Vote Early and Often

07.31.08 | Comment?

Voting has opened up for the annual GenCon EN World awards. The “ENnies” (no, that’s not a typo) are an awards program for the tabletop game industry. Winning an ENnie is an honor within the game publishing industry. To make the ballot, the company must submit their best work for consideration. A panel of judges reviews all the entries within a catagory and narrows the field to the top five submissions. From there, the ballot is posted online and absolutely anyone with an IP address is allowed to vote.

The ballot for the ENies is now available, and I’d like to point out a few of my favorites. Before I do so, however, I should make a confession. I am not much of a consumer of gaming material. I buy very few game books. VERY few. However, I listen to gaming podcasts and I do browse game books on occasion, so I have at least been exposed to a few of the titles on the ballot.

Best Fan Product: Flames Rising.com
Matt at Flames Rising had his site redesigned in the last year, and it looks fantastic. Beyond that, the content is top notch. I don’t know how he gets access to interview the likes of David Drake, Tad Williams, and other great authors, but the point is that he does. Calling Flames Rising a fan site really doesn’t do it justice.

Best Interior Art: The Savage World of Solomon Kane
Okay, I don’t own this book, but I’ve seen Ed’s copy. The interior art is stellar. I’m also a die-hard Pinnacle fan (“I liked the company so much, I became a licensee!”), so this one goes without saying.

Best Production Values: Aces & Eights
This one was really tough, because it challenges my loyalty above. Aces & Eights is going up against Solomon Kane. These were both beautiful books. Ed picked this one up at Origins last year, and the whole book is a work of art. It was designed in the style of those old Time-Life books on the Old West, which gives it added character. Some of the interior art comes from Remington paintings. It’s a good thing that this one wasn’t entered in the interior art category, because my loyalty really would have been tested. I’m a cheap so-and-so, but this book is almost worth owning just for the sake of looking at it.

Best Writing: Trail of Cthulhu
I’m going to cheat here. I’ve never seen this book, not to mention actually read it. However, from what I’ve heard, this is exactly the kind of book I would love. It’s a Lovecraftian horror campaign, but the system is designed around making investigation exciting. I guess it wouldn’t be very ethical of me to actually vote in this category, but I can at least bring the book to your attention.

Best Rules: Trail of Cthulhu
Again, I won’t actually vote in this category, but the only book I’ve actually seen in this category was Aces & Eights. It’s a beautiful book but it has a LOT of rules crunch. Too much for my taste. I’d probably appreciate Trail of Cthulhu more. That’s just personal taste talking, but isn’t that what voting is all about?

Best Product: Savage World of Solomon Kane
I can see a distinction between Best Game and Best Product categories, but I find it interesting that Solomon Kane was nominated for Best Product but didn’t make the short list for Best Game. [shrug] Go figure.

Fan Choice Best Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Was there ever any doubt? Forget Joss Whedon; Shane Hensley is my Master now!


P.S. And now a quick writing update. I went on my “writing night” last night and was out for a whole 40 minutes before I got a call from my wife to come home. There was a natural gas leak in a pipe outside our house and the gas company was shutting off our gas. I won’t go into all the gory details, but the short version is that I had to come home and deal with the gas company. By the time he left at 9 p.m., gas had been restored to the house. However, the saga isn’t over yet. There will be follow-up visits either Friday or next week.

In the meantime, I’ll keep writing when I can.

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