time I wanted some. You say you're better than the chain places and you want to prove it to me, but the only thing you proved to me over the weekend was that you need more pizza dough and Subway had plenty of bread.

    6) Family Feud. Someone mentioned this above and they nailed it. This guy, aside from looking and acting like a caricature of sleezy game show host types, had absolutely no idea what he was doing.

    Here's how you host Family Feud:

    a) walk up to the next contestant and chat with them for a minute. Ask them where they're from, what they liked at PAX, whatever. If they're a woman and you're Richard Dawson, call them pet names in a really inappropriate way and try to nail them after the show.

    b) After about a minute of chatting, ask the question again, and ask for an answer.

    c) Once the contestant has given their answer, muse about it. Say it's good, or it's bad, or it's interesting, or laugh at them.

    d) Then, you re-state their answer, direct everyone's attention to the board, and yell at the board (this is important)... "survey says?"

    e) This is when the person handling the displays can reveal whether the answer was correct or not, after a beat or two for dramatic effect. If it's an important answer (a steal or potentially a third strike), you wait a beat longer. You definitely don't keep interrupting the host and contestant by buzzing them with a strike or revealing their answer before they're done talking.

    f) repeat from step a).

    There's also the issue of the face-off. You call the contestants down, they shake hands, then you do the face-off. That's the formula.

    The fast money round needs to be explained better, too. You have 15 seconds to give me the most popular answer for 5 questions. We've taken your friend and enclosed him in a sound-proof booth so he can't hear your answers. After you've given your answers, your friend will play. Your friend can't give me any duplicate answers. If they do, I'll ask them for a second answer. Your friend gets 5 extra seconds to compensate. If the two of you can come up with 200 points together, you'll win whatever. It's simple, but you could tell that because the host didn't explain it and some of these people never watched the show, they had no idea what was going on.

    That's all I have for now.

    Arco on
    Like this, not like the gas station.
    Organizer of the Post-PAX Party. You should come!
    Satellite Theater for life!
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    shakespearshakespear Registered User new member
    edited September 2008
    I know it seems like I'm being a food nerd with this post, but it's a serious problem.

    That all being said, PAX08 was freaking awesome. I didn't go to many of the panels, or the concerts, but non-stop game play, previewing new games, test driving Star Craft II, rocking out on stage with Rock Band II, free-play rooms... It was an extravaganza of awesomeness!

    Another constructive point of feedback would be that we're all gamers, but there's an entire industry geared toward digital communication. Have you guys considered looking into getting a Digital Signage company to sponsor the event, provide more screens and stands, and the software to drive then?

    If you have questions about this stuff my day job is in this industry, and I might be able to hook you guys up with some good info on where to start, and who to ask for help.

    Getting more signage with details on locations of events, schedules, queues, line entertainment, etc... the possibilities are endless for this expo.

    But seriously, on the whole I had an amazing time. Felecia Day remembered my name after I had to leave the line because I didn't bring cash with me to buy The Guild DVD. When I came back I got a picture with her and a hug! Dr. Horrible's animated dead zombie girlfriend hugged me. lol

    shakespear on
    And the rest is silence...
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    specspec Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Arco wrote: »
    5) This is more of a suggestion for the guy running the pizza place downstairs, not PAX overall: buy more dough. There's 60,000 of us, we all like pizza, and you were closed every single time I wanted some. You say you're better than the chain places and you want to prove it to me, but the only thing you proved to me over the weekend was that you need more pizza dough and Subway had plenty of bread.

    Amen to that, brother.

    spec on
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    ThornkinThornkin Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I wanna say I loved PAX08. It was a bit crowded, but I didn't think too bad. I'm happy to hear you'll be grabbing the 6th floor next year. That would help a lot. I'm glad the Annex was added this year.

    Here are my suggestions for next year:
    1) More panels. There weren't enough which is probably why they were so crowded. More options would let people spread out more.
    2) More vendors. There weren't many places to spend my hard-earned cash. I want to see more people selling gear, games, and merchandise. Maybe a separate hall somewhere just for vendors? That might let you adjust the pricing structure for them and get more of them in.
    3) Put Wil Wheaton back in the main stage.

