While most of us in the games industry look to PAX East for our springtime gaming expo fix, there exists a relatively new pop culture event halfway across the continental United States that you wouldn’t ordinarily think of. That doesn’t mean that it’s entirely useless for gamers, of course, as there’s a fair share of gaming goodies to be had this year. I’m talking about the upcoming C2E2 event, as in the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, which is coming up in just over a week’s time. And man, is there stuff to do.
On Friday, there’s a panel on the recently-released transmedia property Defiance, which is perhaps a major industry first in that it combines a television series with a persistent online gaming environment. That’s because it combines the game experience with a televised cable series, which you can watch on the SyFy Channel. Also on the list for Friday is a panel that basically explains the ins and outs of being the good guy in a MMO game, but unfortunately you have to pick one or the other. “The Making of Defiance, A Living Transmedia World” runs from 2:45 PM through 3:45 PM and “Playing a Hero in MMOs” runs from 3:15 to 4:15.
From there, you can make further plans based on your initial choice of the transmedia/MMO panels described above. There’s “Building Your First Video Game” from 3:15–4:15, which is followed by “How do I get my Comic Book Character into a Video Game?” from 5:45–6:45. Regardless of your initial choices, you can end with a panel on the “Future of Gaming from Consoles to Online” from 7:00–8:00. Or you could skip the comic book character and online play sessions and go for something entirely different, since there’s a Q&A session with Felicia Day of the gaming-inspired webseries The Guild that runs from 6:30 to 7:30. And that’s just the first day.
Saturday brings a few more panels, including sessions on Injustice: Gods Among Us and Marvel Heroes from 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM and 5:45 PM – 6:45 PM, respectively. Or you can skip the Injustice panel and go for “Behind the Graphics: A Video Game Industry Round Table” from 12:45 PM – 1:45 PM. You can close out your weekend by taking in a behind-the-scenes panel on “Writing for Video Games” from 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM on Sunday. And while you’re on site, be sure to check out some of the exhibitors, including High Voltage Software (which is showcasing the failed WiiWare delivery turned mobile game known as Zoombies: Animales de la Murte) and a big, fat Capcom display run side-by-side with an IGN interaction, which is sponsoring the stage where a sold-out Kevin Smith event is taking place among others.
If you’re interested in any of the above, be sure to head down Lake Shore Drive in the Windy City from April 26-28 in the McCormick Place complex’s West Building. General admission tickets are $25-$55, or take your kids on the last day only and they get in free. Just make sure you act fast if you want in: the price goes up an additional ten bucks at midnight on the day before the event starts.