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PAX 2009! September 9, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in Alteil, Everything else.
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7 comments

…and I’m back from PAX!

I was working at Alteil (online card game I work for) at PAX, Penny Arcade Expo, in Seattle from 9/4-9/6. I was going to do a blog post about PAX from the hotel everyday, but I was pretty exhausted by the end of each day… So I’m gonna do a post about my three-day experience at PAX!

9/3 Thursday Pre-PAX
We got to Seattle around 3:00 pm on Thursday. After we dropped our stuff off at the hotel, we headed to the convention center to set up our booth. When we were done, we went to the market, which was a couple of blocks away from the hotel. The market had fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oil, etc… They all looked so shiny and yummy. I had grilled seafood for dinner and it was delicious. We went back to the hotel and decided to call it an early night for the long day on Friday.

We stayed at Sheraton. The hotel keys were sponcered by Dragon Age!

We stayed at Sheraton. The hotel keys were sponsored by EA's Dragon Age!

The lanyard was by the Behemoth!

The lanyard was by the Behemoth!

Beanbags were ready!

Beanbags were ready to be sat on!

9/4 Friday 1st day at PAX (8:30 am – 7:00 pm)
Friday was a press day for PAX so the main convention center opened at 8:30 AM! They opened early for press so that they could try out new games and have business meetings with the people at the booth. (It was open to the public at 10:00 am) We’re a lot smaller compare to other game companies like Blizzard, Nexon, Bungie, Upper Deck, etc… so we didn’t really have to worry about press people running to our booth. 😛 But it was nice to get there early to check out other booths before the place got too crowded.

I decided to take advantage of this opportunity and stopped by at the Behemoth booth with the Behemoth chicken plush I made. And there they were! Dan Paladin & Tom Fulp (creators of Alien Hominid & Castle Crashers), and John Baez (producer at the Behemoth), and Emil Ayoubkhan (project manager at the Behemoth) were all working hard to finish setting up their booth.
I gave the chicken to Dan. He was laid back and super awesome. I also got to talk to John for a bit. He was also amazingly nice. Tom (also mighty friendly) took a picture of me licking the chicken on his phone. I’m so not photogenic that I always make faces when someone’s taking a picture of me. Glad that I did, because they put it on their dev blog later. 😛 I brought two chicken so I could give them one, and have them sign the other one for me. They all gladly autographed my chicken. 🙂
They also gave me some free stuff! They were way too nice I don’t know how to describe it with my poor vocabulary. It’s so great to know that these very casual, warm, friendly people make such awesome games. I bought a couple of shirts and hats for my boyfriend and myself. They put the chicken I gave them on the display case with other wonderful “fan art” gifts! The chicken seemed very happy to be home. 🙂

My behemoth chicken on the right. Someone has made adorable Castle Crashers plush too!

Such an adorable booth!

Such an adorable booth

A hardcore Castle Crashers fan!

A hardcore Castle Crashers fan I met at the Behemoth booth.

The Blizzard booth was right in front of us at the convention center, and they had a couple of huuuge 25 feet tall 12 feet wide walls in their booth space. (which made me want to climb it very badly.) The lines to their Diablo 3 station always had at least 10 people so they’d check out our trailer while they waited or got bored waiting and decided to play our game. We actually got very good traffic from them. 😉 Next to our booth was “Omni Consumer Products,” who were giving away the promotional blood drink to promote “Tru Blood.” People also lined up to get their drinks, so we got nice traffic from them too. (Not to mention that the guys at Omni Consumer Products were really fun.)

Fuzzy (the mascot of our game) and two beautiful ladies at Tru Blood booth

Fuzzy (the mascot of our game) and two beautiful ladies at Tru Blood booth

Later that day, one guy came to our booth with his friends, and asked me “Are you AnnaTheRed?”, I said “Yes!” (thinking that he was an Alteil player), but it turned out that he was a fan of my bento! I was so surprised that someone actually came to visit me in person at the Alteil booth. I felt bad that I couldn’t give him anything. I could’ve brought cookies or something… I really should make business cards for my bento blog. 😦

The convention center had a big buffet for exhibitors that night. So we just stayed there, and had some meat and drinks for dinner. We got to talk to the people from other booths which was really nice. We also found out that Tru Blood drink tastes even more delicious when mixed with vodka.

HUGE meat. It was actually very jucy.

HUGE meat at the buffet. It was actually very juicy.

9/5 2nd day at PAX (10:00 am – 6:00 pm)
The second day started out a little later than Friday, so we had the time to go down to the market to have breakfast. After the breakfast, Lupos (he’s my friend I made the plush of Master Chief from Halo for his birthday) and I headed to the convention center while Logress and GaoGaiGirl (co-workers/friends) shopped around the market.

I walked around and got some free shirts, free inflatable sword, free posters, free bags and such. Later, I took the Behemoth chicken to the Behemoth booth again to have Dan draw the chicken on the chicken. There were always a lot of fans hanging out at the Behemoth booth, trying to play their new game “Game #3” (title not finalized, will be released in 2010) and trying to buy their products. I was so sad that I couldn’t play the “Game #3.” 😦 I just couldn’t find the time to play. Hopefully a demo will be out soon.

