Our experience in the Indie MEGABOOTH at PAX Prime

Cardboard Fortress’ RESISTOR_ was chosen for the Indie MEGABOOTH at PAX Prime, and we had a complete blast while we were there. PAX Prime ran from Friday, August 29th to Monday, September 1st. We had exhibited at much smaller events, but this was like nothing we had ever experienced before. We showed the game to hundreds of people, including a few guys who played the game last year when we were showing it off on index cards. We even had a contest on the last day for people who wanted our hats! It was an amazing time, and we took plenty of pictures! Hit the jump for a full description, including loads of images.

We flew in super early Thursday morning with OrigamInc‘s Shawn Pierre, creator of These French Fries Are Terrible Hot Dogs, another tabletop game in the MEGABOOTH with us. We were a sleepy crew at 6am, trying to determine if we should try to get rest on the plane or worry about sleep later.

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Once we touched down in Seattle, everything moved quickly. We headed to the Convention Center and picked up our badges, then went in to see what we could to do help in the Indie MEGABOOTH. We were pretty late, so everything was well under way by the time we got there. We ended up just setting up our table and getting acquainted with everyone in one of the best ways we knew how: playing one another’s games.

Cardboard Fortress all set up with hats on!
Cardboard Fortress all set up with hats on!
Anthony Amato with Peter Newland of Mind the Gap Studios, in the Indie MEGABOOTH with Wizard Dodgeball
Anthony Amato with Peter Newland of Mind the Gap Studios, in the Indie MEGABOOTH with Wizard Dodgeball
Anthony Amato with Nina Park and Tap Pribbenow of CriKet Games, makers of Grow (currently on Kickstarter
Anthony Amato with Nina Park and Tap Pribbenow of CriKet Games, makers of Grow (currently on Kickstarter)

We got to meet everyone and headed to dinner, then went to 17 Bit for a mixer with the other Indie MEGABOOTH people. By Friday morning, we were excited and ready to start showing people RESISTOR_. 9am was the press hour, and at 10am, the crowds started to pour in. Tons of people stopped by to play the game, and many hung around to watch it and then play themselves. It was exciting!

Anthony getting pumped!
Anthony getting pumped!
The Somnambulant Gamers, who had a great time playing RESISTOR_
The Somnambulant Gamers, who had a great time playing RESISTOR_!
PIG Squad Lead Community Organizer Will Lewis sporting one of the much coveted Cardboard Fortress hats
PIG Squad Lead Community Organizer Will Lewis sporting one of the much coveted Cardboard Fortress hats

Friday night was the big Sony party, after which we passed out. Saturday started out with a super-early text message from the brilliant creator of Sentinels of the Multiverse, Christopher Badell, texting us pictures from the show floor:

"I am in your cardboard fortress, stealing your game! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!"
“I am in your cardboard fortress, stealing your game! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!”

There truly is no better way to wake up than that. Once we got our butts over to the hall, we got set up, and soon the masses were coming through again. We showed off the game a bunch more, and even had some kids stop by and play it! And, of course, some cosplayers.

This kid loved the hat! He also beat his dad at RESISTOR_. Woo!
This kid loved the hat! He also beat his dad at RESISTOR_. Woo!
All glory to Arstotzka!
All glory to Arstotzka!
She ended up giving us her stamp of approval.
She ended up giving us her stamp of approval.

Saturday night, we stuck around the board game area, and played a lot of Shawn Pierre’s hilariously fun Henka Twist Caper, as well as demoed our board game, Kobolds!

Are you ready to take on the swarms?
Are you ready to take on the swarms?

There was plenty more fun at our table Sunday, with other devs wearing our hats, and fans from last year returning. Christopher Badell came back, too, and we all headed out to dinner, and then the tabletop crew went to a party at a local game shop where we played lots of fun games and hung out with Trin Garritano from Cards Against Humanity. Oh, and Jonathan Bolding from The Escapist stopped by, and later wrote about us, which was rad!

