PAX Australia 2013 – Day 2

Posted by Matthew on July 20th, 2013

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First, let me talk briefly about last nights concerts. Soundbytes was up first, with a rolling set of chiptunes that started with Dot.AY, followed by Derris-Kharlan and finishing up, cTrix with his Guitari (a guitar Atari). These guys were great, and cTrix and his Guitari in particular took me back to a time of synthesised music on the Amiga.

Following Soundbytes was the father of nerdcore hiphop, MC Frontalot. He really knocked his set out of the building, especially when his backing laptop completely crashed and left him and the drummer, Mr Genius, to finish the last three songs unaccompanied. In fact, it really gave Frontalot a chance to display his rapping skills. He smashed out a brilliant version of the Penny Arcade theme, an unrelenting song that calls for almost constant, rapid fire vocals. An excellent way to finish up the evening.

A small portion of the PAX queue.

A small portion of the PAX queue.

I started Day 2 of PAX Australia deep in the queue to enter. The mood was good, spirits were high. There were a number of inflatable balls being tossed around, like we were at a music festival. Soon a game emerged, with waiting attendees attempting to hit an inflatable ball over one of the hanging map banners.  Those who did achieve the feat were rewarded with rousing applause.

An attendee next to me inquired if he gained any experience from the game. I asked if the game had a name yet. The response was in the negative. I suggested Queueball or Bannerball.

Todays panels started with Geek Parenting: Raising Generation v2.0. While waiting in the line I chatted with mother and father couple and a cadet drill sargeant. We discussed how games can influence children, and what games are appropriate for certain ages and levels of development. In the panel itself the panellists ran a really interesting discussion on what they have done with their own kids, identifying appropriate games and a talked on a number of other smaller related topics. The audience response was excellent.

Next panel was Childs Play, where again I meet and talk to a unique collection of people. This time, a game developer, an astro physicist and a pastry chef. During this conversation I learnt that if the moon split in half it would reform itself over a few hundred years, as well as the exact ingredients and measurements a professional pasty chef uses in an ANZAC biscuit. The panel itself was very informative too. Jamie Dillon and Kristin Lindsay provided a great insight into the charity. I learnt about the basic aims and beliefs of Childs Play, as well as some of the hurdles they face in trying to supply hospitals with games and game equipment. Who knew helping was so hard?

The last panel for the day was Indie Board Games: Making your own tabletop game. Panellists Anthony Sweet, Sean Carroll, Wesley Lamont, Paul Nicholas and Alex Wynnter took us throught the two basic phases of game development; Design and Production. They explained the challenges they faced in mechanic design and playtesting, as well as some of the considerations when taking your game into the production stage. This panel was so popular that the seating filled up and many people were orderly standing or sitting at the back of the room.

A small portion of the Tabletop area.

A small portion of the Tabletop area.

The Tabletop area was absolutely packed, for the second day in a row. It is truly amazing to see this many people playing board games, card games and tabletop wargames all in one place. And having an absolute blast!

Well known games like Magic: The Gathering, Warmachine and Settlers of Catan were in show. But so were many others, some even being rough prototypes of games yet to be fully finalised, let alone released. A very unique experience for many players in attendance.

A demo game of Warmachine in progress.

A demo game of Warmachine in progress.

Overall this has been a great second day. I have really enjoyed meeting and talking to other attendees while waiting in lines. In fact, it is such fun that at this point it has almost become a game. I wonder who I will meet tomorrow?

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One Response to “PAX Australia 2013 – Day 2”

  1. Sounds like a great day 🙂

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