1. PAX West 2016 Wrap Up!

    September 10, 2016 ♥ Posted in: Conventions, Games, Geek Events by Kristina Horner

    Hey everyone! Last weekend was PAX West here in Seattle, and while I am totally and completely exhausted, I have decided I need to do a better job of documenting the stuff I’m doing. So here’s a comprehensive overview of the highlights of this awesome gaming convention.

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    COSPLAY BREAKDOWN:

    Cosplay is always a big part of my conventions, and PAX is no exception. I had actually planned to wear costumes every day (it’s a four day convention so I had FOUR different costumes ready) but I only managed to make 3 happen. I seem to forget each time how much energy costume-wearing really takes. Uncomfortable shoes, pin curls and wigs, carrying around props, stopping for pictures… these are all things I love, but I’ve learned that 4 days of anything just starts to feel like how your life is now, so after 3 days of this – I needed a break. The picture above is the very comfortable outfit I opted for on Monday.

    That being said, here’s what I wore on Friday-Sunday!

    FRIDAY:¬†These costumes were from last year, but we had so much fun wearing them that we decided to do it again! Plus Roosterteeth always has a presence at PAX and the were demoing their new RWBY game, so it seemed fitting to bring Blake and Ruby back. Jenn also remade a big portion of her scythe, so a round two was in order. I downplayed this at PAX, but you’ll notice I opted for slightly more comfortable shoes this time… ūüėČ

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    SATURDAY: This was one of the best cosplay days I’ve ever had. The three of us fell in love with this as a cosplay idea last year at GeekGirlCon when we met the artist (Skirtzzz) in artist’s alley. I’ve always loved Princess Peach but I am not the biggest fan of her basic iconic dress, so seeing such a fun alternative outfit for her instantly grabbed my attention. Luckily Eia and Jenn also loved the outfits, and we vowed to make them for PAX, this year. And we did.

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    People at PAX really seemed to like the costumes, even if they didn’t totally get them. They’re a stretch, believe be. The concept is Mario Princesses wearing FFX-2 dress spheres, in the style of the gunners. I haven’t actually played FFX-2, so I had to have someone explain this to me, but I was relieved when a number of people referred to it as “isn’t that the dress up game?” I’ll take it.

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    Here’s a side by side reference of the costume I was recreating. I this this is my favorite costume group we’ve done yet, and personally – I cant wait to see what new art Skirtzzz brings to GeekGirlCon this year! Maybe we’ll be inspired again!

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    SUNDAY: Maybe it was the Pokemon Go craze this summer, but I was finally, finally motivated to do the Misty cosplay I’ve always dreamed of. I have literally had this Togepi plushie sitting on my shelf for years. Funny story – a fan from Germany actually sent me this Togepi because he thought I might need it if I ever dressed up as Misty. Amazing – and he was right!

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    Eia was in the Pokemon spirit as well, and since we ran out of Indigo League to watch while we were making our costumes and recently started XY, she decided making a Serena costume would be the perfect thing for her Sunday outfit. We had fun representing the old and new of one of our favorite franchises, and Pokemon XY is surprisingly fun. I do miss the old voice actors, though.

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    BEST GAMES:

    We played a LOT of games at PAX. I mean naturally, since that’s what the convention is all about, but I am actually very impressed with how many games we fit in despite how much time cosplaying tends to eat up at cons.

