We’d like to answer a few questions that we expect will come up. If you find that you still have questions after reading this, please feel free to contact us.
About the American Tabletop Awards
How did this get started?
We looked at parallels happening in other countries (the Juego de Año, the Kangas, the As d’or, and the Spiel des Jahres) and noticed there wasn’t an American equivalent. Considering the American market is one of the largest in the industry, has one of the most diverse player bases in the world, and is growing rapidly, we wanted to create an award that focused on highlighting great games for the American audience via a diverse, experienced committee.
Discussions around the ATTAs began in December of 2018, the inaugural committee was selected in May 2019, and the initial awards slate was announced in September 2019. We’re aiming to announce them early each year from here on out.
So, the “American” Tabletop Awards?
We considered the US Tabletop Awards but USTA isn’t as good of an acronym.
Do you always announce award winners in September?
No, this is a one-off. We’re targeting early June in the future; things take time to get set up.
About the Committee
Who is on the American Tabletop Awards Committee?
Please see our Committee Page. Each member of the American Tabletop Awards Committee is an active participant in the modern tabletop scene (i.e. through blogging, podcasting, or video work) and has extensive board game experience and knowledge.
How Do I Join the American Tabletop Awards Committee?
There is no application process. Members may be nominated for consideration by another member in good standing, provided they meet our eligibility requirements. If that’s the case, the committee votes, and should the vote pass we will reach out to the person in question to invite them to join, should they be interested.
What Are These Eligibility Requirements?
Generally speaking, we ask that members avoid conflicts of interest, regularly produce content, and we try to avoid adding new members to the committee from media organizations that already are represented.
Is There a Code of Conduct for Members of the Commitee?
About the Awards
How Are Games Selected for an Award?
Games must meet our Eligibility Requirements:
- The game must have rules available in English.
- The game must be physically published, not a print-and-play.
- The game must have been published for the first time (or receive a significantly changed new edition) in the previous calendar year. For games with unclear publishing dates, the Committee reserves the right to consider a game for both years. This means that, for instance, the 2020 American Tabletop Awards will consider games released between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019.
- The game must be available for retail purchase at the time of the award selection, or must have been a crowdfunded release.
Games that meet our Eligibility Requirements must then be put up for consideration by a Committee Member, following our rules:
- The Committee Member must not have a design or development credit on the game.
- The Committee Member must not be submitting a game for consideration at the request of another Committee Member with a design or development credit on the game. This would be considered a conflict of interest and will be treated as a breach of the Code of Conduct.
- The Committee Member should have played the game they are submitting for consideration.
- A Committee Member may, at most, submit 5 games for consideration. They are allowed to submit fewer than five, as well.
We then decide via Ranked-Choice Vote.
How Is a Game’s Category Decided?
The ATTA Committee has internal guidelines as to how to categorize games, but we’re aware that categories can be subjective. If a game’s nomination in a specific category is internally disputed, the committee discusses it and then votes to settle on a game’s final categorization.
We’ve heard feedback from many readers interested in learning more about our specific categorizations, though, so we’ve updated each category’s page with a brief description.
Can I Send You My Game?
The American Tabletop Awards Committee has no physical address or office. We rely on our committee to be active in tabletop gaming so that they play a diverse selection of titles over the course of a year via their own procurement methods, which gives them perspective on the games they submit for consideration. As noted in our Consideration requirements, Committee Members are expected to play the games that they submit for consideration. That said, please do not solicit Committee Members to try to get your game submitted for Consideration; that’s an extremely bad look.
As of September 2019, we are reviewing the idea of accepting review copies from publishers of nominated games to ensure all committee members have an opportunity to play those games before voting.
How Do We Put the Award on Our Box?
Please reach out to us directly so that we can get a contract drafted up around use and placement of the logo. We will charge a small licensing fee, primarily to cover our startup costs and to keep the site up and running. For Nominated and Recommended Titles, we may also ask that you only display the logo on the box for a limited time, since there are up to 16 games that are Nominated or Recommended in a given year.