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Game Developer's Honor the Best Games of 2003

by Ed Shih - March 25, 2004, 1:29 am PST
Total comments: 12

The Game Developers Choice award ceremony was held Wednesday night at the GDC. Who were the winners and who got snubbed?

Wednesday night at the GDC, the International Game Developer's Association hosted the 4th annual Game Developers Choice award ceremony. The awards serve as the ultimate in peer recognition, as it is the members of the game development community who acknowledge the very best of the past year's games.

This year's big winner was Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Lucas Arts/Bioware) which received the awards for Game of the Year, Original Game Character of the Year (HK-47), and Excellence in Writing. Ubi Soft's multiplatform hit, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, also did well by winning the awards for Excellence in Game Design and Excellence in Programming.

As for games exclusive to Nintendo's consoles, Capcom's Viewtiful Joe received a Game Innovation Spotlight award as did Nintendo's WarioWare Inc.: Mega MicroGame$. Also, the once controversial decision to use cel-shaded graphics in a Zelda game seems to have paid off. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker received the award for Excellence in Visual Arts.

The full list of winning games is as follows:

Game of the Year

  • STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC (BioWare Corp.)

Original Game Character of the Year

  • HK-47 from STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC

Rookie Studio of the Year

  • Infinity Ward for CALL OF DUTY

Game Innovation Spotlight

  • EyeToy Play (Sony)

  • Viewtiful Joe (Capcom)

  • WarioWare Inc.: Mega MicroGame$ (Nintendo)

Excellence in Audio

  • Chuck Russom for sound effects in CALL OF DUTY

Excellence in Game Design

  • David Chateauneuf, Patrice Desilets, Jordan Mechner and team for game design in PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME

Excellence in Programming

  • Dominic Couture, Feng Quan Wang and team for graphics programming in PRINCE OF PERSIA : THE SANDS OF TIME

Excellence in Visual Arts

  • Masanao Arimoto, Yoshiki Haruhana, and Satoru Takizawa for art direction in THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE WIND WAKER

Excellence in Writing

  • David Gaider, Drew Karpyshyn, Luke Kristjanson, and Peter Thomas for writing in STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC

Talkback

KDR_11kMarch 25, 2004

All this time Nintendo emphasizes Gameplay over Graphics and the only award they get is Best Graphics...

RennyMarch 25, 2004

Maybe they should contentrate more on the Star Wars aspect of games. That worked for Lucas Arts. ...At least WarioWare finally got some recognition.


Rookie Studio of the Year

• Infinity Ward for CALL OF DUTY


You won in my heart, Swingin' Apes. :¬|

Ian SaneMarch 25, 2004

At least POP didn't sweep the awards. Am I the only one that finds that game to be really generic and dull?

NinGurl69 *hugglesMarch 25, 2004

No, you're not alone. PaladiN's been the biggest anti-"PoS" voice for a while.

Koopa TroopaMarch 25, 2004

What the hell KoTOR doing with all those awards. That was just bland D&D game with fancy starwars stuff. Bah!

Ian SaneMarch 25, 2004

"What the hell KoTOR doing with all those awards. That was just bland D&D game with fancy starwars stuff."

Knights of the Old Republic was the most hyped up Xbox game of the year so thus it gets more credit than it deserves. See Halo and Splinter Cell for other examples.

mouse_clickerMarch 25, 2004

KOTOR was an excellent game, it just wasn't anything new, especially considering it used the same engine as Neverwinter Nights and Icewind Dale, just zoomed in.

As for Prince of Persia, I finally got the chance to play through it and I loved it. It's stylish, original, intruiging, and most of all fun- I haven't enjoyed killing enemies this much (and looked so cool doing it) since Devil May Cry.

DjunknownMarch 25, 2004

O Come on! What is this? Are you people NEVER satisfied?

Remember how Eternal Darkness and Animal Crossing took home some hardware last year? How Retro got rookie studio of the year? Didn't here any bitching then....

I dunno about you, but while one could say Halo and Splinter Cell got a little more hype than they deserved, KOTOR didn't need it. Its just that damn good. As far as I know, it didn't get a good ad campaign like the games mentioned earlier. Remember, its the members of the game development community who acknowledge the very best of the past year's games. So they don't know a good game when they see one? *Rolls eyes*. Whatever....

At least Viewtiful Joe got some props, as well as Wario Ware. Who knew developers had masochistic tendencies?

It'd be interesting to ask Shiggy on how they're getting accolades for graphics, not gameplay. Can anyone imagine the response?

P.S I'm making a prediction that either Half-Life 2 or Doom 3 are going to get a decent share of awards (like 2 or 3) at next year's DICE and GDC. And they'll be some more bitching about "Its over-hyped, it wasn't that good," blah blah and double blah!

Ian SaneMarch 25, 2004

"Remember, its the members of the game development community who acknowledge the very best of the past year's games. So they don't know a good game when they see one?"

Considering that at least 75% of all games made are total crap one could argue that most developers have no clue what a good game is. face-icon-small-smile.gif I'm kidding by the way. Kind of.

KDR_11kMarch 25, 2004

Ian: That reminds me of a Slashdot post from a dev from a "bad" devhouse. Nintendo apparently rejected two of their GBA games for bad gameplay and while the bosses were cursing like hell the employees knew Nintendo as right. It's the SUITS who don't know a good game, the devs hemselves do, but they have no authority.

DeguelloJeff Shirley, Staff AlumnusMarch 26, 2004

Ugh. I can't believe BioWare got ANY award. I can't play any of their games without getting bored rather quickly. Who could stand being so bored? Well yay for everybody else. Boo BioWare and their Neverwinter Nights Star Wars mod.

RennyMarch 26, 2004

Retro was a rookie studio though. Making a game they never made before. Neither is true of IF and CoD.

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