Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

PAX Riparia

Scooter enjoying the view (of her phone)
Having gotten up very early to drive to San Antonio, then walked around PAX for something like seven hours, Scooter and I were ready to head to our hotel. Thanks to my job, I have accumulated a lot of points with the International Hotel Group (which includes Holiday Inn), enabling me to book free rooms every so often. For PAX weekend, I splurged and got us a reservation at the Hotel Indigo Riverwalk, an excellent "boutique" hotel north of the main downtown area. I did see a few other folks that had PAX badges, which was cool.
Dusk on the Riverfront
The hotel overlooks the San Antonio River from the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts (the building on the left in the pictures). After checking in, we relaxed on the balcony and enjoyed the early evening (relative) quiet. Having eaten a heavy lunch, we decided to keep dinner simple and went to a local market to get sandwich stuff and fruit for dinner.
Morning Coffee (bad compositing)
Had I realized Bel was leaving on Sunday morning instead of going back to the convention center, I would have made a bigger effort to hang out with him and the others on Saturday. But, finding out fairly early that he wouldn't be there, I was in no hurry to get back myself. Scooter and I enjoyed a leisurely morning and checked out of the hotel before walking along the river to find lunch and then check out the PAX tabletop games hall. Scooter introduced me to her favorite place on the Riverwalk, Casa Rio, located right under the Commerce Street bridge. It was delicious.
Lunch on the Riverwalk
After lunch, we made our way over to the convention center and headed into PAX. I convinced Scooter to see if we could get more time on the Intel PCs. We got in at just the right time, with only a 10 minute wait and almost the full 45 minutes of promised playtime. When we left, the wait was back up to about 40 minutes. We went through the DOTA2 tutorial. I decided that I don't like the isomorphic view and click-to-move mechanics of DOTA. If all MOBAs are like this, I'd avoid them even if they didn't have a reputation for toxic communities. I got in a little more time playing Rocket League as well, deciding that I would need to get a controller if I want to buy it and play regularly.

Leaving the PC Room, we wanted to explore the PAX tabletop gaming hall, which we had skipped the previous day. Much to our surprise, the hall was actually mostly tables with folks playing various games. The exhibit booths were only a couple rows deep, and we could have explored them the evening before. That's not to say they weren't interesting. There were quite a few developer reps explaining/demonstrating their games to convention guests, and others had tabletop accessories on display. Scooter has a history of playing tabletop RPGs that I missed out on as a teenager. But it's been decades since she played, and I have been interested in trying it out. At one booth, we were looking seriously at the Pathfinder Beginner Box because it supports 2-player games, but we couldn't make a decision right then.

All in all, I had a great time at PAX. If we get the chance to go again, I think we will try to head down Friday night, and attend just the one day on Saturday before spending Sunday relaxing in San Antonio. At least this time around, neither of us was really interested in any of the scheduled panels, leaving only the exhibits and chance to try out some games. Still, a ton of stuff to see and do. I'd like to meet and hang out with people more, as well, and not being exhausted by 5 p.m.—13 hours after waking up—would help.

Thanks again to the anonymous person who gave us tickets, and to Belghast for arranging such a wonderful gift. We need to find a way to get together again soon, without thousands of people milling about. LOL
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