Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Dyvil and the Origins Awards

So with all the sound and fury about the Big Game, I didn't mention that Steve Miller and I have submitted Dyvil: First Edition (remember that?) for consideration for the Origins Awards for best RPG. Said submission consisted of burning off seven copies on CDs and a bit of other hoop-jumping and sending them out. Deadline was the end of January, but the folks there have been good enough to extend it for those interested in submitting.

Of course, sending out Dyvil for an award is another case of my putting some motion where my mouth is. I have been a long-time supporter of industry awards, and, now that we had something worth considering, felt that we should submit it. In my experience in the past, there is a feeling among a lot companies of "Why bother? We'll never get nominated! They hate us!" So they don't submit product, and then, when they don't get a nomination, get to say "See? We told you! They hate us!" when all they've really done is shot themselves in the foot.

And during the last year's nominations, there was a vocal group who felt that the judges should not just review that which was given them, but actively go out to find additional worthy games (sparing the grousing companies of having to send out promotional copies or anything). On one hand, I don't think that looking for good games is out of order - indeed, I was recommending Dogs in the Vineyard, which got high marks from the people who reviewed it. The trouble was, there were not enough judges who could get ahold of a copy (and I only got a copy from another designer), and so it missed the cut. On the other hand, the judges were buried by the submissions they did get, and it was little encouragement (from a side of time OR money) to seek out new work. So if you send them copies, you're ahead of the game from the get-go.

And once you remove from consideration nomination-worthy games whose companies didn't think to recommend them, we're dealing with a smaller pool of competition. Add to the fact that there was some whining last yeat about how all the nominations were "repeats" of previous works - second editions, revisions, expansions, etc . So this year anything that is even REMOTELY derivative should banished from consideration. Dyvil is completely original, and has its own wonky mechanic (the D666 system), AND had a limited press run. Very limited. Very, very VERY limited. It just drips with oozey Indy Cred.

And, speaking as a judge from last year, Dyvil is better than some of the nominees we actually had to hack through. You know, (other) one-joke RPGs. Stuff that beamed down directly from 70s. AD&D 2nd edition clones. Kafkaesque pdfs. Bloated hardback lovenotes to Photoshop and Quark. There was one in particular (no, you don't get to know who) - to whom I wanted to send a note - "I'm sorry, but all the rules fell out my copy in transit - could you tell me how to play your game?" Cull these out and we practically have a lock on the nomination.

So, between companies shooting themselves in the foot, judges being under time constraints, and the inherent goodness that is Dyvil: First Edition, I think we are looking forward to real race this year. And if we (by some strange circumstance) actually GET a nomination, we'll make a new special offer on the game (perhaps Advanced Dyvil), and cover it here.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to that as well. So is Steve.

More later.