Feature Article

Revisit GameSpot Theatre @ PAX Aus 2019

If you weren't in Melbourne for PAX Aus, here's the next best thing.

[Update: PAX Aus is a wrap! You can revisit most of the great panels at GameSpot Theatre below. Thank you to everyone who attended in person and said hi!] Australia is home to a lot of really great things. Cute mammals. Deadly insects. Damn good coffee. It also has the honor of being the only country outside of the USA to host a PAX. In 2019, PAX Aus happened again in Melbourne, Victoria from October 11-13. And, for the fourth year running, GameSpot's Australian team (with some help from our friends at CNET and the rest of the Australian games industry) hosted the GameSpot Theatre!

GameSpot Theatre at PAX Aus 2019 was be full of weird and wonderful stuff. We had the fine folks from CD Projekt RED stopping by to show off Cyberpunk 2077, as well as the team from Sledgehammer Games giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The GameSpot and CNET staff argued about very important things like which Bioware love interest is the best (with Dragon Age Lead Writer David Gaider!), which Fire Emblem: Three Houses character would survive a battle royale, and which Pokemon we would "Pet", Marry, or Kill.

Below you can find the schedule for GameSpot Theatre at PAX Aus 2019 and where possible, a recording of the panel. Enjoy!

Table of Contents [hide]

All times are in Australian Eastern Time. Find US and UK time conversions here.

Friday, October 11

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11:00 AM - 12:00 PM | Super Mario Maker 2: The Speed Fun Run

Nintendo has built an exclusive PAX Aus 2019 Super Mario Maker 2 course to test out your skills! Come along and watch the GameSpot crew succeed (or not) and then give it a go for yourself!

Featuring Jess McDonell [GameSpot] and Dan Crowd [Formerly of GameSpot, but we're bringing him back for this one]

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM | Creating Call of Duty's Signature "Big Moments"

From taking down the mighty Golden Gate Bridge and drop podding into Seoul in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to recreating Operations Neptune and Cobra in Call of Duty: WWII, creating the signature "Big Moments" in a video game is no easy task. Join the Art Direction leadership of Sledgehammer Games to take a deep dive into the planning and execution of some of their biggest game moments from concept art and storyboarding, to lighting vfx and polish. [Note: Unfortunately, due to the wishes of Sledgehammer Games, this panel will not be livestreamed]

Featuring Joseph Salud [Art Director, Sledgehammer Games], Sandy Lin-Chiang [Associate Art Director, Sledgehammer Games], Gareth Richards [VFX Art Lead, Sledgehammer Games], Josh Caratelli [Software Engineer, Sledgehammer Games]

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2:00 PM - 3:00 PM | Fire Emblem Three Houses Battle Royale: There Can Only Be One Teacher's Pet

There are a lot of students at Garreg Mach Monastery, and not all of them are going to make it out of this time jump alive. With your help, we’re going to pit individual students from Fire Emblem: Three Houses against each other in a battle to argue over who, in fact, is the actual best boy or girl. It’s going to be an unpredictable battle, and a lot of feelings are going to be hurt. But one thing’s for sure: Lorenz ain’t going to win.

Featuring Edmond Tran [GameSpot], Jess McDonell [GameSpot], Ginny Woo [Prima Games]

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM | Behind the Scenes of Call of Duty with Sledgehammer Audio

How do you go about reinventing the audio experience for a well-established game like Call of Duty? How do you make the audio sound fresh, next-gen and state of the art in the 14th installment of a franchise? Members of the Sledgehammer Games Audio Team will take attendees behind the scenes of Call of Duty to discuss and challenge proven, yet potentially outdated, development practices. Attendees will walk away with innovative, but more importantly, replicable development techniques for field recording, room calibration, audio production, and mixing designed to benefit both the big-budget AAA franchises and the small indie teams alike. [Note: Unfortunately, due to the wishes of Sledgehammer Games, this panel will not be livestreamed]

Featuring David Swenson [Sr. Audio Director, Sledgehammer Games - Activision], Michael Caisley [Expert Sound Designer, Sledgehammer Games - Activision]

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5:00 PM - 6:00 PM | Horse Beats Train: The Great Legend Of Zelda Debate

The Legend of Zelda series is over 30 years old, and in that time we’ve seen some wild stuff. Demon trains. Hats that look like birds. Tingle. If you ask me all of these things are great, but we all know that Zelda fans can never agree on anything. Join us as we argue over the series’ best and worst weapons, outfits, sidekicks, antagonists, powers, and more—and get ready to tell us how wrong we are.

Featuring Edmond Tran [GameSpot], Mark Serrels [CNET], Shona Johnson [Zelda Universe], Ginny Woo [Prima Games]

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6:30 PM - 7:30 PM | Wrestlevania 2K20: Giving Wrestlers The Power Rating They Deserve

You know how in every wrestling game, each wrestler has a power rating? Well, they’re all wrong. It’s time to give wrestlers the correct power ratings they deserve.

Featuring Daniel Van Boom [CNET], Mark Serrels [CNET], Jackson Ryan [CNET], Joab Gilroy [Red Bull]

Saturday, October 12

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11:00 AM - 12:00 PM | Peeking Behind the Curtain with Summerfall Studios

Join Summerfall Studios’ David Gaider and Liam Esler as they explore their rich history with narrative games and what that have in store in their future.

