We went in on the final day and tried the blizzard booth one more time only to find yet again a long line. We were some of the first few people in so that was a bit confusing. Also they had even shortened it for some reason... Instead of waiting our last few hours in line we decided to check out the Indie booths for the day.
This was by far my favorite part of Pax and Im happy things worked out this way. I wish we had started earlier in our trip because I had a ton of fun going through and trying all of these.
Update: I got a couple emails from different projects asking for feedback which was a surprise. I hope what i said in my replies helped them out!
From there we ended up just checking out a few booths on our way out. Signed up for a few give aways and I spun a wheel and won a tiny tool kit for our computers! We also stopped and took an action shot just to get some cool bandannas from Age of Mythology.
If you are wondering when you check out of a hotel you can check your bags at the front for them to hold till you are ready. The lady also walked outside with us to show us where we could get on the T-line again.
Going back to the airport does cost money so just make sure you know how much. It was $2.50 for us from the Renaissance.
Update (4.24.14) - So apparently Greggles and Shantz took the same T-bus and they didn't have to pay for their ride. You can actually just hop on the bus and ride to the airport.. no fee. The person at the hotel told us differently and the bus driver who picked us up just watched us put money in without saying anything. A little bitter about this. Yes it's only $5 we spent but if we get ripped off, we get ripped off and Arwyn doesn't like that. Next year remember it's free to and from the airport at that trade center bus stop! Silver line! Don't get ripped off! *shakes a mighty fist*
Got input on this write up? Got some questions or info I missed? Comment or shoot me a line!
Click to View Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five
As promised at the beginning also a short list of Pros and Cons for those TLDR:
Click the Read More button on the lower right. --->
- Out of the cons we've gone, this felt like the most organized for the amount of people who went. I don't believe any giant gathering like this will be 100% perfect and we will always be stuck in lines/fighting through crowds but it seems it could have been much worse for the amount of people present at all times. I did however get to a point of almost exploding after about the 12th backback hit me on the head. Lots of tall men + short Arwyn = easy backpack target :(
- The people! I think I only met one person I did not enjoy talking to at pax (and he was famous and I didn't even know it hah!). I will note to anyone new to the culture that male gamers can have "bitch face" just like females (Ive been told I have one) but the moment I tugged on their shirt or poked them they lit up to talk about what was going on/answer a question or make fun of something. I actually wish I could have met more people and exchanged more contact info with them.
- The indie area! The whole time (besides drinking/gaming in the evenings) this was my favorite part. There were only two booths where the people were rude but everyone else I talked to were very nice to me and answered all my questions. The wait for games were very short and while I think some people took too long - I think I did this as well on the games I actually really enjoyed. Some people were just playing to play instead of test the games out. So when the demo was done they would just wander around or restart it without looking back. The devs seemed very passionate about what they created and were almost pushy to explain everything to me. This in turn made me really want to support them and buy some of their titles (make note big game titles...) I even got a few emails when I got home from some asking how I liked their games and wanted actual feedback and thoughts. Instead of running through a survey I actually took the time to reply thoughtfully to them so I hope it helped!
- Friday night bands were great. We actually missed a party we bought VIP tickets for just to go. I wasn't a fan of the Metroid Metal band but some people loved them. Bit Brigade was good and as for Anamanaguchi I got my Meow song so I was a happy camper and to dance around like an idiot without people (sort of) judging me. We were talking about the Meow song for quite some time before PAX so it was kind of funny to have that play first.
- It was pretty easy to refill our water bottles (thank god because of my hangover) and it was nice we could bring outside food. I dont think I'll eat beef jerky again till next year but it was worth saving the moneys.
- All the staff we met the whole time were very nice. I think there was one bartender in the Westin hotel that was pretty rude to us but that was it. It made me wonder if people were being rude to her or not tipping correctly or she was just tired of it all. You never know.
- Side props to WildStar. While I wasn't planning on pre-ordering I did check out their booth for a friend who couldn't come and felt like their booth out of all the major games was the most organized/least pushy for sign ups. They felt most excited to even talk about their game then anyone else and I enjoyed that. Also why Im checking out their beta weekends.
- The lines.. omg I expected at least 30-45 minutes of waiting but to go in first thing in the morning and to either be told it was a 3 hours wait or they were so full that they just turned us away was CRAZY. Because of this we only got to see one big title and that was it.
- The swag. I got told how people handed out all this free stuff and I wont leave without my arms full (ok I figured that was an exaggeration) but we got keychains, a t-shirt, a bandana, 100000 buttons and that was it. We got a tshirt from Lichdom after standing in line, going through a presentation and playing through a demo and a bandana for taking a picture from Age of Mythology. Everyone else wanted us to stand in line to possibly win something or sign up/buy their shit before we got anything. They were kind of snarky about it too.. "If you want this shiny thing.. give me your soouuulll" I think I got pissed the most after seeing some password on twitter, going to to booth and getting a pin for it. A pin. I know some people are all for these little things but.. its a pin. I know I know.. i'll shut up now..
- Female bathrooms were a bit scarce on the upper levels. I had no problem on the expo hall since you just had to walk down the outer isles but the upper levels was a wild goose hunt. I understand that there are more males then females at these things currently but they could have spaced them out a bit differently.
- The bag check while I think its a great idea they need to do better checks. They really didn't check our bags which didn't make me feel better about it.
- They didn't check our badges. I think twice they said to wave our badges at them to show we had them but I could have probably waved a red piece of plastic they wouldn't care.
After Pax things:
- I know pax does not run these. I know they have no way to reach them but if some people who run them do stumble on this post. Please. If you are doing something at a bar.. can you 1. Not oversell so if I buy a VIP pass I can use it as an actual VIP pass instead of get stuck in line because you oversold? 2. make sure the bar can handle the amount of people you cram in there? waiting 30 minutes for a drink was not a fun evening.
Both nights we did end up leaving these events early and went back to the hotel for games/drinks. I think we may try different styles of parties next time or just play games at the bar.
- I know this is an offshoot but those in the forum that helped me before pax you helped a lot in making this first time a success. I think I would have gone into overload if I didn't go there as prepared as I was with your knowledge. So just a thank you all for that.