The Game Developers Choice Awards wiki last edited by Marino on 03/19/14 08:48PM View full history

Advisory Committee

The editors of Game Developer Magazine and Gamasutra choose an Advisory Committee, made up of distinguished game industry veterans, to select Special Honours winners following public nominations.

Tommy Tallarico


Game of the Year

2014 Game of the Year

The best game of the previous year decided by the game developers themselves.

Innovation Award

2013 Innovation Award

Celebrating the one game that best advances the medium in ways previously unimaginable.

Best Audio

2010 Best Audio

The Best Audio award takes into account all forms of audio including music, sound effects, voice over, and sound design.

Best Debut

2012 Best Debut

Formerly known as the Rookie Studio award, this is awarded to a development studio who release their first publicly available game.

Best Downloadable Game

2009 Best Downloadable Game

Introduced in 2008, the Best Downloadable Game Award celebrates the best game that was exclusively available via digital distribution.

Best Game Design

2008 Best Game Design

The Best Game Design award encompasses gameplay mechanics, level design, playability, and balance.

Best Handheld/Mobile Game

2014 Best Handheld Game

Celebrating the best game that was released exclusively for mobile platforms whether they be handheld consoles or mobile devices such as phones and tablets.

Best Narrative

Formerly known as the Excellence in Writing Award, this award celebrates the game with superlative storytelling, plot, and dialogue.

2011 Best Narrative

Best Technology

2005 Best Technology

The Best Technology Award celebrates the best in artificial intelligence, programming, physics modeling, and networking.

Best Visual Arts

The Best Visual Arts award is not simply celebrating the best graphics in a game, but is more specifically about art direction, character design, animation, and textures.

2004 Best Visual Arts

Audience Award

Introduced in 2013, the Audience Award is the only award not selected by the advisory committee.

Retired Awards

Character Design

The Character Design Award was given to the game with the best well-rounded, non-licensed characters based on design, story, and originality. Prior to 2005, the award was given to a single character and was known as the Original Game Character of the Year Award.

Level Design

The Excellence in Level Design Award was given to the game with the best created environments and worlds. After 2003, level design was lumped into the Game Design Award.


After 2004, the Excellence in Programming Award became part of the Best Technology Award.

Special Honors

Three special honors, selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards advisory board, are presented annually at the ceremony.

Lifetime Achievement Award

2007 Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates ones entire career of achievements as a game developer.

Pioneer/First Penguin Award

2008 Pioneer Award

The Pioneer Award (formerly known as the First Penguin Award) celebrates those whose contributions were groundbreaking and/or paved the way for future generations.

Ambassador/Community Contribution Award

The Ambassador Award (formerly known as the Community Contribution Award) celebrates those who best represents the industry as a whole whether it be from within or from the outside.

2001 Ambassador Award

Maverick Award

The Maverick Award, retired after 2007, celebrated those who recently introduced exceptionally new ideas to the industry.


2014 Host

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