One of the highlights of the Game Developers Conference is the Game Developer Choice Awards. The awards show has a certain charm and humility to it that you don’t find at televised events like Spike TV’s Video Game Awards. Last night was no different as the industry came together to celebrate the best of the best that gaming had to offer in 2011.
There was a lot of competition for game of the year in 2011 with great nominees that all deserved to win. The nominees were Batman: Arkham City, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Portal 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Dark Souls. Only one game could win, however, and Skyrim took home the prize.
Portal 2 cleaned up though by nabbing three awards: best game design, best narrative, best audio. The other nominees for best game design were Skyrim, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Batman: Arkham City and Dark Souls. Best narrative nominees went to The Witcher 2, Bastion, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and Saints Row: The Third. The nominees for best audio were Bastion, LittleBigPlanet 2, Skyrim and Dead Space 2.
The best technology award went to Battlefield 3. The other nominees were L.A. Noire, Crysis 2, Skyrim and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.
The best debut award went to the studio that had the best first game. Supergiant Games won the award for Bastion. The other nominees were Team Bondi for L.A. Noire, Re-Logic for Terraria, BioWare Austin for Star Wars: The Old Republic and Eidos Montreal for Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
Bastion also took home the award for best downloadable game. The other nominees were Stacking, From Dust, Outland and Frozen Synapse.
The innovation award is always the most interesting as it recognizes the game that pushed the medium forward in new and interesting ways. The winner was Johann Sebastian Joust which you can view a trailer of below to get an idea of how this really abstract game works. The other nominees were Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure, Portal 2, Bastion and L.A. Noire.
Best visual arts goes hand in hand with best technology from time to time, but this year was different. The winner was Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. The nominees were Rayman Origins, Skyrim, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron and Battlefield 3.
It was a great year for gaming and the awards reflected that. Even though I missed the hosting talent of Tim Schafer, Cliff Bleszinski did an admirable job.
Do you agree with the winners? Or was the obvious choice snubbed? Let us know in the comments.