Archive

Posts Tagged ‘board games’

Rose City Comic Con 2018

Sunday, September 30th, 2018 No comments

Three weekends ago (the weekend after PAX). I went to Rose City Comic Con. I went back to work after a week long vacation after then and was swamped, so I didn’t have time to write about it.

I won’t do a blow-by-blow as usual, but I will say that this convention, unlike PAX, was more about panels.  There was some cool stuff on the exhibit floor (such as a Dragonball Z exhibit), but I spent most of my time there taking pictures of cosplayers.  I did some artwork from local artists like I normally do.

I went to panels featuring Kristen Bauer, Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, Star Trek: The Next Generation cast members (Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, and Michael Dorn), David Tennant, Felicia Day, Overwatch voice actresses Lucy Pohl and Charlet Chung, John Barrowman, Catherine Tate, Karl Urban, Smallville stars Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum, Michael Rooker,  and Evangeline Lilly.

I didn’t get any autographs this year, but I did get photo ops with Tenant and the TNG cast members.

They had a board game section which I didn’t check out because I didn’t see anything being played that I was interested in.  Maybe next year.

I ran into my friend Daniel on the second day, but we didn’t hang out long before we got separated.  Again, I kinda like doing my own thing at cons.

I really enjoyed being at RCCC again this year.  It was a exhausting having cons 2 weekends in a row, but I don’t regret it.  I think RCCC is later in the month next year, so that won’t be a problem. I’m so glad to have an event like this right in my back yard.

PAX 2018

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 No comments

Finally, I have returned to PAX!

This past weekend, I went to PAX for the first time in 4 years.  I think it was still referred to as PAX Prime the last time I went.  Now, it’s officially PAX West.  I wanted to go this year if I could get badges, but when I missed the onsale I resigned myself to staying home. Luckily, my friend Cory had bought extra badges and sold me one of his sets. I went with him, his partner Chris, and our friend Cody. We rented an airbnb in Burien, which is right outside of Seattle.

I drove to Seattle Friday morning on my own, parked at CenturyLink Field and took a Lyft to the convention center.  I met Cory and Chris to get my badges and headed off on my own to a Life is Strange panel.  This ended up being the only panel I saw that weekend.  There weren’t a lot interesting panels as far as I saw on the schedule.  Gearbox, Major Nelson, and Destructoid, some of my favorites from years past, weren’t on the schedule this year. Does Destructoid still exist? There was a Giant Bomb panel one night, but I think we went out as a group that night.  I spent the rest of the day at the convention center wondering around, taking pictures of cosplayers, and checking out video games.  I met the others (Cody had arrived by bus in the meantime and had been picked up by Cory and Chris) at the airbnb, and we went out to a brew pub for dinner.
D.Va cosplay

The next day we all went together to the convention center.  We split up shortly after we arrived. I really liked going around on my own.  If I’m trying to keep up with others, I might miss something I’m interested in, like an interesting cosplayer.  I did more of the same as the day before and I also played some video games and board games.  I actually waited in a long line to play a game, which might be a first for me.  I bought one of board games I played – Dice Throne.  We went to Pike Place (my first time) before heading back to the airbnb. That night we took a Lyft to the PAX Pink Party, which is an LGBT event.  It was an okay party.  Cory and Cody met friends of theirs.  I briefly met with somebody I’ve known online for a few months – the president of Seattle Gaymers. We stumbled upon another party downstairs, which was much better than the Pink Party.  I actually danced and sang in front of other people.  After this we got some food at Sizzle Pie and headed home around 2 in the morning.  I think we were all feeling old at this point.
Group Photo

On Sunday I was very tired and sore.  I tried to find activities that would allow me to sit down.  I did wait in another long line to play a game and get pictures of cosplayers.  Also, I played more board games, played some Jack Party Pack, and watched some fighting game competition in the Arena area, which was in the main exhibit area this time.  That night, they went out to eat with a friend of Cory’s, but I decided to go back to the airbnb.  I was pooped.
Cosplayers

I decided to drive back early Monday morning.  Xander had to leave Reese here by himself Sunday night because he had another dog to sit. This was the first time I’ve ever gone out of town and left Reese at home and not at a kennel or dogsitter’s place.  I didn’t want Reese to be here by himself too long. Also, I was exhausted and I don’t think I had another day in me.

