The 2017 Saxxy Award nominees are in and I’ve already picked the winners

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Update: the official winners are now in.

If you haven’t heard of the Saxxy Awards, then you’ve been missing out. It’s an annual Source Filmmaker competition orchestrated by Valve, and I reckon this year has a particularly strong crop of nominees. The official winners will be announced later today, but who cares about that? I’ve saved Valve the trouble and already picked out the best ones below.

Action

First up is the action category, which I think has a clear winner. Overtime’s briefcase chase takes capture the flag outside of a normal TF2 map and into the skies, which by my reckoning makes the name works on at least three levels. It’s even got it’s own cute little intro graphic.

Comedy

Next is comedy, another category where one entry clearly comes out on top. Chicken Strike’s is animated bizarrely well for low-poly poultry, and I dig the contrast between the dour first 20 seconds and what follows. Solid punchline, too.

Best Drama

Blimey. Legacy packs far more emotional heft than a source film maker competition about goofy cartoon characters deserves. An honorary mention goes to Pointless, which has a lovely idea but could have been put together better.

Best Short

Ooh, this was a tricky one. I like the inventiveness of Player’s Portrait (someone’s been playing Gorogoa), but The Ice Cream Mann is packed so densely with jokes and spot on animation that it deserves the top spot. Hearing in-game barks shoehorned into imagined scenarios gets old after a while, and (most of) the impressions in this ‘aint half bad.

Best Extended

Two of the nominees for this one are boring fight-fests, but it was a close run thing between Leak! and Manned Up Mannequins. The reality warping of that final confrontation pushes Leak! out ahead for me. It’s Impressive Stuff.

Were I in charge of all this, the best overall award would go to Legacy, hands down. Maybe it’s beautiful, maybe I just have a weakness for inspirational music played over small vehicles embarking on epic voyages of both body and soul. Yeah, Moana really got me.

You can watch all of the nominees over yonder, and the official results will be announced later today.

5 Comments

  1. dahools says:

    As much as I agree on most of your picks for the categories, the other 3 entrants in the Extended category are far better than Leak.

    Never knew this was a thing however, so it has made an enjoyable hour watching them all. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  2. Skeletor68 says:

    Ok so maybe I’m going soft in my old age, but Legacy actually made me tear up.

  3. JustOneWay says:

    Legacy is proper good I agree. Had me welling up.

  4. Shinard says:

    Hey, 3/5 isn’t bad! As long as you don’t count that Leak’s only really second in the Extended category, as the overall winner was from there as well. Still.

  5. Vodka, Crisps, Plutonium says:

    Just in case someone has missed it, here’s a lovely (and by lovely I mean “oppressively grim”) spin-off in Half-Life 2 universe, made by apparently dyed in the wool fan of garry’s mod and all its painful limitations that always seem to drive creative force in some unexpected directions.
    link to youtu.be

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