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Pax 2012: Day 3

Pax 2012: Day 3
The dawn of the final day has arrived. I think I’ve forgotten to mention the unique sounds that emerge from the city surrounding the apartment I’ve been staying in. When I first arrived, Dave and Matt warned me about the construction that was going on right across the street. The construction supposedly began right as the clock struck 7am, but starting on the morning of my visit the construction stopped. It was Labor Day weekend, so that made sense.

However, it turns out that there are some other things that produce noise that don’t take breaks for Labor Day. The first thing I noticed was actually on the morning of the first day of PAX. At about 6:30 in the morning, I was still half asleep and I was hearing the strangest noise and I couldn’t make sense of it. It was super loud, and it just sounded like a chorus of horrific tones echoing through the alley. Eventually I fell back asleep for an hour or so. When I woke up again, the noise was still happening.

I was a little bit more conscious than before, so I could more easily decipher the sound. It sounded like fifty hounds of hell shouting out into the night, but it was actually just two dogs below the apartment that were barking and yelling into the alley. The sound bounced off the nearby walls so many times that it sounded like fifty different dogs yelling at different tones. When I was half asleep, I thought it was someone's alarm clock going off.

On top of the hell hounds, there was also one specific bird that would make its presence known at the crack of dawn with a loud shriek at a perfect 5 second interval that actually sounded like a drill at a dentist’s office. The bird wasn’t alone though, because for some reason on this particular day of PAX there were also two people outside in their back yard that were literally screaming and yelling about something. Not angry screaming and yelling, just pure excitement. What the hell they were so excited about at 6:30 in the morning I’ll never know, but how those two had that much energy at that hour of the morning is a god damn mystery to me.

Dawn of the Final Day

The third day of PAX went much like the previous two days, except I could clearly see the wear and tear on all the exhibitors. At this point our full time job for the weekend has been to stand around our games saying the same pitch over and over, and while I was still excited to see anyone sit down and try out Offspring Fling, I was also starting to feel pretty sick. I was hoping that it was just the fact that my throat was getting pretty sore from just talking to people for 10 hours a day straight.

It seemed like the media was out in full force on the indie stuff on Sunday. There were a lot more cameras and people with media badges hovering around the PAX10 and the Indie Mega Booth. I ended up doing a video interview with Giant Bomb for the PAX10 round up that they did. GamesRadar also stopped by for an interview of sorts, and I also ran over to the Snapshot booth for a few minutes to do a quick video interview with Anthony Carboni. I always have a lot of fun doing interviews with the press so Sunday was pretty awesome, except that I felt pretty woozy throughout the day. I had to switch from handshakes to fist bumps when interacting with people because I didn’t want to spread any potential illnesses.

I believe that it was also on this day where some of the PAX organizers confirmed a couple of facts about the upcoming plans for future PAX events. The first announcement was that there was going to be a third PAX that would take place in Australia for all of the people down under that can’t afford the quadruple digit plane tickets out of their country for a weekend event like PAX. The second announcement was that PAX Prime 2013 was going to be four days long. At first that sounds like it could be amazing… but then imagining running an expo hall booth for an additional day sounds like a nightmare for most exhibitors. I already felt like I was going to throw up at certain points of the day on Sunday just from pure exhaustion, so imagining having to do one more day on top of that seems pretty scary. I think most people are hoping that the expo hall is only open for three days, and PAX itself goes on for four days. What sucks about being an exhibitor is that I miss 99% of PAX because I’m manning my booth for the entire duration of the show, so having one day of PAX without the Expo hall would be a lot of fun for someone like me.

As the day went on I continued to get requests from people to actually buy Offspring Fling cartridges for the SNES, as well as requests to buy plushies of the characters, so I really should be looking into this if I ever come back to a PAX event with Offspring Fling in hand. Also a special shout out to Sunny from thatgamecompany who included me in her lunch run for the Puzzlejuice folks, so I was able to once again eat a sandwich as fast as I could while demoing Offspring Fling at the same time.

Toward the end of the day the folks from Video Games Awesome stopped by, but I better know them as the people from Awesome Video Games! I was super excited to meet them because I totally missed them last year. I’m a huge fan of all the Awesome Video Games episodes and they were totally into the whole 90s SNES vibe of Offspring Fling too. I think having them stop by the booth was probably my favorite part of PAX. I also ran into Freddie Wong but the extent of the conversation was something like “Hey Freddie, you’re awesome.” “Thanks.” “Alright, bye.” So awesome and awkward at the same time.

Shut it Down

Finally after another 8 hours of standing and talking and playing Offspring Fling, the expo hall was closed to the public. The exhibitors yelled and cheered as they were finally free, and now we could start tearing down everything. The Offspring Fling tear down was simple enough because I just loaded everything up into my backpack and I was ready to roll. The Snapshot booth took a little bit more effort than that.

I wandered around the expo hall making sure that I could say farewell to all the people that I wouldn’t be able to see for another couple of months. Walking around an expo hall as its being torn down or set up is always a pretty strange feeling to me. A long time ago I used to just sit in front of my computer watching footage of shows like this, wondering if I’ll ever get to go someday, and now I’m in the position of being an exhibitor at these shows year after year demoing games that I’ve worked on or made myself… sometimes it just feels very surreal to me.

Pizza and Cookies

After getting the Snapshot booth all packed up and ready to go we went back to our home base apartment for a quick stop to drop off all of our stuff, and then we were off to our friend Goldbuick’s birthday celebration at his house in Seattle. It seemed like the perfect way to end PAX since it was just going to be a super chill evening with my bestest friends in the world, and there wouldn’t be super loud music and darkness consuming everything.

We ate delicious home-made pizza and various treats and I pretty much destroyed all traces of my paleo diet during the evening. I think I might’ve eaten the equivalent of 2 whole pizzas and more than 10 cookies with a bunch of frosting on them throughout the night. PAX was over and it went really well, and Snapshot finally was realized as a finished game that was available on Steam, and I wanted to celebrate by dumping an insane amount of sugar into my body.

The party was mostly composed of a handful of indie developers and a few of Goldbuick’s Seattle area friends. At first we were playing old Playstation games but after that we switched to the deathmatch multiplayer mode of Matt Thorson’s latest super smash hit Towerfall. The game is still pretty early in its life but the multiplayer was proven to be already amazing in its current form. We had a tournament of 1v1 matches that ended with Matt from Carbon Games challenging Matt the creator of Towerfall himself to a final duel that would decide the fate of the cosmos. Surprisingly enough, the creator of Towerfall was defeated at his own game in a thrilling conclusion that had the players only scoring 2 or 3 points a piece in all 10 rounds of play.

After our tearful goodbyes with people I probably only see a few times a year if that, we made our way back to home base for an absolutely gross amount of sleep.







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