Archive pax 2015

Published on September 11th, 2015 | by Nicole Jekich


PAX Prime 2015 Recap

Epic PAX Prime with PlaytestNW

pax 2015

The Ballroom in the Olive 8 was filled with gaming. Our tables were packed during the whole con!

PAX Prime is always four days filled to the brim with games. This year tabletop gaming had an even larger presence than previous years and Luke and I were very excited to not only attend the largest gaming convention for fans, but we were also showing Food Truck Frenzy at the playtestNW booth!

pax 2015 ftf

First playtest of PAX Prime!

pax 2015 ftf

Lumpia in real life!

We didn’t know what to expect going into PAX this year. Our location was outside of the convention center, which means attendees couldn’t stumble onto our booth on the expo floor. People who found the playtestNW booth on the 3rd floor of the Olive 8 Hotel were attendees who were looking for tabletop games, participating in game tournaments and playing 5th Edition D&D Adventures. What we did experience was non-stop support for the designers and invaluable feedback from playtesters–many of whom stuck around and played multiple games available at the playtestNW booth.

pax prime 2015

Woah. That’s a lot of feedback forms.

The cold hard facts: hundreds of playtesters stopped by the booth and played unpublished games by local designers non-stop from 10am to 10pm. These playtesters filled out a total of 800 feedback forms over the 4 day convention for 24 different games. These playtesters won over 50 prizes generously donated by Mox Boarding House, Game Designers Clubhouse, Tabletop Co-Op, Uncle’s Games, Blue Highway Games and more. This was an event supported and brought together by a community and we were happy to introduce playtesters and future designers to the playtestNW mission: building better games together.

Evolution of Games Through Playtesting:

pax prime 2015 dark forest

Dark Forest by Alice features critters battling a darkness which threatens their forest home.

pax prime 2015 dark forest

A later iteration of Dark Forest.

Thanks to the immediate feedback from playtesters, many designers were able to make changes based on playtester suggestions, to their game quickly and present a new version to test. We saw many games change over the weekend and some, like Dark Forest, developed many times over until it was a much more balanced and challenging game by the end of PAX Prime. We had 24 games available for playtesters to try out, including a couple walk-up games, No Benefits, Please Stop Eating Us! and Shootout.

pax prime 2015 no benefits

Objective in No Benefits: Do the least amount of work possible w/o getting fired.

Games I Played:

In between hosting the booth and playtesting Food Truck Frenzy, I was able to playtest a handful of games from other local designers. All the games were diverse and had their own engaging elements of play:

pax prime 2015 donuts

Go Nuts for Donuts was a quick, 10 minute set collection and betting game. The winner got to choose a donut. Sweet victory!

pax prime 2015 sands of infinity

Sands of Infinity: a MOBA-inspired real-time game w/ a unique use of sand timers. A game is 15 minutes long even w/ 8 players!


I had a win streak in 10 Minute Heist crowning me the best criminal mastermind!

The full list of games that were at the playtestNW PAX booth are listed on the Game Designers Clubhouse website.

Other Cool Tabletop at PAX:

We took breaks to visit friends and our FLGS, Gamma Ray Games, at their usual booth on the third floor of the Convention Center. The shopkeeper, Eric, was spreading the good word of indie rpgs and story games:

pax prime 2015 gamma ray games

Tabletop Co-Op, a group of designers from Seattle who recently got back from GenCon, were also on the third floor, inviting gamers to come in and playtest some dexterity games and recently released games. Players saw Titan’s Tactics, Oh My God, There’s An Axe in My Head, Wizard Dodgeball and more.

pax prime tabletop coop

mega game pax 2015

Another BIG event over PAX weekend was the “Watch the Skies” event by the Megagame Society. This 6 hour game combined elements of board games, LARPing and roleplaying. 50-60 people could participate as different factions and each player had their own objective. The event looked very impressive. There were flags, multiple leather briefcases with manila folders, table-sized maps, and smoking alien tech devices. mega game pax 2015

This megagame definitely drew a crowd and for 6 hours, players ran around gathering intel, checking tweets, secretly meeting with different factions, etc. It sounded as interesting as it was exhausting. Our author Andrew recently shared his experiences being one of the Control participants on his podcast. We hope to see more of these large scale events in the future and look forward to helping make them better and better each time.

Needless to say, PAX Prime 2015 was awesome! We played a ton of games. We met a lot of passionate people. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and played games with us! We look forward to seeing you at PAX next year!

To see more Seattle gaming events hosted by playtestNW, be sure to check out their events calendar. We’re preparing for our next convention appearance at GeekGirlCon 2015!




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About the Author

Nicole Jekich

came from humble beginnings as a Boise suburbanite with a love of Cranium and Trivial Pursuit. She attended an open board game day three years ago and is now an avid gamer and fantasy artist. Her interests are primarily in Dungeons & Dragons, dice placement and Roman-themed tabletop games. Nicole is also a fan of playing games that let her release her inner barbarian. Her favorite game currently is Far Space Foundry.

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