PAX Aus is approaching super fast! It’s 10 days away, in fact! Taking place between the 27th and 29th of October, in case you’d forgotten! And while some of you might be PAX veterans like myself, I’m sure there’s a lot of you who might be attending for the first time and aren’t quite sure what to make of it. Especially if you’re used to Australia’s other cons like Comic-Con or Supanova, PAX Aus is a completely different beast and so it requires a bit of a different approach. Here’s some good tips to get the most out of your experience.
I mean, this might sound kind of obvious, but planning your PAX Aus experience is incredibly important. For example, last year I was there saturday and sunday, and due to bad planning I still didn’t get to see everything I wanted to see. Thankfully, the guys over at PAX are super great about helping you figure out what you want to see. The first thing you’re going to need is the PAX Aus Guidebook app, available for both iOS and Android. This will list out every event and exhibitor, as well as giving you a floor plan, a list of places to eat and access to the PAX ARG, ‘PAX XP’, which involves scanning a bunch of QR codes scattered around the con for a prize! The best part of the app is you can also set it up to ping you with reminders of when that panel or tournament you want to see is happening.
There’s also the complete schedule, available on the website to peruse at your leisure. Listed are all the panels, tournaments, speedruns, and everything inbetween as well as a description of what it is and who’s on the panel.
The final important part of any good plan is to ensure you come prepared. Comfy shoes, bottled water, chargers for your phone/3DS/what have you, bandaids and perhaps some snacks. Like any convention, there’s food here, but also like any convention, you might find it a little overpriced.
Check out the indie devs!
The indie developers at PAX are a massive part of the convention. Australia has a proud history of successful indie games, and you might just be looking at the next Crossy Road or Armello when you go through the PAX Aus indie section. We’ve previously talked about the PAX Aus Indie Showcase winners, but that’s just one small part of what’s on offer.
There are so many developers from all kinds of backgrounds with their games set up across all platforms who would love you to take a crack at their latest build and give feedback. They usually all come equipped with business cards too, so you can remember the name of that great game you tried and follow its progress after the convention is over. Some of them even come with goodies like badges and stickers.
So get out there and make sure you support the amazing local talent. Try everything you can, and then some. Make sure to compliment the developers who are all eagerly awaiting your feedback. But most importantly, have fun! These are video games, after all.
There’s all kinds of events happening throughout the day, whether you’re into video games, tabletop games or cosplay. The retro game area has oldschool tournaments of various kinds running all through the day, and even has pinball workshops. There are handheld tournaments, or maybe you could try your hand at Mario Kart or Tekken. Even if you’re not particularly good at the games, why not try your hand at them anyway? Have some fun! You might even win some cool prizes!
There’s also tabletop events running all day, whether it be painting miniatures or just joining in on a board game or DnD session, there will always be someone ready to welcome you in and teach you the basics. Even if you’re not into tabletop, you might just learn something new or discover a new passion!
If you’re part of the LGBT+ community, the diversity lounge is also hosting all kinds of events specifically catered to you! There really is something for everyone!
And if cosplay is more your thing, Riot will be attending the event and holding official cosplay meets throughout the day. If League of Legends isn’t up your alley, there are unofficial cosplay community meets happening daily at 12pm, and from there you can probably inquire about meets for specific games you might be into! There are dozens of unofficial cosplay meetups happening throughout the day.