PAX East

PAX

So... who's going?

We've got a little annex of the Compleat Strategist's booth in the Tabletop room. Our neighbors will be the Strat itself and the Burning Wheel. I'm really excited about it. We're gonna have tables right there, and we got an email from an organizer saying he wanted to introduce players to stuff other than D&D.

We'll also be running several seminars. Luke Crane, Jack Graham (of Eclipse Phase), and I will be a panel on "How To Get What You Want Out Of Your GM"; Elizabeth Sampat and Vincent Baker (and maybe someone else? I forgot!) are doing a thing about publishing your game on the cheap; and I'll be on a panel about getting your project Kickstarter-funded.

We'll also be running and signing games in a desperate frenzy. You know, like we do.

Comments

  • I'll be there! I'm bringing the Fifth World, with a map of the Dawning Hills, the chain of islands that remain after the Atlantic Ocean rises up to drown the ruins of Boston.
  • I totally thought I was going to this thing. Even thought I was on a panel about publishing your game on the cheap. But I guess I'm not.
  • Terry and I will be there Friday to Sunday.

    Not sure where we are staying yet or how we are getting there :-)

    And we have no plans other than distracting our friends while they try to sell things.
  • edited March 2011

    Oh! Also, at our booth will be:

    • Robert Bohl: with Misspent Youth
    • Two Scooters Press: Elizabeth and Shreyas Sampat, with Blowback, and I'd imagine Mist-Robed Gate and It's Complicated
    • Black & Green Games/Dig 1000 Holes: Emily Care Boss and Eppy, who will, it turns out, be there and in a seminar! They'll have Dread House, and probably Dread, but I don't know the state of the Three Short Games About the Human Heart
    • Lumpley Games: Vincent Baker, with Apocalypse World, Dogs in the Vineyard, and a mean look in his eye.
    • Jeremy Bushnell: Inevitable, a ridiculous board game much like Paranoia
    • Night Sky Games: Meguey Baker, with 1001 Nights
    • the glyphpress: Me! With Shock:Human Contact, Shock:Social Science Fiction, and Under the Bed
  • Yes, Shreyas and I will be there, with 100 newly-minted copies of Blowback, a small number of It's Complicated, and MAYBE a small number of Mist-Robed Gate. We're trying to decide whether to do a reprint just for the convention.

    The panel I'm moderating is "Publish your own game— and don't go broke doing it!" It'll be brief explanations of publishing strategies followed by Q&A, and features such awesome people as Vincent Baker, Emily Boss, Epidiah Ravachol, Shreyas, and me. Vincent hasn't put in a dime of his own money into publishing since Kill Puppies for Satan! Mist-Robed Gate cost less than $50 out of pocket to produce! Find out how these stories are true, and also listen to the sweet cautionary tales Eppy has promised to tell!

    Saturday, 4 PM, Merman theater. It's right by the Tabletop room.
  • Awesome Elizabeth!

    What seminars are everyone running and/or attending? When and where are they?

    I have no plans so I would love to show up to support everyone.

    Rock,
    John
  • Is anybody planning to run games like we did at PAX Prime? The sheer amount of Fiasco played that weekend still amazes me.
  • Yeah, we were actually specifically asked to run games by the organizer of the tabletop area. We'll all be running our stuff. I think we're going to have a good time!

  • IPR/Hero also has a table in the massive Compleat Strat spread, so again we'll be covering a wide range of indie publishers who won't be there themselves. dw
  • The seminars sound great! Jason and I sadly won't be there this year, but we'd love to support folks who want to run our games. If you've got plans to facilitate sessions of Fiasco, let us know!
  • edited March 2011
    Is there any way for us to do an indie design workshop again like we did at Dreamation? That was a hell of a lot of fun.

    EDIT: I'm not dim enough to think we can get something on the schedule there, now, but if there's any flexibility or ability to do something informal or on a pickup basis, that would be fun as hell.
  • I'm going! I have vague plans to run "The Big Hoodoo" for a group from Nerdbound, the AP podcast, walk around a little, and talk to people. I'll bring a bunch of pick-up game stuff to break out if needed, and I can help out anyone who needs an extra pair of hands.
  • Guys- was just talking to Christian at PAX, and he's very concerned we keep our demo tables full in the afternoons and evenings during the show. So there will be plenty of space at the IPR/Strat demo tables to run events, pickup games, and general quick demos. I'd really appreciate it if you could help keep as many of the tables hopping all the time as possible. I'll have two guys available not connected to any companies to help man the cashboxes, so being on the floor as much time as you can spare will keep the con crew happy with us! Many thanks! dw
  • I'll be there; I'm working as an Enforcer, though, so I'll be pretty busy.

    Still, I'd love to meet anyone face-to-face that can, even if it's only for a minute. It helps that most of y'all will be clumped together sharing booth space. :)

    Cheers!
  • edited March 2011
    I'm not an indie game designer, I just love their games. If I want to run games in a way that benefits everyone, where and how should I do it?

