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Subject: "PAX Unplugged" Tickets Now On Sale! rss

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Matt Morgan
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jgunnz wrote:
Just booked my tickets for PAX Unplugged.

I am a little curious why there is no information about the con available yet. I.e. what kind of game library will be available? How much space will be available for open gaming? What kind of structured events will be going on? Will there by sign-ups for learning games, etc.

I hope this information will follow soon - but I am still excited to see a fairly local con for me!
The PAX game library is listed on BGG . It was ~1,200 games as of the last PAX, but we're in the process of expanding up to around 1,500 with all of the latest releases, right up through Essen 2017.

I can't give specific layout of the con at this point, but plenty of seating for open gaming. There will be a variety of structured events: demos, tournaments, and some marquee events. But the focus is primarily on open play. These events will be listed a few weeks prior to the con, with registration on site.

Big new info on this con is going to start flowing towards the end of the month. Early August at the latest. When it does, do not be surprised if the last of the 3-day badges disappear quickly, with the Saturday daily badges not far behind. If you want to be safe, get a badge now. They are mailed in advance and are not tied to you, so you are free to sell if you decide not to go.

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gundabad wrote:


I can't give specific layout of the con at this point, but plenty of seating for open gaming. There will be a variety of structured events: demos, tournaments, and some marquee events. But the focus is primarily on open play. These events will be listed a few weeks prior to the con, with registration on site.

Big new info on this con is going to start flowing towards the end of the month. Early August at the latest. When it does, do not be surprised if the last of the 3-day badges disappear quickly, with the Saturday daily badges not far behind. If you want to be safe, get a badge now. They are mailed in advance and are not tied to you, so you are free to sell if you decide not to go.



Is there anyway to get a list or partial list of confirmed exhibitors/guests? Even with the *list subject to change qualifier.
It would be nice to know if any of the publishers are sending people, the only ones I've seen say yes for sure are Lone Shark.
 
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Gary Pope
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For events like this if it's not attached to a hotel with discounts then I'd advice using Airbnb everyday of the week and book a room ASAP. I booked a "safety" room a week before tickets went on sale. A "safety" room to me is a room you book that is dirt cheap, that is 100% refundable, worse case scenario you have a room ready to go if you need it. Then after tickets went on sale I already had a group of people I was communicating with and we decided on a different, bigger apartment to rent out. I have 8 friends going and rooming for the entire event is going to cost me $80 and we are roughly a 20 minute walk from the convention.

In fact if we booked even quicker we could've gotten a spot for a little more right across the street. Airbnb is the way to go if price is an issue.
 
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Matt Morgan
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stevelabny wrote:
gundabad wrote:


I can't give specific layout of the con at this point, but plenty of seating for open gaming. There will be a variety of structured events: demos, tournaments, and some marquee events. But the focus is primarily on open play. These events will be listed a few weeks prior to the con, with registration on site.

Big new info on this con is going to start flowing towards the end of the month. Early August at the latest. When it does, do not be surprised if the last of the 3-day badges disappear quickly, with the Saturday daily badges not far behind. If you want to be safe, get a badge now. They are mailed in advance and are not tied to you, so you are free to sell if you decide not to go.



Is there anyway to get a list or partial list of confirmed exhibitors/guests? Even with the *list subject to change qualifier.
It would be nice to know if any of the publishers are sending people, the only ones I've seen say yes for sure are Lone Shark.

1) Soon
2) It would probably be easier to list the publishers *not* at the convention

Seriously can't wait to share this info with you all.
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gundabad wrote:
]Thanks for asking this. PAX will primarily use the Market St entrance, so this shouldn't be a problem, but certainly plays a factor in determining which is the best/closest hotel.

No info on additional entrances opening up once the morning line is let in, but I think it's safe to assume some re-entry points along Arch will open up. You are always still welcome to use Market, though. And it will be a good idea on Marathon day.


Market St entrance?

Not a Philly native so I only have the internet... But the convention center looks like its got Arch St to the South, Race St to the North, N Broad St to the West and N 11th St to the East. Market St looks to be 2-3 blocks further south.

The maps seem to show some sort of overpass/skyway/something that might go through another building and wind up on Market St, but I wouldnt expect that if not for this potential warning.

