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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.