XYZZY Awards 2005 digest

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This is a "digest" version of the XYZZY Awards 2005. The complete transcript (archived) is available at XYZZYnews.  
 

Pre-Ceremony Chatter

Rob says, "boo, normally I'm first in"
Emily says (to Rob), "you can still have the very front seat"

Jota pulls up a LA-Z-BOY recliner in the third (and, when reclined, second and fourth) row(s).

Rob takes an aisle seat.
(From Thrax) Rob drops an aisle seat.

HairBrain asks, "Ooh! Ooh! What'd I miss?"
Rob says (to HB), "you missed it again!"
DrewMochak says, "The awards are over, man."
HairBrain says, "dang"

Thrax says, "the awardees listed on the chalkboard are suspiciously familiar"
inky says, "nuts, I forgot to erase the chalkboard"
Bishop exclaims (at klimas), "Congrats! Again!"
Thrax says, "2005 XYZZYs? we'll be here for a while"
DrewMochak says, "Hey, you can't win the same award for the same game twice. Nice try."
Jaybird asks (of inky), "Hey is that chalkboard just any old object or does it have secret verbs authorized people can use to add or change winners?"
inky says, "it's just a regular chalkboard"
Thrax scrapes his nails on the chalkboard

olethros pinches the bottom of the girl in front.
olethros says, "Just like being in high school"
Jacqueline says, "eep"
Jacqueline says (to olethros), "Stop that."
olethros says, "oh, hi jacq. I didn't know it was you"
Jacqueline says, "Sure sure."
maga says (to olethros), "seriously, dude, she could kick your ass eight ways to Wednesday"
olethros says (to maga), "my point exactly"

Guest2 asks, "Will Ray Charles be performing?"
olethros says (to guest), "I hate to break it to you but.."
DrewMochak says, "I am Ray Charles."
maga says (to Guest2), "quite possibly, although not here"
olethros says, "Ray Charles has been reincarnated"

wojohz exclaims (at Norah), "you're gonna win!"
Norah says (to wojohz), "Calm down man"
wojohz calms down.

olethros asks, "so, how does one get to win one of them awards?"
Rob says, "first, write a game"
Rob says, "then, make it good"
Norah says (to olethros), "It is random"
DrewMochak says, "Making a game is usually a good start."
maga says, "then, bribe the five people who actually vote in the first round"
DrewMochak says, "First you make the game. Then you win the XYZZYs. Then you get the women."
wojohz says, "and the rest follows"

Start of Awards Ceremony

The lights dim!
lpsmith steps up to the front of the auditorium, and a spotlight illuminates him.
lpsmith exclaims, "Welcome, everyone, to the XYZZY awards for the Best Games of 2005!"

(applause)
DrewMochak does a 30-second version of Ticks and Leeches then steps down.
Guest2 exclaims, "Ray Charles! Ray Charles!"
Jota asks, "We're all just here to play #tomb, right?"

Best Use of Medium

lpsmith says, " Eileen, our traditional host, will be with us in spirit for the majority of the awards, but with any luck, she'll be here in time to award the Best Game."
lpsmith exclaims, "So, without further ado: here's zarf, to announce the finalists and the winner of the Best Use of Medium!"

zarf says, "Oh great"
zarf runs towards stage
zarf says, "(in slow motion)"

(applause)

zarf says, "Hi everybody!"
zarf says, "I've been asleep."
zarf says, "Actually, I *am* asleep."
zarf says, "You are all the ghoooosts of memooooory"
zarf says, "inky, for example, represents my third-grade teacher."
zarf says, "The parrot in the far corner represents -- um, a parrot. I think."
lpsmith says, "Apparrotly."
zarf says, "And this trophy in my hand represents the Best Use of Medium 2005! Woot it, folks"

(various woot noises)
ParserGirl says, "So wooted."
maga says, "duly wooted"

zarf considers making a 'best use of medium' / 'eileen is here in spirit' joke
zarf says, "But no."
jmac says, "Too late."
zarf points at jmac. "SILENCE KNAVE"
jmac falls over silently, where he will remain unmoving for the rest of the afternoon. Let this be a lesson to you all.
zarf says, "He represents my desire to work fifteen hours a day on bizarre software projects."
zarf says, "I don't know how he got in here."
zarf says, "But anyway."

zarf says, "Nominees!"
zarf says, "(note how I skip the part where I explain what this award is for.)"

Guest1 asks, "what is this award for?"
wojohz says, "the winner"
[peanut-gallery] Norah says, "Best Use of Spacing"

zarf says, "The finalists are:"
zarf says, "A New Life, by Alexandre Owen Muñiz"

(applause)
Rob claps for mystery and enigma

zarf says, "Book and Volume, by Nick Montfort!"

(applause)
JasonD exclaims, "Way to go Alexandre!"
Rob says, "en em en em"
inky says, "throw the book at him"

zarf says, "Distress, by Mike Snyder!"

(applause)
'Merk' says, "yay me."
Guest1 says, "yay distress"
wojohz says, "yah hugo"

zarf says, "Mystery House Possessed, by Emily Short!"

