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Nominees For 5th Annual GDC Awards Chosen

by Karl Castaneda - February 15, 2005, 12:18 pm PST
Total comments: 15 Source: Press Release

Indie and Experimental Titles Make Headway, 2004 Titans Clash in Competition for Best Game.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Feb. 14, 2005 - The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has announced nominees for the 5th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, the premier accolades for peer-recognition in the game industry. Recipients will be awarded on March 9, 2005 at a ceremony during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

"Thousands of developers voiced their picks during the Choice Awards' open nominations process," said Jason Della Rocca, Executive Director, IGDA.

"The high prestige of these honors comes from the fact that fellow developers recognize each other's best work."

The nominees are:

Best Game

Burnout 3: Takedown (Criterion Games / Electronic Arts)

- Paul Glancey, Chris Roberts, Paul Ross, Fiona Sperry, Alex Ward

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Rockstar North / Rockstar Games)

- Leslie Benzies, Adam Fowler, Aaron Garbut, Sam Houser, Alexander Roger, Obbe Vermeij

Half-Life 2 (Valve Software / Vivendi Universal Games)

- Ken Birdwell, Gabe Newell, Jay Stelly

Katamari Damacy (Namco)

- Keita Takahashi

World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment)

- Mark Kern, Mike Morhaime, Rob Pardo

New Studio

Cryptic Studios (City of Heroes)

- Michael Lewis

Crytek (Far Cry)

- Avni Yerli, Cevat Yerli, Faruk Yerli

inXile entertainment (The Bard's Tale)

- Brian Fargo, Matthew Findley

Obsidian Entertainment (Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords)

- Chris Avellone, Chris Jones, Darren Monahan, Chris Parker, Feargus Urquhart

the Behemoth (Alien Hominid)

- Tom Fulp, Brandon LaCava, Dan Paladin

Audio

Call of Duty: Finest Hour (Spark Unlimited / Activision)

- Jack Grillo, Caleb Sweazy

Doom 3 (id Software / Activision)

- Christian Antkow, John Carmack, Tim Willits

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Rockstar North / Rockstar Games)

- Craig Conner, Allan Walker

Halo 2 (Bungie Software / Microsoft Game Studios)

- C Paul Johnson, Marty O'Donnell, Jay Weinland

Katamari Damacy (Namco)

- Yu Miyake

Character Design

Half-Life 2 (Valve Software / Vivendi Universal Games)

- Ted Backman, Dhabih Eng, Bill Fletcher, Bill Van Buren

Katamari Damacy (Namco)

- Keita Takahashi

Prince Of Persia: Warrior Within (Ubisoft Montreal / Ubisoft Entertainment)

- Nicolas Bouvier, Mickael Labat

Sly 2: Band Of Thieves (Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Computer Entertainment

America)

- Travis Kotzebue, Dev Madan

World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment)

- Brandon Idol, Chris Metzen

Game Design

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Rockstar North / Rockstar Games)

- Leslie Benzies, Adam Fowler, Aaron Garbut, Sam Houser, Alexander Roger, Obbe Vermeij

Half-Life 2 (Valve Software / Vivendi Universal Games)

- Gabe Newell, Jay Stelly

Katamari Damacy (Namco)

- Keita Takahashi

Pikmin 2 (Nintendo)

- Masamichi Abe, Hino Shigefumi

World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment)

- Chris Metzen, Rob Pardo

Technology

Burnout 3: Takedown (Criterion Games / Electronic Arts)

- Alex Fry, Ciaran Rooney, Paul Ross, Hamish Young

Doom 3 (id Software / Activision)

- John Carmack, Robert Duffy, Jan Paul van Waveren

EyeToy: AntiGrav (Harmonix Music Systems / Sony Computer Entertainment America)

- Eran Egozy, Eric Malafeew

Far Cry (Crytek / Ubisoft Entertainment)

- Timur Davidenko, Vladimir Kajalin, Andrey Khonich, Anton Knyazyev, Cevat Yerli

Half-Life 2 (Valve Software / Vivendi Universal Games)

- Yahn Bernier, Brian Jacobson

Visual Arts

Doom 3 (id Software / Activision)

- Andy Chang, Seneca Menard, Kenneth Scott

Half-Life 2 (Valve Software / Vivendi Universal Games)

- Viktor Antonov, Randy Lundeen

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (Intelligent Systems / Nintendo)

- Hiroyuki Hayashi, Chie Kawabe

Prince Of Persia: Warrior Within (Ubisoft Montreal / Ubisoft Entertainment)

- Mickael Labat, Patrick Limoges

World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment)

- Sam Didier, William Petras, Justin Thavirat

Writing

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Rockstar North / Rockstar Games)

- Dan Houser, James Worrall

Half-Life 2 (Valve Software / Vivendi Universal Games)

- Marc Laidlaw

Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude (High Voltage Software / Vivendi Universal Games)

- Matt Entin, Ed Kuehnel, Eric Nofsinger

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (Intelligent Systems / Nintendo)

- Nate Bihldorff, Ryota Kawade

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (Obsidian Entertainment / LucasArts Entertainment)

- Chris Avellone

Talkback

couchmonkeyFebruary 15, 2005

I don't really get that "new studio" award. But this isn't a terrible list of nominees. I'm glad Halo 2 isn't plastered all over there. I think Pikmin 2 deserves best character design, although I admit that it owes a lot to the first.

