The polls for this year’s ENNies Awards are now open, you have until July 25th (this coming Sunday!) to cast your vote! Eclipse Phase is nominated in four categories, and we’d appreciate the love. Posthuman Studios is also up for the fan award for Best Publisher.
If you’re not familiar with Eclipse Phase yet, go download and check it out now. Some thoughts on our nominations:
Best Cover Art: Stephan Martiniere, who illustrated the Eclipse Phase cover for us, is a phenomenal and well-known sci-fi artist (you’ve probably seen some of his novel cover work). The piece he did for us shows a transhuman fleeing into space from a derelict space station (in orbit over a devastated Earth) while a mechanical tentacle grabs them and pulls them back. We were aiming for a sense of bleakness and loneliness here, and he nailed it spot on. I’ve actually seen a couple of reviewers comments exactly on that point, so I’m glad it was conveyed. Note that the cover wraps around front to back (some pics of the book only show the front cover half). You can see the full piece on the front page of our website.
Best Writing: The team that did the writing for Eclipse Phase is likely the best group of writers I’ve ever worked with on a book. They all know transhumanism well, have intriguing ideas, and are fantastic wordsmiths. While Brian and I came up with the original concepts, Jack Graham and John Snead ran with those ideas and really succeeded in capturing the setting. Lars Blumenstein knocked out the groundwork for the psi and mesh rules, helping us do something different and keeping it functional. The opening fiction piece, “Lack,” written by myself and Davidson Cole, did a solid job of introducing the setting and what players will do and go through in game. We also had help from other talented folks like Tobias Wolter, Randall Bills, and Bruce Baugh.
Best Production Values: Adam Jury rocked the graphic design of this book. I cannot emphasize that enough. He took some of my initial ideas, some of which were fleshed out and most of which were nebulous to the point that they were probably frustrating (we went through a lot of early concept prototypes) and invented a look for the book that just kicks ass. It looks amazing, it’s visually distinctive, and he threw lots of little elements in that really succeed in making it user-friendly. To go along with his masterpiece, the cabal of color artists that art directors Mike Vaillancourt and Brent Evans pulled together did an out-of-this-world job and delivered the visual sense for the setting that we hoped to achieve.
Game of the Year: We have a well-rounded game that’s innovative and pushes sci-fi gaming in a new direction. The setting is detailed yet accessible, the artwork is amazing, the game is easy to learn and play, and the book looks great. We also made some leaps forward with the Creative Commons licensing approach we took, and our success with it is already inspiring others. So, yeah, we think we deserve this award.
We have some heavyweight competition, so every vote will count. I’ve seen some people note that some of our main competitors are re-packaged versions of previously-released games, but I think each book deserves to be considered on its own merits. I’m sure a lot of work went into redesigning and updating those projects–possibly more than people realize. That said, I’m looking forward to seeing how these votes play out. There are a lot of deserving people and titles on the nominee roster. Good luck everyone!
Oh yeah — if you’re going to be at GenCon, Posthuman Studios is also up for an ENnies Dream Date auction. The winner gets to hang out with me, Adam, and Brian during the awards, gets a signed copy of our upcoming Sunward sourcebook, and gets their name or a character’s name used in an upcoming book! We promise to make your night interesting!