(applause)
Guest1 says, "yay mystery"
inky says, "hooray for MHTO"

zarf says, "Whom The Telling Changed, by Aaron A. Reed!"

(applause)
DrewMochak bangs a couple cocanuts together.
ChainGangGuy says, "This is more exciting than I thought it'd be."
Merk exclaims, "Good luck to all!"

zarf asks, "So, do I have an envelope?"
zarf says, "Hm. No."
zarf says, "Fortunately, I am asleep."
zarf dreams he has an envelope.
DrewMochak says, "Due to budget constraints, the envelope has been downsized to an infinit stasis tube."
maga asks, "more importantly, do you have pants?"
ParserGirl says, "Dream yourself some pants while you're at it."
zarf says, "Also, you are all butterflies. In case anyone asks."
Rob flutters
Allen says (to Rob), "oh no a hurricane in China!"
[peanut-gallery] Bishop says, "I thought _he_ was a butterfly."
[peanut-gallery] olethros says, "we are _all_ butterflies in this new state of being. Sans pants."

zarf says, "The winner of Best Use of Medium..."
zarf says, "Mystery House Possessed, by Emily Short!"

(applause)
[peanut-gallery] Rob says, "sneaky win by I7"

zarf says, "Hm, what's the give command"
inky says, "give trophy = emily"
zarf gives Best Puzzles 2005 XYZZY to Emily.
zarf says, "heh. Wrong trophy. Oh well"
ParserGirl says (to Emily), "Wake up and claim your eternal glory."
zarf says, "And there we have it."
zarf sits down and wakes up
Rob asks, "is she here?"
zarf asks, "zz. What?"
olethros says, "This is the first time that both the awarder and the awardee have been asleep"

Emily says, "I don't have anything prepared to say because mostly I've been writing my dissertation instead"
lpsmith exclaims, "That'll do!"
Rob says, "the-sis! the-sis!"
maga exclaims (at Emily), "let's hear an extract!"
Emily says, "but thanks! and I should also thank Dan Shiovitz and Nick Montfort who worked with me on this project, and Graham"
Emily says, "and as a special treat I will spare you any bits from the thesis"

zarf gives Best Use of Medium 2005 XYZZY to Emily.
DrewMochak asks, "So does Em get to keep the first one as a bonus for jsut being cool?"
Emily gives Best Puzzles 2005 XYZZY to zarf.
DrewMochak exclaims, "Yay Zarf! The game you didn't make this year had the best puzzles i've ever seen!"

(applause)
Thrax exclaims, "yay ancient Greek!"

Best Individual PC

lpsmith claps and approaches the front again.
lpsmith says, "The next award is for Best Individual PC. And here to present, our very own ghost in the machine, inky."

inky stands up and walks to the podium.
Jacqueline says, "inKY inKY inKY"
inky says, "actually, I'm not going to be presenting this"
inky says, "due to new changes in the law, for ethics reasons the Best Individual PC award needs to be presented by an NPC"
wojohz says, "yay ethics"
inky says, "so we've hired the firm of Flathead, Flathead, and Flathead, accountants"
inky says, "originally an architecture firm, Flathead, Flathead, and Flathead designed both the Royal Maze and the Bank of Zork"
inky says, "which showed they were eminently qualified to move into tax law"
inky says, "so please give a big round of applause for Bernie Flathead, CPA"
Thrax says (to inky), "I hear their audit reports are millions of pages long"

(applause)
Jacqueline applauds, even though they sound like attorneys.

BernieFlathead polishes his glasses, accidentally bumps into the podium, then drops his paperwork.
BernieFlathead looks out at the large audience and blinks.

maga says, "hooray for bureaucratic oppression"
[peanut-gallery] Thrax exclaims, "amortize for us!"

BernieFlathead says, "er, I'm afraid Mr Flathead and Mr Flathead were unable to come today"
BernieFlathead says, "so they sent me, er"
BernieFlathead examines his nametag.
BernieFlathead exclaims, "oh, yes, Mr Flathead!"
BernieFlathead says, "anyway, as I'm sure you know, there have been a number of recent changes in the tax code which necessitate new strategies in the year to come"
BernieFlathead says, "elvish weaponry can no longer be considered an antique"
BernieFlathead says, "spell research and expenses related to buying new scrolls is still deductible, but costs relating to regaining strength to cast spells is not"
BernieFlathead says, "and, as usual, profits made from investments made with knowledge gained by save/restore must be declared separately for each play sessions"
BernieFlathead pauses.
BernieFlathead rechecks his notes.
BernieFlathead asks, "oh, dear, this isn't "Make Your Zorkmids Work For You", is it?"
olethros says, "I think you have thev wrongnotes"
BernieFlathead says, "oh dear"
inky sighs and walks up on stage.

inky says, "ok, clearly we'll have to delegate this better next year"
inky says, "still, I think Bernie did very well for an NPC"

