Yet again the Kanga deadline trundles ever closer. When Kanga was first announced in 2018 we talked to one of the Judges, Ella Ampongan, to discover what it was about. Issue 24 is still available as digital download or in limited print stock.
By Matthew Lee
Tabletop games, in Australia, is a growing industry. This growth has been going on for a while, but it is in the last five years that it has picked up a massive amount of momentum. Publishers like Good Games Publishing and Rule & Make have come out of the gates with fire and passion. Titles designed in Australia are gaining national, and international, fame. Australian game designers are bursting from the woodwork. Artists such as Ian O’Toole and James Colmer can be found creating work for publishers and designers worldwide.
On their heels follows a slew of Australian tabletop media and content creators. Both the players and the industry are flush for choice, with video shows, podcasts, magazines, blogs and more to choose from. These range the gamut from those finding their feet, to established creators with a wide ranging audience.
At the beginning of May a collection of these Australian media people revealed a project they had been working on. It was an award, aimed at Australian involvement in the tabletop industry. Dubbed Kanga, it is split into three awards categories; Game of the Year, Best Visuals, Best Gameplay.
“The purpose of the awards is to celebrate and recognise Australian achievement in the tabletop gaming industry.” Explained one of the awards creators, and part of the judging team, Ella Ampongan. “We wanted to create an awards body that included all relevant markets in the industry. This means games published via the traditional route, published by a regular company or via independent markets like Kickstarter. This helps us recognise the best each year and make sure we don’t miss amazing talent that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.”
To this end Kanga has been created without a formal submission process. There is no need for people or companies to fill out forms, pay a fee or send games in to Kanga. If a game fits the Kanga criteria it automatically becomes considered for the award, which means that the winners truly are the best representation of that year’s selection.
Those with games can still alert the Kanga to their creations, and sending copies to individual Judges is encouraged. Each Judge is already creating content, such as game reviews, within the tabletop space. So this award is an extension of this process, rather than a separate entity. It is a win-win situation for those making games. Eligible games appear in the various media outlets, and the Judges become familiar with the titles they can vote for.
The remainder of this article is available in Issue 24. The issue is still available as a digital download or in print.