PAX East 2011

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Revision as of 22:45, 23 February 2011 by Flourish (Talk | contribs) (People planning to attend)

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PAX East is an annual convention, this year running from March 11 to 13, put on by the team at Penny Arcade. You should go. Last year rocked.


Just like last year, we will have an IF Hospitality Suite (in the Westin). This will be open noon-midnight on Friday, noon-midnight Saturday, and noon-3pm Sunday.

In addition, we will have an IF function room (also in the Westin) on Saturday only. (See Dave's notes below.) We'll schedule our larger events there.

Both rooms will be open to the public, and will not require a PAX badge.

Official PAX events

(Complete PAX schedule)

PAX has confirmed the following two events on their schedule. (These events will require a PAX badge.) Neither is IF-specific, but these are the ones including IF people:

  • "How to fund your game development project with Kickstarter" (Friday - 12:30 pm - Cat Theatre) -- Cindy Au, Andrew Plotkin, Joshua Newman, Evan Balster
  • "Interactive Drama: Dialogue as Gameplay" (Friday - 2:00 pm - Cat Theatre) -- Jonathon Myers, Stephen Dinehart, Evan Skolnick, Emily Short, John Gonzalez

Also note:

  • Parsely Games (from the designer of Action Castle): (Friday - 3:30 pm - Merman Theatre) -- Jared Sorensen
  • IGDA Writers SIG meetup (Sunday - 10:00 am) -- Jon Myers, Clara Fernandez-Vara

Events hosted by us

Schedules are not yet finalized, so please add panel or event ideas below.


  • We all go out to eat before PAX (Thursday, 7 pm, Tavern in the Square, Central Square, 730 Mass Ave, Cambridge). (mhilborn is setting this up)
    • Do we sign up for this somewhere?

Friday, IF suite

(The two PAX panels noted above are early Friday afternoon. IF suite events will be in the afternoon and evening.)

  • "Non-gamers gaming" (4:30 pm) How do you design challenges for gamers who haven't played the last thirty famous entries in the genre? What about readers and writers who do not identify as gamers? What do they want? What do they *not care about* that we take for granted? (Caleb Garner, Tim Crosby, Heather Albano, Sarah Morayati, Andrew Plotkin)
  • "Meet the IF community" (7:30 pm) One of the Boston game people suggested that we should pick a time and say "If you're busy at PAX, but you want to stop by the IF suite and meet people at least once, *this* is a good time to do it." Just to avoid diffusion.

Saturday, Alcott Room

All Saturday events will be in the Alcott room, because that's when we'll have it.

  • Speed-IF launch (1:00-1:45 pm). Madlib-style topic selections. Games are "due" at 10:30 pm. David Cornelson
  • "Setting as character in narrative games" (2:00-3:30 pm) -- I proposed this as a PAX panel. It wasn't accepted (probably because Irrational is doing "Building Game Worlds As Main Characters"), but that's about Bioshock Infinite and this will be about every other game in existence. (Andrew Plotkin, Rob Wheeler, Stephen Granade, Dean Tate (Harmonix)).
  • An IF play event. (4:00-6:00 pm) (Basically a real-life ClubFloyd -- we throw a game up on a projector screen and give somebody the keyboard. Someone else reads the output out loud.) (Suggested: Everybody Dies, Floatpoint)
  • A lightning introduction to Inform 7. (7:00-7:45 pm) (Andrew Plotkin, Jason McIntosh)
  • IF Demo Fair. (8:00-10:00 pm) (Emily Short.) Authors have the opportunity to work on tech demonstrations during February, focusing on one of several themes (new types of NPC interaction, new UI formats). During the fair, we'll set up the projects and let viewers explore the exhibits they want to see. There is an official announcement.
  • Speed-IF game play (10:30-11:30 pm). We play whatever people have got. David Cornelson

Sunday, IF suite

  • Curveship (1:30pm). Nick Montfort presents his experimental narration-centric IF development system.

