XYZZY Awards transcript, (AKA The Brendan Patrick Hennessy Memorial Ceremony) Abridged

I have captured the actual award bits of the ceremony, bolding categories and winners with some surrounding "crowd noise" for atmosphere, and calling out quotes from award-winners.  I apologize if I missed any particularly enjoyable exchanges or bon mot from the Peanut Gallery. The complete transcript is available here.

maga says, "First up: Best Use of Multimedia, the award that reminds us that 'multimedia' is totally still a word that the cool kids are using."
maga says, "And the winner is..."
Jacqueline leans forward.
dastridly drumrolls
zaphod holds breath
Peregrine chokes.
willbuntu rolls drums.
dfabulich eats a drum-sized cinnamon roll
Peregrine chews off his fingernails.
[peanut-gallery] Teaspoon asks, "cinnamon roll?"
maga exclaims, "Secret Agent Cinder!"

maga says, "Next up, we have Best Technological Development, which this year has an uncontested winner."
maga exclaims, "For wrangling Undum into a more user-friendly state: Raconteur!"
Emily says, "yay!"
robinjohnson cheers
zaphod applauds!
[peanut-gallery] bphennessy says (to katherine), "we got us a mud newbie over here"
Teaspoon cheers.

Sequitur says, "For some value of "user-friendly", "state", "wrangling", and "Undum", yes."

gavininglis applauds. jmac says, "Nice." [peanut-gallery] Doug says, "yay Sequitur! yay Coffeescript!" prevtenet applauds Felix applauds! [peanut-gallery] Peregrine says, "makes mental note to check out Raconteur." Jacqueline claps. DavidW applauds! Owlor whoo Peregrine claps bphennessy exclaims, "BRUUUNOOOO! Whoo!" willbuntu applauses very loudly!! Peregrine offers a round of firecrackers. PaulS claps loudly! CMG exclaims, "Hurrah Raconteur!" [peanut-gallery] furkle says, "bru-no" [peanut-gallery] furkle says, "bru-no" zaphod politely takes a firecracker. [peanut-gallery] furkle says, "bru-no" robinjohnson takes a firecracker, lights it and puffs Owlor:accepts firecrackers. katherine applauds

Sequitur says, "Thank you so much for this; this might be the last year this category is awarded in its present form, to which I say: SUCK IT, I GOT MINE WHILE THEY WERE BEING HANDED OUT. 

Sequitur says, "In all seriousness, recognition in all forms means a lot, and this community has been a lovely home to me for over a year and oh no is this the band playing me out I hear"
maga says, "Next up: the elegantly named Best Use of Innovation."
maga fumbles with the envelope
maga says, "And the winner is..."
Doug claps until sunk by pirate fusillades
olethros says, "aaaieeeee"
maga exclaims, "Laid Off from the Synesthesia Factory!"
Emily says, "yay!"
Sequitur claps excitedly!
Draconis cheers!
josh_g says, "YAY!"
Sequitur exclaims, "Whoo!"
zaphod cheers!
gavininglis applauds.
Teaspoon cheers
bphennessy exclaims, "YAAAAAAAAAY!!!!"
robinjohnson cheers
willbuntu exlaims hoorah!! even LOUDer!!!
olethros says, "w000t"
zaphod says, "Nice!"
zarf arrives from the west.
vimes clarps!

katherine says, "Uh."

CMG exclaims, "Hurrah Synesthesia Factory!" furkle claps jmac autogenerates generative applause into his home directory! [peanut-gallery] josh_g says, "the sound of someone frantically trying to invent a speech they didn't prepare" DavidW says, "nice!" dastridly loud colorful clapping! [peanut-gallery] Doug says, "quick, put on the synpiece!" Jacqueline applauds wildly for Katherine. Ghogg arrives from the west.

katherine says, "I am very proud to accept this award for Innovation in the time honored IF tradition of 'doing things with z-code that z-code wasn't ever meant to do.'"

