Category Archives: Announcements

XYZZY Awards 2020, and an announcement for 2021

It’s the New Year, so we’re ramping up to Awards season.

If there’s a 2020 game you would like to see eligible for the Awards, make sure it’s listed on IFDB by January 15.

Looking forwards to 2021, we’re planning on a fairly radical experiment in how nomination for the XYZZYs work. An ongoing issue with the Awards is that the list of games listed on IFDB for any one year is pretty large. This is a bottleneck in getting the XYZZYs running, since we have to check them all for basic eligibility requirements (such as ‘this is a real game that exists’), and it makes first-round voting more difficult.

Roughly speaking: the goal is that for 2021 games, anyone will be able to nominate any game for consideration, with submissions open throughout the year. You’ll be able to self-nominate in round 0, but will also be able to nominate other works. (The details aren’t fully ironed out on this yet; I’d like to avoid the case, for instance, where someone writes a script to automatically nominate every single game in IFDB, or some other extensive listing; but it’s also not ideal if people feel like they have to save their nominations). We’ll probably want to periodically update a list of existing nominees. )

(The last time we considered this change, we had fairly mixed reports about the ‘zeroth round’. We welcome your feedback. Either way, the plan is to have the system set up to go by the end of the 2020 Awards.)

XYZZY Awards 2019: final results

The XYZZY Awards are over for the year, and the winners have been decided.

Congratulations to all of our winners – and thank you to everyone who took part.

Best GameCrème de la Crème, by Hannah Powell-Smith; and Zozzled, by Steph Cherrywell (tie)
Best WritingCrème de la Crème, by Hannah Powell-Smith
Best StoryCrème de la Crème, by Hannah Powell-Smith, and Turandot, by Victor Gijsbers (tie)
Best SettingHeretic’s Hope, by G.C. Baccaris
Best PuzzlesZozzled, by Steph Cherrywell
Best NPCsZozzled, by Steph Cherrywell
Best Individual Puzzle – Inspiring the artist in Zozzled, by Steph Cherrywell
Best Individual NPC – Turandot from Turandot, by Victor Gijsbers
Best Individual PC – Hazel Greene from Zozzled, by Steph Cherrywell
Best ImplementationRyan Veeder’s Authentic Fly Fishing, by Ryan Veeder
Best Use of InnovationAI Dungeon, by Nick Walton
Best Technological DevelopmentAI Dungeon, by Nick Walton
Best Use of MultimediaDull Grey, by Provodnik Games, and Heretic’s Hope, by G.C. Baccaris (tie)

XYZZY Awards 2019, first round

The XYZZY Awards, celebrating the interactive fiction of 2019, are open for first-round voting. (Unprecedentedly belated, I know. How’s everyone else doing?)

The XYZZYs use your IF Comp login; if you need to register an account with the Comp, or you’ve forgotten your account details, go here. You can log in here (you’ll get kicked back to the front page, but you are in fact logged in) and then vote here

Anyone can nominate up to two eligible games in each category. (You are asked not to vote for your own work, or to organise voters to support a particular game or slate thereof.)

First-round voting will remain open through the 13th of September (on US-Pacific time, if you feel like cutting it close).

2018 XYZZY Awards, final results

The 2018 XYZZY Awards are complete for this year! Congratulations to our winners:

Best Game: Bogeyman (Elizabeth Smyth)

Best Writing: Animalia (Ian Michael Waddell) and Bogeyman (Elizabeth Smyth) (tie)

Best Story: Bogeyman (Elizabeth Smyth)

Best Setting: Cannery Vale (Hanon Ondricek)

Best Puzzles: Junior Arithmancer (Mike Spivey)

Best NPCs: Animalia (Ian Michael Waddell)

Best Individual Puzzle: solving your murder in Erstwhile (Maddie Fialla, Marijke Perry)

Best Individual NPC: the Bogeyman in Bogeyman (Elizabeth Smyth)

Best Individual PC: the Magpie in Alias ‘The Magpie’ (J. J. Guest)

Best Implementation: Cragne Manor (Ryan Veeder, Jenni Polodna, et al.)

