The 2023 Playdate Community Awards

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Community Awards 2023
Game of the Year 2023
Date: March 8th
Time: 11am PST
Hosts: Guv_Bubbs
Video: YouTube

The 2023 Playdate Community Awards is a Game of the Year show run by the Playdate Squad Discord server.

The show is a swanky affair, with hosts Guv_Bubbs & GantProdux dressing up for the event.


This year we have 20 awards to hand out to developers.

All games first released between November 1 2022 & November 30 2023 are eligible.

All Season One games and any Catalog games that previously released elsewhere before November 2022 are not eligible.

If you're unsure whether a game is eligible, you can check whether it was previously nominated in The 2022 Playdate Community Awards.


Presentation Awards

Genre Awards


Award Badges




Badge goty3.png


Winner Badge
Nominee Badge
Cranky Badge
Game of the Year Badge
Community Hero Badge

Applied to your Playdate Squad Discord Account and to place proudly on your winning game’s store or page thumbnail. There will be 4 nominees total in each category. One nominee will be the winner.
Art by the wonderful Alastair Low of Lowtek Games.
Updated by Rae. Badge Placement Mockup Badge Placement Mockup

Community Heroes

The Playdate community has a lot of heroes.
People who make cool content or tools.
People who are helpful and encouraging.

We recognized 6 sets of community heroes this year.

  1. Gant is a shining star in our community. He sets the tone for the love and energy that the Playdate Squad aim's for. Gant has created a platform with the Community Directs for game devs of all sizes to have a voice. Although he's gone into hibernation, the :TYM: spirit lives on in all of us.
  2. Matt Sephton] is the quiet dad in the wider Playdate community. He's active in the forums, fediverse and other odd corners. His love and knowledge of forgotten game designs pair well with his detailed approach to programming results in some impressive output
  3. Toadley is a constant delight in the community. I first got to know him when we started the Squad Mincraft server. From the get go he's been a pun a-fish-ionado :fishpd:. He's always uplifting others and their work in a way that is contagious. It's no sea-cret why they are one of this year's community heroes.
  4. Rae Why Google something Playdate related when you could just ask @rae? Rae is seemingly always online, always watching! From their encyclopedic knowledge of all things regarding the little yellow handheld, to collaborating on many cool games, apps, doodads, and art pieces, they've truly earned the title of GOAT🐐.
  5. XaniaLasagna is a stalwart constant in the community. From the community driven Uncrank'd magazine, to the artistry rich Playdate Calendar, she has ensured that the community is kept engaged, represented, and entertained!
  6. RPDev is not only an accomplished developer, but a passionate advocate for shared growth. Having released multiple tools including the ⁠Playdate Mode7 library, RP provides endless support and assistance. PR doesn't just raise the bar for what can be done on the Playdate, they're helping us lift it.

And finally I want to shout out everyone who has helped to keep the wiki up to date this year. 8_bit_BEAR, Scenic Route Software, orkn, Crabaret, rae and many more.

On top of these 6, I also want to share all of the comments from the community.

The Process

Image showing the process that the awards
Filtering Process
  1. Community nominates games for awards via the Community Nomination Form.
  2. The Judging groups can optionally choose to add extra games into the into the Judging conversation.
    This is for games that may be missed or not be represented in a community popular vote.
  3. We then take the The top 6 community games for each awards + all judge games to land at internal nominee list to be voted on by the judges.
  4. At this time Judges are free to squabble, debate, and pull each others hair to make a case for who they think should win.
    Then they vote.
  5. In the case of tiebreaks (Winners or runner up), then judges will need to hash it out until they can decide on one winner and three unranked nominees.
    The results are handed over to Guv_Bubbs.

The Judges

This year we will have 3 judging groups so we can have specialists for presentation & technical categories.

Judging groups Categories Judges
Presentation Best Soundtrack
Best Sound Design
Artistic Visual Achievement Award in a Pulp Game
Artistic Visual Achievement Award in an SDK Game
Best Launch Experience
Technical Outstanding Technical Achievement in a Pulp Game
Outstanding Technical Achievement in an SDK Game
General Best Puzzle Game
Best Action Game
Best Adventure Game
Best Arcade Game
Best Sim/Strategy Game
Best Narrative Game
Best App or Nicknack
Accomplishment in Accessibility
The CRANKY Award
Outstanding Pulp Game of the Year
2023 Playdate Game of the Year
Special Most Anticipated Game
Best Playdate Game Trailer, presented by Tiny Yellow Machine
The Community (100% Popular vote)


Why doesn't the community vote on everything?

At first, we asked ourselves β€œWhy can’t the community just vote on all the awards?” Well, after we thought about this, we realized that this would put some games and creators at a severe disadvantage and turn the awards show into more of a popularity/visibility contest if the community was able to decide everything. The community will still have a huge part in deciding the nominees, but we’ve created a diverse set of judges that will also offset any chance of games or creators winning due to their ability to market their game or obtain more visibility. Some developers simply do not have the resources other companies and games have, so it is possible that their game may not receive a popular vote. With our judging committee active, they will be able to bring these games and creators to the forefront that may be more deserving of the award than a game that could win due to high visibility or a popular vote.

Why didn't you do the process another way?

We feel the process above was the best way forward based on the time we and the judges have.
We are open to feedback next year.

How did you decide on the award categories?

The awards were iterated on over a two week period with input from members in the Playdate Squad Discord server in 2022. Then updated this year.
For the most part, our Genre Categories have been modeled off of The Game Awards, but were tweaked to fit the current Playdate catalog.

For Your Consideration

A fun part of the awards this year is a bunch of devs making campaign images. If you have any, feel free to add them below.