    Thornkin on
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    NeonJulieNeonJulie Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Hi this was a first year for me as well. My husband and I moved across the country so we would definitely be able to attend. (I should add too... better job opportunities BUT PAX was a major factor!)


    Anyway... wow. I had no idea that PAX could be so physically brutal. I know a lot of things have been covered, just like to add my few bullet points:

    1) A strip of carpet down the waiting line room. Cheap carpet is better than my ankle bones against cold concrete. (I have joint conditions and I'm not above using the pity card! *jk*)

    2) A nice big projection screen in the Waiting Room. Hey - here's a good time to run the "Nerd" movies I might have actually enjoyed, if it weren't for other exhibits at the same time. Unfortunately, the 12 hours I sat in this room... no movies.

    Also, if not movies, how about PAX trivia games? A guy or girl with a mic, some speakers and cue cards could have gone FAR!

    Also, the "impromptu" DS tournaments we were encouraged to pacify our time with, didn't work. Too much Nintendo DS wireless traffic. Nothing to do, nothing to watch, cold concrete sums up half of my first PAX unfortunately :/. That being said, all of the waiting was mostly worthwhile.

    3) Please SERIOUSLY consider reversing the CONCERT LINEUP. We heard this a lot on the elevators at the hotel. After being on your feet and standing for 14 hours, a 2:00 am concert (to continue standing) is a very tall order. We missed our favorites because we were simply unable to stay up any more.

    The early bands should not play for 1.5 hours. That should be reserved for the end of the show. I know they are all good, and all headliners, but we shouldn't have to wait 4 hours.

    Also - can you please reduce the 30-45 minute wait BETWEEN bands? Especially since they all shared the same drumset...... ??

    If not any of these concert suggestions, one giant 25,000 square foot mattress would be appreciated. :P

    How about HALF a room of chairs, like concert halls often do. Mosh if you want, or don't...


    4) Rockband line... around the back. Two hours of each day I couldn't see what was going on, on the stage. Pretty bland. Maybe Harmonix can rework the line so it's also in view SOMEWHERE of the stage. (Or not have the background poster go all the way to the floor. 24" Off the floor would have been enough for a peek.)

    P.S. I loved playing with the Harmonix people. We 5-starred our Expert song Still Alive. It was great fun, (even if I was kept in the dark and couldn't see all the fun for that hour.)

    5) Keynote address... obviously not up to last year's. It would have been nice to hear more about the development of games and career, and less about that individual who I don't know's favorite comic book hero to you-know-what-to growing up. Of all the lines I sat in... well that one was the least worth it.

    6) Now I know Mike & Jerry are busy. I see now that they have lots of press interviews, etc. to do in the other 10 hours we don't see them each day. But it might improve things if there was a morning session and an afternoon session (even if the time was a little shorter). That way people would wait all day in the same line, and could see other exhibits (or female gamer panels) and catch the next one.

    7) Sound... there's been a lot said already. My ears were bleeding halfway through Minibosses. I stopped hearing music, actually everything. Without being able to hear, there was no point in staying and hearing staticy fuzz. I'm not that old, but when my ears no longer hear music, or anything, I am not that interested anymore? It was so loud even covering my ears didn't work very well. It wasn't just loud, it was scratchy, distorted and dirty, overloaded sounding. Maybe there's next year (and CDs lol).

    8) Most of the questions on the PA panels were really dumb. Sorry. People shouldn't get to ask 18 questions, and especially not half of the ones that were asked. I think pre-screening questions so the stupid ones don't waste time is better - or submission by a card ahead of time pulled out of a hat, or submitted online ahead of time, and then choosing the better ones to answer.

    9) The wristband idea was ok but didn't really work. It would work for a Panel, but not really standing room concert atmosphere. Anyway, what I mean to say is, we stood in line for close to 4 hours, for absolutely NO reason.


    Sorry that's so long - I hope some of them will at least be useful. (I like the movie-in-line idea myself!)

    A couple things that were great... the food was excellent. Very excited to see fruit salad! Rockband performance was a lot of fun. The drawing webcomic panel great, as was the Q&A panel on Sunday. How great was the Gabe-Tycho-Kara-Robert surprise Rockband song!!!!

