Several days at PAX East may have taken a toll on Woot's game reviewer Seth Macy. Would you like to see a speedrun?
Open up and say "ho ho ho!", because there's a sleighful of holiday cheer charging right down your throat! On the first day of Jingle Binge, our pop-up shop gives to you a deluge in a deal tree.
It's got gifts. It's got presents. It's got stocking stuffers, White Elephants, artery stuffers, Secret Santa surprises, gelt substitutes, offerings to Mother Gaia: if it's something you give someone around this time of year, Jingle Binge is positively engorged with it.
But as with all of our pop-up shops, it only lasts a week. Jingle Binge wraps up Sunday, December 9, so surrender to it now. The only thing worse than regretting your excessive indulgence is never having any indulgences to regret.
What do you do when you can't do it right? You kludge it. Generations of engineers, adventurers, programmers, and backyard MacGyvers have been kludging the world together for years. Now we're bringing that honorable tradition to Halloween.
Presenting the Kludge-O-Ween Woot-Off: two days of ludicrously resourceful suggestions for last-minute Halloween costumes for you to throw together. Some of these items will only reach you in time if you overnight them, and some won't get there in time at all. But a true kludger doesn't whine about shipping times! He or she looks around for what's at hand, cranks up the imagination, and cobbles together something semi-acceptable. When those trick-or-treaters show up, don't freak; you've probably got some oyster crackers or something in the pantry, right?
We hope Kludge-O-Ween inspires you to kludge together a costume, or to show us your improvised costumes of the past. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for our own getups kludged completely from offrice supplies. And most of all, have a very happy Kludge-O-Ween, whether you've prepared for it or not.
Well, we're closing out our PAX coverage and so it's my turn to tell you what I enjoyed the most. Sadly, my FAVORITE game is still a secret, as the developer asked me not to say anything until after the official release. Heartbreaking, but you gotta respect the talent right? Watch this space and I'll tell you more when I'm allowed.
In the meantime, though, there's plenty of other stuff to talk about. Like how I met the woman of my dreams!
Most Ill-Advised Hookup
Yeah, she acted distant, but but that was just for show. Soon as the cameras were put away, she was allllllll over me. More to come inside.
Once a year, gaming nerds from far and wide doff their headsets, clamber off their sweat-dampened Aeron knockoffs, emerge from their dark burrows, and converge on Seattle -- for a chance to put headsets on and play video games standing up. This is PAX! And we were there. See the Woot blog for our complete PAXtastic coverage!
I've been to a few conventions, and PAX is by far the hardest one to cover. Maybe that's intentional, because PAX really isn't meant to be for the industry and the hangers-on. It's meant to be for gamers and nerds, and all the new games and free beta tests and swag are really sort of a thank you to the people who form the community. As a game-lover myself, I think that's great. But, at the same time, when I can only get photos like these:
See? You can't tell if that's something funny or something stupid, and any reasonable editor would tell me to throw it away. But we pride ourselves on being unreasonable here at Woot, so this post is going to be about the things I'd like to show you, but can't. After the jump, you'll get to read me whining about all the fun I failed to capture. With a hard sell like that, how can you NOT join me inside?
PAX is one of those events that really can be hard to cover. Let me, Scott, sum up my experience in two photos:
I got there an hour early, as press. I had some time to wander around, play a few games I was asked not to photograph, talk to some people who told me it had to be off the record… and then at ten o'clock, the announcement was made. Welcome To PAX! About eight seconds later, gamers were everywhere, and the lines to test-play turned HUGE. So, after the jump, I'll be taking a look at all the objects of PAX. The art, the displays, the neat creations, an basically anything that didn't require me to stand in one place for more than an hour. See you inside.
So many of the games you see at PAX have one of two aesthetics: either grimy & grim, or antiseptic & shiny. So when I saw the handmade look of Incredipede, I had to stop and ask what it was. (And I mean that literally: I had to ask. Incredipede didn't have a booth of its own, or even a sign. Lead developer Colin Northway was just using another booth's monitor screen until their regularly scheduled presentation was ready.)
Northway says the game's distinctive look was created by woodcut artist Thomas Shahan. "Thomas hadn't done games before, but he just really nailed it. He would sit there with a Wacom tablet and 'cut' lines on the screen, the same way he would for a woodblock print."
The archaic, organic feel perfectly complements Incredipede's build-an-organism gameplay. And that's no accident. The look was inspired by "old botany books from the 1700's," Northway says. "During the age of exploration, every expedition would have a botanist on board, to document all the new plants they were seeing. Imagine what it was like to be in England at the time and get one of these books! We're trying to capture that."
Incredipede comes out for PC and Mac in October. Here's hoping it heralds something new in video games: a return to the old.
We'll be stumbling through PAX 2012 like a mad-scientist monstrosity, all weekend long.