(At 3pm we chase everybody out and start deconstructing the room. Anyone still around for dinner, we'll meet up.)

Other ideas (probably off the list at this point)

  • Discussion on puzzles as a way to tell story, not just a pacing device or way to control access
  • Grue Street IF writer's workshop. (Somewhat modified to be a public event. People bring in-progress IF work, we play them together and critique.)
  • Moving from inspiration to design -- A lot of IF authors get lost in the steps from 'I want to write IF!' to how to go about doing so, so go through various starting points ("I want to evoke this kind of mood", "I want to explore this theme", "I want to emulate this kind of non-IF story", "I want to play with this kind of mechanic") and discuss how you'd go from there to fleshing out your ideas to picking a design process. (Participants: Aaron Reed, ???)

Alcott Conference Room for Saturday

We have a meeting room reserved at the Westin for Saturday from 12 noon until 12 midnight, connected to the convention. It's 1,035sqft (41ft x 29ft) and seats up to 100 people. We'll have a theatre (rowed seats) layout.

(To get there: cross skywalk to Westin; look right past escalators, mezzanine level)

Internet Connectivity

Individual Wi-Fi codes can be purchased for the day at $50 on Saturday, but they need to be requested early. As the day gets later, they won't provide new codes. There is a slight delay as codes are created. If anyone wants to pre-order Wi-Fi access, let me know.


We cannot bring any of our own food or beverages into the meeting room. There's a union rule that bars outside food. There may be signs in the room saying "No Food or Beverages Allowed". The cost of hotel menu food is prohibitive.

Demo Fair

Time yet to be determined: playthrough on a projector of the works submitted to the IF demo fair.

Swag and other supply plans

  • The Automatypewriter (Jim Munroe)
  • How-to-play-IF cards (Zarf)
  • Left over from last year: "say hello" nametag stickers, ">" badge stickers, "frotz badge" badge stickers. (Zarf)
  • Hadean Lands promo buttons. (mark musante)
  • Munchies for IF suite


  • A video projector. (Zarf is bringing this -- it has VGA and S-video inputs)
  • Extension cords, power strips (Zarf, but more wouldn't hurt)
  • From last year: sharpies, paper, magic blue tape (Zarf)
  • Two ancient Linux laptops -- text-mode IF terps only (Zarf)
  • The traditional Myst sound environments (Zarf)

Posters for Rooms

We're getting an order of posters together for the PAX rooms. I have a quote for 20 24" x 36" posters for $400 ($20 per). Textfyre will pitch in the difference of whatever people can't pay. If you have a game or other IF poster, please follow the guidelines at:

DEADLINE: Submit poster files to me by February 28th.

...and send your image to david at textfyre.

  1. The Shadow in the Cathedral - Textfyre
  2. The Empath's Gift (Coming Soon) - Textfyre
  3. The Cil Wars (IF Demo Fair) - Textfyre
  4. Parchment - Dannii
  5. Hadean Lands - Zarf
  6. The IF room itself (I'll put it on a tripod outside the door) - Zarf
  7. The Warbler's Nest - Jmac
  8. IF Name Generator - Nitku
  9. IF Demo Fair - Emily

Room-watching shifts

This is for the IF Suite only. (The Alcott room will be thoroughly inhabited on Saturday, so I don't think we need signups for it.)

We need people in the Suite from noon-midnight Friday, noon-midnight Saturday, noon-3pm Sunday. Yes, this means somebody will have to miss each event in the Alcott room -- sorry about that. I'd prefer to keep the Suite open through Saturday, even though it will probably be low-population. (It will be the quiet room with the snacks.)

You are signing up to stay in the Suite, watch the stuff, and make sure nobody walks off with anything or pours soda on the bed or anything stupid like that.

M. Flourish Klink - 2-4PM Friday, noon-2PM Sunday. (Can also take some other shifts if necessary.)

People planning to attend