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

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Mark B
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The Schedule is released! I had to pinch myself to make sure that I was not dreaming it:

Shut Up & Sit Down live podcast and Q&A
Dice Tower Top 10
Rodney Smith Teaching Games
Ignacy Trzewiczek teaching Alien Artifacts
Live Fiasco RPG
Critical Role Panel
A Megagame
Acquisitions Incorporated
A 30 minute Escape Room experience
...and tournaments for everything from Munchkin to Food Chain Magnate!

Holy Cow.
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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Will rules be taught for board game tournament slots?
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Lee Fisher
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Mark B wrote:
The Schedule is released! I had to pinch myself to make sure that I was not dreaming it:

Shut Up & Sit Down live podcast and Q&A
Dice Tower Top 10
Rodney Smith Teaching Games
Ignacy Trzewiczek teaching Alien Artifacts
Live Fiasco RPG
Critical Role Panel
A Megagame
Acquisitions Incorporated
A 30 minute Escape Room experience
...and tournaments for everything from Munchkin to Food Chain Magnate!

Holy Cow.


link?

Edit http://unplugged.paxsite.com/schedule
 
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Steven J
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How do you get into panels at a PAX event? What's the process?
Is it going to be hard to get into things like:
Shut Up & Sit Down live podcast and Q&A
Dice Tower Top 10
Rodney Smith Teaching Games
??
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Walter Kolczynski
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OmegaRidleyXP wrote:
How do you get into panels at a PAX event? What's the process?
Is it going to be hard to get into things like:
Shut Up & Sit Down live podcast and Q&A
Dice Tower Top 10
Rodney Smith Teaching Games
??

Lines. There's even a designated twitter account to monitor line length: https://twitter.com/PAX_lines

Edit: I'm trying to check with PAX-veteran friends, but SUSD and Dice Tower are in the Main Theater, which I believe is usually massive.
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Matt Morgan
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The main theater will indeed be massive. Lines for panels can start as early as two hours prior to the event, but it's hard to say exactly what the crush for main theater seats will be like for Unplugged.

My assumption is that the panels there will fill to capacity, but just a matter of when the line will get capped. While it is indeed massive, it's not on par with other PAX main theaters (take East, for instance, where over 5,000 people can get in).

It's all part of starting a new con, but expect that as Unplugged really grows into the building in 2018, theaters will get much bigger. Don't consider this an official answer, as I'm honestly not sure how this is all going to work, but there should be some accommodation for standing room in the Main Theater.
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Do we know which vendors will sell games versus just demoing games? I'm hoping to see some of the games from Essen make their way to PAXU.
 
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Eric "Lackey" Portney
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NuMystic wrote:
Will rules be taught for board game tournament slots?


For some specific events, yes, such as the Friday Night Frenzy and Saturday Night Showdown casual game tournaments, we will teach players the games offered in the event. Some games will have publisher staff helping run the event, and in those cases, teaching the rules might be possible. I'll endeavor to make a list of which tournaments this is likely to be the case for.

But in general, the tournament games will assume a basic understanding of how to play.

In most cases, tournament games can be set up to try out/learn for yourself before the event begins. Just ask any of the Tournament area's Enforcers (or come find me in Tourney HQ -- ask for "Lackey") if you can try out one of the tournament games. If it's available, we'll find you a table and set you up -- but you'll need to be self-taught from there.
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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Fugazi2112 wrote:
For some specific events, yes, such as the Friday Night Frenzy and Saturday Night Showdown casual game tournaments, we will teach players the games offered in the event. Some games will have publisher staff helping run the event, and in those cases, teaching the rules might be possible. I'll endeavor to make a list of which tournaments this is likely to be the case for.


That would be great Eric. Please let me know if you're able to pull that together and where it gets posted.

I do enough rulebook reading and gamesplaining as it is (and will be doing plenty at Unplugged to boot!) so it's always a treat to know where and when I can sit, play, and let someone else tackle that for me.
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Jeremy Stoltzfus
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Are there any tournament prizes for the winners?

Also, for the tournaments, are all copies of the games provided or should we bring copies if we have them?
 
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Matt Morgan
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All tournaments receive a "PAX Tournament Champion" medal (they are awesome, trust me). A small handful of tournaments advertise major prizes, such as the Evolution and Catan championships.

Other than that, we sometimes add bonus prizes when they are offered by publishers, such as promo cards and upgraded components (I'm still trying to win those deluxe Splendor chips...). But this is entirely up to publisher support and never to be expected, always just a happy surprise.
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Curt Frantz
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I understand event registration is done onsite the morning of the scheduled event. Can you walk me through this a bit? It seems like that'll be a bit messy with certain events likely to be very popular.
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Jeremy Stoltzfus
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Yeah, I was wondering about that myself. I'm picturing 20,000 people lined up to sign up for events at 10am each morning.
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Mark B
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The way it has worked at PAX East is that yes, the lines are long, but not as long as you would think. There is too much to do all happening at the same time, so there are lots of lines for different things.

