EDUCATED CHOICE AWARDS 2008

Recognition of games created in the community in 2008

  • kentona
  • 04/05/2009 12:00 AM
  • 10089 views
..:: EDUCATED CHOICE AWARDS ::..

..:: 2008 ::..


Let me introduce you all to the Educated Choice Awards here at rpgmaker.net.

Overview
The Educated Choice Awards is an event celebrating quality indie games created in the RPG Making community over the past year (2008 in this case). The games are nominated and selected by a panel of judges, whittled down to about 10, and ranked. Each qualifying entry is then described by one of the judges in a small blurb, and then we present our list to the community.

Think of it as a sort of Academy Awards, but for indie RPGs on rpgmaker.net.

History
Back when we were discussing the Misaos, it occurred to me that we could also host a more controlled awards event, based on the recommendations of a small panel, and present somewhat in tandem with the Misaos. Whereas the Misaos are a "People's Choice" type of event, this would be more like a "Contributor's Choice" (at the time, RMN still had Contributors). In fact, one of the more consistent complaints of the Misaos is its lack of controls - anyone can nominate anything for anything and then eventually vote for whatever. Certain folk kept clamoring for an "expert" panel to distill for us the good games released this past year.

So I proposed this "Contributor's Choice Awards" in the mod forum and it met with a lot of interest. We came up with a system to determine our list, and after much haggling, delays, M.I.A.'s, and a lot of time, we came up with the list itself. And after even more time we wrote the blurbs (well, almost all of them). We also agreed to change the name to something jokingly arrogant: The Educated Choice Awards.

Judges
1. Max McGee
2. McDohl
3. brandonabley
4. Karsuman
5. Sam
6. S. F. LaValle

Moderators/Whip-crackers
1. kentona
2. Holbert


Without further ado, here are the 2008 Educated Choice Award winners:



#11. Harbinger
http://www.rpgmaker.net/games/882/


by Karsuman


Remarks
Harbinger's strong writing and distinct design make it a standout game. It is a game that doesn't set out to be too ambitious and instead accentuate areas of game development that are too often ignored or misunderstood. What results is a completely engaging experience that leaves one yearning for more. Karsuman proves that simplicity is not a vice, and that even the simplest things can have something awesome to offer.

Screenshots




#10. Master of the Wind


by ArtBane


Master of the Wind is a highly linear RPG with a unique sense of storytelling and a solid understanding of mechanics. Follow Shroud and Stoic, two unlikely superheroes with a strong sense of justice, as they brave a conspiracy to monopolize the blacksmithing market that ends up being much bigger than they expect. Features complex and well-designed dungeons, challenging battles, and a unique take on the traditional RPG story.

Screenshots




#9. Quintessence - The Blighted Venom
http://www.rpgmaker.net/games/937/


by Reives


Remarks
From the creator of the thematically polar The Mirror Lied and Do You Remember My Lullaby? comes Quintessence, the "quintessential" RMXP RPG. Kan "Reives" Gao combines his event-driven narrative and visual style with original music compositions to create a full-scale RPG world, and anyone that has experienced his more modest productions know exactly what to expect. Rich attention to detail and a great plot set-up ensure there will be plenty to enjoy in this adventure.

Screenshots




#8. The Mirror Lied
http://www.rpgmaker.net/games/761/


by Reives


Remarks
"This is probably the best RMXP game I ever have or ever will play."
-Max McGee, October 6th, 2008.

The Mirror Lied, by Kan "Reives" Gao is a COMPLETE RMXP game. It is graphically polished, brilliantly stylish, broodingly atmospheric, has an original score, and is fun, engaging, and thought provoking. In short: there is NO EXCUSE for not having played this. None WHATSOEVER. It takes just fifteen minutes of your life and it will use those fifteen minutes to not just consummately entertain and completely engross you, but will teach you some things about game design! How much better of a deal can you ask for?

Screenshots




#7. 1873
http://www.rpgmaker.net/games/723/


by ChaosProductions


Remarks
When it comes to uniqueness of style, 1873 hits the nail right on the head. While it helps that 1873 is a polished product with good gameplay, what really sells this game is its ability to draw the player into a different type of RPG world. Rather than use the traditional standard of swords, sorcery, and other high-fantasy elements, Chaos Productions pulls the player into the world of the wild west. What results is a good game with a solid point of view and a sense of purpose.