Can you clarify?
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Matt Morgan
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Sure thing. The boundaries you describe are accurate for the open-floor exhibit hall spaces of the convention center, but much of the break-out room space is contained within that southern elbow that comes all the way down to Market St.

The Market St. entrance also leads people into the Grand Hall, a very large atrium-type area where people can line up prior to the 10AM show opening. It will be nice to have an indoor queue area if Philly in November winds up being on the cold side (it can vary quite wildly during that time of year).

If you are on Market St, here is what you will see:


Points of entry and such will be made VERY clear in all sorts of signage and pre-con materials, so have no fear. This is still very early information.
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Matt Morgan
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The exhibitor list has been posted. This is subject to change, but here is where it stands so far, in alphabetical order:

9th Level Games
Academy Games
Albino Dragon
Alderac Entertainment Group
Anvil Eight Games
APE Games
Arcane Wonders
Arcknight
Ares Games
Asmodee
Atlas Games
B & B Games Studio
Bananagrams
Baba Geek Games
Black Oak
Blind Ferret Entertainment
Blue Heron Entertainment
Braine Games
Breaking Games
Broken Token
Brotherwise Games
Button Shy Games
Calliope Games
Campaign Coins
Capstone Games
Carolina Game Tables
Catalyst Game Labs
CMON
Cool Stuff Inc
Copper Frog Games
Crimson Night Studios
Critsuccess
Cubicle 7
Cyanide and Happiness
Daily Magic Games
Devir Americas
Die Hard Dice
Dized
Dog Might Games
DUST USA
Dwarven Forge
Eagle-Gryphon Games
Elderwood Academy
Elzra
Emergence Team
Fantasy Flight Games
Fireside Games
Foambrain
Forged By Geeks
Fowers Games
Fun to 11
Gale Force 9
Game Trade Magazine
Gamewright
Geeknson LTD
Gigamic
Goodman Games
Golden Bell Studios
Grand Gamers Guild
Greater than Games
Grey Fox Games
Handelabra Games
Hero Forge
Iello
Indie Boards and Cards
Indie Game Developer Network
InIt Gear
Intoxicatingly
Ironmark Games
Jason Anarchy Games
John Wick Presents
Kazoodoo Games
Kickstarter
Lay Waste Games
Leder Games
Level 99 Games
Level Up Dice
Liveware Lab
Lone Shark Games
Lone Wolf Development
LongPack Games
Looney Labs
Lost Cog Games
Magpie Games
Mantic Games
Mayday Games
Mayfair Games
Metallic Dice Games
Mind Bottling Games
Monocle Society
Monte Cook
Nailed It
Nauvoo Games
Necronamicards
New Experience Workshop
North Star Games
Onyx Path Publishing
Orange Machine Games
Osprey Games
Paizo
Panda Cult Games
Pandemonium Books and Games
Passport Games Studios
Petersen Games
Portal Dragon Games
Portal Games Company
PulsArt Studio
Queen Games
Quick Simple Fun Games
Q-Workshop
Rather Dashing Games
Rattrap Productions
Reaper Miniatures
Renegade Games
Restoration Games
Rob and Dave Games
Seventh Sphere Publishing
SFR Inc
Shoot Again Games
Skybound Studios
SlugFest Games
Smirk and Dagger Games
Space Goat Productions
Steamforged Games
Steve Jackson Games
Strange Machine Games
Stronghold Games
Studio 2 Publishing
Studio Woe
Studio Wumpus
Table Titans
Tabletop Co-op
Tasty Minstrel Games
TCGPlayer.com
The Burning Wheel
The Compleat Strategist
The Creativity Hub
The Indie Bazaar
TheWarStore.com
Thompson Productions LLC
ThunderGryph Games
Twogether Studios
Underbite Games
USAopoly
White Wolf Entertainment
Wizards of the Coast
WizKids
Wolff Design
Wyrd Games
Wyrmwood
Yanaguana Games
Zafty Games
And more...
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So would staying at a hotel/lot north of arch st be a problem for the
saturday?

 
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Matt Morgan
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There are designated street crossings, but I haven't seen where they are posted yet. It may take a bit extra time to get across, but you'd still be able to attend with at worst, minor inconvenience.
 
