PAX East 2014 and Boston Photos

This year, I went to Boston to check out PAX East for the first time. Here are my photos below.

The inn room I stayed at.

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The long line at Boston’s ramen shop named Yume wo Kakare and the buta ramen (with garlic and vegatables) I ate there.

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Now for PAX East 2014:

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Leaving Boston for home:

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For my next trip to another PAX, I plan to get my own booth to show off my games.

My bonus cover photo:

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Third Day on My Japan Trip 2013

I stayed up in the middle of the night for a certain activity. I’ll show what it was later. Here is what I started my day with:

Akihabara

Akihabara 1

Taiko no Tatsujin (one of my favorite games)

Taiko no Tatsujin

Gamers main store

Gamers store in Akihabara

Pictures in Gamers store

Maid Cafe

Maid Cafe Melon Soda

Maid Cafe Photo

Note about maid cafe: As 1 person, I was required to order at least 2 individual items. Also, the maid cafe charges additional fee according to where you sit at fixed time. I ordered one of the debut set, which consisted of omelette rice with ketchup drawing of cat face, melon soda and raffle, for 2,700 yen and got charged for using a table within 120 minutes for 1,000 yen. My total bill was 3,700 yen. I was kind of expecting to see a maid cafe at Akihabara and got what I wanted.

An English-speaking Swedish guy I helped out at the maid cafe

Swedish guy

If you are a foreign tourist who is interested in going to Japan, I STRONGLY recommend you bring lots of cash. Japan is still pretty much cash-oriented country. This Swedish guy I met initially planned to pay his bill at the maid cafe with a credit card, but he got turned down. Also, he didn’t have enough cash. Eventually, I lent him some of my money and got paid back at the post office. I acted as the interpreter between him and one of the maids through most of the time.

Sushi Mizutani, where I dined for expensive sushi dinner

Juno Building

Sushi Mizutani sign

My bill’s total came out as 30,000 yen, since I had three extra tuna pieces. Overall, the meal was good, but expensive.

Hayao Miyazaki’s Kaze Tachinu at TOHO CINEMAS

TOHO CINEMAS

Kaze Tachinu

Got picked up in the middle of the night and talked to cabaret girls

Cabaret

This is what I get for walking around midnight and not ignoring salespeople outside. From now, I’ll avoid staying out at night.

GDC 2013 Day 4

Right after I finished writing my day 3 post at Moscone North Hall, I went inside the expo floor to see what was going in there more. I briefly stopped by at the Havok booth. I learned that they plan to release a cross-platform engine and toolkit called Project Anarchy to mobile game developers for free later this spring. This should help me reduce my time on working on physics simulation.

After that, I decided to play the Japanese arcade game called Gunslinger Stratos again. This time, I recorded the gameplay on video so you could see it in action.

The first panel I went when I left the expo floor was IGDA Annual Meeting. The main topic of this meeting centered on complaints about the night party that occurred on day 2. The female dancers at the party were dressed “inappropriately” or sexually I should state. I heard from somebody on Twitter that a similar incident happened before. It sounded like IGDA needs to improve itself in planning or managing things ahead of time.

After the meeting, I immediately went to check out Sex in Video Games lecture. This panel covers sex and sexism in the video game industry. Like other types of media, sex sells because people like them. BioWare had received negative reactions as well as positive ones throughout their history. Also, 47% of gamers are female. These are some of the things that probably some people already know.

The next panel is Designing Journey, presented by Jenova Chen from thatgamecompany. He talked about how his 2-hour game took 3 years to finish development, from concept to final product. His team started the concept by identifying the emotion. He met with an astronaut who became religious after visiting the moon. That astronaut started questioning about his knowledge about the universe after he saw that the moon was lifeless and barren. Also, Jenova used a color palette analogous to emotions called emotional palette to determine emotions in other games. I don’t remember everything about this, but I remember that action games were in the red zone. I think social games were in the yellow. Journey was somewhere in the blue. Jenova’s team took a big action game, took away background noise, weapons and some characters and added in dessert props that resulted in what Journey is supposed to be. The early prototypes originally focused on cooperative multiplayer, not single player. Jenova’s team had to make the final version of the game single player as well as multiplayer so it can be played when players are alone and with each other. Jenova used the three act structure, which is often used in Hollywood, to make the game more of an emotional ride. Journey’s game world flow is based on this too. He also mentioned that checking fan art is a good way to see how players see your game. I might try that in the future.

After the closing of the convention center for the day, I went to some fancy restaurant called Roy’s for dinner. I ordered 2 Hawaiian martinis, ahi poke appetizer and misoyaki butterfish. They were all so good, I emptied the plates. One martini was enough to make my head feel light. After I finished my entree, I ordered a souffle for dessert. I only wanted the vanilla ice cream, but I ate the chocolate cake as well. When I looked at my food bill, my total was surprisingly high for few orders. I knew the restaurant was expensive, but I didn’t expect this! I’ll have to watch my spending better next time. Oh well, the food was still delicious.