It was so much fun getting to go back to PAX!  I’m glad that I went with people I know this time.  Just being around so many people who share the same passion as you is amazing. It was great rediscovering my way around the convention convention center. There’s so much there and it seemed like each day I found an area I had forgotten about, though some things had moved or changed.  I’m 4 years older and a lot more out of shape than I was the last time I went and it showed.  I was tired and sweaty a lot.  I needed to rest often.  When I was with the group, I had a hard time keeping up. I ended up skipping parties and panels I was interested in because it would be hard for me to get there.  I guess that’s motivation for getting in better shape before next time.  I’m really hoping that next time will be next year.

Christmas 2017

Saturday, December 30th, 2017 No comments

Christmas has been different this year.

I didn’t do much for Thanksgiving. I’m not that big into holidays, but Xander and I had made it a point to hang out on holidays. That changed earlier this year. On Thanksgiving, Xander was working his new dog sitting/housesitting job.  We did have lunch at My Father’s Place and ate breakfast food.

I wasn’t feeling the spirit this Christmas season.  I never even got all the way through my Christmas mix once, which I think is a first since I made it in 2006. It did snow on Christmas Eve and there was some left on Christmas Day. My vacations is Dec 22-Jan 1.  I let Xander borrow my car for work, so I was basically here by myself for 6 days in a row, Christmas being the 5th day of that.  It would have been difficult for him to do what he needed to without a vehicle. He didn’t come back home at the end of the day on Dec 24 and Dec 25. I wasn’t too happy about being alone and stranded on Christmas day.  My vacation has been better since the 26th.  It’ll have a strong finish.

Since presents are one of the few things I still like about this holiday and I always document my gifts, here is what I got this year for my birthday and Christmas:

  • beer mug
  • Reese’s, Kit-Kat, Skittles
  • Rocks
  • The Incredibles on blu-ray
  • Texts from Dog calendar
  • Armada by Ernest Cline
  • Artemis by Andy Weir
  • Mississippi State socks
  • Guardians of the Galaxy expansion for Legendary
  • Vanilla bean and warm tobacco pipe scented candles
  • Star Wars droid storage containers
  • Thor and Hulk pop vinyls
  • voucher for Naked Wines
  • several Christmas cards
  • Pandemic and Shadows over Camelot board games (gifts from myself)

Once again, my friends did well.

Overall, I think this has been a good year personally.  Lots of fun, but some of what I’ve gone through and what close friends have gone through has made it challenging at times.  Hopefully, 2018 will be easier.

The main goal I have for next year is to live a healthy lifestyle again.  My success criteria will be having normal cholesterol and glucose levels when I have my annual exam in December.

I hope every one has a happy New Year.  Take care of yourself and each other.

PDX Gaymers

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 No comments

I started getting involved with the PDX Gaymers  meetup group either early last year or the end of 2014.  It’s mostly a tabletop gaming group which holds events at different places around town.  I’ve met a lot of people through this group.  I “met” Kysen at one of my first meetups with them last years.  I have “met” in quotes because we just recently realized that we met each other briefly a few years ago at a going away brunch for someone I knew.

I became an event organizer and hosted a few events in the western suburbs where I live.  Those events didn’t have a high attendance. I think most members live in the city and prefer events there.  I also hosted a an event at a video gaming place in Milwaukie. They were very welcoming and wanted to be inclusive of the entire Portland community. They have since gone out of business. I wish I had hosted more events there, but it was so far out of my way that I had trouble finding the time or motivation to go there. Now it wouldn’t be a problem. I went to that part of town a lot when Kysen lived there, so it doesn’t seem like a big deal now.