There were No More Heroes toilet papers in the bathroom.

There were "No More Heroes" toilet papers in the bathroom.

Saturday is usually the party night. Every major company has a really big party. The line to the Resident Evil 5 party was wrapped around a block. White Wolf had a party but it was kinda far away from the hotel. I was still feeling a little under the weather and I didn’t want to spread germs around so I decided to stay at the hotel room with Logress and GaoGaiGirl for the night. =< (I know, I can’t believe I blew this chance.) My friend Lupos went to hang out with Destructoid people near the hotel, but he didn’t stay out that late either. I heard the Bungie party was PACKED. I mean it’s Bungie, so I wasn’t surprised, but damn I wish I could’ve been there…

I didnt go to parties, but I did have a glass of Triple Ale AVB. 9.00%

I didn't go to parties, but I did have a glass of Triple Ale AVB. 9.00%

9/5 3rd day at PAX (10:00 am – 6:00 pm)
Same as Saturday, we went to the market to have breakfast in the morning, went to the convention center, and started the day. We actually had three volunteers helping us at the booth this day, and it was a huuuge help for us. We have four stations, and there are four of us, so just going to the bathroom or getting lunch can be difficult if there are only four people working. After the convention was over we took down our booth and headed to the airport. Our flight left at 10:00 pm from Seattle and arrived at JFK at 6:00 am on 9/8 Monday. (w00t for redeye!)

Castle Crashers cosplayers!

Castle Crashers cosplayers I spotted the last day.

PAX was the last convention for Alteil this year.  Every convention is hard but so much fun. I appreciate anyone who stopped by at our booth and tried out our game. You get to eat different foods, meet different people, see different things, but I was soooo relieved and happy (and sleepy) to see my kitty and my boyfriend when I got home. 🙂

Anyway, PAX was fun! The Behemoth people were awesome! Tru Blood drinks were bloody delicious! (with or without alcohol) Beanbag pillows looked very comfy! Coffee and food are absolutely yummy in Seattle!

Autographed with awesomeness

Autographed with awesomeness

Things I bought at the Behemoth booth

Things I bought at the Behemoth booth

Metal Castle Crashers keychain

Metal Castle Crashers keychain

Oh I do.

Oh I do.

Free poster from BioShock 2 booth

Free poster from BioShock 2 booth

PAX will split into two conventions, PAX East (Boston) and PAX Prime (in Seattle), from next year. Hopefully, PAX East will be as crazy as PAX Prime!

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Gen Con 2009 August 25, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in Alteil, Everything else.
Tags: , ,
8 comments

I’m alive! I’m alive!

Sorry for the looong hiatus.
Usually, even if I’m super busy, I try to post about anything to update my blog so people won’t get bored seeing the same front page over and over. But I got pretty tied up with my work and I had to go to another convention. Now that I’m back and finished the project I was working on, I’m gonna get my lazy butt in gear, and start bento-ing! But before that, I’ll blog about the con my boyfriend and I went.

My boyfriend and I were at Gen Con, the biggest card gaming/table top gaming convention in the world, which was held in Indianapolis last weekend. (8/12-16) I was going to update my blog from the hotel, but the hotel’s internet was soooooooooooo slow. (12KBs or something like that)
We weren’t there to attend the con, but we were working at the con for my company’s imported online card game, called Alteil.

Bathroom sign at Indianapolis airport. Seems like the women are curvier and sexier and the men are more buffed and manlier in Indianapolis.

Bathroom sign at Indianapolis airport. Seems like the women are curvier and sexier and the men are more buffed and manlier in Indianapolis.

We always have a lot of fun when we work at a convention together, but this convention was a little different from a regular anime convention. The average age of Gen Con attendees seem to be a little older than that of anime conventions. I’m no a card gamer, but even I know that a card game like Magic: The Gathering can be very expensive. (see the picture below) So most Gen Con attendees have a job to support their hobby. And they save up for Gen Con to spend, or go to card tournaments. (There are literally hundreds of tournaments held at Gen Con)

I had never seen Black Lotus (on the right) in person. ONE card cost about $899~$1800 (They are from a different edition)

I had never seen "Black Lotus" (ones on the left) in person. ONE card cost about $899~$1800 (They are from a different edition)

Anime convention attendees are… (I’m sorry if I offend anyone, but I’ve been working at anime conventions for 7 years, and this is from my experience… ) Well, they are young, and many of them don’t have a job, so a lot of them have just enough money to go to a con & stay with several other friends in a hotel room. It’s more like a big “get-together” weekend. And a con-hotel (the closest hotel to the convention center) is usually very loud & chaotic. I went to Gen Con last year, so I’ve been telling my boyfriend how different Gen Con was compared to anime conventions, and this year, he got to see it with his own eyes.

In Indianapolis, Christmas trees are considered a threat to people, and kept in a cage underground until Christmas.

In Indianapolis, Christmas trees are considered a threat to people, and kept in a cage underground until Christmas.