Best Use of Innovation: I.A.G. Alpha (Serhii Mozhaiskyi)

Best Technological Development: Dialog, Linus Åkesson

Best Use of Multimedia: Bandersnatch (Charlie Brooker, David Slade)

XYZZY Awards 2018: finalists and final round

The final round of the XYZZY Awards is open, and the finalists announced! Congratulations, all!

Anyone may vote for the Awards. The XYZZYs use your IF Comp login; if you need to register an account with the Comp, or you’ve forgotten your account details, go here. You can log in here (you’ll get kicked back to the front page) and then vote here. You should not vote for works that you authored, and you should not direct voters to vote for particular games or slates of games. Voting will remain open through August 9.

Without further ado, the finalists:

Best Game

  • Alias ‘The Magpie’ (J. J. Guest)
  • Bogeyman (Elizabeth Smyth)
  • Cannery Vale (Hanon Ondricek)
  • Cragne Manor (Ryan Veeder, Jenni Polodna, et al.)
  • I.A.G. Alpha (Serhii Mozhaiskyi)

Best Writing

  • Alias ‘The Magpie’ (J. J. Guest)
  • Animalia (Ian Michael Waddell)
  • Bogeyman (Elizabeth Smyth)
  • Human Errors (Katherine Morayati)
  • Tethered (Linus Åkesson)

Best Story

  • Alias ‘The Magpie’ (J. J. Guest)
  • Animalia (Ian Michael Waddell)
  • Bogeyman (Elizabeth Smyth)
  • Cannery Vale (Hanon Ondricek)
  • Dead Man’s Fiesta (Ed Sibley)
  • Dungeon Detective (Wonaglot, Caitlin Mulvihill)

Best Setting

  • Alias ‘The Magpie’ (J. J. Guest)
  • Bogeyman (Elizabeth Smyth)
  • Cannery Vale (Hanon Ondricek)
  • Six Silver Bullets (William Dooling)

Best Puzzles

  • I.A.G. Alpha (Serhii Mozhaiskyi)
  • Illuminismo Iniziato (Michael J. Coyne)
  • Junior Arithmancer (Mike Spivey)
  • The Lurking Horror II: The Lurkening (Ryan Veeder)
  • The Temple of Shorgil (Arthur DiBianca)

Best NPCs

  • Alias ‘The Magpie’ (J. J. Guest)
  • Animalia (Ian Michael Waddell)
  • Bogeyman (Elizabeth Smyth)
  • Erstwhile (Maddie Fialla, Marijke Perry)

Best Individual Puzzle

  • defeating Ynf-Okh-Omm in The Lurking Horror II: The Lurkening (Ryan Veeder)
  • The last Flower Child puzzle in The Temple of Shorgil (Arthur DiBianca)
  • Rooftop puzzle in I.A.G. Alpha (Serhii Mozhaiskyi)
  • solving your murder in Erstwhile (Maddie Fialla, Marijke Perry)
  • Werewolf/moon puzzle in The Origin of Madame Time (Mathbrush)

Best Individual NPC

  • Arthur the cat in Charming (Kaylah Facey)
  • The Bogeyman in Bogeyman (Elizabeth Smyth)
  • Colin Ritman in Bandersnatch (Charlie Brooker, David Slade)
  • Crystal in Illuminismo Iniziato (Michael J. Coyne)
  • Lemmy in Terminal Interface for Models RCM301-303 (Victor Gijsbers (as VigiMech Corporation))
  • Ruslan in I.A.G. Alpha (Serhii Mozhaiskyi)

Best Individual PC

  • Author in Cannery Vale (Hanon Ondricek)
  • Jacob Morris in Grimnoir (ProP)
  • the Magpie in Alias ‘The Magpie’ (J. J. Guest)
  • Nikolai in I.A.G. Alpha (Serhii Mozhaiskyi)
  • the Silver Agent in Six Silver Bullets (William Dooling)

Best Implementation

  • Alias ‘The Magpie’ (J. J. Guest)
  • Cragne Manor (Ryan Veeder, Jenni Polodna, et al.)
  • Junior Arithmancer (Mike Spivey)
  • The Master of the Land (Pseudavid)

