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The Game Developers Choice Awards are annually presented by the Game Developers Conference for outstanding game developers and games.Introduced in 2001, the Game Developers Choice Awards were preceded by the Spotlight Awards, which were presented from 1997 to 1999.

This year's award presentation was held March 25, 2009, at the Moscone Convention Centermarker in San Franciscomarker, Californiamarker, USAmarker.

Nomination and voting process

In 2007, gamasutra.com took over management of the awards from the IGDA.An advisory board selected by the editors of gamasutra.com and Game Developer magazine oversees the selection process.

Nominations are accepted from those registered gamasutra.com users confirmed by Choice Award organizers to be game developers, and from the advisory board.Once the nomination process is complete, the advisory board identifies five finalists for each regular category.

The recipients of the Lifetime Achievement, First Penguin (Pioneer since 2007) and Maverick awards are selected by the advisory board.For the other awards, a vote open to all those who participated in the nomination process chooses a recipient from each category's finalists.

List of winners

Note: Years listed are when award was received for work released in the previous calendar year.

Game of the Year/Best Game

The Best Game award recognized the overall best game released during the previous calendar year, as interpreted by the members of the Game Developers Association.
2009: Fallout 3
2008: Portal
2007: Gears of War
2006: Shadow of the Colossus
2005: Half-Life 2
2004: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
2003: Metroid Prime
2002: Grand Theft Auto III
2001: The Sims


Best Debut Game

The Best Debut Game Award recognizes the best game from any development studio which released its first publicly available title during the calendar year. This was formally known as the New Studio of the Year Award. In years prior to 2008, the award was awarded to the studio name, as opposed to the game title.
2009: Media Molecule (for LittleBigPlanet)
2008: Realtime Worlds / Microsoft Game Studios (for Crackdown)
2007: Iron Lore Entertainment (for Titan Quest)
2006: Double Fine Productions (for Psychonauts)
2005: Crytek (for Far Cry)
2004: Infinity Ward (for Call of Duty)
2003: Retro Studios (for Metroid Prime)
2002: Bohemia Interactive Studio (for Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis)
2001: Valve (for Counter-Strike)


Best Handheld Game

Best Handheld Game Award recognizes the overall best game commercially released on any handheld platform.
2009: God of War: Chains of Olympus
2008: The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass


Best Downloadable Game

Best Downloadable Game Award recognizes the overall best game released on console or PC platforms specifically and solely for digital download - with an emphasis on smaller, more 'casual'-friendly titles.
2009: World of Goo
2008: flOw


Excellence in Audio

The Excellence in Audio award recognizes the overall excellence of audio in a game, including sound effects, musical composition, sound design, orchestration.
2009: Dead Space
2008: BioShock
2007: Guitar Hero II
2006: Guitar Hero
2005: Halo 2
2004: Call of Duty
2003: Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
2002: Halo: Combat Evolved
2001: Diablo II


Excellence in Game Design

The Excellence in Game Design award recognizes the overall excellence of design in a game, including gameplay, mechanics, puzzles, play balancing and scenarios.
2009: LittleBigPlanet
2008: Portal
2007: Wii Sports
2006: Shadow of the Colossus
2005: Katamari Damacy
2004: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
2003: Battlefield 1942
2002: Grand Theft Auto III
2001: Deus Ex


Best Technology

The Technology award recognizes the overall excellence of technology in a game, including graphics programming, artificial intelligence, networking and physics.
2009: LittleBigPlanet
2008: Crysis
2007: Gears of War
2006: Nintendogs
2005: Half-Life 2


Excellence in Visual Arts

The Excellence in Visual Arts award recognizes the overall excellence of visual art in a game, including animation, modeling, art direction and textures.
2009: Prince of Persia
2008: BioShock
2007: Gears of War
2006: Shadow of the Colossus
2005: World of Warcraft
2004: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
2003: Kingdom Hearts
2002: ICO
2001: Jet Grind Radio


