excited kid

Last year around this time, I wrote a column on tips for rAge, which was odd since I’d never been. Still, much of it held up in practise, and now I get to walk into the expo this year knowing more of what to expect.

So then, for this year’s rAge-themed column I’m simply going to talk about the five things I’m most excited about doing.

Evolve

I’ve been excited for this game since I saw the first reveal for it, and everything I see just makes it look more awesome.

And now I’m actually going to get to play the thing. Even better, I get to shoot my fellow podcasters in the face – and by shoot in the face, I mean stomp on them with my giant lizard feet.

We’ll be reporting back on the experience in a podcast recorded live at the expo; so check that out for our impressions of the game and to hear who won (me).

"Hahaha, eat it Matt!"

“Hahaha, eat it Matt!”

Check Out the Indie Stand

Last year was my first rAge experience, and the indie/local game development stand was the big surprise of the expo for me – I had an awesome time there.

Not only did I see some pretty fantastic (and some less fantastic) weird and awesome games, I also got to speak to passionate developers about their projects.

Seeing the people behind these games, and seeing how incredibly enthusiastic and excited they were about what they were creating was pretty damned inspiring.

It left me feeling pumped to go home and create my own game, only to come to the crushing realisation that I don’t have a damned clue how to do that.

So I'll just  have to content myself to playing other people's awesome creations.

So I’ll just have to content myself to playing other people’s awesome creations.

Board Game Geekery

Last year when I went to rAge, I was determined to check out the board game section, with all the tabletop, TCG and Settlers of Cataan madness going on over there.

But I failed. I was roaming around stag a lot of the time, and I admit that I felt a little intimidate by all the serious-business gaming going on at that corner of the expo.

But there’s hope yet. I’ve been perusing the rAge 2014 articles, and I see that fellow troublemaker Matthew Fick “spent a whole day” in that section last year, so I’ll be relying on him to show me the ways.

And then I will crush him.

Right after he teaches me how to play it, that is.

Right after he teaches me how to play it, that is.

Crazy Characters

Another surprise win of rAge last year was all the awesome people I met along the way. If you plan on going, take a moment to appreciate some of the insanely good cosplayers strutting around.

I always thought cosplay was kind of stupid, until I actually saw the good ones in action – holy crap, there are some impressive outfits on show.

And, to be honest, the really bad cosplayers are almost as entertaining as the good ones.

There are a whole host of other interesting people lurking around as well, and I’ve never been shy to strike up a conversation with strangers. Last year I ran into the GTA V shirtless gang, rocking the rAge LAN without actually LAN’ing – who the hell needs a PC when you can perch your old-ass television on a cardboard box, stab pedestrians and eat mini donuts? I’ll be hunting for them again this year.

The blue paint expenditure can get out of hand.

The blue paint expenditure can get out of hand.

e-Sports Hype

This was some of the most fun I had at the expo last year. The e-Sports community in this country may be small, but it’s passionate as hell (and growing, I might add).

Watching one of the big tournament finals on a big-ass screen with a group of passionate fans is an awesome atmosphere and a ton of fun.

Last year I also spent a fair bit of time hanging out with the players and discussing strategy – there are teams that are there to take down the whole thing, and teams that are there to compete and have fun. Hang out with the latter, the former are probably a little too busy.

I gave the same advice last year but I’ll repeat it again – if you’re at rAge for the full weekend, try pick a team to root for and track their progress through the tournament, it makes things a lot more interesting when you have someone to root for.