To force the popular vote to a 20 games choosed by judges, is the opposite of "popular". In that case it's just wiser to remove the popular vote. The judge choices are following certain criteria that doesn't always match with user's criteria. If judges criteria are usefull for certain aspect of the game, the user's criteria are usefull for other aspects; How much shiny is my game? Do people enjoy it? But mostly, did I managed to climb the wall of people and get to the top of the renown games? If so, there are chances that this game can be sold / that I can do this job. These things can't be told by judges as they are in charge to play your game. You can't evaluate your "marketing skills". There is no way, for what I can think, to have a honest popular vote. You need the users to play 240 entries before name a game. Or you pay them, or is inhumane to achieve. The winner is the most popular game. It does make sense, put in the rigt point of view. To be popular means that everybody knows you, somewhat. You also need a decent game (or a decent chest ). Fact are that you're not dealing against 240 entries. You're dealing with those entries that fight to get spreadly known, like you. To know how many "rivals" one's have, it's possible to check the project topic in this section. Not 240. In some extend, the popular vote is more indicative of the $value$ of the game. You can guess the chances to sell it after, or the chances to get it renown anyway. The one that managed to get on the top is the one that managed to use the tricks he could think of in an efficient way. The whole thing is disputable. Part of me really dislike that people vote without play 240 games. In the end, I didn't voted, because I can't suffer to give a partial vote. But if everybody were that much fair, we would have no votes at all. I did what i felt right, but I didn't did something usefull for the score. Since impossible otherwise, people vote for the ones that they managed to know better. To clear it out: The quality of the game have his role in all of this. Try to spam an horrible game, it would not work. What I think, though, is that the popular game doesn't need to be "the best one". What really gives the final boosts is the dev effort to spread it. I'm a woman, so there's no way I can like the popular winner. It's uninteresting to me, so no need to defend or attack it. (Joking about it? OBV! I'm definitly doing it, elsewere. XD) My speak here is a rational speaking. To sum it up: To have a clean, perfect, honest popular vote, people have to play all the games. That's not possible. On the other hand, though, you have the most famous vote, and that's really indicative of certain aspect of the IndieGame development. It's not useless. Sometimes despicable. Almost always, a real matter. The popular vote is definitly usefull for the developers. To deal with it in a contest is very informative, imho. Said so, I think compromise to "fix" it aren't viable, nor useful. If you've read through all of this and survived my broken english, this is for you!