PAX Australia 2016 has come and gone for another year, and it was quite possibly the best one we’ve been to so far. Here’s what we got up to during our three days at the event.
We started off at the show floor an hour earlier than the general public, which gave us the opportunity to check out the area and where everything is. One thing we’ve noticed differently from past years is that the show floor is spaced out a lot nicer, with larger passageways and more of the prime exhibitors at the entrance of the queue hall, such as Twitch, Xbox and PlayStation. The setup of the Freeplay Section was different this year, with tabletop games along with tabletop gaming retailers/booths sitting closer to the show floor entrance. This was very convenient for those who wanted to go straight to tabletop games after playing the vast amount of video games on the show floor.
Upon arriving at the PAX Rising section (where all the indie games are featured), we were amazed by the size of the section and the selection of indie titles to check out. This was made even better as a good lot of the titles on show were actually made in Melbourne. You could tell from looking at their booths which sported the pink ‘Proudly Made in Melbourne’ banner across the top. Our first visit at PAX Rising was to Stirfire Studios and their VR title, Symphony of the Orchestra. Given that we haven’t had much hands-on experience in VR previously, we were quite skeptical as to what we would expect. That changed, however, as we were blown away by how immersive the title was, which involved the user to grow a plant by changing the weather of the world you were in. A simple premise, but coupled with a HTC Vive headset, it lead to one amazing experience and we’ll be keeping our eyes on this one. A couple of our favourite indie titles we checked out in PAX Rising were Death Squared by SMG Studio, and Wildfire created by Sneaky Bastards. We’ll have a more in-depth indie wrap-up article on the site soon.
In between checking out the show floor and playing games in PAX Rising, we got to check out a couple of the panels throughout the three days. Our first one we attended was ‘The Changing Nature of Games Media’, which explored how games media is progressing from print to online, and how new platforms such as Twitch could be seen as the next step to providing games coverage. The ‘Why is 7/10 a Bad Score?’ questioned the nature of why 7/10 is perceived as an ‘average’ score, and whether a new scoring system should be adopted or if no scoring system should be used. Both panels provided an interesting insight into how the industry functions and what changes/trends we could potentially see in the future.
We thoroughly enjoyed our three days at PAX Australia this year and it is definitely an event worth going to. The show floor could be covered in a day, but factoring in the amazing PAX Rising section, numerous panels to attend and checking out the Freeplay section, it is well worth your while to grab a three day pass to properly take in the entirety of the event.
Have a look at our photos on our Facebook page!