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Author Topic: AGS Awards - Improvement of Categories  (Read 1323 times)

LimpingFish

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Re: AGS Awards - Improvement of Categories
« Reply #20 on: 14 Jan 2022, 18:27 »
It might help if we could agree on what a "best" character even is.

If it concerns good characterization, then wouldn't that be covered by the writing award? If it's a character we find endearing or cleverly-...well, actually that would probably fall under writing as well.

Perhaps "Best Character" could be altered to "Favorite Character", which could cover a number of aspects, without commenting specifically on "quality"? Of course, this doesn't address the debate on character originality...

Perhaps "Favorite New Character"?
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Re: AGS Awards - Improvement of Categories
« Reply #21 on: 14 Jan 2022, 20:14 »
It might help if we could agree on what a "best" character even is.

If it concerns good characterization, then wouldn't that be covered by the writing award? If it's a character we find endearing or cleverly-...well, actually that would probably fall under writing as well.

Perhaps "Best Character" could be altered to "Favorite Character", which could cover a number of aspects, without commenting specifically on "quality"? Of course, this doesn't address the debate on character originality...

Perhaps "Favorite New Character"?

I think Best Character is still the best choice, because it covers several of those bases. If we take Lady Winterbourne from If on a Winter's Night, Four Travelers as an example, then yes, she's a well written character, but much of the characterization is in the graphics, the animation or the sound design. In our own Trade it Forward, I think Cassiebsg added a lot to the Pizza clerk's personality simply by making an animation that makes him rest his head in his hand whenever he thinks no customer can see him. Even the walk cycle may add to a character's style...or lack of it.

Of course, we will end up comparing apples and oranges. One thing is the player character vs the npc, which were two awards some years ago, and I assume it was changed for a reason. Another thing is the comparizon of tragic, hard-boiled or humorous characters - but that's the case in most other categories as well. I think ideally, the nominations should reflect such a diversity, but my prediction would be the opposite, with horror fans voting for horror content (no pun intended), and comedy fans for clowning around. That's okay, too. It wouldn't be a vote  if we weren't allowed to have opinions.

The category Best Puzzles would ideally (in my mind only, mind you) hold excellent puzzles of many kinds: pure logic, inventory based, world understanding or investigative/dialogue based. And probebly something else I can't think of at the moment.

LimpingFish

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Re: AGS Awards - Improvement of Categories
« Reply #22 on: 15 Jan 2022, 01:00 »
I think Best Character is still the best choice, because it covers several of those bases.

The category Best Puzzles would ideally (in my mind only, mind you) hold excellent puzzles of many kinds: pure logic, inventory based, world understanding or investigative/dialogue based.

We're assuming that the voting audience possess the knowledge to discern the difference between well-designed puzzles (or characters), and puzzles that they just happened to enjoy solving, or characters they found to be engaging. And maybe some of them do, but it's hardly something we can be sure of. Especially if we want to grow the voting pool.

The AGS awards are open to everyone, unlike, say, the Academy Awards, in which only those with experience in the field are allowed to vote on certain awards. We can't (or maybe shouldn't) set the award criteria in such a way, and then complain when we think people are voting based solely on the games they enjoyed, rather than in a more nuanced and considered way.

This isn't me pushing some sort of elitist agenda, as I'm really beginning to lean more in favor of a populist approach, but the word "Best" carries a lot of critical weight, and perhaps leads to more arguments ("Those puzzles weren't the best! These puzzles were the best!"), where maybe the word "Favorite", or the term "Most Popular", wouldn't.
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Re: AGS Awards - Improvement of Categories
« Reply #23 on: 15 Jan 2022, 13:31 »
Ah, but now you are in game theory territory, if you set the goal to find the best for everyone individually, they will say which was best for them. If the goal is finding the more popular one, then one needs to consider what everyone else thinks is the most popular, and what everyone else will think is the most popular if everyone is also trying to figure out which is the most popular, and so on.

Re: AGS Awards - Improvement of Categories
« Reply #24 on: 15 Jan 2022, 16:09 »
People are going to vote for what they enjoyed (although that term perhaps doesn't fit games with tragic stories). Someone who hates contraption or slider puzzles probably are going to vote something more inventory based as their favourite. That's okay with me. We're here because of an interest in the adventure genre, so I think a lot of AGS-ers would recognize a well designed puzzle when they see one, too. For me personally, it's other categories that give me pain. Like Best Programming...I'm clueless enough about the subject that a lot of stuff people pull off, leaves me baffled. Then the authors themselves claim to have made it with spaghetti code. This is one award I feel should be there, but which is very difficult to judge. I believe a lot of us feel that way about music, too, as the majority probably are writers and/or artists, not musicians.

Another democratic problem, sort of, is that almost noone will have played all the games released last year.  Especially the longer, commercial releases may have fewer players, I fear, although I have no numbers to back that up with.

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Re: AGS Awards - Improvement of Categories
« Reply #25 on: 16 Jan 2022, 17:27 »
there are some interesting points raised in this thread, and I, as well think, that music in a game taken from public ressources should just not be eligible for an award, the author might never know and was probably not involved with the making of the game at all, and as was said before, this undermines the efforts of gamedevs that make their own music or work with a musican especially for their game. And keeping voluntary gamemakers engaged is a good enough cause to keep publicly available assets out of the AGS awards and cheer on the gamedevs that craft their own assets, which is the main reason to have these awards if you ask me.

for best character some good points were raised too. Well, if someone takes indy and let's him stumble through some crudely drawncaves and ruins this is not a good as a well written new character in a new game. But if someone makes a fangame and the character from the original is really well met this is seems like an official sequel then it is really hard to decide. What about having a "complaints" thread next to the considerations thread, where people can point fingers at wrong nominations and voice their concerns on a per case basis and the author of the game/character/etc in question can even chime in and defend the creation and explain why it is right to have that character competing in the awards...