    Here are a couple of my favorites from the weekend:

    Firewatch: First person mystery adventure game that looks like a lot of fun. Played a demo and liked it so much I bought their adorable camp-themed logo tank top.
    Grimm Ecplise: RWBY game. 4 player online co-op hack-n-slash. I’m not usually into these types of games, but getting to play as Blake really sold it for me.
    Complicated Board Game The Card Game: This game was hilarious. It’s a card game about playing complicated board games. It’s like a combination of Fluxx and Munchkin. To be fair, I don’t actually like either Fluxx or Munchkin all that much, but we had a great demo-er and we had a pretty good time with this one. If you don’t like Fluxx though, proceed with caution, because it’s definitely a constant rules-changing card game.
    JunKing: Another card game, and probably my favorite one from the Indie Mega Booth. You play as a… garbage imp? And you basically rifle through the trash to collect prestigious items to raise your status with your garbage tribe. I think you’re essentially a raccoon. I don’t know. It was fun.
    Star Realms: This game was by no means new, and Joe and I actually already owned a copy, but my friends and I spent a good deal of time at the Star Realms booth – and now I think I have everyone hooked. It’s a great game because it plays 2, but if you combine two decks, it can play up to 4. Great versatility in a game! It’s a competitive deck builder set in space and now that we have all the expansions and whatnot, I imagine we’ll be playing this a lot more.
    Captain Sonar: We happened upon this game by chance in a tabletop free-play room. It’s an 8 player game (four on four) and it’s like if you added a ton of skill and strategy to ‘Battleship’. Very stressful, very fast paced, and a lot of fun.
    Costa Rica: This was a cute little game Eia and Jenn and I stumbled upon, and we had a great time playing it. It’s like if you mixed ‘Hey That’s My Fish!’ (hex piece puzzle game) with ‘Zombie Dice’ or ‘Pass The Pigs’ chance-taking¬†gambling game. It was a fun mix of the two, and collecting cute animals from the rainforest was a plus.

     

    THORNWATCH:

    I had the pleasure of getting to play a demo of the new Thornwatch by none other than one of the creators himself, Rodney Thompson. Plus, the other players in my demo were Jimmy Wong, Kiri Callaghan and Lauren Bond Рfellow creators I know and love dearly! All in all it was an ideal situation for getting to check out an awesome new game, and a big thanks is due to my friend Tara of the GeekyHostess, who set the whole thing up.

    Thornwatch Demo PAX west

    Thornwatch is described as a “graphic novel adventure” and it’s made by Lone Shark Games and Penny Arcade themselves. It played liked a game somewhere between a longer form RPG and a sit-down-and-play board game, which is my favorite kind of game. The coolest part was that so many elements of the game changed depending on which campaign you played – from the pieces of the board used, to which monsters you fought, to actual in game elements like protecting villagers or stopping the enemy from making matches of tokens needed for them to win.

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    Replayability is such an important feature in a game, especially when they¬†are an expensive as full games can be! Thornwatch seems like it can change over and over again, and I seriously look forward to owning this, when it’s out. If Thornwatch sounds like something you’d like, it has a live Kickstarter running right now, which ends on Oct 5. Joe and I already backed for our copy!

     

    PAX was such an awesome time. Getting to run around in costumes, play games with my friends, and take two days off work is an ideal way to spend a weekend, and I can’t wait until next year. Were you at PAX, or have you ever been to a game-centric convention? Tell me about it in the comments!

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  2. Games I Want to Play After Attending PAX ’13

    September 4, 2013 ♥ Posted in: Geek Events, Nerd Topics by Kristina Horner

    While I was at PAX, I kept a notepad list of all the games that caught my eye. From console games to app games to indie games, there’s just so much exciting stuff filling the halls of this convention that it would be impossible to remember everything. As promised – today’s blog post is going to be the list of games I wrote down on my list.

    Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time: This was a co-op indie game I watched a demo of that looked colorful and fun and potentially good for the Team Hypercube channel. It takes place in space inside a pink Death Star where you’re running around controlling a ship while simultaneously fighting bad guys in space. Keep an eye out for playthroughs of this one.images

    Escape Goat 2: This was a simple but fun puzzle platformer where you play a goat progressing through a dungeon. I got to test this game out and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

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    Mount Your Friends: I actually don’t remember how this game got on my list (because I didn’t actually see it at PAX), but I think someone just recommended it to me? From what I have read online, you use your friends bodies and a goat to climb to certain heights? Or something? I don’t know.steamworkshop_collection_1370628196_collection_branding
    Adventure Time : Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know!: This game just looks amazing. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the previous Adventure Time game (Hey Ice King Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?) but this new one that comes out in the fall is a co-op multiplayer where you battle your way through a dungeon as various characters from the Land of Ooo. I need it.