Excellence in Writing

The Excellence in Writing award recognizes the quality of writing in a game, including story, plot construction, dialogue and branching narratives.
2009: Fallout 3
2008: BioShock
2007: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
2006: Psychonauts
2005: Half-Life 2
2004: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
2003: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell


Game Innovation Spotlights

The Game Innovation Spotlights recognize games that demonstrate innovation and push the boundaries of games as an expressive medium. Up to three such awards are given each year.
2009: LittleBigPlanet
2008: Portal
2007: Line Rider; Ōkami; Wii Sports
2006: Nintendogs; Guitar Hero
2005: Donkey Konga; I Love Bees; Katamari Damacy
2004: EyeToy: Play; Viewtiful Joe; WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!
2003: Animal Crossing; Battlefield 1942; Medal of Honor: Allied Assault; The Thing
2002: Black and White; Grand Theft Auto III; ICO; Majestic; Rez
2001: Counter-Strike; Crazy Taxi; Deus Ex; Jet Grind Radio; No One Lives Forever


Special Awards Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the achievements of a developer who has impacted games and game development.
2009: Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear series)
2008: Sid Meier (Civilization series and many different simulators)
2007: Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario, Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda)
2006: Richard Garriott (Ultima)
2005: Eugene Jarvis (Defender and Robotron: 2084)
2004: Mark Cerny (SEGA, Sonic the Hedgehog)
2003: Gunpei Yokoi (1941–1997) (Game Boy, Super Mario Land series, Metroid series)
2002: Yuji Naka (Sonic the Hedgehog)
2001: Will Wright (Sim games)


The Pioneer Award

Known as the First Penguin award until 2007, the Pioneer Award celebrates individuals who developed a breakthrough technology, game concept or gameplay design.
2009: Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy (founders of Harmonix)
2008: Ralph Baer (inventor of the Magnavox Odyssey)
2007: Alexey Pajitnov (creator of Tetris)
2006: Don Woods, Will Crowther (creators of the early text game Adventure)
2005: Richard Bartle (co-creator of MUD, ancestor to MMOs)
2004: Masaya Matsuura (founder of NanaOn-Sha, pioneer of music/game integration)
2003: David Crane, Larry Kaplan, Jim Levy, Alan Miller, Bob Whitehead (founders of Activision)
2002: Hubert Chardot (creator of Alone in the Dark)
2001: Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer (creators of Lucasfilm's Habitat)


Ambassador Award

Formally known as the IGDA Award For Community Contribution.
2009: Tommy Tallarico
2008: Jason Della Rocca
2007: George Sanger
2006: Chris Hecker
2005: Sheri Graner Ray
2004: Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk
2003: Doug Church (Eidos Interactive)
2002: Jeff Lander
2001: John Carmack


Retired awards

The following award categories have been retired or replaced with a different focus.

Character Design

The Character Design award recognizes the overall excellence of non-licensed character design in a game, including originality, character arc and emotional depth.
2007: Ōkami
2006: Shadow of the Colossus
2005: Half-Life 2


Excellence in Level Design

2003: Metroid Prime
2002: ICO
2001: American McGee's Alice


Excellence in Programming

2004: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
2003: Neverwinter Nights
2002: Black and White
2001: The Sims


Original Game Character of the Year

2004: "HK-47" from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
2003: "Sly Cooper" from Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus
2002: "Daxter" from Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
2001: "Seaman" from Seaman


Maverick Award

The Maverick Award recognizes the current achievements of a developer who exhibits independence in thought and action while experimenting with alternate/emerging forms of digital games.
2007: Greg Costikyan
2006: Mike Dornbrook, Eran Egozy, Greg LoPiccolo, and Alex Rigopulos (Harmonix Music Systems)
2005: Matt Adams, Ju Row Farr, and Nick Tandavanitj (Blast Theory)
2004: Brian Fiete, Jason Kapalka, and John Vechey (PopCap Games)


References



External links




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