A Cover Art Comp?

[i]Possible main rules:

1 - It would have to be the official cover art of the story, as decided by the author, regardless of the cover artist.
2 - The story would have to be released as finished, either to a competition or just a solitary release. This would mean no works in progress, no “trailers”, etc.

… - And then other rules like minimum/maximum size, date, creative commons stuff, etc.[/i]

So what do you think? Is it doable/interesting/relevant? I thought of that while browsing Xyzzy awards. There is no “Best Cover Art” award, of course, but being a very graphical person, I thought it would be an interesting idea. I love a good movie poster, a good CD/vinyl cover, a good book cover - and a good IF cover. Unfortunately, although there are some very good IF covers, I think the bulk is on the low side of aesthetics quality, and such a competition could bump the quality up a bit.

Or maybe not and I’m just wasting internet space.

Note: I’ve searched for past/present Cover Art Competitions and found Emily Short’s Cover Art Drive (2008), which at least shows that good cover art is a concern in the community.

This is a fantastic idea and if you were to organize it, I am sure a lot of authors would be very happy.

I’ll give it a try, then. I’ll start by proposing a few rules and post them here as soon as I can.

I can’t be the only one who wishes there were an XYZZY for “Best Feelie.” Though, arguably, Blue Lacuna probably didn’t need to win another XYZZY. :wink:

I think a comp for best related materials, including covers, feelies, physical stuff etc, would be good. Limiting it to cover art wouldn’t be that exciting.

Yes, something in the line of Xyzzy awards, but for stuff other than the story itself. The box, so to speak. How about:

IF Box Awards
Because the cover matters.

Possible categories:

Best Original Cover Art
I wrote “original” because the pictures used to make the cover should be created for that cover or heavily manipulated. In practical terms: you could use the Mona Lisa as raw material for something, but you can’t limit the cover to the plain Mona Lisa.

Best Digital Extra
PDF, video, pictures, etc.

Best Physical Extra
Something holdable that the author releases with the story, like a set of prints, or some object.

Best Tagline
The “In space no one can hear you scream” sort of stuff.

Best Webpresence
Website, Facebook, whatever.

Best Box
For the best overall presentation of the story. It may not win any of the above, of course, the same way the best game might not have the best NPC, the best setting, etc.

What could be added/subtracted/changed?

I think this is getting interesting and we could go for a “2010 Box Awards”. I can put myself up to organize it, but I’ll need some help.

Nice. Emily’s effort was already a sort of “cover-art competition”, in that people were creating cover art specificically for the event. It makes sense for this to be a “best of year”.

(Of course, I released four cover images this year, so I would say that…)

I think you don’t need to specify “Original” for the cover art category (or any other). The cover art is what it is, and I can judge it either way. If someone enters the Mona Lisa with a game title splashed on it, I’d give it a lowish score for “nice-looking, but too familiar, and it doesn’t indicate much effort.” But maybe there’s a game for which the Mona Lisa is a perfect cover image. In which case, it should score high. (Books use Renaissance paintings for cover art all the time.)

Next question, and I might as well be the one to bring it up: do teasers for unreleased games count? (It isn’t just me; Blue Lacuna had Blueish, although the game is out now. And Emily posted a teaser image a few months ago.)

What about IF-related work? Get Lamp has lots of art, digital, and physical extras.

I’ll have to admit one of my favorite book covers is a detail of a Bosh painting, so I’ll have to agree with you, although it is still a context chosen detail of the painting, not the whole rectangle, and the titling is elegantly glued to the angels and demons.

Anyway, I think you’re right and the cover should be judged in context.

I like the idea. These “objects” are different from the extras that come with the released game. We could go for a Best Propaganda award, pointed at anything that advertizes the story pre or post release, like a video trailer, a game-trailer, one picture, one set of pictures, etc. And I just love the word “propaganda” :sunglasses:

Well, I have my doubts about this one, for two reasons: 1st, the most obvious, it is not a work of IF, so I don’t know how “fair” it would get; 2nd, it is likely that this isn’t going to be a very common scenario (to have IF themed movies and such, I mean), so I don’t know if we should even bother to foresee it.

I would be totally up for this kind of a comp. To me what always distinguished the Infocom games was the quality of the game packaging – box cover art, feelies etc.

As a newbie author though I hope you will allow authors to submit something less than a 100% finished game. I am still learning Inform7 programming best practices (or maybe, not-quite-awful practices) and while I am confident I can get the opening scene prologue completed and polished (including testing, hints, help etc) in a reasonable amount of time, I am not so sure how long it will take to finish the rest the game. (So I guess it depends on when the comp is held.)

That said, I have already created the cover art and some related materials. (For me that’s actually easier than coding.) Also, I am unclear on whether participation in one competition would preclude being part of others.