A few months ago, the owner of PDX Gaymers sent a message to members explaining that he was too busy to run the group because he had recently become a business owner. I didn’t hear anything update after a while, do I talked to Kysen about it.  Kysen has been hosting a monthly game night at the Q Center since last year.  It’s the only monthly meeting of this group that I attend on a regular basis. Kysen and I decided that we would take over leadership of the group.  We thought the group served a great purpose of maintaining a safe space for gaymers to get together and it would be a shame if it went away.  The previous owner was okay with it, so Kysen and I officially took over on October 1.  Since one person has to be listed as owner/organizer, we decided that would be me. I made Kysen c0-organizer.

Running the group is easy. I don’t think the previous owner really did anything except pay the twice annual fees to Meetup. I hadn’t seen him at an event in a long time.The people who host the events do most of the work, which is still very little.  Kysen and I did have to deal with one conflict before we took over, but since then it has been quiet.

I think the group is pretty good.  We have 2 monthly events that take place in public places.  Occasionally one of our event hosts will host a game night in his home. I do want to find a replacement for one of our monthly events that dropped off because the host was too busy to continue it.  Also, I want some more video game based events since we haven’t had anything like that in over a year and I see that a lot our members like video games as well. We have about 850 members and membership has been slowly increasing since we took over.  Hopefully, things will continue to run smoothly and people continue to have fun gaming together.

[I just had an idea to send out a survey to get an idea of what people want.]

PAX 2014

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 No comments

For the third year in row, I took a Labor Day weekend trip to Seattle for P.A.X.  This was the 10th year of PAX and my 3rd year there.

On Thursday, I left  work around mid-day.  I offered a ride to people on the PAX forums and one person took me up on that.  His name was Jake.  I had told him that I wanted to leave at 2:00, but he didn’t arrive until 3:30. He was a nice guy, but between him arriving late and the horrible traffic going north to Seattle, I missed the event on the Microsoft campus that I wanted to go to that night.  I could have made most of it if we had left on time.  He was also one of my roommates for the weekend.  I used to forums to find roommates again.  You never know what you’re going to get.  I slept on the floor in a sleeping bag all weekend.  The person who booked the room seemed reluctant to ask for extras keys at first, so until Saturday I had to rely on other people to let me in the room. I saw one roommate this first day.  He was the one who initially let us into the room.  I never heard from him again after that.  I think he flaked out without paying his share of the room.  I didn’t have to pay extra because of that.  This might be the last year I use the forums to find roommates.  Maybe I’ll be able to convince some friends to go next year.  Probably not.
Hotel Room View

On Friday, I got up to go line up in the queue room.  I have to do the queue at least once every year.  The first day is the best day to do it because of all the excitement.  When they let us in, I went around looking at all the sites.  It’s sensory overload in there.  There weren’t a lot of big time games that I was interested in checking out, so I was more interested in the cosplayers.  I did get a Patrick Rothfuss pin for a coworker and I also got the same one for myself.  After I while I walked over to Benaroya Hall for the Rooster Teeth panel.  I caught the end of the opening panel with Mikey from Gearbox.  After some more time back in the convention center I went to see a panel called “Queer Visibilty in Tabletop Games”.  That night I went to the WildStar party.  There were some members of my MMO guild there who recognized me.  It turned out that they are also from Portland.
Queue Room

On Saturday, I hung around the convention center some more.  I got actually got to play a game or two, but nothing that had a long line.  At this point I had started to hear about some indie games that I needed to check out and I was starting to get more excited about games.  Every year I find out about some indie games that I probably wouldn’t have heard of if not for PAX.   Sometime this day, I got League of Legends skins for a friend that asked me to get one for him.   I went to the Firaxis panel.  While in line, some guys got me to play Spaceteam with them on our phones.  I had never heard of it, but I have heard of games like it.  It was a blast.  I always like playing games with random strangers like that.  I brought a board game with me to PAX for situations like that, but never got to use it.  In the panel, Firaxis showed off the next Civ game.  That’s going to be so much fun. Later I went to the Major Nelson Radio panel.  It’s always fun.  They had a guy from Insomniac Games talking about their upcoming game Sunset Overdrive.  I had never heard of it until PAX.  At the end, they said that they had a bus outside that seats 40 people.  If you get on the bus, you get a free dinner at Lil Woodys, a burger place.  Apparently, this bus was taking people back and forth all weekend, but those people had to pay for their own meals.  I didn’t rush outside.  I walked at a leisurely pace.  I ended up being the 45th in line, with about 15 people behind me.  I was a little disappointed, but it wasn’t a big deal.  I overheard Jeff Rubenstein, who was on the panel and helped plan this free dinner thing, tell the bus people to come back after they dropped everyone off and pick up the remaining people.  He said that he would pay the difference.  Pretty sweet!  To show my appreciation, I pre-ordered the game on the way to Woodys.  I’ve seen footage of it since and it looks pretty cool.  The burgers at Woodys were great.  The fries seemed a little undercooked.  That night I met up with some of my guild members, different ones from the night before.  They play some of the same games that I do, but I wasn’t familiar with them.  They’re really nice and I had a great time.
Sunset Overdrive Bus

