Tag: PAX East

PAX East

The show floor from the sky bridge that you walk across everytime you want to get to a panel room across the building on the same floor as the last panel you saw.

We just got back from PAX East last night.  God provided that we had the money to get there, sold all the books while there and therefore had the money to get home.  Go God!!!  And thank you to the random gift givers who helped us get there.  You all are awesome!!!

Escapist Movie Night
The Escapist movie night panel, L-R: One of the dudes from the new show "Space Janitors", Shamus, Movie Bob, and the crew of Loading, Ready, Run: Matt Wiggins, Kathleen De Vere, Graham Stark

We got to find out how quickly Shamus’ book would sell out and wish we had brought more.

Blankety Blank Panel which was hosted by Susan Arendt (NOT in the photo), in photo : Russ Pitts, an ex-reviewer who wrote a book that I can't remember the name of, Kathleen De Vere, and Movie Bob

We saw some amazingly funny panels (like the LLR panel and those that the Escapist creatives including Susan Arendt and Movie Bob were involved in). We got to meet some more cool people to add to the list of cool people we already know (like Russ Pitts and James Portnow along with a slew of Shamus’ readers and some really awesome indie game developers) and see friends we hadn’t seen for a year (like Susan Arendt and the LLR crew) .

James Portnow of Extra Credits among many other things.

We got to see some incredibly thought provoking panels which I am still pondering and percolating posts thanks to (namely two that included James Portnow and were on topics close to my heart– one on Gaming and Education and one called the Genre Divide about rethinking why people play certain games and how games are divided into genres.)

Girls Like Robots (a pretty fun indie game.)
A very cool concept for a rpg that my kids are really looking forward to: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/JoshuaACNewman/mobile-frame-zero-rapid-attack

We got to see a ton of amazing indie games and some cool AAA games.

Shamus crashed while waiting.

We got tired and hungry and sick of granola bars (thanks to the convention centers ridiculously huge symmetric layout where you have to go down a level and cross a sky bridge to get between two panels on the same floor and expensive food–$7 for a HOT DOG.)

In front of the convention center-- parking was in rear and you had to walk a quarter mile of wind tunnel just to get in a door.

We got stuck in 2 hours of 5 mph traffic and only got lost in Boston once (last year we managed to add a half hour of wrong turns onto every single trip and this year we were saved mostly thanks to paying close attention, avoiding the roads we knew we had trouble with, and Josh’ excellent sense of direction.)

The audience at the Escapist movie night panel.

PAX East

Because I am feeling lazy and tired I will only give a brief description of our awesome weekend (and some of the God stuff that occurred) then leave you with Shamus’ more specific posts and a slideshow of all 3 days.

Not only did it work out (in an awesome God sort of way that I am not going into right now) that we got to go to the show on Saturday but we got to meet lots of people from the Escapist (including some of our kids favorite internet celebrities which totally freaked them out when we got home–“You ate dinner with the people that do the Daily Drop!!!!”) Also mission accomplished as far as going to PAX in the first place– necessary networking was done and we now have some help in getting both Shamus book and the card game marketed properly. The whole trip went very smoothly despite Shamus concerns (he doesn’t travel because bad things happen when he does). All in all God gave us a beautiful weekend, enough money to do all that we needed to do, provided tickets and dinner on Saturday, with lots of kindred spirits, perfect weather, and too much to do to get all of it done so we took our time and even stayed an extra night instead of driving home exhausted. Shamus signed lots of autographs (many more than he expected– note to self: next time bring a Sharpie), got to meet lots of cool people and put faces to names (his editor, Susan is AWESOME!!!!), and was on an impromptu panel for the Escapist while being 4 hours past his bedtime. It was a pretty awesome weekend and great to relax away from home and kids.

Meanwhile the kids had a great time with family, who made sure they were very well entertained and had as much to tell about when they got home as we did.