    Prison Architect: This is a Steam game that was recommended to me because of my recent obsession with the show Orange is the New Black combined with my love of Roller Coaster Tycoon. I can’t wait to play it.

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    Peggle 2: Peggle is one of those really standard games (hit all the orage pegs before you run out of balls) but the first version of the game was my standard go-to on long airplane rides. I’m excited to see what’s different in this new version.
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    Bastion: I’m a big fan of great iPad games (which I’m sure you probably already know) and this was one that was recommended to me for that reason. It looks cool, though I know very little about it right now. It’s also available on PC, if you don’t own an iPad.


    Super Mario 3D World: This just looks awesome. I’ll give any new Mario game a try, and the combination of co-op Mario with 3D graphics should be pretty awesome. Plus it’s about time we get some new WiiU games!


    Windborne: This was a game I got to demo, mostly because there was a prize wheel at their booth that I wanted to spin and you had to play the game to get to do so. It was a lot like Minecraft but sort of prettier, which I liked. I would give this game a try.
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    Hate Plus: I don’t know anything about this game, but the art was amazing and they were offering QR codes for special Animal Crossing clothing items, so on the list it went.
    Delver’s Drop: I saw this game in the Indie corner! It looked amazing – the art was beautiful and everything was pink, but not in a condescending way. It’s a 2D action RPG and I can’t wait to give it a try.
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    Have you heard of or played any of these games? What did you think of them? Which would you be interested in watching me play on Team Hypercube? Let me know in the comments – or as always, feel free to leave other game suggestions based on the type of things I’m already into!
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  3. Look #15: PAX Day Four!

    September 3, 2013 ♥ Posted in: Geek Events, Journal, Outfit of the Day by Kristina Horner

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    Four days of PAX was a whole new experience – but it was nice to have that final day to make sure we saw everything. I opted for a comfy outfit for this final day; I’d been saving this fantastic Power Rangers dress for last for that very reason. Paired with a simple pair of black leggings, sensible black sneakers and the same Threadless cardigan from the day before, I was good to go (go power rangers)!

    I was a little preoccupied the whole day because I finally had the good sense to bring my DS and collect Street Passes. I had never experienced the magic of Street Passing at a video game convention before, and I have to say, it sort of changed everything. Maybe it was annoying that I was multi-tasking with Warrior’s Way while doing everything else that day, but on the other hand, my army is now 30,000+ strong after a single day. So… no regrets.

    We spent a good portion of the day hitting up raffles (tried again to win hardware at the MSI booth, then Liz and I succeeded at winning a GIANT Magic the Gathering card at the MtG raffle, which was hilarious and awesome albeit awkward to carry around the rest of the con) checking out a fun board game called Dungeon Run, and then painting another miniature over at Reaper. It was a nice, calming way to end the con.

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    In an attempt to prioritize games and fun on Monday, my group somehow ended up forgetting to eat for most of the day – so the last thing we did was GORGE ourselves on Mexican food over at Pacific Place mall. Let me tell you… enchiladas have never tasted as good as they do after four straight days of conventioning. I could have eaten chips and salsa all night if the restaurant had let me.

    I have a huge list of games I wrote down over the course of PAX that I’ll be checking out in the near future… I’m thinking tomorrow’s blog post might go through that list. Let me know if that would be interesting!

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  4. Look #14: PAX Day Three!

