Thank the gods for Google Reader Recommendations. Otherwise I would have missed this informative post by Anna Anthropy on how the IGF is judged:
i judged the igf this year. it was a frustrating experience. i’m going to try and identify the biggest problems with the igf process and suggest some solutions. that’s if the igf is interesting in actually “rewarding innovation in indie games” (its claim) instead of simply being a press spectacle. the competition seems perfectly happy, at present, being a press spectacle.
[…] igf entries are rated in categories such as: excellence in audio. excellence in visual art. technical excellence. (remember when the categories were “innovation in” rather than “excellence in”? maybe they felt they were being dishonest.) why, as far outside of the big games industry and the enthusiast press as we supposedly are, are we still partitioning games like they do, as though a game’s graphics could be judged seperately from its worth as a whole? this is the independent games festival: are graphics and sound really the areas in which small creative authors and developers have the most to contribute?
[….] the igf needs more perspectives. NOT more judges - more perspectives. it needs more people who do not share the same mindset. why even have more than one judge if every judge will value the same done-already physics game (joe danger) or bland, polished commercial title (cogs) the highest? why even have a competition?
Interesting to read that after our two weeks of game business, as it lets you peer more into the processes at work there (and of course, as a game designer, thinking of ways to use them to your advantage).