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM | Are We The Baddies?

Everyone loves a hero. They are good, they are brave, and they ALWAYS triumph over evil. But do we only believe this because history is written by the victors? What if the good guys were actually the bad guys? Their time is over- we see through their do-gooder facade. It’s time to find the Worst Good Guy.

Featuring Nicole Archer [CNET], Kelsey Gamble [Bethesda], Joab Gilroy [Red Bull], Amanda Yeo [Mashable]

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM | Dolphin Tub: Pitch Us Your Excellent/Terrible Game Ideas!

Think you have a great idea for a video game? Come pitch it to a panel of professional critics, developers, and marketing people to see whether you need to drop everything you’re doing in your life immediately to run off with the video game circus.

Featuring Gustavo Valencia [GameSpot] Joab Gilroy [Red Bull], Jess McDonell [GameSpot], Jessica Jazic [Gameloft], Grahme Struthers [Devolver Digital], Chris Charla [ID@XBOX]

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM | Fakin' It Part II: The Reviewerning

Your favorite panel from PAX Aus 2017 is back, with a twist! Professional game reviewers attempt to trash universally beloved, and here’s the twist: one of the panelists actually hates it. Can you pick which panelist is a godforsaken heathen? 10/10 games, 10/10 hilarity (review-in-progress score).

Featuring Jess McDonell [GameSpot], Joab Gilroy [Red Bull], Dan Van Boom [CNET], Nic Healey [ABC Radio], Angharad Yeo [Good Game: Spawn Point]

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5:00 PM - 6:00 PM | Falling For Bioware: Love Interest Battle Royale

Ship up or shape out! Or something! Everybody who has ever played a Mass Effect or Dragon Age game will undoubtedly have their favorite romance option, but what happens when you can only pick one? We pit Thedas heartthrobs directly against lovers from outer space in a bangin’ bracket to determine the singular best Bioware love interest of all time.

Featuring Jess McDonell [GameSpot], Nicole Archer [CNET], Ginny Woo [Prima Games], Nic Healey [ABC Radio], David Gaider [Summerfall Studios]

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6:30 PM - 7:30 PM | Extra Life: Games as a Service And What Keeps Them Growing

With the launch of Overwatch on the Switch, we try to unpack what kind of magic brings people back to persistent games. Between community, expansion packs, and special events, what is the key to giving games like Overwatch, Final Fantasy XIV, Destiny 2, Monster Hunter World, and Fortnite longevity?

Featuring Edmond Tran [GameSpot], Rich Lambert [Zenimax Online Studios], Dean Woodward [League of Geeks], Domino Jack [Overwatch Streamer/Caster], Tamsin Wood [Destiny Content Creator], Michael 'Khoi Senpai' Nguyen [Final Fantasy XIV ANZ Community Manager]

Sunday, October 12

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11:00 AM - 12:00 PM | "Pet", Marry, Kill: Pokémon Edition

There’s one thing we can all agree on—there are too many damn Pokémon. You know it, we know it, Nintendo and Game Freak know it. So what better way to spend an hour of PAX killing off a good chunk of the 800+ strong Pokédex and making sure we celebrate our favourites in our own, uh, special way?

Featuring Daniel Van Boom [CNET], Edmond Tran [GameSpot], Nicole Archer [CNET], Leah Williams [Kotaku Australia], Jackson Ryan [CNET], Dan Crowd [Professional Petter]

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM | CD Projekt Red Presents Cyberpunk 2077

[ERROR: DESCRIPTION_INVALID] [Note: Unfortunately, due to the wishes of CD Projekt Red, this panel will not be livestreamed]

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2:00 PM - 3:00 PM | We Rate Video Game Dogs, Again

DOGS. DOGS. DOGS. DOGS. DOGS. DOGS. DOGS. DOGS. DOGS. DOGS. DOGS. DOGS. DOGS. DOGS. DOGS.

Featuring Mark Serrels [CNET], Nicole Archer [CNET], Angharad Yeo [Good Game: Spawn Point], Amanda Yeo [Mashable], Steph "Hex" Bendixsen

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3:30PM - 4:30 PM | Press X to SCIENCE!

How do scientists use games as a laboratory for human behavior? Do video games really cause addiction? What if the way we play and develop video games could fight global inequality, or even climate change! We live in a scary, post-truth world and games often provide a safe space for us to escape to. But can games be a powerful tool to fight the tide of "alternative facts".

Featuring Tim Young [Astrophysicist, Guerrilla Astronomy], Megan Pusey [PhD Candidate, Murdoch University], Phill English [Resource Scientist, [redacted]]

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM | GameSpot's Infamous Trivia Hour Mark III

Answer questions about games! Win cool stuff! It’s just that easy! Come hang out with us for an hour of video game trivia intended to get cool merch directly into your paws.

Featuring Jess McDonell [GameSpot], Eddie Makuch [GameSpot], Nicole Archer [CNET]

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

doorselfin

Edmond Tran

Editor / Senior Video Producer for GameSpot in Australia. Token Asian.
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