Posts Tagged ‘PAX 2014’

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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Tuesday, Kane and I, are practicing with our band for the upcoming ZOMBIEFEST! Our band Post Rapture Party will be playing the festival Saturday, Sept 20th at One Eyed Jack’s Road House. As Kingdoms Divide and Earth to Ashes will also be playing that night. MorgueAnn will be performing a zombie burlesque act. I am sure there will be some mixed feelings for all the breathers watching. Also, there is a prize and a costume contest for the scariest, funniest and sexiest Zombie. $5 cover 21+ ID Required and doors at 9:00pm. Although, it’s a cool bar. You can show up early and have a frosty beverage or go next door to the Korean resturant we found last time or the Russian grocery store.

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Thursday, Kane is going to be game testing at Phoenix Games in Capitol Hill. He’s been developing a board game for a year. It’s almost finished. He and his friend Bane are going to be out in public testing. Feel free to ask about the game or join the game. They are working on art and the written parts. Once that’s settled, it will be ready for publishing. Keep an eye out for Against the Horde! I don’t want to say to much myself. I’ll late Kane tell you more about the project.

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This Saturday, I’m going to the thrice yearly Friends of the Seattle Public Library book sale. I haven’t attended one in a while. I am looking forward to it but I admit it, I have a problem. Book stores and book sales are a bad place for me. I am a recovering bibliophile. I still love books but I need to learn not to buy so many that they are wrecking my house. Anyway, you can still never have to many books. I just have to make sure I can pay my rent. Books… or food…. can I have a book please? ( Or five.) Seriously, the book sale is held at Magnusen Park in an airplane hanger. I’ve scored some incredible books there including Spider Boy, Chickie and Air Monster. They are all books from the 1920’s. Also, the science section is usually incredible and not heavily shopped. One year I was on an astronomy binge and came home with some great editions of Immanuel Velikovsky’s books. Who would get rid of that? I have no idea. They have huge sections of books of every genre. One year we went to the mini-sale close to Christmas, my Mom and I came home with dozens of Sotheby’s catalogues. My favorite was from the house that was in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It’s amazing to see the actual items from the novel. Anyway, if you want to got it’s Sept 12-14th. Friday is for members only from 6:30 PM to 9PM. Saturday is 9 AM to 5 PM. Sunday is 11 AM to 4PM.

BOOK SALE PRICING:
Children’s & Young Adult Books – $1
Hardback Books – $2
Paperback Books – $2
DVDs & CDs – $1
Audio Books & Multi Disc Sets – $3
Find a Treasure!
(Old & Rare Books) – $3

Blogs for the Week of Sept 8-14, 2014.

Tuesday – Coming Soon: Seen at PAX 2014. – Kane will be talking about games on their way.

Wenesday – Life in a Box: Consumable Geek – Is geek culture really just about conspicuous consumption? I’d like to think it was about other things like bonding over shared adversity in games. We’ll discuss this and hopefully we’ll find a way to spark your discussions as well.

Thursday – Throwback Thursday: Picture All The Pixels – Modern resurrgance of pixel art and how it’s being created for modern games.

Friday – Free Form Friday: Haha… We don’t know yet. 🙂 It will be a surprise.

Saturday – Saturday Morning Cartoons: Mini Episodes and Short Attention Spans – The advent of short cartoons has caused a trend of mini episodes. These keep the fans happy during the long breaks but what does it say about our ability to tell complex stories in 2 to 5 minute blocks?

Sunday – Coming Attractions: Fright Night – Three movies to get you in the mood for Halloween. It’s Autumn people, let’s bust out the candy corn.

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.  Most 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.

Tonight was special. There were people all over Seattle that have flown, driven, bused, caravaned, and taken the train for PAX 2014. This is the first time I’ve seen so many people come together before the convention to celebrate. They had a pre-PAX boardgame night at the Sheraton next to the convetion center. We were told they approximate 600 people came through to the event. This was just one event.

I know of at least four other parties being held near by for PAX 2014.

Everyone was having fun playing board and card games. We even sat down with people we didn’t know and played Tanto Cuore.

