Wrap-up: PAX 2011

Sep 2nd, 2011 by Matthew Burns
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This past weekend was the Penny Arcade Expo here in Seattle, and Seattle Indies were there! Unfortunately there was no official Seattle Indies booth this year, but we’ll see what happens when PAX 2012 rolls around. Instead, this year was full of recon, networking, and general spywork for most of us. However, we did manage to represent at the show!

Up on the sixth floor, Strange Loop Games was showing off the awesome liquid-physics-puzzler Vessel on four playable stations. Despite being liquid based, this one looks hot! A few booths over, Dan Dixon was running Universe Sandbox for a non-stop rush of new and old fans alike. It was even mentioned in a write-up from alternative Seattle newspaper The Stranger!  And in the corner was a constant swarm around the Haunted Temple Studios booth, showing off Skulls of the Shogun on at least 3 screens. That game looks better with each build, and it’s getting closer to being released. Can’t come soon enough!

In other exciting news, Bootsnake Games wowed the audience at the AppNation LIVE! panel by debuting Containment, their zombocalypse puzzle game. It’s seriously one of the best looking games I’ve seen on an iPad, people. You should check out their own detailed write-up (with photos!) Also Uber Entertainment announced the free-to-play Super Monday Night Combat at the show. This game is sure to steal away plenty of productive hours from the lives of the innocent. And I almost forgot that Carbon Games announced their new game AirMech! They demoed it at their booth on the 4th floor, right across from Atlus. Now that’s big time baby.

The highlight of PAX for me was a session called “0 to Indie in 5 Steps”, with Haunted Temple’s Jake Kazdal on the panel. Jake and the others had plenty of insights to share about getting started, working hard, failing, and trying again. At the end of the sometimes heated debate, the audience had some solid advice to walk away with.

Golden nuggets of knowledge straight from your fellow indies

To close out PAX Prime 2011, I’d like to ask for a moment of silence as we mourn the loss of a great indie studio PopCap Games. As you may or may not know, earlier this year PopCap was absorbed into the behemoth of Electronic Arts for no small chunk of change. Though they may carry on a spirit of independence (and I’m sure they will), this is like Luke embracing the dark side of the force. So please, join me in a moment of silence. Hold hands now, and we’ll mourn together with only these breakdancing zombies to console us.