XYZZY Preliminary Voting - proposed adjustment

I just wanted to float this before we get to the XYZZYs this year and it’s too late to bring up.

Last year, the writing category had only two nominees. That seemed a bit ludicrous given the quality that year (80 DAYS, ALETHICORP, BLOOD AND LAURELS, CANDLESMOKE, CHOICE OF ROBOTS, CREATURES SUCH AS WE, HADEAN LANDS, HUNGER DAEMON, DIAL C FOR CUPCAKES, HUNTING UNICORN, INVISIBLE PARTIES…and many others from the latter half of the alphabet on IFDB). I am not by any means throwing shade and saying the nominees last year weren’t worthy, I’m just saying it seemed a waste that only two games got recognized for outstanding writing in an amazing year. I’d venture “Best Writing” is an important category to most authors.

The reported reason for this lack of nominees is that the ballot for the preliminary voting only allows voters to submit one game for each category. This resulted in one game with a lot of votes, one game with a bunch of votes, and between 10-20 games with one vote each, which all cancelled each other out.

The simple fix for this is to allow voters to nominate more than one game in each category (say three) instead of one. For each ballot, a first place vote gets three points toward nomination, second place gets two, and third place gets one. The highest five point-getters (or however many nominees are decided on) become the category nominees on the ballot for the final vote. In a case where someone votes for the same game in multiple places, only the highest place is scored. Each game can get at most three nomination points from any single voter.

This would also place less stress on the preliminary voters who have to personally decide their winner, and then change their mind and vote on something different if their choice doesn’t get on the ballot.

(On Edit:) This is only for the preliminary nominee vote. The actual winner in final voting should be decided by each voter casting one vote for the category.

This has come up before, and we’re planning on experimenting with it next year, yes. (Rather simpler than your version, though. Each voter gets two votes per category, which can’t be applied to the same game.)

That sounds like what I was going to suggest, so +1 on that I guess?

This is sort of a side question, but were the writeups on the XYZZY blog still going to happen for the last batch of nominees?

I was thinking three per category, but yeah, any of these ideas seems reasonable.

It’s nice that everyone agrees here. (I also agree.)

+1 to the current consensus, and +1 to it being nice that it is currently a consensus.

Yes. (I’m moving slowly on it because, among other things, I’m in the middle of a move.)