Sorry for the delay on this blog post. So much awesome stuff has been happening at work but I think I’m finally done with the biggest part. Now all I have to do is wait…
Anyway, let me try finishing this post about an event that happened almost 3 months ago! I was going to write about day 2 and 3 in one mega post but I was worried that it’d take forever to load because of the large number of photos, so I’m splitting it into two posts!
Before you read this, you may want to skim through PAX Prime 2012: Day 0 ~ 1. (It’s mostly photos!)
PAX Prime 2012 Day 2: Saturday, September 1st
Saturday morning, we got breakfast from Specialty’s and headed to our first panel of the day.
Penny Arcade Make a Strip
As per the title, this is a panel where the Penny Arcade guys (Mike and Jerry) make a strip live on the stage.
It’s become a tradition that I take about hundred photos of this panel. It’s really interesting to watch Mike draw and color. A lot of the time he doodles funny stuff and erases it. And yes, there was a Hot Dog Fairy.
Because of the volume of photos, I had Derek make a video with all the photos I took. I also made a separate Flickr set, so you can check it out if you want. (Go to the bottom of this page for the link)
After Make a Strip, there were some panels we wanted to check out, but it looked like we’d had to wait for a very long time to get in, so we decided to check out more games on the show floor.
We also spent a very long time checking out the Indie Megabooth, where they showcase a lot of indie games. The indie game section has grown bigger each PAX. This year they had 30 game studios and 32 games!Â I think Derek and I pay more attention to indie games than mainstream games now. We already know when the big games are coming out, and we can check out tons of reviews and footage for them. But it’s very hard to actually play those awesome indie games in person or see gameplay. Many times, we don’t even know when the game is coming out and they don’t always have demos.
For example, the early prototype of SpyParty was first shown to the public in 2009, and we see them at every PAX. The game seems interesting but there’s always a long line to play it! (Which is a good thing for them, of course.) The game will eventually be out but no announcement of when. It can be frustrating for fans but it’s very interesting to witness a game being developed & changing at each PAX though.
There were some games we already knew were awesome, and there were some games that were like “Oh let’s try this” which turned into “OMG, I LOVE THIS!!” Here are some of them.
Derek played this game at PAX East 2011. I’d seen the trailer before that but I had NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING ON in the game. The pixel art is gorgeous but the concept of “time” and multiple characters all played by YOU was not very easy to understand until I saw Derek play.
This time, the demo had different levels and a beautifully animated trailer.
The new dinosaur levels are amazing and hilarious. It’s got dinosaur poop in it. How can it not be amazing?
I’m still too shy to introduce myself to the Capy staff though. I always feel like I’ll be bugging them because most time they have long lines to their games and look super busy. But I will be brave and say hi to them at PAX East 2013…!
Mark of the Ninja by Klei (It’s rated M for mature audience)
This is probably the BEST stealth game because it’s FAIR and MAKES SENSE. Don’t let the 2D art and side scrolling style fool you. In this game when you mess up, you don’t say “What?! I was totally safe!” When you fail you’ll know exactly why and it’s a lot of fun. I’ve always hated how Ninja are portrayed as some kind of flashy badass killing machine. (Like in Ninja Gaiden. What kind of Ninja kicks open a treasure chest while grunting so loudly?) But in this game, you can beat missions by being super stealthy and only killing the assigned target, just like a real ninja would do.
OctodadÂ – Dadliest Catch – by Young Horses
This one game caught our attention. I mentioned this on my previous post but this game was so brilliant and the story and the gameplay just made us laugh so much.
You are Octodad, loving father, caring husband, and secret octopus. You control your limbs to do daily chores all while trying not to raise the suspicions of your lovely human wife and children that you are actually an octopus.
Controlling the limbs of Octodad is extremely hard, and even if you’re doing great you’ll look so ridiculous that you’ll laugh. When you make a mistake, it’s a disaster that you’ll also laugh at. It’s an absolutely brilliant game.
Shortly after PAX Prime, Octodad spread through the gaming community and it was recently Greenlit on Steam. Which means that it will be available on Steam in the future. (It is now scheduled for sometime around late 2013) You can still download & play the FREE version of the first Octodad. (note: It was created when the developers were in college and still contains some bugs but it’s worth playing!)
Then we walked around the floor some more.
There are many games that I didn’t take photos of but are worth mentioning. Such as Closure, Catch-22, Johann Sebastian Joust, and Guacamelee!
Then we headed to our next panel.
Which Interactive Lie Did I Tell by Stephen Toulouse (Writer, Stepto.com), Erik Wolpaw (Valve Software), Chet Faliszek (Valve Software)
We picked this panel because we’re both huge fans of Portal. I’ve never seen interviews of Erik Wolpaw or Chec Faliszek so I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew that it couldn’t go wrong with two writers from Portal, and I was right. Erik Wolpaw especially was hilarious. He had this very unique, almost cynically awkward way of speech that made us laugh. Now I know where GLaDOS got her sense of humor from.
They also talked about what they took out from Portal 2 which probably made everyone dream of playing that version. Also they talked about their very old website Old Man Murray and their “Crate Review System” (Also called StC or Start to Crate) where they talk about reviewing games based on how long it’ll take to see the first crate. Crates are an easy (lazy) & effective solution in many games. It sounds silly but check out these reviews to see what I mean. It’s sad that the website will never get updated though. Because I’d totally read it just for StC. Someone started Start to Crate on tumblr as well.
Also you can watch the entire panel on Twitch TV!Â
After the panel, we went back to the hotel and decided to indulge ourselves with a nice dinner. We did some research and picked the Brooklyn Seafood, Steak & Oyster.
The food and service were absolutely awesome! We went there without a reservation but it wasn’t crowded so they led us to a table in the back. We ordered a LOT of food but the portions were on the small side so we were comfortably full by the end of the dinner.
Not sure if many people agree with me but I prefer eating small portions of a lot of great food at a restaurant, especially when I’m on a vacation. I can’t really enjoy a meal when I have a plate full of food to finish. I’ll be thinking that if I don’t finish it’ll go to waste. (Because usually you can’t heat up the food at the hotel room.)
It was a perfect dinner to end the day. We were already getting a bit sad about how the next day would be the last day of PAX… But I still hadn’t given a plush to a certain someone and we both knew that it’d be an awesome day…
To be continued to PAX Prime 2012: Day 3!