E3 Game Critics Awards

Greetings:
In case you missed it, the nominations are out.

Congrats to Qt3’s own Laralyn and others from Pandemic who worked on Full Spectrum Warrior. It seems to be the “dark horse” surprise of the show.

Michael.

They really shouldn’t allow non-playable games in these best preview awards.

–Dave

Thanks for the kind works Michael! I’d like to point out that we also had more nominations (4) than any other game, including Half-Life 2 and Halo 2. (3 nominations apiece) 'Course, both HL2, and Halo2 were ineligible for “Best Original Game”, but the statistics sound good. :)

oh, and btw, I’m not on the FSW team…I’m just cheering for them!

Thanks! I’ve been studiously resisting the urge to pimp my own game on the forums here. ;-)

I figure we’ll get even more attention once details on gameplay, real screen shots, etc. become public.

They make sure that the judges get special “playable” demos. Of course they only extend that courtesy to a handful of games…

Thanks! I’ve been studiously resisting the urge to pimp my own game on the forums here. ;-)

I figure we’ll get even more attention once details on gameplay, real screen shots, etc. become public.[/quote]

Pimp away, it’s enjoyable to see what other devs are doing and how they feel about. Just make sure to mention that you actually work on the game with every post because it makes some people grumpy if you don’t.

If you’re talking about FSW, it is playable. We have the entire Army version at Alpha even as I speak. The commercial version is a bit different, but even the demo most folks saw on the floor at E3 was entirely live and controlled by the human being who was speaking (Wil, our project Director).

Sorry if you were talking about another project altogether. We’re a little sensitive because we’re still fending off folks who claim our demo wasn’t live gameplay. I guess we could take that as a complement. ;-)

Keep fending Laralyn, this place creeps with nay-sayers. Mad snaps on the award BTW.

We don’t. It has to be playable in order to be eligible, which is why games like DOOM 3 and Metal Gear Solid 3 were not eligible for this year’s awards.

That guy seemed a little intense. I kept waiting for him to start calling everyone shitfaced scumbags and demand we do push-ups.

LOL! I’m going to tell him that tomorrow. :-)

We don’t. It has to be playable in order to be eligible, which is why games like DOOM 3 and Metal Gear Solid 3 were not eligible for this year’s awards.[/quote]

But Doom 3 won the E3 Critics Award for Best of Show last year!?! It was eligible to win last year and not eligible to win this year? Doom 3 actually won three awards last year. What the hell? Those are some goofy standards the E3 Critics Award have there, especially since “playable” doesn’t mean the judges actually played the games.

Star Wars Galaxies was runner-up for Best of Show back in 2001. What did “playable” mean two years ago? That someone from SOE could manipulate an avatar in the game a bit in a few rendered scenes of gameplay? (That same year Majestic won Best Original Game, btw.)

Let’s face it – these awards are horseshit. I realize E3 is one huge orgasmic hypefest, but I don’t understand why “critics” are so ready to sanctify incomplete games with formal awards. Couldn’t we just limit ourselves to slavering commentary about how much we drooled over this or that game and perhaps soiled our pants when we saw Half-Life 2? Couldn’t we at least retain that much dignity?

But if you have to have the awards, my recommendation would be to not even consider any games for awards unless they’re slated to release the same year of the show, or at least before the next E3. If a publisher refuses to announce a ballpark release date, they’re off the list of potential nominees.

All they do is delay the game after the show. That’s why when some guy showing off the game says “It’s slated for release later this year” most people respond with a quick eye roll.

I remember getting a demo of FSW ready for private showings at last year’s E3 thinking “I wonder if anybody will be interested in this…” It’s definitely been the most unconvention development project I’ve ever worked on (including Torment) and my involvement only extended to the design on the Army version! I can’t wait to see what it finally becomes for the commerical version. :)

I’m with Mark on this one. Big time. The value of going to E3 has decreased greatly over time as there are less games actually shown on the show floor and games can win some sort of E3 award. That’s why a fair number of developers I know don’t bother coming to the show unless they have a game to promote, it’s just less hassle to watch the coverage online.

I would say that the game has to be shown in a playable form on the show floor to be eligable. Otherwise it’s just smoke and mirrors IMHO. How is anybody doing a service when thet give awards to games like Freelancer, 3 years before the game is actually released.

A classic example is Republic which in an ad at this years’ E3 (I don’t remember whether it was in the show daily or one of the magazines) proudly showed that they had won awards from E3 for the past two years and the game still wasn’t on the show floor.

