PAX Australia 2015: An Event To Remember

It can be difficult to digest the entirety of PAX Australia -- there's so many games, panels, people and costumes to see.

To help the digestive process, here's our entire coverage of the event from the minute the doors opened (well, to the queue area anyway) to the minute the doors closed.

Presented by Lenovo. We make the technology that powers the world's best ideas. Innovation never stands still. This is Lenovo.

Australian Indies At PAX Are Keeping Local Multiplayer Alive: Hayley's been through some of the indie booths at PAX and there's a high ratio of local/couch co-op games; have a read and discover some of the new indies that should be on your radar.

Master Of Orion: A Project Of Love That Became A 4X By Committee: I was keen to check out Master of Orion as soon as I saw it announced, and what is discovered was very much faithful to the original -- although it's difficult to see what it brings to the table that's new for the genre as a whole.

Video Games In VR Don't Have To Be First-Person: "We basically looked at the Oculus guidelines and ignored every single one of them." That's Shannon Pickles throwing out the VR playbook.

Don't Bother Lining Up For The Fallout 4 Booth At PAX This Weekend: Hayley went to Bethesda's booth for Fallout 4 and was left supremely disappointed, because there's nothing shown at PAX that hasn't already been showcased in a trailer or a livestream before. If you're one of the many, many people excited for Fallout 4, save yourself the trouble and read her article instead.

The Queue Hype Is Real: While everyone was waiting for the doors and panels to officially open, I scoured the queues and spoke to some PAX attendees to see just how real the hype was.

A Guide To Playing Board Games At PAX Australia: The tabletop and board gaming area of PAX is a large part of the convention's heart and soul, and Adam's guide has all the info you need to get the most out of it.

The Australian Video Games That Don't Exist: Mark visited The Arcade in Melbourne and took a moment to enjoy a series of posters for games that were never intended to be made, the in-jokes for developers.

Warren Spector Tells Gamers To "Vote With Your Feet" During Keynote Speech: The legendary designer got up and told people about what motivated him to make games -- and why gamers shouldn't be so accepting of what the industry is dishing out these days.

Someone Is Creating A Kotaku Inspired Game Character At PAX Australia: Mark convinced three very clever people to create a monster/sheriff. That abomination is will be spawned before PAX finishes this year.

Scott Ludlam: The Government Should Do More To Help Australian Video Games: The Greens co-deputy leader and Senator was probably one of the biggest drawcards on the Saturday panel-wise, and he didn't fail to disappoint. Senator Ludlam helped illuminate the image problem facing video games in Parliament, and his insights are always worth listening to.

DESYNC: The Game That Takes FPS And Dunks It In A Bucket Of Neon: It's not for everyone, but it's hard not to notice DESYNC on the show floor given the colour and it's similarities to Bulletstorm.

The PAX Freeplay Area Needs A Facelift: The freeplay and tabletop areas are part and parcel of PAX, just as much as the characters and the panels are. But the freeplay section, which adjoins onto the main exhibition hall and blocks the board and card gaming area away from the rest of the PAX din, looks cold and lifeless. Why?

RIP: The Indie Dream, 2008-2015: An indie developer made a coffin to show off his game that was filled with the sweetest of surprises.

The Weirdest Game At PAX Came From The Mind Of Four Year Old Boy: The buzz on the show floor about Inflatality has been immense, but even more interesting than the flailing balloon men is the game's genesis.

PAX Australia, In Pictures: I took as many photos as I could, and if you couldn't attend PAX or you wanted to relive some of the things you saw at the event, then go and have a look!

The First Steam Controllers In Australia Will Arrive Early Next Year:: I saved my tech chats for the Sunday but I wasn't expecting to walk away with news about the Steam Controller. Sadly, it won't be available in my living room tomorrow, but this deadline isn't too bad.

An Australian Studio Pitched To Create A VR Tie-In For The Martian: The developers behind Earthlight have a history of working on unusual or experimental experiences, but that doesn't mean they haven't tried to work with big blockbusters in the past -- and it's a field of VR they expect will only become more commonplace.


