PAX East – Day 1

I can honestly say, with no exaggeration, that I have never been more tired than I am today.  As a small indie company without an office, we spend most of our days alone in our respective homes quietly working our tails off.  So it’s quite a shock to the system to suddenly find oneself in the middle of a giant convention center surrounded by thousands and thousands of people.

Day 1 started early.  There was a press event at 9:00 AM, which meant that all exhibitors had to be there by 8:00 AM to make sure that we were set up and ready to go.  Here we are at the start of the day.  I look terrible in this photo but it does kind of tell a story:

Here we are in the calm before the storm.  There's me trying to get pumped up to face the day.  John, on the other hand, needs more caffeine before he can get his game face on.

Here we are in the calm before the storm. There’s me trying to get pumped up to face the day. John, on the other hand, needs more caffeine before he can get his game face on.

They call it ‘the Rush.’  It’s what happens the moment The Enforcers open the doors to the attendees at 10:00 AM.  The fans all surge forward and begin running into the exhibit hall shouting at the top of their lungs.  Being on the floor when it happens is almost indescribable.  You can hear the screaming hoard of people coming at you from somewhere in the distance but you can’t see where they’re coming from at first.  It’s more than a little unnerving.  It sort of makes you feel like you’re under attack, as though you’re in the midst of some melee battle scene in Game of Thrones.  All the other exhibitors seemed to feel the same way.  It’s both freaky and exhilarating.  Then, moments later, the hall is filled with people.

And that’s when the fun begins.

As an indie, you almost never get a chance to watch people play your game.  That is the true magic of an event like PAX.

PAX Little Chomp 2013

The best part of PAX? Watching people fall in love with your game.

It’s also a little bit surreal.  There comes a point at which things that might otherwise seem strange begin to seem totally normal.  For example, Kira stepped away for a bit and when she came back, she took this picture of me holding a giant paper mache Buster Sword so a Final Fantasy cosplayer could have some quality time with Little Chomp.

ClutchPlay Games PAX 2013 Cosplay

Now I know why Cloud Stife has such big arms. That Buster Sword is freakin’ heavy!

By the time 6:00 comes on Day 1, we’re all exhausted.  We’ve been on our feet for the 10 hours straight and we’re sore from standing, hoarse from talking all day and our faces hurt from smiling.  But it’s not over yet.

We have an exhibitor mixer from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM and then John is speaking in the Indie Showcase panel that starts at 8:00 PM.

ClutchPlay Pax East 2013

John C. Worsley, tired but representing!

I don’t know how they do it, but John and the other Indie Showcase panelists somehow manage to be charming and insightful on stage for another hour.  I am in awe of all of them.  I’m so tired I can’t even seem to take a picture that’s actually in focus.

We get back to the hotel around 10:30 or 11:00 but they day still isn’t done, at least not for me.  I have emails and promo codes to send to press people who stopped by the check out the game.  And then, there’s some blogging to do of course.

Exhausting as it is, I kind of can’t wait to do it again tomorrow.  I guess I’m tougher than I thought. 🙂