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PAX Day Zero: The First Taste

As I mentioned in my last post, because many of our days are going to be running late, these posts may be on a 1 day delay. Without further adieu, let’s talk about our first real taste of PAX.

We came into town early to pick up our passes. We arrived incredibly early, and they weren’t handing out the passes yet, so we wandered around a bit, and checked out what we could. In the same hotel they were handing out the passes, The Gallery: Six Elements was setting up their HTC Vive demo. I traded business cards with a member of their team, and attempted to set up an appointment. Crossing my fingers I hear back today for an appointment on Saturday, but we’ll be trying out other HTC Vive demos on Friday regardless.

After exploring a bit more in the hotel, we decided to have a brunch sandwich at a little shop called NYC. This is Orion’s bread and butter (pun intended); literally everyone we meet in Seattle, he recommends that they eat a sandwich at NYC, and with good reason: their food is delicious, and reasonably priced, even with the awful exchange rate we’re facing right now.

After brunch we took a short walk outside, and somewhat accidentally bumped into the HTC World Tour van. We talked to the people setting it uip, and they advised us of a super secret, brand new demo that will be shown outside the van, at the Sheraton Hotel near the convention center. So, that’s where half of us are headed first thing on Friday. After a few more minutes of walking around, we lined up for PAX Passes, and collected all 4.

Pro tip: Scalpers steal passes right off of people's necks, so if you visit PAX one year, follow these steps: run the strap through the pass hole, then run the clip itself through the hoop in the strap, and then clip it to the pass. This way someone can't simply rip it and break it off of the clip.
Pro tip: Scalpers steal passes right off of people’s necks, so if you visit PAX one year, follow these steps: run the strap through the pass hole, then run the clip itself through the hoop in the strap, and then clip it to the pass. This way someone can’t simply rip it and break it off of the clip.

We had a few more hours to kill before the tinyBuild Party Hard Release Party, so we wandered town again, and did some genuinely touristy things. My brother and I visited the Space Needle. Observation deck access was $26 and an hour wait, or restaurant access was $25 minimum purchase, and no wait. We chose the restaurant, and I had one of the best burgers of my life, coupled with one of the best views of my life.

A handsome view and two handsome (day drunk) fellers.
A handsome view and two handsome (day drunk) fellers.

At this point we had taken nearly 15000 steps, so we rode the monorail back to downtown Seattle, and began wandering again. We checked out Pike Place market, and watched skilled fishmonger throw a full 20 lb salmon over the heads of an impressed crowd. A few minutes later, we found ourselves standing in front of a wall quite literally covered in gum. Seriously, I took a picture, check it out:

It actually smelled like bubblegum in this back alley. Gross.
It actually smelled like bubblegum in this back alley. Gross.

With a couple hours left, we met some friends from Seattle for dinner at the Cheese Cake Factory, for some good old fashioned chazchalk (wish you were here Travis). Then, we made our way down to Capitol Cider for the tinyBuild Party Hard release party. At this point, we were around 20,000 steps. Pro tip: wear a comfy and durable pair of shoes for PAX Prime.

At the event, we met with Fredrick, the CEO of 3D Realms Denmark, and had an amazing off-the-record discussion that was an absolute riot. He showed us a bunch of features in developer-mode, focusing the camera on minute details of the characters (Bombshell’s gun has a phrase engraved in it: “three times the three, three times the fun” (wait a second… three threes… three times the fun… triple barrel magnum… oh no… it’s happening!). We talked extensively about Jon St. John’s role(s) in Bombshell. JSJ really shows his depth and talent in this game, let me tell you that much!

Then he speed-ran the demo for us, and it was some real MLG shit. I can picture there being a lot of fun videos to come out of this game in the speed running scene. We’ll have a video uploaded of that along with our recorded interview. I’ll reveal one secret detail I probably shouldn’t though: the game has something that is a lot like Turok 2’s Cerebral Bore, which is absolutely, positively, completely bad ass. When I said the phrase “cerebral bore” all of the developers smiled. That gives me a lot of hype.

tinyBuild is incredibly popular! This place was so packed you could barely move. Everyone in the place was going crazy screaming when one guy almost beat the Party Hard demo. Seems like it will be a nail-bitingly tense, but awesome game. Tons of fun to watch, too!
tinyBuild is incredibly popular! This place was so packed you could barely move. Everyone in the place was going crazy screaming when one guy almost beat the Party Hard demo. Seems like it will be a nail-bitingly tense, but awesome game. Tons of fun to watch, too!

Soon after talking to the 3D Realms team reps, we met up with some people who were at last year’s Indies Need Booze event in the same venue. They recognized me (no big deal). We played some Speed Runners together, had a few more drinks, and then we ubered home to the hotel, settling in for a good night’s sleep.

Make sure to keep checking in for daily posts and real-time updates! Spoiler for tomorrow: we managed to get appointments for HTC Vive, Morpheus, and Oculus all in one day! Expect a detailed report on which one is best. As always, thanks for reading.

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