[peanut-gallery] wojohz asks, "can i write down my dwarves as dependents?"
[peanut-gallery] Bishop says (to wojohz), "No, but you can write off the throwing axes as business expenses."
BernieFlathead says, "I don't know much about that"
Jota exclaims, "Hold it, I want to know more about magical deductions!"
Jacqueline says, "Good try, Bernie."

inky says, "anyway, for Best Individual PC, the nominees are ..."
inky says, "Inspector Maltelli from Beyond (by Mondi Confinanti)"

(applause)

inky says, "Conan, Conan Kill Everything (by Ian Haberkorn)"

(applause)
Guest1 says, "co-nan.co-nan.co-nan"
Allen says, "yay kill everything"

inky says, "Jacques in Flat Feet (by Joel Ray Holveck)"

(applause)
maga says, "yay games I haven't played"

inky says, "Wendy Little in Tough Beans (by Sara Dee)"

(applause)
HairBrain says, "Yay, beans!"

inky says, "and The abbot in Vespers (by Jason Devlin)"

(applause)
JasonD says, "Good luck all"
HairBrain yells, "VESPERS!"

inky asks (of Bernie), "and the winner is ...?"
BernieFlathead asks, "er, not deductible?"
BernieFlathead says, "oh, wait"
BernieFlathead hands the envelope to inky.
inky looks inside.
inky says, "Wendy Little In Tough Beans (by Sara Dee)!"

(much applause)
Rob says, "first time winner!"
BernieFlathead gives Best Individual PC 2005 XYZZY to sdee.

Merk asks, "Is the winner here?"
sdee exclaims, "oh goodness! thanks!"
maga exclaims, "speech!"
ChainGangGuy exclaims, "Go Beans!"
Allen says, "Cool beans!"
Jacqueline says, "Cool be - darn"

inky hands over the microphone.
sdee says, "thanks chris, olaf, and dayle for testing it and for being encouraging"
sdee says, "and thanks to people for playing it"
sdee sits
(From wojohz) people says, "you're welcome"
sdee blushes

Best Individual NPC

lpsmith returns to the stage.
lpsmith says, "The next award is for the Best Individual NPC. Bernie was not nominated this year."
inky says, "he's still waiting for the right breakout accounting role to appear"
lpsmith exclaims, "But here to present the award, we have Audrey from Necrotic Drift!"

(applause)

Audrey exclaims, "Hello, everyone! Thank you all so much for the opportunity to present the XYZZY Award for Best Individual Non-Player Character!"
Audrey says, "The characters on the list are all very deserving. So deserving that we'd like to use this big bag of dice to help us announce the nominees."

Audrey rolls a twelve-sided die
Audrey consults a Dungeon Master's screen
Audrey exclaims, "Our first nominee is Cecilia, from the game Vespers, by Jason Devlin!"

(applause)
maga exclaims, "critical hit!"
[peanut-gallery] wojohz says, "you were right, Norah, it's random"
Guest1 exclaims, "cecilia!"

Audrey says, "Our second nominee is..."
skeleton exclaims, "All Hope Abandon!"
Audrey exclaims, "That's a great point, skelly. We'd better not leave that one to the roll of a die. The second nominee is Agrath, from All Hope Abandon by Eric Eve!"

(applause)

Audrey asks, "Could a member of the audience be so kind to punch the skeleton for me?"
Rob punches the skeleton
Jacqueline does an elbow takedown on the skeleton.
DrewMochak totally flips out on teh skeleton.
skeleton breaks up into a thousand little pieces
inky says, "full damage from bludgeoning attacks"
Bishop kicks the skull.
Rob says, "take THAT"
wojohz throws computer monitor at skeleton
jmac exclaims, "Wait... it's full of delicious candy!!"

Audrey says, "Thanks! As for our third nominee --"
Audrey exclaims, "That's right! Our third nominee has no name. It's the storyteller from Whom the Telling Changed by Aaron A. Reed!"

(applause)
inky says, "woo storyteller"
Merk exclaims, "Good luck, storyteller!"

Audrey exclaims, "Okay! This brings us to our fourth nominee!"
Audrey says, "As I understand it, Ralph from Flat Feet (a game by Joel Ray Holveck!) was your killer."
lpsmith says, "Not me."

Audrey says, "RIGHT. I'M OFF THEN, TO FIND THIS 'RALPH.' HIS ENTRAILS, HIS FLESH AND HIS BONES WILL BE AS FLAT AS THESE FEET YOU MENTION"

DrewMochak exclaims, "You! You're not the real Audrey!"
Audrey exclaims, "Beware of possession on this one!"
inky says, "we should have cast protection from evil on Audrey first"
Rob wonders who the nominee is

Audrey says, "And now, our final nominee."
Kali raises her hand
Audrey asks, "Yes, we have a question for the overdone, leather-draped Incisor Skank?"
Kali asks confidently, "You do not intend to forget about Val in the game "that plate with gold, ' by John Yevans as danger?"
Audrey exclaims, "If by that you mean that the fourth nominee is Val from Gilded, by John Evans, as A Hazard... then yes, I agree!"

