GDC Announces Game Developers Choice Award Nominees

GDC Announces Game Developers Choice Award Nominees

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Dishonored, The Walking Dead, Halo 4 and Mark of the Ninja lead the pack in nominations for the 2013 Game Developers Choice Awards.

The Game Developers Choice Awards takes a little bit of a different approach to things than certain other, better-known videogame award shows. Instead of focusing on specific genres, its categories include such things as Best Narrative, Best Technology, Best Game Design and Best Debut. That doesn't mean that there isn't plenty to argue about or room for disappointment that your personal favorites were overlooked, of course, so let's get to it.

The 2013 Game Developers Choice Award nominees are:

Game of the Year
Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)
Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Innovation Award
Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games)
The Unfinished Swan (Giant Sparrow/Sony Computer Entertainment)
ZombiU (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft)

Best Audio
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games/Devolver Digital)
Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Assassin's Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)

Best Debut
Humble Hearts (Dust: An Elysian Tail)
Polytron Corporation (Fez)
Giant Sparrow (The Unfinished Swan)
Subset Games (FTL: Faster Than Light)
Fireproof Games (The Room)

Best Downloadable Game
The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)
Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)
Trials: Evolution (RedLynx/Microsoft Studios)
Mark Of The Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Best Game Design
Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
Mark Of The Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)
Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)

Best Handheld/Mobile Game
Gravity Rush (SCE Japan Studio/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Hero Academy (Robot Entertainment)
Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)
The Room (Fireproof Games)
Kid Icarus: Uprising (Sora/Nintendo)

Best Narrative
Spec Ops: The Line (Yager Entertainment/2K Games)
Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)
Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)
Virtue's Last Reward (Chunsoft/Aksys Games)

Best Technology
Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
PlanetSide 2 (Sony Online Entertainment)
Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)
Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Treyarch/Activision)
Assassin's Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Best Visual Arts
Borderlands 2 (Gearbox Software/2K Games)
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)

There are also three special awards given out: The Lifetime Achievement Award, "recognizing the career and achievements of a developer who has made an indelible impact on the craft of game development and games as a whole"; the Pioneer Award, "celebrating those individuals who developed a breakthrough technology, game concept, or gameplay design at a crucial juncture video game history - paving the way for the myriads who followed them"; and the Ambassador Award, which "honors an individual or individuals who have helped the game industry advance to a better place, either through facilitating a better game community from within, or by reaching outside the industry to be an advocate for video games and help further our art."

Award winners are selected by an invite-only group of 500 "leading game creators from all parts of the videogame industry." The 13th annual Game Developers Choice Awards takes place on March 27; winners of the three special categories will be announced in mid-February.

Source: Game Developers Choice Awards

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Ahh, now here's an award show worth taking note of.

Although I'd argue that FTL is worthy of more nominations. Namely best downloadable and best music.

Is it wrong that I think original titles should be given preference over series in Best Visual Arts? Barring a massive redesign between installments?

Can't really argue with the list for I myself are enjoying the hell outta xcom and dishonored. But ME3 for best narrative is questionable at best, after the addon patch maybe but it was shit before the patch; yes I'm talking about the ending which is a big part of narrative.

I hope they scratch Journey off the lists because the devs stubbornly REFUSE to allow PC gamers and people that cannot afford a PS3 to play it!

As for my picks for the awards: GOTY: Too close to call between Dishonored and The Walking Dead. Innovation: FTL. Best audio: Hotline Miami, Best Debut: Subset games. Best Downloadable Game: The Walking Dead. Best Game Design: Dishonored. Best Handheld/Mobile Game: IDK. Best Narrative: Too close to call between Spec Ops: The Line and The Walking Dead. Best Technology: Far Cry 3. Best Visual Arts: Too close to call between Dishonored and Far Cry 3

ExtraDebit:
But ME3 for best narrative is questionable at best, after the addon patch maybe but it was shit before the patch; yes I'm talking about the ending which is a big part of narrative.

doggie015:
I hope they scratch Journey off the lists because the devs stubbornly REFUSE to allow PC gamers and people that cannot afford a PS3 to play it!

And I'm glad it's voted on by game devs and not the general public.

Ctrl+F Spec Ops: The Line. Finds Spec Ops: The Line. I am pleased. Quite a good list overall too.

