PAX East 2014 Cosplay

As with any convention, there was plenty of cosplay at this year’s PAX East. Since most of my time was spent working at various booths, cosplayers were one of the easier things for me to take photos of. Lucky for me these were tons of amazing cosplayers on display.

I’ve included the names of the cosplayers when available, but if you recognize someone, including yourself, please drop me a line so I can credit them properly. And mouse over the images for descriptions.

 
I didn’t manage to get any cosplays together for this year’s PAX East, but seeing all of the amazing hard work and creativity on display has inspired me to get my proverbial shit together and finally take the cosplay plunge.

Who do you think I should cosplay?

PAX East 2014 Loot

In addition to all my great (and not so great) experiences at this year’s PAX East, I also managed to snag lots of loot. Like, lots. And a good deal of it was free, which was nice considering my wallet situation. But I did manage a little bit of shopping before my wallet disappeared, including a new Funko POP and some presents for Rick.

PAX_2014_Loot_Buttons_Etc Even though I never know what to do with them when I get them, I love to collect buttons. I was hoping for more stickers this year, but everyone was giving away buttons. And pins. I got a Tearaway pin & traded for a Tycho pin. Guess next year I need to trade for a Gabe pin. I also walked away with a bunch of A.N.N.E. magnets to mail to my penpals. Drop me a line if you want one. And yes, that is a condom. But it came from the Cards Against Humanity booth, so I wouldn’t consider it very reliable.

PAX_2014_Loot_Dragon_Fin_Soup_Poster_Grimm_Bros Although I snagged a lot of free shit this year, this is by far my favourite. Sunday morning I had some time to kill so I wandered over to the Grimm Bros booth to check out how Dragon Fin Soup was coming along and they were so touched that I’d written about them and was supporting the game that they gave me a FREE poster. It is beyond gorgeous and I cannot wait to get it framed so I can display it in our apartment.

PAX_2014_Loot_Swag_Bag This year I also learned the importance of sucking up to the PAX volunteers, which helped me snag a swag bag full of download codes and… oatmeal? Oh, and a deck of Magic cards. I’m keeping the League of Legends skins for Rick, but if anyone wants them I have codes for a Shaper skin in Dawngate, a PAX exclusive skin in AirMech Arena, a starter pack of XP & Gold in The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, 2200 Ghost coin in Ghost Recon Phantoms, and reinforcement packs and gold in Might & Magic Duel of Champions. First come, first served.

PAX_2014_Papercade_Hololabs_Setup I also managed to snag a couple of t-shirts, which was Rick’s only request from this year’s PAX East. I had a t-shirt picked out from Shanshee I wanted to get him, but sadly I lost my wallet before I could buy it, so I’m gonna save it for his birthday. Luckily, Liz was able to snag us a couple of Hohokum shirts and the dudes over at Midnight City gave me one of their awesome skull shirts, both of which Rick now wears proudly.

PAX_2014_Loot_Castiel_POP_E-Tank_Mug_PuppyCat And finally, here is the loot I managed to buy before my wallet took a long ride to nowhere in a Boston cab. My first purchase was a Castiel Funko POP, snagged from the Hot Topic in the mall we stopped at for lunch on the way down to Boston. My car mates had no idea why I squealed and ran into the store, nor why I was so excited when I emerged triumphant, holding my prize aloft. I also got Rick an E-Tank mug (with coaster) from Fangamer, a DC comics hairband & of course, MY TALKING PUPPYCAT!!! It is so soft and well made, I love it to bits. Also, her singing scares the crap out of my real cats, which is a hilarious bonus.

Take My Money Tuesdays: Cosmochoria

Welcome to Take My Money Tuesdays, where I highlight video game or otherwise geeky crowdfunding campaigns that I think look interesting or deserve a little extra attention.

Cosmochoria Splash I know arcade style indie games with great art are a dime a dozen, but there’s something about the whimsical tone of Cosmochoria that sets it apart. You play as a tiny pink astronaut (naked, natch) who gets to fly around planting seeds on barren planets. As you plant seeds, they will grow into mature plants that will produce fruit that can be harvested for more seeds, which can then in turn be planted for the whole cycle to start again.

With no story per se, the player gets to choose whether they stay on one planet, planting and harvesting and nurturing it until it is a shiny beacon of happiness, or flying around the cosmos to find new planets to restore and new mysteries to solve. However, your activity will also bring the attention of hostile aliens, leading to epic boss battles with giant creatures like robots, space dragons, motherships and more.

Cosmochoria Fly To help you out with these battles you will be able to level up your weapons and abilities, as well as purchase special items like a star map. However, death in Cosmochoria is permanent, but any power ups you purchase prior to dying will carry over to your next turn.

Boasting great music and wonderful, simple art, Cosmochoria will also plant a tree (on Earth) for each person who backs the project.

PAX East 2014 Recap

Oof.

I know I’d hinted at my fatigue in my last Friday I’m in Love post, but this year’s PAX East really hit me like a ton of bricks. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

For those of you not familiar, PAX East is the Boston based sister convention to PAX, one of the biggest video game conventions in North America (and now Australia). Originally born of the popular online comic Penny Arcade, PAX has taken on a life of it’s own and is now renowned for its unique mix of industry and independent efforts in the full spectrum of gaming, from video games to tabletop to whatever the next new thing will be.

