Okay, I think I’m done with all the traveling for this year, and FINALLY I can post about some past events from this year. And yes, I have a couple of food posts & plush posts on the way! But let me first start it with one of my favorite events of the year, PAX Prime.
Every PAX, Prime or East, I’ll always say “This was the best PAX yet!” and this time was no different. During the last PAX Prime, I was offered my dream job at the Behemoth, so it’s hard to top that. But still! Every PAX, I have even more amazing experience than the previous PAX. It just keeps getting better and better, it’s super scary even!
I’d like to thank whomever said “a picture is worth a thousand words” because that’s exactly what I’m doing, with a little notes for the event.
PAX Prime DAY 0: August 30, Thursday
We wanted to have the maximum amount of fun in Seattle before PAX so we left the San Diego Airport at 6:30 am and arrived in Seattle around 9:30 am. Fortunately we were able to check in at the hotel when we got there, so we dropped our stuff off and headed down to the Pike Place Market.
The weather couldn’t be better. It was sunny and gorgeous! I think it’s almost always sunny when we go to Seattle for PAX. Lucky us!
At night, we headed to the Triple Door to see Scott & Kris / Kris & Scott show by Scott Kurtz and Kris Straub. The place was pretty awesome. I loved the way people can sit anywhere & enjoy the show comfortably.
The show was absolutely hilarious. It was talk-show style, they had guests like LoadingReadyRun, Stephen “Stepto” Toulouse, Cards Against Humanity and Paul & Storm. Between each guest, they promoted fictional products by Card Kingdom, which is an actual card games store in Seattle and a sponsor of the show.
I got a new point & shoot camera pretty much for PAX because my old camera had dust in the lens causing the photos to have black spots. One of the cool features of this new camera is slow-motion video. I never thought I’d ever need it, but I used the feature during one of the “product commercials” just to see what it’d look like.
Here are some still shots.
It’s hard to show how funny it was with a still photo. But how about slow-motion?
Well, um, okay. The video was really dark, so I had Derek color-correct the footage and added some music, which made the entire thing a bit eerie.
After the show, we went back to the hotel, relaxed and went to bed for the first day of PAX Prime!
Day 1: August 31, Friday
We got up early and bought breakfast at Specialty’s Café & Bakery. Ever since our first PAX Prime, this place has been our favorite quick breakfast place. It’s right around the corner from the hotel and they have freshly baked stuff and soup. We usually buy food there and bring it back to the room, and eat it while getting ready.
After breakfast, we headed to the Keynote.
We spotted Robert Khoo checking the line for the Keynote. Right when he greeted us with a smile, a Penny Arcade fan asked him if he could sign his DreamCast. He gladly accepted and continued having a small talk with us while signing the DreamCast. Talk about multi-tasking. Or I’ll just call it “Khooing.”
We wished him luck for PAX, got in the line and soon we were inside the main theater.
Keynote with Ted Price
We left the hotel to get in the line for the Keynote by Ted Price, the CEO of Insomniac Games. I haven’t played too many of their games (Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet & Clank, etc…) but in this Keynote, he talked about developing a game, what kind of mistakes they made, and what they need to focus on/stick to when developing a game.
What I like about the Keynotes at PAX is that each keynote is very different from the other. Jane McGonigal’s keynote was more like a lecture (in a very good way) with slides and statistics on gaming and its positive affect on people’s emotions and life. Warren Spector talked about the gaming culture and how “casual gamers” would play an important role. Many people disagreed by loudly moaning at the theater back then but two years later, he was proven correct. David Jaffe talked passionately about his personal life and the legal issues he had to go through for his game.
That’s why we always go to the Keynote. It’s always something different and we learn interesting stuff about gaming culture, the process of game development & developers, etc.
We almost always stayed for the Q & A with Mike and Jerry right after the Keynote, but this time, we decided to go to Double Fine’s panel. I feel this year, PA put a lot of the big panels in the same timeslot…
We still had a little bit of time so we walked around the Exhibitor’s hall for a while.
While we were sitting and waiting for the panel to begin, I saw a tweet, saying that during Q & A, they made an announcement about another PAX and that it’d be in Australia.
O_O < AUSTRALIA?!?!?!
Many Penny Arcade fans knew that there’d be a new PAX. In fact at the past SDCC during the panel with Mike and Jerry, two people (one from Texas and one from Australia) asked about the possibility of new PAX. I was not at the panel but Derek was, and he told me that Mike put Robert on the spot by saying “Can I say anything?” Then he said something along the lines of “Yes, there’ll be another PAX and it’ll be somewhere near you”, so we totally thought the new PAX would be Austin. Never thought it’d be in Australia.
Anyway, as while we searched for more information about PAX Australia on our phones, the next panel started.
Double Fine Adventure Panel featuring Tim Schafer & Greg Rice (Double Fine), Paul Levering (2 Player Productions), and Cindy Au (Kickstarter)
After Double Fine raised more than 3 million dollars in Kickstarter to create a point and click adventure game, they’ve been updating the project with 2 Player Productions. Derek and I are both backers and could not miss this chance to see this panel. They showed footage from the series so far and part of a new episode of from the documentary for their Kickstarter, then had a Q & A.
There were some interesting questions about how the money is being spent, etc… You can watch the entire panel thanks to Twitch.tv.
PAX Prime 2012 – The Double Fine Adventure Adventure! Part 1
PAX Prime 2012 – The Double Fine Adventure Adventure! Part 2
PAX Prime 2012 – The Double Fine Adventure Adventure! Part 3
After the panel, we went back to the exhibitor’s floor and walked around some more. Derek played a lot of new games at SDCC (DMC, Okami HD, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil 6, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, Sleeping Dogs, Halo 4, etc…), so we didn’t have to line up for those which saved us a lot of time. We still checked which booths we want to come back to, so here are more photos!!
And we headed to the next panel.
Afternoon with Kris and Scott
Unfortunately, Kris Straub and Scott Kurtz did not have a late night panel during this PAX. At their past late night panels at PAX, there was some alcohol, alcoholic whipped cream, tears and laughter. Maybe even punching and slapping. But this time, it was a good clean fun time. Well, Scott did re-tell the bathroom story, which is our favorite, but it didn’t go on until 2 in the morning. It was still hilarious though!
After our last panel for the day, we headed to the exhibit hall and walked quickly around the floor before they closed it off for an evening mixer.
We hung out there for a bit and the it was already the time for us to go to the VGO (Video Game Orchestra) concert!
Friday night concert by V.G.O (Video Game Orchestra)
We’ve been huge fans of VGO since the first time we saw them at the very first PAX East in 2010. We love them because they don’t just play the video game music but they really put a lot of time and effort into arranging each piece. You really can feel the love and respect that Shota, the founder of VGO, puts into his orchestra.
The concert was a blast and it was over before we knew it… We had no idea what the VGO was planning back then. But I’ll write about that after finishing PAX Prime posts.
We came back to the hotel, and relaxed for a while. We went to sleep fairly early to prepare for the two more days at PAX Prime.
To be continued to PAX Prime 2012 : Day 2 ~ 3!!
Check out all the photos from PAX Prime 2012 I used for this post on my PAX Prime 2012 set on my flickr!