    Edit: I've never been to PAX so I have no idea what to expect or how anything is setup.
  • PAX East will be my first gaming convention. I'm going there with no particular plans aside from meeting up with craploads of Internet friends. I'll probably drag them around to whatever demo games might be happening.
  • edited March 2011

    One of my reporters will be running marathon sessions of Happy Birthday, Robot! at PAX East, which will, undoubtedly, turn into wailing and gnashing of teeth. In part because of the rating sheets.

    HBR has turned into one of our random pick up games on irregular intervals because its just so easy to crank up a Google Docs file and start churning. I keep three Fudge dice by my desk at all times now, "just in case."

  • I'll be there, focusing a lot on the tabletop area. I was thinking of throwing down and running a few games myself, but mostly, I'm going to play it by ear.

    I was planning on Enforcing, but then The Night of the Barrels came up, and I decided to go drink beer instead.
  • If anyone is interested in leveraging the pax_indie_rpgs twitter account for promotion and such, I can give you access.
  • edited March 2011

    It looks like PAX is demanding — demanding, I say! — that we run 8 hours of game a day. There are nine people in our booth. A game takes four hours, give or take. My guess is that we'll each run three to four games.

    They don't know who they're dealing with.

    My guess is, we'll wind up overtaking other unused tables. This is the big-world debut of Human Contact, though, and I'm planning on running it at every opportunity.

  • Oh, and Sage, yeah! Sure!

  • Hey, Sage, if you want to give that to me, now's good.

    Anyone else, you can follow the #paxeast and #indierpg tag!

  • Terry is bringing a Trail of Cthulhu scenario and Lady Blackbird.

    I'm bringing Dogs in the Vineyard and the new D&D Boardgame, Wrath of Ashardalon if I can manage to fit it in my bag.
  • Rym and Scott are great! I'm looking forward to seeing them. It sounds like they're gonna be hanging in the Tabletop area a lot.

  • So, how did it go? Any reports from play or panels?
  • I kept seeing people with badges on the T. I was so sad that I couldn't go. Stupid dissertation...
  • I had two great games and one okay game of Human Contact. The okay game featured a 15-year-old kid who totally grokked the game in every way, throwing in ecological inspiration and portraying a completely unsympathetic Protagonist whose demise he relished. He grabbed onto all the pieces and really loved doing stuff with them. (The less good parts were just bad chemistry: two friends were playing and one of them really wasn't into it, but was trapped there because his friend was having a good time playing wholly sympathetic Antagonists.)

    The other two games were typical Human Contact fare: weird people doing weird things for reasons you totally understand. One Envoy mission was... well, I commented that the Envoys were very bad at their job, and perhaps had been sent ahead because no one in the Contactor could stand to have them around any more.

  • edited March 2011
    The BWHQ crew had a grand time, though we worked our asses off.

    The attendees were enthusiastic and interested. Everyone seemed to be there to play and learn about games. No one was too shy to ask for a demo. In fact, we had people demanding demos! We were overwhelmed with requests.

    The powers that be at PAX gave us what we've always wanted: exhibitor space with demo tables 20' away. I've been begging con organizers for that for years. "Just demo at your booth" is NOT the same thing.

    The staff at PAX was the most friendly and efficient of any con I've attended.

    I toured the exhibitor hall. I came away feeling old and jaded.
    I looked out over a veritable sea of tabletop gaming, roaring and heaving away: Burning Wheel, Shock, Dresden, Magic, Wrath of Ashardalon, and many, many more. All packed shoulder to shoulder in a field of games.
    I spent about an hour total in the Classic Arcade playing Gauntlet 2 and Smash TV. That hour was perhaps my most favorite part of the con!

    Attendance for our panels dwarfed attendance at other cons -- especially Gen Con -- by 4-10 times, depending on your measure.
  • edited March 2011
    Action Castle in 2010-2011

    Pax East 2010: 320 people

    Origins 2010: ~10 people (given a standard table in an RPG room — moved the group into a hallway downstairs, con staff would not post a sign alerting staff to the change in room)

    GenCon 2010: 20 people, maybe? (same deal as Origins — moved the group into a hallway so we could be loud)

    NeonCon 2010: 6 people over a span of two sessions

    Dreamation 2011: Cancelled, lack of interest (said the organizer)

    PAX East 2011: 470 people

    Winning.
  • Posted By: Luke WheelThe powers that be at PAX gave us what we've always wanted: exhibitor space with demo tables 20' away. I've been begging con organizers for that for years. "Just demo at your booth" is NOT the same thing.
    Having seen this in action now, it's hard to imagine it any other way!
    Posted By: Jared A. SorensenAction Castle in 2010-2011

    Pax East 2010: 320 people

    Origins 2010: ~10 people (given a standard table in an RPG room — moved the group into a hallway downstairs, con staff would not post a sign alerting staff to the change in room)

    GenCon 2010: 20 people, maybe? (same deal as Origins — moved the group into a hallway so we could be loud)

    NeonCon 2010: 6 people over a span of two sessions

    Dreamation 2011: Cancelled, lack of interest (said the organizer)

    PAX East 2011: 470 people

    Winning.
    More like thread win! Seriously, from "Cancelled, lack of interest" to "470 people" in less than 4 weeks.
  • This is a poorly done panorama of the crowd for our "Make your own RPG— and don't go broke doing it!" panel. It's a bit weird, because our stage was off to one side of the room instead of in the middle.
    image

    There were very few faces we recognized; most of the people in attendance seemed to be unfamiliar with indie games (awesome) and sort of nursing their own system for many, many years. There was a lot of advice the crowd was really surprised by, and overall, I think it went really well.

