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Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


We did actually make it to some talks about game design and story telling. There were some very key lessons learned during these few hours. As I said before, lines form early to everything at PAX, so plan accordingly. However these lines are different than what you find at Six Flags or Disney Land.

We joined the queue about halfway back, and were immediately embroiled in a game of Apples to Apples or a discussion of Plants vs Zombies. In one line a spontaneous multi-round 'face off' occurred where the participants attempted to come up with the most creative dirty look. It was co-op too, so you were judged on how well your face warping worked with your partner's.

(As an aside, you can see us playing Apples to Apples for about a half second in Penny Arcade: Season 2: Episode 1. Sam is the easiest to spot at about the 12:40 mark.)

Once inside the theater, a harsh truth is realized. The panel's fun factor is 100% dependent on the panel leader's experience. Our first group had a couple of crazy indie developers who's games no one at PAX had played. If no one at PAX knows about your game, it might as well not exist.

Luckily, there was one lady who had worked on Assassin's Creed and Guild Wars. She had interesting comments to make, which were put into context because we'd played those games. So remember the lesson, the session name is little more than an advertisement. Make sure more than one speaker has experiences you care about.

After the session, the floor was opened up to questions. This brings up another excellent lesson. Vary your panel topics from day to day, because the questions for story telling and pen & paper RPGs are exactly the same.


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On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkeness: Episode 122008
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1 - I will buy it
2 - I'll buy it at discount
3 - Other people think it's good, but I wasn't interested when I first heard about it
M - Mainly Multiplayer. See if friends get interested.
? - Find out more about this game
PC? - Will it be released on the PC?