OBPblog_GDCbanner-square

OBP@GDC – Game Developers Choice Award Staff Picks

OBPblog_GDCbanner

 

The 2015 Game Developers Choice Awards are upon us! We hope you’re as excited as we are to see who the industry chose for its top honors this year. Off Base treats game awards like the Oscars, and so we’d love to share some of our staff picks with you. Take a look at our choices and tune in tonight at 6:30pm on Twitch to watch the action unfold live!

 *

Jeremy C.,  Social Media Manager/Editorial

Game of the Year: Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Innovation Award: Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Best Debut: Yacht Club Games (Shovel Knight)
Best Design: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Best Handheld/Mobile Game: Hearthstone
Best Visual Art: Monument Valley
Best Narrative: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Best Audio: Alien: Isolation
Best Technology: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Predicting a big night for Shadow of Mordor, which will further intensify my guilt for having still not gotten around to my copy at home. Although it’s not out yet on iPhone, my jailbroken iPad version of Hearthstone is by far my favorite handheld/mobile game of the year.

 *

Joanie C., Editor

Game of the Year: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Innovation Award: Monument Valley
Best Debut: The Astronauts (The Vanishing of Ethan Carter)
Best Design: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Best Handheld/Mobile Game: Super Smash Bros. 3DS
Best Visual Art: Monument Valley
Best Narrative: 80 Days
Best Audio: Transistor
Best Technology: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Overall, I am super happy with all the love Monument Valley, 80 Days, Ethan Carter, Captain Toad, and Hohokum are getting. Lots of hard choices between them, but it’s a good problem to have. I really dig the concept and execution shown in these games–especially the Nemesis system and interactive puzzles that make (what seems like) the impossible… well, possible. What made me happiest was seeing how much 80 Days pops up. Not only is it a great narrative, it’s also a complex choose-your-own-adventure narrative, and a prime example of interactive fiction at its finest. I have not had a chance to play Never Alone yet, but I have a feeling it will steal my heart once I do. Still, since I haven’t yet, I couldn’t choose it. One technical note, though: I think putting mobile games and handheld console games in the same category is a bit unfair if you compare the technical restrictions.

 *

Cyris C., Editor

Game of the Year: Destiny
Innovation Award: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Best Debut: Respawn Entertainment (Titanfall)
Best Design: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Best Handheld/Mobile Game: Super Smash Bros. 3DS
Best Visual Art: Alien: Isolation
Best Narrative: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Best Audio: Destiny
Best Technology: Destiny

My relationship with Destiny runs deep and has been my greatest addiction since its release. Regardless of the repetition and misinterpreted storyline, Destiny is one of the greatest games of all time and deserves to win Game of the Year. As a long time Super Smash Bros. fan, having the ability to play anywhere with the 3DS version has been an awesome experience.

 *

Josh R., Senior Editor

Game of the Year: Destiny
Innovation Award: Monument Valley
Best Debut: Yacht Club Games (Shovel Knight)
Best Design: Shovel Knight
Best Handheld/Mobile Game: Super Smash Bros. 3DS
Best Visual Art: Monument Valley
Best Narrative: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Best Audio: Alien: Isolation
Best Technology: Destiny

Out of all the nominees, Destiny gets the top spot as Game of the Year for me. I just haven’t been able to put it down since its debut last September, and it has become the de facto hang out spot for me and my friends. I also expect at least a couple of awards for Monument Valley, as the title showed you can have an unique, artistic experience on mobile without compromising gameplay. Shovel Knight from Yacht Club Games pushes all those 8bit nostalgia buttons with a purposeful adherence to NES-era technological limitations (they do cheat a little, but who cares). Alien: Isolation should take the Best Audio award for sure; all aspects of that game are so terrifying it was difficult to play at night!

 *

Chris O., Designer

Game of the Year: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Innovation Award: This War of Mine
Best Debut: Yacht Club Games (Shovel Knight)
Best Design: Shovel Knight
Best Handheld/Mobile Game: Super Smash Bros. 3DS
Best Visual Art: Transistor
Best Narrative: This War of Mine
Best Audio: Transistor
Best Technology: Far Cry 4

*

Mayene D., Senior Designer

Best Narrative: Hatoful Boyfriend

I know it’s only in for an Honorable Mention, but it deserves a little bit more love. The plot can be simplified into something super silly (a dating sim with pigeons), but with multiple endings, the story was unexpectedly deep when playing through a handful of times! Pretty coo, if I must say so.

*

Cyrin J., Creative Design Lead

Game of the Year: Destiny
Innovation Award: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Best Debut: MachineGames (Wolfenstein: The New Order)
Best Design: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Best Handheld/Mobile Game: Super Smash Bros. 3DS
Best Visual Art: Hohokum
Best Narrative: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Best Audio: Destiny
Best Technology: Destiny

*

And that wraps our picks for the 2015 Game Developer Choice Awards. Now, tell us yours! We’ll be back tomorrow with an interview with our CEO, Greg Off, on his experiences as a seasoned GDC veteran.