As we approach the dawn of EGX next week, many of you lovely readers are more than likely preparing for the grand expedition to one of London’s greatest gaming events… And if you are, then let us know as we’re headed there next week as well! However, we’ve decided to compile our previous years of experience with the event to give you fresh attendees or even regulars the best possible experience at this year’s EGX!
First off, the one thing that comes to anyone’s mind is food. Sweet, sweet, delicious food… Now, I’m not going to be a life or health coach and tell you to pack a salad with a hummus dip, carrots, celery and your selection of protein… However I will suggest this: pack a lunch to bring to each EGX day you attend. Burgers and venue sandwiches are all well and good, but why spend that money on food when you can spend it on merch? Packing a lunch in a backpack allows you to save money on the day, eat something maybe a bit better quality than the burger vans and cafeteria can offer up… And you can choose what you want! Bring your own sandwich, burger, kebab, salad, curry… Anything! Just be aware that there usually aren’t any sorts of re-heating services at these events… So best to not bring the roast dinner ‘yer Nana packed you the night before.
Secondly… Budget. Budget, budget, budget… I get it; we can get caught up in the fever of the event atmosphere… But trust me – You want to make sure you have what you spend, and limit yourself so you don’t feel the sting later. Set yourself a daily budget, and stick to it.
Thirdly, prioritise and plan – Pick up that map from the front desk when you get your wristband, and take a look on EGX’s website; look at the games on offer, see where they are in relation to the entrance you’re closest to, and prioritise based off of what grabs your interest the most – In my opinion, the big AAA titles would be a smart bet to knock off first; these ones are the ones that will draw the big, big queues, and the ones that will get congested fast. For example, last year, we ran straight to Kingdom Hearts 3 to get our first look at the game… And we still had to wait 30 minutes straight from opening – After we played, we came back to look at the queue and… It was running for at least another 3 hours tops; AAA games will fill up fast, so knock out what you want in personal priority and popularity priority.
Fourth – Take breaks. And not just one hour at lunchtime! Take little 10 minute sit-down breaks either on the floor or on a bench every 2-3 hours, and just relax. Close your eyes to relax them from the flashing and bright lights, rest your legs and back, and just… Be calm. We’ve had many visits that have ended in absolute failure with me feeling like I’d been kicked in the legs by a full-size Rugby team; this year, remember your breaks… The Wii and Switch don’t give you them for no reason after all!
For my fifth tip, this may vary from person to person, but bring a cheapo portable gaming system, or install some mobile games on your phone… And bring a portable charger; an old Nintendo DS, Gameboy, Switch or PSP can bring those queues down from 2 hours to a measly 2 minutes in zone-out-time, and can help to break that feeling of “Ehhh; I’ve still got 10 minutes… I could always hop out this queue and…”. No; bad brain! Patience makes perfect! Stick in those queues and get that sweet, sweet gaming time you bought!
Lastly… Talk with the devs! Especially the indie ones! Many of the developers coming to these events are hinging on public feedback to refine and improve their games, and would, in most cases, be more than happy to discuss or debate with you, and may even give you a good amount of insight into the game development, marketing, design and sales process! That, and most of these people are an absolute riot, and are great to talk to!
So those are 6 essential tips for attending EGX, be it your first or your fifth, I hope these tidbits of information help you get the most out of your event experience! If you are attending, let us know in the comments and ay, maybe we can catch a few drinks!Become a Patron!