Every year at Fastaval, prizes are awarded to the best premiere roleplaying games and designer boardgame, as well as an honorary Otto to a dedicated person or group [in the scene]. The prize is called Otto and takes the form of a golden penguin.
Here you can read about the different prizes, how they are awarded, who awards them and how they are defined.
THE SCENARIO OTTO
At every Fastaval since 1992, prizes have been awarded to the best premiere scenarios. The Ottos are awarded at the Otto Party Sunday night at Fastaval, and a jury consisting of six people with different roleplaying profiles decides who is nominated and who wins. The Otto jury is presided over by a head judge appointed by Alea, and the head judge then recruits their jury based on a desire for different skill-sets, diversity, and experience in roleplaying. The Otto is awarded based on the scenarios as written materials, but the jury also looks to player experiences in the form of the evaluation sheets handed out after each scenario has run.
For the scenario jury, it is a long and thorough process to read and analyze all the scenarios and shortlist those who are nominated and win an Otto award. If you want to know more about what it means to be in the Otto jury before, under, and after Fastaval, you can read more here:
Over the years, the Otto categories have changed several times, but at the moment prizes are awarded in the categories Best Presentation, Best Mechanics, Best Characters, Best Storytelling, The Participants’ Award, The Special Award, and Best Scenario. You can read the definitions of the scenario Ottos below:
Awarded for the scenario that creates the best basis for a good roleplaying experience at Fastaval. The scenario is assessed as a whole, with particular emphasis on the harmonious combination of form and content, potential, and accessibility.
Awarded to the scenario that best uses mechanics, techniques, rules, or structure to create a good roleplaying experience within the framework of the scenario.
Awarded to the scenario that creates the best narrative experience by the means of roleplaying and within the context of the scenario. The award takes both the idea, the overarching dramatic flow, and the individual scenes into consideration.
THE SPECIAL AWARD
Awarded to the inspiring or interesting scenario, that attracted the attention of the jury by distinguishing itself from the rest of the games in a particular way. The award can be given for either the general concept or a specific part of the scenario.
Awarded to the scenario that in an accessible and inspiring way best presents its material. The award includes text, structure, appearance, and presentation and is assessed in relation to the preparation of the participants and the use during the game.
Awarded to the scenario that presents the players with the best foundation for roleplay within the framework of the scenario and which ensures co-ownership of the experience. Another consideration is that the content designed for the players is inspiring and engaging.
THE PARTICIPANTS’ AWARD
Awarded to the scenario that gives the participants at Fastaval the best roleplaying experience overall. The award is solely based on the experience of players and game masters via submitted votes.
THE BOARDGAME OTTO
Since 2012, the board games and the board game Otto have been permanent features of the convention.
At first, they were represented by a single Otto, Best Board Game, but in 2016 the prize Best Innovation was added. In the same manner, as the scenario Otto, the board game Otto is awarded by a jury consisting of six people. One head judge and five jury members were also selected based on experience, different skill sets, and diversity in their approach to board games.
Two Ottos are awarded for board games; Best Board game and Best Innovation. You can read the definitions of the board game Ottos below:
BEST BOARD GAME
Awarded for the design that forms the best basis for a good board game experience at Fastaval. The game is judged in its entirety, with special emphasis on the harmony between concept, communication, game mechanics, and functionality.
Awarded for the design that excels in a unique or innovative way in relation to the rest of the board game field. The prize can be awarded for the overall design or a particularly strong sub-element that is central to the overall experience.
BEST PRESENTED BOARD GAME
Awarded to the board game that, through its components, creates the most accessible and inspiring gaming experience. The award includes the communication of rules, usage of illustrations and iconography, as well as components and the gaming material itself. Account is taken as to how difficult the content of the board game is to convey.
PARTICIPANTS’ AWARD FOR BOARD GAMES
Awarded to the board game that gives the participants at Fastaval the best experience overall. The prize is awarded solely based on the players’ experience of the board game via the number of cast votes.
THE HONORARY OTTO
Fastaval cannot exist without volunteers and people passionately working to constantly renew and make things better for all. For this reason, since 1992 the convention has honored the people going above and beyond the call of duty. The Honorary Otto is in recognition of the merits of a person, group, or organization that through time has contributed not only to Fastaval but to the environment surrounding the activities that define Fastaval. The Honorary Otto is awarded every year at a reception in The Oasis, and the recipient gives an acceptance speech at the Otto Party Sunday night. The head judge and jury selector is always last year’s winner. The Honorary Otto jury decides on nominations and who wins, but before Fastaval it’s possible to put forward the person/group which you think deserves extraordinary recognition.