Data Dump: Who Won E3 2021?

We never did find that Elder Scrolls VI info for ya. Sorry!
We never did find that Elder Scrolls VI info for ya. Sorry!

It's always been a silly question to ask. This year more than any other, it's quite obvious that many people had their expectations out of whack. It should go without saying, but COVID has been going for a year and a half now, and has affected just about everyone and everything.

With that said, I still think it's fun to compile a bit of data whenever I can. So, what if we applied a little math and science to it anyway? If you were in chat during any of the press conferences media briefings showcases, then you may have seen a poll at the end asking you to rate the show from 1-10. Well, I took all that data and used it to determine who the Giant Bomb Community thinks "won E3 2021."

I'm only running data on the showcases that Giant Bomb talked over.

Of course, the true winner of E3 was the gamers ...CHAOS! Well, either that or the Devolver Digital show, which was also pure chaos.

Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live

For being the first of its kind and the first one out of the gate this year, people seemed to enjoy what Keighley put together here. General consensus was that it dragged in the middle and could've been shorter, but ending with Elden Ring left almost everyone feeling good on the way out.
For being the first of its kind and the first one out of the gate this year, people seemed to enjoy what Keighley put together here. General consensus was that it dragged in the middle and could've been shorter, but ending with Elden Ring left almost everyone feeling good on the way out.

Ubisoft

This is actually UP 0.51 points from their 2019 showing, but most of us seemed pretty disappointed with Ubisoft's showing this year. To be fair, Ubisoft has moved to doing these
This is actually UP 0.51 points from their 2019 showing, but most of us seemed pretty disappointed with Ubisoft's showing this year. To be fair, Ubisoft has moved to doing these "Ubisoft Forward" events multiple times a year, so they're not bringing all their guns to one show. It probably didn't help that Mario + Rabbids leaked. Also, who cares about Avatar at this point?

Microsoft

This is up 0.88 from 2019. Xbox (now tag teaming with Bethesda) really came out swinging and made an even bigger case for Game Pass. It feels almost silly at this point to not be signed up.
This is up 0.88 from 2019. Xbox (now tag teaming with Bethesda) really came out swinging and made an even bigger case for Game Pass. It feels almost silly at this point to not be signed up.

Square Enix

Believe it or not, this is also UP from 2019 by 0.38 points. In chat, it seemed like Square Enix fans wanted more RPG stuff in the presentation. Weird, right? Square's dedication to Marvel really seems to have rubbed some people the wrong way. When they use 15+ minutes for Guardians then 30 seconds on Final Fantasy remakes, I guess I can see why. It also didn't help that neither Babylon's Fall nor Stranger of Paradise made a good impression. CHAOS!
Believe it or not, this is also UP from 2019 by 0.38 points. In chat, it seemed like Square Enix fans wanted more RPG stuff in the presentation. Weird, right? Square's dedication to Marvel really seems to have rubbed some people the wrong way. When they use 15+ minutes for Guardians then 30 seconds on Final Fantasy remakes, I guess I can see why. It also didn't help that neither Babylon's Fall nor Stranger of Paradise made a good impression. CHAOS!

Nintendo

Believe it or not, Nintendo was the only rating that went down from 2019 (-1.41). Personally, I think this score is a little low. I mean... we've definitely seen worse showings from Nintendo in the past. All things considered, this was pretty good. We got a surprise new Metroid, a surprise new WarioWare, another taste of Breath of the Wild 2, and a new Mario Party. Well... 3 out of 4 ain't bad.
Believe it or not, Nintendo was the only rating that went down from 2019 (-1.41). Personally, I think this score is a little low. I mean... we've definitely seen worse showings from Nintendo in the past. All things considered, this was pretty good. We got a surprise new Metroid, a surprise new WarioWare, another taste of Breath of the Wild 2, and a new Mario Party. Well... 3 out of 4 ain't bad.

Overall

After Nintendo ended on Tuesday, I asked everyone who they thought had the best showing at E3. This was the result:

No Caption Provided

So, if we take this data and compare it to the data collected after each conference, what do we get?

No Caption Provided

Almost the same order. The "Overall Vote" may have been skewed a bit since it was immediately after Nintendo, but who knows.

Either way you look at it, Xbox dominated this year's E3 according to the Giant Bomb Community.

Until next year (hopefully), <>.

12 Comments

Data Dump: GOTY 2020 Staff & Guests Breakdown

Pascal always has the best insights.
Pascal always has the best insights.

The 13th annual Giant Bomb Game of the Year Awards. Thirteen years. Damn. Thirteen years of asking "does it hang?" is a long-ass time. If you've been here since the beginning, you're old. Congrats! And, if you've been here anywhere near that long, you probably already know that I love stats. Back in the good ol' days, I used to post monthly Data Dumps, achievement tracking, and annual reviews data, but those haven't been possible for years. Alex's drumming has provided an all-year stat opportunity, so that's been fun. But, Game of the Year is still one of the few chances I have to put some spreadsheets together these days, so let's do this thing!

Rules

We'll never forget Jan trying to explain 13 Sentinels to the rest of the crew.
We'll never forget Jan trying to explain 13 Sentinels to the rest of the crew.

First off, some ground rules. Since not everyone decides to do a nice and tidy one through ten list, I had to get a little creative with how to tally everything.

