MegaZeux Excellence Awards
The MegaZeux Excellence Awards (also known by its abbreviation, MZXEA) were conceived by myth as an annually-held awards ceremony where the community voted on their favorite MegaZeux games released that year. In actuality, only three were ever held: the first two were held in 1996 and 1997, after which community interest began to wane. A final effort was made by Hercules to revive the tradition in 2000, which was ultimately to be the last MZXEA. In general, the perception was and is that there are not enough high-quality MZX games released on a yearly basis to justify the ceremony, and everyone is already aware of those games that are high-quality anyway. In addition, controversy over Luke Drelick engaging in ballot stuffing for his game, Engine 2, caused a decline in faith in the legitimacy and credibility of the awards.
Rules and Awards
Historically, the rules worked like this:
The MegaZeux Excellence Awards was administered by a council of ten people, including the Council Chairman. In 2000, an entirely new council was elected, because the MZXEA hadn't been held for two years. The original intent was for the previous year's council members to hand their seats over to a person of their choice, but this only ever happened once, in 1997. Any council member was allowed to drop his or her seat if desired. The Council Chairman would reassign any dropped seats. And after the awards, each council member would choose a new member to receive his or her seat for the next year's competition (including the Council Chairman). The Council Chairman of the old guard would then elect a new Council Chairman out of the new council.
The MZXEA was explicitly divided into phases:
- Council organization phase: in which new council members were assigned, and the rules reviewed by the council.
- Pre-nomination phase: in which council members decided upon the different categories. This was not done in 1997, but in 2000 the Best Day of Zeux Entry category was added.
- Nomination phase: in which council members decided upon nominees for each category
- Voting phase: in which council members voted according to the category voting procedures (see below).
- Ampersand phase: in which public Ampersand voting occurred according to the ampersand voting procedures (see below).
Timing was generally flexible between phases, but the first four were required to be done before the end of the year, and the final phase was to be completed before January 31st of the following year.
The competition was divided into categories, each consisting of several nominees. The categories were the same for all three competitions, except for the Day of Zeux category which was added in 2000.
- Best Action-oriented Game
- Best Adventure/RPG
- Best Comedy Game
- Best Puzzle-oriented Game
- Best Graphics
- Best Sound/Music
- Best Demo/Unfinished Game
- Best Day of Zeux entry (only in 2000)
- Best Utility/Engine
- Best Website/Internet Resource
Categories could be changed at the Council's discretion, but never were.
The general idea was for nominated games to have been made during the year of the awards, since the awards were supposed to be held annually. However, only the 1997 awards strictly held to this; instead, all games released in the interval period between awards were eligible (in the case of 1996, this included everything since the release of MZX itself in 1994). ZZT or other non-MZX games/products were disallowed. No other restrictions applied to general eligibility (as the rules stated, "Nominees can be shareware, freeware, public domain, or commercial."). Authors of nominees could choose to withdraw their games/products from consideration, though this never happened.
Nominees for the first four categories were required to be completed, distributed games. However, demos and uncompleted games were eligible in the graphics and music/sound categories. Conversely, Nominees for the Demo category were required to be unfinished, distributed games or demos. The Day of Zeux category naturally only applied to actual DoZ games, whereas the Utility category could apply to external utilities as well as MZX worlds. Nominees for the Internet Resource category could only be MegaZeux websites/FTP sites/Telnet sites that dealt specifically with MegaZeux; pages that promoted a specific person or company were not allowed.
Voting procedures: Excellence Awards
Each council member could cast a limited number of unique votes in each category (originally two each, reduced to only one in 2000). In 2000 it was further stipulated that council members could not vote on their own games (this was specifically targeted at Luke Drelick, as there was a well-founded fear that he might try to hijack the awards). The council members reported their votes (by e-mail or other means) to the Council Chairman, who tallied the votes and added his own. The winner in each category was the nominee that received the most votes. In the event of a tie, each council member except the Council Chairman voted for one of the tied nominees in that category, and the winner of that vote was declared the Category Winner (this actually did happen in three categories in 1997).
Voting procedures: Ampersand Awards
Each of the category winners were then eligible for the Ampersand Awards. The Ampersand Awards were decided by a public vote, submitted by any means necessary originally, and using a specific form on the MZXEA page in 2000. Any person, including council members, could vote for the Ampersand Awards, but each person was allowed to vote only once. The category winner receiving the most votes in the public election received the Golden Ampersand award; the second most voted received the Silver Ampersand award; and the third most received the Bronze Ampersand. Any ties were resolved by the council. (In retrospect, considering the nature of the internet and internet polls, this was a profoundly stupid way to take a vote.)
The council could changed any rules at their discretion, though processes for this were never explicitly laid out. The 2000 MZXEA saw some minor changes to the rules, as noted above.
The following charts detail the nominations, council members, winners and ampersand winners in each of the three MZXEA competitions held to date.
|Gold||Orb of the Twisted Demo||Nathan Ridley|
|Bronze||Honor Quest||Darren Hewer|
|Best Action-Oriented Game||Damaged Mind||Darren Hewer|
|Best Adventure Game||Honor Quest||Darren Hewer|
|Best Comedy Game||Darkness||Darren Hewer|
|Best Puzzle-Oriented Game||Weirdness||Software Visions|
|Best Graphics||Orb of the Twisted Demo||Nathan Ridley|
|Best Sound/Music||Weirdness||Software Visions|
|Best Demo/Unfinished Game||Quest of Durin Prerelease||myth|
|Best Utility/Engine||MegaZeux Encyclopedia v1a||Software Visions|
|Best Website/Internet Resource||MegaZeux Stockpile||Barney9651|
|Casey McCann (chairman)|
|Gold||Honor Quest Special Edition||Autumn Dreams (Darren Hewer)|
|Silver||Eggplant Adventure||Draconic Creations (Casey McCann)|
|Bronze||Cans ][||Destiny Software (inmate2993)|
|Best Action-Oriented Game||Time Trial||Destiny Software (?)|
|Best Adventure Game||Eggplant Adventure||Draconic Creations|
|Best Comedy Game||Cans ][||Destiny Software|
|Best Puzzle-Oriented Game||Dylan's Gems||Stargazer|
|Best Graphics||Booshkies||Draconic Creations|
|Best Sound/Music||Honor Quest Special Edition||Autumn Dreams|
|Best Demo||Xenogenesis||Autumn Dreams|
|Best Utility/Engine||MZX Encyclopedia IIa||Matt Williams|
|Best Website/Internet Resource||MegaZeux World||Evan Furchgott|
|Sander Pieterse (chairman)|
|Gold||Engine: The Second Attack||Luke Drelick|
|Silver||Bernard the Bard||Jeremy Lamar|
|Best Action-Oriented Game||Adlo||craNKGod|
|Best Adventure Game||Bernard the Bard||Jeremy Lamar|
|Best Comedy Game||Cans 3||Inmate2993|
|Best Puzzle-Oriented Game||Gates: The Puzzles||MenTaLguY|
|Best Graphics||Final Fantasy: Dynasty Prelude Demo||Akwende|
|Best Sound/Music||Engine: The Second Attack||Luke Drelick|
|Best Demo/Unfinished Game||Endless Journey Demo||Almighty Cow|
|Best Day of Zeux Entry||Dark Nova||Lacan, Wervyn|
|Best Utility/Engine||MegaZeux Spider series||Spider124, JZig,|
and Kev Vance
|Best Website/Internet Resource||DigitalMZX||joshdw1 and Maverick|