Also, the lines are fun. If you sign up to be a volunteer for the show, one of your options is to be on the "line entertainment" team. Also, people bring games to play in line. At PAX East, I learned how to play Shadow Hunter, and have played many games of liar's dice--and this was at video game focused con. I plan to bring several games that I think would work well in line: Ethnos, LIE, Port Royal and maybe a few chunkier games, but they need to be somewhat easy to pick up and move, even if a line is capped because sometimes the line needs to be shifted.
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Curt Frantz
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Mark B wrote:
The way it has worked at PAX East is that yes, the lines are long, but not as long as you would think. There is too much to do all happening at the same time, so there are lots of lines for different things.

Also, the lines are fun. If you sign up to be a volunteer for the show, one of your options is to be on the "line entertainment" team. Also, people bring games to play in line. At PAX East, I learned how to play Shadow Hunter, and have played many games of liar's dice--and this was at video game focused con. I plan to bring several games that I think would work well in line: Ethnos, LIE, Port Royal and maybe a few chunkier games, but they need to be somewhat easy to pick up and move, even if a line is capped because sometimes the line needs to be shifted.


But wouldn't online registration avoid the issue altogether? Then we could do whatever we wanted with our time. Making people wait in line each morning to register for games/tournaments/etc. just seems like a needlessly archaic way of doing things.
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
But wouldn't online registration avoid the issue altogether? Then we could do whatever we wanted with our time. Making people wait in line each morning to register for games/tournaments/etc. just seems like a needlessly archaic way of doing things.


I guess it depends on numbers. The WBC does event registration on the spot and it is awesome. You know the people you will be playing with chose that game just like you and there isn't really that long a wait. (Yea, TTR and Splendor can be a bit long, but you have people to complain to in line about all the stuff we complain about here.)

Online registration opens up the issue of closing spots to people that find something better to do in the moment. I'm kind of a fan of lines at conventions.

PAX, I'm sure, has bigger lines. So, that is why my strategy is to just go to the shortest line. This is my first PAX, so I just want to check out what they have to offer with other people that think the same as me at that moment.

I would love to see the DT show or Critical Role panel, but that is a time sink that, for me at least, is better spent just checking out something else I haven't seen before.

This sort of convention is going to have long lines by definition. There are just aspects of the hobby that are super-popular for us and the only real remedy is to NOT queue for that sort of thing.

Counter-intuitive, I know, but I figure I can see Tom and Matt Mercer on Youtube. There has to be something there I can only do in person and while the rest of you are pressing in to see Tom and Matt, I'll snatch a good memory somewhere else.

Kevin
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Eric "Lackey" Portney
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To confirm, if I missed it being answered before:

PAX and/or publishers will provide all copies of games for all board game events. Attendees do not need to bring their own copies.

For RPGs, everything should be provided or available for you to roll up characters on the spot, but if you have an existing D&D Adventurer's League or Pathfinder Society character, you will be able to use them in adventures of the corresponding level.

For Miniatures events where you typically have a custom army (Warhammer, X-Wing, etc.) and trading card games/LCGs, be prepared to bring your own armies or pre-constructed decks -- unless the event description says otherwise.

As far as how sign-ups will go -- we will have very clear instructions on-site on where to go, how to register for events, and will have a surge of support staff (known as the PAX Enforcers) who will be prepared to help attendees move through the initial morning signups as quickly and efficiently as possible. We definitely have looked into how this has worked at past shows, and are implementing changes to make signup as quick and painless as possible.
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Paul K.
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FWIW, the way my local boardgame convention does it is a combination of online and in-person. Online sign-ups are available for a few weeks, and shut off about a month before the con.

At the con, there are printed sign-ups for each game put out in the morning, with the online people at the top of the list.

At the start time of the event, the GM starts with the online people and goes down the list until the game is full. This helps out by allowing people the opportunity to pre-plan their schedule, as well as allow for in-person signups and even spontaneous people showing up and finding room.

The system won't allow online people to "double-book" any time slots, and if enough interest is shown the GM can (potentially) bring an extra copy of the game and run two simultaneous games.
 
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Steve Cherry
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Well, having been to many a Wizard World and other events at the Phila Convention Center, where PAX is being held, I can tell you that the main theater is pretty massive, no doubt able to hold thousands of people, and for really really big crowds they've got an even bigger space on the top floor which holds a really s-ton of people. That's where they had a panel with Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson and Christopher Lloyd. You've got to understand that the convention center is literally about 4 city blocks long, and lots of stories high. The main exhibition hall on the first floor is so big it will take you 15 minutes to walk straight from one corner to the other. They're used to moving people around, creating space and managing lines. Well, at least the Wizard World people are. I'm sure PAX is no less organized.
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Matt Lee
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tribefan07 wrote:

But wouldn't online registration avoid the issue altogether? Then we could do whatever we wanted with our time. Making people wait in line each morning to register for games/tournaments/etc. just seems like a needlessly archaic way of doing things.