Screenshots




#6. Alter A.I.L.A. Genesis
http://www.rpgmaker.net/games/272/


by Neok


Remarks
One of the most polished and presentable RPG Maker 2003 games ever produced. Everyone should play this for its startlingly high production values, well-done side-scrolling graphics (are those Alien 3 rips I see? <3), and graphic-novel-style cut scenes. You may well find yourself staying for its intensely difficult and sometimes-strategic battles. A gem of a game produced by an engine that this point can be called nothing short of venerable.

Screenshots




#5. U.S.G. ~A New Beginning~
http://www.rpgmaker.net/games/433/


by hima


Remarks
Suspend your disbelief for a moment and imagine a shmup made with RMXP's scripting engine. Got it in your head? Now, chuck disbelief out of the window completely. An RMXP game that doesn't feel remotely close to one, this vertical shooter transcends the "competent" status you optimistically imagined into the realm of pure fun. It's not completely brain-dead either; Brandon Abley contributes a unique soundtrack to help characterize hero Kyte and his companions. Try it for technical prowess, and stay for the addicting gameplay.

Screenshots




#4. Cavern of Doom
http://www.rpgmaker.net/games/707/


by bobthebobish


Remarks
This game is better than it looks. That's not saying much, considering the eye-straining graphical style, but Cavern of Doom is a great RPG worth a playthrough. The game itself is finely crafted and well balanced, though difficult - it takes patience and strategy (and little bit of luck) to succeed in the game. A lot of care has been taken to polish the game. Despite the misleading screenshots, the style does work ingame - everything is identifiable and well made. It definitely grows on you. To complete the throwback experience, all yon dialogue be doneth in Ye Olde Englishe - 'tis a touch most niceth. Cavern of Doom will catch your eye with its style and draw you in with its gameplay.

Screenshots




#3. Mage Duel
http://www.rpgmaker.net/games/726/


by Max McGee


Remarks
Max McGee is known for his great achievements within the community, particularly Iron Gaia, BackStage, and Everything Turns Grey. However, bundled in with his less frequently played titles, such as Ruptured Souls, is a little gem called Mage Duel.

I'm usually not a fan of dunegon crawlers, and as the title suggests, Mage Duel is centered around battles. Fortunately, these battles are almost addictively fun to play and well balanced. With a slew of different classes of mage to play as too, you can replay the game and still find it fresh.

Screenshots




#2. SkyE
http://www.rpgmaker.net/games/789/


by Anaryu


Remarks
SkyE shows what can be achieved with the RPG Maker engines. Featuring a unique battle system, custom graphics and a gameplay style not often seen in this community, SkyE is a breath of much needed fresh air.

For these reasons, and more, it's proudly taking second place in these awards. Everyone should play this game, with a bit of luck, it might fuel the community to think of ways to make their own games unique to play.

Screenshots




#1. Demon Tower
http://www.rpgmaker.net/games/878/


by Craze


Remarks
With its memorable characters, incredibly dense strategic variety, 14-man-epic-boss-battles, super-unique skills, and "quirky retro-graphics" (heh, heh, heh) Demon Tower is some of the most raw fun I have ever had while playing an RPG Maker game. I genuinely regret I have been unable to spend more time playing it, and really look forward to have a chance trying the whole thing over again. If you are familiar with the community, you'll understand what I mean is that the method in the inherent-madness of the Craze game-making philosophy is revealed by Demon-Tower: if you brute-force out enough weird, crazy-unique RPGs, (think a thousand very talented monkeys banging away on a thousand typewriters) you will get a bunch of weird and usually entertaining RPGs, but you will also eventually get an out-and-out masterpiece like Demon Tower.

Screenshots




Congratulations to all of the winners! We look forward to what you have next in store for us in 2009!

Posts

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halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
11399
Nice choices, you picked some real winners. Just one problem, though...the descriptions for USG and Alter AILA are the same.
Well, can't exactly say I agreed with this list.
WIP
I'm not comfortable with any idea that can't be expressed in the form of men's jewelry
11363
Man SkyE kicked my ass. I am also quite pleased to see the newer engines make a good showing! Although, I really liked Muse...
I greatly disagree with this list. Where's Balmung Cycle? Phantom Legacy? Sacred Earth? Sore Losers? And seriously, Demon Tower? That was the number one game? I'm sorry, I know I'm being an asshole, but I felt you guys left out some real winners. But it's not my decision.
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
11399
Oh, good, they fixed it. False alarm, everybody, they fixed it.

I need to play some of these games. The only one I did was USG.
Magi
Resident Terrapin
1028
I think this event was a fine idea and does bring some of the better or less-known games to the forefront, but calling it the "Educated Choice Awards" was a misled decision that fails to address what such a title implies.

