Rooster Teeth has been a staple on the internet for quite some time. Like Strongbad Emails or the Awesome series on Newgrounds, Red vs Blue is probably a part of your internet puberty. Since then, Rooster Teeth has grown to produce a number of web series, its own anime, and its own convention.
Rooster Teeth Expo is your source for all things Rooster Teeth, internet content, and gaming in Austin. There’s no other convention in the central Texas area that caters to those interests, so how well did RTX 2014 fill the need?
The con is only three years old, but in that time, it’s grown in vendors, attendance, and featured guests. Last year’s expo hall had a number of indie titles, but nothing mainstream or particularly noteworthy to try for the first time. This year, however, 343 Studios came by to show off the Master Chief Collection to the public for the first time and allowed con-goers to play Halo 2 multiplayer on the Xbox One, a strange experience in and of itself. The entire experience takes you back to Friday nights on Xbox Live in 2005. Y’know, if you could also be watching TV while you play and you didn’t have to worry about people trying to make you say “Xbox go home.”
The indie games on the floor were also really interesting this year and definitely an upgrade from previous shows. Capsule Force is a platformer versus game with an 80s-anime inspired art style that looks simple until you play it and you’re suddenly shouting because THAT’S MY PLATFORM WHERE DID YOU EVEN COME FROM. NO. GOD, GET OFF THERE. It’s awesome. Devolver Digital also showed off a few demos, mostly stuff we saw at PAX East, but this time Broforce got a versus mode and it was as awesome as you’d expect.
The games weren’t just limited to video games though as there was an entire booth dedicated to Superfight, the game that takes visual cues from Cards Against Humanity, and its core mechanics from conversation between your friends in which every sentence started with “No dude, dude. Who would win in a fight between…” It’s highly addictive and will make you laugh that ugly laugh you try not to do on dates.
So the gaming portion was pretty good. Still not many high profile games, but that’s not really the focus for RTX anyway. If you want to see more new releases, make the trek out to PAX or even Quake Con, but if you’re cool with some indie titles plus Halo, your need will be satiated here.
On to the internet stuff! If you’re interested in becoming a content creator, this convention has a surprising amount of panels to help you get started producing videos or podcasts for the net. And if you already have a web show and just want to know how to take it to the next level, there are panels for that too. Unsurprisingly, this convention hosts a number of people that have made the internet their income source through creativity, and they’re willing to share how they’ve done it with you. Plumbing their knowledge through panels is a great way to remotivate yourself to get back to the e-grindstone.
This year also saw the invitation of one of the biggest groups on YouTube – the Game Grumps. All five main Grump members—Danny, Arin, Suzy, Barry, and Ross—were present for a huge Q&A panel. The questions ranged from such sweet platitudes as, “Can I give you these roses and a hug?” to the definitely creepy, “Where are you going for dinner tonight?” A few questions were also asked about content creation, how they keep it up, and whether they prefer to work in a group, but those questions were definitely overwhelmed by gift giving and wolfjob (don’t Google that if you don’t know what it is).
As a content creator, I really enjoyed RTX as a learning platform to ask questions to or get suggestions from a large variety of successful internet businesspeople. And as a content consumer, however, I wish they had grabbed a few more of my favorite YouTubers to make it feel a little more well-rounded. I love Game Grumps, but maybe also Rocket Jump would have been cool.
I mean. It’s Rooster Teeth Expo. There’s Griffballs on sale, panels for RWBY, autograph sessions, episode premiers, retrospectives, trailers, Achievement Hunter. If there’s something on Rooster Teeth, it was at this con. Duh, it’s excellent if you’re a Rooster Teeth fan, just get down here.
Bonus Stuff (Food, Booze, etc.)
The Austin Convention Center is near a number of hotels and has a wide variety of food in the area at a large number of price points. Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, French, Greasy Street Pizza, you name it, the area has it. It’s also a few blocks away from the infamous Sixth Street, a strip of about four blocks of solid bars. There’s nothing better than a group of Halo buffs drunkyelling on a bar’s roof about the benefits of the Needler in combat.
The convention also hosts a few parties in the area where you can hobnob with some of your favorite content creators. All in all, the convention center, hotels, food, and extra-con entertainment are pretty top-notch.
RTX isn’t the best in the nation in any of the categories it caters to. You can find better gaming and internet conventions elsewhere, but not in Texas and certainly not for this price. The con also doesn’t really advertise it, but it’s a great resource for beginning YouTubers to get guidance from seasoned vets. So if you’re a fan of Rooster Teeth, wanting to kickstart your internet media presence or just really want to see some cool games in the Austin area, pop down to RTX for the weekend. You won’t be sorry.