Nice to see Spec Ops getting some recognition. Although, once again, I am disappointed with Torchlight II being nowhere. Granted, it doesn't really do anything new or exciting, but my god was that game polished to the end of the Earth and back!

Oof, tough call between Spec Ops and Walking Dead for Best Narrative. Glad I'm not making the decisions; that's one I would be sweating over right up until deadline.

I'm shocked I agree with the majority of these. Journey will probably dominate, though, I just have a feeling.

BUT HEY Mark of the Ninja is getting recognized for being pretty much a technical masterpiece, like it is. Man, Mark of the Ninja is awesome.

I hope Gravity Rush get's the nod for best hand-held. That game is fantastic and is really a completely unique game experience.

Wow there are a lot of tough choices. There are many that I could easily see winning for different reason though I am betting walking dead will sweep its categories.

Others I am torn between. Some games like Halo 4 have really phenomenal graphics and sound despite being on such old tech, while other nominees like journey have such amazing graphical and sound design while not necessarily having Dolby 7.1 super deluxe quality.

In tech what Halo 4 can squeeze out of the xbox is impressive as is the scale of planetside, the lushness of Far Cry, the buttery smoothness of CoD, the flow of ACIII

Pretty much all categories share similar dilemmas and there are few cases where I would be upset if one particular game won over others. Aside from a few I've never heard of everything I have seen or played on that list has a reason I could see it winning.

This is the kind of awards show for games we should show support for. Fuck spike and the VGA's.

Sad that Persona 4 Golden for the PS Vita did not receive a single nomination :( I know it is in truth just a major upgrade with added story to the original that debuted in 2009, but I think it should have at least been in the handheld category.

ThriKreen:

ExtraDebit:
But ME3 for best narrative is questionable at best, after the addon patch maybe but it was shit before the patch; yes I'm talking about the ending which is a big part of narrative.

doggie015:
I hope they scratch Journey off the lists because the devs stubbornly REFUSE to allow PC gamers and people that cannot afford a PS3 to play it!

And I'm glad it's voted on by game devs and not the general public.

I agree for the complete biased many of us gamer's do have with a game if one thing is screwed up, then it is all screwed up... That mentality is very sad to me :( ME 3 was great and gets to much hate, even if I feel the ending sucked 99% of the game was great and to just deny it is wrong to me. Journey had major problem with the whole drm crap, but to hate on a great game for something like that is silly for it is not the game, but just idiotic heads that put that extreme drm in...

You know i expected this to be another joke "Awards" but this does not look that bad.
i however wonder how do they define "downloadable" game category, because as far as i know i can download ALL of the games listed here.

I too agree that general public should not define such awards, because general public hardly can compare games in a calm and rational manner. I mean, just look what happened with ME3.

As much as I love FTL, I don't see how it could be nominated for the Innovation Award. But on the whole, this is a great list.

ThriKreen:

ExtraDebit:
But ME3 for best narrative is questionable at best, after the addon patch maybe but it was shit before the patch; yes I'm talking about the ending which is a big part of narrative.

doggie015:
I hope they scratch Journey off the lists because the devs stubbornly REFUSE to allow PC gamers and people that cannot afford a PS3 to play it!

And I'm glad it's voted on by game devs and not the general public.

How kind of you. And I'm glad you seem to pile all of the gaming public together, which stereotypically hates everything and doesn't have anything constructive to say.

Because if you do think that, you haven't really seen any of the many fans who are actually smart about it.

If you actually think ME3 actually has even a shred of good writing, I suggest you start doing your homework.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiN8gL40d84

Exclusives aren't bad in my book though.

VanTesla:

ThriKreen:

ExtraDebit:
But ME3 for best narrative is questionable at best, after the addon patch maybe but it was shit before the patch; yes I'm talking about the ending which is a big part of narrative.

doggie015:
I hope they scratch Journey off the lists because the devs stubbornly REFUSE to allow PC gamers and people that cannot afford a PS3 to play it!

And I'm glad it's voted on by game devs and not the general public.

