“When will we find out what’s happening at PAX Aus?”
It’s a question I get asked daily, to which the usual answer is – really soon! That said, there have been quite a few bits and pieces announced, and I find myself uniquely placed to collate them in a slightly more coherrent way than social media allows, if for no other reason than to be able to answer the question with a link to this page.
Plus, tickets to this years show are still available to purchase.
Still with me? Great, let’s get specific then!
Every PAX opens with a single games industry keynote type person. At PAX Aus last year it was Ron Gilbert of Monkey Island fame, this year it’s Pete Hines, the Vice President of PR & Marketing at Bethesda. As the title suggests, this is usually an opportunity to hear some great stories about the behind the scenes of games and games culture, and as someone who has worked on every title Bethesda has made over the last decade and a half (bringing franchises like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout and Wolfenstein into the modern era of gaming), you can bet it’ll be a fascinating talk.
‘Storytime with Pete Hines’ will take place on Friday, 10:30am in the Main Theatre.
A big part of PAX are the night time musical performances, a selection of bands that tend to lean more towards a geek niche. PAX Aus last year was a great mix of local and international talent, and this year is no different.
There is one more musical guest who will be playing, and it’s going to be absolutely amazing … but it hasn’t been announced yet, so I can’t say (except to say who it’s not).
So I still expect there to be lines for panels, but this year we’ve increased the size of the theatre space by almost 3 times as much. We have 6 theatres (as opposed to last years 4), and they are:
- Main Theatre (Lvl 0, Convention Centre)
- Wombat Theatre (Lvl 0, Convention Centre)
- Dropbear Theatre (Lvl 1, Exhibition Centre)
- Kookaburra Theatre (Lvl 2, Convention Centre)
- Galah Theatre (Lvl 2, Convention Centre)
- Fruitbat Theatre (Lvl 2, Convention Centre)
Tip: The distance each animal is from the ground correlates to what level the theatre is on.
I expect we will release the full schedule early to mid October (and keep in mind there will be close to 100 different panels!), but in the meantime there have been a few big panels already announced, along with the date/time/location.
PENNY ARCADE PANELS (Q&A, MAKE A STRIP)
I feel this goes without saying, but Mike & Jerry (aka Gabe & Tycho) will be involved in multiple panels over all 3 days of PAX Aus. You can already expect the usual Q&A and Make a Strip panels, however this year if you want certain questions answered, you’ll need to submit them prior to the event using this handy form here.
Main Theatre – Friday, 1:00pm
Formed in 2001 with the online smash hit Red Vs Blue, Rooster Teeth has since grown into a Texan-sized production company, responsible for none other than Achievement Hunter, RWBY, The Gauntlet, Immersion, Slo-Mo Guys and plenty more. Join the Rooster Teeth staff as they go up on stage completely unprepared and wing it!
THE REALITIES OF WRITING ABOUT GAMES
Fruitbat Theatre – Friday, 5pm
What does it actually mean to work on a games publication? What are some of the realities of working on games magazines and websites?
Join Daniel Wilks (Editor of Hyper Magazine), John Gillooly (Editor of PCPowerPlay Magazine), Cam Shea (Senior Editor of IGN-Australia), Stephen Farrelly (Managing Editor of AusGamers), and full-time freelancers Joab Gilroy and Katie Williams for a chat about the realities of the job and to answer some questions for those who are looking to get a foot in the door.
TALKING FUNNY: COMEDY AND VIDEO GAMES
Galah Theatre – Friday, 7:30pm
Whether it’s self aware parody of popular culture or just a platform for dick jokes, there’s no denying games are a powerful medium for comedy. But can comedy in games be pushed further? A panel of comedians and writers will wade their way through the games industry in the pursuit of comedy. From “Conkers Bad Fur Day” to “South Park: Stick of Truth”, we’ll look at what games have made us laugh the hardest and what games deserve to be laughed at.
Join Ben O’Brien (Big Head Mode), Ron Gilbert (Yes, THE Ron Gilbert of Monkey Island fame), Jordan Raskopoulos (The Axis of Awesome), Maurice Suckling (Narrative Designer at 2K Australia), Paul Verhoeven (ABC3 Steam Punks) and Carlo Ritchie (The Bear Pack) as they wade their way through the games industry in the pursuit of comedy.
DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE COSPLAY CELEBRITY
Galah Theatre – Sunday, 10:30am
Isn’t “cosplay” just something people do for fun at conventions once or twice a year? What even is a “Professional Cosplayer?” The world of cosplay is a constantly growing and evolving universe. We discuss the changing landscape of nerdy dress ups, and if in the age of social media “cosplay celebrity” actually exists. Whether you’re a hardcore costumer or you’ve never stepped foot into the real world with your underpants on the outside, come along and help us solve the mystery of cosplay fame.
INSIDE GEARBOX SOFTWARE
Main Theatre – Sunday, 10:30am
This is your opportunity to take a behind the scenes look at Gearbox Software and get the latest news and updates on our games including Borderlands, Battleborn and Homeworld Remastered! We will have never before seen reveals, exclusives and surprises so don’t miss your chance to hang out with the Gearbox crew at PAX Australia!
I AM JC DENTON: A CONVERSATION WITH JAY ANTHONY FRANKE
Wombat Theatre – Sunday, 11:30am
Jay Anthony Franke is the voice actor who not only provided the voice of JC and Paul Denton, but also worked on the dev team that created the Gaming Classic, Deus Ex. Please join us as Jay recalls stories and anecdotes of how this Legendary game to be. This will be a 45 minute presentation/interview followed by a 15 minute audience Q&A.
Of course it wouldn’t be a games show without the games themselves, and although most of the publishers haven’t revealed their full activations at the show just yet, there have been a few pretty awesome announcements so far.
Well it just wouldn’t be a PAX without Wargaming.net coming to the table, and this year they’re not only going to have another huge presence for World of Tanks, they’ll also be giving people hands on with their upcoming World of Warships games as well!
Not only will RIOT Games have a huge presence at the show itself, but they’ll be running their Oceanic Regional Finals on the Saturday and Sunday of the show as well! We learnt out lesson from last year too, as there will be a large dedicated spectator area around their booth where fans can watch the tournament!
The massive crowd funded online space sim will be coming to PAX Aus, along with the original Wing Commander himself – Chris Roberts. Not only are they going to be throwing parties for backers, they’ll also be premiering the new FPS module exclusively during the PAX Aus weekend!
Then there’s the slightly left of centre, with EA setting up their own Community Lounge, where they will host activities, games, and panels over the entire weekend. Oculus VR will be making their way down under along with their latest Oculus Rift development kits. And of course, everyone’s favourite tabletop party game Cards Against Humanity will have their own space at the show, where they will also be launching the Australian Edition of the game!
If you’re wondering if all the other big games publishers will be at the show this year, well … I can’t say anything yet. I can say that we will have well over twice as many publishers as we had at last years show, and that doesn’t include individual big name developers who are making the trip over to have their OWN booth at PAX Aus.
There will also be over 60 Australia/New Zealand game developers showcasing their games at PAX Aus this year, and that doesn’t include any of the international or tabletop developers either. So far we’ve confirmed games such as Crabitron Kinect, Majestic Nights, Swordy, Hedron, Metrocide, Scraps, Conjure TCG, and Ninja Pizza Girl. This is quite literally the tip of the iceberg, as you can expect literally hundreds of awesome games you’ll be able to play in the Expo Hall this year.
PAX Aus Indie Showcase Winners
We run a competition each PAX where we get a bunch of industry peeps together to choose the best selection of indie games that will be highlighted during that show. We call it the PAX Aus Indie Showcase, and you simply have to check out the videos below of the 6 winners for this year, which you’ll be able to play in the Expo Hall.
And so much more …
I’m so excited about all the awesome stuff at this years show, plus the fact that we are at an new awesome venue in the middle of the city this time! Pay close attention over the next month to the PAX Aus Facebook and Twitter pages, where I’ll be working hard to keep the announcements coming on a daily basis.
SEE YOU SOON AT PAX AUS 2014!!!