As I understand it the absolute final day for the judges is now Monday, July 2. On that day we should email in our final votes for the various categories.
If I understand the process correctly, each judge will vote seven times in each of the 20 different categories. The first vote is worth two points, the next four are worth one point, and the final two votes are worth a half-point. Presumably these will then be tallied, and the top five for each category will than be announced as the nominations for this year's Ennie Awards.
I believe that will actually happen Friday, July 6th, but that's not really my department, so don't hold me to it. Denise and the board will get them out quickly I'm sure, so people have plenty of time to look over their options and familiarize themselves with the products before public voting begins.
Pretty soon my part of this will all be over, and then it'll be in the very capable hands of the ENnie Awards Board of Directors, who have done an absolutely amazing job of making this happen. I'll keep posting here and offering insights as I can, but beyond next week all I'll have left are personal opinions. My tenure as judge is all but over.
Thanks to everyone who has stuck it out with me here. Talking (er, writing) it out has really made the whole thing a lot easier.
While I'm thinking about it, I also want to mention that I think next year the judging will be handled a bit differently. Once again, the final decision is up to the board, but I think it's a fantastic idea.
Basically, the idea would be to elect judges before GenCon, and announce them at the show. That way they can get started right away, and they'll have nearly a full year to fully review and playtest the games, as opposed to the three months we had this year. I think this'll be a huge boon to whoever gets elected. One of my greatest regrets is that I only actually got to play with a fraction of the items I received. If this happens, next year the judges should be able to do much better.
Of course, that only works if publishers submit products right away, but I know last year a ton of stuff was given over to the board at the end of the show. A note to the publishers out there: If you want to get on the judges' good sides (and make sure everything is played as well as read), don't wait until May to send out products :) That last minute push in June is a real pain.