Game Developers Choice Awards Nominees Revealed

Game Developers Choice Awards Nominees Revealed

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Inside, Overwatch, and Firewatch lead the nominations.

The nominees for the 2017 Game Developers Choice Awards have been announced, with Inside, Overwatch, Firewatch, and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End seeing the most nods.

Playdead's Inside has six nominations, for Best Audio, Best Design, the Innovation Award, Best Narrative, Best Visual Art and Game of the Year. Blizzard's Overwatch and Campo Santo's Firewatch each have five, and Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4 has four. All of those games are up for Game of the Year alongside Dishonored 2.

Winners will be announced at the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony on March 1st at the San Francisco Moscone Center. The show will kick off at 6:30pm PT, and will be hosted by Double Fine founder Tim Schafer.

The complete list of nominees, including honorable mentions, can be viewed below:

BEST AUDIO
Battlefield 1 (EA DICE / Electronic Arts)
Thumper (Drool)
DOOM (id Software / Bethesda Softworks)
Inside (Playdead)
Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)

Honorable Mentions: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment), Rez Infinite (Monstars / Enhance Games), Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine), Firewatch (Campo Santo / Panic), Dishonored 2 (Arkane Studios / Bethesda Softworks), The Last Guardian (JAPAN Studio / Sony Interactive Entertainment), Titanfall 2 (Respawn Entertainment / Electronic Arts)

BEST DEBUT
Heart Machine (Hyper Light Drifter)
Campo Santo (Firewatch)
ConcernedApe (Stardew Valley)
Drool (Thumper)
Night School Studio (Oxenfree)

Honorable Mentions: SUPERHOT Team (SUPERHOT), Numinous Games (That Dragon, Cancer), Giant Squid Studios (Abzu), Ghost Town Games (Overcooked), iNK Stories (1979 Revolution: Black Friday)

BEST DESIGN
Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
Dishonored 2 (Arkane Studios / Bethesda Softworks)
The Witness (Thekla)
Inside (Playdead)
DOOM (id Software / Bethesda Softworks)

Honorable Mentions: Titanfall 2 (Respawn Entertainment / Electronic Arts), Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment), Dark Souls III (From Software / Bandai Namco Entertainment), Firewatch (Campo Santo / Panic), Hitman (IO Interactive / Square Enix)

BEST MOBILE/HANDHELD GAME
Super Mario Run (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
Clash Royale (Supercell)
Pokemon Go (Niantic)
Reigns (Nerial / Devolver Digital)
Pokemon Sun/Moon (Game Freak / The Pokemon Company)

Honorable Mentions: Mini Metro (Dinosaur Polo Club), Severed (DrinkBox Studios), Deus Ex: Go (Square Enix Montreal / Square Enix), Fire Emblem Fates (Intelligent Systems and Nintendo SPD / Nintendo), Imbroglio (Michael Brough), Swap Sword (AP Thomson and Diego Garcia)

INNOVATION AWARD
The Witness (Thekla)
Inside (Playdead)
No Man's Sky (Hello Games)
Firewatch (Campo Santo / Panic)
Pokemon Go (Niantic)

Honorable Mentions: That Dragon, Cancer (Numinous Games), The Last Guardian (JAPAN Studio / Sony Interactive Entertainment), SUPERHOT (SUPERHOT Team), Thumper (Drool), Quadrilateral Cowboy (Blendo Games)

BEST NARRATIVE
The Last Guardian (JAPAN Studio / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
Oxenfree (Night School Studio)
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
Inside (Playdead)
Firewatch (Campo Santo / Panic)

Honorable Mentions: That Dragon, Cancer (Numinous Games), Dishonored 2 (Arkane Studios / Bethesda Softworks), The Witcher 3: Blood & Wine (CD Projekt RED / CD Projekt), Kentucky Route Zero - Act IV (Cardboard Computer), Mafia III (Hangar 13 / 2K Games)