Comments

    and the Good Game Pocket Live was amazing, as well as the Good Game AMA's. I enjoyed them a lot.

    The Division is about as great as I thought it was, and I'm very happy they delayed it. After Watch_Dogs, and Unity, Ubisoft has picked up their game again.

      How was it? When I found out they were only showing 3v3 multiplayer, I didn't bother to line up. Wanted a taste of the open world mmo(?)

        It was a decent taste of what I would expect from an Open World MMO on a console like this. I mean, Destiny wasn't, nor isn't the game everyone expected, but from what I've seen, The Division is definitely on par with what I thought it would be like.

        The gunplay is fun, but requires getting used to. There's a lot of buttons to get used to, however the UI makes quick work of helping understand what you should be looking at. I was surprised on how much recoil comes from the weapons, and I look forward to really see the maths of it all. It is very team-focused, and requires you to take cover and sprint as much as possible, as it's almost impossible to do anything without taking cover and coordinating with a team.

        So, it was actually 3v3v3, and they all go into the Dark Zone to pick up some stuff after killing some "Rikers". You then move out into an open space to Extract your weapons, however you have to kill some really overpowered "Cleaners", carrying Flamethrowers.

        After you kill them you move in to the Extraction Zone, which is a fairly limited area compared to the rest of the open area and call for an Extraction, however only one group can call at a time, so you can either wait your turn or go "Rogue", and kill other agents, and then the rest of your team become "Rogue", and if you kill a Rogue agent, while you're normal you gain extra experience.

        I actually had a brilliant experience like this, because I pulled off killing a whole team of Rogue agents on my own. There's a small two story L-shaped building on the far-side of where you enter, and I moved up towards a balcony behind the rogue agent who was sniping my team. I was able to take him out, then move in with a Grenade, do significant damage to another team member, while there was their third flanking me as I was walking in. Fortunately, they weren't a good shot and I was able to move back and in cover to take them both out on my own.

        There's a Ubisoft "mentor" behind me as I was playing, and he was extremely impressed on how I pulled that off, and it was extremely satisfying.

        It seems like Ubisoft did significant work with balancing, and making sure there was a lot of work and finesse between Difficulty and Satisfaction of the experience.

        I look forward to what else The Division has in store, especially with Story elements. It is a bit of a red-flag that there really hasn't been any significant detail with how the story will actually play out other than the setting, and who you play and why you play that character, but I feel Ubisoft has seen the work Bungie has done and been like, "Yep, we DEFINITELY aren't doing that", and after 2014, their quality of games have improved, I mean look at Syndicate!

        Last edited 02/11/15 10:40 pm

    Maybe it just reflected my mood all weekend, but it felt like the most lackluster PAX to date for me. Been to all the Aussie ones to date and this one just seemed flat compared to last year. Ahh well, hope everyone else enjoyed themselves ^_^

      This. The other years were a lot stronger. The Division and Battlefront were two games I was pumped to play but after having a go came to the conclusion that they were both incredibly boring.

        I basically sat there the whole time in the boardgame section kind of wondering why I'd come this time. Still had a great time with my mates, but nothing on the floor interested me. They need to change it up a bit somehow for next year.

          Probably not going next year

            Likewise. Living in Melbourne, I feel like I'd enjoy taking the Friday and Monday off and having a mini holiday somewhere instead!

          I found it was mostly the Community and the Panels I was most interested in. Last year was definitely the highlight for me, but after meeting people I've talked over the internet with over the past year, it was definitely a highlight to actually speak with them in person.

      It's because I wasn't there, wasn't it? BJ maketh the PAX.

      It definitely wasn't as good in the whole booth and AAA part of it - I mean, come on, the biggest booths were for games already out (AC, Halo, Battlefield Hardline for gods sake) but the rest of it was pretty damn good. Some amazing indie stuff, showing off just how strong the Aussie indie scene is; the tabletop area was as bustling as ever (as someone who comes from a rural town and not able to play with people barely ever, this was amazing personally); the panels were on point and ranged from serious interesting topics to hilarious fun filled experiences. It was more of a "look and you'll find it" than a "wow this amazingness hit me in the face constantly" kind of PAX.

