Pax Wrap-Up

Catalyst Game Labs snuck into Pax 2011, with a very small footprint to get the lay of the land as we’ve never attended before. It’s been almost two weeks since Pax and I’m still trying to assimilate the experience.

I’ve been to a pile of big conventions, from Gen Con to DragonCon and even to fabled Essen Spiel that has a geek body count that I believe is pretty much the largest on the planet (from between 130k to 150k). While I know San Diego ComicCon is also massive, I’ve never been there (I know, I know…hope to rectify that next year), so I don’t have that frame of reference.

Even so, I’ve been to conventions with far more people than Pax (Essen) and I’ve been to conventions where the main exhibit hall is far larger than Pax (Gen Con), but I’ve never experienced the sheer sensory overload of that large of a convention dedicated to nothing but computer games (with other style games there, but tucked into various nooks, corners and crannies).

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All the booths are bigger. They’re all noiser, with people at microphones loudly drawing your attention. The hall is darkened so the voices of half a thousand video monitors’ electric-visages of glory can all clamor for your attention in any direction you look. I’ve alway known my children’s sensory disorders come from Tara and I, but I manage to hide mine really well…by the end of the show all my defenses were stripped down and I was a grinning, happy, hyper, terrible wreck at the end of the first day that Tara had to calm down and put to bed.

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Luckily the second day was a lot easier as I knew what to expect and adjusted myself appropriately. Both days Bryn and I ran Leviathans demos for 5 to 6 hours and then took two hours or so to roam the hall; both simply as fans, but also to get a feel for the over-all show and if it’s a fit for Catalyst to show up in relative force next year. And of course being that fan, along with my son, we couldn’t help but stand in the hour-and-a-half line under the dragon to jack in for 15 precious minutes of the coming Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim…oh gonna lose so much productivity the week that releases.

As for Leviathans, despite being tucked into a far off corner, we ran a lot of demos. At one time, while I was off the side of the hall having a meeting, I watched Bryn run two simultaneous demos, rotating people in an out of both games, over a period of two and half hours…such a proud dad moment.

Unfortunately, just yesterday, my daughter was taking a picture with the camera and somehow managed to delete the last several months of photos completely off of the camera, so I don’t have any direct photos myself (the photos above are from Brent Evans, our intrepid art director). However, Matt Morgan from MTV Geek was kind enough to track us down and play a game (thanks Matt!) and then included Leviathans in his Top 10 Hottest New Tabletop Games of Pax Prime 2011 list!

See ya next duty shift.

Randall

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