The most different thing between a card gaming con and an anime con is that the con-hotel for a card gaming con is super quiet! No one is running around trying to *glomp* people, or screaming random stuff to people. They’re all quietly playing card games in the lobby, in their room, even at the hotel bar. Like I said there are hundreds of tournaments held at Gen Con, so they don’t have time to loiter around the hotel late at night.

Main exhibitor hall at Gen Con

Main exhibitor hall at Gen Con

Famous Cardhalla at Gen Con: During the convention a city is constructed out of donated trading card game cards. Near the end of the convention attendees are invited to throw coins at the city to destroy it. The thrown coins are collected and donated to charity. (from Wiki Pedia)

Famous Cardhalla at Gen Con: During the convention a city is constructed out of donated trading card game cards. Near the end of the convention attendees are invited to throw coins at the city to destroy it. The thrown coins are collected and donated to charity. (from WikiPedia)

Since Alteil is an online card game, it’s definitely easier to teach people how to play the game at a card gaming con. Most people get it right away. So even though it was 4-day convention, it wasn’t too hard. We even went to a party held by White Wolf publisher on Saturday night. (White Wolf is known for throwing very “goth” parties at conventions)

At White Wolf party. The water they served at the bar for free tasted very nice.

At White Wolf party. The "water" they served at the bar for free tasted very nice.

Don’t get me wrong, I like anime conventions for different reasons. But it was definitely a nice change of pace after going to one anime convention right after the other. And yeah, beer was dirt cheap in Indianapolis!

In Indianapolis, 1/2 liter of beer was only $2.01!

In Indianapolis, 1/2 liter of beer was only $2.01!

After we came back from the con, I got very busy at work. So busy that I had to work at home at night with time to update my blog… But I finally finished my project, so now I can get back to bento-ing! Now that my blog’s one-year anniversary is coming up soon, I have to plan something big… 😉

*I haven’t uploaded Gen Con pictures on my flickr account yet. (I just used the link from Alteil flickr.) I’ll upload them on my account later!

stuffed stuff: Legrye, the water emperor June 9, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in Alteil, stuffed stuff.
Tags: , , ,
5 comments

So this is what I’ve been working on the past couple of days. I think 99% of people who visit my blog are going “?” right now, but I’ll just go ahead and explain.

Legrye from online card game, “Alteil”
Created and stuffed: June 2009

As I mentioned in my blog before, I work for an online card game called Alteil. (My company imported the game from Japan to the U.S.) I work with the four other staff members, one of them is my friend Logress. I’ve known him since I started working at my company 8 years ago. I had no idea what to get for him for his birthday. I’d usually get him a joke gift, but after almost 8 years of giving him joke gifts, I decided that I’d make him something this year.

I make stuffed toys as a hobby. Before I started making bento, I used to make stuffed toys all the time, day and night. I made many different characters from Invader ZIM, and other characters from anime shows for my friends’ birthdays and around Christmas. I was going to make a character from a video game he liked, but it wasn’t very original. Then I thought maybe I could make a character from an Alteil card. I thought a stuffed toy would be perfect since Alteil is an online card game, and there isn’t that much merchandise available except prints and some T-shirts.

Almost all of the card art is very detailed and beautifully drawn, so making a plush toy seemed very difficult. Then my boyfriend, also an Alteil player, suggested “What about Legrye?” Legrye is a Water Emperor, which looks like a giant worm/snake/looking thing. When the card came out, it caused havoc in the game because it was unstoppable when used in combination with another card. It also caused a headache for Logress because users complained about the combo a lot. 😛

Illustration by YUJI KAIDA. This is the real Legrye. He is indeed a "water emperor."

It didn’t look too complicated, and I knew I had all the materials I needed, so I started making patterns first. First I was going to make the body with two pieces, simple and easy. But then I wanted to put fins and make him with his mouth open. So I had to change my plan from a 2-piece pattern body to 4-piece pattern body, slightly more complicated and more time consuming… Why does this always happen to me whenever I make something? T_T

I didn’t take pictures while making this, and it’s kind of boring to describe how I made it, so I’ll just post some pictures of Legrye.

*insert an imperial music here*

I like how his crown came out.

Legryes fin

Legrye's fins. I had to pin these one by one before sewing it together...

His teeth just didnt stay inward...

His teeth just didn't stay inward...

The red crown and the black pattern were sewn at the top, then the black part was glued to the body. (I got lazy...)

Kinda cute, isn't he?

Even though I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the details, I was very proud that I was able to make this practically in 2 nights. I usually can’t finish my projects on time, so the fact that I finished, made me feel like I really accomplished something. How did my friend like it? He loved it. 😀 It was fun to watch him walking around in the office with a big snake-like stuffed toy in his hand. He even did a blog post on Alteil site here.

I’ve been meaning to do a stuffed toy blog since I’ve made so many. The problem is that I usually give them away, I only have few of them with me… But it’s never too late to start keeping a record of stuff I’ve made. 🙂 So hopefully, I can blog about my stuffed stuff once in a while.

For more pictures of my stuffed stuff, visit Stuffed stuff on my flickr page.