Over the last couple days I've gotten a couple questions about judging, one in person, and one on a forum, and I thought I'd take this time to post the answers in case anyone else is curious.
First, I was asked by one of my wife's friends (who I didn't even know was a gamer, go figure) what was going to win. I guess under the assumption I already had favorites picked out. To be completely honest, I have no idea. I really don't even know what will be entered. The list I posted the other day are the only products I absolutely know about, and I've only read four or five of those.
From what I've seen on the web I think there are some strong contenders on the list. Qin seems to be getting a lot of good press, as does Hollow Earth Expedition, so those may well be products to watch, but there are five nominees in each of 21 different categories, and I simply don't know enough about the entries to give good, informed opinions.
That's kind of why I made this blog. If you want to know what I'm thinking, I'll post mini-reviews of things as I read them. Hopefully then I can get a little feedback if I'm missing the point of a game or something. If you have something specific you think should be nominated, I posted a thread at RPG.net asking people's opinions. Add your favorite game to the list and I'll make sure it makes its way to the top of the list if it gets entered.
The second question was what books do I hope get entered. For me that basically comes down to expanding the number of participating publishers. Obviously it would be nice to see WotC participate, but there are others that do a lot of good work. Steve Jackson in particular doesn't enter books, and I think they may well be a shoe-in for production values if they ever did. I can't think of another company who gets talked about in such a glowing light for its clean, clear text. Heck, I know a lot of people who use their books and don't even play their games. GURPS in particular makes for great research material. WEG is another one. I noticed just last night that there was a new Torg book out. Burning Empires, Ptolus, the list goes on and on...
I guess there is no good answer. There are so many good games out there that I simply don't know enough about. So I'm going to take this opportunity to educate myself on every single game that comes to my door, and I'm going to use this blog to pass what I learn onto others.