  • A "regular" ranked list results in a total of 55 points available. (1 point for 10th, 10 points for 1st, etc.)
  • No list can earn more than 55 points.
  • No vote can be worth more than 10 points.
  • If a person gave 10 games but did not rank them, each game gets 5.5 points.
  • If a person gave less than 10 and did not rank them, they still only get 5.5 each.
  • If a person gave less than 10 and did rank them, they forfeited their points available for 10th, 9th, etc. (i.e. a list of 8 ranked is a total of 52 points)
  • If a person doesn't rank their list, but specifically says the last game they talk about is their GOTY, then that game gets 10 points and the rest get 5.
  • If a person (@will) is a weirdo and calls three games their GOTY, then lists seven other unranked games...I made it work.
  • If someone gave a spot a tie between two games, I split the allotted points. For example, if someone put two games in their 1st place spot (10 points), I gave each game 9.5 points. If you can't make up your mind, your choices take the hit. Sorry.

So, what are we actually doing here? Well, what if we good ol' mathematics to determine the site's GOTY rather than hours and hours of arguing? Sure, the deliberations are fun, but if we deployed a spreadsheet, how different would the final results be? As I've said before, I don't necessarily believe this is how it should be done, but it's just fun to compare the cold, hard stats to what happened on the stream.

Staff's Top 25

No Caption Provided

The Realest Top 10

Now that the deliberations are final. Let's see how the math stacks up to what happened on stream. Here is the official Top 10. The numbers in parentheses are where it placed based on the math.

  1. Hades (1)
  2. Yakuza: Like a Dragon (2)
  3. Spiritfarer (6)
  4. Ori and the Will of the Wisps (7)
  5. Astro's Playroom (4)
  6. Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales (3)
  7. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim (14)
  8. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 (13)
  9. Kentucky Route Zero (16)
  10. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (5)

As you can see, seven of the ten games in The Math List made it to the real list. The ones that didn't hang were the bottom three (Minecraft, Final Fantasy VII Remake, The Last of Us Part II). This makes sense given how previous GOTY debates go. What I mean by that is that the bottom slots on the GOTY list usually end up being someone's hill to die on. A game that maybe only one person supports, but does so with enough passion that it gets on "the site's" list. This year that was 13 Sentinels from Jan, Kentucky Route Zero from Alex, and Tony Hawk from Jeff.

I hear you yelling from the back of the room. "WHAT ABOUT RORIE?!" I didn't include him on the first chart because he wasn't on the stream and therefore didn't have a chance to make a difference in the results there. But, for fun, let's add his data into the sheet and see what happens.

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Okay...well. Literally nothing changed in the Top 10. Or the top fourteen for that matter. Turns out that Rorie likes a lot of stuff that the other guys don't. Weird, right?

Why are Rorie's numbers strange like 4.25 and 2.2? Well, he named 14 games on his list, so I had to get creative with the points. He still has a total of 55 points among his games like everyone else.

Guests' Top 51

Now let's take a look at those guest lists. There's way more data to wade through with these. And since guests have no rules, I have to get a little more creative with the math sometimes.

No Caption Provided
No Caption Provided

Hades, y'all. This is by far the biggest landslide victory we've ever seen since I've been doing these stats.

  • 184 different games were voted for by the forty-five guests. 210 games were named last year.
  • Four games got a 1st place vote with no votes from anyone else: Judgment, Sludge Life, Valorant, and Star Ocean: The Second Story.
  • Hades ran away with the points by getting eleven first place votes. No other game had more than two (Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Half-Life: Alyx, Kentucky Route Zero, and Microsoft Flight Simulator).
  • Hades had the most overall votes with twenty-nine. That's 64.4% of the guests.
  • Just nineteen of the forty-five guests actually gave a ranked list of ten. That's 42.2%.
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake (3rd place) was the highest ranked game that got no first place votes.
  • No games starting with the letter "Z" were named. Every other letter in the alphabet is represented.
  • Only 106 games out of 184 were originally released in North American in 2020. That's 57.6%.
  • The oldest game named was Uncle Poo (1983).
  • Yes, I included all of @drewbert's arcade games. I considered them as his #6-10 games.
  • No, I did not include any tabletop games, anime, books, albums, or TV shows.

That's all for now. Hopefully I'll have another opportunity to share a bunch of stats in 2021.

<>

33 Comments

Data Dump: GOTY 2019 Staff & Guests Breakdown

How well do the results synchronize? Let's see!
How well do the results synchronize? Let's see!

If you've been around here at any point over the last decade, you probably already know I love stats. You may remember the good ol' days of monthly Data Dumps, achievement tracking, and annual reviews data, but those days are long gone. Game of the Year is one of the few chances we have to put some spreadsheets together these days, so let's do this thing!

First off, some ground rules. Since not everyone decides to do a nice and tidy one through ten list, I had to get a little creative with how to tally everything.

  • A "regular" ranked list results in a total of 55 points available. (1 point for 10th, 10 points for 1st, etc.)
  • If a person gave 10 games but did not rank them, each game gets 5.5 points.
  • If a person gave less than 10 and did not rank them, they still only get 5.5 each.
  • If a person gave less than 10 and did rank them, they forfeited their points available for 10th, 9th, etc. (i.e. a list of 8 ranked is a total of 52 points)
  • If a person doesn't rank their list, but specifically says the last game they talk about is their GOTY, then that game gets 10 points and the rest get 5.
  • If a person (@will) is a weirdo and calls four games their GOTY, then lists seven other unranked games...I made it work.
  • If someone gave a spot a tie between two games, I split the allotted points. For example, if someone put two games in their 1st place spot (10 points), I gave each game 9.5 points. If you can't make up your mind, your choices take the hit. Sorry.

