Spring is here, which means summer is right around the corner. At least that’s how it is where I live. Not quite the case for Australia, host to the Freeplay Awards again this year, celebrating all things Australian (and New Zealand) independent game development. Groovy stuff, although for reasons painfully obvious, this year’s award ceremony will be held online. Beats downright canceling.
Now, much like most just about any awards show, the Freeplay Awards is all about making participants putting their best foot forward in direct competition with each other across several categories. Nothing overly complicated about that, and seeing how all the guidelines are laid out nicely here, what say we keep this down to the nitty-gritty instead of getting all wordy and ranty (which is kinda my thing, as regular readers have surely noticed)?
The Freeplay Awards have been a long-standing cornerstone of the festival and the Australian independent games community, celebrating new and emerging voices, creative talent, and bold experimental ideas.
So, is that all there is to the 2020 Freeplay Awards? Heck no! International speakers, talk submissions, and volunteer opportunities are still a WIP, although I’m sure we’ll hear about all that stuff soon. Also, arguably more important: submission deadline is Sunday 5th April at 11:59pm (AEST). Categories? Well, scroll down already!
- The Freeplay Award (Best Game)
- Excellence in Design
Games that demonstrate excellent understanding and execution of game design, including mechanics design, level design, balancing, and good gamefeel.
- Excellence in Visual Art
Games that demonstrate a unique and mature approach to visual design, including good visual language, aesthetics, and memorable art style.
- Excellence in Audio
Games that demonstrate excellence in audio design, including good music, sound effects, composition, and novel integration with mechanics.
- Excellence in Narrative
Games that demonstrate excellent understanding of narrative design, including writing, storytelling, scenario and plot construction, dialogue, and world building.
- Non-Digital Game Award
Analogue games that have no digital component. Boardgames, card games, tabletop games, live games, and physical games. Non-digital games may be submitted to any and all other categories
- Micro-Game Award
Games that are designed to be completed in its entirety in an hour or less. Vignettes, short-form games, personal games, short jam games, flatgames, non-commercial games.
- Experimental Game Award
Games that make us question the artform, or games that don’t quite fit anywhere else. Not-games, alt control games, installation games, unconventional and/or novel mechanics. Any & all approaches to weird game design.
- Student Game Award
Games made by current full-time or part-time secondary/tertiary students, or students who have graduated within six months of the submission closing date. Students may submit their games to any and all other categories.
- Across The Ditch Award
Games that are created by our lovely friends over in New Zealand. This is the only category New Zealand game developers are eligible for.
(Source: The 2020 Freeplay Awards are now open!)