Audrey says, "The winner of the XYZZY Award for Best Non-Player Character is..."
Audrey exclaims, "Yes, in English, the winner for Best NPC is the narrator, from Whom the Telling Changed, by Aaron A. Reed!!"

(applause)
Merk exclaims, "Yay for the storyteller!"
wojohz says, "hurray for telling, hurray for changing"

Audrey asks, "Is Aaron here today?"
lpsmith returns to the stage to accept the award on behalf of Aaron.
[peanut-gallery] Norah asks, "Is the award auctioned off if he's not here?"
lpsmith says, "I'll be sure to get this back to him. And to apologize for the necrotic drift that's gotten on it, but hey."
lpsmith stashes the award in a drawer under the podium.
lpsmith exclaims, "Next!"

Best Individual Puzzle

lpsmith says, "The presentation for the award for Best Individual Puzzle is next, with Rob."

Rob somehow emerges from a featureless white cube on stage.
wojohz asks, "wait, what did Rob write?"
HairBrain says, "Rob *is* the puzzle!"
wojohz turns Rob ninety degrees counterclockwise
inky says (to wojohz), "Rob is subbing for half sick of shadows, who is buried under his own thesis work at the moment"

Rob says, "While the award for Best Puzzles tends to go to the latest in the noble lineage of puzzle-fest IF games"
Rob says, "the prizes for Best Individual Puzzle, on the other hand, have often gone to more story-oriented games, singling out the instances where the crossword and the novel synchronize, where solving the puzzle is the same as advancing the story."
Rob says, "These special puzzles require both involvement and ingenuity to surpass."
[peanut-gallery] zarf says, "'thog, hit intricate mechanism with rock'"
[peanut-gallery] Emily asks (of zarf), "Gary Larson has turned to writing IF?"

Rob says, "Continuing this tradition of giving IF players that special 'aHA!' moment where the real magic happens, the nominees for Best Individual Puzzle for 2005 are:"

Rob says, "Moving the stone (after escaping the labyrinth), in All Hope Abandon. Writing and programming by Eric Eve."

(applause)

Rob says, "Following the murderer, in Beyond. Concept and main story by Roberto Grassi, programming by Paolo Lucchesi. (Graphics by Alessandro Peretti)."

(applause)
Guest1 exclaims, "following murderders rocks!!!"
wojohz says, "yay Glulx"
Guest1 says, "beyond is awesome"
wojohz says, "yay pseudonym"

Rob says, "Finding something to eat, in Chancellor. Writing and programming by Kevin Venzke."

(applause)
wojohz says, "yay weird vending machine"

Rob says, "Beating the creature, in Distress. Writing and programming by Mike Snyder."

(applause)
Allen asks, "who doesn't like beating the creature?"
olethros says, "that was one long puzzle that was"

Rob says, "Identifying the killer, in Mystery House Possessed. Writing and programming by Emily Short."

(applause)
Merk exclaims, "Woo me!"
inky says, "it was the butler!"

Rob says, "And the Xyzzy goes to...."
Jacqueline leans forward.
Rob opens the envelope.
Jacqueline leans forward more.
Rob says, "!!"
wojohz uses xray vision to read the sheet
Rob says, "Beyond, by the Mondi Confinanti team of Roberto Grassi, Paolo Lucchesi, Alessandro Peretti!"

(applause)
Merk exclaims, "Yah Beyond!! Great game!"
Guest1 exclaims, "YES!!!!!! congrats italian dudes!"
inky says, "go team Mondi Confinanti!"
Bishop exclaims, "Grats italian-type peoples!"
Guest1 says, "mondi confinanti = new dario argento"

Rob gives Best Individual Puzzle 2005 XYZZY to robgrassi.
olethros exclaims, "Speech! Speech!"
Guest1 says, "sara perche ti amo"
wojohz says, "discorso discorso"

lpsmith returns to the stage.
lpsmith says, "Well, if robgrassi unidles at some point, he can make a speech."
lpsmith says, "But next! The show must go on, with inky presenting the nominees and winner for Best NPCs."

inky climbs up on stage again.
Allen says, "you never climbed off the stage"
inky says (to Allen), "I snuck off while you were all cheering for Sara"
inky says, "ok, this one I am going to present"

Best NPCs

inky says, "anyway, the Best NPCs award is a very important one in IF"
inky says, "a good NPC is like a microcosm of what makes a good game -- it requires bringing writing, puzzle, and plot together to make a whole greater than the sum of its parts"
[peanut-gallery] Norah says, "I think he's lying"
[peanut-gallery] zarf says, "'thog hit everybody with rock'"
inky says, "the games nominated for Best NPC have to do this not once but multiple times -- sometimes they're nominated mostly for having a single major NPC, but even then the supporting cast must be there to back that NPC up"

inky says, "the nominees for Best NPC are:"

inky says, "Agrath, from All Hope Abandon (by Eric Eve)"
inky says, "er, whoops"
inky says, "right game, wrong listing"
inky says, "All Hope Abandon, by Eric Eve"
inky says, "there we go"
inky says (to Bernie), "I guess I'm not the only one with mixed-up paperwork"

inky says, "Bolivia By Night, by Aidan Doyle"

