I share thoughts on PAX Prime 2013 and tease you with upcoming game controllers in this edition of Social Playbook.
Reflections on PAX Prime 2013
This was my second year at PAX Prime, and I have conflicting thoughts about it. It’s great to be able to get a hands-on experience with games that aren’t out yet or are still in closed beta. I was also able to talk to developers from companies I likely wouldn’t have heard about, and discovered some real gems. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to going next year. On the other hand, the exhibit floor was so noisy that it was hard to talk to or listen to anyone. The indie section had so many booths crammed into a small area that it was difficult to look around without being in the way of the main thoroughfare. Maybe it’s just me and my shut-in ways, and conventions are supposed to be like this, but I can’t help but wonder if there’s a way to make it better.
I also think that using genres as an easy way of describing games is over, if it hasn’t been that way for a while now. You could basically describe almost all games as action/adventure/role-playing, with the biggest difference being whether the game is multiplayer with a persistent world (i.e. MMO) or is co-op. It would be better to have a one-sentence description that describes the gameplay, compare your game to other popular games, and/or be specific in what genres your game belongs (i.e. tactical role-playing game instead of role-playing game).
On the other hand, I do like it that so many games weren’t constrained by genres and were free to use whatever gameplay elements they wanted to make their game the best it could be. Dwarven Delve has puzzle elements in a dungeon crawler, Backyard Battles has card game elements on a 2-d grid for extra strategy, Forced and Smashmuck Champions have interesting takes on the MOBA game. There are so many great games coming out, especially if you pay attention to indie games.
iOS-compatible game controllers
Now that iOS 7 has been released with its support for game controllers, as was shown at WWDC 2013, new controllers will soon be available.
The first is the GameCase for the iPhone and iPad. Not much information is known about it aside from the pictures, but it does look nice. What’s interesting is the placement of the joysticks, as other controllers have them at the bottom. You can sign up for notifications at GameCase’s website.
Logitech is teasing us with its upcoming controller. There are a few prototype pictures floating around, but there’s no proof of their authenticity. If you want more information on the Logitech controller, sign up at their Facebook page.
- After watching so many YouTube videos with Let’s Play and other commentary, sometimes I wonder if I should give it a try. Keeping an audience would be difficult, but it’s something I think about occasionally.
- SEGA bought Atlus, which causes me to worry if the quirky but fun games Atlus makes will still be coming to America. So many great games made overseas haven’t been imported and translated so I hope nothing changes with the acquisition. Thankfully, Jenni Lada and GamerTell has offered us some hope.