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Charlie Goren
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The overpass your talking about is the second floor of the convention center; it extends over the road so completely that you can go over it and not realize. There is a lot of good restaurants in the Reading Terminal Market which is underneath the convention center, the Hard Rock Cafe is across the street, and chinatown is only a couple blocks away. Parking is pretty expensive and hard to find, but it's also got a train station in the basement so you can park further away or take the regional rail in, in fact if you're flying in to PHL, the train runs between those locations as well.

I will warn you that it is old, crowded streets and a lot of traffic, so you do need to be heads up when crossing the street and for the love of god, don't jaywalk.
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What? You thought I'd have some interesting overtext?
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I'm definitely hoping to come, but cash strapped right now. My brother lives in Philly, so at least that's taken care of, and he's even thinking of going even though he's not a board gamer. Even if that weren't true, if you're mentioning hotel prices like that, I live in the Poconos. Might be cheaper to take the 2 1/2 drive each day I go, even with gas costs.
 
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Or stay in New Jersey, take PATCO?
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BrettDay wrote:

I will warn you that it is old, crowded streets and a lot of traffic, so you do need to be heads up when crossing the street and for the love of god, don't jaywalk.


I might not be a native Philadelphian but I am a native New Yorker. I can do people and traffic no problem.

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Matt - any idea what the capacity is? How many badges = sold out? I registered on day one myself, just wondering how big this is going to be.
 
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I can't comment with specifics on actual capacity numbers, attendance figures, or badge sale status. But I can give a ballpark in comparison to other cons. Expect Unplugged to feel equivalent to an Origins or UK Games Expo, if not a little bit bigger.
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Thanks for the quick reply, Matt. I was figuring it would probably be around the size of Origins.

Considering this convention is geared towards open play, I'm a bit concerned about the size of the game library. Dice Tower Con (also an open play focused con) had a bigger Library from what I can tell, and only 3000 people attended. There was never a time at DTC where you couldn't find a game you wanted to play.

Do you know how the game library will work? Will it be more like Gen Con where you need to register for timeslots or is it first come, first serve? Or some other system?
 
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No problem. We're expanding the library, but the ceiling is still only around 1,500 games. All I can say is that if it is an issue, rest assured it will be solved for Year 2.

The library is first-come, first-serve. No time limit on rentals. One game at a time per person. There are two things that will work out in the library's favor:
- Our recent Twitter poll got over 1,200 attendees responding, and pointed toward board gamers making up 51% of the con. The rest coming primarily for minis, RPGs, CCGs, etc.
- There will be more opportunities to play board games than just the library, even at night after the booths are closed. We have a few focused areas that will have their own games for both schedules and unscheduled play. Plus you've got publisher demo tables, UnPub room, etc.
 
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How extensive is the scheduled play going to be this year?

Open gaming isn't really much of a draw even with a vast library for those of us coming from areas where there's a Meetup almost every night of the week.

The most compelling strength of all the cons up here in the NY area at least is a vast and deep schedule of games you can sign up for in advance being run by fantastic GMs. At DexCon, ConnCon, WBC, etc you can have the entire con booked from open to close with pre-registered games if you want, including a dizzying array of heavy long ones, not just popular gateway titles.
 
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gundabad wrote:

- Our recent Twitter poll got over 1,200 attendees responding, and pointed toward board gamers making up 51% of the con. The rest coming primarily for minis, RPGs, CCGs, etc.


What's your twitter handle? I'd like to participate in polls like this. Thanks
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Scheduled board gaming will not be the primary focus of the convention. Scheduling is a tool that will be used for special events, tournaments, and a select track of heavier and more complex board games that are hard to get a group for (we refer to this as the Epic Games track, and it's run through our tourney department).

Scheduled gaming may take a more prominent role in the RPG and miniatures areas.

The PAX community has proven to be very resilient with self-organizing gaming and events. On the planning side, we're looking at options for clear labeling of rows and tables to ensure people can find meeting points.

The other Northeast cons do a great job running schedule-focused weekends. I would use BGG.CON as a great example of an open-play convention where 3,000 "hardcore" gamers are able to self-organize. There are 3 very active geeklists there for arranging wargames, heavy games, and 18xx games. Speculation here, but given the splits between board gaming vs other types of tabletop gaming, new to hobby vs "hardcore," and single-day vs all-weekend attendees, it would not surprise me if the deep-in-the-hobby core of Unplugged was around that same number of people. But then again it is the crowded Northeast and I could be way off.

