Ice Awards

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The ICE Award is a fan-organized award given annually to recognize quality fan-produced games for Looney pyramids. The goals of the ICE Awards are to showcase quality fan-made pyramid games, recognize amateur game designers who use Looney pyramids in their designs, promote Looney pyramids as a game system, and generate productive feedback for Looney pyramid games under development.

History

In 2010, members of the Icehouse game community created the Ice Awards (also known as the Icehouse Community Excellence Awards) to recognize the best fan-made game of the previous year.

The first award, in 2010, recognized the best game of 2009. The initial phases of process were conducted on Looney Labs' Icehouse email list, with the results tabulated here on the icehousegames.org wiki (see New in 2009). The three finalists were announced on the Icehouse list and at BoardGameGeek.com. The games were available for play in the Looney Labs Big Experiment room at the Origins Game Fair, with voting conducted in person at Origins or by email or by GeekMail (on BoardGameGeek). Voting was open to everyone. The designer of the winning game received a trophy.

Procedure

The ICE Awards process starts every January, and runs until Origins in June. 2099 will be used as an example here.

Eligibility

For a game to be eligible for the ICE Awards, it must meet all of the following:

  1. ) The rules of the game must have been made publicly available between January 1, 2099 and December 31, 2099.
  2. ) The game must use Looney pyramids. (Proposal: a minimum of six pyramids, at least one of each size, at least two colors.)
  3. ) Games created by employees of Looney Labs, or published by Looney Labs during 2099 are ineligible.
  4. ) All non-pyramid components required for the game must be freely available. Games that use proprietary components available only by purchase are not eligible. Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis; for example, the requirement of a Tarot deck won't disqualify Gnostica, since Tarot decks are commonly available at low cost. A game requiring a Settlers of Catan board probably won't qualify. Any product of Looney Labs, such as Martian Coasters and Treehouse dice, are also acceptable.

The ICE Awards process is entirely run by volunteers. One person usually serves as the coordinator, moderating the discussions, planning deadlines for various phases, communicating with Looney Labs staff to add the ICE Awards to the Big Experiment program, and makes the trophy for that year's winner.

In January, a page is created on this wiki, following the naming convention of [[New in 2099]], compiling a list of all pyramid games made available in 2099, even if the game might be disqualified due to the above rules.

Round 1, the qualifying round, begins. The coordinator invites volunteer panelists to evaluate each game on the list. If a panelist finds a game to be ineligible, broken, or unplayable, that game is eliminated. All remaining games advance to Round 2.

In Round 2, the elimination round, each game is reviewed by a different panelist that hasn't already reviewed it. Though discussion and feedback, the panelists eliminate the weaker designs, those that seem incomplete or have lingering vagueness in the rules. There is no fixed procedure on how many games pass or fail a given round, but generally half of the games that enter Round 2 advance to Round 3.

Round 3, the semi-finals, determines the finalists. Each game is reviewed by yet another new panelist. Panelists review the games more critically, looking at quality of rules writing, usage of pyramids as a game system, fun value and replayability, and appeal of the game as a vehicle for promoting Looney pyramids. The best three or four games, as deemed by the panelists through consensus and as approved by the coordinator, advance to the final round. If necessary, an additional elimination round may be conducted.

The list of finalists must be ready a few weeks before the Big Experiment. The coordinator gives the BESC the list of finalists, and schedules a time for the ICE Awards winner announcement ceremony at the Big Experiment.

The Final Round is held during the Big Experiment. The coordinator provides all the rules and game components so that Big Experiment attendees can play the finalists. The coordinator also collects votes for favorite finalist. Voting is simple: anyone may vote once for their favorite finalist. Voters do not have to be panelists from the elimination rounds, do not need to be present at the Big Experiment, and are encouraged (but not required) to try as many of the finalists as possible. Voter ballots may include a list of the finalists ranked by preference, but only the pick for top favorite is necessary.

The coordinator determines how the votes are collected (physical ballot box at the Big Experiment, online votes by email or website, or any combination thereof), sets the deadline for voting. The coordinator tabulates a winner based on plurality vote, and presents the winning designer with the prize.

Past Winners

Award Winner Finalists
2009 Quicksand Crosswalk, Stack Control
2010 Pyrinoes Nile, Plutonian Poker, Pyramideto
2011 Freeze Tag Evacuate(runner up), Gleebs and Grues, & Ziggurat Demolition Throwdown