RTX - The Panels I Attended (Part One)

Since I went into RTX with very little knowledge of Rooster Teeth, my panel selections were mostly designed around heading to wherever the Kinda Funny guys were going to be. So with that in mind, here are the panels I attended in Austin.

Kinda Funny: We Injured Gus Sorola (Friday, 1pm)

After a joke stunt went slightly awry at last year's RTX (Greg smashed a candy breakaway bottle over Gus Sorola's head and cut him open), Rooster Teeth decided to sacrifice former Achievement Hunter Ray Narvaez, Jr. (aka Brownman on Twitch) to Greg, Tim, and Nick.

As a Rooster Teeth outsider, this was a great way to kick off the convention for me. The Kinda Funny lunacy that I've grown so accustomed to was on in full force here and I got to immediately see most all of my friends who were in town for the event at this panel.

I felt a little bad for Ray as it definitely felt like a Kinda Funny crowd so he was just kind of off to the side for most of the panel. Greg very quickly took off his shirt. And we got a series of prank calls. Greg got Sisqo on the phone (who actually answered...and after only a ring or two). They talked about trying to get Sisqo a PlayStation VR set so Greg told everyone to tweet Shuhei.

Greg also got a hold of last years victim Gus Sorola for a slight variation to an age old classic prank call:

Greg: Hey Gus, I know this is way too small of a thing for you but I just wanted to ask is the app running for you?

Gus: The app? Uh, hold on let me check...

Greg: Yeah is the app running?

Gus: ...Yes it-

Greg: WELL THEN YOU BETTER GO CATCH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

He tried calling Adam Kovic from Funhaus too (as they were in competing panels at the time) but it just went to voicemail so Greg left a message saying our panel was better (insert crowd yelling in approval here) but he was hoping to merge the two into a giant panel.

Geoff Ramsey was hanging out at the panel in the back and Greg and Geoff both wound up without their shirts on opposite sides of the room exploring what it felt like rubbing up on their respective chest hair.

Then they took questions from the audience, as is often the case. It was a solid mix of funny, heartwarming, and inspirational stuff.

Perhaps the best part, though was the ample amount of time they had to stick around after and meet fans. I got to visit with Kevin and Gia, which is always delightful, before talking with Tim and Nick about the new studio. As I mentioned in the Day Two recap, I let a lot of the new friends in attendance have their moments with Greg, really only sharing a passing nod that first day.

Eventually, though, they had to meet up with other friends and were off on their way, as the rest of us scattered to grab food, visit the show floor, etc.

Mario Party After Dark (Friday, 11pm)

Friday night, after enjoying some Million Dollars, But... The Game, I got my first taste of ScrewAttack and their community at the Mario Party After Dark panel that Greg was a part of. Gus was the other special guest and the two of them played a 20-round game of old school Mario Party in front of a ballroom of fans.

As we had arrived fairly late, we pretty much sat all the way at the back of the room. Looking back on the whole weekend, this is probably the panel I was the least engaged with. I know even less about ScrewAttack than I do Rooster Teeth. The breadth of my knowledge pretty much begins and ends with knowing Destin Legarie used to work with them before going to IGN. As such, this was the most out of my element I felt the whole weekend.

That outsider feeling I described in Day Two really stemmed a lot from this. At one point during the drunken Mario Party festivities, Greg called Xyger up on to the stage. When Xyger returned, this kid in front of us who had been shit-talking Greg and Kinda Funny all night, began telling Xyger that he wanted to fight Greg outside and that Xyger should tell him as much.

I really wanted to punch this kid.

He just kept spouting that same thing over and over, about how he wanted to fight Greg outside and I just bit my tongue from going off on the kid how we wasn't worth my time, let alone Greg's so shut up and just enjoy these drunk idiots laughing and cracking jokes about video games.

Which reminds me of another thing...a lot of people talked at the RTX panels. Both in the Kinda Funny panel and this one, and most others throughout the weekend, people just had a lot of side conversations so I ended up not even hearing what was going on half the time. It was weird. Normally, at these things it feels like Kinda Funny (or the other panelists) are the stars of the show and everyone is laser-focused on them. This show, instead, felt very much like it was just the backdrop for friends to get together, hang out, and catch up. And admittedly, that's pretty much exactly what it was for me too, but I'm still a courteous enough audience member that I'm not the kind of guy who's going to chat it up while people are "performing" onstage.

The highlight of the panel for me might have come from afterward, when Frank Bozzani told me he suddenly had a newfound appreciation for how lost I felt at Let's Play Live in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. The inside jokes that the ScrewAttack audience was eating up flew right over our heads, just like a rap about the Tower of Pimps had flown over mine at Let's Play Live.

Superfight! (Saturday, 2pm)

After lazily enjoying the show floor and grabbing lunch with friends, Superfight! was the first panel of the day. I remember watching the equivalent panel from last year's RTX with the Kinda Funny Guys against people like Meg Turney and Freddie Wong.

This time out, it was Greg, Tim, Nick, and Meg battling it out over the soon-to-be-released digital version of Superfight! Geared specifically toward Twitch-streaming, this version of the game allows viewers to vote on who they think should win the battle in the Twitch chat, with a flurry of hashtags flying across the screen.

The game appears to start with a very limited supply of cards though as the same fighters and feature cards kept appearing multiple times. As you play the game, you unlock new cards and fighter introduction titles, but for this panel the full deck wasn't unlocked. That led to some awkwardness like a Sloth with No Arms fighting on at least two separate occasions over the course of the hour.

The fighting itself was often very entertaining though. Each set of battles was treated like a bracketed tournament: two 1-v-1 fights with the winner of each advancing to the final round. And I think in three of the four sets they went through, it came down to a battle between Tim and Meg.

The problem with handing something like this off to Twitch though is that they just go with who they like more, not who gives the better argument. As evidenced by the flurry of votes that would appear on screen before the fighters even began arguing. It'll definitely be interesting to see this kind of game pop up though alongside the likes of your Jack Party Pack games like Quiplash and Fibbage.

Panels continued in Part Two...