PAX East is nearly upon us, so it's high time we start sharing some of our plans for one of the coolest events we'll be attending all year. Seriously, both PAX Prime and PAX East are amazing, and if you are anywhere near Boston from March 10th to the 13th you should do everything in your power to check it out. Tons of games, early demos, easy access to devs, an excellent community of fans, tabletop gaming, the works. If you want to learn more about PAX East hit up this link for info on badges, exhibitors and an awesome forum.
We'll be using this thread to track all of the Harmonix related events at PAX East. Below you can find a schedule of all the panels featuring HMX folks, including members of the Community Team, Production Team, Art Team, Design Team and even a few special guest appearances from a notable member of the RB community and a beloved HMX almun.
Check out the schedule below, come and hang out with us, and be on the look out for more info on night time events, Rock Band parties, concerts and more!
How Your Favorite Game Companies Use Facebook
Friday, 8:00pm - 9:00pm
Like this. Like that. Facebook has taken the world by storm and has become a crucial platform for community managers and companies to help keep in touch with and grow their online communities. With the constant evolution of social media and Facebook in particular, you may not know some of the cool things happening on your favorite game studio's Facebook page. Join Collin Moore (Community Management Vet) as he moderates a discussion with community managers from across the game industry (Insomniac Games, Playfish/EA, Harmonix, and Robot Entertainment), about the importance of Facebook to game companies, and how pressing the "LIKE" button is just the beginning.
Panelists include: Collin Moore [Game Industry Vet], Sam Houston [Online Content Manager, Playfish - EA], John Drake [Manager of Communications and Special Projects, Harmonix], James Stevenson [Senior Community Manager, Insomniac Games], Justin Korthof [Community Manager, Robot Entertainment]
A Reverse Q&A with the Harmonix Community Team
Saturday, 11:00am - 12:00pm
The Harmonix Community Team spends a good part of their day answering questions about Rock Band and Dance Central on forums, in emails and on camera... but what happens when the tables are turned and they're given free reign to question a captive audience in a PAX panel? Part focus group and part interrogation, this panel turns the traditional notion of a Q&A on its head, giving community members the opportunity to answer questions submitted by developers. You may be wonder: "What kind of questions will be asked?" and "Do attendees answer individually or as a collective?" and "Will this be a disaster?" Continue to wonder, because the Harmonix folks aren't dishing out any answers, only questions.
Panelists include: Aaron Trites [Community Manager Manager, Harmonix Music], Allison Thresher [Junior Choreo Designer, Harmonix Music], Eric Pope [Community Manager, Harmonix Music], John Veneron [Associate Producer, Harmonix Music], Jason Brau [Community Moderator, Harmonix Community Member]
The Roads to Becoming a Community Manager (East Coast Version!)
Saturday, 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Based on the great feedback we received after this panel at PAX Prime, we've decided to do it again! East-Coast Style. You hear us on podcasts, see us in videos, read our blogs on websites, retweet us, argue with us on forums, and give us high fives at PAX. But have you ever wondered how we became community managers? From games journalism to forum moderation to public policy and QA, every road is different. Find out the random history of some of your favorite game studio community managers, and hear their advice on what skills and knowledge you’ll need to become one of gaming’s next-generation of community managers.
Panelists include: Alli Thresher [Community Moderator, Harmonix Music Systems, Inc], James Stevenson [Community Manager, Insomniac Games], Arne Meyer [Manager, Community, Naughty Dog], Sam Houston [Online Content Manager, Playfish, EA], Jennifer Kye [Company Blogger, Social Media Editor, Gameloft], Michael Abbot [Owner / Writer, Brainy Gamer ], Arne Meyer [Senior Manager of Marketing Communications, Naughty Dog], Justin McElroy [Reviews Coordinator, Joystiq]
The "Other" Us: If We're All Gamers, Does Our Gender Matter?
Saturday, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Abbie Heppe's review of Metroid: Other M prompted a wave of backlash across the gaming community. Words like "feminist" got thrown around in comments sections of popular gaming sites as if it were the new "f" word. But what is really feminist versus what is perceived as feminist by virtue of the fact that it comes from a woman’s perspective? Using these reactions as a jumping off point, a panel of gamers, journalists, and members of the industry will look at the ways gender is treated in gaming culture at large. In our debate and discussion of Abbie's review, we'll be looking at the larger question: "As our industry becomes more progressive and, arguably, gender-blind, is geek and gamer culture regressing?"
Panelists include: Alli Thresher [Community Moderator, Harmonix Music Systems, Inc], Abbie Heppe [Senior Gaming Content Producer, G4 TV], Eric Pope [Community Moderator, Harmonix Music Systems, Inc.], Yesenia Cisneros [Games Tester, Excell], Jennifer Kye [Company Blogger, Social Media Editor, Gameloft]
Game Marketing & Community Management Roundtable
IGDA Dev Center
Sunday, 11:00am - 11:45 am
Role-specific roundtables will consist of top game artists, designers, community managers, and marketing professionals. Each roundtable will be structured into four sections focusing on roles/responsibilities, personal history, career paths, and hot topics/issues.
Panelists include: Arne Meyer [Senior Manager of Marketing, Naughty Dog], Chris Parsons [Product Manager, Muzzy Lane], James Stevenson [Marketing Manager, Insomniac Games], Allison Thresher [Junior Choreo Designer, Harmonix]
When I Grow Up: It's Never Too Late to Try Something Crazy
Sunday, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Two years ago, Sean Baptiste was at the top of his game. A wunderkind in social marketing in the game industry, he traveled the country meeting fans and celebrities- promoting games he loved. But an inoperable brain tumor and a series of surguries led to long ICU stays over several months. He came home and discovered that he had major memory problems-at times even forgetting his own name. Struggling with simple tasks most take for granted, Sean decided to do the scariest thing he could think of: stand-up comedy. A documentary crew followed Sean as he met a tutor, did an open mic, and debuted in a local stand-up night. Did he succeed? Watch the premiere screening of 'When I Grow Up' and talk to director (Trevor Chamberlain), stand-up tutor (Dana Bein) and editor (Jon Mercer) to find out!
Panelists include: Trevor Chamberlain [Director, Wicked Smart Kids], Dana Bein [Comedian], Jon Mercer [Editor], Urvi Fontenot [Producer], Sean Baptiste [Harmonix]
We Like to Move It Move It! (An Animated Discussion)
Sunday, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Ever wonder what goes into breathing life and character into the heroes and villains of today's games? Animation for games is where old school animation principles meet new school technical ability and game design theory. Come listen to our panelists discuss how they got their start animating for games, and the difference between animating for games versus film. We will also talk about what the panelists look for in a demo reel and their thoughts on the current state and future of animation for games. (We may talk about animation for Red Dead Redemption, Dance Central, Lord of the Rings Online and Afro Samurai too!)
Panelists include: Daniel Salsberg [Lead Artist, Double Tap Games], Andy Welihozkiy [Lead Animator, Rockstar New England], Ron Friedman [Lead Animator, Tencent Boston], John Lindemuth [Animation Director, Turbine Inc.], Calvin Barreto [Animator, Harmonix Music Systems]