So, what are we actually doing here? Well, what if we good ol' mathematics to determine the site's GOTY rather than hours and hours of arguing? Sure, the deliberations are fun, but if we deployed a spreadsheet, how different would the final results be? As I've said before, I don't necessarily believe this is how it should be done, but it's just fun to compare the cold, hard stats to what went down in that hot, sweaty room.

Staff's Top 25

No Caption Provided

The score tally on the far left is "without Matt & Engineering" because they were not in the room during deliberations. When using the cold, hard math to make a list and compare it to what they came up with in the room, this is the score we should use since...that's who was in the room.

As you can see, it's a mathematical tie between Control and Outer Wilds. Technically, Control wins because it had more votes. Everyone voted for Control in some form, while Jeff didn't vote for Outer Wilds at all.

But, more importantly, let's make the comparison to the list they came up with themselves. Nine of the games in this top ten are the same. If we swapped out Judgment with Luigi's Mansion 3, it's be the same list just in a slightly different order. And that's pretty cool!

If Jason gets around to posting a list, I'll definitely update this. Get well soon, duder!

East vs. West

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Some people often wonder what would happen if West and East did their own separate GOTY lists. Well, this is how their separate Top 25s shake out based on the math. If you look at it this way, all the Nintendo fans can thank Jan for single handedly getting Pokémon Sword/Shield and Fire Emblem: Three Houses into the GB West Top 10!

Guests' Top 50

Now let's take a look at those guest lists. There's way more data to wade through with these. And since guests have no rules, I have to get a little more creative with the math sometimes.

No Caption Provided
No Caption Provided

It was tight for a while, but Control easily took this year's crown.

That's all for now. Hopefully I'll have another opportunity to share a bunch of stats in 2020.

17 Comments

Wiki Style Guide: How to Properly Add a Game's Release Data

Releases

Thanks for taking interest in adding and editing Release data on the site. While it's not a particularly fun or exciting part of the site to edit, it's a fundamental part of the data that the wiki is built upon. So, it's important that we do it correctly. This will serve as a style guide on how we should all be doing this. Failure to do so will lead to submissions being rejected and warnings being issued.

Adding a Release

Long Way (left) - Short Way (right)
Long Way (left) - Short Way (right)

There are two ways to add a Release. The long way and the short way. Feel free to use the quick method, which requires just a Name, Region, and Platform. Though, it is highly encouraged to include the Developer, Publisher, Date, and Image.

If you have the information though, please use the long way as it offers the ability to add much more detail. It's important to get the Release listed, but it's equally important that it be as accurate as possible.

Physical vs Digital

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If the game is released in both variations, the digital version should have a parenthetical in the title of the Release to denote the difference. If the digital release is on PC, there should be a comment in the Notes section of the Release to show which store it is from.

Special Editions

Whether it's a collector's edition, premium edition, SteeBook edition, or "Love is Over" edition, this should be listed as a parenthetical in the title of the Release. If it's a digital version, the word "digital" should also be in that parenthetical (i.e. "Digital Premium Edition").

Early Access

Games that are released in Early Access should have a Release entry for that date with a parenthetical (i.e. "Dota Underlords (Early Access)".

A separate Release entry should be added for the full launch of the game once known.

Editing an Existing Release

Currently, editing a Release can be difficult. If a release doesn't have an image attached, you can add one. Here are the steps required:

  • Hover your mouse over where the image would normally be and click "Edit"
  • Click the tab that reads "Images (0)"
  • Click the red "Add New Image(s)" tab on the right
  • Upload an image
  • Click the "Make default" button, which is to the right of the green "Save" button

If you are having issues with this, please message a moderator and we'll take care of it.

Images

Okay. Here is the complicated part. It may seem nitpicky to some, but it is important that each release has the proper box art and or store image. For example, if a game is released on several different platforms, we shouldn't be using the Steam store's image for all of them. We also shouldn't be using the North American box art for every region. Nor should we be using some generic logo in any situation. So, let's break it down by popular platforms.

PC

PC releases are probably the most complicated at this point due to the various online stores.

Steam

Steam Store

No Caption Provided

For Steam releases, we should be using the 460x215 "header.jpg" image from the top right corner of the game's store page.

Just right click, save, and upload to the release page. Easy.

SteamGridDB

No Caption Provided

Alternatively, you can often obtain more Steam image assets more easily by using SteamGridDB. Simply search for the game you want, then click the "View Original Steam Assets". You'll see a list of images including the main "header" store image as well as box art, logo, and background images.

Epic

No Caption Provided

For Epic Games Store releases, we should be using the 278x158 logo on the left side below the video on the store page. The tricky part about this is that you can't save that logo as an image. You'll need Snipping Tool it on PC or Shift+Cmnd+4 it on Mac.

Epic Games Store

Microsoft

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With the advent of Xbox Play Anywhere and Game Pass, many PC games are available through Microsoft directly. For these, we need to use the 200x300 "apps00000.jpeg" that is found on the game's store page.

Microsoft Games

Humble

Humble releases don't require documentation because they are selling keys that used to redeem the game on other stores.

Others

Play it by ear. If you have questions, let us know and we'll make an official decision.

PlayStation

Retail - Amazon

No Caption Provided

Console release images are much simpler. You've got your retail box art, which is generally easily obtainable through Amazon. They offer high-res box arts that are usually 1500 pixels tall. Just click the box art on the game's page, then either use the magnifying glass to expand it or just open into a new tab to see the largest version.