Best Use of Innovation

  • Cragne Manor (Ryan Veeder, Jenni Polodna, et al.)
  • I.A.G. Alpha (Serhii Mozhaiskyi)
  • Re: Dragon (Jack Welch)
  • Restless (Emily Short)

Best Technological Development

Best Use of Multimedia

  • Bandersnatch (Charlie Brooker, David Slade)
  • DEVOTIONALIA (G. Grimoire)
  • Ürs (Christopher Hayes, Daniel Talsky)
  • Soft Earth (Jon Sorce)
  • StupidRPG (Steven Richards)
  • Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (Dim Bulb Games)

The Xyzzymposium Returns

The Xyzzymposium is returning! The aim of the Xyzzymposium is to provide in depth analysis of the finalist entries for each of the XYZZY Award categories. It was last held in 2015-2016 for the 2014 XYZZY Awards. The goal of the Xyzzymposium is still as it was initially described:

A lot of the critical writing in the IF world comes in the forms of general reviews; that’s great, but we wanted to see more in-depth writing that considered games through specific foci.

The XYZZYs have no cash prizes or shiny trophies, no red-carpet parties; all we really offer is the respect of your peers, and a slightly more prominent mark in the history of the medium. Both of these become a little more concrete if they’re combined with in-depth critical attention. The Xyzzymposium isn’t intended to be a triumphal march; we’re not here to lavish praise on anointed champions. The purpose of the Xyzzymposium is to show that we’re taking a work seriously enough to wrestle with it.

We’re going to be covering the 2017 Awards (but if we get enough writers we may take a stab at covering the missing years). Writers are being contacted now, with the intention of publishing the reviews throughout the second half of September.

Taking on the mantle of Xyzzymposiarch from Sam Kabo Ashwell, this year the organiser is Joey Jones. You may know Joey for such games as The Chinese Room, Andromeda Dreaming, Sub Rosa, or Trials of the Thief-Taker. 

XYZZY Awards 2017 results

Here are the winning works of 2017. Congratulations to our XYZZY Award winners!

Best Game: The Wizard Sniffer, Buster Hudson

Best Writing: Eat Me, Chandler Groover

Best Story: The Wizard Sniffer, Buster Hudson

Best Setting: 1958: Dancing with Fear, Victor Ojuel

Best Puzzles: The Wand, Arthur DiBianca

Best NPCs: The Wizard Sniffer, Buster Hudson

Best Individual Puzzle: getting past the dragon in The Wizard Sniffer, Buster Hudson

Best Individual NPC: Squire Tuck in The Wizard Sniffer, Buster Hudson

Best Individual PC: Fred Strickland in Will Not Let Me Go, Stephen Granade

Best Implementation: Eat Me, Chandler Groover

Best Use of Innovation: Harmonia, Liza Daly

Best Technological Development: Vorple for Glulx

Best Use of Multimedia: Harmonia, Liza Daly

XYZZY Awards 2017 finalists

The first round of voting for the 2017 XYZZY Awards is complete, and we have our finalists. Congratulations, all!

Voting for the second round is open. Once again, you need an IF Comp login to vote – go here to get one, or if you already do, just log in and vote. Voting will remain open throughout May, ending at 1 AM Pacific time on the first day of June.

Canvassing for votes in the Awards is strongly discouraged, and you may not vote for your own work.

Best Game

  • American Angst (m3g1dd0)
  • Eat Me (Chandler Groover)
  • Known Unknowns (Brendan Patrick Hennessy)
  • The Owl Consults (Thomas Mack)
  • The Wizard Sniffer (Buster Hudson)

Best Writing

  • Absence of Law (mathbrush)
  • American Angst (m3g1dd0)
  • dripping with the waters of SHEOL (Lady Isak Grozny)
  • Eat Me (Chandler Groover)
  • Known Unknowns (Brendan Patrick Hennessy)
  • Will Not Let Me Go (Stephen Granade)

Best Story

  • 1958: Dancing With Fear (Victor Ojuel)
  • American Angst (m3g1dd0)
  • Harmonia (Liza Daly)
  • Known Unknowns (Brendan Patrick Hennessy)
  • Will Not Let Me Go (Stephen Granade)
  • The Wizard Sniffer (Buster Hudson)

