Penny Arcade Expo 2007: Day 1

August 25, 2007

While in line this morning I wrote as follows…

2 hours in line and things are starting to move – finally. Already you can smell BO, and I’m surrounded by two distinct types of PAX-goers: people who are chatting loudly with their own brought-to-PAX group, or those that have been quietly immersed in their own DS or PSP experience the whole line standing experience. Looking to my sides I can see 6 people in close proximity listening to iPods, small white earbuds keeping out the world around them.

Typical PAX GoerLast weekend I attended the Edmonton International Fringe festival which was a stark contrast to this scene. While this may be gamer heaven, it is well evidenced to no surprise that gamers are an antisocial bunch of people. As a peer group the frustrate the hell out of me.

But I have a few prearranged meet and greets, so despite a dull line experience I remain optimistic as to what the weekend holds.

And then the day continued…

I really didn’t get to meet many interesting people today, which I thought was a bit disappointing. I trolled the tabletop freeplay rooms on a regular basis and they were consistently barren. I hope that later tonight or tomorrow I can find a little more board gaming action.

Starcraft Board Game at PAXThe highlight of the day was a demo of Fantasy Flight Games new Starcraft board game. It really has turned out well, and I briefly chatted with a representative who summarized its development hell. They had a complete, Blizzard-approved game that they threw in the bin because they knew they could do better. And what they have now really shines! I don’t know about play balance, but the interacting mechanics feel really interesting and fresh – despite a lot of them coming out of other FFG titles. It was simply delightful to try it, and of course it was spectacular to behold. I had a hard time not buying one of the very few copies available. But the budget is stretched as is…

Due to phenominally bad planning I missed the keynote presentation an the Uwe Boll panel. Hopefully I can be more attentive to my schedule tomorrow.

Con swag was in abundance, but most of it was terrible. Nabbed a Bully “schoolbook” from Rockstar, a handful of stickers, and registered in a tournament for a card game I’ve never played before. Purchased obligatory PAX 07 t-shirt as well as Book 4 of the PA Dark Horse series – $10 at the con special you know. There is a concert tonight, but the Penny Arcade forum moderators are having a dinner so I’ll miss parts of it. Tomorrow has Jonathan Coulton, which I’m much more excited about.

Inside PAX PAX Merch WoW CCG at PAX