Looking back on 30

Today I turned 31.

I am humbled and deeply grateful for all of the messages and well wishes I have received to mark this occasion. One of the most incredible realizations as I've watched the notifications tick in throughout the day is that there is an incredible number of "Happy birthday!" messages from people I've either never actually met and/or didn't know a year ago.

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PlayStation Experience - The Panels

One of my favorite aspects of last year's PlayStation Experience was the panels. I got to take some time away from the games on the floor and hear from the talented people behind the games. So I was admittedly a little disappointed that this year's panel offerings had been drastically cut back. I get it, though, a lot of the panels I attended last year were sparsely populated so the events team probably thought by narrowing down the offerings, each one would have a bigger audience. And based on the panels I attended, that certainly seemed the case. But the larger audience size could have also been a result to how many more people were at the conference overall. But more panels also would have freed up the show floor a little bit, cutting down on the lines to play the games. Additionally, because there was only one room set up for panels this year (the main hall that also housed the Keynote), there was only space for one panel at a time (compared to the three rooms available last year). Lastly, partnering with the Capcom Cup meant that panels were only offered on Saturday, as the room was used all day Sunday for the tournament.

The order of the panels this year was also odd. A lot of people wound up in the Call of Duty panel just to get better seats to the P.S. I Love You XOXO panel. And then I watched as a ton of the audience bailed after that show, which had to be a blow to the last two panels of the night. For PlayStation Experience 2016, I hope they find a happy medium between more panels and better scheduling. We've seen now from two years of experience that Greg and Colin have the biggest draw so schedule them up front or at the end of the day. I also feel a variety in panel length would help. Last year, panels were an hour and this year, they dropped to about 40 minutes. As a result, some of last years panels ran out of things to talk about and ended early, but none of the panels I attended this year had any time for Q&A's, which tends to be a staple of the Kinda Funny live shows especially.

So with all that out of the way, here's what I thought of this year's panels, all of which have been uploaded to YouTube and will be linked here:

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PlayStation Experience - The Games I Played

As I did last year, I'm dedicating a blog post to the Games I played at this year's PlayStation Experience. One of things that certainly hovered over this year's show that I didn't touch on in my earlier posts was the fact that this year's event was much bigger than last year's. Not that last year's event was small per se but this year there were more booths, more games, and a LOT more people, which meant more lines. So some of the big things I might have been interested in tackling (Far Cry Primal for example) were passed over in because I didn't want to wait in the line. Firewatch was another example. At 3pm on Sunday, I was told I might get to the demo before they kicked everyone out at 6pm so I decided to leave and go exploring elsewhere instead; too few setups (two to be exact) and apparently way too long of a demo because there were probably only about 20 people in the line at the time.

But enough about the games I didn't play. Let's run through what I did sit down with.

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PlayStation Experience - Day Two

PlayStation Experience 2015 has come to a close.

Today was a game-filled day. I found time throughout the final day to play 10 games on the show floor, ranging from stuff I'm actually interested in (AlienationGravity Rush Remaster) to games I'll probably never touch again (Disney Infinity, Just Cause 3, Driveclub Bikes), as well as upcoming showcases (Ratchet & ClankShadow of the Beast) and then the occasionally Indie surprise that caught me as I walked by (Read Only MemoriesTumblestone). As alluded to yesterday, I'll be writing a full game impressions piece later this week.

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PlayStation Experience - Day One

Day One started with my entire room over-sleeping. Sean said his alarm was set for 5am and was gonna wake us all to go get in line for the Keynote. That didn't happen. I woke up at 7am (to a beautiful sunrise), saw it was already 7am and quickly got ready and left for the conference, leaving the rest of my roommates behind me.

Sure enough I arrived and had to walk half-way around the building to the end of the line. "Crap! Guess I'm not sitting from row like last year," I thought. It'll be fine. I'll still get in. Then when I finally get inside the building I start hearing security say the event is capped at 1,000 people. Based on pictures other people are posting, I'm easily not within that cutoff. Fortunately, those folks were misinformed and I eventually got in just fine. Sat way in the back, but I also sat with a bunch of friends, making it that much more fun.

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PlayStation Experience - Day Zero

PlayStation Experience starts tomorrow. But a whole bunch of people, myself included got into town early for the event.

My day started off with my flight from Phoenix to San Francisco. Per Twitter and Facebook, I knew a few other Phoenicians and I were going to be on the same flight. Firstly, I ran into the guys from Radio PlayStation right in front of me in the security line. Next, I ran into my buddy, Nate, whom I had met at Kinda Funny Live and then again at the Beyond 400/Unlocked 200 IGN House Party. After the flight, we shared an Uber from the airport to our hotel and dropped off our bags, where I ran into Brittney Brombacher (aka Blondenerd). And we grabbed a quick breakfast while waiting for our roommates to arrive and check-in.

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Game Awards and PlayStation Experience Predictions

As #TrevorTrovember  (my project to write an entry a day on my site here during the month of November) comes to a close, I wanted to do something special. So in addition to the written content I usually produce, I put together a video version of this article as well. Here are my predictions on who will win at The Game Awards Thursday, as well as five predictions for the PlayStation Experience Keynote this Saturday at 10AM PT. Check the link for the full list of nominees and categories. I don't follow the eSports scene so I wouldn't be speaking about those categories with any authority and I haven't seen any of the content up for Best Fan Creation so I left these categories out. I haven't played a lot of the other games nominated in some of the categories (Multiplayer and Shooter for example) but I'm in tune enough with the industry that I still felt equipped to address them.

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PlayStation Experience Games for Me

The PlayStation Experience is about a week and a half away and the excitement is rising. IGN released tickets to their December First Friday tour last night and I snatched one up before I even realized I would be landing as the tour started. Fortunately, I was able to switch to an earlier (and awesomely cheaper) flight.

While I imagine the panels and hanging out with friends will be a driving factor this year, I'm still looking forward to getting some hands on time with some games. The PlayStation Blog has a list of the games confirmed to be there and while I'm sure some unannounced surprises will also turn up, I'll highlight some of the ones I'm excited for...

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One Month to PlayStation Experience

I already know that this year's Experience is going to be a vastly different one for me, regardless of the changes Sony is implementing. Last year, I had a very solitary experience. I didn't know anybody else there. I stayed in a hotel room by myself. I wasn't there too meet people. I was there to celebrate PlayStation, play some games, and listen to some panels.

Since then, I've become deeply involved in the Kinda Funny community, making friends online left and right. This year, I'll be staying in a room with 5 other Kinda Funny Best Friends (only one of whom I've met in person) . I'm in for a much more social experience this time around and I'm excited for that.

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