The Diana Jones Award

The Diana Jones Award is an annual award created to publicly acknowledge excellence in gaming. The award was first made for the year 2000, and the first award ceremony was on August 4, 2001.

The Diana Jones Award 2003

The Winner | The Nominees | The Award Ceremony

The Nominees

The committee considered a list of almost twenty nominations for the third annual Diana Jones Award. The following seven (shown in alphabetical order) make up this year’s shortlist:


As one of the founders of both FASA and FASA Interactive, Jordan has long been a successful, driving force in the adventure game industry. After selling FASA Interactive to Microsoft, Jordan moved from Chicago to Seattle to work for Microsoft’s entertainment software division. He reentered adventure gaming in 2001 with Mage Knight, which altered miniatures gaming as we knew it. In 2002, his new company, WizKids, released more of their patent-pending clicky-base games, taking the industry by storm. Recently, Jordan helped sell WizKids to Topps, ensuring even more mass-market exposure for his company’s creations.


Monte has worked in the adventure games industry since 1990, when he started as an editor for Iron Crown Enterprises. After years of overseeing their Hero Games line, he moved to Wisconsin to take a job with TSR. After Wizards of the Coast bought TSR, Monte relocated to Seattle, where he was put on the team charged with creating Dungeons & Dragons, Third Edition. Monte left Wizards in 2001 to start up a new publishing company, Malhavoc Press. Starting out as a PDF publisher, he quickly signed an agreement with Sword & Sorcery Studios to bring his work into print. His work for Wizards and Malhavoc has placed him squarely at the top of the d20 System heap.


By Bioware Corp.
Published by Atari

Over the years, many computer and platform-based roleplaying games have claimed to be like the real thing, but none has succeeded so well as Neverwinter Nights. The fact that it uses the Dungeons & Dragons, Third Edition, rules firmly plants its feet in the adventure gaming industry, but its real innovation is how it grants players the ability to not only design their own adventures but also moderate them as a Dungeon Master.


By R. Sean Borgstrom
Published by Hogshead Publishing/Guardians of Order

The last game published under James Wallis’s incarnation of Hogshead Publishing, the second edition of Nobilis set new standards for roleplaying games by marrying cutting-edge game design and superb prose style with top-notch product design. It expanded typical game concerns to deal forthrightly with love, loyalty, and morality. It also shattered the $40 price barrier for single-book roleplaying games, declaring that if you want quality work you should be prepared to pay a fair rate for it.


By Chris Dolunt
Published by Atlas Games

Arguably the finest of the d20 System sourcebooks released last year, this book brought a mythic version of Africa directly to your fantasy roleplaying game, finally dragging it out of medieval Europe. In doing so, it highlighted the best part of the d20 System/Open Game License: the ability to bring fresh and original settings to a large audience.


By Jake Norwood, et al
Published by Driftwood Publishing

Starting with a grassroots, internet-based marketing campaign, The Riddle of Steel is a stellar example of how a rookie designer with little publishing experience can enter the roleplaying game industry with a splash. The mechanics are notable for their extremely realistic take on combat, but the most innovative part of the game is how players can use their characters’ spiritual attributes to directly and emphatically affect how well they fight.


By Greg Stolze and John Tynes
Published by Atlas Games

In its first edition, Unknown Armies relentless concentration on individual, personal responsibility and consequences, married to its inventive, original, and wholly American occult background, created an alchemical blend that energized personal horror gaming for the 21st century. The second edition is cleaner and sleeker than ever, making it even more accessible for players new to this gem.