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[PAX] Play the damn games.

19 July 201303:20PMpaxtravel

So that was an interesting day.

If you ever want to be convinced that games are meant to be played and not looked at, go to a gaming expo. The point where I started enjoying myself correlates pretty precisely with the point where I started playing things that looked interesting instead of aimlessly wandering around looking at them.

More for my benefit than anyone else's, here's some of the stuff which I played today which was cool.

Johann Sebastian Joust
This is really cool. It uses a bunch of motion- sensitive controllers. If you move it too quickly, you're out. So you have to try and get each other out by basically playing tag. Um, maybe just have a look?

It's really simple. There's no real controls and no screen, and it's fun to watch people just 'get' it intuitively. Also gets props for turning over quickly and not making people queue.

My god was there a lot of queueing.

Story War
Think Magic: The Gathering, but without all the annoying numbers. You just make it up. Like Joust, this was an enjoyable hour or so with total strangers where it didn't matter that they were total strangers. I actually kickstarted this a while ago sight unseen, and it's good to know that it works how I thought it would.

Muse is kind of like Audiosurf in reverse. Instead of the game level being based on your music, the music is generated based on how you fly around the environment and what you interact with.

An interesting thing happened while I was playing - a guy from another booth approached one of the developers and asked if they were interested in working with their little controller gizmo. Basically, making a a business pitch. It was a really weird thing to hear snippets of over the techno sountrack I was making. I guess this show isn't just about guests hanging out and playing games - it actually does all the networking-y conference-y stuff too. Which is nice. It's good to know these guys might get something out of it other than publicity.

Painters Unite was another one which was kind of interesting like that. The point of the game is to paint all the other players your colour so they're on your team, and the game ends when there's one team left. What they were doing at the show is actually exhibiting all day and coding all night, revising based on all the feedback they got during the day. So I might go back tomorrow, and find the game plays quite differently, which is just way cool.

And then?

There was the Giant Jenga...

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