    The chemistry and talent that Mike and Jerry have was totally worth the whole thing. It was SO funny - although they'd never believe me, they are like Stand Up Gamers. Very quick with the wit. Original things happened on that stage, unscripted, and deliciously funny. (And touching, especially the remarks about parenthood.)

    Thank you for the fun. Looking forward to next year, next year's improvements, and especially 2010 where I hope the addition of East Coast will help out some of the current problems.

    NeonJulie on
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    jonxpjonxp [E] PC Security Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    On-site daycare.

    jonxp on
    Every time you write parallel fifths, Bach kills a kitten.
    3DS Friend Code: 2707-1614-5576
    PAX Prime 2014 Buttoneering!
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    tr0tskytr0tsky Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    jonxp wrote: »
    On-site daycare.

    no one wants to look after you jon...you smell. :D

    tr0tsky on
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    NeonJulieNeonJulie Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Arco wrote: »

    6) Family Feud. Someone mentioned this above and they nailed it.
    That's all I have for now.

    I forgot to mention the really super bland PAX Family Feud. One, the contestants were unevenly matched (pretty much it was a joke, not a competition. *lol*) Two, the questions weren't necessarily Penny Arcade. They SHOULD be PA related, my opinion. Also - the contestants most definitely have to be picked ahead of time, and they should meet like a (3) question basic minimum to show they're basic PA knowledge. I think that would make it extra scrumptious... and a little less pathetic?



    P.S.S. Also... we weren't even able to GET pizza from "that guy."

    NeonJulie on
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    tr0tskytr0tsky Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I dunno, I had fun at Family Feud...but would I have gone if it didn't mean a guaranteed seat for the Q&A afterwards which I really didn't want to miss (because of the button presentation)? I doubt it.

    tr0tsky on
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    jonxpjonxp [E] PC Security Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    tr0tsky wrote: »
    jonxp wrote: »
    On-site daycare.

    no one wants to look after you jon...you smell. :D

    At least I'm not Canadian.

    jonxp on
    Every time you write parallel fifths, Bach kills a kitten.
    3DS Friend Code: 2707-1614-5576
    PAX Prime 2014 Buttoneering!
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    samuelhgarfieldsamuelhgarfield Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Better perks for pre-reg. I thought I was saving a decent amount of money by registering early, but when Saturday passes ran out and people started getting 3-days (well, two at that point, but still...) for the price of one I felt like a tool. Also, more consoles for check-out. That wait was over a fucking hour long at some points!

    Also, start paying those poor, hard-working ENFORCERS who barely even get to enjoy the show! Okay, not really, they do it for free anyway. I just hope they get appreciated. On that note, thanks ENFORCERS!!

    samuelhgarfield on
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    ZugdagaZugdaga Registered User new member
    edited September 2008
    Here's something I don't think anyone else has mentioned.. PAX radio. I know when you go to, say, a Drive-In, they broadcast the audio over FM radio. Game music combined with announcements would be neat. Then again, who carries portable radios anymore? :/ Can iPods get radio signals? Maybe a web-cast?

    I also support and encourage the video monitors in the line room, or other forms of 'I didn't get into the panel but I can still watch it'. I was seriously bummed about missing the Game Dev Workshop.

    Zugdaga on
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    swlovinistswlovinist Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    First off I would like to say that the show rocked and that it was HUGE. I want to thank all who made this happen and am thankful to live near such an amazing event. I think that alot of what has bee said I can agree with. Some things I would like to see more of

    1. More people selling stuff, maybe more clearly marked or seperate from the exhibit hall, maybe in its own room and or in a specific section.

    2. Having Gears 2 right in front of the enterance was bad. It bottlenecked coming and going pretty bad. Maybe in the future having a more strategic placement of the heavy hitting games in which there is an easy way of coming and going around them.

    3. The swag this year was pretty light. I am aware that this may not be somthing that is up to the PAX people, but this is something that lures alot of people into going. Last year I got double the promos I got this year. Definately noticable. I would rather take a pen, button, pin, paperclip, versus yet another high glossed postcard about a game. Also, I would like to see more demos released of games other than PC games.

