The Pavs: NZ Game Awards is a night to celebrate the exceptional games created by New Zealanders. It’s about highlighting the amazing experiences people are creating in our community.

game award category definitions

The awards are to recognize the amazing work within NZ’s game developer community. Achieving excellence with concept, execution, innovation, and creativity are all aspects worthy of that recognition. Below are the definitions that games are judged by.

The Tactile Taste: Excellence in Physical Games
The Finalist is chosen based on uniqueness, concept, and execution of any physical game.
Eligibility requirement: Game is a physical game. For example: board, card, tabletop, or RP games are eligible.

The Decorative Piece: Excellence in Visual Art
The Finalist is chosen based on the quality and impressiveness of each entered game’s appearance and visual effects. 

The Composed Segment: Excellence in Audio
The Finalist is chosen based on the quality and impressiveness of each entered game’s music and sound effects.

The Diverse Delight: Excellence in Representation
The Finalist is chosen based on the representation accurately shown within the game; characters, narrative, and within the development team. This award celebrates games which show the wonderful diverse world in which we live. This award is subject to additional Judging/Jurying.

The Accessible Ambrosia: Excellence in Accessibility
The Finalist is chosen based on the accessibility features shown within the game, enabling all players to engage as best as possible.

The Perfect Recipe: Excellence in Design
The Finalist is chosen based on the quality and execution of each entered game’s design, including game mechanic design, level design, and difficulty balancing.

The Poetic Serving: Excellence in Narrative
The Finalist is chosen based on quality and impressiveness of storytelling in a game – including, but not limited to, scenario, plot construction, story, dialogue, and other major factors.

The Guest Plate
The Finalist is chosen based on the overall quality of each entered game.
Eligibility requirements: Only available to Australian made games. Excludes any games that are eligible for the other Pav Awards.

The Student’s Slice
The Finalist is chosen based on concept, execution, and creativity of each entered game by a solo or student group.
Eligibility requirement: Game must be created by student(s) who were enrolled at a secondary or tertiary institution during the majority of development.

The ‘Slice of Heaven’ Grand Prize
The Finalist is chosen based on overall excellence in concept, execution, innovation, creativity, and enjoyability.

Tactile Taste, Decorative Piece, Composed Segment, Diverse Delight, Perfect Recipe, Poetic Serving, and Slice of Heaven eligibility requirement: A person who identifies as a New Zealander has contributed significantly to your submission.

game resources

NZGF endeavours to make sure the games that win categories such as ‘The Diverse Delight: Excellence in Representation’ live up to the expectations and values of the festival. To help with these are some resources below that can help guide and inform developers so that they can make the best decisions possible when including life cultures, history, or experiences other than their own in their games.

culture & diversity

Indigenous Design and Innovation Aotearoa:

This site has a great checklist (Cultural Integrity Scorecard) to assess intentions and understand the cultural integrity of work. IDIA can also be contacted via their site if you have questions or looking for more information on consultancy.

Indigenous Games:

A global community for supporting Indigenous game developers by providing information about opportunities, sharing resources to enhance development, highlighting Indigenous-made games, and reflecting on exhibitions, conferences, and more.

Diversity Works NZ:

The national body advocating for and enabling a more inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.

Microsoft Inclusive Design:

A design-focused set of toolkits and resources developed by Microsoft and partners across multiple industries.



Game Accessibility Guidelines:

This site is a straightforward reference for inclusive game design. Best to start early but a great list to check at every stage of development so that your game can include everyone in the experience!

Accessibility Unlocked:

“Our focus is to connect disabled developers in ANZ with resources, opportunities, conversations – and each other.”

Meeple Like Us:

All about the accessibility of board games. Currently building the Tabletop Accessibility Guidelines, has a breakdown on a game by game basis scoring the accessibility of different board games.

Questions? Please contact