PAX West 2016 Recap: MetaArcade’s First PAX and the Road Ahead

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PAX West 2016 was certainly one for the books—the MetaArcade team slayed it. We walked away from the show with hundreds of new fans and having earned a Best of Show Award from MMORPG.com for Best Mobile MMO/RPG—our first in what we hope becomes a long history of show awards!

Following our time at Gen Con in August, a mostly tabletop focused show, we weren’t sure what kind of reception we’d receive at PAX West, the king of consumer video game conventions. But it took less than 4 hours into the first day to realize that we were in for a hell of a ride, as we easily surpassed our “best day at Gen Con” benchmarks for demos demoed, sign-ups signed up, and new fans befriended. The reception and interest in MetaArcade and

Naked Doom

was positively exhilarating to see, and we are incredibly grateful for all the supportive comments we received; it truly made our first PAX special!

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We had a 10x10 booth on the 6th floor of the convention center, 8 Kindle Fire tablets, a handful of new features, bundles of awesome swag, and some comfy, red cube seats to lure wandering gamers in to meet their untimely demise amidst the horrors of Naked Doom. We rarely had an empty seat in the booth, and during some of the busier times we even had a line beginning to form! Special shout out to our Enforcer, Mike, who not only allowed our shenanigans, but helped us keep everyone entertained while they were waiting to get into the booth.

One after another fans continued to mark their journey’s end on the Wall of Death (to our surprise, “Drowned in Beer” was quite popular—as it should be!) and many players came back time and time again throughout the con.

We’ve even provided a neat graphic describing all the deaths we recorded throughout the weekend; 551 total deaths!

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Those who game together win together. “Neither Naked Nor Doomed”, this was the one and only time any of us at MetaArcade witnessed two simultaneous winners, and with completely different characters no less. Considering only about 25 people escaped the dungeon throughout the weekend, we thought this was particularly impressive.

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Tunnels & Trolls continues to be a hit among the kids (and as such their parents)! It’s as if they’d grown up with a tablet in their hands. Many of the younger crowd took to the game incredibly fast, sometimes choosing to forego a “tutorial” by one of the devs altogether.

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Admiral Ackbar says “It’s a Trap!” after dying in Naked Doom. We’ll admit, we enjoy listening to players exclaim as they find new ways to die playthrough after playthrough.

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We know Naked Doom can take quite the toll with all the Balrogs incinerating, Vampire Bats eviscerating, and Drowning in Beer going on; these players banded together to support one another through the demo (they perished together). #teamwork

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This player managed to retrieve the Hero Sword—a most impressive feat—now with 100% more shiny “achievement unlocked” satisfaction! PAX West saw us debut several new features that weren’t present in the builds shown previously, including a Trophy Room and Achievements, newly integrated art by the legendary Josh Kirby, and some much improved dice animations (no more fluffy helium filled dice rolls; feedback was very positive on the new dice!). You can expect to see more features added in the coming months as we begin Early Access for Tunnels & Trolls: Naked Doom and many more adventures.

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And let us not forget our MetaArcade PAX West 2016 Champion! Kyle was truly our champion of the show. He set the first high score on Friday, came back on Saturday after having been dethroned to set the high score again, and then did it again on Sunday! His final score was 16595, which even beats most of the dev teams high scores. Needless to say, no one was able to beat that, and by end of show Monday, it was clear who would be going home with the grand prize, a one of a kind print featuring an original Tunnels & Trolls illustration by Josh Kirby (special thanks to our partners at the Josh Kirby estate). Thank you Kyle, your enthusiasm for our game was inspiring.

Having spent much of the past few months heavy in development and travel, a convention in our home town finally allowed us to get out and show off what we’ve been busy working on to hundreds of our closest friends and fans. Speaking with them, many of whom are fellow developers, helped us to continue refining our own approach to everything from individual adventure development via our creation platform, to monetization methods, to partnering with other game makers and expanding our genre offerings and more.

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From left to right: Paul Movitz, Mike (Coolest Enforcer of All-Time), Alexey Rybak @quasifuturist, David Reid @Pokethulhu, Chris Toomey @TheRealTailypo, Ingrid Hill @Cheshiiirre

And that’s a wrap! We’re already looking forward to seeing you when we show up next at a convention; perhaps somewhere sunny and warm with a margarita in hand? #SanAntonioHereWeCome

Stay tuned for news about early access soon!