Jacqueline smiles and applauds. [peanut-gallery] zarf says, "awkward tablet mudding" [peanut-gallery] Teaspoon says, "Aw." jmac cheers for horrible, horrible Z-machine abuses!

katherine says, "I look forward to inspiring a future generation of people to horribly navigate around the parser's intended function in ways that may not have been intended. Who knows? We might even get a new Resets the System Clock!"

maga says, "OK, the next award is for Implementation, or 'doing difficult things while making a fool of oneself relatively little.'"
maga says, "And the winner is..."
[peanut-gallery] katherine says, "the most anticlimactic of games"
[peanut-gallery] Jacqueline says (to furkle), "heh"
[peanut-gallery] josh_g says, "ha ha"
Guest4 goes home.
[peanut-gallery] Draconis asks, "Swordfight factories?"
[peanut-gallery] Draconis says, "OSHA enforcement must be difficult..."
[peanut-gallery] Jacqueline says, "They manufacture reasons to have duels."
maga exclaims, "Midnight!? Swordfight!"
katherine applauds!
josh_g applauds
Draconis cheers!
robinjohnson applauds!
Jacqueline stands to applaud.
gavininglis claps.
Emily says, "yay!"
zaphod claps!
furkle applauds
[peanut-gallery] dastridly exclaims, "WHOOO!"
[peanut-gallery] zarf says, "sword off at the hm"
bphennessy says, "WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"
zarf says, "yay!"
[peanut-gallery] robinjohnson exclaims (at CMG), "congratulations!"
maga says, "I believe we have a Groover in the house"
Sequitur claps loudly
olethros waves a metallic stick in the air
Teaspoon hurrahs.

CMG kisses implementation award.

Doug >KISS XYZZY Doug loses! jmac exclaims, "Marble!" jmac says, "Er, yarble" maga says (to CMG), "Keep your mind on the game." jmac autocorrects! Khalisar claps

CMG says, "Kissing is the most important verb. That's today's lesson." CMG exclaims, "Uh, I don't have a speech or anything. Just, kissing. It matters. Thank you!"

maga says, "Next up: the coveted Best Individual awards, the first of which is Best Individual PC."
Jacqueline claps.
[peanut-gallery] bphennessy says, "these awards determine who is the best individual"
maga says, "And the winner is..."
furkle snuffles
furkle licks nose
Guest6 hees :)
robinjohnson says (to furkle), "stop that"
zarf walks off through the wall; pale violet light flares briefly around him.
[peanut-gallery] Peregrine exclaims, "Plotkin has lost the plot. Oh dear!"
maga exclaims, "Bridget, from Birdland!"
katherine applauds!!
[peanut-gallery] furkle exclaims, "ahhhhhhhhhhh!"
Draconis cheers!
robinjohnson exclaims, "..applauds!"
Teaspoon goes yay.
gavininglis applauds.
bphennessy exclaims, "!"
Khalisar applauds.
zaphod says, "Hooray!"
[peanut-gallery] Doug says, "Brid of Birds!"
[peanut-gallery] furkle says, "take that you stupid birds"
Emily says, "yay Bridget!!"
CMG exclaims, "Hurrah Birdland!"

bphennessy exclaims, "aaaah I won one yay!"

Sequitur applauds profusely
[peanut-gallery] DavidW says, "interesting. I'll have to play that one."
[peanut-gallery] Sequitur exclaims, "whoo Brendan!"
dastridly truimphantly caws!
jojo applauds!
[peanut-gallery] Peregrine asks, "Why are all the winners games I've never played?"
Peregrine calps.
Magical chirps
jmac exclaims, "Bridget is the best human at birdfighting!"

bphennessy exclaims, "okay this is the one I secret wanted the most because Bridget is just an exaggerated version of teen me. therefore this award represents the personal validation I am constantly seeking. Thank you everyone!!!"

