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.
This isn't us. We're nowhere near this cute.
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…
Well, all good things must come to an end. What you're looking at today is the very last Flash In The Brain Pain, at least for some time. From now on, you'll get your gaming fix from our new pal Seth Macy with Game Fight! But I just couldn't leave you without saying thank you for all your love, attention, and mouse clicking. Our goodbye game is the very appropriately timed Give Up.
EDIT: Today's game was, sadly, set up yesterday, before all the tragedy in Aurora. In light of the situation (and the terrible coincidence) I've decided to take down the game. For the curious I've left a small link inside, but it just doesn't seem appropriate to have fun with a shooting game right after a real world tragedy involving shooting. And to be clear, none of my bosses have asked me to do this, it's just something I want to do on my own. We'll be back to normal next week, I hope.
So we're still tired from all that partying yesterday. Turning eight really wears a website out! Today's game is short and sweet and easy to write about. It's Nak The Crunkodile. And you're gonna love it. Unless you die.
Hang on, hang on, we're not done just yet! For our Keep America Weird week flash game, we decided to do the weirdest thing we could think of… pass the choice to someone else! After the jump, you'll get to play a little game chosen by Social Media Coordinator and voice of @Woot herself, Kristy Tye. Here's a hint of what she chose for you…