“Journey” is getting used to making the trip to the podium.
After winning big at the D.I.C.E. Awards, in February, thatgamecompany’s “Journey” captured six of the 11 main Game Developers Choice Awards, including Game of the Year, Wednesday evening at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Confab wraps up March 29.
The independent game company also beat out major publishers to win Best Audio, Best Game Design, Best Visual Arts, Best Downloadable Game and the show’s Innovation Award. “Journey” won another seven awards at D.I.C.E., in Las Vegas.
The dominance of the show by thatgamecompany was rather fitting, as the Choice Awards immediately followed the awards ceremony for this year’s Independent Games Festival — the video game industry’s equivalent of Sundance Film Festival. The studio was nominated for one of those IGF trophies eight years ago and has been building a steady catalog of titles ever since.
This year’s top honor at the IGF awards – the Seumas McNally Award – went to “Cart Life,” a game about food cart workers trying to achieve their dreams. Designer Richard Hofmeier will receive a $30,000 cash prize in addition to the award and his game will be made available on Valve Software’s Steam digital distribution platform. “Cart Life” also won the Best Narrative Award and the Nuovo Award for abstract and unconventional games.
Subset Games’ “FTL: Faster Than Life” was the only other multiple award winning IGF game, taking both the Excellence in Design Award and the Audience Award.
While the IGF Awards are entirely forward looking, the Game Developer Choice Awards also tip their hat to the past.
Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk, founders of Bioware Studios, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for their contributions to the game development community. Both retired from the industry last year. “Spacewar!” creator Steve Russell also received the Pioneer Award for his contributions to the industry.
The complete list of winners:
- Best Downloadable Game: “Journey” (thatgamecompany)
- Best Narrative: “The Walking Dead” (Telltale Games)
- Best Visual Arts: “Journey” (thatgamecompany)
- Ambassador Award: Chris Melissinos
- Best Technology: “Far Cry 3” (Ubisoft)
- Best Game Design: “Journey” (thatgamecompany)
- Best Handheld/Mobile Game: “The Room” (Fireproof Studios)
- Best Audio: “Journey” (thatgamecompany)
- Pioneer Award: Steve Russell
- Best Debut: “FTL: Faster Than Light” (Subset Games)
- Innovation Award: “Journey” (thatgamecompany)
- Audience Choice Award: “Dishonored” (Arkane Studios)
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk
- Game of the Year: “Journey” (thatgamecompany)
- Excellence in Visual Art: “Kentucky Route Zero” (Cardboard Computer)
- Nuovo Award: “Cart Life” (Richard Hofmeier)
- Excellence in Audio: “140” (Jeppe Carlsen)
- Excellence in Narrative: “Cart Life” (Richard Hofmeier)
- Technical Excellence: “Little Inferno” (Tomorrow Corp)
- Best Student Game: “Zineth” (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
- Audience Award: “FTL: Faster Than Light” (Subset Games)
- Excellence in Design: “FTL: Faster Than Light” (Subset Games)
- Seumas McNally Grand Prize: “Cart Life” (Richard Hofmeier)