PAX EAST 2014 Retrospective – Thurs. & Fri.

Again I was lucky enough to scrounge some money together and make the trek to Boston for PAX EAST 2014, a great exciting game convention for fans of video games, table top game and card games. It was an exciting convention for me this year, as I not only had many games I wanted to check out and panels to go to, but a game to talk to people about, WoW Diabetes.

I got to Boston on Thursday night, with much of the night ahead of me and went to a party at Microsoft’s NERD center where developers in Massachusetts were showing off their games and mingling. I talked to plenty of people, checked out their games, and pitched WoW Diabetes, to which many responded well and seemed interested. I even met one fellow that worked for a localization company that works with indies that would be interested in localizing our mod for European markets! All in all, an exciting start to my weekend, filled with networking and games.

Friday morning I arrived at the show floor bright and early (9am) and headed to the queue room to await the opening of the expo hall. Finally getting into the hall at 10:15, I went straight to Supergiant games booth, as I wanted my father to play their upcoming game, Transistor. We waited in line an hour, played the demo for a quarter of that time and I got to chatting one of the graphics programmers at Supergiant. I learned some interesting methods they are employing to handle their animations and the drastic changes they have made to monogame (an open source game engine they are using as their base for Transistor). From there, my father and I checked out a lot of other games in the indie games section. There were to many to count, but they were all interesting to check out. If PAX EAST is all about one thing, it is sensory overload. I also went to two panels, one of which was worthless, the other with Patrick Klepek of Giantbomb.com and Zoe Quinn, maker of Depression Quest, talking about jerks on the internet and how we can stop them. (I highly recommend anyone that uses social media watch this) Full panel is watchable here.  Outside of panels and indie games, I spent my time with another of my group mates working on WoW Diabetes to talk to community managers or developers of World of Warcraft. Unfortunately we did not make any headway at PAX EAST in that route, but on Saturday, I found a connection to some WoW devs.

That night, Giantbomb was having a meetup at a local bar and I decided to go. It was exciting to meet all the editors and staff in person, chat them up about video games and mention my own. I was even able to tell my story about the horrible game “Hey, You Pikachu” to Patrick Klepek. He enjoyed it a lot and this lead to a great discussion about voice control in games and its horrible implementations. I left the bar that night invigorated by a great day, excited for the next one. And boy was the next day exciting!

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