Realigning the Azimuth

Adventures at PAX Australia

I was wondering a bit on how to cover the weekend. I absolutely enjoyed it on a number of levels, and to be incredibly honest - when it’s going to come to something like PAX, it really felt like a celebration of gaming in all its forms, and thus, it’s best to just make it happen in your own way.

For some people, it was the table top games - whereas for others, they just preferred clocking up Streetpass hits, or wanted to check out the panels. In the end for me, I think it was a combination of panels, the Indie Pavillion and the Classic Gaming space.

From the Indie Pavillion, I most enjoyed checking out Black Annex, Framed, Duet, Armello, Burden as well as the quick little demo of Lunar Flight on the Oculus Rift. Admitted, I’ve long been quite skeptical about the device and the upcoming VR revolution - but after Friday morning, I think I’m going to have to plan to get one. At least once the retail units ship that is, as I’m not actively working on anything which could take advantage of it for now.

But, as the Welcome Home banner out at the entrance proclaimed - I did find mine in the Classic Console space. It was in fact excellent to play a few rounds of games on real hardware, some I’m somewhat familiar with (C64 Smash TV with twin joysticks, Silkworm on the Amiga & Wipeout 2097 on the Playstation), some I’ve always wanted to try (Tempest 2000 on the Jaguar & Tempest 3000 on the Nuon), and some which I’d not even heard of (Sturmwind on the Dreamcast - a rather wicked shmup released this year).

What made it even better was being involved in a tense score challenge on Tempest 2000 (which was kicked off by a bunch of interest growing as I was racking up scores on it), and being able to chill out & have a great chat with some of the folk who ran the space about the various classics we’ve enjoyed over the years.

Of course, it shouldn’t be noted that I wasn’t just there as an attendee. With a recent enough update out the door for Pocket Dogfights, I also wanted to do a bit of mingling & guerilla marketing to see if I could drum up some more interest in the game, and some more potential players.

The biggest thing I learned from this is simply - that I really need to level up my confidence in just approaching someone and giving out a card or such. The classic trick of handing out codes doesn’t work so when when you’re only limited to a mere 50 of them for a given release - so I’ve got to do the pitch, and the demo, and see where it goes.

I found that when I was able to actually get into a conversation with a person - waiting for a shot at a game, or just doing other stuff, I never felt intrusive when I went for one of the cards in the wallet to give them. I don’t know if it’s something which comes naturally with more events like that - but well, I do need to be more effective at it. Though, it’s been nice to see some sales again - but I don’t know whether that’s been down to the sale which I kicked off before PAX, and decided to keep running as well.

As for next year? I’m certainly planning on coming back - at this stage, I’m not 100% whether I’ll grab a booth yet - the one game I do have isn’t enough at this stage, and unless I’ve done solid work on a sequel or some other games, it’s going to be an interesting challenge. But if I don’t do a booth, I’ll be making sure I have a 3 Day Pass on a lanyard around my neck!

Just to wrap-up, I just have to pass on some incredibly large thanks to everyone who was involved with getting PAX off the ground, and making it such a fantastic weekend. The staff, Enforcers, everyone who gave their time to run a booth, and all the indie developers, panellists, and just everyone else who had a great time. Plus, to everyone I met, chatted to, as well as caught up with (whether you were local, interstate, or even international) - it’s always nice catching up with like minded individuals :D

If you enjoyed this, and you’ve not already checked it out, please do take a peek at Pocket Dogfights? If you know me, and you know my gaming sensibilities - you might like to check it out :)