XYZZY Awards 2022: final results

The XYZZY Awards for 2022 are complete: here are the results. Thanks to everyone who took part, and congratulations to the winners.

Best Game: According to Cain (Jim Nelson)

Best Writing: The Absence of Miriam Lane (Abigail Corfman)

Best Story: Fairest (Amanda Walker)

Best Setting: Prism (Eliot M.B. Howard)

Best Puzzles: The Bones of Rosalinda (Agnieszka Trzaska)

Best NPCs: Lady Thalia and the Rose of Rocroi (E. Joyce, N. Cormier)

Best Individual Puzzle: the escape room in The Little Match Girl 2: Annus Evertens (Ryan Veeder)

Best Individual NPC: Computerfriend in Computerfriend (Kit Riemer)

Best Individual PC: Bell Park in The Grown-Up Detective Agency (Brendan Patrick Hennessy)

Best Implementation: According to Cain (Jim Nelson)

Best Use of Innovation: The Bones of Rosalinda (Agnieszka Trzaska)

Best Technological Development: Inform 7 build 10.1.0

Best Use of Multimedia: Gent Stickman vs Evil Meat Hand (AZ / ParserCommander)


Yay, congrats to the winners, and thanks for running the awards - a lovely way to start the year!


AHHHH, go Jim!!! Well-deserved!!! This really was the stand-out game of the year for me.

I don’t generally agree with the way these awards pan out, but this list looks closer than usual to the Walker awards. Congrats to everybody!

And I’m super stoked to see Fairest get such love. I’m proud of that one. Thanks, everyone!


What a wonderful group of authors and games!

Well deserved!!!


Thank you @maga for running the awards!

I’m honored, and very happy to see my contribution listed among so many other recognizable names and titles. Congratulations, everyone.


It’s interesting to see how the past 2 years have broken with general ideas about how awards go. First, in 2021 and 2022, the winning games did not win major comps (neither did 2020’s winner). Second, they were both serious games with downer stories, when conventional wisdom has it that light-hearted comedies do best. And third, we were both newbies (I know it was Jim’s second game, but still) in fields of much more experienced authors. I wonder if these are outliers, or trends?


That actually is quite often true! It’s a maxim that IFComp winners are often funny and xyzzy winners are often sad. I think it’s because of the difference in ranked voting vs yes/no voting; in ranked voting you want to broadly appeal to everyone, while in yes/no voting you need to be the favorites of a large group (even if others dislike it). I don’t know if that’s the only influence or even if it’s a pattern and not random chance but it’s my theory!


One sees this also in media awards like the Oscars. Winning IFComp is like box office returns - which game appealed to the widest swathe of players? - whereas the Academy Award for Best Picture tends to go to something moodier but less popular that a more selective group of insiders views as having unique artistic merit. Having multiple categories probably helps, too, because it lets voters split their opinions more into “well, I enjoyed XYZ most as a player, but I thought ABC was more profound.” There may also just be the subconscious perspective that the XYZZYs are a More Serious Award for More Serious Games. Sad art benefits from hindsight, subcategorization, and a serious context.

Winning either is a tremendous accomplishment and rightly affirms the artistic talent of the creator.


Congratulations to everyone who won, everyone who wrote IF, everyone who voted and also to Sam for organising the awards!


Except the Oscars uses ranked-choice voting so it’s more analogous to IFComp…


Hey!! They’re out! Congrats to all those who won, but also those who got nominated! :tada::tada::tada:


Absolutely honored and also boggled that @EJoyce and I have managed to win Best NPCs for the second year running - I thought it was a fluke last time, but if it keeps happening then maybe people are on to something?

Congratulations to all the winners, nominees, voters, and people who helped make the XYZZYs happen this year. You’re all winners in my book. :slight_smile:


If you want to put an end to all this wearying winning, you two could always just give up on writing zippy, funny characters who also manage to be vulnerable, real people. There’s a LOT of boring, one-dimensional NPCs out there just waiting to be written.


Congratulations, everyone, and thanks to the organizers!

I’m happy and honoured to see my game on the list.


Congratulations to everyone!

Here’s hoping that XYZZY 2023 will be more vibrant!


This is one of the games that I think could have appeal to a more general audience than just the IF world. It’s SUCH an excellent hybrid: a clicky game that feels like a parser, with such innovative gameplay. Spring Thing is coming right up, and some of us are impatient to see Rosalinda and Piecrust again. Can we look forward to part two in a couple of months?


It is quite possible there will be a new Rosalinda game coming out this spring :smile:


Such a great selection of games! Congratulations to the winners!


Quick side note:

Out of curiosity, I looked down the list of XYZZY Best Game winners. Unless I missed something, the last TADS game to win is The Elysium Enigma by @Eric_Eve in 2006. Eric is still maintaining TADS code (the adv3Lite library) today.