PSN Store

No Caption Provided

We prefer you use the largest, highest resolution image available. And then you have your digital release image, which should be obtained from the PlayStation Store. The store is weird, so here's what we'll do for now.

If the game has multiple versions, the game's store page will look like this image to the right. Each version will have a 325x325 square box art. Unfortunately, you can't easily save these images on PlayStation.com, so you'll need to capture them with either a Snipping Tool (Windows) or Cmnd+Shift+4 (Mac) to deftly grab it.

No Caption Provided

If the game does not have multiple versions, there is no box art on the game's store page at all. There's just a splash banner at the top that you can't do much with. But, if you search for the game specifically, the results will be shown in a grid of box arts. If you right click this small box art and open it into a new tab, you'll get a 445x445 version that you can capture.

Xbox

No Caption Provided

Same rules as PlayStation.

The digital releases should use the 1440x2160 "apps00000.jpeg" image found on the Xbox.com search page. Just right click one of these box arts and open in a new tab to see the full resolution version.

Xbox Games Store

Nintendo Switch

No Caption Provided

Same rules as PlayStation and Xbox.

The digital releases should use the 1920x1080 .jpg image found at the top of the game's the eShop page.

Nintendo eShop

Older Platforms

For older consoles and handhelds, follow the general rules above. For example, use the highest resolution image possible for retail box art. Avoid using photographs of a box whenever possible. If it's a platform that offers digital releases, use the official store's images as described above.

Questions

If you have any questions or suggestions about this, feel free to post them below. Or, if you prefer, contact the moderators directly.

22 Comments

1200+ Photos from PAX West 2019

Hey, y'all.

C'mon 'n ride it.
C'mon 'n ride it.

I'm back again with a slew of photos from the show. If you haven't seen this before, I've been "photo documenting" PAX since 2008. And I was doing this before PAX for eight years from E3 1999 to E3 2006. After each trip, I upload all of my photos here on GB.

My general goal is to photograph practically every booth as well as every area of the show. The entirety of the Expo Hall, the new tabletop areas at the Hyatt Regency, the Annex (classic arcade, classic console, BYOC, etc), and more are all captured here. So, if you missed anything or if you weren't there and just want to see what it was like...I got you.

I also have photos from six different panels from the front row. Some of them (like GB) include photos from before the doors opened.

Also, I've organized the photos into folders of each booth/area for your convenience.

No Caption Provided

Expo Hall Preview

5 Comments

Data Dump: Who Won E3 2019?

The Real E3 MVP
The Real E3 MVP

It's always been a dumb question. But, what if we applied a little math and science to it anyway? If you were in chat during any of the press conferences media briefings showcases, then you may have seen a poll at the end asking you to rate the show from 1-10. Well, I took all that data and used it to determine who the Giant Bomb Community thinks "won E3 2019."

I'm only running data on the conferences that Giant Bomb was present for because the others, while available in chat, had far fewer viewers than these main five.

Unfortunately, there was something wrong with polls during Xbox, so the totals are lower than how many actually voted, but I still think it's enough of a pool to say it's an accurate representation.

Of course, the true winner of E3 was the gamers a tie between Keanu Reeves, Ikumi Nakamura, Bam Bam the Dog, and Gooigi. But, here's the data anyway...

Microsoft

While Xbox brought a lot of stuff, many felt underwhelmed by the Scarlett announcement and Halo trailer at the end.
While Xbox brought a lot of stuff, many felt underwhelmed by the Scarlett announcement and Halo trailer at the end.

Bethesda

People were hype for DOOM Eternal, but not much else it seemed.
People were hype for DOOM Eternal, but not much else it seemed.

Ubisoft

Ubisoft announced a slew of Clance games, which didn't seem to connect with the GB crowd. And their big dog leaked ahead of time, which probably hurt them.
Ubisoft announced a slew of Clance games, which didn't seem to connect with the GB crowd. And their big dog leaked ahead of time, which probably hurt them.

Square Enix

Square put on a solid show, but their big reveal of Avengers left people confused, which I think left a bad taste in people's mouths right before the reaction poll.
Square put on a solid show, but their big reveal of Avengers left people confused, which I think left a bad taste in people's mouths right before the reaction poll.

Nintendo

Nintendo straight up killed it this year according to the GB Community.
Nintendo straight up killed it this year according to the GB Community.

Overall

Prior to the first GB @ Nite show on Tuesday, I asked everyone who they thought won E3. This was the result:

No Caption Provided

So, if we take this data and compare it to the data collected after each conference, what do we get?

No Caption Provided

Hey! They're in the same exact order. That worked out pretty well.

Either way you look at it, Nintendo dominated this year's E3 according to the Giant Bomb Community.

Until next year, <>.

18 Comments

GB vs E3: The Official Player's Guide (w/Foldout Conference Time Zone Poster!)

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Formerly known as our "E3 & You!" info dump, this is now the Giant Bomb vs The Electronic Three Official Player's Guide. For a quarter of a century now, E3 has been the biggest trade show for the video game industry. We're gonna see a slew of new trailers, demos, announcements, interviews, and live streams over the next week.

So, here's all the information you need to survive a week-long marathon of live chat, the tidal wave of new forum threads, and an onslaught of wiki submissions for new games!

Press Conferences

The Electronic Three is once again starting early this year. While E3 2019 is officially Tuesday through Thursday, the press conferences media briefings showcases start with Xbox on Sunday. But, Electronic Arts is still doing...stuff...on Saturday.

