Play-NYC 2018: What you thought!

So as you all should know by now, Play-NYC 2018 has come and gone. We were fortunate enough to receive some tickets to give out to our loyal NintendoFuse family! I’m so glad that we were given this opportunity and it was great meeting some of you during the show! As you might have had the chance to see, it was a great collection since VR games and hardware accessories like these Oculus Quest 2 accessories for a better game experience might have been part of the exhibition. After it ended, I emailed everyone and asked your thoughts! Sadly not everyone answered but we got quite a few so if you’re debating going next year, here’s what our winners thought of this year’s show!

Joe Decker said:

“Like last year, I highly enjoyed PlayNYC again this year. It was great seeing and playing new games, as well as games returning from last year. I’m looking forward to finding out more about the new games that were announced, I’m especially looking forward to finding out the mount and blade 2 release date. I remembered many of the devs, and they remembered me too. The change from Terminal 5 to the The Manhattan Center was fine, it’s a really nice place. I liked that the opera boxes were utilized for the unorthodox game setups, like some of the dancepad and VR games.

While the venue was pleasant, the second floor had some spacing issues. There was not enough clearance between the screen setup and the next isle on the lower level. It was very difficult to walk through to see exhibits not directly next to an isle. One game in the middle of an isle was quite popular, which made queuing awkward as everyone waiting had to then stand in the way of another developer’s area, limiting people coming to their game. The density of the game exhibits also contributed to a heat issue; it was extremely hot amongst the second-floor games when it was at peak population. Next time, they could increase the air conditioner to improve the indoor ventilation or hire a local AC Repair company from nearby (probably one similar to Air Dreamy) for maintenance before the event. Moreover, I wonder if the top floor and basement could’ve gone to better use to reduce the concentration of games all in that small area.

A minor thing: the PlayNYC program pdf I received still said Terminal 5 instead of Manhattan Center, in some spots (in “Prohibitions”, for example), which was a bit confusing when the map that was on the next page wasn’t Terminal 5 at all.

Those things aside, I absolutely loved it, like I did last year. I got a bunch of swag and some new games on my radar. I’d happily go next year if the opportunity presents itself again.”

Michael Miles said:

“1st off…100x better than last year. Things that would say made it better were:

Location: I don’t live in the city, and when I visit I prefer to park and take the train. I park at Secaucus and take the train into Penn Station. It was an easy couple of blocks. Since it was centrally located, food, and other places made the trip a success for my kids (my daughter and her friend).

Size: More room equals, better mood while walking through. I wasn’t feeling pressured to “keep moving” when I was interested in watching, playing, or talking with the developers. Plus, adding the ventilation where I didn’t have to smell the person next to me or the build-up of B.O. as the day went on.

Booths: I love the combination of PC, Console, Mobile, and Board games in one location. The bigger booths on the floor, and smaller/independent booths on the upper floors worked well.
The presentations/talks: I listened to a couple while I took a small break and enjoyed a beer (more about that later). The sound was good, clear, and even enjoyable from the balcony.

Overall: I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Things that would make it better, if I had to:

Vendor prices. $9.00 for a beer was a little much, but I enjoy beer and paying for one I really didn’t mind. It appeared that the price of this beer didn’t scare off other gamers either, as everywhere I turned, people were pulling out their money and identification, (that they may or may not have bought from these fake id websites) just so they could get their fix of beer for the day. Whilst they might not have agreed with the price, they definitely didn’t seem to mind all that much. I understand in most places the vendors are independent from the people putting on the event, so Play-NYC might not have anything to do with the pricing or selection, etc.

Booths: I would like to see a booth with a bigger company with new development games. Since I’m not sure if Play-NYC is exclusive for smaller/independent developers only, and I know giants like Blizzard and EA have their own thing, but having a bigger name could bring in more people/money. I can see SuperCell or something like that bringing small tournaments to the venue. Probably not in the cards and since its released and a success already, may not fit in with the theme of Play-NYC, but that would be cool.

Kids: My daughter is 12 and so is her friend. They weren’t allowed on the 2nd or 3rd floors without me walking with them. I thought that was a little weird. The are big enough to be within eye sight, or allowed to walk around enjoying mobile games (which they were in to), while I could dive deeper into games like Hex and really interact with the developer.

Like I said, I really liked the venue this year. “Bigger is always better” was a true statement when comparing this vs. last year. Last year, I stayed past closing time, and the booths and some of the developers were more willing talk or had a better opportunity to talk one on one. A lot of stuff happened “after closing” last year. This year we left before closing, so I don’t know if the same things happened. And what do I mean? I mean people started fading out, the place became less dense with people. The developers, I felt, “opened up”. They wanted us to stay and play. The players got loud and fun. Competition was fierce in a fun way. Developers cheering us on, leaning over and giving hints to those not doing so well. Last year that happened with a few booths, and the Joust-like game on the second floor was where I spent some 30-40 minutes. While the wife and kid, where doing the same thing on other games.”

Julio Chavez said:

“Just like i stated in the podcast i thoroughly enjoyed myself at playnyc. I liked the venue a lot there was something to see in almost every corner loved the atmosphere and the people everyone was very friendly. game developers that I talked to were very excited to talk about their game and i enjoyed how passionate they were about their games. I guess the only gripes I have would be that i wasn’t able to spend as long as I had hoped for on Saturday and that i couldn’t make out on Sunday. I did play many games like avaria vs, kickball kungfu, swimsanity, noisz and a few others that i cant remember names. Some of the lines were kind of long so missed out on many more but i do plan on going next year for sure. I want to thank you for making it possible for me to attend not sure i would have given it a chance had it not been for winning especially since i got the chance to see developers i probably would have skipped over. I am looking forward to playing many of these games at hope when they come out. Again thank you for the opportunity to attend.”

Dave Rodriguez said:

“I really liked seeing all the games and people’s imagination that was put into them. It was crowded, but i guess that’s what is to be expected with conventions like this. Location was easy to find.”

Jared Krinsky said:

“I truly wanted to thank you all for giving me this opportunity to attend Play-NYC. I was able to get a lot out of the convention. I met some friends that I went to college with, saw some awesome new games, met fantastic developers, and had an overall amazing time. I definitely enjoyed the main floor the most since the balcony area was a bit cramped at times, but I did love seeing the games and people who made them. Loved the free swag some devs gave out. Even got to see an updated version of the Looking Glass which I have been following for a while and saw them last year at Siggraph. When it comes to things I didn’t like, it was one thing that wasn’t the planners fault or something they could have easily avoided, and that was timing. It just so happened that this convention was scheduled the same day as Otakon, Smash Con, Siggraph, and a few others. Obviously, it is something that can’t be predicted so you can’t really change that. Because of this I had to pick and choose, but I was happy with attending Play-NYC and hope to attend again for years to come. It was an amazing time and I thank you again for the opportunity. I do hope that you get more chances to give away tickets to events like these, because if definitely brings a lot to the table for everyone interested in the game design industry.”

Thanks for all the responses! The NintendoFuse team is honored to bring you the opportunity to attend Play-NYC and we hope to continue to bring you opportunities like this! Thanks again to Dan Butchko and the Playcrafting team for allowing us to distribute tickets to you all and for putting on an amazing show! If you guys went to Play-NYC 2018, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!