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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Panels

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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Games
GameInterestRelease Date
Civilization IV1
C&C 31
Company of Heroes1
Half Life 21
Half Life 2: Episode One1
Supreme Commander1
Call of Duty 22
Darwinia2
Dungeon Runners2
Dungeon Siege II2
Far Cry2
Galactic Civilization II2
Hitman: Blood Money2
Jade Empire2
Neverwinter Nights 22
Prey2
Psychonauts2
Sam & Max: Episode 12
Titan Quest2
Dark Messiah Might and Magic3
Defcon3
Heroes of Might and Magic V3
Indigo Prophecy3
KOTOR II3
LEGO Star Wars3
Marvel Ultimate Alliance3
Space Rangers 2: The Rise of the Dominators3
STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl3
Stubbs the Zombie3
War Front3
Warhammer: Mark of Chaos3
Infernal35/8/2007
Shadowrun25/9/07
Pirates of the Burning SeaM6/1/2007
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars?6/5/2007
Two Worlds?6/26/07
Sins of A Solar Empire?8/1/2007
BioShock18/21/2007
Mass Effect19/7/07
Age of ConanM10/30/07
Crysis1Fall 2007
Elveon?Fall 2007
Half-Life 2: Episode Two1Fall 2007
Portals1Fall 2007
Spore1Fall 2007
Stranglehold?Fall 2007
Tabula RasaMFall 2007
Team Fortress 22Fall 2007
Dragon Age?Winter 2007
Fable 2?Winter 2007
Field Ops?Winter 2007
Halo Wars?Winter 2007
Gods & Heroes: Rome RisingMWinter 2007
Haze?Winter 2007
Hellgate: London1Winter 2007
HuxleyMWinter 2007
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men?Winter 2007
Left 4 Dead?Winter 2007
The AgencyMSpring 2008
Empire Earth III?Spring 2008
Guild Wars 2 MSpring 2008
Jericho?Spring 2008
Sacred 2?Spring 2008
Savage 2?Spring 2008
Time Shift2Spring 2008
Universe at War: Earth Assault3Spring 2008
The Witcher?Spring 2008
CellFactor?2008
Darkest of Days?2008
On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkeness: Episode 122008
Warhammer OnlineM2008
Alliance: The Silent War??
Alone in the Dark??
Assassin's Creed??
BioWare MMO??
The Crossing??
Dungeon Hero??
Fallout 3??
Lego Batman??
Mythos??
Overloard??
Space Seige??
Culdcept SagaPC??
Gears of WarPC??
God of WarPC??
Beautiful KatamariPC??
OkamiPC??
Resistance: Fall of ManPC??
Odin's SpherePC??
Castle CrashersPC??

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?