Recently this year’s nominations to the ENnie Awards have been announced. I have to admit that even though I don’t usually agree with the ENnies judges’ decision I can’t argue that the annual ENnie Awards are an important part of our hobby. It’s also very nice to see that the nominations are not that D&D/Pathfinder-centric as they used to be.
I am especially happy that Reality Blurs‘ Agents of Oblivion was nominated for best supplement. After all it’s one of the few RPG books out there, where I am mentioned in the credits. Even though it was just for advice!
Overall I am very happy with this year’s nominations because a lot of products from smaller publishers made the list. I was also quite surprised to see some “unfamiliar faces” in the Best Blog and Best Podcast section. So there might be some hope after all.
But that said, I am not that happy about the Best Free Product category. Instead of free stuff for commercial games I would love to see more truly free games like the kind reviewed on The Free RPG Blog. I know of a lot of talented game designers that create professionally looking games and share them for free, but for some reason they almost never make it into the ENnie award nominations.
One reason may of course be that the authors don’t bother to submit their free games. A submission fee of a couple bucks per product may not be that much, but especially for people who don’t make money by selling games it may be another hurdle. Of course I am speculating here, but another reason might be that the ENnies judges seem to favor free stuff by well-known publishers over free stuff by amateur game designers.
Perhaps the ENnies are not the right award for free games anyway. In 2010 I talked to a couple of people at Gen Con that shared my opinion that we need a new RPG award for blogs, podcasts and probably free games as well. The problem with that idea is that it takes a lot of work to pull something like that off.
Regardless of my feelings about the Best Free Product category, I am quite happy with this year’s ENnies nominations. A lot of my favorite products made the list and I especially happy that it doesn’t look as dominated by Paizo and WotC like in some of the years before.
So what are your thoughts on this year’s nominations?