Based on the feedback we received from attendees, exhibitors, and Academy members after the 2019 Origins Awards cycle, we will be incorporating a few thoughtful changes in 2020.
1. 2020 Categories
The Award Categories should be an accurate reflection of the current industry game offerings, and we felt there were some tweaks to make. To that end, we have removed some categories, re-added others, and additionally introduced completely new categories.
2020 Awards Categories:
Digital Adaptation of a Physical Game (NEW)
Historical Game (BROUGHT BACK)
Historical Miniatures Game (BROUGHT BACK)
The Game of the Year will also be awarded, but this will be voted upon by all active GAMA members. They will choose their single preferred title from amongst all the nominees in the physical game categories.
We will continue to have a Fan Favorite for each category listed above. Origins Game Fair attendees will be able to cast their votes in the mobile app launching in 2020.
While the new mobile app removes the need for a voting booth, we will have an area for attendees to peruse the nominated titles. To that end, we will be displaying the final nominees in one of the most highly-trafficked areas of the convention center - the foyer at the foot of the escalators leading from the Hyatt. Here, we will create a walk-through gallery with the oversized Callie statue encircled by glass displays housing the final nominees. To help promote engagement with the publishers, we will have an info card in front of each title indicating the booth number where attendees can purchase and/or demo the title.
There will continue to be an Origins Awards Showcase area where attendees will be able to play the finalists in the Board Game, Card Game, Family Game, and Historical Game categories. A library of the final nominees will be available and attendees can enjoy playing on luxury Game Toppers for an elevated gaming experience. We also plan on delineating this area with red carpet and velvet stanchions to draw attendees in and associate the Awards with the high level of prestige they deserve.
2. Unified Jury.
Rather than individual juries for each award category, nominees will be selected from a single unified jury. Members are encouraged to nominate products only within the Categories in which they have the most expertise..
A unified jury with a single line of communication will simplify the nomination process and allow for input from all jury members, providing a holistic list of final nominees.
Additionally, we have clarified the dates within which Academy memberships are active. Effective in 2020, membership will be active for a single year, from July 1 to June 30 of the following year.
3. Nomination Process.
Submissions for the 2020 Origins Awards cycle are currently open (submit games here!). Publishers can submit their own products until November 16, 2019. Products must have been released between November 15, 2018 and November 14, 2019.
Once the Jury is formed, we will share all submissions with the Jury. They will be able to continue making recommendations for products not already on the list until Friday, January 10. Once compiled, we will send out a poll to all Jury members to select their top five titles in each category. Nominees will be finalized by Monday, February 10, 2020.
The top five nominees in each category will be announced during the GAMA Trade Show, March 9-12, 2020. On Thursday, March 12, we will host the Origins Awards Showcase from 8pm-11pm where all GAMA Trade Show attendees will be welcome to demo the final nominees and familiarize themselves with the titles.
4. Voting Timeline.
Aside from the Game of the Year, the voting process for all nominees will remain largely the same. Post-GAMA Trade Show, we will send a poll out to the entire Academy, including the Hall of Fame, who will determine their top selection from the finalists in each category. Voting will close on April 3, 2020. Winners will be announced at the 46th Annual Origins Awards, on June 20, 2020 at Origins Game Fair.
Based on feedback we received after the 2019 Awards Ceremony, we have made a few modifications. As part of our goal of elevating the experience, last year we provided a full meal spread, free beverages, and removed the free theatre seating in the back of the ballroom. While the experience was enjoyed by industry members, it prevented many Origins attendees from attending the Ceremony.
In 2020, we will have an industry section and VIG section, which will have access to a dessert spread and cash bar. There will also be complimentary theatre seating for attendees who would like to attend the Ceremony.
5. Get Involved.
Those are a lot of changes, but they all add to our goal of elevating the Awards process from start to finish! Please follow the links below if you would like to have a hand in the 2020 Origins Awards.