[peanut-gallery] robinjohnson makes a note not to let Peregrine play his games & ruin his xyzzy chances katherine says, "Demonstrate the function of an award speech."
maga exclaims, "OK, everyone, give it up for Brenget one more time!"

maga says, "And now, the constantly-othered counterpart to Individual PC: Best Individual NPC."
Emily says, "yay"
[peanut-gallery] CMG says, "Brendan + Bridget = Brenget"
jmac claps daemonically
CMG applauds.
Teaspoon says whoot.
Sequitur cheers
bphennessy whoop
maga says, "Even putting an NPC in your game is a terrible idea that will haunt your sleepless nights, so to everyone who did that this year: you beautiful, beautiful fools."

maga says, "And the winner is..."
[peanut-gallery] bphennessy says (to CMG), "word"
DavidW clutches his scarf.
[peanut-gallery] Doug says, "still a little sad that Killjoy from Oppositely Opal didn't get a nomination"
Draconis cheers!
[peanut-gallery] josh_g says (to CMG), "that is tough to beat"
Draconis cheers!
[peanut-gallery] Draconis says, "gah autocompletion"
maga exclaims, "Bell Park, from Birdland!"
katherine applauds!
[peanut-gallery] Draconis says, "See, Killjoy might have gotten in for Best NPC Name..."
Sequitur exclaims, "WHOO!"
Draconis cheers!
josh_g says, "yay!"
gavininglis applauds.
maga says, "POWER COUPLE"
Emily claps
[peanut-gallery] Teaspoon says, "cheers."

bphennessy says, "WHAT"

Magical claps %%% # MARK: 2016-05-28-14:13:45CDT zaphod says, "Hooray!!!" jmac exclaims, "Holy Hannah!"
[peanut-gallery] Sequitur says, "This truly is the Year of Brendan"
[peanut-gallery] Peregrine says, "Killjoy could have also won 'Best Hint System'."
CMG exclaims, "Hurrah Birdland!"
[peanut-gallery] Draconis says, "Best Hint System Name"
[peanut-gallery] katherine says, "the year of #teens"
Jacqueline exclaims, "Huzzah for Birdland!"

bphennessy says, "aaaah thanks oh god." bphennessy says, "Okay this award clearly illustrates the tremendous power of #shipping and #teens."

bphennessy says, "I hope going forward everyone makes a whole bunch of cute games with kissing and romance."

[peanut-gallery] katherine says, "kissing really IS the most important thing!"

maga exclaims, "And now, Best Individual Puzzle!"
maga gets both thumbs and a big toe caught in the envelope
maga says, "And the winner is:"
Peregrine dies of suspense and is resurrected by Draconis
zaphod squints at maga.
jmac furtively peeks at the walkthrough
Draconis cheers!
katherine arrives from the west.
maga exclaims, "Understanding the RPS cannon, from Brain Guzzlers from Beyond!"
maga asks, "Do we have a Steph Cherrywell in the house?"
maga says, "No? Well, we'll make sure the trophy gets to her somehow."

maga says, "Moving right along, we come to Best NPCs."
katherine claps and is immediately torn apart on gossip message boards.
bphennessy me claps and claps and claps and
[peanut-gallery] katherine says, "oh my god did you *see* her clapping"
maga says, "And the winner is..."
[peanut-gallery] dfabulich says (to DavidW), "I strongly agree"
Guest6 oh dears.
[peanut-gallery] rocketnia /me s as well
robinjohnson shivers in antici...
Peregrine trembles like jelly.
[peanut-gallery] Peregrine says, "In text, the suspense is even more unbearable."
maga exclaims, "Birdland!"

bphennessy says, "_WHAT_"

Sequitur cheers loudly! rocketnia whistles [peanut-gallery] furkle says, "AAAAAAAAH" Peregrine is stupefied. Birdland? Again? It must be really worth playing. CMG says, ""Hurrah Birdland!"" Jacqueline exclaims, "Huzzah again!" katherine applauds!! [peanut-gallery] Draconis says, "I am ashamed for not having played Birdland now..." jmac cheers! [peanut-gallery] Peregrine says, "me too"
[peanut-gallery] Sequitur says, "This is the third win and fourth nomination for Brendan Hennessy. Birdland this year is also nominated for best writing, story, and game."

bphennessy sweats and crouches down very small

maga says, "Can someone help Brendan back to his seat? Thanks."
[peanut-gallery] DavidW says, "There's still Best Puzzles, Best Writing, Best Story, and Best Game, I think."
katherine says, "small like a..."
katherine says, "A BIRD!!"
[peanut-gallery] Draconis says, "BRILLIANT"
katherine says, "AN INFILTRATOR"
bphennessy says, "nO"
maga says, "Let's get on to Best Puzzles so that Brendan can be adorably flustered in peace."

