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This Sub-Award is dear to my heart: It goes to the designer who makes not only excellent games of rules and settings, but makes excellent games that are imminently readable and catchy to the eye. It could be through primarily layout and desktop publishing skills, followed by the use of art (not necessarily the best art, just art used to maximize the effect of the layout), innovative or creative new methods of game layout, clarity and readability of the text, materials used in the construction of the game, or, in the case of PDF games, the most effective use of all the features of PDF publishing. This award goes to the game or supplement that shows off the best "Mad Graphical Design and Layout Skillz".

This year, there was an overwhelming winner that everyone recognized, and it's announcement came as no surprise to anyone at the GenCon awards ceremony.


Burning Empires, by Luke Crane / with 100 points

Selected Peer Feedback:

"My jaw is still on the floor. Not only raises the bar - it nukes the bar from orbit."

"Beyond the simply stunning visuals of the book you will find an incredibly polished games text. One that has been edited thoroughly and properly, laid out with care and produced to the very highest standard."

"Excellent use of art work, space, and the dimensions of the book to create space and flow. Plus the book did a wonderful job of using visual cues to link it to and reinforce the tone of its licensed source material."


Spirit of the Century, by Robert Donoghue, Fred Hicks, Leonard Balsera / with 29 points

"A bit of pulp dash, good use of fonts, and a clean layout make this book both attractive, usable, and just a little bit stylish."

"Spirit of the Century boasts a crisp, clean, functional layout. There are very few typos. The book is well editted. There are a number of decent illustrations to add to the book's overall flavour."

Dictionary of Mu, by Judd Karlman / with 24 points

"This takes the concept of book as physical artefact usable in the game and drop kicks it to the next level."

"Page after page of stunning imagery and prose, pregnant with possibilities."

"I vote third on Mu only because there have been visual extravaganzas like Burning Empires and HEX this year. (I'd love to give a couple points to Mortal Coil as well, for that matter.) Jennifer's art... dear god, Jennifer's art."

"Holding Dictionary of Mu is holding a piece of Marr'd. The book captures mad Oghma's blood, sweat and tears."


Lacuna Part I (14 pts), Hollow Earth Expedition (14 pts), Agon (13 pts), Wild Talents (13 pts), The Zorcerer of Zo (11 pts)