On Sunday I got up very early to go to the Gearbox panel in Benaroya Hall.  I got there over 2.5 hours early and there was already a decent-sized line formed.  Their panel was great just like last year.  I always want to throw money at them when it’s over.  Everyone in attendance got a free season pass for the next Borderlands games.  I spent a little more time in the convention center.  I watched the League of Legends competition for a good while.  I can see how people can really get into this stuff, even spectators.  I might have to play some soon.  I had never heard the term esports used for games like this until this weekend, but I guess it fits.  After this I went back to Benaroya Hall for Patrick Rothfuss’s panel.  He’s a very funny guy.  I really need to read his books.  I’ve had The Name of the Wind for a long time.  I’ll get to it one day.  Later on I went to a panel called “A New Tabletop Gaming Canon”.  I mostly went because one of the hosts my favorite Game of Thrones podcast was on the panel.  It went well and I’ve already ordered one of the games they spoke about.  That night was the annual PAX Pink Party.  It was in a different place this year though there was a Pre-Pink Party at the old place that I stopped by for about 5 minutes.  I didn’t know anyone at this party, so it was a little weird at first.  Then one of my guildmates that I met the night before showed up alone, so we spent the rest of the night hanging out with each other.  We both left after the cosplay contest.  It turns out that we like a lot of the same TV shows.  He lives in Vancouver, B.C.  I hope we stay in touch.
League of Legends Tournament

On Monday, I went back to the convention center.  I knew I wouldn’t have much time because I had to get back to Portland to pick up Reese and to record a podcast.  I went to the annex to check out the PC free play area where one roommate was working as an enforcer.  I checked out the console free play on a previous day, but I didn’t have time to play. I wanted to watch some of the League of Legends competition, but they were full because it was the last day.  In the end, I just sat down and watched people play the new Dance Central games.  I was tired.  I went back to my hotel room and left.  Once again, my passenger held me up because he wasn’t ready at the time we decided upon.  The hotel only charged me for 2 nights of parking. After the big parking bill last year, I had planned to park at the airport and take the train in to downtown.  However, on Thursday night I was so tired and disappointed after missing the Microsoft event, I decided to save some hassle and just park at the hotel.  It ended up being cheaper than if I had parked at the airport.  Score!  The ride home from Seattle was quick as usual.
People playing Dance Central Spotlight

I had a great time at PAX as always.  Once again, it was exhausting, but it was worth it.  There didn’t seem to be as many cool freebies as last year, but that’s okay.  I made some new friends that I’ll hopefully be in touch with throughout the year.  I never got a chance to play tabletop games this year, but I have some ideas for games that I want to play with friends here in Portland.  My only regret is that I don’t get to do this more often.  I plan to go to PAX South in January.  Maybe I’ll get to go to PAX East or PAX Australia one of these years.

Now I’m ready for the fall.

PAX 2013

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013 No comments

This past weekend I went to PAX Prime in Seattle for the second time. I probably said this last year, but I want to make this an annual trip. If you’re a gamer of any kind, you should try to attend PAX at least once.