maga says, "The nominees for Best Puzzles this year are:"
maga says, "And the winner is..."
[peanut-gallery] DavidW says (to Felix), "oh dear."
[peanut-gallery] DavidW says, "puzzle puzzle puzzle puzzle"
[peanut-gallery] Draconis says, "PUZZLE PUZZLE"
maga exclaims, "Sub Rosa!"
maga says, "We did have Joey Jones in here until just a few minutes ago..."
[peanut-gallery] Doug says, "jojo go east!!"
Peregrine leaves the auditorium to the west.

jojo arrives from the west.

Peregrine arrives from the west. zaphod says, "Yay!" [peanut-gallery] Peregrine exclaims, "he's there!"

jojo asks, "Hello?"

rocketnia applauds Emily says, "the hero of the hour" jmac laughs katherine applauds! Peregrine points at JoJo. 'He's the winner!' DavidW says (to jojo), "Looking for secrets or the washroom, I suppose." [peanut-gallery] Khalisar says, "was too distracted to clap (I do that a lot), but Sub Rosa is a *great* game" maga says (to jojo), "Get up on the stage, you." olethros says, "yay" Peregrine kicks Jojo onto the stage.

jojo stumbles forward.

maga exclaims, "Let's try this again: And the winner for Best Puzzles is... Sub Rosa!"
Magical exclaims, "Speech!"

jojo exclaims, "Wow!" jojo says, "I'm moved." jojo says, "I am able to speexh tight now but I tust in all of your imaginayions" maga exclaims, "Sub Rosa, everybody!" maga claps

maga says, "Aww, man, Best Setting. IF is so good at this, you guys."
maga says, "Aaaand the winner is..."
[peanut-gallery] Draconis says, "Is.........."
maga opens the envelope. Stillness. The soft lapping of waves. A rumble in the stomach.
[peanut-gallery] Sequitur says, "GOD"
maga exclaims, "Sunless Sea!"

Emily looks around to see whether anyone who is properly an employee of Failbetter is here, but suspects not
jojo woos.
robinjohnson applauds!
gavininglis exclaims, "Go Emily!"
maga says (to Emily), "if any feckless freelancers wanted to accept it on their behalf, I'm sure they wouldn't mind"

Emily says, "I did not remotely anticipate this situation and therefore did nothing to prepare for it, but I think I'm the only person here who worked on Sunless, so"

Sequitur says, "I mean Visage is the best island anyway, so might as well be you" furkle says, "speach" zaphod says, "Speech!" [peanut-gallery] bphennessy says, "whoooooop" Teaspoon cheers Draconis says, "Speech!" furkle says, "spaach"

Emily says, "however: thank all of you for acknowledging Sunless Sea, which is a rich and strange place even for those of us who worked on it"

Emily says, "and I think I am not breaking any deep confidences to say that more Sunless Sea setting is coming in the form of DLC and that I have been working on it just this week"

[peanut-gallery] Teaspoon says, "sweet" rocketnia oooohs.

Emily says, "and at the same time I should use this opportunity to say how great it is that a company like Failbetter exists, doing commercial interactive fiction and making money and employing people to make it"

[peanut-gallery] Doug says, "the sun never sets on Sunless Sea setting!" Guest6 oohs. Owlor goes home. bphennessy says, "hear hear"

Emily says, "they've been hugely supportive to this community, helped me host meetups in London, and given out loads of advice and guidance to new authors"

Felix says, "I'll drink to that." robinjohnson applauds gavininglis applauds.

