2006 Home Page
These are the winners of the 2006 Erin Awards.
Thanks very much to Bitterfrost for designing the graphics for the awards and the page header. The descriptions of the winners and runners-up were written by A. Bomire, BBBen and A. Ninny (mostly A. Bomire - thanks to him as well).
Best Female PC
Dania is one of the player character lead characters in GoblinBoy's epic, "Gifts of Phallius 2: Key to Eternity". That's right - one of two. You play as both leads in this game. During the course of the adventure, Dania transforms from a shy, innocent princess to a sexually charged dynamo - all while maintaining her virginity (until the final epic scene between herself and the other lead character). Despite all of the raunchy sex she is exposed to (and participates in), she somehow maintains her innocent nature.
In Lucilla Frost's second foray into the world of the superheroine "British Foxes", she takes a step back in time to explore the character of Magpie, the thieving character from her first game "British Fox and the Celebrity Abductions". In this short game, Magpie's devil-may-care attitude is given humorous outlet, which also explains why this game won the award for best humour as well.
Best Male PC
Winner: Captain K2E
The Captain is one of the player character lead characters in GoblinBoy's epic, "Gifts of Phallius 2: Key to Eternity". That's right - one of two. You play as both leads in this game. In the world of Ereos, a soldier is expected to live fast, fight hard and die young. And score some tail whenever he can. The Captain lives up to most of these expectations, all while showing a somewhat sensitive side as he struggles to complete his quest to save the world.
Runner-up: PC Camping Trip
Many of us have been there: we like some girl, but some good-looking, smooth talker gets to her before you do. In this game, that smooth talker is the player's best friend. Most of the game revolves around the player's dilemma in trying to score with his girlfriend while avoiding the temptations of the sexy Melissa. Through the lead character, the player is allowed to explore these options, even the "bad" choices, and see how they play out.
Best Female NPC
When looking for the archetypal female NPC in an AIF game you want: sultry good looks and a willingness to do anything and come back for more. And then some more. And trust me: Kalia is this woman. From a village of Amazonian women to a hugely endowed god, Kalia has more sexual encounters (and energy) than any two women in a normal game.
As the main character's girlfriend, Becky is trying to be a good girl. Of course, the player obviously is anxious for her to drop the good-girl act and start getting naked: early and often. What makes Becky interesting is the way she reacts to choices by the player. When the player catches her with his best friend, she is guilty and anxious to make it up to him. But, when she catches him with another woman, she is angry and just as anxious to get even.
Best Male NPC
Mike is the guy you hated in high school. Good-looking and a smooth talker, he never seems to have trouble getting the ladies. In "The Camping Trip" he turns out to be your best friend. Who, of course, is tired of you whining about never getting any with your girlfriend. So, of course, he makes a bet: who will bed her first! What makes him likable is that he offers the same option to you. If you can get with Mike's girlfriend - well, more power to you!
Mildew Saggins is a horrible, wretched little man. There is practically no redeeming feature about him, other than his glass jaw. He will use and abuse you, all while smiling and promising you the world. The fact that he is so blatantly obvious about it, and such an over-the-top caricature, is what makes him so lovable.
Best M/F sex scene
Winner: Captain/Kalia; runner-up: Captain/Dania
It's no coincidence that the scenes chosen as winner and runner up in this category both came from GoblinBoy's "Gifts of Phallius 2: Key to Eternity". Both scenes are incredibly hot, and either could have taken top choice in this category. The scene with Kalia in the Captain's tent is the first real sex scene in the game, and after the tantalizing near misses leading up to it, it is especially satisfying. The scene with Dania at the end is the last scene in the game, and a doozy of a sex fest where the two of you go at it in just about every position you can imagine (and some you probably can't as well).
Best lesbian sex scene
GoblinBoy's "Gifts of Phallius 2: Key to Eternity" is full of sexual encounters of just about every kind imaginable. Among these, the scene between the lead female character, Dania, and the Amazonian princess Yulia stands out. The sex between these two women is outstanding, not just in originality but in quality as well. Both young women are new to sexual matters, and discover the pleasures of female companionship together. The fact that this companionship involves strap-ons and multiple positions doesn't hurt either!
In a surprising move, BBBen re-released two of his early games which comprise a prequel to his popular Crossworlds series. While the game mostly includes his previous releases "Sleep Over" and "Janey's Diary", he added the encounter between Jessica and Susan to the game. The kinky exploration of bondage and domination is well written and just plain fun, delving into the mind of Jessica Jones and giving some background that deepens the popular character.
After a game full of sexual competition between the four characters in GoblinBoy's "The Camping Trip", where each tries to outdo the other in their sexual encounters, is there an ending more fitting than all four of them getting together for a hot, steamy sexual free-for-all? With many options and a great deal of sexual heat, this is definitely an impressive sex scene.
