Saturday, August 28, 2010

PAX Prep List

I may work two more days before I go on vacation, but I'm mentally preparing for PAX, and I thought I'd drop a post to let you all know what plans I'm making, so you can know what to expect from this blog and yours truly over the next two weeks. A more detailed PAX itinerary will be put up once I know the full picture. This may be a benefit to others attending PAX as well to help organize your thinking. So, I'll break this post into two parts; prep work and The Event.

PAX Preperation:

1. Let's start with the most banal... I need to pay my rent. Not paying and then going on vacation would kind of tick off the landlord.
2. I need to review and have prepped the resume I wish to put forward if I was to apply for a game industry job, and be armed with copies of it, plus writing samples, in case an appropriate opportunity knocks to pass those along.
3. Get all PAX, Hotel, and Plane paperwork together in one spot so it's easy to find when I need it for travel.
4. IMPORTANT! Do my homework on any individuals I will be interviewing (yes, I'm doing actual interviews!) and get some familiarity with the games they're working on. With that knowledge, develop some intelligent questions to ask them.
5. Pack up...

PAX Packing List:

1. Clothes and necessities (duh). Included in this is some business attire to go with the nerd clothes. I'll be casual on Thursday for the x360a meet and greet, but if I'm sitting down to interview someone in the industry, I want to be dressed like someone professional and worth taking seriously.

2. Entertainment for down time, travel time: Book, iPod Touch, Computer, Nintendo DS

3. Media Capturing technology: Camera, camcorder, rechargable batteries, and a bunch of SD cards.

Now, when the prep work is completed, here's what you can expect from me during the eventself!


X360A Meet and Greet - Are you going to PAX? Are you participating in the x360a meet and greet? If so, I'll meet you there! I'm looking forward to meeting the people behind the gamertags I hear so much about. It'll be good to talk achievements with other gamers who actually care about them, and get to know fellow gamers beyond just the gaming.

PAX Panels - I previously posted my list, and I'll be attending those that will work around my appointments (except for a small few I told Webb were non-negotiable... there were only four of those over the three days, one of which was Warren Specter's keynote address). If filming is allowed, I may be filming some of the panels I attend. If I can film, what panels I film will be posted to YouTube.

INTERVIEWS and/or APPOINTMENTS - I don't know who or how many yet, but there'll be a few. The content of those interviews will be posted to x360a after the convention. I'd like to record my interviews if the people I interview are OK with that. For one reason, it allows for a more natural discussion on my end, as I can focus on what they're saying and ask good questions, without having to furiously scribble notes. Then I can review the tape afterword to write up everything accurately for a feature. Or, if the video looks good, it could used as a feature in its own right. If I have any hands-on time with a game, I'll be taking notes as I go.

DAILY VIDEO PODCASTS* - Time and sanity permitting, rather than take the time to crank out a compotent blog post, I will be pointing a camera at my face, pressing record, and talking all about what happened on that day. If Xylo and Silva are interested, they are welcome to participate too. Think of them as mini Hand of Thrawn video shows. These videos will then be loaded to YouTube, though not necessarily the day they are shot. (May do shows Thursday - Sunday, and then upload them one per day after I return to Minnesota).

WIN SWAG? Depending on what (if any) goodies I'm able to pick up or purchase at PAX, I may have some items to give away to my loyal blog and Twitter followers. We'll all just have to wait and see on this one.

I can't wait! Next weekend will be incredible!


  1. Just to help you out a bit:

    Don't think about dressing too formally when attending appointments. Seriously, everyone in the industry is VERY casual at all times and the same goes for all the major writers too.

    Most of the people you speak to will be PR, so not really ideal to pass a resume onto. A better idea would be business cards if you have them.

    Some people don't allow video footage, or you may be in appointements with a whole bunch of press where it isn't really viable. I would recommend a decent dictaphone if possible or a trusty notepad if not.

    Have fun - most important. Just relax and enjoy yourself, don't worry too much about the event and try to just go with the flow. Plus, do not load yourself down with too much swag, as some of it is really not worth the effort.

  2. Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it a lot.