Archive for the ‘PAX’ Category

There was a LOT to see at PAX. If you don’t believe me, just go look at their schedule. Go ahead. I’ll wait here. Here are a few games that I spent time with or that stuck with me after the show.

Dragon Fin SoupDragon Fin Soup-This one is a rogue-like, plain and simple. But not so plain. Very beautiful art and a real sense of a world gives this game some surprising depth of character. Already ran a very successful Kickstarter, this will be one to watch for the dungeon-crawl fan.

Orcs Must Die

Orcs Must Die: Unchained-The sequel to Orcs Must Die 1 and 2, this one is a big shift for the series. This time, things are focusing on 5 on 5 PvP in a very MOBA-esque format, but with the distinct traps and tools of OMD. I’ve had very limited time with the beta and it is, to put it mildly, chaotic. Definitely will be spending more time with it. If you liked the first two or other MOBA games, worth a look for sure.

Borderlands PS

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!-Its more Borderlands. After two games, you know what to expect. Crazy FPS with RPG elements but this time in a low gravity environment. Looks like a lot of fun, as always!

Tales from Borderlands

Tales From the Borderlands-Another Borderlands game? Yes and no. This one, as you might have noticed in the logo, is made by Telltale who is famous for The Walking Dead adventure games among other point and click masterpieces. This looks to be another in a long line of great, story driven adventure games.

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Pokemon: TCG Online-Its the Pokemon TCG and you play it online. Having played the actual TCG, I can highly recommend it! I’m looking forward to some down time spent playing it.

Evil Within

The Evil Within-And now for something completely different! The latest horror game by Shinji Mikami of Resident Evil fame. Didn’t see much, but you couldn’t go anywhere at PAX without seeing it mentioned.

Chromancer

Chromancer-As it says, browser based card game. Also uses field positioning and tactical combat. Got to sit and play the tutorial and it is on its way to being one heck of a game!

Super Comboman

Super ComboMan-Retro action game with modern graphics. Combat depth would give Devil May Cry a run for its money despite this being a sidescroller. Very beautifully done hi-def 2D graphics.

Swords and Soldiers 2

Swords & Soldiers 2-Side scrolling RTS. This is a rare breed. You don’t see many games in this genre and this one played fast and furious. Great art direction and animation with mechanics that work surprisingly well on the WiiU control pad.

Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon-Despite seeing this at two PAX-es running, I still have no hands on time with this. It is, from what I can gather, a side-scrolling rogue-like dungeon crawl. The art is striking and definitely grabs you when you see it. I’m just going to have to break down and buy it.

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Never Alone-An absolutely stunning side-scrolling adventure game. Very reminiscent of Limbo, Braid, Trine or even Lost Vikings. Based on stories of the Alaskan Inuit, the game project was actually started by a tribal group looking to preserve their stories interactively. Definitely one to keep an eye out for.

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Shadowgate-Remake of a classic point and click adventure game. The new graphics are just beautiful. If you like these classic point and click games, you owe it to yourself to get this one! Absolute stunner.

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PAX 2014 Tickets

Posted: September 3, 2014 by Noccie in Conventions, Noccie, PAX
Tags: , , , , ,

The tide has shifted. This year Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) felt different than in other years. Kane and I have been attending for 7 years and so, we have a bit of room to compare our experiences from this year and previous years.

I think the ticket scalpers may have done us a favor. There were so many passes out of general circulation, the place felt emptier than in previous years. I could move around, walk around, turn around, back up and all the other things I wanted. I could dance in the isles!

It’s my theory that this sense of space, was because so many badges were in the hands of scalpers. Even passing scalpers on the way into the building, on the last day, the scalpers had nearly an inch thick stack of badges for sale. They were super annoying and ALL over the place. It was SUPER annoying to be bombarded walking up and down the street with scalpers trying to buy and sell tickets. A friend of ours had a press pass, he was offered $10.00 for his pass. Yeah… no thank you sir. There is a bigger down side though.

It’s incredibly hard to get tickets. ┬áMost of our friends didn’t get tickets this year because they sold out so quickly. There is no easy way to fix this issue. I don’t even know what to suggest to fix the issue besides making the solicitation, purchasing and selling of tickets on the street some sort of harrasment and making it illegal in public. That leaves thousands of tickets in the hands of ONLINE ticket brokers still.