      Agreed. I found it very boring and the stalls didn't have as many great deals as you come to expect from PAX. The Bethesda booth was a particular failure for me.

      This year is the first PAX I've attended and I had a really good time. Could you expand on what it was about previous years that made them better? I'm curious.

        There was definitely more energy in the air, the panels were a bit better in my opinion, in the very first year there was next to no politics being thrown in and now half the panels are on that (and ironically become exclusionary to someone like myself) so I just feel less and less like I'm associating with the core demographic of PAX and the games on display are no longer my cup of tea.

          The Games Industry is becoming less light-hearted, and more political because it's becoming more mature, like film and television. Also, the fact Senator Scott Ludlam's panel last year was HUGE, it sparked more political panels to come in.

            Well count me out then. PAX is going from a for the players to a for the developers/industry event rather quickly and that to me is not what it's meant to be about.

    Did they have a Fallout 4 gameplay showcase by any chance?

      Don’t Bother Lining Up For The Fallout 4 Booth At PAX This Weekend: Hayley went to Bethesda’s booth for Fallout 4 and was left supremely disappointed, because there’s nothing shown at PAX that hasn’t already been showcased in a trailer or a livestream before. If you’re one of the many, many people excited for Fallout 4, save yourself the trouble and read her article instead.

    I read one of the Penny Arcade guys say "PAX is what you make it". And I couldn't agree more. I went to every panel I could, got front row seats to pretty much all of the ones we got into including the opening Panel.

    https://scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/12187909_10153778872019828_937467871764293405_n.jpg?oh=143bf0d702553963440fdebe93c47922&oe=56D19D9B - Side note that's Warren Spectors (creator of Deus Ex) wife at the front there. Scored a seat next to her and didn't even realise it

    Got to go on to one of the stages and won a tablet and some ps4/xbox one games during the trivia competition Geek Bomb and Big Head Mode had.

    https://scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t34.0-12/12202309_10153778552199828_1336768880_n.jpg?oh=3b3c671bc7d391e83dda026c5ade082a&oe=5639BFD2 - handsome devil on the right

    Got to meet the guys from Big Head Mode, Axis of Awesome and Insert Coin at their booth outside. Really decent funny down to earth guys.

    Got to demo Battleborn and Dark Souls 3 which was a nice bonus.

    We became buddy buddy with all the omeganauts since we were sitting with them during every Omegathon round.

    And finally we made it into the Dota 2 finals in the tournament they had (couldn't win the final though, we picked a really bad draft against their team + we were the only team made up of randoms, every other team was pre made - this was the only downside over the 3 days).

    I actually ran out of time to see and do everything because of all the panels, Omegathon and the tournament we were in during the last day.

    I had a blast and I will definitely be going again next year.

    Last edited 02/11/15 7:14 pm

    Last year was so terrible that me and my friends decided to not attend this year and judging by the comments we made a good decision. These events are meant to get bigger and better each year, not get worse and cost more to attend!

    My only complaint was that other than the addition of Pinball machines, the retro gaming section was quite poorer than the previous year's. Easily a half of the offerings. Oh and console tournies are still chaotic and disorganised.

      Which console tourneys did you have issues with? What happened?

    I'm from one of the sites that ran the Classic Gaming area this year. Was it simply the amount of consoles/computers that you found disappointing? We've had obscure systems in the past such as the Nuon, Arcadia, etc that are great to have on display, but unfortunately spend the majority of the weekend unplayed. With the addition of the pinball and arcade machines this year and a limited amount of space to work with (we were allotted the same amount of space as last year), we had to make quite a few cuts to the console line up and we knew going in that we receive some flack for it.

    Thank you for your feedback though! We'll take it on board and try to find a middle ground for next year! :)

    You missed the most UNIQUE game at PAX Aus 2015 completely!

    CryptoCollider.com - The World First Game That's Also A Bitcoin Trading Platform

Join the discussion!