Bill AurionFebruary 15, 2005

And go figure that most of these suck...FANTASTIC...

(If Paper Mario doesn't win the writing category I will not be a happy camper)

Ian SaneFebruary 15, 2005

Where is Metroid Prime 2?! ARRRRGH!

And what's the big deal with Burnout 3 anyway? Any impressions that I've heard about it is that it's pretty much Burnout 2 only with more crashing stuff and now published by EA. To me it seems that most of the people praising it never played the first two games so the concept of the Burnout series is what they like as opposed to Burnout 3 itself being such an amazing game.

I'm glad Halo 2 isn't nominated for anything major but the snubbing of classic Cube titles like Four Swords Adventures and Metroid Prime 2 is inexusable. Just because the Cube isn't as popular as the PS2 or Xbox is no reason to exclude game like those from all of these different awards. These are game developers. They're SUPPOSED to know that Warrior Within is market driven sh!t and that Four Swords Adventures is one of the most innnovative games in years.

It looks to me like the whole industry is trying to praise mediocrity so as to lower standards so that average publishers like EA come across as the best of the best. Since Nintendo has been known to raise the bar to levels few can reach they're getting snubbed out. It sounds like paranoid conspiracy theory junk but it certainly would explain a whole lot. American publishers have had a revival in this last generation and history has shown that most American publishers have NO DESIRE to succeed based on high level of quality if they don't have to.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorFebruary 15, 2005

Just a heads up, it looks like you missed a category heading under the new studio award... face-icon-small-wink.gif

As for the nominees...it can be expected...Its getting to the point that the few Nintendo games that get nominated for these things are in there just to appease us. Blah blah blah..stupid fads.

MaleficentOgreFebruary 15, 2005

wow, I strongly dislike the nominees in most of these categories. actually all but the new studio and technology.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusFebruary 15, 2005

I hope The Behemoth wins that award since Alien Hominid was a excellent game.

NinGurl69 *hugglesFebruary 15, 2005

GDC fails. 7.9, sry

KnowsNothingFebruary 15, 2005

Having Burnout 3 anywhere near the Best Game award is laughable.......

The choices for Character Design completely baffle me, except for World of Warcraft. Katamari Damacy? If I'm not mistaken, the main character is the "Prince" who is nothing more than a tiny green stick-figure, and the only other character is a talking face called the King who spews out words that don't even make sense.

The only Award that had legit nominees is Game Design, which should only be between Pikmin 2, Katamari Damacy, and World of Warcraft (I predict Katamari).

EDIT: Completely forgot to complain about the lack of MP2. Slipped my mind, srry.

mantidorFebruary 15, 2005

Seeing ID in the new studio category is weird, doom 2 was my first game almost 15 years ago. Anyway, it sucks seeing MP 2 ignored in every award, its just absurd.

FFantasyFXFebruary 15, 2005

Just a quick heads up - the first five nominees under New Studio are correct. The next five nominees are actually up for the Audio award, but the PGC article forgot to include that heading.

CaillanFebruary 15, 2005

Sites like Gamasutra explain to me why I generally don't like Western games. Every book on game design I've read has been dogmatic and abstract. Of course they have valid logic, but they do not apply to all styles of games. For example, the emphasis placed on 'immersion' -- not making references to anything outside the game -- is ridiculous. I really question the Western industry's ability to match the quality of its Japanese counterpart.

At least Katamari Damacy is getting a lot of attention.

DjunknownFebruary 15, 2005

First DICE, now this. Not too many Nintendo games get nominated this time around, and its "GDC sucks, everybody sucks..."
Let's have a little history lesson shall we?

Nintendo did quite well in 2003 (I combed PGC's archives for this one)
"Nintendo did quite well with Animal Crossing picking up a Game Innovation Spotlight Award and Metroid Prime picking up three awards; Rookie Studio of the Year, Excellence in Level Design, and the coveted Game of the Year."

and Last year (2k4)

"Excellence in Visual Arts
* Masanao Arimoto, Yoshiki Haruhana, and Satoru Takizawa for art direction in THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE WIND WAKER"
"Game Innovation Spotlight
* EyeToy Play (Sony)
* Viewtiful Joe (Granted its not an exclusive title anymore, but who would've thought Capcom do such a thing?)
* WarioWare Inc.: Mega MicroGame$ (Nintendo)

Now let's take a look at this phrase here:
peer-recognition

So if you want to put your conspiracy theory here about how they were bribed, backstabbing politics, go right ahead. I'm keeping my feet firmly planted on the ground.


