Independent Game Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards 2012 Round-Up

The Independent Game Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards 2012 took place in San Francisco a few hours ago, and I was watching the live stream until the wee hours here in the UK. Yaaaaawn.

The event was packed-out, swish and slickly produced, though the participants appeared comfortably drunk relaxed. Hosts Andy Schatz, creator of Monaco and Cliff Blezinski, design director of Epic Games, were in fine fetter, providing a healthy dose of humour and bizarre analogies about exploring.

Here are the highlights of both ceremonies including nominees (winners in bold):

The Independent Game Festival awards are voted for by all areas of the video game community, to honour the best of independent development.

Best Student Game (and a $3,000 cash prize)

  • Way
  • Dust
  • The Floor Is Jelly
  • Nous
  • One and One Story
  • Pixi
  • The Snowfield
  • The Bridge

Technical Excellence

  • Antichamber (Demruth)
  • Fez (Polytron)
  • Prom Week (Expressive Intelligence Studio, UC Santa Cruz)
  • Realm of the Mad God (Wild Shadow Studios & Spry Fox)
  • Spelunky (Mossmouth)

Honorable mentions: Frozen Synapse (Mode 7 Games); Nitronic Rush (DigiPen Institute of Technology); Reflow (Xymatic); Super T.I.M.E. Force (Capy); Tiny and Big – Grandpa’s Leftovers (Black Pants)

Excellence In Design

  • Spelunky (Mossmouth) 
  • English Country Tune (Stephen Lavelle)
  • Frozen Synapse (Mode 7 Games)
  • Gunpoint (Tom Francis, John Roberts and Fabian van Dommelen)
  • Atom Zombie Smasher (Blendo Games)

Honorable mentions: Faraway (Steph Thirion); FTL (Justin Ma & Matthew Davis); Johann Sebastian Joust (Die Gute Fabrik); SpaceChem (Zachtronics Industries); Where Is My Heart (Die Gute Fabrik)

Excellence In Visual Art

  • Dear Esther (thechineseroom)
  • Botanicula (Amanita Design)
  • Lume (State Of Play Games)
  • Mirage (Mario von Rickenbach)
  • Wonderputt (Damp Gnat)

Honorable mentions: Beat Sneak Bandit (Simogo); Dustforce (Hitbox Team); Fader (Chris Makris); Proun (Joost van Dongen); Toren (Swordtales)

Excellence In Audio

  • Botanicula (Amanita Design)
  • Dear Esther (thechineseroom)
  • Pugs Luv Beats (Lucky Frame)
  • To The Moon (Freebird Games)
  • Waking Mars (Tiger Style)

Honorable mentions: Beatbuddy (THREAKS); Beat Sneak Bandit (Simogo); Fez (Polytron);Proteus (Ed Key and David Kanaga); Where Is My Heart (Die Gute Fabrik)

Audience Award

  • Frozen Synapse

Nuovo Award
[Designed ‘to honor abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development.’]

  • Storyteller (Daniel Benmergui)
  • Dear Esther (thechineseroom)
  • Fingle (Game Oven Studios)
  • GIRP (Bennett Foddy)
  • Proteus (Ed Key and David Kanaga)
  • Johann Sebastian Joust (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • At a Distance (Terry Cavanagh)
  • Way (CoCo & Co.)

Honorable mentions: Deep Sea (WRAUGHK); Four Letter Word (Terry Cavanagh);GlitchHiker (Aardbever); Hundreds (SemiSecret and aeiowu); POP (Rob Lach)

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

  • Fez (Polytron)
  • Dear Esther (thechineseroom)
  • Frozen Synapse (Mode 7 Games)
  • Johann Sebastian Joust (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • Spelunky (Mossmouth)
The Game Developers Choice awards are voted for purely by developers, providing an opportunity to salute the latest and greatest achievements.

Valve’s Portal 2  dominated many of the technical categories, and Bethesda’s Skyrim was voted Game of the Year. Deservedly so. Both these games sold most on PC and use Steamworks, proving yet again that PC gaming is as strong as ever.

Here are the rest of the notable results:

Best Audio

  • Portal 2 (Valve)
  • LittleBigPlanet 2 (Media Molecule)
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
  • Dead Space 2 (Visceral Games)
  • Bastion (Supergiant Games)

Best Debut

  • Supergiant Games (Bastion)
  • Team Bondi (L.A. Noire)
  • Re-Logic (Terraria)
  • BioWare Austin (Star Wars: The Old Republic)
  • Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex: Human Revolution)

Best Narrative

  • Portal 2 (Valve)
  • The Witcher 2 (CD Projekt RED)
  • Bastion (Supergiant Games)
  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog)
  • Saints Row: The Third (Volition)

Best Visual Arts

  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog)
  • Rayman Origins (Ubisoft Montpellier)
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
  • El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (Ignition Japan)
  • Battlefield 3 (DICE)

Best Downloadable Game

  • Bastion (Supergiant Games)
  • From Dust (Ubisoft Montpellier)
  • Stacking (Double Fine)
  • Outland (Housemarque)
  • Frozen Synapse (Mode 7)

Best Game Design

  •  Portal 2 (Valve)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo)
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
  • Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)
  • Dark Souls (FromSoftware)

Best Technology

  • Battlefield 3 (DICE)
  • L.A. Noire (Team Bondi)
  • Crysis 2 (Crytek Frankfurt/UK)
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog)

Ambassador Award

  • Ken Doroshow and Paul M. Smith

The Pioneer Award

  • Dave Theurer

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Warren Spector

Game of the Year

  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
  • Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)
  • Portal 2 (Valve)
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Eidos Montreal)
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This entry was posted by Ian Brown.

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