    4. Pleae bring back the Namco booth. The Pac Man theme booth rocked!

    swlovinist on
    NWCGE member, we do the retro game room at PAX!
    for more about us visit www.retrogamingexpo.com
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    aponivanyaaponivanya Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Here's just a sampling of our family's complaints with this year's PAX:


    - From the time we got our missing pass at will call Thursday night, it started. We couldn't even give our eight-year-old his "goody bag" because of all of the blatantly sexual ads in the all the little fliers and even the program! Not cool. And this oversexed atmosphere is WHY it's difficult to get more girls, especially GROWN UP girls who understand what's really happening here, into gaming. The delusional representation of women in games is really getting old. I can't imagine ANYONE with a BRAIN who actually cares about their daughter's self-image bringing a little girl to this event. And it's not healthy for young guys either - it sets them up for disappointment and discontent and creates a rift between the sexes. I've seen it a million times. How about being more sensitive to that instead of just giving us females lip service? How about creating a real family friendly environment instead of just creating a sort of, "Yeah, if you have to bring the munchkins along... whatever..." tone?

    - There is NO place for girls running around in boy shorts and string bikini tops at a TRULY family friendly event. It's not bright and warm out. You're not at the beach. Grow up. Is it so hard to be decent when you're surrounded by a large, diverse group?

    - Long lines for everything? Forget it. Lame. We've been trying to get a DnD game going at home and thought the DnD talks would be awesome. But when people are lining up for something an hour and half before it starts and that line is wrapping around the hall? Forget it. And lines for freeplay? Double lame.

    - Where are the events and tournaments and talks for kids? I saw plenty of time and energy and SPACE devoted to twenty-something hardcore gamers with no lives but nothing for the little ones and not much for their parents, honestly. My kid got into an impromptu Mario Kart tournament but, seriously? An eight-year-old vs. grown ups? Please.


    There were other problems too - serious overcrowding, crap sound, the expo hall was DEAFENING, too many industry people (I felt violated around every corner - marketing is CREEPY), and frankly the atmosphere was pretty lousy.

    This was my first year at PAX. My husband has been the past three years and took our son last year. But even he now agrees that the whole thing is LAME and definitely NOT family and female friendly. I sort of get the feeling that he feels like he put his reputation with me on the line when he tried to convince me that it would be fine after going through our welcome bags Thursday night and the whole thing still ended up being crap. Even he seemed bored despite the fact we were able to split up because lines for everything is just obnoxious.

    I went to PAX with an open mind. I play a few games regularly (though as a chick who doesn't feel the need to toss her IQ out the window to justify playing a bunch of sexist crap, I have a hard time identifying as a "gamer.") and have heard how much fun PAX is. I've enjoyed the comics. (As a side note, we even included Child's Play in a short list of charities for our families to donate to instead of buying us presents when we got married.) We live in the area so getting there is easy. So we bought three day passes for the three of us and even flew my cousin up from FL and bought him a pass. I got all dolled up and even put on my ponyfalls in expectation of a good time. But ultimately, lame. We had MORE fun gaming on our DS's together when we got home. Maybe it's just because this year was so much bigger but we didn't have a good time. Our family will not be back next year. As a 25-year-old mom with more experience and wisdom than is probably healthy for my age and as someone who did not get her values from the back of an energy drink can, I give this year's PAX a D.

    I'd like to see things improve. I think this event has a lot of potential to be more inclusive. I hear you guys have kids and really want to include more people in this community. I hope that's the case. Clean up your act and maybe we'll be back one of these days. ;)

    aponivanya on
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    TheColonelTheColonel ChicagolandRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    This is my 4th PAX and as in years past I had a great time.

    In the years previous, the line before show open was important, because you were litterally kept outside and wrapped around the block to get in. With the current local you get shuffled into this room and kept queued up until the show "starts" at 2pm. This is all fine and dandy, until you realize you just waited 2 hours in an uncomfortable line while your friend who had to pick up a badge from the will-call line was able to walk in right at 2 without having to walk the line. What's the point in standing in line (beyond the concert wrist band which you could easily grab from any number of Enforcers later in the day) if people can mill about comfortably until 2 and just walk in?

