Well, possibly the highlight of this month has been the AGS Awards, organised by yours truly, with some essential help from CJ, who did the voting scripts. The results are available on the AGS Wiki, or you can also check out the Gnome's Lair or Adventuress coverage of the results.
So, as the organiser, I can give you a bit of "thrilling" in-depth background info on the Awards, like there having been 48 people who did write-in nominations and 98 people voting in the final voting round. Wow! That was exciting, eh?
I found this year's awards a bit disappointing, to be honest. Excellent voiceover work in went unrewarded in the Best Use of Sound category, for example, which makes me think that next year we should perhaps give voice its own category, even though it is still an uncommon feature in AGS games. I often play games with the sound off, but I know that Earl Bobby is looking for his balls also had voice work in 2007, so there would at least have been some competition. Perhaps an award for the best individual actor, as well as the voice pack as a whole, too?
One thing I think is important is the use of the Awards to encourage good practice in the AGS game creating community, which is why the seemingly unimportant Documentation category will remain as long as I run the awards. Although, the Blackwell series in-game tutorials has also been overlooked here. Oh well.
Another dilemma that is faced in drawing up the rules is which categories should some games be allowed to compete in: for example, should Demos be allowed to compete in other categories? Should non-adventures also be allowed? This year I let a non-adventure into the Best Programming category, even though it was a bit of a rehash (this was sneaked in to the Awards Ceremony download, heh heh) and it walked away with the category by a mile. But A Tale of Two Kingdoms had all sorts of excellent programming going on in a far more subtle way, that added a lot to the atmosphere of that game and it would have won if Art of Theft hadn't been eligible. Did I make the right choice?
Then there was also the committee-chosen awards and this was quite painful this year. I need to make it clear to people that they are choosing two awards, as many didn't realise that they were supposed to comment on the Best Innovation award, too. Also, many required a lot of prompting to get their choices out of them. Not to mention that it was then decided that the original Lifetime achievement winner wasn't eligible, and so we had to choose again. And two committee members were nominated, which somewhat reduced the people on the committee, as they had to bow out... ho hum. I think two awards by committee is more than enough even if anyone else suggests a different procedure.
Also, people have been complaining about the removal of the "Worst game" award. I think it made the awards look tacky and silly and diminished them, and it also greatly upset last year's winners, Himalaya Studios. However, if anyone wants to start up a separate set of more silly awards for the AGS community, they are welcome to.
And then there are also the old chestnuts that people bring up like suggesting that lots of people come and vote indiscriminately for one game across every category. I can assure everyone categorically that this has never happened en masse. Sure, one or two people do it, but if a game isn't good enough in a category to win by a large margin, I don't think it is too unfair for fanboys to tip the balance. Of course, if there ever was such a concerted effort, I'd look at the IP addresses and http referrers to track down the culprits and disqualify them.
So, anyway, next year I hope to have the time and plan far enough in advance to improve the voting pages. CJ has sent me the PHP source, so perhaps I won't have to spend so long fixing people's typos in the write-in nominations in 2009!