Arguably, two of the hottest females in the history of AIF are Queen Morghanna and Kim from Scarlet Herring's "Moist". What could be hotter than the two of them encountered separately in the original version? Why, having a threesome with them in the A. Ninny's sequel "Malaise"! It was actually a hard choice to determine which sex scene out of Malaise would come top, since the vote was split between three different orgies from the one game!
Best overall sex
Winner and runner up in "Best M/F Scene", two nominations and winner of "Best Lesbian Sex Scene" - is the fact that GoblinBoy's "Gift of Phallius 2: Key to Eternity" won "Best Overall Sex"? This game is packed with sexual encounters of every kind - men, women, dryads, mermaids, dragons, gods...you name it, you have sex with it! This game is quite possibly the record holder for the number of sexual partners, as well as the variety.
Runner-up: Camping Trip
Four horny teenagers spending a weekend in the woods alone - two of whom are not just sexually active, but aggressively sexual. What do you expect to happen? Exactly what does - sexual encounters between any and all of them (well, nearly), in multiple combinations, culminating in a sexual free-for-all that won this year's "Best Orgy" category.
Although much has been said about the sexual encounters in this game, there is also a very compelling storyline as well. You are taken on a journey as Princess Dania and the Captain attempt to save their world from the evil forces of Goraz. As the two of them travel the world of Ereos, more and more of the story is revealed until you are caught up in it - wanting to play to the end not just for the incredible final scene but just to find out what happens!
No one captures the feeling of a superhero (or in this case, superheroine) game better than Lucilla Frost. As Magpie, you actually feel you are fading from sight as you turn invisible, or that the world slips away from your feet as you fly up to the top of a building. The descriptions of the other characters, the apartment building, the interactions - all of them have a wonderful feeling and atmosphere that truly immerses you.
Best technical implementation
In GoblinBoy's Point-of-View swapping story, there are many places where things could go horribly wrong. Add in the many timed events, the many jumps from place to place, and the vast amount of characters within the game and you could have a recipe for disaster. The fact that GoblinBoy pulls it all off in such a seamless manner, without the player having any idea of just how difficult all of this actually is, is why this game deserves this award.
Anyone who has played craps knows that it has one of the more complicated gambling systems in any casino. Yet, A. Ninny was able to put together a relatively sophisticated betting system to mimic this environment. Couple that with the overall smooth play and feel of this game, as well as some fairly complicated character movement scripts, and you can see why this game finished so highly.
There have been very few AIF games that attempt to change the player character point-of-view mid-game. Only "Dear Brian" pops to mind. Only, GoblinBoy takes it one step further. Not only do you get to experience the game from two different points of view, you get to experience the exact same scenes from two points of view. This novel way of approaching the storytelling is why this game was judged most innovative.
A. Bomire's mastery of the technical side of AIF continues unabated. I attribute this near-victory to the fantastic pro wrestling match, the design of which is just genius. For a Mini-comp game to runner-up in this category is quite amazing and demonstrates that great things do indeed come in small packages.
Best use of multimedia
There have been many AIF games that used images to enhance their storytelling. Few have attempted it with the incredible number of characters as GoblinBoy included within his epic "Gifts of Phallius 2: Key to Eternity". While some would have been satisfied to simply display a single image for each character, GoblinBoy includes multiple images, as each character changes and moves through the game. A huge amount of multimedia, yet the game doesn't feel bloated and overstuffed like some other attempts in the past.
The multimedia in WWE was simple, including pictures of the relevant characters from the world of professional wrestling. It was a good use of the generally unused option to include multimedia in mini-comp games.
Switching the point-of-view of the player character has been done so rarely that it is hard to point to a standard by which to judge such an undertaking. Until now, that is. GoblinBoy does just this in his game in a manner that is smooth and intuitive, even when changing points-of-view within a single scene.
In writing a sequel to Scarlet Herring's "Moist", there is the temptation to leave things as they are - why mess with success? A. Ninny interweaves a whole new storyline and feel to the familiar castle, with an atmosphere of stagnancy and decay that extends from the castle environs to its inhabitants. Mix into this atmosphere some really challenging puzzles and the best craps implementation you'll likely see in an IF game and you can see why "Malaise" finished so well in this category.
Lucilla Frost's exploration of how Magpie got suckered into "The Institute" is filled with the subtle dry humour for which the British are so famous. From her constant chain-smoking to her cluttered apartment, Magpie is as flighty as her namesake, and just as raucous. When you mix in the situations and characters she encounters as she attempts to infiltrate the Smythe apartment, you have a very humourous game indeed.
Runner-up: Baron's Plot
This is GoblinBoy's opening salvo into the world of Ereos that is further explored in the sequel "Gifts of Phallius 2: Key to Eternity". The game is filled with the humourous antics of the slightly off-kilter denizens of the Baron's castle. The eunuch who is dying to get at the harem he is guarding, the Baroness who will let nothing get in the way of satisfying her sexual needs, and the mostly incompetent Baron Jalafar himself - all lend their lunacy to this story.
