PAXEast Preview

 Posted by on February 21, 2011  Filed as: Editorial  Add comments  Topic(s): ,
Feb 212011

PAXEast is coming! PAXEast is almost here! If I wasn’t excited before (and I was, mind you) I’m totally geeking out now that the schedule is out. You know it’s a good thing when thinking about it makes you smile like there may be something wrong with you.

But Brian, what is PAXEast?

PAXEast is a festival celebrating the best of tabletop, video and PC games. Developers come and host panels showcasing new games and expansions, and talk about how to get into the industry. Companies host games, previews and often give you hands-on time with new technology and titles. There’s a large show floor, stores to sell your stuff, places to meet new people, concerts and free play rooms including PCs, old arcade games and every console you can think of. You get all this for the price of admission. A three-day pass is $55, and as of this writing there are less than 1000 200 left. . . nevermind. There are no more three-day passes. Individual one-day passes (EDIT: Except Saturday) are still available.

Last year I was mostly there for Dungeons & Dragons. I played Dark Sun before it was out, played a number of console games I do not own, played D&D on the MS Surface Table, and met a ton of cool people.

That last note is what I really think PAX is about. PAX is about people, gamers and geeks especially, but really they embrace anyone with a passion. Lines are always entertaining because the person next to you wants to talk to you. They also want to hear what you have to say.

This year I’m still most excited about D&D. I don’t spend a lot of time playing video games anymore, so I’m less excited about the console and free play rooms this time around. This year’s venue is much larger than last year’s, so I expect there to be more stores, and a larger show floor. That sounds pretty great.

So what if I want to find Brian at PAX?

Well normally that would be weird, but at PAX it’s not! PAX is all about meeting people, and if you see me, my all means say ‘hi’ and tell me what I should be doing better. Or talk about whatever you want really.

I’ll definitely be checking out Jane McGonigal’s Keynote this year. If you don’t know Jane McGonigal, check out her video from TED on her website. Basically she’s convinced herself that playing video games can save the world, and wants your help to achieve that goal. It’s kind of awesome.

Also on Friday, from 2 to 3 in the Merman Theatre, is a panel called D&D Edition Wars. It’s where you get to hear Alexander Macris, Keith Baker, Zeb Cook, and Mike Mearls rip apart the different editions of our favorite game. Later that night, from 7-11, Wizards is hosting a Heroes of Shadow Preview. I’ll be in line about an hour early for that. I need to figure out when to eat that day. . .

On Saturday, I’m going to try to hit Pitch Your Game Idea with my brother, James. You get 45 seconds to pitch your game to industry professionals. The best 3 ideas win prizes!

Then on Sunday, from 4:30 to 5:30, there’s a panel called Getting What You Want Out of Your Gamemaster. It should prove insightful about designing games that are engaging for players and GMs.

Wizards of the Coast announced their schedule as well. Only they did it all sneaky on the PAX Forums. I’ve submitted my name for The Dungeon Masters Challenge and to judge a couple of sessions of D&D Learn to Play. There’ll be another PAX Post before the event so I’ll be sure to let you know exactly which official events I end up being a part of.

I should have a smart phone with me that weekend, so you’ll be able to track my movements via twitter, @BrianLiberge.

Anything else you want from this year’s PAX?

I want to DM two different 4e games. I hope one of them will be the previously mentioned Dungeon Master’s Challenge, but I also want to do something smaller in the TableTop Freeplay area.

I also want to play two games that aren’t 4e D&D. So I’ll be looking for people who are hosting open tabletop stuff. Some games I’m interested in are Mutants & Masterminds, MouseGuard, Dragon Age, Leverage, GammaWorld, Fate and Pathfinder. Obviously these things take time, I’m already positive at least one of the panels I want is likely getting cut. If people are planning to run something in a nearby hotel, either Saturday Morning, Sunday Morning, or Sunday Evening, let me know!

Because of the bigger location, I really hope there are more vendors. I’d love to pick up some stuff I don’t normally have the opportunity to buy.

How can I find out more about PAX?

Well I’ve already linked to the PAX Schedule and Forums. Check out their FAQ. Also, check out the Hitchhiker’s Guide to PAXEast.

One last note/plug. The Westin is right next to the Boston Convention Center. Attached to the Westin is M.J. O’Connors, Irish Pub with fine dining fair. I really like it, but I’m biased, my brother’s one of the Chefs. Because they’re literally the closest food to the convention center, I’m trying to get them to do some game-themed menu items and drinks. Who doesn’t want to have some Pac Man & Cheese?

Give them a try, and tell them Brian from Stuffer Shack sent you! If you want to support my menu idea, hit their contact page and send them an email! You’ll thank yourself later when sipping your Legend of Zambuca at the bar and sending down those Princess Peach Margarita’s to the Frag Dolls at the other end.

So are you going to PAXEast? Anything you looking forward to or want to see? If you’re not going, what do you want to hear about from those who are going?

More awesomeness...

Brian Liberge

Brian Liberge is a father of one, living in Boston, MA. Introduced to AD&D at an early age, he’s continued to update with the editions, and new games. He loves home-brewed ideas, is honest to a fault, and thinks that ideas and mechanics should absolutely be shared between systems. With a B.S. Degree in Theatre Arts, a job in Information Technology, and a love of strategy gaming, he tries to bring the best of each into his new creations for StufferShack. Check out his latest book the Midgard Bestiary for 4e, available now. Profile Page / Article Portfolio

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