Feedback thread for the 2022 IFDB Awards

I’m creating this thread as a landing page for people from other sites who wish to comment on the awards.

For me, they went better than expected. Despite the very large number of categories, in the end there was a significant amount of user participation.

The major change that will definitely occur next year is combining the author’s choice polls and player’s choice polls, most likely having it be anonymous but with the option of leaving a public comment if desired.

Any other feedback is helpful, but don’t feel obliged. Have a great year and see you next time!


It was a great recap of games written this year. I do hope it returns next year.


The author/player separation in the polls were definitely confusing. It’s nice to see it will merged next year!

I would personally have preferred not having the total amount of vote given visible until the results, only seeing instead whether I cast a vote on that entry.

EDIT: I don’t know how it would be possible, but having a separate list for Debut author might be useful. Some voters might have use IFComp entries as their starting point rather than looking into the author’s profile (or it could have just been my case…)


As I’ve said before I think expecting the genre to be set in IFDB to identify eligible games in genre polls is problematic. Many games do not have genre set. Others do, but may not match the awards genre search.

I edited two games to add genres. Both won their genre polls and awards, much to my delight! But before I edited them they had no genre filled in at all. And many voters would not feel confident to edit the genre in the database. It also isn’t straightforward to do.

I would be much happier if genre is left open to voter interpretation. There is a risk of too loose genres. But I think voting should probably shake that out.


Since you mentioned having to weed out several votes, might I ask in what way they were problematic/not in good faith?

Or would you prefer to keep that under your robe of discretion? (Which is totally your prerogative.)


No individual votes were removed except votes for my games in author’s choice polls.

Some people violated the IFDB code of conduct and had their accounts restricted, which affected the votes. While I can’t reveal private data of the accounts, I can say that for each removed account there were four different, unrelated indications that they were sockpuppet accounts, and I only took action after at least 2 other IFDB admins had a chance to review the evidence. There were 5 accounts in this group.

There are about 4 other accounts I strongly suspect are sockpuppets or created solely for vote manipulation, but they don’t have overwhelming evidence, and experience has shown that some things that look bad aren’t, so the accounts without overwhelming evidence were left alone. Restricting those accounts too would have changed the result of 1 of the polls.


I know the genre bit can be daunting and the lack of genre labels made things rougher for the first year, but one of the arguments for the IFDBs was to create more positive incentives to create and maintain more thorough IFDB listings.

The other issue I have is the author losing the ability to opt-in and opt-out of a genre. If an author doesn’t want to be considered for a specific genre, let’s say horror, for example, they can remove the horror tag from their IFDB listing if one is already present. Alternatively, perhaps they want to be considered for a genre when the audience may see the game primarily living in another genre, let’s say a space opera that also features a romance, the author can go in and also add a romance genre tag, opting the game into consideration. Perhaps they don’t want to partake at all, in which case they can simply remove the publication year and add it back after the polls close. This was already done for an unfinished PunyInform game earlier this year; the 2022 publication year was edited to pull it from consideration.

Having the categories left to voter interpretation removes much of the incentive the awards introduced to clean up IFDB entries and also removes the author’s ability to opt in or out of different genres.

Obviously, I’m not going to die on this hill, it’s just an opinion after all. With that said, perhaps a pop-up reminder when folks submit a new IFDB listing that let’s folks know that not properly tagging an entry omits it from consideration of annual IFDB Awards might be a good idea. I didn’t have much difficulty in editing IFDB entries, but I’m not everyone, so maybe there’s an opportunity to improve the UI there as well.

I respect that you have a different point of view and acknowledge that perhaps I’m just wrong. With that said, I will respect and abide by however the future organizers choose to address this, whatever they choose to do.


Could a part of this issue be resolved by having multiple genres on the listing? For example, a game might be both Horror and Sci-Fi, but the IFDB doesn’t allow more than one genre for a game (pls correct me if I’m wrong).


I’m fairly certain you can list multiple genres. [Goes to double check.]

(I’ll change it back.)

It appears you can list as many as you’d like, or even invent new ones. It’s a simple text field.


It’s a drop down list/text box with me. I’ve tried with and, a comma, space or semi-colon, but it doesn’t really separate the genre. Like you can’t click on just horror or romance. It’s all genres or nothing.
Could there be something like with the author text box, where if you add and you can click on either author?


Unless I’m very mistaken genre is different from the tags. There can only be one genre filled in, though the keyword searches used in the IFDB Awards allows multiple words to be picked up on. The tags are not searched by the genre search used in the polls. And I found editing genre really unintuitive. Only once I’d managed it did the award winning games show up in the built in poll searches …


Something about the messiness of entries might also have to do with the job usually falling on the shoulders of the organizer of the competition (or, at least I think that was the case for last year’s SpringThing and for the Goncharov gamejam that Autumn ran).

It’s already really nice for them to take on that role with the chaos of running the actual competitions, so maybe it’d be something to consider for encouraging participants to make their own listings / repopulate them with more information, or perhaps having a designated helper rather than heaping it onto the runner’s shoulders on top of other comp tasks?


I’d like to second this. I felt like Brian was fielding a lot of requests while trying to determine his process AND think about Spring Thing. I think it was a lot, anyway.

This may be controversial, but I don’t think authors have a lot of say in genre classification of their work. I agree that they should specify a genre when submitting, but for me that’s where it ends. Genre is a tool for players, award committees, and customers (where applicable) to find what they’re looking for. Or to discuss what they’d like to discuss.

Just my take


I’ll take the chance to add that Brian has mentioned he was looking for help with SpringThing on the technological side of things:

in case any meowmeows here feel like they might be able to help out on that end!


I don’t know why you’re getting different results, as I was able to list 4 genres just fine. It seems like this would be better solved with a dev request than a rule change.

Even if you decide to allow voters to determine the categories, the process of adding more than one or changing genres should still be accessible and easy.

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I don’t think you actually listed four separate genres. You created a new genre label called “Horror, Romance, Humor, Western” (with just the one game in it).


Yeah, HItchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy the sole game in the " Science Fiction/Humor/Literary" genre.


If that’s the case, then multiple genres should be supported (and I need to comb through my edit history on IFDB).


The genre keyword search used in the award polls is quite loose so “Science Fiction” can match anything like “Science Fiction, Mystery” and “Comedy/Science Fiction/Horror”. So there is flexibility for multiple genres being represented in this single genre field. But I still think requiring it to be set for voting is more problematic than not.


It is true that when you click on genre, you will only get the games with the exact same genre field. However, if you in the search field type: genre:mystery

Then you will also catch the games with multiple genres. However, to me there is a “bug” on IFDB, so if you type “Genre” (with capital G) then it does not work as intended. This is a problem on e.g. phones where the first letter is by default capitalized. So people will be thinking that IFDB isn’t working as expected because they don’t know the search will fail unless they use a minuscule g.