(applause)
Guest1 exclaims, "yay bolivia!!!"

inky says, "Flat Feet, by Joel Ray Holveck"

(applause)
wojohz says, "yay Doyle"

inky says, "Gilded, by John Evans (as A Hazard)"

(applause)
wojohz exclaims, "yay Sam and Max!"
[peanut-gallery] Merk says, ""Wooo Gilded! Way underrated. Buggy, yes, but way underrated."

inky says, "(possibly the only game besides Plundered Hearts which allows you to dance with all the NPCs)"
inky says, "and Vespers, by Jason Devlin"

(applause)
Bishop exclaims, "Yay monks!"

inky says, "and the winner is ...."
Guest1 exclaims, "VESPERS!!!"
inky says, "Vespers, by Jason Devlin!"

(applause)
maga exclaims, "Yay Vespers!"
[peanut-gallery] klimas says, "yay precognition!"
wojohz says, "yay Guest1's lucky guess"
Rob applauds for creepy diseased NPCs

inky gives Best NPCs 2005 XYZZY to JasonD.
inky sneaks off the stage again.

wojohz says, "speech"
JasonD says, "Wow! Who knew assigning different names to was essentially the same NPC four times would pay off :)"
JasonD exclaims, "Thanks guys!"
inky says, "the Vespers NPCs are all crazy in their own way"
eileen applauds madly
olethros says, "everyone knows monks are essentially indistiguishable because of the strange bald patch"

inky asks (of robgrassi), "would you like to make a belated speech about winning best individual puzzle?"
robgrassi asks, "i've won a prize?"
Rob says (to robgrassi), "you won best puzzle!"
Rob says, "check your inventory!"
robgrassi says, "great! :D"
zarf says, "Good speech, that."

DrewMochak says, ""Welcome back! By the way, you won an award!""
robgrassi says, "eer...."
robgrassi says, "so, i'm not good at speeches"
robgrassi says, "the puzzle has been inspired by John Dicson Carr books"
robgrassi says, "i wanted to make a closed chamber puzzle"
robgrassi says, "and then we let the player 'play' the murder again"
robgrassi says, "in different ways, from different points of view"
robgrassi says, "and that's all"

(applause)
olethros says, "sounds like an excellent idea"
ChainGangGuy says, "yay ideas"

NPC Starring Roles

lpsmith cheers, and returns to the stage.
lpsmith says, "So, after seeing the winners of the NPC awards, some of you may be wondering if you can get NPCs this good for your own games. Well, the stable of good NPC actors, actresses and other beings is small but solid. Here tonight, we present you with behind-the-scenes looks at the folks that brought you some of the XYZZY's greatest roles."

inky pushes a button on his remote, and a screen drops down to reveal a picture of Boldo, from Lock & Key
inky says, "After his stint on Lock & Key, Boldo had a spot in a short-lived made-for-CYOA remake of Enchanter, as the Adventurer, and then his career took something of a downturn after an unwise role in Adoo's Stinky Story."
inky says, "Still, he landed a plum role in Sting of the Wasp as the tennis instructor, and I believe he's in negotiations with Paul Allen Panks for a spot in Ninja III, so we can look forward to seeing a lot more of Boldo in the future!"

lpsmith says, "After many years of appearing in small roles, from Trillian in 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' to the Clapper in 'The Frenetic Five', she finally achieved stardom in 1999 as Miss Sierra in 'Varicella'. That proved to be the push she needed to make the crossover into graphical adventures, and she's appeared as several Bond Girls in Electronic Arts' 007 games, and most recently signed up with Tim Schafer to be Secret Agent Milla Vodello in 'Psychonauts'."

[peanut-gallery] Thrax exclaims (at inky), "you forgot her early breakthrough role in Plundered Hearts!"

inky says, "We got in touch with Triage to see what it was up to these days now that Slouching Towards Bedlam is over, and it sent back the following message:"

inky | CAT:RESPONSE.RE.CUR
inky | RENT.OCCUPATION....
inky | UTIL:FILL.TIME.BETW
inky | EEN.AWARDS.PART:FIR
inky | ST.GIG.ENIGMA.MACHI
inky | NE.JIGSAW.MOST.RECE
inky | NTLY.APPEARED.IN...
inky | ALL.THINGS.DEVOURS.
inky | AS.TIME.MACHINE....

lpsmith says, "And, finally: Graham Nelson first discovered this aspiring young demon in 1994, pressing him into service as a hint-giver (of sorts) in 'Curses'. Wary of being type-cast as a glorified invisiclue system, he sought out Andrew Pontious in 1996, and begged to play a role in the developing 'Small World'. His bet paid off, and he won 'Best Individual NPC' that year as the devil in that game. His shape-changing abilities make him a great character actor, and he's appeared as some form of supernatural force in such games as Madame L'Estrange, John's Fire Witch, Nevermore, All Hope Abandon, and Gamlet. But you'd be hard-pressed to recognize him in his role in this year's 'Vespers', where he played... well, that would be telling."

