Saturday, September 8, 2012

PAX West 2012 ups and downs

I was fortunate enough to go to PAX West 2012 last weekend. And I did it in style:)) With 2 other fellow indie devs we rented a house in Seattle to keep the cost low and the awesomeness high.
Garage to the house was the smallest one I have ever seen. It took 3 of us to get our suv in it with a 12 point turn lol. Fortunately starbucks was in walking distance. The other partners in crime were @MarkusN and @VortexGamesInc . We originally wanted to get a joined booth but they oversold it and we got left out. It was a fortunate incident for me since this year I have been very busy with work and traveling.

Ups

The craziness started on Friday morning when we stood in line for almost 2 hours to get in. Once in, everything was very easily accessible. First time being at PAX I didn't know what to expect but it blew me away. It was very organized with a good map to easily spot your favorite booths. Tried out a lot of new games and watched many. It was amazing to see what a big core following some of the major titles have.

Visited the Indie Mega Booth. Very much enjoyed seeing indies showcasing their games. They had a ton of traffic and really welcoming setup. I couldn't help but promote them every where I went at PAX. Got some evil eyes when I told many standing in line to play ***** to go to the indie booth and try their game instead of waiting.

Got to meet Tim Schafer!! He signed a couple of posters for me that I had purchased and got a photo with him. Love his games and I am one of the backers of his new Adventure game. Totally made my day and the whole trip. Also got some quality time talking to the DoubleFine guys about their experiences on MOAI.

Downs

Too many very similar games. It was eye-opening to see how similar the big budget games are. I mean how many FPS do we really need? How many different post-apocalyptic earth scenes do we need?Zombie games are huge... I guess. I am tempted to make a zombie game because it seems like you are not a gamedev unless you made one. It reminds me of the early 2000s when everyone was writing a Python templating language lol.
The booths were spread over many different levels. It was annoying to go up, down and in between to look at things. Some panels were in the hotel across the street... It just felt that they outgrew their current location and tried to squish it in anyway.

Bonus

I got to meet @MysteryCoconut on Friday and spend all day with him on Saturday. Enjoyed talking to him about programming and it was a breath of fresh air to find someone like minded. Saturday after we had enough PAX we went back to the house and did some code hacking with him. I got to demo my upcoming TRex Game Library for the MOAI framework. I have been fighting an anchor related bug for over a week which took him only about 2minutes to fix... "I love being the dumbest person in the room! It gives me the opportunity to learn a lot" Such a great time!!!

This trip was a huge success and after reading @Weasello awesome writeup on getting a booth at PAX now I am even more sure I will give it a go next year. Now I just actually have to finish my games and tools...

I am on my way now to Denver for 360iDev. Looking forward to meeting you all there.