PAX South Day One Wrap-Up

PAX South 2017

Day One of the PAX (Penny-Arcade) South convention in San Antonio wraps up.

The first day of PAX South came on cold, at least by San Antonio standards. A cold wind threatened to blow hats off of the heads of early con-goers waiting in line for the doors of the convention center to open up.

Many of these early birds were in line to be among the first to get their hands on the Nintendo Switch. As the hottest item on the show floor, the line rapidly hit the two hours or greater mark and threatened to spill into the adjacent booths.

One of the show floor highlights for me was checking out a playable build of the upcoming Defense Grid board game. I’ve been a huge fan of Defense Grid since the first game and the board game seems to be a fun and faithful adaptation of the Tower Defense format into cooperative board game form.

Another surprise was a lovely single-developer puzzle game, Gorogoa,  which is slated for a spring release from Annapurna Interactive. Annapurna Interactive is a new game publishing arm of Annapurna Pictures, known for films such as Zero Dark Thirty and Sausage Party.

Interest in streaming games continues to grow and PAX South reflects that as well. presented a trio of Streaming 101 panels, covering the equipment you need to get started, reasons why people stream, how to build your community, and suggestions for how to build your hobby into something that, if not a career, can at least pay for a few games a month.

Streaming,’s Streaming 101 community panel

Twitch also presented their first Townhall of 2017. Starting with a retrospective of 2016’s achievements, they noted that Twitch streamers raised over $25.3 million dollars for various charities in 2016 alone! They also announced the first new feature of to be added in 2017: Twitch Communities!

Communities will essentially be a new discovery tool for Twitch users, allowing streamers to broadcast both by game type, and also by interests such as speedruns, Top 100 ladder players in a particular game, or specific genres. They expect the beta to release sometime in February.

Community engagement will also be getting a bump in 2017. Twitch noted that several of the community focused events in 2016 were great viewings boosters for participating streamers and they want to encourage new community programs. They are also encouraging greater local focus, rolling out the official Community Meetups program in twenty select cities.
There’s two more days of PAX South yet to come, and you can expect more coverage tomorrow!

Aaron is proof that while you can take a developer out of the game industry, it's much harder to take the game industry out of a developer. When not at his day job, Aaron enjoys teaching Axis & Allies to his kids, writing sci-fi stories, playing classic space sims on Twitch, and riding around the American Midwest on his Harley.

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