Last year, while exploring all the many things PAX East had to offer, Ditto came across the AbleGamers booth and was able to talk to Steve Spohn, the Editor-In-Chief of the AbleGamers Foundation, about the amazing work that AbleGamers does, helping disabled kids and veterans to get back into accessible gaming. It was the interview that meant the most to me last year, and so Steve was the first person I checked with once I had my PAX East tickets for this years’ show. AbleGamers was once again hanging out at PAX East (this time with a bunch of Pachinko machines!!) telling people all about the organization and showing off accessible gaming hardware, like an Asteroids game you can play just with your eyes!
Last year at PAX East 2012, Ditto talked to a great indy company called Twisted Pixel, and their game ‘The Maw’ ended up being Dittos’ favorite new game from the show. This year Twisted Pixel were back, bigger and badder than ever, with an all new game coming soon, called ‘LocoCycle’. It’s a crazy fusion of driving game and fighting game, where you play I.R.I.S the AI Motorcycle AND Pablo the mechanic, who is unwittingly (And Hilariously) dragged along for the ride as I.R.I.S goes haywire.
With all the ‘shock and awe’ of the PAX East expo floor, it’s really nice to find something unxpected among all the noise and flashing lights, and that’s just what Ditto found when he talked to Jared Kasl of Pagoda West Games about their fun and clever platformer, ‘Major Magnet’.
While hundreds of people went to PAX East to see games like Elder Scrolls Online, One of the games that Ditto was most excited to see was a unique iOS gamed by Trinket Studios called ‘Color Sheep‘. Think of it – you’re a fluffy sheep, Sir Woolston, and you have to save the world from color stealing sheep! OK, Color Sheep is the kind of game Ditto loves! It is cute! It’s fun! It’s a fluffy sheep named Sir Woolston who shoots lasers! I couldn’t ask for better. The soundtrack is cute too, and overall the game is quite addictive. It’s a fast-paced game, but it’s easy to learn and play as you blast your way through each level, taking out the evil wolves as the march across the screen.
At PAX East, Ditto met up with Amy and John of Clutch Play Games, who make a really fun, cute mobile game called ‘Little Chomp’. In the game, you guide a very cute caterpillar through a number of levels by ‘shooting’ him from leaf to leaf, collecting coins and fruit as you go – a game where you get to eat stuff, is there anything better for Ditto? You can use the fruit you collect to feed your other caterpillar friends by ‘flicking’ the fruit at them, and it turns them into butterflies! I like that part a lot! The controls are really simple and the game is very easy to start playing, but the higher levels are definitely a real challenge. (more…)
One of the things that Ditto likes to do at PAX East is to find cool new family friendly games among all the crazy stuff. As I was wandering through the crowd, a big green banner caught my eye with the words ‘Monster Loves You’ emblazoned across it. You see, it is VERY hard for a monster to find a good role model in most video games. Sure, there are some friendly monsters who will help you learn to count or tie your shoes, but MOST of the monsters out there are of the ‘under your bed with burning red eyes and long dripping fangs’ variety, and that’s just not fair.
Well PAX East 2013 has come and gone – my third year at PAX was definitely fun and exciting! We got there before the expo floor even opened, to play pachinko and have a great interview with Steve Spohn of the AbleGamers Foundation. We walked the floor, saw a bunch of the sights – and WOW were there some sights there. Giant robots, wizards, dragons, and of course all kinds of games! And of course there were the people – so many people! Ditto lost count after eleven, I think, but there were WAY more than that!
Hello, it is the Ditto with another Video Bloggy thingy!! Ditto has been a busy monster this week, oh boy!! But before me get into all that, I’ll start like I usually do – the Twitter report! (more…)
While I was walking around checking out some of the cool independent games, the Arcen Games booth caught my eye, both for the design and the very cool name of the game they were promoting, ‘A Valley Without Wind‘. It was a very cool looking side scroller with nice design, intriguing story, and great mechanics – including lots of different powers like my personal favorite, fire magic!
