PAX Prime 2011: Day 1

A column article by: Amelia Ramstead

Amelia gives the rundown on PAX Prime 2011 Day One, with some hands on experiences with Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony, Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix & Her Nightmare and a look at a few panels.

Today started off great, as I got to head in to the Exhibition Halls an hour before everyone else. After getting my bearings a bit, I stopped and chatted with a few of the designers who were fortunate enough to be selected as part of the PAX 10. I play-tested a bit of Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix and her Nightmare, a unique and fun puzzle-based game, that transports the traditional puzzle game (think Solomon’s Key) and maps it onto a 3-D cube. I followed that up by visiting with the creators of Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony. Think an updated version of Galaga, with an intriguing storyline and wonderful backgrounds and music. I’m planning a more thorough review of this one, coming up soon.

My next stop was with Tin Man Games, out of Australia. I was shown a game called An Assassin in Orlandes. The Gamebooks, available for iPad and other tablets and coming soon to PC, are an interesting cross between one of the old Choose Your Own Adventure novels (remember those??) and a D & D game.

I headed down and checked out my first panel of the day, a discussion of The Darkness II, an upcoming game based on The Darkness comic series. The panel was actually titled Video Games and Comics: A Natural Partnership and I was expecting it to be more of an exploration of a variety of comics, rather than just one game, but it was still interesting.

I headed to the main exhibition hall and checked out a number of games, including Rift (which is different from WoW how, exactly?), End of Nations (which proved why I should just leave real-time strategy games alone), and watched people make dancing fools of themselves on the stage set up for Just Dance 2 (which I totally plan to do myself, tomorrow!).

Next on the agenda was a conversation with the folks of Razer, who showed me their impressive new gaming laptop and their line of gear for Knight of the Old Republic. I’ll give you a more in-depth look at their products next week!

Wil Wheaton: Still Dreamy, Even When Making a Troll Face (via FuckYeahWilWheaton)

I then headed over to the Pegasus Stage at the Sheraton for my date with one Mr. Wheaton, but alas, the show had been booked solid for over three hours (geez, guys!). So, I consulted my schedule and decided to check out the panel Video Game Music Goes Mainstream. This was a fun and highly entertaining group of panelists, and I’ll share more of their insights with you later.

Following the panel, I sat down and talked with Night Owl Games, the creators of Dungeon Overlord, a game currently in beta. It’s a strategy/PVP game for Facebook, using the free to play method, with micro-transactions. They have asked me to wait a couple weeks until the game is fully ready and I plan to do a full review at that time. My husband has been playing the beta, and he loves it.

I finished up the day with one more panel – The Truth about being a Gamer Parent. I love this topic and I thought the group had some excellent insights. I’ll be talking further on this subject as well!

I hope I’ve offered you an idea of what I’ve got brewing in the days to come and more tomorrow!

Amelia Ramstead has been playing games since her family first received an Atari 2600, lo these many years ago. She continues to play, primarily on PC these days. An avid World of Warcraft player, Amelia writes about WoW topics for her blog and as a guest poster on WoW Insider. Especially interested in how gamer culture reflects in family dynamics, Amelia herself has two kids, one of whom has two WoW characters and can barely keep his nose out of his DS. Amelia is excited to join the staff of Comics Bulletin and is looking forward to the chance to converse with others on one of her favorite topics! Find Amelia on Steam as ameeramstead.

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