I agree for the complete biased many of us gamer's do have with a game if one thing is screwed up, then it is all screwed up... That mentality is very sad to me :( ME 3 was great and gets to much hate, even if I feel the ending sucked 99% of the game was great and to just deny it is wrong to me. Journey had major problem with the whole drm crap, but to hate on a great game for something like that is silly for it is not the game, but just idiotic heads that put that extreme drm in...

You know, sometimes in games or movie, there are that single moment in that makes it memorable and forever holds a place in our hearts. Like that scene in Troy "I'll tell you a secret your temples don't teach you..." or "run forest run" or in cloud atlas "what is an ocean but a multitude of drops"?

The reverse is also true, that one moment or one flaw in games or movies can spoiled the entire game. ME3 is like a marathon that trip just before the finish line, it's a series that spanning 3 games with RPG stamp on the box. It's not a novel with the whole point only to tell the story by the writer.

When we put so much time in THREE games, we expected to make a differece depending on our performance in the final outcome of the game. The final outcome is what grade our performance on how well we do in the game. In stead we got endingSSSS that are like pissing in the snow in the middle of the night, you may made a difference but it's really hard to tell.

ThriKreen:

And I'm glad it's voted on by game devs and not the general public.

Because someone who works on tree textures or imaginary weapons for a living is automatically more competent in narrative or sound department? Sure, 500 devs, there have to be people who are capable of producing informed opinion within their area of expertise. But as a group they are just as competent - or just as incompetent - as general public. Not to mention there are people who consistently produce stuff that is... well... bad - and they can be still called "dev".

However good/bad they are, we can be sure they are better than those who arranged titles and decided ME3 is actually a candidate for "narrative" category. Well, I can imagine few reasons...

"Ohh, this game has "awesome story" and "choices that matter" in press releases",
"Bioware makes games with story",
"I cared for characters",
"This is like a interactive movie and stuff"...

If this - or more "sophisticated" equivalents - are actually leading someone to a "narrative deserves a recognition" conclusion, then it doesn't matter if it's devs or general public voting. It's already voting whether Titanic is a Battleship #1, #2, #3, #4 or #5 of the Year. Does... not ... compute.

"The best game" I can live with, this is probably #1 of the meaningless categories (outside of pure marketing pulp, ofc). There is so much stuff to include that it always blurs the overall picture and when you compare games that are at least competent in various areas, with no reasonable way to grade... I can also live with Gears Of War In Space being recognized as an achievement in gaming industry - de gustibus etc. Also, ME has this series bonus, much like LOTR getting boatload of awards... for RoTK. It's still nonsense, when movies - just as games - should be rewarded on their own, but hey, that's "reward buisness" for you. Since this one is supposed to look more "educated" (as Oscars are...oh, wait...), there was no way to place ME3 in eg. Sound category. Too bad, "cry naow" music was so touching. So... narrative it is.

I guess we can add one more word to the list of "Misused on ridiculous scale" - entitlement, sexism, streamlining, innovative, objectifying, mature, meaningful choices, misogyny... and narrative. Nice company.

Mass Effect 3 is nominated for Best Narrative but not Best Audio.

Seriously?

The soundtrack and the voice acting is one of the consistently decent things Mass Effect had about it. Pretty much everything else had it's ups and downs in the series.

doggie015:
I hope they scratch Journey off the lists because the devs stubbornly REFUSE to allow PC gamers and people that cannot afford a PS3 to play it!

Dude, they aren't refusing. flOw, Flower and Journey were part of a three-game deal with Sony. There was never, ever a chance for any of those games to appear on other platforms.

OT: As an avid fanboy of Journey (as I have not at all tried to keep secret) and thatgamecompany in general, I'm more than happy with the amount of nominations it got. Of course, it should win every single one. But the nominations are nice enough, I gu~ess.

Mass Effect 3 had some terrible writing, particularly at the start and end, and the auto-dialogue killed Renegade Shepards - but the Tuchanka and Rannoch storylines were the pinnacle of the Mass Effect series. However, the game as a whole is just too flawed to get any GOTY awards.

I can't wait for this.

Mass Effect is going to earn something, if not GOTY, and people are going to lose their minds...and it will be glorious.

If ME3 wins GOTY or Best Narrative its just more proof of the stupidity of humanity.

I hope they do lose though because that game does not deserve to beat out the other games its running against.