**Not all of these will be
**Not all of these will be "talked over" by Giant Bomb.**

From Saturday afternoon through Tuesday morning, you are going to see threads dedicated to each of the major publisher's presentations (EA, Microsoft, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Square Enix, and Nintendo). These threads will be posted and stickied shortly before each press conference. They are the go-to place for any and all discussion for their respective press conferences before, during, and after the show is over. Let's try to keep it all in one place.

The Chat

Here are the details on when the Giant Bomb crew will be streaming live throughout the week. For either the conference commentary or the night shows, you'll want to be hanging out in GB Chat. If you click, the "Local Time" link should translate the time automatically to your local time.

Keep in mind that GB will typically go live about 30 minutes ahead of each conference.

Jeff's Solo Drive TimeSaturday, June 8?:?? AM PDT???
Xbox E3 BriefingSunday, June 91:00 PM PDTYour Local Time
The Bethesda E3 ShowcaseSunday, June 95:30 PM PDTYour Local Time
Ubisoft E3 Live at E3Monday, June 101:00 PM PDTYour Local Time
Square Enix Live: E3 2019Monday, June 106:00 PM PDTYour Local Time
Nintendo Direct: E3 2019Tuesday, June 119:00 AM PDTYour Local Time
GB @ Nite - Nite 1Tuesday, June 116:00 PM PDTYour Local Time
GB @ Nite - Nite 2Wednesday, June 126:00 PM PDTYour Local Time
GB @ Nite - Nite 3Thursday, June 136:00 PM PDTYour Local Time

The Forums

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We know you want to talk about all these glorious new games that are about to get announced. But, there's no sense in fifty duders creating a new thread to talk about that thing that Phil Spencer just announced 18 seconds ago. And, in case you didn't know, every game in the Giant Bomb database has a forum attached to it. Tidy organization is built right in! All you have to do is utilize it.

E3 is fast and furious, so we know there are going to be duplicates sometimes, but help us out by taking a few seconds to check first. The dupes that get through will soon be locked anyway.

The Wiki

Get in there and edit some stuff!
Get in there and edit some stuff!

But, what if there's no page for the game I want to talk about?!

Well, the answer is pretty simple. Go ahead and make a page for it. Before you do, though, make sure there's not already one created. We have a some hardcore wiki users that are going to be lightning quick on new stuff. Sometimes, when a new page is created, it takes a bit of time to show up in search. Here's a tip for you:

** THIS PAGE HAS THE MOST RECENTLY ADDED GAMES **

Even if someone submitted it three seconds ago, it's going to be there. So, use that instead of just checking the search bar. The mods will be monitoring the wiki queue like hawks trying to get the new stuff through as quickly as possible.

And That...

The 25th E3 is Giant Bomb's 12th!
The 25th E3 is Giant Bomb's 12th!

E3 is one of the most fun times of the year for anyone who loves games. It's fast. It's chaotic. It's sometimes ridiculous and/or hilarious. All of us here in the Giant Bomb community want to have a good time with all the news, announcements, trailers, and late-night podcasts. So, let's all do our part to keep things as organized as possible so everyone can find anything they're looking for during E3 2019.

Got questions? Feel free to post them here so that anyone else with the same/similar question can get helped at the same time.

Let's do this!

22 Comments

A Decade of Giant Bomb vs The Electronic Three...in Polaroids

No Caption Provided

This is the promo image I'll be using for the E3 Banner Contest next week, but I figured y'all might enjoy it now. Hopefully, out of the 65 images, I picked most of the major moments anyone can remember from the last ten years. If you need help reminding yourself what some of these moments are, I created a numbered legend below.

It's time to get hype.

