Well, I like the idea, even though it's not the final version. Basically, as I see it, you need to do one of two things regarding award, or badge types:
1) make more precise categories (for example, if there's a fan-fiction contest award, there should probably be a fan-art contest award too, since art is also accepted, at least at Javyar's), or
2) make more general categories (for example, as some suggested merge the contest winner categories with the notable contributor category).
I do agree that the staff member award/badge seems kind of redundant, seeing how both current and retired staff members are easily recognizable and respected for their status by most, if not all members (another option is to simply limit it to retired staff members as a form of "thank you for your long service" plaque).
I agree that the veteran awards shouldn't be given based on the number of posts, as it could cause spamming problems. I do think, however, that the criterion for the veteran award/badge should be more clear and the same for everyone (perhaps a good solution is to put the number of years a person has been a member as a criterion as it's more objective and makes it easier to give the badge automatically, if at all possible)
As for winning the same award over and over, my suggestion is to, if possible, define a quantity column in the awards/badges profile tab, or to limit the award category as one-per-member (meaning one member can't win the same award type more than once). The third option is to keep it as is - when someone wins one more award of the same type the mods add another item to the "reason for the award" list. Though this option might prove overwhelming for the mods as they have better things to do than spend time editing and adding awards. Considering this, there might (or might not) be a need for a special moderator category - award moderator, which would be people who would solely be in charge of maintaining the award/badge system (giving out, editing awards, etc).
That's about all I've got when it comes to constructive suggestions. I hope it helps at least a little. As for anything else, I can only offer to help out with the award/badge pictures, as I'm very skilled with Photoshop, but I hear you have that covered (the offer stands, though, if the need arises).
Last edited by igyman; 02-09-2009 at 05:14 PM.