Michael Wolf
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Enhance Your Salt: Notes From PAX Dev 2018
Last edited - 18/09/09

Date: 2018/08/25-2018/08/26

Location: Hyatt Regency, Seattle, Washington

PAX Dev is an annual gathering of video and board game developers before PAX Prime (short for Penny Arcade Expo) in Seattle. The two days of panels and talks focus on sharing ideas, business cards, and demo codes with other industry members before the general public invades the convention center. Given that this convention fell around the day that marked my one-year anniversary working as an engineer in video games, I decided to tag along with my coworkers, two of which gave talks during the convention.

Setting

The Hyatt Regency is a pretty noticable cylindrical hotel in downtown Seattle. Viewing the tower from the tourist trap monorail makes it seem more impressive than it really is, but the hotel serves as a nice venue for a small convention. After entering the lobby and passing a bar that does look kindly upon board games as long as the beer rent is paid, conference-goers ascend a series of escalators to find the rooms for their panels. PAX Dev is pretty small compared to something like GDC, but I think that's precisely the point. A small mixer and the day break between Dev and Prime give the conference a much more relaxed feeling. I had fun even if I didn't get a ton of engineering talks under my belt. I got to demo the Magic Leap One and give my stupid business cards out.

Questions Going In
Responsiveness and Time-to-Fun (Ben Brode)

Ben Brode's keynote covered topics relevant to every individual in the room, touching on engineering, management, game design, and art. These next couple of sections can only try to capture the number of great, if sometimes obvious, points that lead to creating a successful and sustainable game.