    September 2, 2013 ♥ Posted in: Geek Events, Journal, Outfit of the Day by Kristina Horner

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    This was my favorite outfit of PAX so far — I called it BMO chic. I incorporated a lot of new PAX purchases into my standard everyday clothing, and I was extremely happy with the result! First of all, the top is a body suit/leotard from We Love Fine, with BMO detailings on both sides. I love it. I paired this with a pink skirt I’ve had in my closet for ages, a pair of black tights, gray ankle boots from Forever21 and a gray cardigan I got from Threadless. The cardigan has a tiny little hidden unicorn on it as well, which makes it one of my favorite pieces of outerwear. To finish the outfit, I added the Mario Star necklace I bought in the Expo Hall the day before from Sanshee.

    Sunday started a bit late for Liz and myself (four days of PAXing really starts to take it out of you!) and we meandered downtown on the bus around 11:15. We stopped off at a Gamestop before heading to the Convention Center, because Liz wanted to buy a 3DS. Once she had it in her hands, the entire convention changed for us (as I had brought mine along as well). I’ll admit it – I’d never used StreetPass before. I know, I know. I’m a terrible nerd. We watched in awe as we collected new friends, filled up our region maps, and started collecting puzzle pieces. Having a 3DS at a geek con is the best! How had I not done this before?

    So aside from walking around with our gameboys in our hands, we spent the rest of the day hitting up parts of the cons we hadn’t seen yet. The biggest one of note was the miniature painting room, where we situated ourselves for over and hour.

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    I’m not particularly great at it or anything, but I really enjoy the hobby. And attending these painting sessions at cons is great, because everyone is so friendly – so you both end up meeting cool artsy people, and getting a lot of great tips from people who have been doing it much longer. I want to get better at this… especially faces. Man, faces are hard.

    We walked around the Expo Hall more and tested games/spun prize wheels/dabbled in a bit of pin trading before meeting up with some of our friends and deciding to try our hand at this complex game called Mansions of Madness. It was fun, if not a bit ambitious for a “quick game”. It took us well into the evening, where we ended the night with an inspiring crafting panel and then raced over to the best show we saw all weekend… the Late Night Dub Fight. It was a panel of improvisers dubbing over crazy old cartoons, and it was hilariously brilliant. I had such a great time.

    There’s one more day left, and I’m currently heading out the door to get there. PAX has been so much fun this year, and it’s crazy being at day 4 – a day that previously didn’t exist for our Seattle geek con. Here’s to another full afternoon of nerdy adventures!

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  5. Look #13: PAX Day Two!

    September 1, 2013 ♥ Posted in: Geek Events, Journal, Outfit of the Day by Kristina Horner

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    Day two of PAX was fantastic and amazing and exhausting – and to celebrate, I decided to go with a unicorn and space-cat theme. The dress is a simple LBD I picked up at Ross a few months ago, the necklace was a gift from a subscriber of mine, and the leggings were a purchase on day 1 of PAX from the We Love Fine booth.

    We spent a large portion of the day wandering the Expo Hall, mentally noting which booths to come back to for playing games and buying stuff. I did make one purchase yesterday (well, really a co-purchase with Liz) and that was a pack of eight Pok√©mon gym badges in the form of pins. I mentioned recently my introduction to the Disney pin-trading world – well, PAX introduced a new thing called “Pinny Arcade” this year and it’s been extremely difficult not to join in. Pins are so expensive! People have been losing their minds over it though, so I cracked and split this one set with Liz.

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    We attended a couple panels in the afternoon, grabbed lunch at Chipotle, and made our way over to the Magic The Gathering party. This party is exactly the opposite of what you’d imagine a MtG party to be like – with crazy lights, music, drinks and a booth that allows you to get your face printed on a Magic card. We ducked out of that party a bit early (armed with packs of cards) and stopped by another party (this one with free drink tickets) before creating our OWN party over at our friends Tara and Alexander’s place… where we proceeded to play MtG until we were too tired to remember turn order. Or when to keep our eyes open. As you can see below – this game didn’t go well for me.

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    Now I’m dating off to Day 3 (can you believe this con is only halfway over??) where I am determined to paint miniatures. It’ll happen today. I can feel it.

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  6. Look #12: PAX Day One!

