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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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behemoth chicken! September 2, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in stuffed stuff.
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7 comments

My boyfriend has been coughing since we came back from Gen Con. No fever, no headache, just dry coughs. It went on for about a week or so. Just when he was getting better, I started to have the same dry cough. I’d wake up in the middle of night from coughing. It is absolutely annoying! I even lost my voice from coughing too much. So my co-worker told me to take a day off to get some rest, because guess what? I’m going to another convention! (Just me this time. My boyfriend will be staying home with my kitty.)

The convention I’m going to is called PAX. PAX is held by the creators of Penny Arcade guys in Seattle. (PAX is short for Penny Arcade Expo) It’s a pretty big video gaming convention, and this is the last convention for Alteil this year.

I know that the Behemoth studio (creator of Alien Homid and Castle Crashers) will be there. They gave me a super rare pink castle crasher figure last time I made bento of Castle Crashers, Animal Orbs and Pink Castle Crasher so I decided to make something for them, just as a token of gratitude for being so awesome.

Behold! The behemoth chicken!

Not sure if they’re able to take it with them, but if they can’t, I’ll just mail it to them.

Look at his cute beady eyes!

This is just a sneak preview, since I haven’t found right eyes for it. (I just used pins for now) Once I finish it, I’ll have my boyfriend take more pictures and post them on my flickr.

Check out his behemoth crown!

I just checked the Behemoth site, and I was pleasantly surprised that they just posted the squishy Behemoth chicken toy they’re making! Dammit. The squishy chicken looks much cooler than my stuffed one. Of course, I’m so getting one. 😉

He'll stomp you on with his behemoth feet!

Hopefully it’s not swine flue, but if I don’t get better by tomorrow, I’ll make sure to wear a mask or something on the airplane.

Watch out for the behemoth tail!

I’ll try to blog about PAX while I’m there!

bento#43 Castle Crashers April 11, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in bento blog (all), bento blog - video game.
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5 comments

I’ve worked on the sketch for this bento for about 2 weeks, but I just couldn’t draw it. I thought about not doing this and moving on, but I just hate giving up, and my boyfriend and I love this game so much. After failing to make it about twice, I made Totoro Parade bento to keep me motivated, and finally I made it.

Bento #43: Castle Crushers
Created and eaten on: 4/10/2009

Castle Crushers is a xbox 360 arcade game. It’s a button mashing action RPG game by the Behemoth. I usually get bored with a button mashing games, but this one is also an RPG, so it has a story and just like a normal RPG, you get experiment points, money, new items, etc… so it keeps you entertaining for a pretty long time.

As soon as I watched the game, it made me want to make the bento of it. There are so many cute characters in the game, and seemed so easy to draw, but the problem is the composition. I was going to reenact a scene from the game first, but this bento had to have at least 4 characters. If I made it a 2-D bento it would’ve been easier, but I wanted to make it 3-D. I drew a sketch, but the 4 main characters were so tiny… When I was looking at the wallpaper and art from the Behemoth site, I saw a bunch of characters’ heads in a line, comparing how big they were to each other. Then I had an idea of making just the heads. After looking at each character’s head, and thinking which food it could be, I picked 2 more characters on top of 4 main Knights.

Before I started making characters, I prepared the bento box as usual. I Put lettuce at the bottom, and put sauteed renkon (lotus root) over it.

First I made the Knights. I made three barrel shaped rice balls first. For the red one, I carefully peeled off the outside part of fake crab stick, and put it on seaweed and wrapped it around a rice ball. For the blue one… Well, I could’ve made an egg sheet with egg white, and dyed it blue with cabbage juice, but I didn’t want to use too much blue in my bento, so I just decided I’d substitute seaweed for the blue. So I cut seaweed, I wrapped it around a rice ball.

For the orange one, I mixed egg with ketchup and beat it, and made an egg sheet. (see “how to make an egg sheet”) I cut it to the size of the rice ball, and wrapped it with it. For the green one, I microwaved lettuce, and wrapped potato salad with it.

For the Barbarians, I cut Japanese style hamburg (see “how to make Japanese style hamburg”) I had made the night before into square, and put sliced konnyaku (yam cake) in boiled water and cooked it a couple of minutes (to remove the smell), took it out and cut it to make the face and horns on Barbarians, and put it on the hamburg.

For the Bear Sharman, I made a rice ball, made smaller rice balls for the ears.

After all the characters were put into the bento, I cut cheese for the white cross pattern for the Knight, and put it on them. I cut out circles of seaweed using a hole puncher for the Knights’ eyes, Bear Shaman and the holes on Barbarians’ face mask. I cut tiny pieces for the nose and mouth for Bear Shaman, and the lines on the mask for Barbarians. At this point, I noticed that the eyes were smaller than I wanted… I was so running out of the time, so I couldn’t make bigger eyes.

Originally, I wanted to make one Animal orb for each Knight. Animal orbs are like a pet which you can find in the game, and each animal has a different ability to help you through the game. But, I had so little time left… So I just made the chicken, which was used on the official site of  Behemoth. The chicken is made with carrot and left over egg sheet on a quail egg. (see “how to make chicken with an egg”) When I was making the chicken’s crown and tail with carrot, I made carrot flowers (see “how to make vegetable flower”).

Aside from the fact the Knights were thicker (wider) than they were supposed to be, I made a crucial mistake. I knew about it, but I was making a mad rush to finish it, I was probably delusional. I was going to use tomato skin to make the bloody paw print on Bear Sharman’s forehead. But for some reason, I used sliced cheese… I could’ve just used ketchup, but I remember ketchup easily seeps into rice so I used cheese instead. But I could’ve put ketchup on top of the cheese, but like said, I wasn’t thinking straight.

It seems like whenever I try to make bento of something I really really like, I always make a very small mistake that can make a big difference in the final bento. T_T I will definitely make Castle Crashers themed food again! But before that, my boyfriend and I should probably finish the game. 😛

Knights:
– Rice ball wrapped with fake crab meat on seaweed for red knight
– Rice ball wrapped with an egg sheet mixed with ketchup
– Rice ball wrapped with seaweed
– Potato salad wrapped with lettuce
– Seaweed on cheese for Knights’ face

Barbarian:
– Konnyaku (yam cake) on Japanese hamburg
– Seaweed for the mask

Bear Shaman:
– Seaweed and rice on rice ball

Chicken:
– carrot and egg sheet on quail egg

Other food:
– Lettuce
– Sauteed renkon (lotus root)

For more pictures of my bento, visit Bento! set and Bento details! set on my flickr page.