[peanut-gallery] Thrax asks (of inky), "and are you sure Triage didn't appear as Mover-005 in Bad Machine?"
[peanut-gallery] inky says, "dammit"
[peanut-gallery] inky says, "I can't believe I forgot that one"
[peanut-gallery] Thrax says, "they looked oddly similar"
[peanut-gallery] Thrax says, "possibly in Djinni Chronicles as well"
[peanut-gallery] Thrax says, "though that may have been a cousin"
[peanut-gallery] Rob says, "next time hire Thrax to write the skit"
[peanut-gallery] inky says, "no kidding"

Best Puzzles

lpsmith says, "And now, back to the ceremony! We once again call zarf to the stage, to present the nominees and winner for 'Best Puzzles'."

zarf says, "I see we're running behind, so I'll cut straight to the point:"
zarf says, "Puzzles!"
klimas says, "yay point cutting!"
zarf says, "puzzles are what bring us together."
[peanut-gallery] Thrax says, "Bwessed, bwessed puzzles, a dweam wiffin a dweam."
zarf says, "In a game of true complexific... um... synergies... moment of realiziation..."
inky says, "puzzles lead to hint requests, which lead to newsgroups, which lead to, uh, whatever those lead to"
DrewMochak says, "Flame wars."
HairBrain says, "Awards!"
zarf says, "Oh, hit it with a rock. You know you want to."
zarf says, "Solves anything."
inky says, "it worked in Wishbringere"
Bishop says, "That's what The Edifice taught me, anyways."

zarf says, "So, the 2005 nominees for Best Use of Rocks in Achieving Your Goal..."

zarf says, "Building, by Poster!"

(applause)
inky says, "hooray for cubicles"
Merk says, "All these really had rocks?""

zarf says, "Cheiron, by Sarah Clelland and Elisabeth Polli!"

(applause)
Merk says, "I don't remember rocks in Cheiron..."
inky says (to Merk), "well, technically they're gallstones"
maga says, "yay unsolveable puzzle"

zarf says, "Distress, by Mike Snyder!"

(applause)
Merk exclaims, "Yay me!"
Guest1 exclaims, "yay distress!!"
inky says, "definitely rocked"

zarf says, "Finding Martin, by Gayla Wennstrom!"

(applause)
maga says, "yay dangerous field medical procedures"
ErWenn leaps to his feet and cheers, "Way to go, Mom!"
inky says, "yay large puzzle game"
Rob applauds for puzzle games in general

zarf says, "Vespers, by Jason Devlin!"

(applause)
Merk exclaims, "Yay Monks!"
maga exclaims, "yay sinfulness!"
Guest1 exclaims, "yay vespy baby!!"

zarf says, "And, the envelope..."
ErWenn provides a drumroll.
zarf attempts to open the envelope
zarf attempts to unlock the envelope

Bishop exclaims, "Hit it with a rock!"
DrewMochak says, "Rezrov it."

zarf goes in with lockpicks
HairBrain says, "Pliers! Pliers!"
ErWenn exclaims, "go back in time to make it so it was always open!"
jmac says, "Someone read the walkthrough"

zarf pushes over a pillar which knocks over two statues which animate three fountains which turn four gears which open the envelope.

Jacqueline says, "Hooray!"
JasonD exclaims, "It was so obvious!"
olethros exclaims, "deductive skills!"

zarf pulls a rock from the envelope,.
zarf says, "The winner is: Distress, by Mike Snyder!"

(applause)
Merk says, "**faints**"
olethros exclaims, "Utter Puzzliness!"
Thrax looks distressed.
Trumgottist throws his rock.
HairBrain says, "Stoning! Stoning!"
HairBrain says, "I mean, speech!"

Merk exclaims, "Thank you thank you thank you! I'm amazed! I'm thrilled! I'm honored!"
zarf gives Best Puzzles 2005 XYZZY to Merk.
wojohz says, "hey, that's Emily's"
Merk says, "Thanks!! *takes a humble bow*"

lpsmith returns to the stage, clapping for Merk.

DrewMochak says, "...I'd just like to mention that I'm now three for three in games I betatest ending up winning heaps of rewards. ^___^"
Norah says, "You are awesome Drew Mochak"
inky says, "Best Use of Drew"
Lee cheers for testers

Best Setting

lpsmith says, "Next, we have the award for Best Setting. Our presenter for this award is ifMUD's Jacqueline."

Jacqueline rises from her chair and walks to the stage.
wojohz says, "yay time and place as a backdrop for action"

Jacqueline says, "Thank you, lpsmith. It is my extreme honor to present the award for best setting, but I've given this a lot of thought and decided that I really can't do it alone."
Jacqueline says, "I'd like to introduce a friend of mine. Some of you may remember him from his brief but exciting role in The Fire Tower."
Bishop exclaims, "Oh, no, a bear!"
lpsmith says (to Jacqueline), "The Flatheads are all busy, I think."
Jacqueline says, "Please give a big round of applause to... TheBear!"
TheBear slowly ambles up the steps, then over to the podium. He glances out at the faces in the audience silently.

