PAX East 2018: Day Three

Hungover. It’s an early day due to checkout. Andrew and I are waiting in line for the con to open. Andrew wants to hit up Due Process with me first thing on the con floor.

“Hey, want to play some Splendor on my phone?”
“Yea, sound goo-…”

What was that feeling? Oh shit, that’s vomit.

“Andrew, I am not feeling so good.”

Come on, Matt, you’ve been through college. You can hold it down.

The line finally opens. We are literally stepping on to the con floor.

“Dude, I need to go lie down.”

And with that, the first two hours of Sunday are spent sleeping on the very comfy beanbag chairs in the mobile gaming lounge. Way too much Harpoon last night. And I warned myself two years ago to not drink so hard at PAX East! To their benefit, the Amazon folks running the gaming lounge never bother me once throughout my bottle coma. They literally just let me pass out in the middle of a crowded con. These people are saints.

I wake up a little past noon, dazed but feeling somewhat more stable. Though I am sorely tempted to spend the entire day sleeping, I figure sitting through a panel won’t tax me too sorely. Starting in ten minutes: “How To Make Your Straight White Male Protagonist Not Suck”. Hmmm, sounds a bit SJW-ish, but maybe it’ll be entertaining. Alright, let’s check it out (after buying a very stale pretzel to settle my stomach).

Actually, the panel is extremely entertaining. Basically, it makes fun of male protagonist tropes in video games:

  • Anti-hero? Check.
  • Getting revenge on his dead wife/child/family? Check.
  • Military rank? Check.
  • Brooding anger? Check.

And you know what? I think we can all do with some better writing than that. Strangely enough, I think that people enjoy deep video game characters more than overused clichés.

Is it time for the con floor yet? NOPE. Time to slack off more at the Jackbox lounge, where I chill and play a round of Trivia Murder Party. Actually, I nearly come in first by a hair. Next year.

Alright, I think I’m ready for the con floor now. I pass the Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn booth (Andrew: “We live in a world where Shaq Fu got a reboot”).

Something that catches my eye is Heaven’s Vault, which is a story-driven archaeological adventure where you are putting together the story of what happened to a long-lost alien race on some distant moon. No combat, but it looks incredibly atmospheric.  I kind of want to buy it when it’s released, but their animation looks jarringly bad. I talk to the dev – releases January or February next year. We’ll see what happens.

And…. what’s that? Detroit: Become Human is here!? Holy shit, this is something I need to see! Heavy Rain is one of the best PS3 games I’ve ever played. And it looks like there’s no line, you just queue up behind a monitor and wait for the person playing to finish up. Yes, I am going to play this.

It looks like Sunday was not a complete loss after all – Detroit: Become Human is definitely my pick of the con. I am a sucker for branching narratives, and David Cage’s games are my ambrosia (never got interested in playing Beyond: Two Souls though).

Andrew calls me. Literally passes me four times at the Detroit booth before he finds me (I got the good ending in the demo by the way). Are we nearly ready to get the hell out of Dodge? Nearly, but we have two stops left.

First, it’s off to see Chris and Grace at the BYOC area. They were up visiting family in New Hampshire this weekend, but managed to make it to the con on Sunday. Chris was not as impressed with Detroit as I was. Good to see you guys, see you in Philly in two weeks!

Lastly, I go say hello to Frank DiCola showing off Where Shadows Slumber in the Indie Minibooth (congrats on that honor, by the way!). Glad to see Stevens repping some indie game dev at PAX East. Frank says the game is in crunch time mode (welcome to game dev, guys), but I know they will get it done and ship things in time. Just remember me when you’re famous, Frank and Jack!

And now it is finally time to say goodbye to Boston. This is the first year in a while that we aren’t stopping by Boston South Station for a bite to eat before we go, but somehow I don’t think I’ll miss McDonald’s.

Con Picks:

  1. Detroit: Become Human
  2. Kingdom Come: Deliverance
  3. Tough call… maybe Doorkickers: Action Squad just because it was a lot of fun to play with Andrew.
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