    - People weren't expecting the answer to "What happens if I can't get anyone interested in my game?" to be "Maybe that's not the game you should publish."
    - A poor guy still wrote and published (no mention of testing in between) his game without seeing if anyone wanted to buy it first.
    - There was this GREAT MOMENT when a guy who wanted to write indie miniatures games didn't know where to find custom minis, and Eppy was able to point him at a group that ONLY makes custom minis, no games. The guy ran out of the panel to go talk to those guys.

    It was really cool because I think the majority of people who attended the panel didn't even know that what we as a community actually DO is possible. And it felt good to give those folks the information they needed to move past whatever was holding them back right then.
  • edited March 2011
    Awesome.
  • That is so many kinds of awesome, Elizabeth. Do you plan on doing another panel next year?
  • There were around 440-450 people in that room!

    Room capacity was 470 and although not full was close.
  • Financially, I can also confirm that this roughly-same group of people made twice what we made as Play Collective a few years ago, and I don't even think anything was being premiered here.
  • Posted By: DanielSolisThat is so many kinds of awesome, Elizabeth. Do you plan on doing another panel next year?
    Next year? Shoot, I plan on getting a panel together for Prime. But next year too. Apparently the guy in charge wants more indie RPG panels, so by gosh, we can give 'em more indie RPG panels. I know I'm not the only one that lightbulb lit up for. It'd be interesting, maybe even good, to have a wiki of sorts set up before the PAXes (POX?) for people to post/pitch potential panels they're interested in seeing or moderating, and gauge interest from potential panelists so it's not all the same people, and there aren't multiple competing pitches for the same panels. I get the feeling that the PAX people see the limited number of panels available to attend as a good thing, so it'd be best for us, as a community, to put our most diverse and interesting feet forward. IMO.

    Also, to tag on to what Rob said: That GenCon we had 11 publishing interests, and PAX East we had 7— so it was twice the money over a much smaller library of games to sell.
  • Also: I apologize for my run on sentences. I'm not fully recovered from the weekend yet.
  • Holy shit. Do a panel on this stuff at almost any other con (*cough*Gamestorm*cough*) and all of the people who need the information blow off your panel because they know everything. They're much too busy running their playtest/demo full-length game sessions to go listen to a bunch of penny-ante freaks who obviously aren't the next White Wolf.

    But go to a con that's outside of hardcore tabletop culture and you can tap this Burgess Shale. Sweet!

    Did the Gameknights guys do their same panel again?
  • I'm trying to get in contact with the Tabletop Tzar, once I do I plan on trying to coordinate some between the massive diverse interests of the Story Games crowd and the PAX organizers. I'm mostly thinking PAX Prime at this point, trying to make sure we do at least the same level of stuff as happened at PAX East.
  • Posted By: Luke WheelThe attendees were enthusiastic and interested.
    Hey, you were pretty enthusiastic too, Captain Running Hug.

    Anime fans call that "glomping," FYI. It's something that 14 year old girls do. :P

    I wanted to get to hang with you a bit more, but I distinctly remember walking by your booth when you were being mobbed by like 30 people.

    So yes, PAXE was freakin' great. I didn't have nearly enough time, though part of that was because I did the Extreme Beer Festival. No regrets, though; I got to taste Sam Adams Utopias, which basically made my entire weekend.

    I know that Rym of Geeknights is going to be pushing to get more and better panel content next year, and I highly suspect indie RPG's will be high on that list.
  • I am nothing if not a 14 year old girl.
  • Posted By: Luke WheelI am nothing if not a 14 year old girl.
    You told me it was your 18th birthday!!!
  • Posted By: TheWhaleSharkPosted By: Luke WheelThe attendees were enthusiastic and interested.
    Hey, you were pretty enthusiastic too, Captain Running Hug.

    Anime fans call that "glomping," FYI. It's something that 14 year old girls do. :P


    wait, i thought glomp was the manga sound effect for boob grabbing?

    glad to hear this year was another great year for indie games at PAX east.

    question for those of you running booths, how did the show do for you financially? is it worth the time and effort?
  • Posted By: Epidiah RavacholYou told me it was your 18th birthday!!!
    Lesson learned: ask for ID. I won't make that mistake again.
  • I think Luke and I share 14 year old girl genes.

  • Posted By: Joshua A.C. Newman 14 year old girl genes.
    Somehow, this sounds like a really interesting premise. A whole society where everyone acts like a 14 year old girl. Everyone. (Except maybe the PCs)
  • I think you meant 14 year old girl jeans. Zing!
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