Woot's game reviewer Seth Macy is makin' the scene at PAX East -- the place to be for gaming enthusiasts and garrulous paranormalists alike! (Turns out there's some overlap.)
Watch this space for more video updates from the show throughout this week! PAXin' makes us feel good!
Man oh man, do I want to get some city building on, and I want to get it on, like, NOW. So you can imagine how excited I was to learn about a new iteration of SimCity, the city simulator. It takes all the addictiveness of cocaine but makes it cheaper and arguably less detrimental to a healthy heart. The reviews came out and the game was deemed "GREAT" by excited city-building nerds everywhere.
Kids and adults alike waited for the game to be released so they could join in the fun of building and destroying cities; cities filled with people like you and me. Maybe those people in the game are sitting in their virtual apartments, on their virtual computers, playing a virtual city building simulation. Or maybe WE'RE the SIMULATION! Is your mind blown yet? Good. Because now we have to go into the dimension that exists on the side opposite the screen to your virtual city: reality.
Well this is just great. Your old corsair companion Crapbeard has scattered pieces of his treasure maps across the face of this Woot-Off. Help me piece together my maps, and I'll give ye a share of me ample booty!
Y'harrr. Such a stereotype of a pirate be I. As if the peg leg, eyepatch, and emblematic exclamations weren't enough, now I've gone and scattered my treasure maps across the Seven Seas like some kind of caricature of piracy. Shiver me hackneyed timbers!
Here's how you can help: Scour the horizon for sails. Y'harrr, I mean "sales." If you see the word TREASURE (in all caps! very important!), dig! A piece of my map is buried somewhere underneath, or my name isn't Crapbeard.
There be two maps, each leading to stashes of my namesake treasure; one fer Tuesday, one fer Wednesday. Find them, and ye'll be rich beyond your wildest dreams! (If yer wildest dreams be extremely underwhelming.)
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.
Telltale Games has a booth (if that’s the appropriate word for a zombie-infested No-Country-for-Old-Men-style motel) at PAX, which is great because they are quietly revolutionizing gaming. Ahem. What was that?
OK, we'll admit it: We've got a big crush on the Seattle-based board game company Flying Frog Productions. Last year at PAX, Jason wrote an effusive love-letter to Flying Frog's epic Fortune and Glory. Then we heaped praise on Invasion From Outer Space, another rad tabletop offering.
I was drawn to Flying Frog's PAX booth, therefore, like a moth drawn to a moth of the opposite sex during moth-breeding season. I got to play a quick round of the spectral/spooky/silly game A Touch Of Evil, and TL;DR: It Rocked.
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.
The 2012 Penny Arcade Expo rolls into Seattle this weekend with the fury of a thousand balled-up hedgehogs. And just like last year, the Woot writers are covering this massive celebration of gamer culture right here on the Woot blog.
And what better way to kick off the Internet's least informative 2012 PAX coverage than with some cosplay pics (always the meat in any con-coverage sandwich)? The official program says "PAX is not a cosplay-heavy event," but it's all relative: you see a lot more costumes at PAX than at, say, your local supermarket. After the jump, check out one day's worth of grown-ups playing dress-up…