– Premise –
PAX East 2016 was the first time I was able to go to a game convention as a exhibitor and that was also the first time I was going to a game convention at all.
I must say that this was some really awesome and exhausting experience. Probably the most exhausting weekend I had in my life by far. It took me a few days to get back from that (mostly because I got sick but still).
So, why not write a blog about the experience I got and, once again, the pleasure I had to interact with Larian community.
– I’ve Never Talked that Much –
Seriously, I think that my throat is still not back at its full potential. This is just crazy the amount of talking I’ve done in these three days, saying the same thing over and over again.
We were presenting the brand new combat system we’ve made for Divinity Original Sin 2 or, well, the improvement we’ve made from the 1st game. That was still a lot of stuff to explain to people. Half (random statement) of the people hadn’t played the 1st one yet.
People had 15 minutes to try the game. That was pretty short but we had SO MANY people at our booth all day that it was the maximum that we could give. So I had to explain the whole combat system and the improvements we’ve made in like, 3-4 minutes to make sure the people who waited for like, one hour, had still 10ish minutes to play and that they knew what to do.
My speech was so tweaked by the end of the 2nd day, it was crazy. My mouth just became a machine expulsing words in a perfect way to make everyone understand in the least amount of time. On the 3rd day though, I was starting every one of my speech apologizing to people that my voice was complete crap. People laughed every single time, at least. Talking during 8-9 hours every day, three days in a row, is something.
Game conventions like this are a serious throat killing experience.
I talk a lot in general. I’m like that. My friends know about this. But I seriously never talked that much in a short period of time. When I was not explaining the game to people I was still talking to fans about DoS2 in general or with my colleagues.
I came home on Monday and took off on Tuesday. I haven’t said a single word during that day. It felt really great.
Seriously. Even for me.
– The People –
Wow, SO, MANY, people. And I’ve heard that PAX East is “small” compared to PAX Prime. I’m having a hard time thinking about how crazy Prime is about. I mean, at Larian, we are obviously not Blizzard or Wargamming or whatever other companies who attracts thousands of people. But still, the booth was full ALL the time.
Gates were opening at 10:00am and 5 minutes after, the booth was full and the line was already starting to be filled with people.
Every single person who came to our booth really wanted to play the game and were amazed by what they saw. Even if that was just a small PvP demo to showcase the combat system.
On the 2nd day, I started to recognize people. I had at least a dozen of them coming back a 2nd time end even a 3rd time to play the game! They liked it so much that they were happy to wait like another hour during their day to replay that small demo for 15 minutes. For me it was just amazing. Amazing to see the support we have from our fans.
Even if we had a few hiccups, like game crashing for example, people were still having a lot of fun and they were all really comprehensive.
We had some pretty well known people coming also, Brittney Bombacher, AngryJoe, Jesse Cox, Bikeman, Tom Marks (from PC Gamer) and so on. I’ve also heard (and I was really sad because I missed him) that Total Biscuit came to our booth. He was really undercover though. It was really cool to see all these awesome people stopping by to play the game with Swen (Larian CEO).
I also had the best bro hug from Bikeman.
And I got a lot of other bro hugs from fans.
– Lady Killer –
Lady Killer is a small transmedia/marketing/management/production group of awesome and beautiful geek women. They were working with us at the booth, helping us doing a lot of stuff, managing the cosplayers and ensuring that everything was going smoothly for us.
They are seriously killing it.
I had SO MUCH fun working with them and hanging out after each night.
Super professional and on point on everything.
I seriously wish two things now:
That I’ll be able to go to another game convention and that I’ll be able to work with Lady Killer crew again.
Seriously, go follow them @LadyKillerRocks
– Ain’t Nobody Got Time for This –
Yeah, the sad note for me at PAX was that, well, I was not there “to have fun”. I was there to work. Which is an awesome thing (if you don’t think about that fact that I haven’t had any weekend!). On the other hand, I would have really liked to be able to try some of the games there.
There was this one big Monster Hunter booth that I was just going crazy about. Was not able to play.
There was also that HUGE part of the convention only dedicated to board games. I was like, OMGOMGOMGOMG. But yeah, was barely able to speak to a guy from Cool Mini or Not on Saturday morning and that was it.
You basically just don’t have time to go around. If you have time, I would say that you are not doing your job OR because you’re over staffed for the event.
Our goal was to meet with the fan and talk to them about the game. Since the booth was always full, well, I was always having something to do!
But still, wouldn’t have been sad to have time to get around stuff, hehe.
– Ending Notes –
All in all, like I said above, it was THE most exhausting week end of my life but I had a serious blast there. I thanked Swen a few times for allowing me to be there. I know that I’ve made a good job there at least.
I will never get enough of Larian fans telling us how much they love what we’re doing.
So, like I said, I really hope that I’ll be able to go to other game conventions like this. Even if I’m sure that I’ll die younger because of that! haha.
But yeah, the expectations are starting to get pretty big. We’ll need to ship that big of a game at some point right?