Luckily for me, Chris Park, the founder and lead developer for Arcen Games, had a few minutes to talk to us about the game and what makes it so very cool in this age of huge extreme hyper-realistic 3D blockbusters.
Ditto wanted to try something new at PAX East and had the idea to do random ‘Monster On The Street’ interviews with random PAX attendees. Unfortunately, between the crowds, the noise, and the fact that not everyone wants to be interviewed by a furry orange monster, this didn’t work out very well. I did, however, get one interview with a very nice woman named Caroline, who was really great and definitely into it. It was her first time at PAX, and it sounded like she was having a really good time. Thanks to Caroline for being such a good sport!
Ditto was lucky enough to get an interview with Mike from the great gaming company Twisted Pixel! They make games like The Maw, ‘Splosion Man, and the very popular Gunstringer! He was really nice to chat with and we had a really good talk about what Twisted Pixel has got going on. We were so interested in the game The Maw after talking to him and seeing the game played in the booth that I actually bought it when we got home, and I’ve been playing it a ton – it’s adorably cute and really funny!
Investigating the indy games area at PAXEast, I came across a booth decorated with cute square character tiles and had my favorite game title of the show – ‘Girls Like Robots‘. The game is a fun casual puzzle game with great art design and a great goal – to make everyone happy! That’s right, in a show full of games that brag about body count or extreme weapon mods, Ziba Scott was showing off a game where all you had to do was make people happy by sitting them next to people (or robots) that they like.
Ziba, the founder of PopCannibal games (This guy REALLY knows how to create catchy names!) was nice enough to give us a totally unscheduled interview and it was great talking to him! We got to play the game for a little while as well, and it really was a lot of fun. It isn’t out yet, but he says it should be out this summer and available on multiple platforms. I know I”ll be on the list to get it when it’s available, because after playing only the first few levels, I was hooked. And hey – I love making people happy, it’s what furry orange monsters do!!
At PAX East I got incredibly lucky and landed a short interview with media icon and video game legend Sonic the Hedgehog! The audio is a little off and it’s really difficult to hear Sonic’s answers, but it was a great interview and Sonic is a really funny guy!
There are so many of the ‘big budget’ games at PAX East – huge flashy games that all seemed to be about how big the guns were or how high the body counts could be. That’s not the games I was looking for. I looked at the edges of the show, for the smaller indy studios that had clever, family friendly games and who had new ideas or great spins on old ideas to share.
One of the great games I found was the adorably named ‘Go Home Dinosaurs‘, by Fire Hose Games. The concept is really cute – it’s a kind of tower defense game (one of my favorite kind of games) where you’re a gopher trying to protect your barbeque from rampaging dinosaurs. It was cute and clever, and I even got to play a bit. This is a short interview in the Go Home Dinosaurs booth, followed by a bit of me playing the game. It was a lot of fun and well worth a try if you get a chance.
As I have said before – this year for PAX East I really had one goal, one purpose in mind for the day, and that was to see, meet, and possibly talk to Felicia Day. Sure, there were many big name folks there for meet and greets, but I am a huge fan of Felicia Day, not only because she’s a fun, quirky actress, but because she has been a pioneer in social media and taking web content to the next level. ‘The Guild’, her web show about a bunch of gamers, was one of the very first to start being taken seriously by ‘old school’ media, and of course she had a starring role in ‘Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog’, which also revolutionized the way people think about internet media and distribution.
Ditto trying to meet Felicia Day
I want to talk about this one. When I went to PAX East, I honestly had one main goal – to see or even meet Felicia Day. I’m a video blogger into gaming, so naturally I’m a huge fan and really respect how her work has helped to elevate internet media to the level is at today. So that was my PAX quest – sure, I wanted to see new games and meet cool people, but I didn’t have any plan beyond my quest for a brush with celebrity.
