Hello, good people of Earth and Mars!!

I would like to bring before you the subject of the Icehouse Community Excellence Awards!  2010 has come and gone, which means a whole crop of excellent games are available to be played!!  While everyone's creativity is to be commended and noted with due austerity, we -- and I am using the royal "we," here -- would like to recognize those creators who have really gone above and beyond, and managed to invent something really interesting!

We would like to collect and coordinate this year's proceedings here:

There is a much smaller number of games this year -- which makes me wonder if we are missing some games.  If you know of any Icehouse games which are not represented, please pass the word and see that it gets added!!  I believe there was no IGDC this year, if memory serves, which means less encouragement to create, so that may just be the way it is.

At the moment, think not of winners and losers.  I would like to encourage some thoughts to be generated on how to go about it.  Last year seemed to work well:  Everyone simply state if you want to play a game, divvy up the list, and weed out the chaffe.  If you think a game has any merit at all, then it gets pushed on to the next round.  Then more people play more games.  We'll narrow that down to about 3 games, and put it to a general vote at Origins, in the summer.

Here is the page of last year's data:

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Thanks for starting this.  I was thinking about the ICE Awards just the other day.  Do we think a thread will be sufficient, or do we maybe want to try to get a forum or a group set up?


As for numbers, I think maybe there was a pent up supply last year and this may be a more "normal" number.  I had proposed setting up some sort of exhibition to encourage development, but that went nowhere.


I think no more than 6-8 semi-finalists would be as much as a we could manage, then the self-appointed cabal could narrow it down to 3 finalists.  Most people at Origins could manage 3 games along with the rest of their schedule, so I would say "no more than 3."  And unless the alternatives are really bad, I would also say "no less than 3."  Absent something extraordinary, that works out to (wait for it) "exactly 3."


Not sure, actually, if we'll need more than a single thread.  It can be a long thread, that's okay by me.  A whole agora of threads would probably be suited to one thread per game, but most games probably dont need that much conversation.

Perhaps it would be sensible to have one thread to discuss procedures, and one thread to discuss the actual games themselves?  But maybe even that would get too splintered.

In general, I'm okay with keeping it all together.

The threading mechanism here can sometimes be hard to follow, so I was thinking that maybe it would be good to be able to break off individual discussions into their own threads.


So: Did he reply?  Notification.  Vs. Did he reply?  Dig through the big thread until you can find the subthread that deals with what you care about.


Really?  I thought the threading was pretty good.  But I suppose I haven't really used Ning very much; there's probably a lot of situations I'm not thinking of at the moment.

Well, I suppose we should start with using 1 thread, which seems to be enough now, and expand as needed.  No need to build Rome just this minute, but it's good to think of these things.

In the 6-Cap Volcano thread, after a while I started having trouble following along as people were responding to responses and also responding to the main thread.  It was difficult for me to tell what was new without going through and looking at the timestamps on everything (and trying to remember how long it had been since I'd read it last).



lol - thank you Jeff, this made me giggle.  Exactly 3 sounds like the perfect answer!

I would like to open up a question:  Last year we simply said "Amateur Games Only."  This easily excluded all Looney Labs games, and made sense at the time.  But this year, Jan Divecky has 2 games, Flags and Pyramideto, which are being sold commercially.  Are they also excluded?  I dont imagine Jan makes very much money off of the cards (which could theoretically be used in other games as well, in the same way that a Decktet could be used in other games, although less likely.)

What is it to be?  "amatuer" meaning non-Profit, or "amateur" meaning non-Looney?  I fFeel it is unfair to include Looney Games in the competition, but beyond that?

What follows is a random collection of my thoughts which doesn't necessarily form a coherent whole.  At the bottom, I summarize.

I'm uncomfortable using Looney Labs resources to promote a non-Looney Labs product.  We are using their forums to organize and to do the preliminary work and their Big Experiment presence at Origins to conduct the finals.

The awards last year were presented as focused on fan-designed games.  A professional design, even one that's just a fan trying to make a few bucks (or a few koruna) on the side, detracts from that.

I would like people to be able to go home from Origins and download everything they need to play the nominated games they just learned.  If the only way one can play a game is by buying something other than the pyramids themselves, then I think the game should be disqualified.

If a game is available in a "free" version and a "pay" version, I would still be okay with that, even if the "free" version is just a list of the extra pieces and what they do, which you have to assemble or construct on your own.  But I would defer to Looney Labs' opinion on this, since we're using their resources and our goal is to promote their games.

I haven't looked very hard at Jan's designs, so I don't know if his games would be eligible or not under the guidelines I've suggested so far.  If his games are not currently eligible, then he should be given the opportunity to make them eligible for consideration, as should anyone in a similar situation.

What I've said so far doesn't really address games designed by Looney Labs.  I think they should be excluded by fiat.  We already think people should buy all the Looney Labs products (at least officially), so putting them in the award process is redundant and counterproductive.  We're looking for what people can play outside of the Looney Labs catalog.

In summary, here is my proposed eligibility guidelines:
- The games we consider must be freely available.  The existence of a "pay" version does not preclude consideration of a free version if they are the same game.
- Our goal is to promote games beyond the Looney Labs catalog, so Looney Labs games are ineligible for consideration.

My proposal is contingent on Looney Labs being okay with it as far as the free vs. pay issue goes.  Kristin?

May be I am too fresh in this community but as I see there are so many pyramid games no one can know all of them well and no one can play all of them. For me it is great i can follow some hints (Awards)  what to try and what game is really good. If experienced gamers say: Theese three games are the best we had in 2010 it will push me to try such games. 


I do not see any reason why to delete new Looneys pyramid games from the list. (Oh, well, except keeping my fingers crossed for Pyramideto and Flags :) )


As you said the goal is to promote Looney Labs catalog. I see the pyramids there :). In my opinion - more people playing pyramid games, more pyramids sold. It should be good for Looney Labs, don´t you think so?

I see the rules fFor fFlags posted here:  Flags Rules

I am basically okay with these as being rules which are "fFreely available to download."  All that is missing is the goal cards.  I would prefer to see a collection of images made, possibly with Denis Moskowitz's Pyramid Images, to use as Goal Cards.  (maybe that should be my contribution towards playtesting that I am quite delinquent on reporting!  As an official playtester, I should make that my bound duty.)

But, in summary, I am of the opinion that the requirement of "fFreely available to download" has been fFulfilled here.  Jan has provided every aspect of the game, probably more than was available fFor other games last year.


Is it the best game of the year?  I cannot say =)  I like a lot of games fFrom the past year, actually.  But I think it's eligible, yes.

Proposed eligibility guidelines:
- The games we consider must be freely available.  The existence of a "pay" version does not preclude consideration of a free version if they are the same game.
- Our goal is to promote games beyond the Looney Labs catalog, so Looney Labs games are ineligible for consideration.

This sound like a perfect plan to us.   These are the ICE awards - C is for Community - so Looney Labs games should not be eligible.

Thanks again for organizing this - we will provide a table again in The Big Experiment to promote the playing/voting, and can promote it online in advance of the show!

Iceminers looks like, from the history page, to have been created in 2010.  Also, it looks to be in its final form (though I haven't played it yet). Perhaps that belongs on the list.




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