Hostile CreationFebruary 15, 2005

What they did last year has nothing to do with how retarded the rewards are this year. Metroid Prime 2 should have been nominated for something. The character design category is pitiful. Prince of Persia should not be in visuals. I'm also starting to think that while Katamari Damacy seems like an awesome game, it's getting way too much credit. It's been in almost every category in almost every award contest, and sometimes for completely illogical reasons.

I don't think they were bribed, I just think they're a little stupid. WarioWare Inc. was nominated last year. It had a quirky, cool style. Why isn't Alien Hominid on the list this year? It easily replaces Prince of Persia.

In conclusion, I'm going to start my own awards.

GamefreakFebruary 15, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane
Where is Metroid Prime 2?! ARRRRGH!

And what's the big deal with Burnout 3 anyway? Any impressions that I've heard about it is that it's pretty much Burnout 2 only with more crashing stuff and now published by EA. To me it seems that most of the people praising it never played the first two games so the concept of the Burnout series is what they like as opposed to Burnout 3 itself being such an amazing game.


Lol your kidding right? Burnout 3 is so much more than 2 it's not even funny. Burnout 3 is easily the most fun I've ever had with a racing ever (and I love racing games) and possibly my favorite game of 2004. This game just plays perfectly, it's fast as heck (i'm talking F-Zero GX speed here, except way more chaotic since you have to dodge traffic and such), and oh yeah... online! <---- Very very very very fun
You have to play to understand. Burnout 2 was just a good arcade racing game. Burnout 3 is the first racing game I've ever played that made me say, this should be Game of the Year. The sheer fun of this game is mind blowing... I'd play this over Half-Life 2, Metroid Prime 2, MGS3, any day of the week.
Basically the same reasons this game rules can be foundin Smash Bros. Melee - Tons of content and amazing, suberbly polished, extremely fun multiplayer.

Oh and while not perfect, this list is at least better than the crap one put out by AIAS...

Although if you are only going to have 5 GOTY nominees, I'd definately take out Half-Life 2 and stick in Ninja Gaiden.

And I'd also take out San Andreas - brilliant game, but the PS2 controls and graphics just ruin it. If it was the upcoming PC version I'd be the first to nominate it but no matter how brilliant the content is, the fact that they are too lazy to fix the horrible PS2 version controls after all these years since GTA3 just pisses me off.

Burnout 3 and World of Warcraft are great choices. Katamari Damacy I'll let slide...it may not have the sheer quality of games like Metroid Prime 2 or Far Cry but at least it's innovative and original...and it's really fun too.

As for games like MP2, HL2, Halo 2, Rome: Total War, MGS3... in a year with so many sequels, none of those games IMO change enough to get GOTY, no matter how polished or high quality they are. After all with over a dozen incredibly high quality sequels that would get GOTY any other year, how can you choose one? I'd rather go with a game like Burnout 3, Ninja Gaiden, or World of Warcraft which take their genres to a new level. Metroid Prime 2 is just Metroid Prime under different circumstances. Halo 2, Riddick, Far Cry, and HL2 play just like high quality FPS's have played for years, with small improvements and better online play. Rome: Total War, Pikmin 2, and Paper Mario 2 are just sequels that improve on their originals exactly as everyone though they would: higher quality, and fix the stuff that was bad before.
And the only reason I'm considering Ninja Gaiden is because it just came out of nowhere, isn't a sequel (ok technically it is, but come on, you can't compare this to an ancient NES game), and is an extremely high quality action game like the old school ones... Basically the same thing that made Viewtiful Joe work...
Personally I'd bring it down to Burnout 3 vs. World of Warcraft. Burnout 3 is just insanely fun, but WoW is extremely deep, addictive, and is definately the first game in the genre to actually fix the genre... It is to MMORPG's what Half-Life and Goldeneye was to FPS's...

Ian SaneFebruary 15, 2005

Pikmin 2 is just a sequel that improves on the original exactly as everyone thought it would? You've got some high standards. That's easily one of the most innovative sequels I've played in years. The whole focus of the game is completely different with the time limit removed. Plus there's new Pikmin, berry powers, two captains, multiplayer, and the cave levels. It's the type of sequel that Nintendo used to be known for in that it significantly improves over the original while adding several new ideas that just fit in perfectly. It reminds me of the time when every Nintendo sequel meant something and was absolutely essential.

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