Coming to PAX Aus 2019? Come join the XP Hunt!

We are on the road!

When you see this, Rabbit and I are making our way down to Melbourne! There will be pics occasionally on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter if you would like to see how we are progressing 🙂

Today would normally be last weeks games, and I did get to host/play some! The group played Chronicles of Crime last Monday while I worked, and I got a decent way into Catherine: Full Body. Expect normal gaming updates upon our return!

But today, I want to ask anyone coming to PAX Aus (or anyone just interested) that wants to join our PAX XP hunt to join on our Facebook group!

It’s a one off group (well, annually active group all going well) that only exists to share PAX XP locations and help others looking.

There is one question upon joining, and it’s to ask that you agree to being courteous to fellow members and not posting actual QR codes. That’s it!

So if you are interested, come and join us at the Facebook group!

See you there!


PAX Aus is coming – and I am ready for PAX XP again!

Who else is interested in joining forces for PAX XP?

PAX Aus is getting closer. Just look at the countdown if you aren’t sure how close :p

PAX XP is apparently a little different this year. I haven’t seen anything official from the PAX Aus group yet, but I have had a look at the buzz from PAX West.

Last year, the prize for completing the AR game was a mug. OK, not the biggest prize to go nuts over, but it sits with my collection and is used constantly. It is a pretty nice mug to have my coffee from 🙂

This year, there are also trophies for PAX XP. Yep, Achievements/Trophies have hit PAX Aus!

On your badges this year is your own PAX QR code, and one of the first trophies you got was to scan yourself in. At PAX West, there were also two teams that collectively all PAX XP participants earned points towards to see which team won.

The individual pieces combine to create a custom image for each event
My prize from last year - a mug 🙂 Considering the merch cost, not a small prize!

Now, I am not 100% sure if this model will be followed by PAX Aus, but as they are so close together I would be rather surprised if they weren’t. I can confirm that this years badge has the code, as I got mine yesterday 😀 And yes, I was useless at work for about 15 minutes afterwards, I was so buzzed!

Last year after posting the completed image, I had a few people contact me for help finding certain codes. It was great actually meeting up with a few of them to help them find the code and chat about their experiences.

That got me thinking. This year, I thought it might be fun to create a JohnHQLD PAX Aus XP group. What do you think?

I was thinking of creating a closed Facebook group and we can mark down the individual locations as we find them. If there are trophies, maybe even make a trophy unlock list as well.

What I don’t want to do is post the actual QR code in the group. A big part of the fun is exploring all of PAX after all. A couple of people didn’t even realise that some areas existed!

If this is something you think you would like to join, hit like on the Facebook post or down below. If there is interest, I will create a group end of next week and post a link to it 🙂

Until PAX Aus,


The PAX Aus 2018 Schedule is live, and the Enigma Box is coming!

Pax Australia 2018

When PAX Aus makes your day better a month early!

So yesterday at work I was having one of those Thursdays.  From the moment I rolled out of bed, everything had been full speed ahead into every brick wall in sight, and was like that all day.

But late yesterday I took a break to read my emails, and lo and behold there was one from PAX Australia!  I was hoping it was saying my tickets were in the mail, but really next best thing:

The PAX Aus 2018 Schedule is now live.

I will be sitting down over the weekend and trying to make some choices, but it is always hard at PAX.  There are a lot of great panels all through the three days, and as usual, there are so many things that I want to see and do that all overlap.

This year, the opening Storytime is with Rhianna Pratchett.  The daughter of Sir Terry Pratchett, many gamers have experience Rhianna’s work for years and probably never realised.  And then the choices just get harder.

Gameifying Government, or Mental Health Representation in video games?  They may sound niche, but I am interested in both topics and would love to hear what’s happening.

As usual, so many things to see, so many overlapping!

LoadingReadyRun Live is the chance to see some great creators live as I have wanted for years.  But at the same time, there is the annual Dungeon Crawl – always a worthy event.  But overlapping both events is Outside Xbox and Outside Xtra hosting the first ever PAX Movie night!  Another team of creators I love to leave watch to cheer me up, I’m already torn for which to go and see 🙁  Seriously if you enjoy gaming and want a smile, watch Show of the Weekend with Ellen and Luke.  Luke’s puns are usually awful, but Ellen just has an infectious exuberance about her that is fun to watch 🙂

Unfortunately, this year Gabe (Mike Krahulik) cannot attend PAX Aus.  While for selfish reasons this is disappointing, I am really glad that he can feel comfortable discussing such personal issues with the community as a whole.  Even better, it is wonderful seeing such acceptance and support from the community as well.  It’s this kind of atmosphere that makes PAX very special to me.

