As we walked to pick up breakfast we see two people in cosplay.
“I wonder where they’re going” I joke, to a silent groan from my partner.
We walked closer to the Melbourne convention centre and the crowds got bigger. Mostly sporting the orange and black lanyard with ‘PAX’ emblazoned across it. This would be my first experience of a gaming convention.
After a long queue that passed surprisingly quickly I walked into the main exhibition hall to a barrage of noise and activity on all sides as people explored the latest games and gaming equipment. I immediately noticed and approached the Logitech Gaming booth, with its huge circular banner hanging from the ceiling in the centre of the room. They had a small stage set up with two teams of five set up opposite each other in a semicircle playing League of Legend, my current favourite game.
I met up with my friends and began to explore the show floor. It was huge and like nothing I had experienced before, lights and sounds presenting themselves wherever I looked, PRs handing out leaflets and independent startups looking to make a name for themselves with their creations. I tried a couple of these, the most impressive one was Stellar Shift, by BitBunny Games.
A visually cartoon y casual shooter with a visual style that reminded me of Splatoon. Where bullets had a slow field to allow for better dodging for a more super hot style game-play experience. As someone with slightly slow reactions when it comes to FPS’s I thoroughly enjoyed this, and felt my reactions were less of a handicap in PvP play, compared with many other shooters
As expected from this kind of event everything seemed overpriced as far as loot was concerned and unless you were in the market for a massively expensive gaming rig, It was a place to just play some games and see the latest releases. Which is what this event is all about, chatting to people with similar interests, as the large screen above the entrance said ‘spend time with the family you choose’ definitely an apt description of such an event.
I went to one panel on the first day; Can’t Code, Can’t Draw: The Many Creative Jobs in Video-games in one of the smaller, yet still sizeable halls. It provided a very informative look at the jobs one can get in the gaming industry if you don’t have the skills to draw or code for a game. Somewhat concerning was some comments by Corey May (Narrative Director, Certain Affinity) who opened in a way that seemed to discourage a career in narrative directing as a depressing and drink inducing career. However one quote of his that certainly stuck out from it all was when he was discussing how to get into the industry, and the attitude to have: “passion is not the number of exclamation marks at the end of the sentence.”
Ending our first day we unfortunately missed Michael Hings comedy show, but had a brilliant Indian from near the hotel. Bring on day 2.