Thursday, July 1, 2010

RPG PDFs & Their Publishers Need An Award Of Their Own

Continuing on the topic of awards today, one of the things I’d like to see RPGNow/DriveThruRPG do is some sort of annual award/recognition for truly outstanding products on its site. This is something that is poorly addressed now, the ENnies having only a singular, generic category dedicated to pdf game products.

In a lot of ways, pdf products need to be gauged on different strengths than a deadtree copy. There are many beautiful, full-color RPGs that have been made into marginal pdfs—hulking files, no in-document linking, and generally poor for everyday use. On the other hand, there are companies that really seem to have realized what makes a superior pdf. It would be nice for this increasingly growing medium of our hobby be given some additional recognition. Not only that, but there's definitely a part of the gaming community much more attuned and accepting of pdf products than the rest (such as our little RPG blogosphere).

As far as categories, along with the obvious “Best RPG”, “Best Sci-Fi Product”, “Best Art” categories could be awards for overall layout, best product utility, and so on. Computer software for character generation and mapping sold through the site could likewise have a category.

I think the vendors would really like being able to place a little “Best Fantasy Supplement 2010” or “Best Layout” banner on a product’s web page, as well. And if vendors are competing to be a nominee for something that’s going to be high-profile on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow, well, maybe they’ll take the extra time to get the bookmarks right or make the presentation a smidge better.

Call it the RPG'EM Award. The Role Playing Game Electronic Media Award. Or something. And who wouldn't want to win an RPG'EM?

It would likely take some work from some staff reviewers and a dedicated organizer. But I’d love to see it happen. Anyone else?


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Anonymous said...

Please no more awards. We've got enough of them. It's only going to prove to be yet another popularity contest.

Zachary The First said...

@Anon: I guess it depends how well you see the current awards functioning.

David said...

I don't find awards too valuable to begin with. And then we already have to many of them.

Thank you for the post, but no, I disagree.

Swordgleam said...

As a pdf publisher, I try to keep up with what people like in a pdf. Here's the answer:

Nothing. No two people like the same thing. Some people like columns, some people like landscape. Some people are fanatical about bookmarks and others don't seem to notice them.

So while I'd like the chance to compete with a narrower field for more shinies, I really don't know how you'd judge such a thing.

Tenkar said...

Judging is always subject to the judges' preferences. I personally like the idea, as many independent games get overlooked by the ENies if they arent in print. I just dont know how easy it would be to implement fairly.

Zachary The First said...

@Tenkar: That's always the trick. Just as Swordgleam notes no two people like the same thing in an RPG, no two people like the same awards determination method.