[ENnies] Awards and Fans and Publishers! Oh, my!

Here you can discuss and ask questions about upcoming Green Ronin products and anything else that doesn't fit into one of the categories.

[ENnies] Awards and Fans and Publishers! Oh, my!

Postby reveal » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:32 am

As the ENnie Awards enters its 10th year, we've been evaluating priorities and taking care to look at feedback from past years. So today we're asking your opinion on a few issues. Your responses will be taken into consideration as we move forward. Please note that we cannot afford the time or money to create too many extra categories. Also in your response, please note if you are a publisher, fan, if you've submitted to the ENnies/plan on doing so, etc.:

I. As the category structure is set out currently, anyone submitting product for the ENnies is relegated into two broad classifications - "Publisher" or "Fan". A Publisher is someone who produces role playing games or related products for sale. A Fan is someone who produces role playing games or related products for free. These classifications have been made in order to recognize those people who produce product in their free time and who generally have fewer resources to devote to their product. Also, since the Awards and many publishers started as fan web sites or productions, the ENnies wish to maintain their commitment to acknowledging the efforts of those in the trenches getting started.

We have two options to consider:

A. Keep 'em separated: Offer a Fan Product category (or more if quality and quantity of submissions so warrant). Categories would most likely be Best Web Site, Best Serial (webzine, podcast, blog), Best Product.

B. Let 'em compete together: Eliminate the Fan categories altogether. Many Fan productions believe they have sufficient quality to stand on their own feet without needing any special category to give them a leg up.

It has to be either/or so the rules can be applied to everybody. It would not be acceptable to have only some Fan products "opt in".

II. The definition of the category allows for any submitted free product or webhancement from a publisher, whether it's a full product, quickstart rules, etc. This category was created to replace the Best Web Site category, since for publishers, a web site is essentially a marketing and public relations tool, just like handing out free product. It is a "thank you" and an acknowledgement of the investment required to create a product that is not in itself going to make money.

Last year there was some discussion as to what should be permitted as a free product in the Free Product/Webhancement category. Should we change the definition of this category? And if so, how?

III. Please feel free to expand upon other topics below, fill out our online survey, or email the Business Manager personally at denise@ennieawards.com with your questions or concerns.

Tony Law
ENnies Assistant Business Manager
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Postby Shadowchaser » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:44 am

Personally I feel that 'Fan' products and 'Published' products should be kept in different categories. It isn't meant to insult the fans whose hard work often results in very professional-looking pieces, but it creates a more even basis for competition.

For example, if I, as a prospective publisher, decide to promote myself by hiring professional artists and writers and just give away the content so I can post it in the 'Free' category before announcing myself as a publisher, that's unfair to the fans who donate their time and efforts for free. I really feel that the Professional category and Fan category are two distinct groups of creators.

I hope to have some product for the Professional publisher category next year (blatant plug), but I would rather compete against other pros instead of competing against fans and pros. It just feels as if the fans get a better shot at standing out and being recognized for their excellence among their peers if they have their own category.

Sometimes, I have seen contests where people were shifted from the fan category to the pro category by the judges, because they felt the work was 'too good' for the fan category. I dislike this approach, as much of an ego boost as it is for the person/people who are 'boosted' this way. I think it's much more appropriate for a fan group who is excellent be seen for what they are, and to challenge their peers to rise to that level of excellence in order to compete.
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