The PAX 2013 blog

Hello all. PAX just happened, which was eventful. I’ll get straight to it:

I saw and played the demo of Life Goes On, a game that, as a designer, inspired the “why didn’t I think of that?” reflex because of its seeming elementality. If the process of idea creation is compared to archaeology – that these things are unearthed rather than constructed, then this game is the result of digging about a foot down in the right spot and pulling out a buried city from which dirt rolls like water. It is surprising to me that it has not been done before, but I’m glad that it is now. To those who don’t want to click links: it is a puzzle-platformer in which respawning is instant but corpses are persistent and interact with the level’s physics – you solve puzzles by dying in the right places and ways.

Crypt of the Necrodancer: the idea smells familiar, somehow. I wonder why. Huh. I’m completely certain that they conceived of their game without my influence, but it is a funny coincidence. They executed it much better then we did, though, and I’m mostly just glad their game exists, because it is fun. You should all play it and buy it when it comes out.

Electronic Super Joy looked cool enough (and was buyable enough) to buy. More analysis in the future once I play it.

Wildstar: Not an indie Megabooth game! weird. Spent saturday hanging out with a guy already excited about this game, and ended up going to a panel about it. Western in space plus skill-based combat and customizability with a really interesting funding system – probably. From what I understand, one month of paid subscription will be able to be crystallized into a single “cred” which can be bought and sold in the player economy. The way in which it is similar to the monetization of KOL is exciting, because KOL’s pay/free economy is far more appealing than that of any other MMO that I have seen thus far, If I could ask the devs two questions, one would be for curiosity and the other could make the deal on me playing their game. The first is whether KOL influenced their decision-making process at all, and the second is whether they made an intentional choice to try to stay off of Repair Her Armor. You can guess which is which.

I attended all four days of PAX, which was thoroughly tiring. I would have been fine, and was ready to account for at least one concert’s loss of sleep (we went to the Hideo/Doubleclicks/MC Frontalot concert. For most of it I was up front in the mosh pit, standing next to the guy who yelled “Freebird”. MC Frontalot is much better when you can actually hear his lyrics, which is completely possible on album versions, but the music was funky enough and the performers were enthusiastic enough that we didn’t really care.) Wow, am I at this point still gramatically allowed to start with “but then on sunday…”? Weird. So but then on sunday night, instead of going home in time to sleep, we went to the Late Night Dub Fight, which was fun, and would have been tolerable, but then on the way out of that building we were called over to play Johann Sebastian Joust, which was the kind of fun that still rings through at 23:00 and six hours of sleep. Anyways, we got out at midnight again, and I went to sleep at two for the second night in a row, so monday was spent far more tired than would have been ideal. I had fun anyway, but probably won’t go a fourth day next year. Actually, I may go far fewer days next year, because I feel like I might rather go to PAX DEV or UNITE instead. I would probably still choose to go at least one day, to see internet celebrities (who were plentiful) and to carry on newly born traditions with friends. I can take comfort, though, in the fact that I am changing schools (and moving to Seattle!), and will thus no longer be the route through which slightly less than a dozen friends get to the event, both ticket-wise and physically. (seriously. I provided tickets for ten people and myself to get there, and drove eight of them in carpools.) Given that we no longer share a school, it cannot be my responsibility to get people there, so I will not take that burden on again.

Anyways, so it was suggested that I make it my goal to make enough money to go to PAX DEV next year, the silent part of which is “after paying tuition”, but I like the idea. I will hopefully get a job of some kind at or near UW, preferably in the (as I recently discovered, higher-paying) tech field. If anyone is in Seattle and looking for a computer-savvy college student to employ, here’s my number. You may not wish to have a phone call in the next few days, however, because I find myself under the spell of the not-swine-flu-this-time-but-something-always-goes-around PAX Pox, so my voice box and brain are not operating at full capacity (they graciously donated their resources to my nose, which is acting like some kind of simile that I can’t formulate right now but is on overdrive and unpleasant to those around it. A lawn-mower with exposed blades? A hummer with a brick on the gas pedal? The American economy circa 1880? Something like that. My nose is making my life unpleasant.

I was going to write other stuff here, probably touching on gender politics and something else that I can’t remember right now, but the fact that I can’t remember it suggests I should let it be until I am better rested and less infected, and therefore more coherent. G’night.


About Bowlercaptain

I am a programmer, budding game designer, and occasional writer. Romantic turn-ons include short walks on the beach and elegant code.
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