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Become a Hero!

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Become a hero!
Become a Hero!

Download the ballot flyer and share it with your friends! (PDF)

August 8th, 2007

Judge voting for the ENnies is on!

This is the most important step in terms of shaping next year’s Ennie Awards. Folks whose profiles (last I checked) strongly interested me are:

- Jeramy Ware (his ennies judge blog at is stellar)
- Chris Gath
- Zachary Houghton

… but there may be more (I intend to look over their profiles again and look for signs of small press or indie friendliness in their gaming experiences). I also think the women deserve a boost in the voting; I’d like to see the panel as diverse as possible on that front, so rounding that out with Elizabeth and Gertie may be the way to go.  Five judges, total, get in — so certainly rank as fits your conscience, even offering up #6 and so forth choices if you see a lot of folks you like — but please consider keeping the above names in your top five!

Does anyone have some favorite judges they’ve got an eye on? Let’s share our discoveries. There’s a lot to read in the profiles, and I believe it’s only this week that votes can be cast.

Holy Moley!

July 26th, 2007

The Ennies votes are approaching 10,000 in number of votes made.  Has the Summer Revolution’s voice been heard?  August will tell the tale.  But we’re not there yet!  You’ve still got a few days to make sure you and all your friends have voted.  Go vote!

July 23rd, 2007

So, thanks to everyone who’s voted for Spirit of the Century so far as a part of the Ennies, whether or not it was part of the Summer Revolution.

Now that I’m back from DexCon, there’s just one week left in the Ennies voting … and they’re up to 6000 votes. My brain’s fried by the con, but I’m trying to think about some questions. I’d love your thoughts!

Mainly I’m wondering:

- How many of our fans are numbered among those 6000?
- What could we do to reach more voters and get some backing for SOTC (and, ideally, our “indie allies” on the Summer Revolution list)?
- How underdoggy are we? Did we come off too “pro” somehow in our campaigning to get that underdog push? (I haven’t seen as extensive of a spread of the Summer Revolution idea as I had hoped…)


This is an exciting year for “indies at the ennies”, but it’s going to stop cold at being just about the nominations rather than the awards unless our “fan push” gets some serious support in there.

Moreover, this is the point at which I want to say, anyone can vote on the Ennies. It’s an open process. So even if you’re only a fan of, say, Spirit of the Century, or Burning Empires, or Dictionary of Mu, and don’t have any feelings about anything else, getting in there and voting on just those one or two categories where you do have an opinion is going to be far better than voting on none at all. If that’s what’s been holding you back, now’s the time to hit the voting site and vote on whatever you’re willing to vote on. :)

Check To Make Sure You Actually Voted!

July 16th, 2007

We just got word of this over on Story-Games (thanks, Buzz!):

This is on the ENWorld site right now:
Notice: Due to an error in the ballot form for the ENnies it was necessary to add a missing entry and reset the ballot forms. If you voted before 1:10 PM EDT you will need to vote again. Our apologies for the inconvenience.

I know this means that I need to vote again. Make sure that you vote again too, if you were one of our “early adopters”!

Getting to Know the Revolution

July 16th, 2007

Master reviewer Christopher Richeson has posted up a nice collection of review links to the games on the indie ennie ballot, over on his LiveJournal. If you want to make sure you know something about these games before voting, definitely check out what Chris has to say!

The Revolution Wins When Fans Speak Up!

July 16th, 2007

The Mission

Small-press, creator-owned, independent games win when their fans speak up and let their voices be heard, and the Ennie Awards this year have an unprecedented number of indie titles up for nominations in a variety of categories. That means that now is the time to speak!

Word of mouth only works when people are talking. So here’s what the Summer Revolution is asking of you. Become a Summer Hero by posting about the indie games that are up for nomination and why they need folks to get the vote out. If you see any games at all on our Summer Ballot that you know and love, we need your help! Post about the Summer Revolution on your site. Send folks to the Ennie Awards site to place their votes on behalf of these great small press games.

Together, we can speak with one voice and be heard. The Ennies have done a great job this year reaching out to us as a community, giving us a chance to stand and be heard. Let’s work together to reach back and put these creator owned games on the map!

Voting Starts on July 16th and lasts only two weeks. Anyone can vote!

The Message

Link to the Summer Revolution in your email signature! Also, copy the following HTML code (click inside the box, choose Edit->”Select All”, and control-C to copy it) and use it on your own blog:

It looks like this:

I am a summer hero! And you can be too!

Summer Hero!

The 2007 Ennies votes are happening, and the small press games that are up for awards need your help. If you’re a fan of Spirit of the Century, Burning Empires, Lacuna, Dictionary of Mu, Dawning Star: Helios Rising, Faery’s Tale, or Hollow Earth Expedition, this is a chance for you to stand up like me and make a difference. The voting is happening starting July 16th over at the Ennie Awards site and lasts only two weeks. There’s no better time to cast your vote than today!

You find a sample ballot here: Grab a Sample Ballot

And you can place your votes here during the voting period starting on July 16th: The Ennie Awards Voting Site

Together we can be heard. Become a Summer Hero. Cast your vote, and let other people know how to become heroes themselves!

Find out how to put this message in your own blog!

Your support is greatly appreciated. On behalf of all the small press nominated games, we thank you for your support. We couldn’t have gotten here without you. Together, you can help us run the last mile.

Fred Votes for the Revolution!

July 16th, 2007

Greetings, heroes!

I’ve been looking into how the Ennies voting is done, and here’s the quick skinny: they do it in an “instant run-off” style, where you rank the ones you’d like to see win, and in what order, so if your first choice isn’t tied for the win, it’ll go to your second, your third, etc…

So with that in mind, I’m going to share my ballot with you here, complete with voting rankings for each of the awards. Regardless of how you decide to vote personally, you’d be doing the indie scene a great service by giving each of the nominees I’m listing here some “backing” as you rank your votes in each category.

