PAX EAST Experience Part 1
Our company, Torn Banner Studios, recently exhibited our game, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, at PAX East in Boston. As it was our first trade show we figured we should share some of our experiences with this community and let you know how things went for us.
This is probably going to need to be a 2 part post because there are so many stories to tell. First, let me give you all some quick context:
- We operate as a global company with members in Sweden, France, UK, Australia, USA and Canada.
- This was the first time we had all met.
So the first order of business was to get to know each other. We arrived on Wednesday (the show began on Friday at 10am) and mostly just hung out and learned about each other. The team got along incredibly well and we were all surprised by how cool game developers could be (we had been especially worried about the programmers social skills).
After everyone had arrived we went to a local Irish pub for dinner and a relaxing evening. Once we got home we handed out the Team T-shirts, looked over the decorations for our booth and began some early planning for the next few days. We were all so excited about the coming days that no one really seemed to mind that there were 7 of us all crammed into one living room. You can check out the sleeping quarters that our glamorous indie budget afforded us below:
After waking and taking several hours to get everyone fed and showered (7 guys, one bathroom) we left for home depot to purchase the materials required for our booth. Things went smoothly here and we were off to the convention centre to begin setup. Now, the best way to describe the convention centre a day before PAX is to use the old “kicking an ant hill” expression, but then you throw in cranes, trucks, giant boxes, ladders, tools, forklifts and carts all zooming around the loading dock trying to prepare for the next day.
We decided that we should scope out our booths location first, this experience was like a real-life game of frogger, only if we didn’t get out of peoples way fast enough, we’d end up getting trampled, and also probably be liable for any goods we damaged in our death. After finding every other booth in the convention centre, we managed to locate ours and much to our delight, there was a plump man sitting in our booth eating a sandwich when we arrived. Still chewing away he said “Oh is this your guys booth?” in announcement of our grand arrival. It was a humbling experience, we even let him stay and finish eating.
After that high note, we decided we should begin to setup our booth. Since we didn’t have the foresight to bring a handcart, and didn’t want to pay the ludicrous show contractor rates for labour, it meant we would have to hand carry all of our materials. So, we began the process of lugging 16 pieces of 2*3’s, 6 sheets of drywall, a 42’’ plasma TV and 3 handfuls of tools across the hectic loading dock to our booth, which was about 150 yards away. Miraculously, everyone escaped this experience unscathed.
The construction of the booth was definitely a highlight; it was incredible to see 6 guys do so little in the time span that one guy did so much. We owe the entire construction of our booth to Rikard “Drakir” Lindgren, whose official job title on our team is literally “Legend”. If you give him a jigsaw and a couple of hours you will quickly learn why. It took about 7 hours to get the booth constructed; wall papered and propped up, ready for display.
After we’d built our booth we headed home for the night to discover that one of the team members had reworked the trailers we were going to show the next day. We all really enjoyed the changes and agreed to show the updated versions for the show. We stayed up far, far too late this night talking and joking but this post is getting long so we’ll stop for now and you can look for part 2 in a few days.
Want to discuss our PAX experience with us further or learn more about the game? Our development team is super active on our forums so please come by and let us know what you think: ChivalrytheGame.com .