PAX East 2010

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[Penny Arcade Expo East]

IF-Related Events

Storytelling in the world of interactive fiction
(Friday, March 26th, 5:30pm-6:30pm, Wyvern Theatre)

Text adventures have been quietly experimenting with narrative gaming for thirty years. Five authors from the amateur interactive fiction community discuss the design ideas in their games -- reordered storylines, unreliable narrators, deeply responsive NPCs -- and how they apply to other kinds of games. (Rob Wheeler (mod.), Robb Sherwin, Aaron Reed, Emily Short, Andrew Plotkin)

GET LAMP Panel/Screening
(Friday, March 26th, 9:30pm, Naga Theatre)

Premiere of Get Lamp!

The current plan as approved by the PAX organizers is the showing of the main GET LAMP episode at 9:30, followed by a panel on stage of people interviewed for the film, and then some showings of a few more features of the DVD after that, including the Infocom and Bedquilt episodes.

Purple Blurb
(Monday, March 29th, 5:30 pm? Nick Montfort's office or 14-314)

Emily Short and Jeremy Freese present IF at MIT.

IF Fans Attending

(People who have said they're attending at least some of the con)

The IF Suite

I (zarf) have reserved a large suite on the top floor of the Back Bay Hilton. (Room number TBA.) We have the room from Thursday afternoon until Monday morning, although I currently plan to clear out on Sunday evening.

This shall be called the "People's Republic of Interactive Fiction Hospitality Suite".

The plan is to have the door open through Friday, Saturday, and some of Sunday. It will be both a rendezvous/hangout point for mudders and IF community folks, and a publicity center for newcomers interested in IF.

(Scheduling details should probably wait until we have a PAX event schedule. Hopefully that won't be *too* late in February...)


  • Chips, soda, M&Ms in mass quantities (Kevin Jackson-Mead)
  • Computers to demo games and IF development (Jason Scott)
  • A Speed-IF at some point in the weekend (will definitely happen; Saturday would be best, but it depends on the PAX schedule) (organizer?)

People willing to help be room-watchers: (add your name)

  • Andrew Plotkin
  • Robb Sherwin
  • Harry Kaplan
  • Mary Kaplan
  • Kevin Jackson-Mead
  • Mark Musante
  • David Cornelson
  • J. Robinson Wheeler

Ideas Still In Progress

  • Cheese? Sushi? (Coolers to put them in?)
  • (note that the room comes with an HDTV which *probably* allows laptop input) (I am going to bring a bag of wires and adapters to and from various formats, so that hopefully we can get anything to work that ought to work. --jrw)
  • Maybe some scheduled discussions beyond the official PAX panel.
  • Fliers: we should have a stack of fliers describing the suite and all PAX IF events, official and unofficial. Leave on free-flier tables in the convention center.
  • Badge ribbons for all of us ("Grue lover"? "Ask me about Interactive Fiction"? "Lost in a maze of twisty little passages"? "Interactive Fiction is Real"? "What IF?"?)
  • Badge stickers for anyone who drops by the suite (may be same as ribbons). (Or maybe these can be simple: a prompt and cursor? --AAR) (Prompt and cursor was the first idea I had, but I may use a Zorkmid design that I made for another project. --jrw)
  • An intriguing (though inexpensive) modern-day "feelie" for visitors to take away

Re the feelie idea: I looked at geocoin sites -- thinking about a fancy zorkmid coin -- there are some great products available but they're expensive, $2 to $4 each. I'd want to have at least 200 for the weekend, so under a buck would be preferable. Wooden coins? Acrylic? --Z

(The coin falls somewhere between art and manufacturing. I have a a couple of designer friends who might know where to point me - let me see if I can get a bead on an affordable source during the upcoming week of 2/1. --HK)

(Oh! In fact, I created the zorkmid design because Jota wanted to make zorkmid geocoins. Hmm. I guess I should send that to you. --jrw)

(I think jrw just answered a question I was going to post - I will assume that if I can find an affordable way to have the coins produced, we can supply the graphics for both sides. Are we talking true geocoins or just souvenir coins? I thought the latter, but if we're looking for authentic geocoins it's unlikely I can help. If the former, what size souvenir coins? Please advise. -- HK)

  • "Starter" CD with some interpreter software and a few appropriate beginner games.

(I still think this is a nice idea, but I don't know if I or anyone have the resources to make enough. Maybe a less medium-centric solution might be better, like a USB key chained to a table, or a wireless network with a shared folder containing the disk image? --AAR)

(AAR may be right. If we were to produce CDs, though, what would be the minimum number we would want to have for giveaways? - HK)

  • A barebones "How To Get Started in IF" handout, defining some basic terms and giving relevant links (along with searchable phrases) to both more expansive instructions and most useful game/review sites. (At one point Emily made a booklet like this, and I did the cover art for it. I was almost thinking of printing the cover art as a poster to bring to the suite. --jrw)
  • Record the panel discussion of "Storytelling in the world of interactive fiction" and put it up on an appropriate website as a downloadable audio (not video) podcast. (Many people, believe it or not, don't like to listen to or watch anything lengthy at a computer but prefer a portable player. And what would video add of any real value to audio? - HK)