The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the open-world fantasy role-playing game from developer CD Projekt RED, was honored with the Game of the Year award at tonight’s 16th annual Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony during the 2016 Game Developers Conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
The acclaimed title also received the award for Best Technology for its complex game engine that combines brilliant visuals with a huge game world.
Her Story, the interactive crime fiction game from independent game developer Sam Barlow, earned the most awards of any nominee tonight, taking home the awards for Innovation, Best Narrative and Best Handheld/Mobile Game.
Starring actress/musician Viva Seifert, the game cleverly combines taped confessions and a simple computer interface to engage players in a compelling murder investigation. Earlier this evening, the game also received the Seumas McNally Grand Prize and Excellence in Narrative awards at the 18th Annual IGF Awards, the sister event that celebrates the best independent game development, which immediately preceded the GDCA ceremony.
Ori and the Blind Forest by developer Moon Studios earned two Choice Awards, for Best Debut and Best Visual Art. Ori and the Blind Forest is an action platformer set against a visually stunning hand-painted world and offers players a deeply emotional story about love, sacrifice and hope.
Other winners tonight included Rocket League, the wildly fun and deeply competitive soccer-meets-rocket cars title, which earned developer Psyonix the award for Best Design. The Audience Award, which is chosen from among all of the GDCA finalists through a public online voting process, was presented to developer Dontnod Entertainment for Life is Strange, the captivating coming-of-age tale told in five episodic installments. The title puts players in control of Maxine Caulfield, a teenage girl with mysterious powers, and forces them to make and reckon with moral decisions and their sometimes wonderful, sometimes terrible consequences.
The honor of Best Audio was earned by the Crypt of the NecroDancer from developer Brace Yourself Games, which uniquely blends action, role-playing, and rhythm games, challenging players to explore dungeons and battle monsters to the bumping rhythms of Danny Baranowsky’s eclectic metal/electro/dance soundtrack.
The Game Developers Choice Awards honor the very best games of the year, and was created for and voted on by developers. Winners are selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only group comprised of leading game creators from all parts of the industry.
Every year, the Game Developers Choice Awards also recognize developers who have made significant contributions to the art, science and craft of video games with three special awards. This year, the Pioneer Award was given to Markus “Notch” Persson, the famed creator of the multiple GDCA and IGF Award-winning indie sandbox title, Minecraft. The game, which has sold more than 70 million copies over multiple platforms, has revolutionized the sandbox game genre and helped cement the role of video games in stimulating creativity and ingenuity as well as rewarding skill.
The Ambassador Award, which recognizes those whose actions have helped video games to “advance to a better place,” went to Tracy Fullerton, professor and director of the University of Southern California (USC) Games program, and leader of the Game Innovation Lab. Fullerton has been instrumental in the creation of influential independent games that include Cloud, fl0w, Darfur is Dying, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom and The Night Journey, with artist Bill Viola.
The Lifetime Achievement award was bestowed upon Todd Howard, the distinguished creative director, designer and executive producer at Bethesda Game Studios. Todd Howard’s work on the acclaimed Fallout and Elder Scrolls series of open-world games has helped define an entire genre of games with deeply enthralling worlds with virtually endless opportunities for adventure and discovery.
“The world of video games can include every imaginable and unimaginable experience, from the vast world of The Witcher 3, to the intimate interrogations in Her Story, and the Choice Awards have evolved to honor this diversity of titles,” said Meggan Scavio, General Manager of the Game Developers Conference. “All of these winning and nominated titles have expanded what we think what games can be, how to maturely handle story, and how to make games that are ridiculously fun. I’m excited to see all of these wonderful developers recognized for their amazing contributions, and I congratulate all of this year’s winners and nominees.”
Without further ado, the Game Developers Choice Awards winners are:
Moon Studios (Ori and the Blind Forest)
Crypt of the NecroDancer (Brace Yourself Games)
Her Story (Sam Barlow)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt RED)
Best Visual Art
Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios)
Her Story (Sam Barlow)
Rocket League (Psyonix)
Best Handheld/Mobile Game
Her Story (Sam Barlow)
Life is Strange (DONTNOD Entertainment)
Game of the Year
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt RED)
Markus “Notch” Persson
Lifetime Achievement Award
Heads up, game makers: GDC Europe is taking place this summer in Cologne, Germany and today is the day to register early at a discounted rate.