BEST TECHNOLOGY
Battlefield 1 (EA DICE / Electronic Arts)
No Man's Sky (Hello Games)
Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
DOOM (id Software / Bethesda Softworks)
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Honorable Mentions: Inside (Playdead), Pokemon Go (Niantic), The Last Guardian (JAPAN Studio / Sony Interactive Entertainment), Dishonored 2 (Arkane Studios / Bethesda Softworks), The Witness (Thekla)

BEST VISUAL ART
Firewatch (Campo Santo / Panic)
The Last Guardian (JAPAN Studio / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
Inside (Playdead)

Honorable Mentions: The Witness (Thekla), Battlefield 1 (EA DICE / Electronic Arts), Abzu (Giant Squid Studios), Thumper (Drool), DOOM (id Software / Bethesda Softworks)

BEST VR/AR GAME
Rez Infinite (Monstars / Enhance Games)
Superhot VR (SUPERHOT Team)
Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives (Owlchemy Labs)
Pokemon Go (Niantic)
Fantastic Contraption (Radial Games / Northway Games)

Honorable Mentions: Thumper (Drool), Superhypercube (Kokoromi / Polytron Corporation), Batman Arkham VR (Rocksteady Studios / Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment), Space Pirate Trainer (I-Illusions), The Lab (Valve)

GAME OF THE YEAR
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
Inside (Playdead)
Dishonored 2 (Arkane Studios / Bethesda Softworks)
Firewatch (Campo Santo / Panic)

Honorable Mentions: DOOM (id Software / Bethesda Softworks), The Witness (Thekla), Battlefield 1 (EA DICE / Electronic Arts), The Last Guardian (JAPAN Studio / Sony Interactive Entertainment), Titanfall 2 (Respawn Entertainment / Electronic Arts)

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The Witness, best design? I wouldn't call the best design to have one or two tutorial areas out of order, making other tutorials inaccessible or incomprehensible. My vote goes for Inside.

Dishonored 2 is up for Game of the Year? Wasn't that game identical (in almost every way) to the first one, just now you could play as a lady if you wanted to?

Oxenfree was this year? Sweet. Maybe it can get a bit more recognition. Far too many Overwatch mentions for my classy ignorant asshole bastardised taste, you would've thought the publisher had some kind of relentless billionaire marketing campaign for it or something...

Uncharted 4 for best visual design? Weird. Really Battleborn should be in one of the visual categories. You can fault that game for a lot but it had some great character design and art style.

RJ 17:
Dishonored 2 is up for Game of the Year? Wasn't that game identical (in almost every way) to the first one, just now you could play as a lady if you wanted to?

You shouldn't get your sources only from Zero Punctuation.

Imre Csete:

RJ 17:
Dishonored 2 is up for Game of the Year? Wasn't that game identical (in almost every way) to the first one, just now you could play as a lady if you wanted to?

You shouldn't get your sources only from Zero Punctuation.

I don't. Please don't get your jimmies in a twist just because I didn't like a thing you did.

RJ 17:
I don't. Please don't get your jimmies in a twist just because I didn't like a thing you did.

It's more of my annoyance with this place being an echo chamber for its content creators. My bad. :P

I see a lot of repeats among the awards.
Were those games just that great or was the starting lineup that poor..

Wait, No Man's Sky? Technology? Its procedural generation is pretty much the same as bloody minecraft, just without multiplayer.

Consider me "tilted" (is that what "the kids" are calling it these days?) that Firewatch beat out Abzu for the "visual art" nomination. Firewatch was nice, but nothing we hadn't seen before; Abzu was absolutely gorgeous.

Inside.. best narrative?
*pulls hair out*
There was no story to Inside! How can there be a narrative without a story?

Makabriel:
Inside.. best narrative?
*pulls hair out*
There was no story to Inside! How can there be a narrative without a story?

Having no story is a bold, new approach to storytelling. I think.

Makabriel:
Inside.. best narrative?
*pulls hair out*
There was no story to Inside! How can there be a narrative without a story?