I don't think it is healthy to imply that the rest of the community has poor tastes and makes poor judgment calls, even if that's the general consensus. Nobody can really make an educated choice unless everything on the table has been fully evaluated, and there is just too much out there for that to be possible. I'd suggest that is kept in mind for all future ECA's.
kentona
only 90s kids will like this admin
20443
Well, it used to be Contributor's Choice...but then they all disappeared.
I figured their would be rm2k/3 drama queens since the vast majority of these games are VX/XP games.

We used a peculiar, weighted voting method for this, and it was all done in our staff forum. I am amazed my game got on this list; I wouldn't have voted for it myself, even if it were an option for me to.

NicoB: It is not like those games did not get votes. I voted for some of them myself. Just because you apparently don't like any of the VX/XP games on the list doesn't mean these games are worthless in the eyes of others.

As for the name - yeah, it is a little pretentious. I didn't name it. =)
Agreed with Magi.

Still, a nice concept, I suppose.
Ciel
an aristocrat of rpgmaker culture
298
hmm these arent all the same game?
Ciel
an aristocrat of rpgmaker culture
298
I am sorry that was uncalled for
Craze
purity or absolution
13128
NicoB: I'm glad that Demon Tower was the #1 game!
Sated
puking up frothing vitriolic sarcastic spittle
4064
"I figured their would be rm2k/3 drama queens since the vast majority of these games are VX/XP games."

Why the hell are VX/XP users so protectionist about people who use 2K(3) disliking VX/XP games; it is almost as if they think all 2K(3) users are incapable of liking anything not made with 2K(3). It's retarded.

Besides, they could've just picked the good VX/XP games instead and avoided any kind of drama completely. I mean, some of the people who have games on this list have released better games themselves; like Geondun instead of Demon Tower and Everything Turns Grey instead of Mage Duel.
kentona
only 90s kids will like this admin
20443
I don't think Geondun was out yet in 2008, and Max specifically requested that EtG not be included.

Also, this isn't saying that "THESE GAEMS ARE TEH BESTT!" but instead saying "These games were played, enjoyed and recommended by the Judges."
Thank you to the organizers of this for your kind words about MotW. I think some of these games represent the best the RM scene currently has to offer, so I'm humbled to be included amongst them.

"Why the hell are VX/XP users so protectionist about people who use 2K(3) disliking VX/XP games; it is almost as if they think all 2K(3) users are incapable of liking anything not made with 2K(3). It's retarded."

Because this is a persistent attitude you find within the RM community. You're right to say that not all RM2K/3 users feel that way, but I'm not sure Karsuman necessarily meant that. Still, several people have openly admitted to me or friends of mine that they ignore all RMXP/VX games just as a rule. Personally, I adored RM2K, and held onto it even when RM2k3 came out. But when XP emerged, ArtBane and I felt it offered us more possibilities for our next project.
"Just because you apparently don't like any of the VX/XP games on the list doesn't mean these games are worthless in the eyes of others."

I didn't say anything about XP/VX games. I simply said that I personally did not enjoy Demon Tower (no offense, Craze). I don't think any, I repeat, ANY of the games on this list are worthless. I just think there are much better games out there based on content and gameplay, and NOT based on the engine used to make them.

But again, I'm merely expressing my own opinion about the list. I know there are plenty of people who have thoroughly enjoyed Demon Tower. It's just a matter of taste.
I've only played 3 of those games, wow.

Nobody should be discussing/arguing anything here, that is unless you've played every single game on this list. Either that, or you could have asked to have been a judge yourself.

Nice list guys. It's a great addition to the site, and great for recognizing the lesser known games. I wouldn't want to see a carbon copy of the misaos. That would be no fun!
Ciel: If they do, you're blind, deaf and dumb. Play before you speak. =)

F-G: As Kentona said. 2008 games only.

As for the last bit, Volrath is right. I never said that was the rule; it's just a lot of people ARE like this. I'm not an idiot. A lot of 2k/3 users play XP and VX games, and enjoy them.

NicoB: Thanks for clarifying.
Sated
puking up frothing vitriolic sarcastic spittle
4064
There are also XP/VX users who have the same attitude towards 2K(3) games (I think when I first introduced Sore Losers, someone said "I won't play this - I am done with RM2K now"), but I've never seen anyone who uses 2K(3) with this same paranoid attitude towards people ignoring/debasing their games on the basis of the maker it is made in.
WIP
I'm not comfortable with any idea that can't be expressed in the form of men's jewelry
11363
Can't you guys go back to bickering that Balmung wasn't on here?
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