PAX West - Day Two

After a late night out at the Kinda Funny/Square Enix Montreal party last night, my whole room was interested in sleeping today. I had an appointment at 11AM though so I, at least, needed to get up and moving before my compatriots. With a calendar filled with appointments and panels, I had a busy day ahead of me.

Up first, I saw a bit of Overland, a title from game studio Finji. I first saw and wrote about this game back at PAX South in January. It has been on my radar ever since. So when I started getting the flurry of PR emails that one gets on the PAX media list, the ones discussing Overland caught my eye. So I reached out, eager for an appointment. I got to spend a bit of time talking about the game with developers Rebekah and Adam Saltsman, with Adam helping guide me through my hands-on time with it. I’ll be writing up a more in-depth preview piece on Overland in the coming days but it’s definitely a game worth keeping an eye on if you’re a fan of “tactics”-style turn-based strategy games. It blends turn-based tactical strategy and survival mechanics to create something I look forward watching develop in the months ahead.

Oh yeah, I also walked into the background of an IGN video and Brian "Nabeshin" Jackson of Irrational Passions identified me.

After that, I wandered the show floor a bit before heading across the street to queue up for the IGN Beyond panel. While I waited in line, the Jackbox team brought a cart around the line and invited people to join in on a game of Quiplash. So I hopped on and had a good time with it. The first round worked as an opportunity to get the feel for my fellow players and the audience. Realizing this was a Beyond crowd, I was able to capitalize on that in rounds two and three and won the match. And the Jackbox guy said that I had won a pin, but they forgot to bring them to that panel so I had to go to their booth later to pick it up (which I did).

The Beyond Panel was a ton of fun featuring Marty, Andrew, and Alanah from IGN and Greg Miller and Andrea Rene as special guests. After the panel, Marty and Andrew visited with a few of us before heading off to their next appointments and mentioned they were putting together an impromptu meet-up tonight. Next, I headed over to the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided panel that Greg was hosting, where I got to mingle briefly with Kevin, Tim, Gia, and Genevieve again (all of whom were excited about the prospect of naps after the panel). As previously mentioned, I’ll cover the panels in a bit more detail in future posts.

With panels done for the day, I wandered the show floor again for a little bit before eventually grabbing a quiet dinner and heading back to the hotel. My roommates, who had their own non-PAX-related adventures throughout the day, were out on an sailboat excursion so I took a brief nap myself while my phone charged up before heading back down to the IGN meet-up.
I got to enjoy some nice conversations with Andrew and Marty. Sean Finnegan and Alanah were there as well but I didn’t really visit with them at all. I did get to chat with Scott Lowe again though (former IGN-er, currently with Naughty Dog), as well as a few IGN/Beyond/Kinda Funny fans. Every so often at these conventions, I sit down and have a nice conversation with a couple people I’d never met before and learn about their experiences and what they’re really enjoying at the convention. Tonight, that was a conversation with Rob and Christa (Krista?), hearing about their past PAX experiences and the panels they’ve been enjoying and are looking forward to throughout the rest of the weekend.

Eventually, the evening wound down and I returned to the hotel room (having missed apparently a very lively Let’s Play panel featuring Greg). My roommates were all watching yet another terrible horror movie: this time Atrocity. Then we took some time to catch each other up on our days since I hadn’t seen them since departed in the morning. They had a great lunch at Katsu Burger. They decided they wanted to go swimming so they needed to pick up a couple swimsuits beforehand and then enjoyed the hotel pool. And they went on the aforementioned sailing excursion. At some point, they started quizzing Xyger on various pop-culture figures. Turns out, Xyger has a lot of gaps in knowledge when it comes to actors like Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks (being unable to identify any of their films) or an eclectic knowledge (identifying Samuel L. Jackson as the guy from Deep Blue Sea or being able to identify multiple Ice Cube roles). So this topic of conversation wound down the night as we tried to figure out what he does and doesn’t know.

It was a very “Xyger out of ten” kind of game.