Legend

No Caption Provided
  • 1. Drew on the way to Kentia Hall. (2009)
  • 2. Phil Spencer visits for WEED3. (2016)
  • 3. Vinny on green screen for the E3 pre-roll intro. (2012)
  • 4. Patrick and Austin in their Waypoint uniforms. (2018)
  • 5. Shuhei Yoshida shows off his incredible gift from Johnny V. (2014)
  • 6. Michael Pachter and Jeff Green visit the new E3 house. (2012)
  • 7. Tetsuya Miziguchi makes his first appearance. (2018)
  • 8. Mary Kish chugs a beer to celebrate E3 being over. (2017)
  • 9. Simultaneous sunglasses with Johnny V and Dave Lang. (2014)
  • 10. Jens Matthies enters the vapor chamber. (2017)
  • 11. Tim Schaefer and Greg Rice have an epic Jenga battle in the green room. (2016)
  • 12. Danny O'Dwyer and Samantha Kalman stop by. (2015)
  • 13. A shirtless Greg Miller smashes some empty beer cans as Garnett Lee looks on. (2014)
  • 14. Jeff runs into Greg Kasavin on the floor. (2009)
  • 15. Xavier Woods and Eric Pope play "air guitar". (2015)
  • 16. Johnny V gets a gift from Ryan. (2011)
  • 17. The millennials take over E3. (2017)
  • 18. Brad gets secrets from Nintendo's Denise Kaigler. (2009)
  • 19. Patrick checks out the fridge cam. (2011)
  • 20. Paul Barnett and Jeff put an end E3. (2014)
  • 21. Brad enjoys some catered lunch. (2018)
  • 22. "Raw" footage of John Drake massaging Johnny V. (2013)
  • 23. After press conferences. (2009)
  • 24. <3 (2016)
  • 25. Ben and Abby flossin' in the green room. (2018)
  • 26. We win and lose together! (2017)
  • 27. Abby scares Vinny on the street. (2018)
  • 28. <> (2010)
  • 29. Dave Lang throws his phone away. (2015)
  • 30. Brad and Alex check out the PS4 that Adam Boyes brought. (2013)
  • 31. Jeff at Xbox's conference. (2011)
  • 32. Janina Gavankar shares a special message. (2017)
  • 33. Vinny and Dan try to figure out what E3 Live is. (2016)
  • 34. Jeff checks out the studio they'll be using for the week. (2013)
  • 35. Abby and Ben get pumped for their first E3. (2017)
  • 36. Justin McElroy (with Griffin McElroy and Queen Elizabeth II) shares another Sherlock Holmes story. (2014)
  • 37. Dan offers to share his coffee with Austin. (2016)
  • 38. Jeff interviews Harmonix's Alex Navarro. (2009)
  • 39. Brad collapses at the end of the night show. (2014)
  • 40. Alex hates escalators. (2018)
  • 41. Vinny runs into Jeff Green outside E3 Live. (2016)
  • 42. Adam Boyes realizes Johnny V just tweeted out Dave Lang's phone number. (2015)
  • 43. Kessler and Dave go to Outback instead of E3. (2010)
  • 44. John Drake double fisting Diet Cokes. (2013)
  • 45. Greg Miller gets inappropriate with Xavier Woods. (2016)
  • 46. Vinny and Jeff put on faces to read an ad. (2015)
  • 47. Janina Gavankar gets comfy for My First E3 Two. (2018)
  • 48. Patrick tries to tell Jeff about Yoshi's new game. (2014)
  • 49. Jeff forgot his cool shades. (2015)
  • 50. Vinny films the crew after the Sony press conference. (2013)
  • 51. Producers producin'. (2018)
  • 52. John Drake chugs a 2-Liter Diet Coke as John "Cowboy" Bellomy looks on in horror. (2018)
  • 53. Drew walks in on himself. (2013)
  • 54. Abbie Heppe hides amongst the cardboard standees. (2014)
  • 55. Ed Boon shares his Hawkman Midway story with Adam Boyes and Johnny V. (2012)
  • 56. Matt Kessler tries a rare delicacy known as a tomato. (2017)
  • 57. Jeff Green and Lorne Lanning share some veteran insight. (2015)
  • 58. Dan offers Austin a snack. (2016)
  • 59. Johnny V impersonates Adam Boyes. (2017)
  • 60. Xavier Woods and Samoa Joe stop by. (2017)
  • 61. #FreeKessler (2018)
  • 62. Jeff asks Phil Spencer and Kudo Tsunoda about shipping broken games. (2015)
  • 63. Jeff and Alex outside the house. (2011)
  • 64. Vinny goes into business for himself by selling Coke ads on the stream. (2016)
  • 65. Matt Rorie approves. (2018)
8 Comments

PAX Guide 2019: East Edition

Eight years, y'all. EIGHT YEARS! We've been doing this guide for a long damn time. Admittedly, it hasn't changed much in recent years, but that's because I think that thanks to countless duders' input, we've kinda nailed it down at this point. But, I always want to post it again with the current PAX's schedule and whatnot. I've also reluctantly removed all the EverQuest icons because they look like garbage on the mobile version.

Whether PAX East 2019 is your first PAX or your twenty-second like me, this is for you. Despite years of refinement, if you have something that needs to be added, let us know in the comments.

Boston

We probably won't have to deal with six feet of snow this year.
We probably won't have to deal with six feet of snow this year.

It's gotten better in the last few years, but the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is still kinda in the middle of nowhere. Logan International Airport is just a few minutes from the convention center, but it's about a mile walk from there into the heart of Boston where most of the fun stuff is.

If you're landing at the airport, you should almost definitely hop on the Silver Line. It's FREE going into the city from Logan and, if you were lucky enough to get a hotel near the convention center, it'll take you right past most of them. If you weren't so lucky, the Silver Line will drop you at South Station, which is a hub that will get you to basically anywhere else in the city. If you're going to be in town all week and plan on going anywhere that's not right by the convention center, throw $10 or $20 on MBTA "Charlie Card" since each ride you take is going to cost about $3.

Check for your hotel on Google maps, locate the closest "T" station (it'll be real easy), and work backwards to South Station. Even if you're not a city kid, it's quite simple. If you need help, there's plenty of Boston natives hanging around on the site, so ask away in the comments below.

Giant Bomb (and Fam) @ PAX

You might spot a Giant Bomb staff member randomly on the show floor (just don't bother them if they're shooting something), but your best bet is one of these panels. As usual, I've also included some other panels that might be GB adjacent? Translation: "Wrestlers and/or Dave Lang are involved."

For most panels, you're going to need to line up early if want a good seat. As a general rule, I'd suggest going to most panels an hour early. For the super popular ones, there's a bit of loitering skill involved. Enforcers will not allow you to line up until the line for the previous panel goes inside, so...do what you need to do to get in the actual line as soon as that happens.

No Caption Provided
This is a perfectly normal example of your typical PAX panel.
This is a perfectly normal example of your typical PAX panel.

The Enforcers

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Enforcers are a legion of volunteers that make PAX run efficiently. It would be a hot mess without them. In the old days, they would don the black. But, now that there are multiple versions of PAX, East Enforcers are coated in red. If you need help with anything, just look for one of them. They’re never too far away. And if they ask you nicely to do something (like move out of an aisle/walkway), please do so.

They don't always wear armor like this guy to the right. Just most of the time.

#PAX

Welcome home.
Welcome home.