The trip to Seattle on Thursday took 5 hours (it should be around 3) due to an accident and rain. After I dropped my stuff off at the hotel, I went straight to an Xbox Meetup that was held at a Microsoft Store a few miles away. They were showing off the Xbox One. The line to get in was long. Major Nelson hosted the event. I got a chance to play Ryse: Son of Rome, which is a launch game that I had already pre-ordered. The little bit I played was co-op, and it was okay. They’re still working on it, so I’ll wait until closer to launch to decide whether or not to cancel my pre-order. Later that night, I went to a pre-PAX party. I didn’t stay long because I felt out of place there.
Xbox Meetup

Friday was the first official day of the con. First I went to the Queue Room to get in line to go to the exhibition floor. If there’s something that you really want to get hands on time with on the floor, you get to the Queue Room early to get in line. Once I got onto the floor, I was mostly snapping pictures because I didn’t want to wait in another line to play games. After exploring the floor, I went to watch the League of Legends competition to get some skins that a friend wanted. The only panel I went to was the Rooster Teeth panel, which was good. The best part for me was when they played the latest episode of an animated series they do called Rwby. I’m going to check it out when I get a chance. I went to the Final Fantasy XIV launch party that afternoon. I didn’t know about this party until that day. I got to shake hands with the producer of the game and get the autograph of the composer. The last thing I did was go to the PAX Pink Party where played a game of Cards Against Humanity with a bunch of strangers. By the end of the day, I was tired and couldn’t believe I had 3 more days.
statue

On Saturday I didn’t wait in line for the queue room. I just went in after the floor had already opened. I got a chance to see more cool costumes and some booths I didn’t see the day before. I went to the WildStar panel and the Major Nelson Radio panel. After those I went to the Guild Wars 2 Anniversary celebration, which had different events throughout the day. It was a lot of fun.
WildStar panel

On Sunday, I don’t think I spent much time on the exhibition floor. There’s not as many cool costumes, but this was the most panel heavy day for me. I went to the Queers in Gaming, Destructiod, Voice Acting 101, and Cards Against Humanity panels. This was the only night I didn’t go to an afterparty, but the CAH panel lasted pretty late.
Cards Against Humanity panel pre-panel entertainment

Monday was the last day. There wasn’t a lot going on this day. The only panel I went to was Inside Gearbox. This was the only time I had to wait in line outside in the sun. The panel itself was pretty funny and they gave out some codes for some cool stuff to everyone in the audience. After that I went to the console free play area. I really regretted not knowing about this until the end of the con last year, so I made a point to stop by this year. I ended the con there. The Post-PAX afterparty was that night. I won a PAX scarf in a raffle.
console freeplay

Some notes:

  • My roommates were a lot better this year than last. I have no complaints about them.
  • I did the Street Pass thing on my 3DS while I waiting in line. My count went from around 100 to close to 500.
  • I got around 7-8 hours of sleep a night. At home I usually get 4-5 hours.
  • I saw a lot of people with my model or a similar model camera. I was a conversation starter many times. My camera helped me meet a couple who do graphic design at the Guild Wars 2 celebration. I’ll probably be getting in touch with them soon.who do graphic design
  • Hotel parking cost over $40 a night. The amount I paid for parking is higher than how much a plane ticket would have been.
  • Most of the events I went to that weren’t officially part of the con could have been better organized.

    I may be exhausted now, but I had a great time a PAX again this year. Like last year, I saw come big-time games that weren’t on my radar and now I’m excited about them. I also saw some indie games that I’m excited to try out. I don’t think I got as much free stuff this year as last, but I really like the stuff I got. I would probably throw most of it away anyway. My biggest regret is not doing any tabletop gaming, so I’ll be sure to do that next year. Unless something big stops me, I’ll definitely be back then.

    All 118 of my pics are available on Facebook for those interested.

  • PAX 2012

    Monday, September 3rd, 2012 No comments

    This weekend I went to PAX for the first time. PAX is the Penny Arcade Expo, and it’s a convention devoted to nothing but gaming. I guess I didn’t know what I was getting into because I don’t hear as many people talk about it as San Diego Comic-Con. I figured I would have a good time, but it was many times better than I thought it would be.