We'll see how it goes and keep improving in future years. The rest of the scheduled vs unscheduled philosophy is long-winded and better shared over a beer.
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Matt Morgan
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chopsueycop wrote:
gundabad wrote:

- Our recent Twitter poll got over 1,200 attendees responding, and pointed toward board gamers making up 51% of the con. The rest coming primarily for minis, RPGs, CCGs, etc.


What's your twitter handle? I'd like to participate in polls like this. Thanks

@TT_HQ
 
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NuMystic wrote:
How extensive is the scheduled play going to be this year?

Open gaming isn't really much of a draw even with a vast library for those of us coming from areas where there's a Meetup almost every night of the week.

The most compelling strength of all the cons up here in the NY area at least is a vast and deep schedule of games you can sign up for in advance being run by fantastic GMs. At DexCon, ConnCon, WBC, etc you can have the entire con booked from open to close with pre-registered games if you want, including a dizzying array of heavy long ones, not just popular gateway titles.


I noticed there wasn't anything for this when the convention was first announced so I basically copied what Patrick did for Dice Tower Con and made my own. I'm hoping this will spread and have more activity by the time the convention starts, but feel free to post games you would like to play here

I also will have no problem making this list every year, and I'd gladly like to hear all feedback and suggestions in improving this listing.
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gundabad wrote:
Scheduled board gaming will not be the primary focus of the convention. Scheduling is a tool that will be used for special events, tournaments, and a select track of heavier and more complex board games that are hard to get a group for (we refer to this as the Epic Games track, and it's run through our tourney department).

Scheduled gaming may take a more prominent role in the RPG and miniatures areas.

The PAX community has proven to be very resilient with self-organizing gaming and events. On the planning side, we're looking at options for clear labeling of rows and tables to ensure people can find meeting points.

The other Northeast cons do a great job running schedule-focused weekends. I would use BGG.CON as a great example of an open-play convention where 3,000 "hardcore" gamers are able to self-organize. There are 3 very active geeklists there for arranging wargames, heavy games, and 18xx games. Speculation here, but given the splits between board gaming vs other types of tabletop gaming, new to hobby vs "hardcore," and single-day vs all-weekend attendees, it would not surprise me if the deep-in-the-hobby core of Unplugged was around that same number of people. But then again it is the crowded Northeast and I could be way off.

We'll see how it goes and keep improving in future years. The rest of the scheduled vs unscheduled philosophy is long-winded and better shared over a beer.


I do wonder also if part of the difference is how Pax East has worked over the last 8 years. The tabletop space is still heavily used despite being lightly scheduled, and as you noted, there is a lot of community self-organization happening there.

Given that the size is apparently close to Origins in size for a first year convention, has a sizable buy-in from many publishers already, and has some credibility just from the Pax association is impressive, particularly since that time of the year would seem to be detrimental to a convention (being close to Thanksgiving and Christmas where budgets need to be carefully handled).

I do suspect that some additional scheduled events (perhaps listed by the vendors/exhibitors) listed in the official schedule will likely make its way into the convention in the future. While BGG.Con works well to the hardcore here with a decided emphasis on new games (and new from Essen games), the more varied mix at the Paxen would probably benefit from publishers making a big splash as well. Those premiere events do tend to get filled quickly at Origins and Gen Con and support the more casual downtime in between.

We'll see how it goes!
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Mike P
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Hi Matt,

Thanks for taking the time to hang out in the forums. Do you know if people can arrange an impromptu flea-market/math trade for board games prior to PAX Unplugged?

i.e. somebody creates a list on the BGG forums of games they are willing to trade, where anyone can add to the list, and then arrange for a time to meet at PAX unplugged?
 
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A flea market would be tough to organize as a community event, simple due to space issues.

Nothing stopping folks from setting up a math trade, though. It wouldn't be something I could assist you with in any official PAX capacity, but closer to the con, I could point the trade organizer to a good spot within the conv ctr to hold the quick meet-and-swap.
 
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