Last year at least the Ennies gave out both a silver and a gold ennie in an umber of categories. This means that second place choices matter! And when it comes to indie games, they succeed or fail on the strength of their word of mouth. Help give indie games a voice by including them in your vote.

But enough of that rah-rah campaigning — here’s my ballot.

Award Ballot Ranking
Best Cover Art 1: Lacuna Part 1
2: Dawning Star
3: Faery’s Tale
This is the only one that Lacuna is up for, and the game is certainly a work of art, so we’re recommending that it be ranked first. The other two have garnered multiple noms elsewhere, so while we don’t rank them first, we believe they still deserve your support.
Best Interior Art 1: Burning Empires
This is a gorgeous book, and really set the bar for what an “indie” game could be in 2006. Plus, it’s the only indie title in this category.
Best Production Values 1: Burning Empires
Burning Empires’ other category is just as deserved. The book is an artifact built to take full plasma blasts and point blank range, and can kill a man at 300 feet. A triumph of design and production. Also another case of “only indie game in category”.
Best Writing 1: Dictionary of Mu
2: Hollow Earth Expedition
HEX is undeniably a monster in terms of garnering noms, and they’ve been great friends to Spirit of the Century, cross-promoting that game as well as their own. They may not have a strong “indie” tag on them, but they’re a great bunch of folks with a groovy small press vibe, so I say give them rank two on this list. That said, Son of Kryos and indie gaming dude Judd Karlman wrote a deeply badass book that will crawl inside your skull and own you from the moment you turn the first page — Dictionary of Mu is like Conan meets John Carter of Mars in a blender turned up to eleven, with demon sauce swirled in. Above all Judd really nails the voice of his narrator like nobody’s business — Mu is an ancient document scrawled by a madman dying out in the red wastes of Mars, and you can taste the dust and betrayal on the wind as you read it.
Best Rules 1: Spirit of the Century
2: Faery’s Tale
I’d love to play the Classy Fred card here and list some other product instead of Evil Hat’s, but when it comes down to it, I just really, really want this one. This is the only “big award” nomination Spirit of the Century is going to see, and I’d be honored to get your support in a bid for the win. Not to mention “Best Rules” is a pretty tantalizing fruit for us as designers. But all that said, let’s see Faery’s Tale, the other indie game to get a nod in this category, get some love too! The competition is especially stiff in this category, so voting is vital.
Best Setting 1: Dawning Star: Helios Rising
Don’t let the d20 label fool you. The guys at Blue Devil Games are indie through and through, and put out some very exciting stuff. Dawning Star is a monster of a sci fi book, lavishly detailed at over 500 pages. Let’s throw our weight behind this one — Blue Devil’s up against some pretty serious competition here!
Best d20/OGL 1: Dawning Star: Helios Rising
See the above. Indie types don’t make much of an inroad to the d20 side of things, but Blue Devil’s at the vanguard of those efforts. Seeing as ENWorld started out as a d20 fan site, it would be particularly symbolic of the new face of gaming if Dawning Star garnered a win in this category.
Best Game 1: Hollow Earth Expedition
2: Faery’s Tale
You could reverse the order of these ranks with no skin off my nose. Both are excellent products. Faery’s Tale brings a bright, friendly setting and easy rules together with a strong mission focused on getting kids into gaming. Hollow Earth Expedition has been a huge friend to Spirit of the Century, and lots of folks are fans of suggesting that the two are two tastes that taste great together — I agree. Personally, I give HEX the edge because their setting and production values on the book are flat out incredible — not to mention their vibe of feeding nazis to dinosaurs deserves a place right up alongside gorillas flying biplanes.
Product of the Year 1: Dictionary of Mu
2: Hollow Earth Expedition
3: Dawning Star: Helios Rising
Bluntly, I just really, really want Dictionary of Mu to win this one. Mu is probably my favorite product of the last year and my favorite setting of the last three, easily (I arrived at those numbers nonscientifically!). I’ve already gushed about Mu above, though. Hollow Earth gets my number two slot because it, like Dictionary of Mu, is a huge brain-eater once you’re exposed to it — that, and pulp being close to my heart. Dawning Star also deserves to be on this list — if folks skip right past the first two and grab for the d20 products, DS should definitely get your support for that race. But since DS has a total of four nominations overall, I figure it can afford to stand in line a little on this one. But as with any of the multi-item ones I’ve listed here and above, you can (and should) change the order of these items to fit what best suits your perspective on the games.
Best Podcast Have Games, Will Travel
Sons of Kryos

Godzilla Gaming
I’m in love with both of these podcasts especially for their heavy endorsement and promotion of awareness of small press games. For the time being, since Son of Kryos Judd Karlman is up for several other Ennies in the form of Dictionary of Mu, I’m ranking Sons of Kryos second here, with Have Games Will Travel first, but really, this is a category full of deserving folks, so if you did that in the reverse order you’d be speaking with my heart too. And ultimately all the podcasts in this category are fantastic (Fear the Boot and Yog Radio being the others) — these ones just happen to most closely reflect my listening habits.
Best Publisher Burning Wheel
Evil Hat Productions
Atomic Sock Monkey Press
Contested Ground Studios
I present these here without ranks. All listed (and more!) definitely deserve your vote. Obviously, I’d be biased towards Evil Hat Productions, but if any one of these guys walked away with it I sure wouldn’t weep. If none of these ring your bell, consider alternates Exile Game Studio and Ronin Arts.