I’ve been to three major game conventions (some multiple times) so I thought I’d take today to talk a little about each.
E3 – If you’re a gamer thinking it’d be really cool to go to E3, let me disabuse you of that notion. It’s extremely loud, the lines are astronomically long, and you’ll find out more about the games and announcements of E3 by just staying home and reading the major gaming websites’ coverage of E3 than actually being there. If you’re actually supposed to be at E3 (you’re either showing off your new game or you’re press at a major publication and have a ton of interviews & appointments lined up), you can get a lot done but otherwise, just stay home.
PAX – This is E3 for the rest of us. It’s still too crowded but it’s not as bad as E3 and there are other less crowded things to go see and do as well. Plus, there’s fun stuff like cosplay, tournaments, panels, and tabletop gaming that you’re not really going to see at E3.
GDC – This is the convention to go to if you’re a developer seeking to improve your craft. Tons of great panels by industry professionals on every aspect of game creation and publishing. The only real problem is that the conference is extremely expensive (over $1k if you want to go to everything) although they’ll waive the fee if you’re a speaker or otherwise help out.
This year, we should be at PAX East showing off Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 4 and I’ll be attending GDC for a few days since I’ve been asked to give a mini post-mortem on our work on the Precipice of Darkness series.