Even if you don’t normally use Twitter, you should sign up just to follow these accounts while you’re at PAX. It’s the best and easiest way to get up-to-the-minute updates on what’s going on.

  • @official_pax - The important stuff.
  • @pax_lines - Updates on theatre/panel lines and when they get capped.
  • @paxparties - An unofficial feed for the unofficial parties going on all weekend.

The Packing List

Here's what you need to bring with you especially if you're coming in from out of town.

Money

Most places (including vendors in the expo hall) will take credit/debit cards, but it’s probably a good idea to carry a little cash just in case. And if you need to hit an ATM, do it early in the day as they sometimes run out of money later on.

Backpack

Whatever your style of choice is, bring one. Don’t rely on getting a free bag at the show. They’re often cumbersome and there’s no guarantee you’ll find one anyway. Trust me…carrying a bunch of random stuff you pick up throughout the day is going to suck without a backpack.

Phone & Charger

Duh. You need your phone. But don’t be a dumb and forget your charger and/or wall plug. Pro Tip: Turn your brightness down as far as you can tolerate. Keeping up with your friends at night through texts/Twitter/Discord is gonna be tough if your phone dies by 2 PM.

Battery Pack

Consider buying an external USB battery pack. It’s been a life saver for me the last few years. Worth every penny.

Portable Gaming

You will undoubtedly find some downtime (like waiting in line), and you will never be in a better place for local multiplayer. So, go ahead and take your Nintendo Switch out for some commercial-esque multiplayer.

Hand Sanitizer

There will be dispensers scattered around the buildings, but do yourself a favor and toss a little bottle in your bag and use it every time you play something.

Poster Tube

If you can fit it in your luggage, this is a veteran move. You might get a cool poster at PAX. You might even get it signed by Todd Howard. Make sure you have a way to get it home without crushing it.

Trash Bag

Yep. A trash bag. Just throw it in your luggage. Use it later for dirty clothes, which will keep your stank-ass, sweaty socks off of the cool stuff you bring back on the way home.

Every Alex panel is a roller coaster of emotions.
Every Alex panel is a roller coaster of emotions.

The Daily List

Here's a few things that you should do every day. Every. Day.

Shower/Deodorant

For the love of Bristlebane, please! It’s not difficult. You're probably paying an arm and a leg for that hotel room you got, so use those amenities.

Eat/Drink

Walking around for sixteen hours a day for three days requires fuel. It may sound crazy, but you might actually forget to eat and stay hydrated. There aren't a ton of options real close to the convention center. There is a food court on the north side of the convention center, but it's super crowded and generally shitty. There's usually some carnival-type food scattered around in the expo hall as well. Recently, there's also been some food trucks outside the main entrance and on the southern lawn.

But, scope out some of the few nearby locations ahead of time and maybe hit those instead. Try to eat two actual meals a day and carry some snacks for in-between. Alternatively, you could attempt to live on Dunkin for four days.

Sleep

Time is precious at PAX, but you can’t go non-stop for 100+ hours. Try to get at least 5 or 6 hours a night.

Get Out

Don’t spend all of your time in the convention center. Get out of there once in a while, get some air, grab some real food, see some of the city, etc.

Be Yourself

There’s a special vibe that envelops PAX. If you’ve ever felt weird or strange about the nerdy things you love, know that you’ll never be in a place with more people that enjoy the same things that you do than you ever will be. So, be yourself. Talk to random people in lines. You’re going to have a blast. Welcome home.

That big red block is the convention center. It's about a mile from there to the Regina Pizzeria in the middle. As you can see, most of the food options are on the other side of the bridge.
That big red block is the convention center. It's about a mile from there to the Regina Pizzeria in the middle. As you can see, most of the food options are on the other side of the bridge.

The To-Do List

Now that you've got a checklist of what to bring and some daily advice, here's some tips on how to prepare.

Download Guidebook

Guidebook is the best, easiest way to keep up with all the official PAX info (schedule, maps, announcements, etc.)

Gameplan

The schedule is out now, so start making a list right now of the panels you may want to see and any potential games you want to play. Compare your list with your friends and get a rough idea of what you want to see and do. Inevitably, you’re going to have make some tough decisions as multiple things you’re interested in will overlap. Accept the fact now that you can’t see/do everything, but if you go in there with no plan at all, you’re going to be overwhelmed.

Plan a Backup

Shit happens. Panels get full faster than you thought. Lines get too long to be worth it. The game you wanted to play might actually just be a presentation. Try to have a backup whenever you can. If all else fails, just go spend some more time in…

Indie Megabooth

Arguably the best part of PAX is the slew of indie games available. And, over the last several years, the Indie Megaboothhas established itself as a primary feature of PAX. It houses over seventy games from nearly as many developers and you could spend hours there. It’s also great because you can play a bunch of games without waiting too long. If you see an open station, play it! I don’t care what it is.

Escape the Expo

The expo hall is an amazing spectacle. No doubt about it. But, it's also a trap. Get the hell out of there and do some other stuff once in a while. PAX has so much to offer aside from the expo hall and you shouldn’t miss it. Head upstairs to the Classic Console rooms or the Kickstarter Lounge. Head to the back with the massive Tabletop arenas. You get the point. Go do stuff.

Come to PAX. Meet your heroes.
Come to PAX. Meet your heroes.

The To-Don’t List

A couple little words of warning from a PAX veteran. You'll thank me later.