You would think with all these tech savy people in one place we could figure out a better way of issuing passes to fans. A way must be invented to keep ticket scalpers from effecting a community in such a way.

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The company that took over for the creators of Penny Arcade have added many levels of security to the badges to keep out counterfits. That’s helped with the crowds a bit. They have a serial number, hologram, monogram sticker, a QR code, color coding and a super secret level of security. A black light reactive design was added to the pass. It didn’t photograph well but the design was a bunch of space invaders.

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This reminds me of when I was younger and impressionable. I used to go to a lot of death metal shows and the place had a problem with tickets. I went to everything thing there, death metal, speed metal, black metal,… etc. You get the picture. Well they started adding elements to the tickets so it was harder for people to make fakes. I understand why Benders Concert Cave did this, he was only charging $5.00 a ticket or $8.00 at the most. This was his bread and butter. Eventually they added a black light reactive element and then once you were in they stamped you with a black light reactive stamp as well. Don’t get me wrong, black lights are cool. I love the glowing freaking hidden stuff but in 20 years NOTHING has changed.

Can’t we come up with a better way to make the tickets hard to counterfit?

Secruity adds different levels. There is a level of safety, level of inconvience and many little levels that keep you safe or make your day harder. Everyone hates taking their shoes off in the airport. Does it keep the plane safe? I don’t know, maybe? I’m not saying that we need to be barefoot or that we aren’t allowed to bring in outside liquids. I do know that there has to be a better way to put tickets in the hands of people that love games.

Although, things really did change this year. I’ll write more later.

P.S. I’m not saying this because I want to stand in longer lines either… I just really dislike scalpers.

Going over the PAX Prime schedule. Looks like a good show this year. Honestly see more of interest to me than last year. Here is a rundown of what I’m looking forward to

 

Friday

10:30 Storytime With Mikey Neumann-The PAX keynote brought to you by one of the guys behind Borderlands. Should be fun. Studio heads are always entertaining in their own neurotic way.

11:30 Building Inclusive Communities in Analog Gaming Spaces-Whats better than gaming with a few people? Gaming with a LOT of people. Panel discussing how to make sure everyone is welcome at the table.

12 Molding and Casting for Beginners-I’ve done a tiny amount of molding. I get the basics, but a better understanding is never a bad thing. Does overlap the previous panel, so may have to rely on Noccie for notes on that one.

4:30 Queer Visibility in Tabletop RPGs-All about that inclusivity thing again. How much should you notice and how much should it matter? Should be an enlightening panel.

5:30 Developing the Thornwatch-Been looking forward to this game since Mike announced it. The mechanics sound very intriguing. I’m a big fan of new gaming ideas.

8:30 Concerts-The Doubleclicks should be more reason than anyone needs to get in the door. The rest is just gravy!

 

Saturday

1:30 Orcs Must Die!-One of my favorite game series is getting a sequel. Can’t wait to see where its going.

3:30 Art of the DM-Seems like a semi-yearly panel. Always good to have more tricks in the DMing arsenal.

9 Retrogame Roadshow-I love old games. Seeing some of them go for absurd amounts of money should be fun!

 

Sunday

10 Game Industry Rumble-A bunch of game industry folks beat the heck out of each other in the classic N64 Wrestlemania 2000. Whats not to love?

12 Digitizing the Tabletop-All about playing tabletop games online. Been wanting to try my hand so this should be a welcome leg up.

3 Tetris-The creator of Tetris, Alexey Pajitnov, talks about the game that defined a generation of handhelds.

6 A New Tabletop Gaming Canon-Tabletop gaming has been through drastic changes over the last decade. This panel looks at what games everyone should know going forward.

9 Collecting Games-Look at collecting games without getting ripped off. Definitely something on my radar.

 

Monday

10:30 The Art of the Table-More about GMing. Since that is my primary role most of the time, can’t have too many tricks up my sleeve.

1:30 Guilty Pleasures-Some games are terrible but you can’t help liking them. Should be fun hearing about what terrible games others play in the dark. I know I’ve got my own!

 

No guarantees I’ll make it to all of these, but I’ll be sure and write about the ones I do see. Hope to see you there!