The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco is an annual event that allows game developers to meet, exchange ideas, make deals, demonstrate technology, show off games, act all geeky and, last but not least, dish out some awards.
As the event in San Francisco keeps getting bigger, with some
in the industry calling it "the new E3", so does the importance of the awards. The fact that the awards are based on the opinions of developers, guys that know their stuff around games, also helped in raising the profile of the Game Developers Choice Awards, as they are known. With the host of amazing games that the market has seen in 2007, the choices this year must have been some tough ones. The winners are reviewed below.
This year, GOTY went to Portal
, the unlikely hit made by Valve and part of the Orange Box package. The puzzle game also managed to receive awards for Best Game Design and Innovation. Hot on its heels was Bioshock
, the retro underwater adventure created by Ken Levine, receiving awards for Best Audio, Best Visual Arts and Best Writing. Call of Duty 4, which was a favorite of other game awards shows, didn't manage any wins at the GDCA.
Elsewhere Crackdown won Best Debut Game award, Phantom Hourglass received Best Handheld Game, flOw took home Best Downloadable Game and resource hungry Crysis was given Best Technology for the game engine. Producer Sid Meier received a Lifetime Achievement Award for the outstanding and innovative work he has done on the Civilization series among others, and Ralph Baer collected the Pioneer Award for creating the first ever home videogame system, the Magnavox Odyssey.
Yahtzee Croshaw, of Zero Punctuation fame, was the special guest of the evening, creating and presenting several short films relating to games in general and to the award show. It was the first time any Zero Punctuation video was presented outside of The Escapist.