What’s surprising is when games that are due out before the end of the year aren’t shown. For example despite my complaints about Stronghold I 'm curious to see how Star Colony is going to turn out, but all they had at the Take2 booth was a looping Quicktime movie that was available for download at the same time. The game’s due to ship ‘summer 2003’

We don’t. It has to be playable in order to be eligible, which is why games like DOOM 3 and Metal Gear Solid 3 were not eligible for this year’s awards.[/quote]

But Doom 3 won the E3 Critics Award for Best of Show last year!?! It was eligible to win last year and not eligible to win this year? Doom 3 actually won three awards last year. What the hell? Those are some goofy standards the E3 Critics Award have there, especially since “playable” doesn’t mean the judges actually played the games.[/quote]

“Playable” has always meant the same thing, and that standard has been consistently applied - it means you can’t rely on videos or canned demos – the game has to at least be demonstrated “live”, with playable code. DOOM 3 was shown in that fashion last year, but wasn’t this year.

Let’s face it – these awards are horseshit. I realize E3 is one huge orgasmic hypefest, but I don’t understand why “critics” are so ready to sanctify incomplete games with formal awards…my recommendation would be to not even consider any games for awards unless they’re slated to release the same year of the show, or at least before the next E3.

Your recommendation is one I agree with, and (at least this year, if not before) it is one of the recommended “guidelines” to judges - to weigh games close to release more heavily. I also wish the individual awards were labelled “most promising”, as opposed to “best of” – but I think in spite of a few questionable calls, the awards have an excellent track-record, especially relative to the predictions given in previews in individual publications.

We have this same discussion every year on this forum. We have the awards for the simple reason that a lot of gamers are very interested in what a group of editors/contributers – representing almost every major gaming publication and numerous mainstream outlets – consider to be the most promising upcoming games demonstrated at the show. Gamers (including me) are interested in those opinions – it’s great to have a non-partisan group that aren’t loyal to a particular publication express their collective views on what are the most promising upcoming games.

Stefan

Speaking from the dev side of the fence, I can tell you that there’s a general feeling that the awards tend to go to freshly announced games more than to games closer to ship–because the show is about hype, and hype goes to the newest thing. We were surprised but pleased to get a nomination for SWG this year, given all the attention at past shows.

I’ll also say that putting in an “on the floor/off the floor” distinction feels like a mistake to me. There’s a very good reason why many publishers show games off the floor–because the floor is a loud and obnoxious place. A lot of E3 is about showing games to buyers, and it’s hard to do that on the floor. A suite is MUCH more conducive to good demos. You can do much more focused showings off the floor. That’s the same reason why many games are shown behind closed doors in booths on the floor. So I guess this restriction would feel like penalizing the games that are trying to show at their best.

-Raph

I have to strongly disagree here. I don’t begrudge developers and publishers trying to put their products in the best light, but you can’t really compare a game that’s being demoed live on the show floor for 8 hours, warts and all, to some heavily managed, “can I get you something to drink?” demo in a private room for 10 minutes. One is a game that is close to shipping with actual gameplay and performance available for anyone to see and dissect, the other is a dog and pony show that doesn’t really indicate what the final product will look like.

I work for a developer too and we go to E3 to make deals like everyone else. Over the past four or five years the show has become more of a chore since there’s less cool stuff to see on the floor since so much of the action is going on behind close doors. While there are the reasons you mentioned I would also add that’s so much easier to hide really crappy games behind 10 minute heavily controlled demos. Remember the infamous apple zoom in Black and White?

Ultimately I’ve never understood how hyping games that may ultimately be years away, and may end up shipping with entirely different feature sets became such a key part of this industry. Unfortunately I don’t expect that to change any time soon.

I’m not asking the publishers and developers stop showing movies, alphas, sketches, whatever to whoever wants to see them. All I’m asking is that the best of E3 be somehow relevant to what’s actually shown to attendees of the show. It’s a small step, but I think the consumer game press could actually accomplish this one.

A number of years back Next Generation used to have their live radio broadcast from the E3 show floor. They would have various developers and such interviewed and profiled as they talked about their game. They talked to Peter when Black & White was slightly less than a tech demo and asked him for a screenshot of the game and he gave them one and they could check it out on the Next Generation website. It was a stick figure drawing on a napkin, pretty funny.

yay, that’s my story. thankyou, thankyou very much.

I’m glad to say that we showed the game I’m working on (SimCity4: Rush Hour) on the show floor, warts and all. Kevin Hogan managed to demo the game every day of the show, all day, on a partially torn MCL. So IN YER FACE, behind-closed-doors teams!