I had a sore throat and was feeling really exhausted, so my day 3 experience wasn’t as good as it probably could have been if I was feeling better. Luckily it was our casual day, so we had jeans and tshirts on, so we were infinitely more comfortable (but then no buzz of being asked for photos lol).
We got there at 8am (opens at 10), so we got parked right up the front of the carpark and managed to get within the first 10 rows of people. Then I got out the DS and was doing streetpass and my friend came up, so I looked around for her and she was a few people ahead, so we went up to join her.
So close to the front!!! 🙂
We got to test out the oculus rift (3d glasses) on a game called “wanderer” – which was interesting. Far more pixelated than I’d imagined, and very disorienting, but I can see the appeal. To be able to look to the side by turning your head, was really cool. I couldn’t work out how to turn around and go backwards though, without actually turning my body around.
(Me playing it the non-3d way while waiting for my turn on the Oculus)
We’d wanted to go to a few panels but knew the lines would be big and didn’t really feel like wasting all day standing in the cold. Which was a shame. So I spent a bit of time in the handheld lounge playing DS and doing streetpasses 🙂 Then just walking around. There weren’t as many costumes as the previous days, so that made the day less exciting too. And by then we’d already seen all the stalls and things, so I have to admit, it was a bit boring and just a feeling of being there because we had the tickets.
We lined up for an hour and a half for the retro games trivia – admittedly we’d really wanted to make sure we got in, and were the only people in line for about half an hour, so we could have stayed somewhere warm for a bit longer, but there was a lone chair there, so at least I got to sit down. And because we were cold, we got hungry so we got a pizza (hubby is still complaining that it was $10 for a pizza with barely anything on it and the size of a side plate – but it’s the showground, what do you expect!)
Mmm, $10 pizza 😛
The retro trivia was cool. I didn’t know most of the old games (and the audience only answered about 4 questions, the rest were the panel). But it was interesting. One of the questions was a “guess that sound” and it was obviously Goldeneye (from the N64), and the audience person answering said 007 Nightfire – Someone behind me said someone should punch him lol. But yeah, he deserves it. How can anyone not know that – pfft 😛
Then straight out from there we lined up for the final ceremony. Which we’d decided to line up for 2 hours before it started. We were probably about halfway in the queue! That was in the main hall which apparently seated 2000. Luckily they were using the main queue room (where you enter PAX) as the queue room for the main hall – so we could sit in the warmth on carpet. So we just chatted to people around us and played DS.
I was really glad we’d stayed around for the final ceremony though, They didn’t do much, just played the final round of the Omegathon, and said thankyous…. but the game they played for the final was Jenga. And my.god. It was the most suspenseful game I’ve seen! They used wooden giant blocks, could only use 1 hand and had 30 seconds to make their move (and once they committed to moving a block they had to) The PAX guys narrated it, making it funny, and the contestants were playing for an all expenses paid trip to PAX Prime, so the stakes were high. Every move when the tower got higher, and the audience would be holding its breath and cheering when they were successful! I didn’t want to be “that asshole” holding up a phone and taking shots of the actual show, so no Jenga photos 😦 But the towers got people-high.
So… photos from day 3
GlaDOS (Unfortunately there was another one around, who didn’t look as good 😦 so wouldn’t have had many photos)
Splicer from Bioshock
A Sim 🙂
Not sure who she is, but there’s also one of the PAX guys (Jerry) in the background 🙂
This guy had a sign saying “Will sacrifice my dignity for PAX pins”
This Jenga set was up all weekend, but we came across a couple playing it, so we stood around to watch, it was very entertaining (but then not as entertaining as the final Omegathon battle :D)
I love these guys (yip yip yip yip)
The Xbox display – try to contain your excitement folks! 😛
Someone’s cool shoes 🙂
My pass – Some of the Indy developers had little badges to giveaway, so it was fun going around collecting them all. I don’t actually have all the ones available, some developers had multiple badges and I felt a bit greedy taking one of each type, so I only did that if I could sneak them when nobody was looking 😉
Final PAX thoughts
I was glad when they said see you next year – so they are intending to have a 2014 one, which is great. Overall it was brilliant and much better than I expected, with just a few points to let it down. Given my only other convention experience was OzComicCon last year (which was highly criticized because it was overcrowded, they oversold tickets and wouldn’t allow people who had paid in, because they ran out of room) – it’s not hard to beat that 🙂
The good –
- It had a great vibe, everyone was having a good time, people were friendly and chatty in the queues. It felt good.
- The enforcers looked and acted like they actually wanted to be there rather than it just being a job, they were extremely helpful, efficient and polite, and being dressed in yellow made them highly visible, and you never had to look far to find one.
- They had the initial queue system worked out well to get people into the event without a mass rush of frenzied geeks. They apparently tweeked it on the second (or 3rd) day to optimise it better as it got busier.
- Using that queue room for queuing people for panels instead of down the walkways worked very well for easing congestion of those walkways.
- Having food stalls in 3 areas was good, and the range of food available was good (if not overpriced). Having a lot of tables and chairs was great
- There was plenty of space for walking around. Nothing felt cramped or crowded.
- The covered walkways were definitely one thing that stopped the event being a disaster, given it rained for 2 of the 3 days.
- Good signage everywhere, so things were well marked.
The not so good –
- They vastly underestimated the amount of space needed for the panels. Meaning a lot of people missed out, or you had to line up in the cold for a long time to get in. They needed at least double the capacity of the smaller theaters. At least! A lot of the time the larger main theater was empty while people missed out on spots in the smaller theaters. They should have juggled things around.
- The screens in those theaters needed to be set up higher because it was had to see the bottom when people’s heads were in the way. In one panel, they showed a video from Japan with subtitles, which hardly anyone could see to read, so people got bored.
- By day 3 you’d seen everything, so it could have been better with a few more stalls. There seemed to be enough room to have several more.
- The food stalls in the “Big Top” area were producing a lot of smoke from their burning oil…. making that whole area a bit smoky (you could see it and breathe it, which was gross)
- You couldn’t get to one area without being rained on when it was wet.