Emily says, "so here's to Failbetter, and to its departing but certainly unforgettable founder Alexis Kennedy, without whom none of that would exist"

maga says, "OK. Best Story."
[peanut-gallery] katherine says, "cool story bro"
Doug chinhands
maga says, "Jon Ingold, who won last year, said that he didn't think that 80 Days really *had* a story."
[peanut-gallery] katherine says, "like really bro the best"
[peanut-gallery] rocketnia says, "I was going to say that! Heh."
[peanut-gallery] Sequitur says, "I remember that humblebrag"
[peanut-gallery] bphennessy says, "a likely story"
[peanut-gallery] furkle says, "lol you scrubs i didn't even do that and i still beat all of you"
maga says, "This is nonsense, because every game has a story, even if it's just 'the spaceship blew up a lot of other spaceships' or 'some numbers were arranged on a grid.'"
[peanut-gallery] furkle says, "what a bunch of story wimps"
maga says, "(Although I should hope that you lot can do a little better than that.)"

maga opens the envelope, raises an eyebrow
[peanut-gallery] Doug says, "Eyebrow Story!"
[peanut-gallery] robinjohnson says, "cranes neck trying to see envelope"
[peanut-gallery] Sequitur says, "this is cruel and unusual"
maga says, "I'm sorry, Brendan, we're not done with you yet."
[peanut-gallery] rocketnia says, "Growing up eyebrow"
[peanut-gallery] Doug says, "cool story, brow"
maga exclaims, "Birdland!"

bphennessy exclaims, "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

katherine applauds!
zaphod says, "Hooray!"
[peanut-gallery] katherine says, "I think we broke him"
CMG says, ""Hurrah Birdland!""
zaphod says, "Speech!"
gavininglis applauds!
[peanut-gallery] Teaspoon exclaims, "speech!"
Jacqueline says, "w00t w00t"

bphennessy says, "i'm actually dead now. i am all the way deceased."

rocketnia cheers! [peanut-gallery] Sequitur says, "We still have two more to go..."

Jacqueline revives bphennessy.
katherine says, "what's a good story without some death"
robinjohnson says (to bphennessy), "too bad you only wrote three speeches"
[peanut-gallery] robinjohnson says, "Best Writing and Best Game, isn't it"

bphennessy says, "Okay I didn't start writing Birdland with the intention of writing a cute gay #teen story but I'm very glad that I ended up there. So uh thanks specifically to the long list of queer twine authors that preceded me and made me feel comfortable about making this thing"

bphennessy says, "I don't even know which ones because there are I guess a billion? which is so wonderful. But Porpentine and Anna Anthropy stand out specifically as early influences and people that were very kind and helpful to me as a new author."

[peanut-gallery] Fang says, "it's just a really warm, fun game"

bphennessy says, "So thanks. and now I'm completely dead. okay bye."

maga says, "Best Writing! This is the one which always makes me envious."
[peanut-gallery] katherine says, "i like words and shit"
[peanut-gallery] furkle says, "tbh all the games in this category were a bit disappointing"
[peanut-gallery] Felix rolls up the requisite newspaper.
[peanut-gallery] furkle says, "especially that all-caps one"
[peanut-gallery] Fang says, "there shoule be an award for Best Reading"
[peanut-gallery] katherine says, "Best Arithmetic"
maga says, "Writing is really the thing that makes IF such a big deal for me, personally, and it's one of the fields where we routinely equal or outdo the best that the wider games world has to offer."
[peanut-gallery] Doug says, "Best Writhing"
maga says, "Not that I'm putting y'all on a pedestal or anything."

[peanut-gallery] Jacqueline says, "Belatedly, furkle, you can't be serious. There was some great writing in these nominees."
katherine APPLAUDS
bphennessy makes the sound of the colour orange
rocketnia CLAPS
Sequitur CLAPS
[peanut-gallery] Jacqueline says, "Oh, oh. I get it. Nevermind."
[peanut-gallery] Sequitur says, "I believe that was a self-deprecating joke- yes"
robinjohnson SPY-CLAPS
zaphod hoots and hollers!
[peanut-gallery] furkle says, "hee yeah no i'm totally joking"
[peanut-gallery] furkle says, "the writing this year is fantastic and i don't mean my own"
Emily says, "hooray!"
[peanut-gallery] rocketnia says, "Best Joking"
[peanut-gallery] katherine says, "Best Self Deprecation"

maga says, "And the winner is..."
Emily leans forward
Jacqueline gets her chalk ready.
[peanut-gallery] robinjohnson says, "readies a stiff drink for Brendan, just in case"
maga exclaims, "Birdland!"

robinjohnson prods the corpse
zaphod says, "Well done!"

bphennessy hdkasdg

CMG says, ""Birdland sweep!"" maga claps

bphennessy says, "Augh this one is embarrassing because everyone else was so good."

