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PAX East: Day 0

PAX East: Day 0
PAX East has come and gone, and by the end of it every part of my body ached as if I had been bench pressing the sun with all four of my limbs. It was probably the most exhausting expo floor I've ever had to be a part of, but of course it was all worth it. The live demo of Snapshot went really well, and a lot of people seemed to really enjoy it.

PAX East really started for me on Wednesday when I had to catch a flight to Manchester, New Hampshire to hook up with the rest of the Retro Affect dudes. The studio is located in Meredith, NH, but I've been working remotely from Tempe for a little while now. The building that the studio is in actually flooded that morning, so good times were had by all when I finally arrived that night. The very next day we headed out to Boston to set up our stuff at the expo hall and also attend an event entitled "Made in Mass."

So the first stop on the trip was to go to the airport to pick up a lad by the name of WiL Whitlark. WiL (that's how he spells it) is the musician for Snapshot, and also a gentleman of the highest class. With WiL joining our party, we made our way to the Boston Convention Center which is the size of a giant aircraft hanger.

We were positioned at the Boston Indie Showcase, which according to this map, is actually almost the center of the room. We were next to Wizards of the Coast and The Behemoth, and as we showed up we realized that we were pretty dinky compared to the massive banners and promotional materials that other booths were setting up... so we set up one of our PCs on the table and opened up photoshop and started making a banner right there, but we actually couldn't get a high quality print done on time so we decided to scrap that idea by the next day. (But it would've been pretty awesome to get a banner printed less than 24 hours before the show started, and also have that banner designed in the very room it was being displayed in.)

After our failed attempt at making a banner, we had to take off to get to the Microsoft NERD Center to set up for the "Made in Massachusetts" event. As soon as we got there though, Dave realized that we forgot a DVI to VGA adapter, but Pete was on his way to get the banner printed (which we ended up not doing), so he was able to stop at a best buy and get the piece of technology that we needed, and get it to the event only 10 minutes before it opened to the public. How's that for a sentence?

The Made in Mass event was actually the first time that this version of Snapshot was playable to the public. I was a little anxious about letting people play it. There were still a lot of bugs, and sometimes the game just crashes, but on top of all of that I wasn't even sure if the game was fun, or playable in general. We actually just hooked up the 360 controller to the game and haven't really tested the control scheme too much, so that was another thing that I was super nervous about. All the tutorial hints in the game were about WASD and the mouse, so players didn't really have a way to know the 360 controls ahead of time.


As the live play sessions began, a lot of people playing it understood the game pretty well, and even with all the game's imperfections and flaws that stood out to me, people were still enjoying it all the same. I talked to a bunch of people and met with some dudes that I knew from the internets, and had a really good time watching people play the new build. It's been awhile since I've seen people other than my friends play the game, and I was actually amazed at how well they were doing. People were solving the puzzles and blasting through levels without any assistance from any of us, and a lot of groups of people playing were trying to work together to solve the puzzles, which is always a lot of fun to watch.

After a couple of hours to demoing and eating a bunch of free food, we turned in for the night and prepared our minds and bodies for the days ahead of us. We were already feeling exhausted, and PAX hadn't even begun yet. What will happen on DAY 1?! Find out in the next blog post!
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