My thoughts on the 2009 ENnie Award Nominations

ENnies logoThe 2009 ENnie Award Nominations are live and of course everyone checks out the lists, interested to find out if his favorite game/setting/website/podcast/etc. was nominated.

I was pretty happy to see a few familiar names on the “Best Website” list. I think congratulations are in order! Two members of our RPG Bloggers Network were nominated: Critical Hits and MadBrewLabs! May the best blog win!

But there are a few nominations that seem at least a bit odd. The “Best Free Product” list includes two Quick-Start rules for commercial RPGs. Ok, they fit they category, but instead of products that could be considered advertising they should have nominated some more truly free games. Currently I am leaning towards voting for “Sword & Wizardry“.

It gets really strange when we come to the “Best Podcast” category. I would have expected podcast like Atomic Array, The Tome Show, Fear the Boot or Master Plan etc., but instead we get a list of five podcasts nobody I know has ever heard of. I don’t want to bash the nominated podcasts, perhaps I am just listening to the “wrong” podcasts and all the really cool geeks know the ones nominated for the ENnies.

So, what are your thoughts on this year’s ENnies nominations?

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

12 thoughts on “My thoughts on the 2009 ENnie Award Nominations”

  1. I don't think the quickstart rules are necessarily just "product advertising." They allow folks to jump right into the game and play it. If folks want to buy the full game, great, but they still have the rules in front of them. Would you consider Pathfinder Beta simply "advertising" for a product? They won best free product last year.

    As for podcasts, if folks don't submit them, the judges can't nominate them. šŸ™‚
    .-= Tony Law´s last blog ..Presenting the nominees for the 2009 ENnie Awards =-.

  2. Well, needless to say I'm with you on the Free RPGs. I am in the middle of penning tomorrow's post, which includes the sum of my thoughts on the matter. Swords and Wizardry is a rightful winner nonetheless but I'd rather like to see it compared to its peers. As far as free rpgs go, Quick Starts may be beautiful but they are dreadfully shallow.

    As for podcasts, I am a fan of All Games Considered and can heartily recommend it. As for the others, I can't say.
    .-= Rob Lang´s last blog ..Go natural in Tales From The Wood Simon Washburn and Mark George =-.

  3. @bonemaster: Thanks for that link. It's very interesting!

    @Tony: I am not sure if I would have nominated Pathfinder Beta, but it's closer to a free RPG like S&W instead of these crippled Quick-Start games. But I've to agree with you on the podcast matter. They can only nominate podcasts that have been submitted in the first place.

    @Rob: I am looking forward to that post of yours! And I think I'll check out "All Games Considered" then.

  4. I can shed some light on the podcasts at least.

    Atomic Array, The Tome Show, Fear the Boot or Master Plan
    You won’t see FTB ever nominated for an ENnie. After the issue that happened the first year we had that category, FTB has removed itself from ever submitting or accepting any submission on their part.

    Attomic Array and The Tome did not submit, according to the list at Jeramy’s site. If they did, then it would be the same case as with Master Plan, that probably the episodes chosen were not as strong all-around vis-a-vis those of the other shows. It happens. Some shows are really great at one thing (MP is a perfect example) but maybe that hurts their overall appeal. I wasn’t a judge, so who knows what went on.

    The nominated shows have what it takes. All Games Considered is actually one of the first gaming podcasts, period, and through the years Mark and co. have kept a good show going when many others came and went.
    Brilliant Gameologists is controversial, but that trio puts out a fine show that is engaging and does not let you be “only” a listener.
    Order 66 is the only one I have never listened to, but it’s Star Wars and it has a loyal following.
    Northmoor brought a new concept to podcasting, the AP that doubles as easy-to-run adventure at home. And Tim learned from FTB for years, so he came in knowing and ready to rock, at it shows.
    Voice of the Revolution is a Paul Tevis show focusing on Indie Press Revolution, so if you like Have Games, Will Travel (and pretty much everyone does), you’ll know that Voice is that same concept just laser-focused into a once-a-month burst of Indie gaming awesome.

    If you are not listening to these shows, give them a try and find something new in gaming podcasting. There’s a lot of really good shows out there. Check for more as well.
    .-= Daniel M. Perez, The Gamer TravelerĀ“s last blog ..Kobe Gets Giant Mecha Guardian As Well =-.

  5. @Dyson: I don't hate quick-start rules, but I would love to have seen more games like "S&W" on that list, that's all.

    But it seems as with the podcasts a lot of free products haven't been submitted. When you check the list of submissions you'll notice that almost every free product on that list has been nominated. They just haven't had that much stuff to work with in the first place.

    @Daniel: Thanks for clearing up the situation with the podcasts. It seems that the ENnies problem is on a different level that I thought. Probably a lot of people lost faith in the whole process after the situation that lead to Zachary Houghton resigning as ENnies judge. Or where you referring to a different event here?

  6. Hi! this is Josh from Brilliant Gameologists.

    I am not surprised by the fact that you have not heard of our podcast. But I am surprised that you are surprised not to have heard the nominees. All Games Considered is one of the oldest podcasts, IPR is well known in podcasting circles and Brilliant Gameologists is heavily marketed. I am curious to find out what you feel the most prominent podcasts are.

    But thats not why I came here. I agree with the sentiment that Quick start rules are not fair comparisons to other free products. For that matter why are no blogs, websites or podcasts listed under free products? Are all those free products on the list better than say a website like "critical hits?"
    .-= Josh (Brilliant Gameologists)´s last blog ..ENnies Voting is Open! We need your support! =-.

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