I got to attend PAX East for the first time last year, helping out my now friend Mo promote his forthcoming game A.N.N.E. This year, because I honestly love working the floor at PAX, I agreed to help two different teams (gamesbymo & Hololabs) spread across three booths. While this did mean that I got to promote two amazing, very different games I am very passionate about, it did not leave me a lot of time to actually play any of the other games being promoted, which made me feel like a totally failure as a games journalist.

Gamerwife_PwnLove_BeingGeekChic A highlight for me this year was actually getting to meet fellow geek lifestyle bloggers Kaitlin from PwnLove (middle) and Liz from Being Geek Chic (far right). I wish I’d had more time to hang out with them both properly, not to mention all the other wonderful bloggers who were no doubt lurking about, but alas such is PAX.

Mercenary_Kings_PAX_2014 Also super thrilling was seeing Mercenary Kings on the big screens in the Tribute Games superbooth. During my shifts at the gamesbymo booth, which was next door to Tribute again, I may or may not have bragged to anyone who was listening that I was in the game. Including Jonathan Holmes of Destructoid, who I seem to be making a habit of assaulting verbally in order to get him to talk with Mo. Not that Mo needs my help, but I’m amused by it, so… yeah.

PAX_2014_Cupcake_Critters_Giant_Hamster Apparently this guy was promoting a game called Cupcakes and Critters, which does seem very much up my alley. Unfortunately this was taken during my only real time to peruse the show floor, before the show opened, and they weren’t set up for demos yet. I had been planning on doing more pre & post show schmoozing, but after I lost my wallet in a cab Friday night and had to appeal to a bunch of virtual strangers to pay for my dinner, my ego was a little wounded, not to mention my fatigue from the runaround both the taxi companies and the cops were giving me.

As it was, being that I didn’t even have any cash in my wallet at the time (well, $2.74 US if you want to get technical) I decided to just cut my losses and give up trying to get it back. Which was fine, I guess, since I still had my passport and wouldn’t get stranded at the border on the way home, but not having money (or even access to money) did force me to reevaluate my priorities. No shopping sprees or lobster dinners for me. Just work, work and more work.

PAX_2014_Gamesbymo_ANNE Mo, working his magic in the booth. I really liked his setup this year, which included a big ol’ tube TV and a couple of stools to create a sort of cozy living room vibe. The demo we were showing was a slightly tweaked version from the one we showed last year, now with more ship stuff and a couple of boss battles. I’m not gonna lie, the game is tough, leading to my assertion that it also had “retro difficulty,” in addition to retro style art and music. I also got really good at answering questions about when the game will be released: “When it is finished.”

PAX_2014_ME_Plasma_Rifle This guy was great (and I feel like a total jerk because I don’t remember his name). He actually worked in his booth in cosplay, alternately as an N7 soldier and Hawkeye (complete with leather shorts, natch.) Look at my steely resolve with that plasma rifle. Who wants to build me some N7 armour? I swear I will wear the SHIT out of it.

PAX_2014_Papercade_Hololabs_Setup Geoff and Mike from Hololabs setting up the demos for Papercade, their tablet based app for creating and sharing story games. It was so much fun seeing people create their little games, especially the kids, who often took to the process much faster than their parents. I know I’m biased, but I really think this could be a game-changer, so check out their website and sign up for the newsletter to stay posted on when the closed beta will be starting.

PAX_2014_Papercade_Hololabs Here’s the full team all together, minus Mike who had to go to a wedding on the Saturday. Imagine us all crammed together in a minivan with all of the Ikea furniture we had to put together to create the booth. Everyone was sweet as pie and I couldn’t have asked for better travel companions.

PAX_2014_Project_Rain_World And finally, my other big highlight this year was meeting so many of the dev teams I’ve featured on Take My Money Tuesdays. The first people I hit up were Joar and James (above) of Project Rain World. Joar had just flown in that morning from Sweden to show off his game in the Adult Swim Games booth, which explains the starry look in his eyes. I also got to sit next to the team behind Classroom Aquatic while working Mo’s table in the Kickstarter area, and was tickled pink that they remembered my four sentence endorsement of their game. Sadly, I did not have time to actually demo the game on the Oculus Rift, but I have a feeling I’ll run into them again soon.

I also got to say “hi” to Anatole and team at Last Limb, whose game Organic Panic was one of the few I actually had time to demo. While the fact that they built their own engine for the game was impressive on paper, actually playing the game really drove home how special and fun this platformer is going to be once it is released. They even introduced me to their publishers, Midnight City, who gifted me with a super rad t-shirt (more on that later this week). I also got to meet Alex from Owlchemy Labs, but never found the time to play their 20 min demo of Dyscourse. Blurgh. And I introduced myself to the team at Grimm Bros, whose game Dragon Fin Soup just finished up a super successful Kickstarter campaign. They even gave me a gorgeous poster, which will soon be displayed in my desk area to inspire me.

Thanks again to the team at Hololabs for ferrying me around, feeding me, and making sure I had a warm bed to sleep in. It was fabulous hanging with you guys and I’d love to do it again in the future (PAX Prime, maybe?) Also, thanks again to Mo, Tribute Games and our other friends at Ackk Studios for being so awesome and friendly. And finally, thanks to all the amazing developers, volunteers, media and fans who I got to meet that I haven’t mentioned yet. You are the reason I keep coming to PAX.