My day two was a lot more mellow, despite the convention being so insanely busy on a Friday. I’m sure Saturday will be even more packed, even though it’s supposed to have snowed! The people who have trekked all the way out here are truly hardcore. I’m seriously impressed with how the whole operation of PAX. It’s very well organized for how enormous it is.
For Boss Fight, we only had one thing on the books (wordplay!) that day- A panel called More Than Just Games: The Stories Behind Boss Fight Books. Basically a chance for the editor-in-chief, Gabe, myself, Mike, and Sal Pane to talk about how we got into the publishing industry and some behind the scenes stuff for the books they wrote. I’m helping produce an audiobook of our Mega Man 3 title, so I talked a bit about the challenges of doing indie audiobook production. It was a great time- not a tremendous amount of people, but a group of diehards who were English professors or aspiring writers themselves, many who stayed after the panel was over to talk or ask questions. Sal and I had a great and interesting conversation with a couple afterwards- the man basically asked, what do you think of authorial intent in regards to game development? Which is honestly an amazing question. It’s something I used to think about all the time when I was getting my literature degree. I come down pretty hard on the side of the audience/ readers most of the time- the author may intend something to be there, but if the person consuming it doesn’t think of it that way, that isn’t their fault. It’s similar with game development, ultimately it comes down to how does the player interpret the game? The devs may have wanted to create one thing, but it really is up to the player to experience the game through how they play it.
It was great and super nerdy and warmed my heart. I hope we run into that couple again.
We stopped by the iam8bit booth since they are awesome enough to sell Boss Fight stuff at the Los Angeles store. The people running that booth are super rad and if I had money to burn I would absolutely buy the Cuphead vinyl soundtrack. The floor was packed that day- I was hoping to swing by the PlayStation booth but the crush of people was really just too much. Mike recommended saving that kind of stuff for Sunday afternoon, since it was likely to be a little quieter on the last day.
There was one last panel we attended that afternoon, about being in game development without being a programmer. It was interesting- I’m certainly interested in that world but I’m not techy enough or artistic enough to get in that way. Chelsea Stark, managing editor over at Polygon, was there to talk a little about her journey from local news reporter to games journalist to editor, along with the rest of the panel which included a lawyer for game developers, an entrepreneur who makes games to help children’s mental health, and a guy who works in video game PR. All routes I would never have really considered without hearing them talk about it.
The more I write about games and the deeper I go into this world, the more I realize that you kind of have to make your own path. As an editor, a games writer, whatever it is. There is no “do X, complete Y, and you’ll have Z!” for whatever unnamed thing it is I’m trying to accomplish. But I’m having fun doing it and trying to be as receptive as possible to whatever comes my way.
One other thing! I mentioned that I do some work for The Completionist in the last post- their latest video went live yesterday, which I helped write. Give it a watch, it would mean a lot.