    August 31, 2013 ♥ Posted in: Fashion/Beauty, Geek Events, Outfit of the Day by Kristina Horner

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    Yesterday was the first day of PAX PRIME and I couldn’t be more excited. On my first day I wandered the Expo Hall, signed up for raffles, purchased a few things from the We Love Fine booth that I’m sure you’ll see popping up in future Outfit of the Day posts, demo-ed games, stopped by a variety show at the Triple Door and ended the night with a hilarious nerdy improv show! It was an amazing first day – and although my feet already hurt, I can’t wait to get back down there and do it all again today.

    For the first day, I decided to go casual. I wore a super fun Adventure Time shirt I got from TeeFury a while back, and my brand new blue striped shorts from ModCloth. For the record, I got two compliments on those shorts from strangers, and one crazy bus lady who told me to “wear clothes over my underwear next time”. I’m going to say all press is good press on that one…?

    Lastly I threw on my old but reliable Steve Madden boots, grabbed my standard convention bag with the emoticon face on the side and strapped my PAX badges onto a My Little Pony lanyard. I felt awesome – and was never once uncomfortable. I plan to dress up for some of the other days, but shorts and a t-shirt was a solid choice for Day 1.

    How do you accessorize a plain t-shirt? I’m curious about your tips – because I usually struggle to find ways to make the embarrassing amount of nerdy tees I own work beyond night shirts. Let me know in the comments!

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  7. PAX Prime 2013 Schedule!

    August 29, 2013 ♥ Posted in: Geek Events, Travel by Kristina Horner

    This weekend is PAX Prime here in Seattle, and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s our largest Geek Convention of the year here in Seattle, and I’m scrambling to figure out which panels and parties to go to, how much money I’m allowed to spend in the Expo Hall, and most importantly.. what to wear!!

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    PAX is one of those conventions where I’m never usually on any panels or working it, so I get to just wander and be a fan and enjoy myself. It’s relaxing, strangely, not locking myself into any large plans and just getting to meander freely amidst the hustle and bustle. Something about calmness in the middle of chaos. I don’t know.

    That being said; yesterday I poured over the schedule and picked out the events/panels/etc. that looked exciting that I am going to try to be at. I figured I would post it here for you in case you’re interested in any of the same things!

    Friday:
    Game Show Night: Jeopardy 8pm (Kraken Theatre)
    Improv Initiative Strikes Again 9:30 (Unicorn Theatre)

    Saturday:
    Everything We Know is Sexist: Now What? 10:30am (Wolfman Theatre)
    I Love You and Have Your Name Tattooed on My Leg: Brand Personalization vs. Advertisement  2pm (Pegasus Theatre)
    Turning Geek Passion into Profit 2:30pm (Serpent Theatre)
    You Game Like a Girl: Tales of Trolls & White Knights 7:30pm (Kraken Theatre)
    AppJunkies Live: The Worst Apps Ever Made! 10pm (Raven Theatre)

    And of course, the Magic the Gathering Hero’s Path Challenge/Party that evening at 7pm

    Sunday:
    PAX Prime Girls Meetup 10am (Diller Room, 1224 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101)
    Late Night Dub Fight 10pm (Serpent Theatre)

    Monday: 
    It’s Not Too Dangerous To Go Alone: Finding the Bravery to Do it Yourself 10am (Raven Theatre)
    Gender Diversity in Games: Where Are All the Believable Female Characters? 2pm (Pegasus Theatre)

    At some point (probably Sunday afternoon) Joe and I will be bringing a copy or two of Jetpack Unicorn to PAX to play with fans, if people are interested. Keep an eye on my Twitter/Facebook for details about that meet up! Also keep an eye out for my Outfit of the Day posts… I’ll be dressing my convention best all weekend and I can’t wait to share those outfits with you!

    I am so pumped for this weekend – are you attending PAX? If so, are there any cool panels or events that I am missing out on? Let me know in the comments!

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