The Indie RPG Awards (given at GenCon Indy 2008) may have lost some of the luster of a new phenomenon, but many people have commented that they are still a useful insight into indie RPG publishing.
The Indie RPG Awards are still decided by a voting community made up of dozens of peers in the Independent RPG Design/Publishing Community. The votes are still carefully gathered and weighed by familiarity with the other games in each category.
Several of the sub-awards of prior years are no longer being recognized.
1) The Indie RPG Human of the Year was a sort of lifetime achievement award for a person who did a lot to promote the development and release of independent RPGs overall. It was given as part of the 2002 and 2003 awards, but then retired after that.
2) The Best Synergy of Game and Rules award was an award for how well the rules and other elements of the game worked together as a whole, in principle separate from the quality of each on its own. It was given as part of the 2002 and 2003 awards, but then retired after that. The results from voting were that this was redundant with the Indie RPG of the Year Award and the Most Innovative Award.
3) The Andy's Choice Award was a personal award by the founder of the Indy RPG Awards, Andy Kitkowski. It was given in the 2002, 2003, and 2004 awards -- but was retired in 2005 after Andy Kitkowski stopped actively running the awards. We felt we couldn't fill Andy's shoes.
4) The Best Use of the d20 License was an award given in solely for d20-based products in the 2002 awards. It was dropped for the following year when it was decided that other awards were much better suited for a specific focus on d20.
5) The People's Choice Award were an experimental addition for the 2004 awards. They were given based on open voting through snail-mail letters and post-cards. Due to lack of promotion, they were cancelled in 2005 during the change-over of administration. However, we will be doing them again for the 2006 awards. To avoid hijacking, the voting was (and will be) done through snail-mail of post-cards and letters to the administrators.
If you have any questions regarding this year's changes, please contact me through the Contact Us Page.