There was some discussion about commentary on specific products, and it got me thinking about how I would present such a thing. What I came up with starts here. My last article was designed as a starting place for the commentary to follow. I way of making the reader understand where I'm coming from, and a reference to how we came up with the choices we made.
I'm going to use a series of commentaries on the awards nominees to do much the same thing for individual products. I'll comment on the awards as a whole, and then if anyone ha any questions about a specific product beyond what is discussed I'll go into more detail separately.
I'm going to start with Regalia since I was asked about Murder in Marienburg specifically, and because it's honestly one of the easiest categories.
So, to start with, why is it so easy?
Well, it's a small category. I believe there were only 16 entries. Further, there's probably no other category whose nominees were so easily predictable. If I recall correctly, this is the only category where all five judges were so unanimous in their choices.
That's not to say there is anything wrong with the other entries, there were several really good entries, but those that were chosen were as close to a lock as you can get. A Murder in Marienburg, for instance, was the best of the Warhammer novels that were submitted, but few things could stack up against how much the judges fell in love with the Witch Hunter's Handbook and Liber Chaotica. Once they were determined to be Regalia (due to their lack of direct game content) they were all but assured nominations. The Order of the Stick comic was likewise a shoe-in. How many gamers don't love Rich Burlew's work? That only leaves two nominations left. Then you take a look at Classic Battletech, which doesn't qualify as a game since it's primarily played as a mini game, rather than an RPG, but does qualify for the awrds, since it enhances the Battletech RPG. That makes it Regalia, and it was so good it too was basically assured nomination.
So, with one slot left for all the various products we received the Art of Dragon Magazine, and one look at it should tell you why it got the nod. Years of the best that the industry's premier magazine has to offer, all contained in one, beautiful book.
There's no disrespect meant to the products that didn't get the nomination. In any other year, against any other competition, several of them would have been very deserving. This year however the competition was just too stiff.