First of many many news items from me…. and I get to use the new branding for the first time.
Quick thank you to our judges and those not in our community who consistently get me bothering them with: can you want to be a judge for this or that? I really appreciate the work and time that you spent looking at them as some of the nominations were quite deep.
There was a bigger pool of ships / Players for the awards but the quality was outstanding and I want everyone else to know that even if you do not win you were still fantastic enough to be nominated. We had over 50 nominations this year which is amazing when last year we did not have enough to run over half the awards.
This year we had nominations from the following games.
So without further ado let’s get passing out the prizes:
Golden PADD for best character storyline
Lt. Commander Finnley Keating VII (USS Athena)
Keating’s story arc goes back into the previous mission, meaning that it isn’t easy to reflect the entire scope of it with sample posts. A mission gone wrong has convinced her that she’s not cut out for the job and the posts as she returns home to her parents, tail between her legs, are an excellent example of what a great writer can do when working on solo character development. Dot has crafted this arc with patience and precision, not rushing any point so that things feel forced. This is especially commendable given that Dot herself suggests she is not sure how all of this ends, even though the posts are currently leading beautifully into the character’s reinvolvement with the main mission.
Golden PADD for outstanding creativity (Individual)
David (Obsidian Command)
When I built this mission, I had a general idea of what the main species we would be dealing with was, what a Korin was. Fins, flippers, breathing underwater, generally bi-pedal on land. But that was about it. I had a very, VERY rough outline of them and really hadn’t figured to get too, too into the weeds on it. I honestly didn’t realize they’d be that big a part of the mission. DCFranklin asked if he could build on that and I reluctantly conceded; I’m not always the best at letting others control things.
Boy was that the right call.
He took what had been a stick figure drawing and turned it into a living, breathing, dynamic culture that exceeded my wildest imagination. As I read who the Korin were I couldn’t help but feel like I was a random reader seeing it all for the first time. And if that wasn’t enough, DCFranklin doubled down on the build he’d created, using the world he’d brought to live, to weave a further detail into the story. Marooning the crew of a lost Starfleet vessel on the planet who had to learn to live, communicate and cohabitate with this species he had so eloquently created. It is clear DCFranklin is a master at his craft, and is a valued member of this crew. That is why I am giving this award to DCFranklin
Outstanding creativity (Overall Game)
On Obsidian Command, every post is finely detailed and whether the action takes place in the desert on Planet Obsidian with its rich and harrowing past, or in the middle of a rescue operation performed by fearless Marines, the reader is always plunged right into the action, living the moment with a myriad of details and likeable characters.
O.C. doesn’t just cover the grand scale of intense missions out there in space, though, the inner life of its crew is also covered. These past few months have been special because we’ve been treated to the hopes and hardship of a handful of survivors abandoned on planet Korix. The heart-rending loss of a well-liked medical officer, and the ongoing struggle of a family trying to re-adapt to life within Starfleet.
Every post offers a different view of what life is like deep in space, facing unknown perils, some of them instilled by the Fleet itself.
There’s not enough room to explain. Lemme sum up. Since last Summer, Obsidian Command, which was already a banner sim, has had a renaissance, and while still a rather small and close knit crew, everyone who has posted actively has made work that is inspired! People are both individually creative and collaboratively on fire with ideas and characters that keep us all coming back to read and participate. The majority of posts on OC are a pleasure to read and it makes selecting samples for this nomination all the more difficult. Character development has been riveting or heartening, the world building has been awe inspiring and inventive, and the plot has been engaging and full of twists and revelations coming from both crew and leadership.
Golden PADD for outstanding Mission
SS Mary Rose: Adrift
The SS Mary Rose has a catastrophic systems failure, plunging the ship into complete darkness. Cold, alone, adrift, the crew must survive in cramped conditions – packed into a cargo bay – for several days while they wait to float close enough to a moon that has the minerals they need to repair the ship. All the while, the threat of solar storms, meteors, and supply issues plague their long voyage.
I think this mission was the perfect example of taking characters, putting them into a perilous situation and watching the sparks fly. Character development was rife here – plenty of opportunities to interact, to put people in uncomfortable spaces, to brainstorm exactly how a group would try to keep themselves alive and keep spirits up.