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Kane took time to show a friend from New Mexico and his friend how to play AGAINST THE HORDE. That’s the game Kane’s developing.

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It was wonderful to see everyone getting together already. Keep building the community.

Also, there were a lot of geek girls dressed up to play board games, including myself. There was about a 50/50 ratio of women to men, too!

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Good night and see you tomorrow.

I’m so excited for PAX 2014! Every year Kane and I head down to the convention center for this fantastic romp through video game heaven. I’m looking forward to all the flashing lights, nifty swag and good times. Every year I get a little more into going to panels. I’ve picked out a bunch but here are some gems that you should look into.

Friday

10:30 AM  – Story Time with Mikey Neumann is the keynote speech this year. The Keynotes have been awesome, even if I didn’t really know who the speaker was that year. Mikey Neumann works for Gearbox Software, so it should be an interesting talk.

11:30 AM – Building Inclusive Community in Analog Gaming Spaces – The panel is a great  conversation about how to bring in various groups of people and get them involved in gaming. They really mean it too. They discuss bringing in families with children, more women, getting girls interested at a young age, minorities and people with disabilities. They also bring up how to get new players involved! I’ve been to the panel before and I’m an acquaintance of Donna Prior, who is on the panel. It’s always a good conversation that involves the audience.

3:00 PM – Pop Cap – How We Make Games – I really just want to go to this panel because I disliked the second Plants vs Zombies. I think I deserve an explanation.

5:00 PM – Hironobu Sakaguchi Reflection, Past, Preset and Future of RPGs – Hironobu Sakaguchi is the creator of Final Fantasy. It will interesting to hear him talk about the evolution of the genre.

8:30 PM – Friday Night Concert – The Doubleclicks are playing! I love them. Caught them last year and I’m addicted. They have catchy tunes that hit you right in the feels. They also have the Triforce Quartet and Paul & Storm performing.

Saturday

12:30 – Firaxis Mega Panel – I am so excited!!! They are going to show off what they are working on for the sequel to Alpha Centauri, Sid Meier’s Civilization:  Beyond Earth. I’ve been waiting for this game playing Alpha Centauri over and over.

4:30 PM – Grim Fandango: Bringing the Dead Back to Life – I loved Grim Fandango. This panel will be talking about how they are remastering the game for PS4 and Vita.

Sunday

10:00 AM – Are Twitch, YouTube and Podcasts Killing Traditional Games Journalism? – I am curious to see what the panel has to say. Maybe it’s not killing the traditions, maybe it’s giving them competition that they need to become better. Although, by Sunday I may be too tired to get there by 10AM. We’ll see.

12:30 – Women in Games Development: We Have the Best Job Ever! – I am a bit of a feminist. I do tend to go to panels that discuss women and their roles in my world. I want to contribute and be a part of this panel that discusses the industry spanning from big games to indie games.

2:00 PM – Bridge to Japan: The Process of Localizing Japanese Media – This will be all about bringing over Japanese shows, games, cards etc and how mistranslation can cause chaos with an American audience. They actually mention Cardcaptor Sakura. I am glad they do because there was originally a lesbian story line that was taken out to spare American audiences. Weird.

8:00 PM – Three Old Guys Playing Falling Block Games – I love Tetris. They are going to be playing a variety of games. I am curious what they are going to pull out.

Monday

12:30 PM  – Video Game Memories: What Makes a Game Special – They have a group of games journalists talking about what makes a game special. I’ll tell you what, FALL OUT. That is all you need to know about games.

2:30 PM – Beyond the Stars: How Games Are Keeping Science Fiction Alive – I don’t know who any of the panelists are but I like the subject. Being a science fiction writer, I try to keep games and movies in mind when I write my descriptions. That way if they are optioned, I’m all set!

I’m mostly just excited for the convention. I buy dice there every year and I want more of the Q-Workshop dice. I also want to visit the Funko booth and buy some bobble heads.

I’m only cosplaying two days. I have a Muad Pie outfit and a Star Trek costume. Although, I dyed my hair for Muad! 🙂

See you there!