Doug waves a big broom


[peanut-gallery] Teaspoon says, "extra-peanut-buttery-speechiness" [peanut-gallery] maga says, "ok, what's the procedure for resetting a Canadian after validation overload" [peanut-gallery] katherine says, "best at writing BUT NOT SPEECH WRITING AMIRITE" [peanut-gallery] Sequitur asks (of maga), "Sorry?"


[peanut-gallery] katherine says (to maga), "I think you make jokes about moose" Jacqueline applauds for all the awesome writing.

bphennessy says, "they are literally like three of my favourite IF games ever written for three very different reasons and I love them and also you and I'm still dead okay thanks"

maga says, "OK, enough of that. Let's do Best Game."
maga says, "And the winner..."
maga exclaims, "Is Birdland!"
maga says, "Come on up, dead man."
robinjohnson exclaims, "double hattrick!"

bphennessy falls down

olethros ovulates! prevtenet applauds with winged vigor CMG says, ""A total sweep!"" Doug says, "I've heard of that game" Guest3 applauds dastridly chants BIRD BIRD BIRD BIRD gavininglis applauds. PaulS claps until he collapses. [peanut-gallery] jmac says, "hits 'Tweet'." [peanut-gallery] Teaspoon says, "Wow" [peanut-gallery] jmac says, "Boop." katherine says (to CMG), "more like a total swoop amirite" zaphod says, "SPEEEEEECH!" Magical tweets [peanut-gallery] Draconis says, "Sweep!"

bphennessy says, "okay. okay wow."

Draconis applauds! [peanut-gallery] Sequitur exclaims, "Whoo!" [peanut-gallery] Teaspoon says, "Boggling." [peanut-gallery] Teaspoon says, "Well done" [peanut-gallery] olethros says, "a first!" Fang throws a bag of feathers into the air. Jacqueline updates the BEST GAME entry on the chalkboard. jojo applauds incomprehensibly.

bphennessy says, "okay so I've been looking on some aspects of the IF scene from afar since I was in like high school basically. But in the two-ish years I've actually been involved I've met a ton of wonderful people and been made to feel incredibly welcomed."

[peanut-gallery] Doug says, "" [peanut-gallery] Jacqueline says, "Aw." Khalisar look chalkboard [peanut-gallery] Khalisar says, "oops" Guest6 smiles, "That's great, bphennessy." :) Felix ^^ [peanut-gallery] Fang says, "now to announce the award for Best Birds, Best Land, Best Story Set In A Camp Involving Birds"

bphennessy says, "so thank you to everyone, because you are all wonderful people. specific thanks to jmac for running IFComp, maga for running this thing, Bruno for running euphoria, and all the lovely people I chat with on the regular."

bphennessy says, "I am actually super happy right now and I think maybe my heart is going to blow up."

[peanut-gallery] katherine says, "now you have to write one new game for every award" Jacqueline raises her glass. [peanut-gallery] katherine says, "it's the rules" CMG applauds. maga raises his glass, and takes a very deep pull

bphennessy says, "oh ALSO 2015 was an amazing year for interactive fiction in general and like even the huge list of amazing nominees didn't capture all the insanely good stuff that came out last year so yay for the continued health of text games as a thing. Okay now let's all go afterparty and have hugs."

maga exclaims, "Once again, afterparty at . And that's a wrap, folks! Thank you all, and goodnight!"


Birdland won everything...PC, NPC, NPCs, Story, Writing, Game...

...except Multimedia (Secret Agent Cinder), Development (Raconteur), Innovation (Laid Off from the Synesthesia Factory), Implementation (Midnight, Swordfight), Puzzle (Brain Guzzlers from Beyond), Puzzles (Sub Rosa), Setting (Sunless Sea).

So if you play Birdland, you have experienced 6/13ths (or 46.1538461538%) of the best Interactive Fiction had to offer in 2015.

M. Hennessy would also suggest you play his favorites Spy Intrigue, Midnight, Swordfight, and Laid Off from the Synesthesia Factory as well to round it out.

I have a website at


Popular posts from this blog


AXMA Story Maker 5