The 2023 IFDB Awards now open!

To me it seems like Debut. What does it seem like to the rest of you, by the way?

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I assume Trailblazer means a game that tries a new/experimental approach. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be the author’s first game. (A debut would be an author’s first game.)

A game that is outstanding (without being a trailblazer) might use a tried-and-true approach but be really well done.


For me, trailblazer is about innovation and new ideas that will influence future IF. Some IF can be outstanding quality but very traditional and not so much innovative, and some other IF might not be the best game but it can be very innovative. Of course, same IF can be both the best and innovative, but for me they are different categories.


From the Oxford Dictionary:




trailblazer (noun) · trailblazers (plural noun) · trail-blazer (noun) · trail-blazers (plural noun)

  1. a person who is the first to do something; an innovator:

    “he was a trailblazer for many ideas that are now standard fare”

  2. a person who makes a new track through wild country.

My pick for Outstanding Game is not a trailblazer at all, allthough there is a lot of trekking through wild country…

I just voted. What a great experience to open up the “Published: 2023” search list and see all those great games again. (And all those games I haven’t played yet that represent so many promises of greatness!)

On each list, I voted for the game that I think should win in that category. In many categories, I also voted for one game I want to give my support, even though it’s not the best in my opinion. And on a few lists I added (which automatically means voted for) some games I felt deserved the attention.


I agree with the above definition of “trailblazer”.

I also think some idea of understanding “best use of interactivity” would be good.

Last but not least, I think the Outstanding Retro Game is for games which can actually run on retro machines. E.g. LAKE Adventure qualifies as it runs in DOSBox and could also run on Amiga and Atari ST (16 bit machines from the 80s) with their AGT interpreters.


I feel like I disagree with the retro point. Personally, any game that returns to the age of retro gaming is eligible. For a great example, LAKE Adventure. But one off the top of my head, I personally think something like Milliways is eligible because it returns the the good ol’ days of 1984 and finishes the work of a 39-year-old sequel in ZIL itself, with similar style and proper simulation of the old games.


Just a reminder that games in other languages than English are not restricted to their proper language categories. Even if they don’t win, it’s nice to show some recognition. That’s mainly what I think the multiple-votes rule is for: support and kudos to authors whose games you liked, even if you don’t think they’re the absolute best.

I added my favourites from the French Concours to several other categories. (Don’t know enough German or Spanish to do the same for those games.)


I guess as in most other categories it is up to the voter to decide.

The original idea was to have a category for those who are still making text adventures for e.g. ZX Spectrum, Apple II and I was thinking they would never stand a chance against an IFComp game with a little bit of retro graphics.

But I acknowledge that there is no other category for what you are describing so it makes sense to put those in this category too.

However, in your two examples, those games actually can run on retro machines. Because you used ZIL, Milliways runs pretty well on a C128 emulator - just tested it. :smiley:


Ohhh… I get that now. Alright, thanks!

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I took trailblazer to mean a game that was exciting and innovative in concept and execution, even though it wasn’t my bag. Outstanding is a game I greatly enjoyed, even though it may not have been especially trailblazing. But that’s just me.


When is the last day to vote? I fail to find this information.


February 17th!


…per the IFDB news item, “roughly midnight EST on February 17th”.
Is that midnight at the start of the 17th (in about 14.5 hours), or at the end of the 17th (in about 38.5 hours)?


Around 11:50 tomorrow night (the date will be the 17th in Texas when I turn them off).

I’ll be manually going off and turning off the polls right before bed, then going through the next day and removing self-votes.

Btw make sure tog at your votes in! The voting for Best Game of the Year recently dramatically changed (one game was 3 votes ahead of second place but now they’re tied), so your votes matter!