I mean... it's kind of there. It's just not told to you at all. Also, people eat ambiguous stuff right up. I liked the game, but I really don't see how it can be on any GOTY or Best Narrative lists. It's way too short for its price and the puzzles/platforming is way easier than Limbo.

I'm kind of surprised at the complete lack of Dark Souls 3 for anything in this. I guess that continues the trend for the rest of these though, so oh well. Maybe people's opinions have been soured since the lackluster DLC. Still, I'd definitely have it up there for Audio and GOTY.

Caramel Frappe:
Not mad exactly but this seems rigged.

It's GDC. It's all about The Connections. Dark Souls ain't even the foreign exchange student at this cool kids' table. No Man's Sky is the solidarity nod to developers "under attack".

Caramel Frappe:

More like the cool kids only accepted things that appealed to them or their own members and anyone outside the circle was deemed a nerd or nobody. I mean, let me repeat .... No Man's Sky wont best Technology Award and Innovation Award. Let that sink in.

Yeah this is a joke, no doubt about it. I can't take this seriously :/

It's the heavy networkers on the circuit, patting each others' backs for being ever so great. That's what these Industry Award things usually amount to.

RJ 17:
Dishonored 2 is up for Game of the Year? Wasn't that game identical (in almost every way) to the first one, just now you could play as a lady if you wanted to?

If you only intend to be dismissive about it - then yes.

If you want an actual answer - large part of the game is "more of the same", however I'd say it pulls it off marvelously. There is improvements in pretty much every area of the game:

- first of all, it's more of ALL of the previous Dishonored - not only the things from the base game make a comeback but also from the DLC - like corrupted bonecharms and witches
- more dynamic combat where you can take on multiple opponents more reliably and you have a larger variety of opponents, too, each with different tactics and tricks up their sleeve
- more non-lethal options which a lot of people were complaining about in the past[1] including non-lethal drop assassination (drop knockdown?), non-lethal mines, as well as the ability to engage people in combat and still neutralise them non-lethally (without using sleeping arrows). That last alone should deserve a complete highlight by itself
- the ability to choke out people who just saw you. Yes - you can approach a guard and they might turn around and see you but you can still take them out before they have the chance to react. Do it fast enough and it doesn't even count as a detection
- improved stuff to do with stealth in general, for example leaning out of a corner doesn't keep you COMPLETELY INVISIBLE even as you are headbutting some guard's legs or the ability to actually drag people away as you are choking them. Other more minor things - guards will be alarmed if they find a door open, when it shouldn't be or somebody missing (even if there is no body). Pretty sweet, overall making the stealth runs better overall
- bigger more expansive levels. Yes, they still follow the same design direction as before (which I consider a good thing) - you have multiple approaches to get to places and there is emphasis on vertical exploration. There are also a larger amounts of neutral NPCs just minding their business in the levels, which brings more life to the world
- more powers - powers now have side upgrades that improve some aspects of them further or add new aspects. Corvo's powers stay mostly the same but they now have the side upgrades, while Emily's active powers are mostly new[2]
- more bonecharms including the ability to craft your own
- more challenge if you want it by doing a no powers run

As for non-gameplay changes the story is a rethread of the previous one, sure - you get betrayed, the empire gets taken over and you have to go eliminate some people in order to take everything back. That is literally the extent of the plot being the same - if you choose to sum it in a single sentence.

Sure, the game largely plays the same but calling it "identical" to the first one makes a disservice to both it and your own argument. A lot of elements were kept similar deliberately and I strongly suspect it's to maintain a cohesive artistic vision. Sure, they could have made the game look, play and feel completely different but at that point is it going to really be a worthy sequel? ...or even a sequel?

[1] for the record, I was perfectly fine with first Dishonored's approach, but I cannot deny the appeal of the second one
[2] Although, I have to clarify - not COMPLETELY new. Dark Vision is exactly the same as Corvo's one in this game, Far Reach's upgrades make it work like Daud's Lift, Shadow Walk works very loosely like using Corvo's Possession on a rat, the Doppleganger power is a very heavily modified Daud's Summon Assassin

 

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