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PAX West 2019 A Kennethan Story

IMPRESSIONS


  • I noticed many more statues this year at most of the booths. The visual displays made it more evocative of a gaming convention.

  • Mixer was there. Twitch was not

  • Notable absences – BioWare, Bethesda, Blizzard, Epic

Walking in on Monday after parking the car, I was pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t much of a line at 9:20 am. When I got up to the 4th floor and started into the expo hall, I noticed the start times for PAX were 9:30 am each day, not the 10 am shown on the badge. Each day my plans were around the 10 am start time. No wonder the floor was filled up by the time I joined in the day's festivities.


The Indie Mini Booth had different games for Friday/Saturday and Sunday/Monday. I skipped the booth Friday and Saturday thinking I would see the games on Monday so I missed the games from Friday/Saturday though I did walk by the booth several times.


GAME OF SHOW

  • FF XII Remake play as last of show without ticket

OTHER NOTES

  • Supergiant Games concert (Hades, Transistor, Pyre, Bastion)

  • AAA games

  • Destiny 2

  • Borderlands 3

  • Ghost Recon

  • Division

  • FF XIV

  • FF VII Remake

  • FF VIII Remaster

  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

  • Nintendo Switch

  • Dauntless


AA games

· Astroneer

· Supergiant Games

· Kerbal Space Program 2 – dev discussing and showing the next thing coming in 2020


Indie

· Blair Witch

· Last Epoch - a fun game

· Destiny’s Sword – action affects squad combat

· Overland – coming in mid-September. I’ve been on their mailing and wish list already

· Industries of Titan

· Phantom Brigade – you get a 5 sec view of the future while planning your next moves

· Everspace 2

· Disintegration by Private Division – single player in work. PAX demo was multiplayer. You control a squad of 3. It was fun to play.

· Sunless Skies – A train game? Not really but has a train that you control (PAX 10)

· Epic Tavern – you control a tavern and RPG (PAX 10)

· Stranded Sails – RPG building game

· Rift Breakers – basebuilding, survivial with ARPG elements

· Raiders of the North Sea – board game turned into video game

· Norman’s Night In The Cave (IMB)

· Witchstone – need to see more on how deep the decisions made by me look into the world

· Trials of Fire – card driven, tactical game – I got cocky and lost (no t-shirt for me) (IMB)

· Sail Forth - pirate game? (IMB)

· Wooden Nickel (IMB)


DAILY QUESTS


Thursday, Day 0 August 29. The pre-PAX.

Checked into hotel and set up my stuff. Finished up the Streaming Relationships blogpost. Did some GMA work. Chris and I had dinner/beer at Yard House and headed back to hotel. GMA BoD meeting where I was elected CFO. I played WoW for about an hour before heading to bed. Also chatted with Jay on his future and HMO stuff.


Friday, Day 1 August 30. The First day.

Starting off at 9 am was the Guild Wars 2 panel/meetup at the Moore Theater. I missed the first 500 attendees getting some swag. They announced The Icebrood Saga as their next story arc. I guess some folks are questioning saga vs season wording. Now you can buy both expansions in one price and if you own one of the expansions already, the other will be added to your account for free.


I walked over to the WSCC and got into the long line on 7th avenue. I walked the floor to get a look at things. Went to the Corsair booth and played Blair Witch. Did their survey for a token. They had a Vive there the first day playing a boxing game but I wasn’t interested. The other days they were paying Beat Saber.


Stood in line for about an hour for the Gearbox panel while listening to Gotfuz teaching audio. Most of the show and panel was on Borderlands 3 and Gearbox Publishing announced working with the dev team for Homeworld 3. They have a mobile version of Homeworld coming in 2020.


I made my way over to the Sheraton on my way back to the Renaissance to get (2) t-shirts. Met up with Danny and Kim in the hotel lobby with Nate and Mark. We walked to Pioneer Square for drinks at Sake Nomi then to Fado Irish pub for food and then sat outside Elephant & Castle for drinks on a perfect Seattle evening.


I did not go to the 6th floor. That is for the other days.


Panels

· Gearbox Main Theater Show

Games tried

· Blair Witch – based on movie. Would be a good game to stream for the scariness of it vs 5 nights at freddy’s

· Disintegration by Private Division – single player in work. PAX demo was multiplayer. You control a squad of 3. It was fun to play.

Games watched

· Divinity: Fallen Heroes – thought of trying but ended up not based on what I hear from others and I have not played the Divinity series


Saturday Day 2 August 31. The Second day.

I walked the mostly packed 4th floor and spent most of my time on the 6th floor. There was a booth for Haunted, a game made for the NES, Yes, with cartridge.


Walked to cap hill for places to eat and stopped at Honey Holes which had great food. We made it in time for the Supergiant Games concert. Drinks at The Carlile Room following the concert.


