PAX East's Most Exciting Panels


Posted March 18, 2010 - By Andrew Pfister

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PAX EastThe panels you'll find at Penny Arcade Expo, be it the traditional end-of-summer show up in Seattle or this year's Eastern debut in Boston, aren't like the ones we just covered at Game Developers Conference. While GDC panels look at the nuts and bolts of programming, design, art, audio, and economics, PAX panels have a definite fan-flavor to them. Topics range from tabletop D&D  to community management,  to publisher behind-the-scenes looks to live podcast recordings and concerts. (And, praise be, all sorts of panels investigating the current state of video game journalism.)

The PAX East program is three days worth of interesting conversation and entertaining debate...here's what Patrick, Adam, Abbie and I are looking forward to checking out (while we're not foolishly provoking drunken Red Sox fans). And by all means, if you're attending the show and see us in the hall or passed out in the street somewhere, be sure to say hello and/or call for emergency assistance!

Friday, March 26th

Journalists vs. Developers: The Ultimate Grudge Match -- 2:00PM, Manticore Theatre

Our own Patrick Klepek will be joining Wired Game|Life's Chris Kohler, Harmonix's John Drake, and our old friend and former editor-in-chief of Computer Gaming World Jeff Green, who is currently in editorial command of EA.com. As you might surmise from the panel's title, this will be about the tenuous but symbiotic relationship between the journalists and the publishers. But it should be fun, because we're all still good friends. (Right...?)

PAX East Keynote -- 3:00PM, Main Theatre

Wil Wheaton, aka Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: TNG, is delivering this year's keynote address. Wil's been a lifelong gamer and pretty much has the world's biggest stockpile of geek cred, so this speech should be worth catching.

Boston Red SoxThe Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom -- 6:30PM, Naga Theatre

Winterbottom started out as a student thesis project and made its way up to a fully featured downloadable release. Paul Bellezza and Matt Korba from The Odd Gentlemen are going to walk us through how that unfolded.

Indies Will Shoot You In The Knees -- 8:00PM, Naga Theatre

A panel of Boston-based indie game developers are fired up and ready to explain their strategies for fighting against the Halos and the Calls of Duty and the Uncharteds and the what-have-yous of this industry.

Mega64: Panel for the Soul -- 9:30PM, Manticore Theatre

If you've never seen a Mega64 video before, your life is seriously deficient in comedy. Watch them all. Go on.

Saturday, March 27th

The Dead Space Universe -- 1:00PM, Naga Theatre

This panel featuring EA developers and producers will explore the first Dead Space, the Wii game Extraction, and a lot of the universe's supplemental fiction. But there's also an important line in the official panel description that guarantees our attendance: "...and prepare them for what's to come in the recently announced Dead Space 2."

Boston Baked BeansNaughty Dog LIVE - Game Design With The Dogs -- 4:00PM, Naga Theatre

With the seemingly unending river of awards and the roughly 300 Uncharted 2-related panels at GDC, one would think I'd be sick and tired of hearing about how Naughty Dog works.


Prince of Persia -- 5:30PM, Manticore Theatre

Ubisoft's promising a new live demo of the upcoming Forgotten Sands game that takes the series back to the Sands of Time universe. I got to see the game for the first time shortly before Microsoft's X10 event back in February, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing new content.

Hal Halpin and Adam Sessler Talking Games -- 7:00PM, Manticore Theatre

Okay, maybe the name isn't exactly thrilling, but I got the chance to see Hal and Adam do this panel in Seattle back in August, and it was really fascinating to hear them talk about all issues facing the games industry, big and small. And if you've ever seen an episode of Feedback, you know that when Adam gets going on something...

Sunday, March 28th

An Awkward Hour With Rock Band Designers -- 10:00AM, Manticore Theatre

Team Harmonix draws the Sunday morning early panel, which is unfortunate considering how much Rock Band partying will be done late into Saturday night. But we'll try our best to get there on time to hear them field questions from the audience regarding the game and the company. Perhaps they'll let some interesting tidbits slip through about Rock Band 3 or Green Day (or, dare I dream, the Pearl Jam project)?

CheersX-Play LIVE: A Show on Television -- 1:00PM, Manticore Theatre

Hey, that's us! Adam, Morgan, Blair, Abbie, Patrick and yours truly will be doing a live panel on Sunday afternoon. We did this for the first time at last year's PAX Prime, and the room quickly filled up to capacity -- and that was before they even knew what we were doing! I want to see you there. I truly do.

I'll be really disappointed if you're not.


Keep track of our Boston whereabouts by following @andrewpfister on the ol' Twitter.



Not enough panel info for ya? You can also get the full PAX East 2010 Panel Schedule here.

PAX East's Most Exciting Panels


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