I didn’t really have a review process in place when I became an ENnies Judge. I was new, after all, and hadn’t been through “the process” before. Of course, I have a process now (without some sort of review process, the submissions would be overwhelming). My process sort of came about organically.
I have several piles that of sorted books. [As an aside, I have a box that contains all the non-book items and computer files are stored on my computer’s desktop.] When I’m ready to read a new book, I grab something out of a pile. For those submissions that are playable (and not everything, like fiction, can be played), I usually fiddle about with the rules. Mostly this involves creating numerous characters, running encounters, etc. Occasionally, I get my home group involved and we’ll turn one of our regular gaming sessions into a play-test. At the end, I’ll jot down my impressions or those of my gaming group.
Finally, I have a big spreadsheet that contains an entry for each submission broken down into the awards category (best art, best rules, etc.). For each submission, I give it a rank in each category that makes sense (obviously a podcast doesn’t have cover art, so that category doesn’t matter for that submission). As more submissions are reviewed, I can keep an on-going idea of what my top submissions in each category.
PS: The deadline for entries is this Saturday, May 8th. Check the submissions page to see if your favorite products/publishers have sent in products. If they haven’t, encourage them to do so. If a product isn’t submitted, it certainly won’t win and ENnie!