Honestly one of my favourite ever storylines I’ve ever been a part of.
Golden PADD for Outstanding Post
Ensign Isaac ‘Zac’ Hughes & Chief Petty Officer Manishie Karalo – NX05 Atlantis
This post stands out as a prime example of exceptional quality in writing, especially with a subject that is difficult – you meet another version of yourself and you are the interloper. Both authors use vivid descriptions, captivating dialogue, and emotional depth to immerse the reader in the story, creating a powerful and memorable reading experience that leaves the reader in no doubt cereal is soul. The post showcases a remarkable level of skill and talent, deserving of recognition through the Golden PADD for Outstanding Post award.
Obsidian’s Outstanding Newcomer (Game- since last Obsidian Day)
Unfortunately, this was the only award not able to go ahead due to not enough nominations.
Obsidian’s Outstanding Player
Kieran (USS Athena)
I wrestled with which category to nominate Kieran for and so many fit the bill that I ended up landing on overall outstanding player. All of his characters have such fantastic depth. From Teyo, who is an utter mess and always getting in trouble to Xavier who has a rich and turbulent history but always shows up as a good Starfleet officer to Henry, the nerd that you can’t help but love. He utilizes each of them to bring color to every post and every mission. Beyond his fantastic writing skills, he is constantly engaging everyone on the ship, through general conversation and with making sure that everyone is involved in something they want to be a part of in the ongoing mission. He is an absolute gem of a writer, XO and human being.
Obsidian’s Community Engagement Award
Okay, so this award when I was looking through the awards this afternoon organising the chaos as I do not look at them until about a couple of hours before I was stunned to discover that I am won this award.
I was completely humbled but I can’t accept it. I am not here for awards or praise for me (I make sure my games get it) but my role relies heavily on the Community Team and the community as a whole and it wouldn’t be fair at all for me to keep it so I am passing the award along to Paul and Serahni for their work on engaging communities on Athena, Solar Force, Avalon, SS Mary Rose and NX-05 Atlantis as they got the most votes after me.
Obsidian’s Most Helpful Player
Paul goes above and beyond for sim and OF as a whole. He is constantly engaging writers in the sim to be a part of missions, actively seeks feedback and ideas for future missions and generally provides an amazing place for us to sim. His guidance and leadership helps to make the Athena a welcoming place where we love to write. He also helps with fleet communications and he’s been on some of the podcasts and helped out all over the place. Paul is an all-around great guy that makes the Athena and OF as a whole, a great place to be.
Paul has been an invaluable asset to our fleet, consistently going above and beyond to assist others in his roles of community and TFXO. His willingness to lend a helping hand and provide guidance has made her an invaluable resource for both new and experienced players. He actively engages with the community, answering questions, offering support, and fostering a friendly and inclusive environment. His dedication to the fleet’s well-being and his genuine desire to help others make her an exceptional candidate for Obsidian’s Most Helpful Player.
Obsidian’s Valiant Volunteer
I know he’s always been the one Obsidianite who doesn’t write much. And yet it’s his love of the community he instigated forming in the first place that has made a home for us as (mostly) writers (and now includes voice players) and he’s helped to keep the fleet going past rough patches.
This nomination is specifically to denote duLac’s latest herculean effort to build a new IFS system out of WordPress adapted tools and plugins. It’s smooth and pretty and has the potential for a lot of different uses and engagement as we adjust to it. Knowing his friends and the people he’s designing for, and taking into account the broader vision of sim variety being included in new playing formats and IPs, duLac developed the latest IFS as a broad support for OF sims and not a prescriptive requirement; it’s wisely made so that it can be engaged with by the GMs at whatever level suits their individualized gaming needs best: from a simple re-directional summary page, to using it just for sim news updates, to live play sims posting session summaries or transcripts, all the way to hosting a sim’s entire play posting directly to ifs. And it’s comforting to know that the guy who built it is still there to help maintain it.
I know he’s *&%$#@! loud enough to take his own credit most of the time, but I would love to see him receive this award to make his gob stop for a minute. Because it’s true. He’s been an incredible volunteer and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.