Well, leaving the main show floor on a search for pie, I came across a booth for The AbleGamers Foundation. I’ve known about them for quite a while of course – many people in the gaming community do – and I understood their mission, but I hadn’t really looked into it any more that, as I suspect most gamers hadn’t.
OK, so these videos were the ones that I wanted to post yesterday from the floor of PAX East, but I had a lot of trouble with the WiFi at the convention center and couldn’t post them, so here they are all in one place. These are just little notes and observations from the PAX floor. (more…)
Nothing can really capture the scale, the atmosphere, or the energy of PAX East – the hall is just full of people, movement, sound, excitement, and amazing games. We took a lot of pictures, especially of some of the great and amazing Cosplayers – actually a lot of people wanted to get pictures with Ditto too… I think it’s because I did such a thorough job brushing my fur. Anyway, here is a gallery of the best of Ditto’s PAX East photos. (more…)
So here we go – by the time you read this, Miss Narrator and I will be on our way to Boston for the amazing PAX East!! I am SO excited!! We’ll explore all the games and do interviews and all kinds of stuff! My #1 goal is to get a picture with Felicia Day – I hope I can do it!! I hope I don’t just pass out and melt into a pool of fur when I see her!
Getting interviews at PAX East is a very tricky thing, because there are LOTS of reporters trying to get interviews all day, every day. Fortunately I had arranged for my interview with KingsIsle a few months in advance, but I hadn’t made any other arrangements. While we were there at PAX East Miss Narrator and I did try to get on a few interview schedules, but most places were either booked solid or, for reasons I can only guess at, didn’t seem to take my request for an interview seriously. Once again Wizard 101 proves they are an industry leader, being the fist major game company to do an interview with a Fabricated American! Now I can also add Brad Borne to that very exclusive list!
I was able to get another short interview at the show, this one with Brad Borne, the creator of the great, family-friendly flash game ‘The Fancypants Adventures‘. His game is being released on xBox Live and PSN with new levels and a multiplayer mode, and I can tell you from experience that it’s a LOT of fun! It’s a platform game with stick figure characters and some really fun physics – we had a blast playing it and Brad was kind enough to sit and talk with me for a few minutes. Here’s that interview.
So far I’ve shown you a bit about what PAX East was like, through words and pictures. Miss Narrator and I also took a number of videos for you as well, to try an convey the scale and energy on the show floor. Here are the ones that I think came out the best…
For my ‘Posted from Pax’ videos with the remote camera, the awesome Friendly Necromancer actually compiled them all on a page on his website, which was awesome, so go ahead and check them out on Friendly’s site if you haven’t yet.
This video was shot just after we got to PAX and had stopped in at the KingsIsle booth. You can see the Magic the Gathering booth behind me.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture from PAX East must be worth a lot more… Here are some of the things we saw and did during PAX!
PAX East, while an amazing and at times overwhelming show, definitely posed certain challenges to this intrepid Fabricated American blogger. For one it is HUGE and completely packed with people, and I have short furry legs, so getting around was a little tricky. Fortunately for me this was easily remedied by riding on Miss Narrator’s shoulders. That was going well until I jokingly said ‘Giddy-up’, of course, and then… Let’s just say that Miss Narrator has a line that should never be crossed.
Once in a while in a monsters life, really really awesome things happen. For me, that was getting the opportunity to go to Pax East, an amazing gaming convention in Boston that was huge and really mind-blowing in so many ways!
Just going to Pax East would have certainly been enough for me, sure, but the thing that pushed my weekend completely over the top was an opportunity to sit down with none other than Fred Howard, the Vice President of Marketing from KingsIsle. And not just shaking hands for a quick photo op in the KI booth, either – no way! Fred actually took the time to sit down with Miss Narrator and myself and answer a number of questions, including some questions posted by you, my readers, about the game!
I was so nervous! I’m just a simple Fabricated American, it was a lot for me to take in, but Fred was great, and he even said he was nervous about meeting ME – can you believe it? I really appreciate him taking the time to sit with us!
Without further ado, here’s the interview!!