Greg Lobanov of Dumb and Fat Games, in the Indie Minibooth showing off Coin Crypt, stopped by for a quick cardboard selfie.
Greg Lobanov of Dumb and Fat Games, in the Indie Minibooth showing off Coin Crypt, stopped by for a quick cardboard selfie.
Gnarwhal Studios' Game Minion Joe Kim. They were there showing off the amazing game Slap .45!
Gnarwhal Studios‘ Game Minion Joe Kim. They were there showing off the amazing game Slap .45, which is on Kickstarter now!
One of our superfans from last year, who demoed the game in the hall after hours! He's the one making crazy faces over Nicole's head.
One of our superfans from last year, who demoed the game in the hall after hours! He’s the one making crazy faces over Nicole’s head.
Pocketwatch Games' Andy Schatz, maker of Monaco, and Christopher Badell with Nicole
Pocketwatch Games’ Andy Schatz, maker of Monaco, and Christopher Badell with Nicole
A glorious dinner with Drew Wallace and Tim Ambrogi from Final Form Games, as well as Christopher, Shawn, Anthony, and Nicole.
A glorious dinner with Drew Wallace and Tim Ambrogi from Final Form Games, as well as Christopher, Shawn, Anthony, and Nicole.
Some post-dinner gaming with the Indie MEGABOOTH tabletoppers, playing Mind the Gap's hilarious zombie game, Z to Z
Some post-dinner gaming with the Indie MEGABOOTH tabletoppers, playing Mind the Gap’s hilarious zombie game, Z to Z
Trin, Tap, Nina, and Robert Huss playing Robert's game Alien Labyrinths. Robert's company Counter Clockwork was showing off Shadows over Westminster in the Indie MEGABOOTH.
Trin, Tap, Nina, and Robert Huss playing Robert’s game Alien Labyrinths. Robert’s company Counter Clockwork was showing off Shadow Over Westminster in the Indie MEGABOOTH.
Nina, Nicole, and Trin were laughing too hard to get a non-blurry photo!
Nina, Nicole, and Trin were laughing too hard to get a non-blurry photo!

By Monday, we were so very tired… yet, as always, I wanted PAX to last an entire week. We got up early and scoped out the sixth floor and played as many games as we could before 10am, when people rushed in for the final day at PAX. The Krupp brothers returned to challenge us for our hats, and while no one beat us a full two out of three games, we still gave our hats away. I also managed to sneak off for an hour to play a few games at SIX (Seattle Indie Expo). At the end of the day, we got a group picture of the tabletoppers, and went to a few parties. The post-parties were so much more intimate than the pre-parties, because we had all shared this beautiful experience together and it really seemed like no one wanted it to end.

Sooooo tired
Sooooo tired
The Challenge! If you could beat us best two out of three with all seven cards in the starting board, you could win our hats!
The Challenge! If you could beat us best two out of three with all seven cards in the starting board, you could win our hats!
The Krupps took the challenge, but didn't make it. (We gave them a hat anyway.)
The Krupps took the challenge, but didn’t make it. (We gave them a hat anyway.)
He didn't challenge us to the full seven cards, and I'm pretty sure he was cheating, but he really, really wanted that hat!
He didn’t challenge us to the full seven cards, and I’m pretty sure he was cheating, but he really, really wanted that hat!
Nicole with Mobeen Fikree, creator of We Are Doomed!
Nicole with Vertex Pop‘s Mobeen Fikree, creator of We Are Doomed!
"Tabletop!"
“Tabletop!”
Cardboard Fortress, part of CriKet Games, and photographer Andrew Ferguson posing with Trin
Cardboard Fortress, part of CriKet Games, and photographer Andrew Ferguson posing with Trin

We had one extra day to hang out in Seattle, so we teamed up with Shawn, Tap, Nina, and Robert and headed to Card Kingdom, an incredible board game store/cafe in the Seattle suburbs. Everyone hung out and played some Kobolds! with us, and we got some great feedback from everyone. It was awesome hanging out with other board game developers and hearing what they had to say!

Even with all of the combined board gaming experience at this table, the darn kobolds STILL beat us.
Even with all of the combined board gaming experience at this table, the darn kobolds STILL beat us.

Overall, our first experience as exhibitors at PAX was absolutely amazing! Being part of the Indie MEGABOOTH was like a dream come true. We met so many great people and made some wonderful friendships – not to mention played some fantastic games made by truly talented people. We are so grateful to the Indie MEGABOOTH, Cards Against Humanity, and the PAX Prime team for giving us this opportunity. Thank you so much!

One comment

  1. If any of you have experience with game jams, the development of this game was basically just a jam that went on for way too long. You don’t have time to ask questions or capacity to argue, you just let people go do their thing and somehow a game comes out. That said, Laissez Faire development isn’t for everybody but something that might be worth trying out for your next small project.

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