Supergiant Games concert Saturday night opened up music not heard before and games I should check out. Darren Korb is the composer and was at the concert in the most humble of ways. He stood to the side, a little behind the Ashley Barrett, the soloist who was between him and the conductor and orchestra further to his right. He introduced by name the entire orchestra which as awesome to do musicians who mostly remain nameless. There was someone in the orchestra who flew in from Florida who is an accomplished in a lot of different woodwind instruments and ho has done work on other games, including Ori. Supergiant Games showed off Hades at PAX West (I didn’t try) and are known for Transistor, Pyre, and Bastion. We had drinks at The Carlile Room following the show and as we were leaving saw Darren and the conductor and others sitting down in the same place. We didn’t say anything to them.


Panels

· None


Games tried

· Last Epoch - fun game

· Destiny’s Sword – action affects squad combat

· Overland – coming in mid-September. I’ve been on their mailing and wish list already


Games watched

· Titans of Industry

· Phantom Brigade – you get a 5 sec view of the future while planning your next moves

· Everspace 2


Sunday Day 3 September 1. The Third day.

Always start the Sunday of PAX with worshiping our Lord and Savior Jesus. I packed up and placed my stuff in the car and drove to church. Past years I walked. This year it didn’t make sense and why not defer some of the parking cost. I drove back to pick up Chris and dropped him off (with beer) at the Fairmount where Kim and Danny were staying.


This day was about watching and playing. While I did walk the 4th floor, the 6th floor took most of my attention. At the booth with Stranded Sails, I saw xxx who I met at GuardianCon. He noted that he doesn’t play any game before streaming it. He watches it but doesn’t play. Total fresh playthrough.


We met up at the Fairmount for some beer before heading to The Carlile Room for dinner ahead of the Mega Ran concert. After that, I parted ways with them so I could head home to sleep in preparation for Monday. One more panel at the Hyatt were voice actors read the text of some games. Pacific Place was locked up with security letting me in so I could get my car.


Panels

· Azeroth Reborn: WoW Classic and the Journey Home

· Creating Final Fantasy XKV: Shadowbringers – Narrative and Visual Insights (Paramount Theatre)

· Great Big Table Read


Games tried

· None


Games watched

· Sunless Skies – A train game? Not really but has a train that you control (PAX 10)

· Epic Tavern – you control a tavern and RPG (PAX 10)

· Stranded Sails – RPG building game

· Rift Breakers – basebuilding, survivial with ARPG elements


Monday Day 4 September 2. The Final day.

Walked around the floor noticing that it wasn’t as crowded which let me see and try a bunch of games. Friday was sold out but Monday was not. It was nice for us but I wonder if they lost money. I was in the Indi Mega Booth area and asked one of the IMB folks about the free game raffle. Name and email for one of the games at PAX. We started talking about how it was nice to be less crowded as Saturday in the IMB area was congested while Monday wasn’t. We chatted about PAX over all since he had been at PAX East whereas I noted my bucket list to attend all PAX. He mentioned an article in a gamer publication that PAX was the death of indie games which made us both incredulous since there were so many indie games at PAX – IMB area, 4th floor expo hall and 6th floor expo area. It was one of those chats that make me love PAX so you can meet fellow gamers whether attendees, enforcers, devs, folks working during PAX.


Panels

· None


Games tried

· Raiders of the North Sea – board game turned into video game

· Norman’s Night In The Cave (IMB)

· Witchstone – need to see more on how deep the decisions made by me look into the world

· Trials of Fire – card driven, tactical game – I got cocky and lost (no t-shirt for me) (IMB)


Games watched

· Sail Forth - pirate game? (IMB)

· Indie mega booth

· Kerbal Space Program 2 – dev discussing and showing the next thing coming in 2020

· Wooden Nickel (IMB)


I wanted to try for the shirt for FFXIV but ended up not. Kim did try and lost. I went by the Ubisoft booth and was surprised that demo times were still available so got the 3:40 slot for Ghost Recon. My team lost but we had fun. This is a group squad game with friends.


I stayed for the Corsair raffle and following thought of going to try Hades. Kim’s text of getting a FFVII picture rerouted my walking to see. I held her bag while she was being photographed and following while watching the picture load and her email, we were told that if we wanted to go to the FF VII line as they had open spots. We were surprised as tickets to try the game were passed out first come, first served at the beginning of each day. They must have missed judged or something as 2/3 of the folks in line were like us ticketless. We were the LAST group to try the game. The game was awesome. I thought I would lose the boss fight but I successfully completed it! It was a great way to the end PAX as it was 6 pm when we left the FF VII booth.


I drove Kim home who along with Danny were a bit worn out to have dinner/beer so I drove thru McDonald's. I did some cleaning up but went to bed around 9 pm.

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