Best Setting

  • 1958: Dancing With Fear (Victor Ojuel)
  • Absence of Law (mathbrush)
  • Eat Me (Chandler Groover)
  • Tuuli (Daurmith & Ruber Eaglenest)
  • Voyageur (Bruno Dias)

Best Puzzles

  • Absence of Law (mathbrush)
  • A Beauty Cold and Austere (Mike Spivey)
  • Eat Me (Chandler Groover)
  • The Owl Consults (Thomas Mack)
  • The Wand (Arthur DiBianca)
  • The Wizard Sniffer (Buster Hudson)

Best NPCs

  • Eat Me (Chandler Groover)
  • Known Unknowns (Brendan Patrick Hennessy)
  • The Owl Consults (Thomas Mack)
  • The Wizard Sniffer (Buster Hudson)

Best Individual Puzzle

  • discovering the rest of the game in The Wand (Arthur DiBianca)
  • getting past the dragon in The Wizard Sniffer (Buster Hudson)
  • getting through the undersea vent in Measureless to Man (Ivan R.)
  • Learning the Cycle in The Wand (Arthur DiBianca)
  • Milking the cow in Eat Me (Chandler Groover)
  • Navigating the swamp in Crocodracula: What Happened to Calvin (Ryan Veeder)

Best Individual NPC

  • Anja Kaczmarek in Known Unknowns (Brendan Patrick Hennessy)
  • Kaz Kaczmarek in Known Unknowns (Brendan Patrick Hennessy)
  • The narrator in Eat Me (Chandler Groover)
  • Olivia Kwon in Known Unknowns (Brendan Patrick Hennessy)
  • Squire Tuck in The Wizard Sniffer (Buster Hudson)

Best Individual PC

  • Amelia Derringer in The Owl Consults (Thomas Mack)
  • Fred Strickland in Will Not Let Me Go (Stephen Granade)
  • Kareene Veet in Word of the Day (Richard Otter)
  • Lev/Lyubov in dripping with the waters of SHEOL (Lady Isak Grozny)
  • Nadia Nazari in Known Unknowns (Brendan Patrick Hennessy)
  • Salomé Vélez in 1958: Dancing With Fear (Victor Ojuel)

Best Implementation

  • Absence of Law (mathbrush)
  • Eat Me (Chandler Groover)
  • Harmonia (Liza Daly)
  • Seedship (John Ayliff)
  • Thaumistry: In Charm’s Way (Bob Bates)

Best Use of Innovation

  • 10pm (litrouke)
  • Harmonia (Liza Daly)
  • Unit 322 (Disambiguation) (Jonny Muir)
  • Voyageur (Bruno Dias)

Best Technological Development

  • Vorple for Glulx

Best Use of Multimedia

  • 10pm (litrouke)
  • Absence of Law (mathbrush)
  • Harmonia (Liza Daly)
  • Known Unknowns (Brendan Patrick Hennessy)
  • The Rats in the Bulkheads (Bruno Dias)
  • Salt (Gareth Damian Martin)

 

XYZZY Awards 2017: first round open

The XYZZY Awards, honouring the best interactive fiction of 2017, are officially in the first round.

In the first round, you can nominate two works in each category. You need an IF Comp login to vote – if you don’t have one or you need it reset, go here. Then log in and vote! (Logging in will kick you back to this front page, just so you know.)

A reminder: canvassing for votes in the Awards is strongly discouraged. The XYZZYs are not meant to be a battle about which authors can rally the most die-hard fans. Absolutely talk about the Awards if it’s to discuss all the good IF you’ve seen this year – but if your objective is to get a bunch of people to all vote for your work, please don’t.

The first round will be open through May 13th. (Technically, until 1 AM on the 14th, US Pacific time, if you’re an eleventh-hour voter.)

 

Eligibility for the 2017 XYZZY Awards

We’re almost ready to launch the 2017 XYZZY Awards; the eligibility list has been assembled (thanks to Bruno Dias for help with scraping IFDB), but as usual, we’d like to give people a chance to double-check our work. If any of the following is incorrect or incomplete, please let us know as soon as possible.

The baseline we start from is IFDB entries. (We might be looking into different approaches next year, but we’ll deal with that once this year’s Awards are complete.)

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