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IGDA Nominees Announced



The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has rolled out its 4th annual list of nominees for its Game Developers Choice Awards. The prestigious awards will be handed out in eight categories this year, with such highlights as Game of the Year, Rookie Studio of the Year, and Excellence in Visual Arts at the GDC (Game Developers Conference) - the three-day industry forum at which the awards are typically distributed. This year, the awards ceremony, which is sponsored for 2004 by nVidia, will be hosted by the Civic Auditorium, San Jose, on Wednesday, March 24.

"The industry has seen an exceptional year from developers," said Jason Della Rocca, Program Director, IGDA. "We are proud to honour those who have dedicated their careers to making innovative games, [and] this award is a tremendous honour as nominees have been selected by their peers."

As always, there are a number of RPGs, and the companies who make them, up for the honours. The full list of nominees is as follows (with RPG-related nominees in bold):

Game of the Year

Original Game Character of the Year

Rookie Studio of the Year

  • Big Huge Games for Rise of Nations
  • eGenesis for A Tale of the Desert
  • Infinity Ward for Call of Duty
  • S2 Games LLC for Savage: the Battle of Newerth
  • Swingin' Ape Studios for Metal Arms: Glitch in the System

Excellence in Audio

  • Chuck Russom for sound effects in Call of Duty
  • Koji Igarashi and Ms. Michiru Yamane for composition in Castlevania: Lament of Innocence
  • David Henry and Stan LePard for composition in Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
  • Laurent Betbeder, Paul Gorman, Howard Shore, Charles Stockley, and Don Veca for composition in The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
  • Christopher L. Clanin and Tim Larkin for sound design in Uru: Ages Beyond Myst

Excellence in Game Design

  • Michel Ancel, Jacques Exertier, Frederic Houde, and Sebastien Morin for game design in Beyond Good & Evil
  • David Chateauneuf, Patrice Desilets, Jordan Mechner and team for game design in Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time
  • The Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando team for game design in Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando
  • Casey Hudson, James Ohlen and team for game design in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • Goro Abe, Hirofumi Matsuoka, Kazuyoshi Ohsawa and Ko Takeuchi for game design in Warioware Inc

Excellence in Programming

  • Jak II team for programming in Jak II
  • Kim Salo, Markus Stein and Olli Tervo for physics programming in Max Payne 2: the Fall of Max Payne
  • Dominic Couture, Feng Quan Wang and team for graphics programming in Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time
  • David Worswick for network programming in Project Gotham Racing
  • Mike Rayner, Jon Spencer and team for programming in SSX 3

Excellence in Visual Arts

  • Mickael Labat, Raphael Lacoste, Celine Tellier and team for art direction in Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time
  • Akira Yamaoka for art direction in Silent Hill 3
  • Masanao Arimoto, Yoshiki Haruhana, and Satoru Takizawa for art direction in The Legend of Zelda: the Wind Waker
  • Eric Kohler and team for art direction in Tron II
  • Atsushi Inaba, Hideki Kamiya and team for art direction in Viewtiful Joe

Excellence in Writing

In addition to the contested categories, there will be additional honours handed out. A Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Mark Cerny, an expert on game production who has worked with numerous developers on various bestsellers such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon. The First Penguin award, recognizing those who show innovation, will go to Masaya Matsuura, late of such groundbreaking titles as Parappa the Rapper. Brian Flete, Jason Kapalka, and John Vechey, founders of PopCap Games, makers of various small online games such as Alchemy, will receive the 2004 Maverick Award, which recognizes "experimentation with emerging forms of digital games." PopCap titles have expanded to various markets including PC, PDAs, and cellphones. Bioware joint CEOs Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk will get kudos for their charity efforts, most notably the company's contributions to Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation and the establishment of a fund to support children's mental health programs. They will receive the IGDA Award for Community Contribution.

Nominations were free to make, and could be forwarded by all professional game developers, regardless of membership or affiliation. Be sure to check RPGamer for coverage of the awards ceremony, as well as other GDC developments.

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