THE BOARDGAME JURY AT FASTAVAL

Each year at Fastaval a committee is assembled to decide which of the Designer Board Games premiering are nominated and win the Otto awards. For many participants it can be difficult to see through the process of reading, evaluating, and shortlisting the scenarios, and how much work and effort the jury put into being fair and balanced to both the scenarios and the writers. In the following text will meet the jury and read about the judging- and the evaluation process at Fastaval.

The board game jury for Fastaval 2022

Foreman of the jury

Sofie Liv Støvelbæk

Sofie started her Fastaval “career” in 2016 where she found herself using most of her time at the activity Build a Board Game. In 2017 and 2018 she designed (spørg Sofie hvad det hed/kig i gammel beskrivelse) and afterwards she had us dancing in the game Move it. Now she has taken up the judge's mantle and is now a judge for the fourth time.

Sofie especially likes games that use simple mechanics to create complex experiences. Also, she values tightly communicated rules where theme, illustrations, and iconography goes well together. 

For the time being her favorite games are Terraforming Mars, Spirit Island, and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle.

Rikke Munchkin 

Rikke Munchkin has faithfully and happily attended every Fastaval since 1995 and got her nerdy nickname during FV96. She entered as a pure, young roleplayer, but gradually turned to the dark cardboard side as the Fastaval crowd introduced her to the incredibly varied wonders of board gaming. 

She debuted as a designer with the sardonically humouristic Old Gertrude’s Room, and generally has a soft spot for quirkier themes and ideas. But she also thoroughly enjoys the more classic games and currently plays a lot of Wingspan, Gloomhaven, Pandemic, and Doppelt So Clever. 

It is more important to her that the process of playing is a pleasure than who wins in the end. 

Kathrine Abel

In Kathrine’s family home Friday evening was best spent playing board games. So it was with both passion and nostalgia she later picked up the tradition again. She has been an active Fastaval organizer for years, ex in the main organizer group (the bunker), and this year she will debut both as a board game and Honorary Otto judge. 

Kathrine loves when narrative, player interaction, and mechanics come together – even the simplest board game can ignite great passion if only the design is thoughtful. 

Kathrine’s liking of board games varies, but she owns more Eurogames than anything else. When she does not force her friends to play ‘7 Wonders’, she plays Gloomheaven, Wingspan, and Terraforming Mars. 

Mads Fløe

At Aarhus Board Game Café where Mads works, he (among other things) buys new games for the café. This suits his eternal hunger for new and exciting board game experiences. This also spills into his spare time where he plays as many board games as possible – and he also designs his own games. Mads has been the main organizer of Game Rush on Fastaval for years.

Mads’ favorite game is without exception the new and exciting game that does something else. Besides, he has a great love for simple and elegant game designs. In this regard games such as Codenames, Concordia and Jenga are worthy of mention. If Mads are to choose freely he would say that Grand Austria Hotel or Cascadia is his favorite at this time.

Danny Wilson

Danny has loved board games ever since he was young and bought his very own Hero Quest set. With this, he ventured on countless adventures with his friends. Interesting techniques have always fascinated Danny, especially the ones creating exciting interaction between the players and even more so when built by elegant and simple rules. This is Danny’s second year as a board game judge and previously he has also judged scenarios at Fastaval.

Danny likes the board games Go, Netrunner, and Terraforming Mars. At the moment he’s playing a lot of Wingspan and Arkham Horror the Card Game with his friends.

BEFORE FASTAVAL

The jury chairman is found at Fastaval the year before and is selected as a starting point by the former jury chairman. The chairman of the jury then appoints a jury consisting of a total of 5 members, including the chairman himself. These members are selected to create a varied and balanced jury with both game designers and players as well as people with different tastes in board games.

Before the board games are handed in, the jury holds meetings where, among other things, they agree on the process and how the Otto categories are interpreted.

When the rules are submitted in the month leading up to Fastaval, they are read by the jury and this is where the first impressions can be formed of the material.

DURING FASTAVAL

During Fastaval, the jury will partly play the games themselves so that each game is played by at least two of the jury members. In addition, there is communication with players and designers after the proceedings to get a better impression of the games. In addition, the judges will collect feedback sheets from the players which will be important for the final decision.

On Saturday, the jury will lock themselves in all day to find out who will be nominated and who will win. The assessment takes place against the background of the written rules combined with the jury's and other players' impressions of the game played, including the feedback notes.

On Saturday evening, the lists of the nominees will be published both physically at Fastaval and digitally on the website and other digital media.

On Sunday, the designers will have the opportunity to get the feedback sheets back while the judges make the final arrangements before the final announcement of the winners on Sunday evening.

SELECTION PROCESS

 The winners and nominees will be selected based on the definition of the Ottos that can be found here. These definitions are discussed in the jury before the games are handed over. The games are largely judged on their own terms. For instance, a company game is judged on whether it actually creates social interaction and not so much on strategic depth.

All the games will be thoroughly discussed to make sure that you get around all the nooks and crannies and that all arguments are turned and twisted. This is not just a simple vote.

AFTER FASTAVAL 

After Fastaval, the jury starts writing feedback to all the participating designers. It is intended that the feedback can both be used to improve the game with a view to possible Further development and development of new games for Fastaval or elsewhere.