Best new author
GobinBoy has set a new standard not just for new authors, but for every author in the AIF genre. And that standard is high indeed. He released not one, not two, but three full games in the last year. And all three games were not only nominated for, but won several awards in this year's Erins. In fact, he won more awards this year than any other author - ever!
Runner-up: Girion Voeros
Girion Voeros took a big chance in releasing his game "Falcon: Mean Streets". In a genre known more for its pornographic content than anything else, his game focused mainly on the story and characters, with very little sexual content at all. And if you take away the biggest draw the typical AIF player has for any game, you better fill it in with something worthwhile. Fortunately, Girion Voeros does. The atmosphere and characters are just two reasons this game was nominated for "Best Writing" and "Best Gameplay/Puzzles".
Best short game
Winner: Bob's Garage
Perhaps a dark horse in the "Best Short Game" category due to some excellent Mini-comp entries, Bob's Garage pulled off the win mainly due to its smart writing and settings. The quick scene in the bathroom was a master stroke (pun intended?) to warm the player up for the final encounter. This game is also noteworthy because it's the first AIF to be written using the Inform 7 authoring system.
Runner-up: Dream Come True
Known for the incredible writing and atmosphere of such games as "Ghost Story" and its sequel "Ghost Justice", author Purple Dragon lends his creative talents to this entry from the 2006 AIF Mini-comp. In it, he tells the story of a frustrated high school student on a trip with his class as he attempts to wrangle some time alone with his girlfriend. Intermixing this with dialogue from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer's Night Dream" has the potential for something really interesting, or very corny. Fortunately, Purple Dragon presents us with the former.
With all the awards that Key to Eternity won it was a foregone conclusion that it would take out best game. This game clearly set the AIF community alight in October of 2006, despite a number of other significant game releases in the period. The game is a true AIF epic and that sheer size is something that could not be highlighted in any other category. The game managed to gain nominations for every category for which it was eligible, and won every one of those except “best humour”. It goes down in AIF history as the single most awarded AIF game so far.
At the top of everyone's list of favorite games is Scarlet Herring's Moist. To even think of creating a sequel to this game seems sheer madness. To have actually done it, and to have created an excellent game to boot, is sheer genius. This game was nominated for 10 separate awards (sometimes with multiple nominations in a single category). It was, perhaps, a little surprising that this game got pipped at the post for every award for which it was nominated; still, the “Top AIF Games of All Time” list includes Erin “Best Game” runners-up for good reason, and Malaise will sit well among such vaunted company, that includes the original Moist.
Best beta tester
Winner: A. Ninny
A favourite in this category, A. Ninny won it last year. Professional and organized, he is a joy to work with. He will not only point out problems but also offering possible solutions. He goes into a game the way a mould inspector goes into your house - poking and prodding and shining the light into every possible nook and cranny. His vigour is remarkable and very little ever escapes his examinations – it’s almost as if he takes the games he tests more seriously than the authors do themselves.
Runner-up: Richard Gillingham
A close runner-up this year, Richard Gillingham is an extremely thorough tester. Most of all he seems to take a careful interest in the work he is testing, and so is able not only to test the ins and outs of the game, but to get inside the author’s head. Combined with that is his ever-witty and thoughtful approach to testing, and reading his extensive and prompt beta-reports becomes more of a joy than a chore.
Badman Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award
Scarlet Herring has written one game in the AIF genre. Just one. For any other author, that would barely register a blip on the radar screen of the typical player. But when that game is "Moist" - well, all I can say is that if most authors could write only one game that was half as good they would give up writing too! This game is near the top of everyone's "Best Game of All Time" list, if not at the very top. Not only that, it has gone on to inspire many other authors, as well as lending its character modelling scheme to other games. "Moist" was the first game to have a variable arousal state as well as the first AIF game to have its source code made available. To most people, "Moist" IS AIF, as it typifies the standard by which most other games are judged. All this for a game that Scarlet Herring has admitted he finds "simply awful in places"! (source: Dec 2005 "Inside Erin" interview)
This is an extremely well-deserved award for A. Bomire, as he is one of the most acclaimed, active and talented authors that have been involved in the AIF scene. Pretty much every game he releases is a landmark, and they have generally won awards of one kind or another. He is also the most unselfish member of the community, bar none. In addition to the endless amounts of time and effort he's put into his top-flight AIF games, he is an endless source of outstanding advice to anyone who asks for it. He's constantly posting detailed responses to beginners' (and experienced authors') questions, writing thought-out articles for the newsletter, sharing his own code for newbies to reference and even answering player’s hint requests for other author’s games. He's a fantastic asset to the AIF community and it's only a bit surprising he didn't win this award earlier.
2006 Home Page