PAX Australia 2015
Only a month after coming back from Tokyo Game Show I’m now setting up and getting ready for PAX Australia. The week prior to PAX was a host of events under the label Melbourne International Gaming Week. The first of which was Unite, featuring all kinds of talks associated with developing in Unity. Lots of great knowledge to take away and a great warm up for the events to come. Next up was GCAP, short for Game Connect Asia Pacific. This was a two day event with variety of speakers talking about design, marketing, art, business, and technical subjects all having to do with gaming. There was an impossible amount of information to digest as you jump from one talk to the next, each heavy with content. By the middle of the second day most were mentally exhausted finding safe havens in the comfy dark seats of the auditorium. You would sometimes catch the occasional snoring. I think I gave in a few times and just let it be.
There was one free day before PAX, so that exhibitors could setup and recharge. I ended up visiting the Arcade after the media opening. Luckily enough catching Ryan from Mighty Games for our own personal tour and then chilling out and grabbing a bite to eat.
PAX, Day one. First hour. Kinda nervous. Where is everyone. Are we in a bad spot that no one will see us. Second hour, crowds are coming and just keep coming. met a few press and did a few interviews. The traffic is getting to become more consistent. I’m getting up to about 4-5 layers of people waiting to play GoatPunks. I’m slowly realising the game is taking too long and I need to fix it. Some of the matches take almost 10 minutes. That night I added a few things in the game so that it would incrementally get more intense with the hope it would speed up the games. Luckily the add-ons worked well with no visible bugs. GoatPunks would run for 8-9 hours straight having only one memory issue right at the end of the day. I really wanted to check out the other indie games but there was no pause in the crowds for 3 days straight. The only games that I could see from where I was standing was Screen Cheat, Keiru and Crawl. Multiplayer games where hitting it pretty hard this PAX. All at a high standard.
The mission for PAX was to get more people aware and interested in GoatPunks with the hope that they would vote for the game on Steam Greenlight. There was lots of free incentives like starbursts and stickers for the taking. Most people seem genuinely excited about the uniqueness of the game, and the fact that it had cute goats. Theres something about seeing peoples reaction, having the biggest grin on their faces and screaming, shouting and lauging from battling their friends and taking them down. You don’t really get that same reaction and hardcore enthusiasm with other geek cultural like comics or movies. People still dress up and cosplay at any or all of those events but the level of interaction is on a different scale. People just want to have fun and play games and its even better when its with other people.
I wish I got to take more photos of other booths but I was stuck in one spot for all of PAX so this is roughly what I saw for most of it.