(applause)
Emily backs away slowly
inky says, "don't make any sudden moves, guys"
maga says, "yay ursines"
Rob hides the marshmallows
[peanut-gallery] zarf says, "a bear, a bear, etc"
Bishop stands completely motionless.
ParserGirl protects her most of her.
maga hands out bear spray cans
Rob tries to look bigger
Lee throws a pot of honey on the stage
wojohz takes the bells off his backpack
Eric looks in bear-keeping manual.

TheBear suddenly rears up on his hind legs, waves his claws about dramatically, and roars in a very menacing way that exposes some very sharp, surprisingly white teeth.
TheBear regains his composure, and rests his front paws on the podium.
Trumgottist faints.
Jacqueline shakes her head. "I can't take you anywhere. You love doing that, don't you?"

Bishop says, "Where's Jacq when you need... oh, wait, she's on stage."

TheBear lets out a low, growling laugh. "Rar, and thank you. It's great to be here this evening. Be sure to try some of the Alaskan salmon roe caviar that's being passed around in the audience - a real delicacy for an east coast bear such as myself."
[peanut-gallery] DrewMochak says, "As an Alaskan, I don't know what all the fuss is about."

Jacqueline asks, "Bear, the award?"
TheBear says, "Oh right. The next award is for Best Setting. The nominees are..."

Jacqueline says, "All Hope Abandon, by Eric Eve."

(applause)

TheBear says, "Building, by Poster."

(applause)
HairBrain applauds the great indoors!

Jacqueline says, "Chancellor, by Kevin Venzke."

(applause)
wojohz says, "hurray switching out settings"

TheBear says, "Distress, by Mike Snyder."

(applause)
Guest2 says, "We need a Ray Charles number soon."
wojohz says, "woo other planet"
Merk says, "Woo plain, flat desert with nothing around. =)"

Jacqueline says, "Vespers, by Jason Devlin."

(applause)

TheBear says, "Before we announce the winner, I'd just like to point out that more than one of these games featured hunger as an important element at some point."
TheBear says, "As I was wandering around in search of food I was really dismayed to see that none of the authors implemented the verb 'hibernate.'"
Jacqueline says, "Um, Bear, this isn't about puzzles, it's about setting."
TheBear says, "Oh, right. Without further delay..."
Jacqueline says, "The winner is..."
TheBear says, "A really wonderful game - while it didn't allow me to hibernate, it did allow me to chew on the bodies of plague victims..."
Guest1 exclaims, "VESPERS!!!"
Jacqueline says, "BEAR!"
TheBear exclaims, "Seriously. It's quite the easter egg. Go back and play it and see if I'm not telling the truth!"
Jacqueline says, "Vespers, by Jason Devlin!"

(applause)

Jacqueline gives Best Setting 2005 XYZZY to JasonD.
JasonD says, "Thanks guys. I hope this inspires all of you to go back and try munching on the corpses, they're delicious"
Guest1 exclaims, "yay eating plague victims!"

lpsmith waits until TheBear is well clear of the stage before returning.

Best Story

lpsmith says, "Up next, Chris Klimas presenting two awards, for Best Story and Best Writing."
lpsmith says, "But only one at a time."

klimas takes the stage, looks around, and begins uncertainly:
klimas says, "Once I was at a party, and this guy kept asking me for a ride somewhere --"
klimas says, "Except instead of a party, it was an awards ceremony --"
klimas says, "And the guy wasn't asking for a ride, he was feeding me lines from beneath the stage --"
klimas says, "And frankly none of what he was saying made a lot of sense, but it sure sounded good."
DrewMochak, from under the stage, looks around guiltily.

klimas says, "The nominees for best story, he said, were:"

klimas says, "All Hope Abandon, by Eric Eve."

(applause)

klimas says, "Beyond, by Mondi Confinanti (Roberto Grassi, Paolo Lucchesi, and Alessandro Peretti)."

(applause)

klimas says, "Chancellor, by Kevin Venzke."

(applause)
JasonD exclaims, "Good luck all!"

klimas says, "Distress, by Mike Snyder."

(applause)

klimas says, "And Vespers, by Jason Devlin."

(applause)
klimas says, "The winner, he said, was --"
klimas says, "Beyond, by Mondi Confinanti (Roberto Grassi, Paolo Lucchesi, and Alessandro Peretti)!"

(applause)
Merk exclaims, "Yay Beyond!!!!"
JasonD exclaims, "Way to go Beyond!"
HairBrain says, "Flair!!"

klimas gives Best Story 2005 XYZZY to robgrassi.
robgrassi takes the prize
robgrassi says, "thank you all"
robgrassi says, "nearly two years of work"
robgrassi says, "but tonight it's great"
robgrassi says, "thank you all, really"

Merk exclaims, "Very deserved, robgrassi!"
Merk exclaims, "Looking forward to what you guys come up with next!!"
robgrassi says, "we're working at it Merk"
Bishop cheers for the mutual appreciation of the anglophone and Italian IF communities.