I was really hoping to see how the adventures of the Star Wars themed Acquisitions Inc. game continued, but the “C” Team will be just as much a blast to see in person 🙂

It’s important to note that the schedule is not yet complete.  There are still some to be confirmed panels, and there is no tournament information yet.  However looking at the filters, there is a VR tourney option – this could be fun 🙂 I need to put the Vive back on now…

The other little surprise I got today is my Enigma Box is finally on its way.  I have been waiting eagerly for this for a couple of months now.  Partly this was the anticipation of getting a great project and partly fueled by some updates saying things were ready to ship.

Late July and early August, there was information that the boxes were being sent in waves, with the furthest people getting it first as it takes longer to travel.  Living in Australia, I was ecstatic as we are normally near the end of the process!  So much escape room logic puzzle deductions were being planned it was great 😀

Then I found out basically the US was getting it first.  Last time I checked, Australia is further that Spain and the UK than the US is.  So much for the geography clues guys :p

Really though the last is just a playful jab – the box is coming, and around when we were told it would be when the shipping was clarified.  Very happy John waiting for games night Tuesday to see it in person for the first time!

I got my notification and all going well I will get my box Tuesday next week.  This may be the subject of one of those live Facebook videos I talked about yesterday – watch and see!

I hope everyone has a great Friday, and I will catch you later 🙂

Until then,


Things are quiet, but things are moving! Updates and Changes today

JohnHQLD Logo

So a little bit on what is happening and when

So as you have seen, there has still been a fair bit of daily content coming through thanks largely to Alpal.  I have been working away on both the site and work, which has me snowed at the moment with my upcoming much needed holiday.

It’s about a week later than I hoped for, but here is a hard timeline for items over the next few weeks!

Podcasts (and Vlogs?  Vodcasts?  All the things!)

As mentioned already, Blatherings isn’t gone – it’s just going back to my blathering on about things.

Alpal and I are coming back in a new podcast called Clear, Concise Ramblings, and recording is officially starting TODAY.  I expect a couple of episodes of fine tuning again, but we seem to have what we want to talk about down pat – namely, talking about the games we have played 😀

The Blatherings will continue as me talking about things that I just want to talk about, and not always board game related.  But I am also getting things pretty sorted with the video camera and stuff, so I am also going to do an occasional Video Blatherings as well, probably with Facebook live stream.  Why?  Because PAX is only a few weeks away, and I can get stuff up on the Facebook page immediately!

So expect a couple of trial streams next week as I test out the tech, because I do not Facebook well I know but I am excited about this!

JohnHQLD's Blatherings Podcast
Podcast Banner

The Video Series – How to play, How to teach, and just a game

So far I have gotten one how-to video mostly finished, and a gameplay session that frankly I am not happy still with how it came out.

A problem at my place is lighting and sound.  Normal steady background noise like my PC I can eliminate, but not cars driving by and the like.  That I pretty much live with as it’s circumstantial.  The lighting is harder to live with though.  It is looking good to my eye and on preview, then I move a card half a centimetre in any direction and on camera it’s either to dark or too shiny to see clearly.  You may notice this on some of the photos of components I take.

During the week prior to PAX Aus, there will be a couple of videos going up, but these are looking to be a monthly addition after all for the time being.

Rule books

And PAX Aus itself!

So I am not a media person or anything like that, but my annual PAX trip is really my holiday.  It is all of my annual holidays rolled up into one, and the only time I take dedicated time off work during the year.

This year I am taking a couple of weeks off work and driving down to Melbourne with my partner, so it is going to be great for me personally.  Site updates and internet access wise though?  Not so much.

So there will be more Facebook and Twitter updates as I see things, but the site will not be updated quite as regularly with new things.  This is the period I will have more reviews ready and things like that, but for other updates check out the Facebook page or follow me on Twitter – I am starting to try and use both more actively to get in the habit!

Pax Australia 2018
Road Trip
Two weeks of this 🙂

So that’s all in the works, and when what is coming and how.

Other than that, I hope you are having a great day, and I will catch you later.

Until then,