For more specifics about what happened each day you can read here (each link goes to a post Shamus wrote about that day/time frame):

Settling in

Being in Line




Cosplay at PAX East 2011

PAX East

Today we finally, after some fussing with banks versus Paypal, paid ALL of our bills, well, except the mortgage.  We also have plenty of groceries, all thanks to God’s most recent provision.

We had one more big thing that we had been praying about for 2 years now, a thing which we are pretty sure will be beneficial to Shamus networking wise and certainly beneficial writing wise– we wanted to go to PAX East.   For those who don’t know, it is an east coast (read: driving distance) video game conference run by the great folks from Penny Arcade (I would link but you can look it up if you want to–they are not always suitable for young audiences looking over the shoulder).  Suffice it to say they started out with a webcomic based on video games and then went on to take over the world.)  We also wanted to go because we haven’t actually stayed overnight away from home since our honeymoon (unless you include hospital stays during the birth of our 3 kids and when Rach was in the hospital– trust me– I don’t.)

So, we prayed about it.  When tickets went on sale we had money for tickets but not rooms.  Then someone offered us a room but we didn’t have money for tickets let alone the money for the 12 hour drive.  Then we didn’t know what we would do about the kids.  Plus Shamus hates travel and had all kinds of concerns that needed addressed (and which made it very unlikely).  And so it went so we assumed we weren’t going.

Until this week.  Somehow God managed to orchestrate things so that we were able to find a completely animal free hotel with a front desk person who’s son had severe animal allergies and understood my concern.  Said hotel  just happened to be in our price range, has a kitchen (so we don’t have to go out to eat except when at the conference itself). We were also concerned about the confusion of taking an hour and a half long ride on public transit with multiple switches– until I talked to the hotel and it turns out there is a line that goes straight there.  Then the Saturday tickets were sold out so we thought, nope, not going.  Until we realized, derf, that is Sabbath so we wouldn’t want to go that day anyway.  And considering that we would be on our feet all day Friday and Sunday sandwhiched between a 12 hour drive, a day off started looking really good.  So we are actually looking forward to the break on Saturday despite it “being the best day to go”– if God wants us to go then He can make things work out so that it won’t matter that we miss Saturday (in fact, looking at the itinerary there was only one thing we were even slightly interested in on Saturday and that is likely to not be near as good as it seems from the blurb.)

After that we just needed to figure out what to do about the kids–we didn’t want to saddle anyone with all three for 3 nights (nor make the kids have to stay with anyone person the whole time, and we were leery of asking.)  But that all worked out perfectly (including hand-offs so no one has to all three at any one time) thanks to wonderful family members who really want us to get to go.  The other awesome thing is that not only are the kids excited about visiting family while we are gone but they are just really excited that we are going.  They WANT us to have a vacation together and are planning that we use the $8 they gave us to go out and share a meal for our anniversary to get ourselves some dinner while we are there.  Having lived in Massachusetts in the past and having been to Boston multiple times I know there is no way it will buy much but boy doe sit make them happy we will be able to spend it there. 🙂

Then we kept waiting to buy the tickets.  First it was one thing, then another, but we finally got the go-ahead and got them– which I did today. So now, God willing (praying we don’t get a freak snow storm–it’s happened) we will be going to PAX East next weekend.  It will be our first vacation together since our honeymoon in 1997 (you will notice that Shamus is never in my vacation pictures–that is because he never goes.)  We are both as excited about the Saturday break as about PAX itself though we already have plans to hang out with our gaming group for a bit at the conference.  And then, even more awesome, it turns out that the hotel is a block from the beach so on our Sabbath rest we can walk over and look out at the ocean.  Even if it is a blizzard I will probably do it– I adore the ocean and miss it like crazy.

Next step is printing up some business cards for Shamus to simplify meeting people.  After that is planning who needs to take what where and making sure we are stocked up on everything.  And God willing, it will all continue to work out perfectly.