    Wil Wheaton definitely needed the main theater again. The side theater at the separate building wasn't nearly large enough for his glory.

    A comprehensive map/guide to the area would be awesome for people. We took a full extra day last year and some time this year and have gotten a pretty good grasp on the food options easily within walking distance. In addition, perhaps some guides to additional things to hit up while you're in the area. The monorail takes you straight to the Space Needle and also to the awesome Sci-Fi museum.

    Some kind of benefit for pre-reg's. While the convention was at the Meydenbauer, pre-reg's were able to get in an hour before anyone else. Perhaps a seperate line for pre-reg's, or VIP access to certain events.

    TheColonel on
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    mostlyharmlessmostlyharmless Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    This is my first time at PAX, but I have friends who volunteer. Here's a few suggestions to make life easier for everyone.

    1) Feed your enforcers. They are giving their weekend to this event and many of them don't get to enjoy the perks. The least you can do is feed them. I was waiting in line for some food at a little hole in the wall place, and I was the only one in line who wasn't an enforcer. That's not cool. Take care of your volunteers.

    2) As there is a thread discussing this, I won't rave about it, but no "Booth Bimbos." I'm in the exhibition hall to check out games, not see some chick who looks bored.

    3) It would have been nice to actually get into some of the DnD panels. The theaters that they were in were tiny. I really would have enjoyed The Art of the Dungeon Master, but, unfortunately, it was already full half an hour before it started, which was all the time I had to get there from the Warhammer Online presentation.

    mostlyharmless on
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    AmanitaAmanita Registered User new member
    edited September 2008
    Maybe a live stream that we can get on our iPhones? Give us registration info when we pre-reg and let us watch panels when we're in the super line for the PA panels. Also, aside from expanding up into the 6th floor, maybe take over the Sheraton ballroom or other meeting rooms in other hotels? Then you can use the annex for larger panels (give tabletop gamers bigger space for our panels, and more of them!)

    Amanita on
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    spydeyspydey Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I would like to see more than one autograph session next year.

    spydey on
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    SmallLadySmallLady Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Consistent access for disabled peeps - I had to argue hard with the WSTCC people to not have to walk all along the queue for the Q and A stuff - I couldn't have done it, and they wouldn't budge - even though LewieP was in the queue for us both on Friday, and I wasn't trying to get in ahead of where he was in the queue. Saturday, Mentock, VT and a few others (thank you!!!) kept me a place in the queue, and Lewie talked to an Enforcer, who straight away let me in. I saw quite a few people with mobility impairments at PAX, its hard in crowds when you can't walk easily or far, so maybe in future, the WSTCC people need to show some common sense, or else be told what to do. Enforcers rock!


    I think some way to accomodate diabled paxers would be great. maybe after they prereg a system where they contact PRD to let her know about their mobility issues and get a specail pass. I spend some time with a wonderful british lady (she's on the forums but i can't remember her name!! :( ) but she had issues with her feet and i felt so bad when she was standing in line in so much pain.

    SmallLady on
    "we're just doing what smalllady told us to do" - @Heels
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    HotSakeHotSake Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    SmallLady wrote: »
    Consistent access for disabled peeps - I had to argue hard with the WSTCC people to not have to walk all along the queue for the Q and A stuff - I couldn't have done it, and they wouldn't budge - even though LewieP was in the queue for us both on Friday, and I wasn't trying to get in ahead of where he was in the queue. Saturday, Mentock, VT and a few others (thank you!!!) kept me a place in the queue, and Lewie talked to an Enforcer, who straight away let me in. I saw quite a few people with mobility impairments at PAX, its hard in crowds when you can't walk easily or far, so maybe in future, the WSTCC people need to show some common sense, or else be told what to do. Enforcers rock!


    I think some way to accomodate diabled paxers would be great. maybe after they prereg a system where they contact PRD to let her know about their mobility issues and get a specail pass. I spend some time with a wonderful british lady (she's on the forums but i can't remember her name!! :( ) but she had issues with her feet and i felt so bad when she was standing in line in so much pain.

    I'm pretty sure you just quoted that wonderful British lady :)

    HotSake on
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