I'd give Mark of the Ninja "Best Game Design" and "Best Downloadable Game" (though I'd also give it "Game of the Year"). Maybe not "Most Innovative", because some of those others did some weird things and somehow pulled them off. But it did do a fantastic job of presenting a lot of information in environmental ways that other games would have presented in meters and such.

Figures that the peer-selected awards event would be the best one.

Legion:
Mass Effect 3 is nominated for Best Narrative but not Best Audio.

Seriously?

The soundtrack and the voice acting is one of the consistently decent things Mass Effect had about it. Pretty much everything else had it's ups and downs in the series.

I agree that the VA-work and soundtrack for the Mass Effect series has always been strong, it's not like there wasn't stiff competition this year. That said, I would like to have seen it get a nod.

Glad to see Virtue's Last Reward getting credited, it's among the very, very best of 2012.

WorriedSandwich:
Glad to see Virtue's Last Reward getting credited, it's among the very, very best of 2012.

Fo sho. Even though it began to get completely bonkers near the end, I never once said "This is completely bullcrap.".

Best Technology:

CoD: Black ops 2.

Whot? you mean the game that has recycled it's already outdated engine over 5-6 iterations?

Not to say that's a mark against the quality of the game itself, but best technology is a praise it does not deserve.

This. All this. That's as close as we're ever gonna get to have a decent awards show related to games. Sucks that the media doesn't give it the attention it deserves and instead focus on other shameful awards. Right, Spike TV?

You know, I'd love to try to take this seriously...but...

Andy Chalk:
Best Game Design
XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Best Handheld/Mobile Game
Kid Icarus: Uprising (Sora/Nintendo)

Best Narrative
Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)

...after remembering what caused these games to get some notorious headlines around these parts, I just laugh and go back to playing Final Fantasy 4: The After Years. The others? About the closest you'll get to a decent list for awards.

doggie015:
I hope they scratch Journey off the lists because the devs stubbornly REFUSE to allow PC gamers and people that cannot afford a PS3 to play it!

The_Echo:
Dude, they aren't refusing. flOw, Flower and Journey were part of a three-game deal with Sony. There was never, ever a chance for any of those games to appear on other platforms.
OT: As an avid fanboy of Journey (as I have not at all tried to keep secret) and thatgamecompany in general, I'm more than happy with the amount of nominations it got. Of course, it should win every single one. But the nominations are nice enough, I gu~ess.

The_Echo is right. That Game Company can't even sell generic flOw/Flower/Journey merchandise aside from T-shirts and postcards. And the statement on their website almost sounds bitter:

Will you ever sell flOw, Flower, and Journey Merchandise?

We do not own the rights to sell flOw, Flower, and Journey merchandise and we do not have any plans to start making any such merchandise in the future.

Also: hell yeah, Journey! Well deserved praise. Best $15 I ever spent.

VanTesla:

ThriKreen:

ExtraDebit:
But ME3 for best narrative is questionable at best, after the addon patch maybe but it was shit before the patch; yes I'm talking about the ending which is a big part of narrative.

doggie015:
I hope they scratch Journey off the lists because the devs stubbornly REFUSE to allow PC gamers and people that cannot afford a PS3 to play it!

And I'm glad it's voted on by game devs and not the general public.

I agree for the complete biased many of us gamer's do have with a game if one thing is screwed up, then it is all screwed up... That mentality is very sad to me :( ME 3 was great and gets to much hate, even if I feel the ending sucked 99% of the game was great and to just deny it is wrong to me. Journey had major problem with the whole drm crap, but to hate on a great game for something like that is silly for it is not the game, but just idiotic heads that put that extreme drm in...

What is it with the people who liked ME3 defending it with this kind of statement? "Just cause the ending was bad doesn't mean the game was bad!"

First off, you'e implying that the only reason people don't like the game is because of just the ending, when really I can point to an entire list of things I didn't like about ME3. I'll tell you what I tell everyone else who thinks the way you do: Mass Effect as a whole (1,2,3) gets WAAAAAAY more credit than it deserves. When you actually take a step back and analyze the story, point by point, the Mass Effect trilogy is actually pretty shoddy. There are moments when it shines, but much of it is mediocre at best.

 

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