    I drove to Seattle Thursday night after working at home for the day. I didn’t know that anybody I knew was going until the week of the con, so I had already found roommates on the hotel share thread on the PAX forums. This was a mistake. I should’ve just ponied up the money to get a room by myself. The guy who booked the room asked for my share of the money soon after I responded to his post because he was short on money. When I got to the hotel, we didn’t have a room because his card got declined. He said that he was getting a direct deposit around midnight from his job and we would have a room then. He was there with his online gaming group. They were split into 3 rooms. Our room had 5 people and the other two rooms had 4 each. These people were freaking weirdos, and that’s coming from me. I hope they don’t see this. They even admitted that they were strange and apologized for how strange they were. The guys in my room were okay, but the others in their extended group were out there. I left my stuff in one of the other rooms and we went to a bar while we waited to get our room. As I expected, his money wasn’t available at midnight. He asked me if I had a credit card that I could that I could use and he would forward me the money later. I said something vague like “I can’t do it”, but the truth was I just didn’t want to. I thought about getting my own room somewhere nearby. I guess he found someone else willing to use their card. We finally got into our room around 1AM. One guy snored so loudly that it was hard to sleep. I think I got about 2 hours of sleep that night. At least somebody called him out on that. Not that it did any good.

    The next day I got up to go the convention center. I had an idea of which panels I wanted to see, but I didn’t know what else I would end up doing. My roommates had talked about getting up early to get in line to play games, but I didn’t really know what they were talking about and I wasn’t really interested. When I got to the lobby, I asked the front desk to call me a cab. I saw some guys in Telltale Games shirts outside and they got in the first cab that came. It turns out that was supposed to be my cab. They invited me to share the cab with them and they paid for it. Neat, huh? When I got to the convention center, I just followed the flow of people. I ended up in the line for the Exhibition Hall where you can view and play games and see other stuff. While we waited in line here and everywhere else, the staff gave us stuff to do and entertained us. Comic-Con could learn something from this. I decided I wasn’t going to try to play any games because I didn’t want to wait a long time to play a demo I could play in a few months. Mostly, I walked around and watched other people play. I heard the wait to play Borderlands 2 was around 8 hours. I focused a lot on the cosplayers and props/decorations. I did see one of the Telltale guys I shared a cab with at the Telltale booth. The whole weekend I played maybe 2 or 3 games, but I did get cards with codes for games. I didn’t get much schwag other than this. There was so much to see. I tried to at least walk past every table. I spotted some guest stars from Supernatural at one point. Between visits to the Exhibition Hall I went to a couple of panels, like the Destructoid Live panel. I went to a party that night and had a great time.

    line

    Kratos

    Rob Benedict and Richard Speight, Jr

    Batman

    The second day wasn’t as interesting because I had seen the Exhibition Hall. I went to the Major Nelson Live panel. There was stuff going on all over the convention center. Even though I had seen much of it the previous day, I was still discovering a lot of things. I found a dark arcade (the way it should be) and I played some board games. I really want to get into board and card games now. People were playing them in dedicated rooms and on the floor while in line. I bought 1 game at the convention and I’ve bought another 1 since I got back. I ended up going to a Harmonix panel late that because I wanted to sit down for a while and I didn’t want to go back to my room yet. It ended up being the best panel I saw the entire weekend. Right when I was about to leave the convention center for the day, I stumbled across the console freeplay room where they had tons of consoles setup and you could checkout games to play. I wish I had known about this sooner, because I would’ve spent a lot of time here.

    arcade

    arcade

    I decided to come home Sunday instead of Monday morning. I had seen everything I needed to see and I wanted to give myself more time to recuperate. Also, I didn’t want to spend another night in that room. I was thinking about going to a popular museum in Seattle, but I’ll have to do that next time.

    I had a great time at PAX. It’s a lot more relaxed that Comic-Con. I did learn a few lessons. Never go in blind on the roommate situation. That threatened to put a damper on the weekend and I’m glad it didn’t. Also, I shouldn’t go to cons alone. It’s a lot less awkward when you know someone there and have someone to hang with. I either need to make more friends who like to go to these things or convince more of my current friends to go. Lastly, this isn’t really a lesson, but I need to dress up for a con one time. I think it would be a lot of fun. I’m glad that I’m fortunate enough to be able to go on these little adventures. I’m looking forward to the next one.