SWAG

We all love free stuff, but seriously…don’t be that guy. Don’t wait in line for 45 minutes to play a game you don’t care about just to get a shirt. And please don’t loiter around a headphone booth hoping to catch an inflatable hat. You will get free stuff without trying too hard, so don’t let SWAG ruin your PAX.

Lines

Okay, lines are unavoidable. If you want to do much of anything at PAX, you’re gonna wait in some lines. But, this is on the “don’t” list simply to help you make good decisions. Do you really need to wait in line for an hour to play something when it comes out in just a couple weeks? Think about it. Do you really want to wait in line for an hour to watch a new trailer that will be online Monday morning? Time is precious at PAX. Choose wisely.

The expo hall just keeps getting larger every year.
The expo hall just keeps getting larger every year.

The Optional List

Three PAX traditions that should not be ignored. Your interest will likely depend on who is involved, so take note.

Keynote

The “Storytime” session is typically a great opening ceremony for PAX, especially for first-timers. The Penny Arcade Q&A is once again immediately after this, so if you're a fan of those guys, you should probably go to the keynote to get a good seat. It's one of the few times they don't clear out a theatre before the next event. This year’s speaker is Arin Hanson.

Music

On Saturday night, the Main Theatre will be rocking late into the night. Whether you know anything about the performers or not, the concerts are a great time especially if you don’t have any other late night plans. Saturday night will feature the Doubleclicks, Bit Brigade, and Video Game Orchestra.

Omegathon Finals

The Omegathon is an elimination tournament that takes place throughout the entire weekend between a couple dozen attendees who were randomly selected prior to the show. The final game is always kept a secret until the very end. It’s usually a great closing ceremony, but it totally depends on the game. I’ve seen some great ones like Vs. Excitebike, Ikaruga, Trials Evolution, and (inexplicably) a stuffed animal crane game. But, I’ve also seen some pure train wrecks like Spaceteam and Cornhole. So, I can’t recommend it as much as I used to, but it still has the potential to be awesome.

The Rumble is returning home to Boston!
The Rumble is returning home to Boston!

<>

Celebrating 7 years of British people groping Americans at PAX.
Celebrating 7 years of British people groping Americans at PAX.

Well, that's all I've got. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or complaints, let me hear it. As always, hopefully this will help some people out and maybe I'll see some of you at PAX. Anyway, it's gonna be a blast. Have fun. And, yes, fog machines are still banned.

Maps

11 Comments

Data Dump: GOTY 2018 Staff & Guests Breakdown

Please remember.
Please remember.

Hey yo! I love stats. And if you've been around here at any point over the last decade, you probably already knew that. Unfortunately, I don't have as many opportunities as I did in the past since it's been years since site data was easily accessible. You may remember the good ol' days of monthly Data Dumps, achievement tracking, and annual reviews data. Game of the Year is one of the few chances we have to put some spreadsheets together these days, so let's do this thing!

First off, some ground rules. Since not everyone decides to do a nice and tidy one through ten list, I had to get a little creative with how to tally everything. And I'm doing it slightly differently from last year.

  • A "regular" ranked list results in a total of 55 points available. (1 point for 10th, 10 points for 1st, etc.)
  • If a person gave 10 games but did not rank them, each game gets 5.5 points.
  • If a person gave less than 10 and did not rank them, they still only get 5.5 each.
  • If a person gave less than 10 and did rank them, they forfeited their points available for 10th, 9th, etc. (i.e. a list of 8 ranked is a total of 52 points)
  • If a person (@matt) is a weirdo and doesn't rank their list but specifically says the last game they talk about is their GOTY, then that game gets 10 points and the rest get 5.
  • If a person (@will) is a bigger weirdo and gives two games their #1 spot, yet doesn't rank anything else...I made it work.
  • If someone gave a spot a tie between two games, I split the allotted points. For example, if someone put two games in their 9th place spot (2 points), I gave each game 1 point. If you can't make up your mind, your choices take the hit. Sorry.

So, what are we actually doing here? Well, what if we good ol' mathematics to determine the site's GOTY rather than hours and hours of arguing? Sure, the deliberations are fun, but if we deployed a spreadsheet, how different would the final results be? As I've said before, I don't necessarily believe this is how it should be done, but it's just fun to compare the cold, hard stats to what went down in that hot, sweaty room.

Staff's Top 45

No Caption Provided

As you can see, nine of the top ten games from the math are also in the official list that came out of that hot, sweaty room a couple weeks ago. They're in a slightly different order, but it's still pretty cool that it was that accurate. Especially since the only outlier was the #9 spot.

Despite ending up in seventh on the real list, Marvel's Spider-Man got votes from eight out of the ten staff members; the most of any game.

East vs. West

@mnzy brought up in the comments that they thought the West vs East split would make wildly different lists, so I broke out the spreadsheet again to have a look. And here's what we got:

No Caption Provided
No Caption Provided

As you can see, eight games appear on both lists. The outliers are Moss and Astro Bot Rescue Mission in the East, and then Destiny 2 and Monster Hunter: World out West. Also, nine of the ten West games got on the official site list while eight of the ten on the East list made it. So, even though the eight games shared between the two lists are in a different order, the lists are quite similar.

Guests' Top 25

Now let's take a look at those guest lists. There's way more data to wade through with these. And since guests have no rules, I have to get a little more creative with the math sometimes.

No Caption Provided

God of War mostly ran away with it here. Not as much as Zelda did last year, but still convincingly.

That's all for now. Hopefully I'll have another opportunity to share a bunch of stats in 2019.

Sav'orq, 2018.

23 Comments