Best Writing

klimas says, "So I moved to leave the stage but I couldn't: the guy under the stage explained, there's one more favor I need from you and then you can go back to the desert, or the party, or work, or Beatrice's house, or wherever it was you really were before you began dreaming --"

klimas says, "The nominees for best writing, he asked me to say, are:"

klimas says, "Bolivia By Night, by Aidan Doyle."

(applause)
Eric applauds stylishly.
olethros claps bolivianously.

klimas says, "Chancellor, by Kevin Venzke."

(applause)
inky says, "hooray for ninjas"
olethros asks, "ninjas?"

klimas says, "Mix Tape, by Brett Witty."

(applause)

klimas says, "Tough Beans, by Sara Dee."

(applause)
Eric claps toughly.
wojohz says, "yay Tough Beans"

klimas says, "And Vespers, by Jason Devlin."

(applause)

klimas says, "The winner is..."
klimas says, "Vespers, by Jason Devlin!"

(applause)

klimas gives Best Writing 2005 XYZZY to JasonD.

lpsmith says (to Jason), "Do you have anything more to say, or have you said it already? ;-)"
JasonD says, "The pressure's especially on to say something deep and insightful when someone gets Best Writing. And it doesn't get more deep and insightful than "Thanks guys!""

(applause)
Jacqueline says, "Well stated, Jason."

klimas claps for everybody and heads for his seat.

Best Game

lpsmith says, "OK, there seems to be only one award left."
lpsmith exclaims, "And we have an Eileen here!"
eileen tiptoes carefully up onto the stage.
lpsmith exclaims, "So, the floor's yours. Here's the nominees and winner for Best Game!"

eileen winces when a floorboard creaks.
eileen exclaims, "Hello, everyone!"

(applause)

eileen says, "I'm going to present this award as quietly as I can, because my son is taking a nap."
HairBrain says, "Son! Son!"
[peanut-gallery] Bishop says, "Man, everybody's kids are napping."
lpsmith says, "It's like we're all members of the same socioeconomic quartile."

eileen says, "The finalists for best game are:"
eileen says, "All Hope Abandon, by Eric Eve"

(applause)
[peanut-gallery] jmac says, "zarf is napping here, too"
[peanut-gallery] zarf says, "nap nap"

eileen says, "Chancellor, by Kevin Venzke"

(applause)

eileen says, "Distress, by Mike Snyder"

(applause)
Guest1 says, "ya distress"
Merk exclaims, "Good luck, self!"

eileen says, "Finding Martin, by Gayla Wennstrom"

(applause)
inky says, "hooray for eccentric houses"
JasonD says, "Good luck all"

eileen says, "and Vespers, by Jason Devlin"

(applause)
Guest1 exclaims, "CMON VESPY BABY!"
DrewMochak says, "Oh, what a shock that is."
[peanut-gallery] Rob says, "heh"

eileen says, "...and the winner is"

lpsmith | "Help me, father!" Cecilia calls from the tower. "He has gone mad!"
lpsmith | >ne
lpsmith | Base of the Bell Tower
lpsmith | Nestled in the northeast corner of the cloister, the bell tower rises high: higher than the steeples of the church. Footsteps cut a line in the snow from the cloister to the southwest to the tower itself in the northeast.
lpsmith | Someone jars into the bell and a slothful ring begins as the bell sways back and forth. One. Two. The momentum slows. Three. Four. Five. It sounds like it will stop.
lpsmith | No.
lpsmith | Six.
lpsmith | Vespers.

(applause)
Jacqueline says, "Hooray for Jason - very deserving."
maga says, "good work, sir"
olethros exclaims, "Excellent!"
klimas says, "now you have to come up with some sort of coherent speech!"

JasonD says, "Thanks everyone! This has been amazing"
eileen gives Best Game 2005 XYZZY to JasonD.

[peanut-gallery] Bishop says, "4 awards? Nice sweep."
Guest1 asks, "whats next for jasond?"
JasonD says, "I'm working on a somewhat IF-related project which is fairly top secret at the moment"
Bishop asks (of JasonD), "Man, you're on the I7 dev-team too?"
inky says (to Bishop), "this is how rumors get started!"
HairBrain asks, "Oh no! Rumors at an awards ceremony?"

Close

lpsmith exclaims, "Thank you all for coming!"
inky says, "congratulations to everyone who was nominated!"
Merk exclaims, "Yes, congrats to winners and all the nominees!!"
Jacqueline says, "Congratulations to everyone!"
zarf says, "indeed"
Bishop says, "Yay everyone who wrote _anything_ this year."
DrewMochak says, "I uh... wrote something..."
DrewMochak says, "Didn't release a game, but y'know..."

inky says, "thanks to David Welbourn for putting together the winner list, and lpsmith for MCing!"
lpsmith says, "And thank you, authors, for providing us with another year's worth of IF."
Dave says, "even if you didn't finish yet"

Trumgottist wakes up, and asks "Is the bear gone?"