From what I've seen at a local convention (with far fewer people) that does signups: This has often been less effective in a non-ticketed system than you'd think. Slots often get pre-signups and sometimes filled, but then people don't show up and others who would have gone but are locked out choose something else and the event runs underfilled or even not at all.

Also, due to the crowds and lines at the other Pax events, passes are often sold or given to people who did not sign up already (no names /accounts attached to the badges) and would not have equal access to these events. Not to mention that plans change at the last minute and people may not be able to make it (but would not be able to remove their reservation). This also removes the terrible effect where people have a fast pass style system where they can virtually be in multiple places at the same time if they game the system correctly (holding virtual spots for three things and still enjoying something that they are in line for physically, which denies others who cannot queue up for anything but the current physical line that they are at).

As much as I like pre-signups and guaranteeing a spot for myself, I do see that the most fair thing to do is to do it on-site ( minimizing the number of slots that won't be filled at the actual time), and limit people to actually waiting physically in line for one event.
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Matt Morgan
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From my own personal perspective, I have not enjoyed my time at pre-scheduled cons nearly as much as I have at a PAX. At pre-scheduled cons, I find myself locked into 2hr timeslots for games that take 75 to 90min, or 4hr slots for games that take 2.5hr. Constantly having to make sure I am getting to scheduled events is my stress, whereas I see that others are stressed by not having their schedules planned out.

To that end, I urge you to give the PAX method a chance. PAX could schedule every single table, but then it would simply be re-creating Origins and Gen Con, and those already exist! At PAX, the goal is to give you no shortage of unique experiences, panels, etc., to the point that at any given time, there are 3 things you want to do (that way, none of them gets overfilled).

Go with the flow, pick only 2 big things that you must do in your day, and rest assured that you will easily be able to fill in the cracks with actual gameplay time.
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Atom Reid
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gundabad wrote:
From my own personal perspective, I have not enjoyed my time at pre-scheduled cons nearly as much as I have at a PAX. At pre-scheduled cons, I find myself locked into 2hr timeslots for games that take 75 to 90min, or 4hr slots for games that take 2.5hr. Constantly having to make sure I am getting to scheduled events is my stress, whereas I see that others are stressed by not having their schedules planned out.

To that end, I urge you to give the PAX method a chance. PAX could schedule every single table, but then it would simply be re-creating Origins and Gen Con, and those already exist! At PAX, the goal is to give you no shortage of unique experiences, panels, etc., to the point that at any given time, there are 3 things you want to do (that way, none of them gets overfilled).

Go with the flow, pick only 2 big things that you must do in your day, and rest assured that you will easily be able to fill in the cracks with actual gameplay time.


I appreciate that PAX is trying to do something different. A unique convention is a far better option than simply having a second version of Gencon. More choices to appeal to different people is always a good thing. For that, I applaud PAX.

That being said, it sounds more and more like PAX is not for me. Personally, spending hours waiting in lines would be torture. I don't know how long these lines get, but that is not the way I want to spent the valuable time I paid for to be there. I much prefer having my schedule set ahead of time and being able to go straight from event to event. I also would not want to deal with the disappointment of waiting in line to register for an event only to find it full when I get to the front of the line. No thank you.

Gencon's event registration system is far from perfect, but I really have no interest in waiting in lines over and over again. But, I understand that different things appeal to different people, so I am glad PAX offers a different type of experience to choose from.

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Rich Shipley
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We're just going for the day on Saturday - it landed on my birthday and was an easy ask. As far as I can tell, the sign up for most events is the same time as the show opens. Seems like a set-up for a scramble at the start of the day.

I'm not coming with much in the way of expectations, not having gone to (or really heard much about) any kind of Pax before. I'm looking forward to browsing the exhibitors and hopefully playing a few games. It won't likely be something I go to again, but I'm sure there will be some fun to be had.
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Mark B
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Some important things to point out for those concerned about lines:

You will never wait in a line just to fine out that an event is full. Lines are carefully managed, and lines are capped and closed when there are enough people in line to fill an event.

You can monitor how full a line is via social media. Alerts are sent out as lines start to fill up. Unless you want to guarantee yourself a front row seat, there is no need to get in line super early.

Finally, as I mentioned earlier, Pax lines are often really fun. There will be a lot of game playing in line, though the size and scope of the games is limited.
 
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Rich Shipley
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So how does this work?

According to the schedule, there are dozens of gaming events throughout the day and most list registration at 10AM (the same time the show opens). Most of these have a small number of seats available. Will they each have their own line?
 
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