Organizers of the Game Developers Conference are pleased to announce that early registration for GDC Europe 2016 has officially opened, there’s no better place to find the essential pan-European perspective of game development and business trends currently happening throughout the continent.
Organized by UBM Tech Game Network, the event, now in its eighth year running, will run Monday through Tuesday, August 15th and 16th at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost venue in Cologne, Germany.
Register now and you can save 200 euros on an All Access Pass. Plus, this year there will also be a GDC Europe Student Pass made available as a more affordable alternative to the All Access Pass — one created specifically for qualified students interested in learning and networking at the conference.
As always, the Student Pass is only available to verifiable full-time students at an accredited college or university. Students must provide a Valid University ID and proof of full-time status.
GDC Europe continues to serve the pan-European game industry by gathering the world’s leading game development professionals to discuss current trends across platforms and industry disciplines. Last year’s event included highlights like a postmortem of the hit game Cities: Skylines from Finnish studio Colossal Order, an in-depth exploration of how CD Projekt Red designed the crafting systems of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and useful advice from both Sony and Valve representatives about how to design great VR games.
This year promises to be even better, and GDC Europe 2016 will also continue to offer business and networking opportunities to all attendees with a developer-focused Expo Floor area and day and evening networking events. For more information, check out the GDC Europe website.
My first impression of virtual reality was back in the early 1990s, in a pod playing Dactyl Nightmare in a Dave & Busters restaurant. It was less compelling by today’s standards, but enough to hook me and a whole generation of future engineers and gamers.
That generation has come of age, and so has VR.
Every tradeshow, every product launch and every news beat has a VR angle. And NVIDIA is helping to pioneer the technology that’s making it a reality.
Here are 10 examples:
1) NVIDIA is building the fastest GPUs for VR.
There are two platforms for immersive VR gaming and experiences: entry-level experiences provided by consoles and premier experiences provided by PCs. Consider the view of veteran industry watcher Jon Peddie, of Jon Peddie Research:
“VR will be a multi-tier experience, like all entertainment platforms. Consoles will appeal to the casual user, whereas the PC with three to four times the processing power will be the platform for the intense gamer. In the PC market, NVIDIA has a substantial market share in enthusiast graphics boards, the type needed for Oculus and HTC VR experiences.”
Just like with video games, a PC with a GeForce GTX GPU offers the richest VR experience, with more performance, higher immersion and great fidelity. Even the lowest VR Ready GeForce GTX GPU offers double the performance of console.1 And given that immersive VR requires seven times the processing power of traditional 3D games, you really need that performance to get the best experience.2
2) NVIDIA’s VR SDK, VRWorks, is seeing broad adoption.
NVIDIA has created the VRWorks software development kit to provide headset and application developers with the best performance, lowest latency and plug-and-play compatibility for VR. The top game engines that are being used for creating VR games, including Unity, Unreal Engine and Max Play, are now integrating NVIDIA VRWorks. HTC and Oculus headsets have added support for VRWorks. It’s being adopted by cutting-edge VR developers like Sólfar Studios with Everest VR, Valve Software with The Lab, ILMxLAB with Star Wars Trials on Tatooine and InnerVision Games with Thunderbird: The Legend Begins.
3) NVIDIA GPUs provide Multi-res Shading for up to 50 percent more performance.
NVIDIA Multi-res Shading is an innovative rendering technique for VR in which each part of an image is rendered at a resolution that better matches the final image a user sees on the headset. The technology is integrated and available today to developers in Unreal Engine with performance gains of up to 50 percent. That enables developers to put more visual quality into their VR games and experiences
4) NVIDIA’s Game Ready drivers means VR games ‘just work’ from day one.
Any solution is only as good as the GPU’s drivers. Our Game Ready drivers are recognized as the best in the industry. NVIDIA works closely with developers to make sure games perform well on the day the game ships. This is incredibly important for VR, as the slightest stutter or performance dip can ruin the experience. Delivering launch day drivers will be a big difference for VR games and applications.
5) Our GeForce GTX VR Ready program is more than 100 partners strong.
NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX VR Ready program makes it easy for consumers to get the right gear for VR. Navigating an emerging technology like VR can be confusing — so we’ve worked with our partners worldwide to simplify the buying process. The GeForce GTX VR Ready badge quickly shows if a PC or graphics card is capable of handling the demands of VR. Our program currently has more than 100 PC makers, system builders, add-in card partners and retailers around the globe.
6) VR-ready notebooks are powered by NVIDIA.
Notebooks that feature NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 GPUs are the only VR-ready notebooks in the world. These powerful NVIDIA notebook GPUs enable developers and gamers to take their immersive VR experiences with them on the go.
7) NVIDIA GPUs are driving Oculus Ready PCs.
8) NVIDIA makes immersive VR accessible.
There is a misconception that VR requires performance capabilities out of reach for most gamers. Truth be told, the GeForce GTX 970 GPU is the most popular graphics card on the Steam survey and millions already have it in their machines. This means more consumers are ready to enjoy immersive VR today.
9) NVIDIA is bringing more performance to mobile VR.
NVIDIA is continuing to push forward the state of the art for mobile-based VR experiences. You can find NVIDIA Tegra processors powering several mobile VR and augmented reality devices, including headsets from GameFace Labs and Atheer. Thanks to the performance of Tegra, developers can tackle new classes of mobile VR/AR experiences.
10) NVIDIA is accelerating 360-degree video for VR.
NVIDIA GPUs are at the heart of 360-degree video used in VR. NVIDIA’s CUDA programming model is used to rapidly stitch video from multiple cameras together into a single 360-degree panorama. At NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference in April, attendees will find a full speaker track on VR, including talks from 360-degree video companies that use GPU acceleration, such as Jaunt VR and VideoStitch.
See It for Yourself at GDC
You can see our work in VR at GDC. NVIDIA has partnered with a host of developers to feature amazing VR experiences at our booth (South Hall #824) on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets. They include:
- A new chapter of Everest VR from Sólfar Studios that incorporates NVIDIA Multi-res Shading technology and GameWorks turbulence effects
- ILMxLAB’s Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine VR experience, powered by two GeForce GTX TITAN X GPUs using VR SLI technology
- Epic’s Bullet Train, Oculus Studio’s VR Sports and CCP’s EVE: Valkyrie
Beyond the NVIDIA booth, GDC attendees will find GeForce GTX GPUs powering the top VR experiences across the show floor. These include:
|Epic||Moscone South Hall 1024|
|Oculus||Moscone South Hall 802|
|GDC VR Lounge||Moscone West 3rd Floor|
VR is an exciting new medium for gaming, entertainment and professional use cases. The performance of the PC will make it the destination for premium VR experiences. As the worldwide leader in PC graphics, NVIDIA is working hard to provide a VR graphics platform that offers developers both a large installed base and the best performance.
We can’t wait to see what you build with it.
1 GeForce GTX 970 produces 3.5 teraflops vs 1.8 teraflops for PlayStation 4, delivering 2x performance.
The GDC Diamond Partner Program honors our top partners, whose support plays an integral role to the success of GDC Europe, as well as our other GDC Events.
Diamond Partners receive exclusive benefits such as VIP Registration (no waiting in lines!), booth build-out discounts, early move-in, priority hotels, as well as premium marketing benefits onsite and exclusive access to events.
This is our most exciting Game Developers Conference yet.
GDC is all about developers. And we’ll be at the show March 14-18 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center working with, training and meeting developers.
We have two days of hands on training where we’ll show how to debug and profile using real game code. We also have 15 talks about advanced rendering techniques, Vulkan, profiling, Android development and, of course, virtual reality.
There will be NVIDIA engineers at our GDC booth showing off new GameWorks technologies, Vulkan and VRWorks. So stop by and meet us face to face. We love to meet with developers.
Here’s a quick rundown of what we’re up to:
Advanced Graphics Techniques Tutorial Day (Monday)
This day-long tutorial provides an in-depth look at how DirectX technologies can be applied to cutting-edge PC game graphics. We’ll be placing special emphasis on the new programming model and hardware capabilities enabled by DirectX 12. These will be delivered by NVIDIA’s and AMD’s demo and developer technology teams as well as some of the top game developers.
NVIDIA Tools Labs (Tues and Weds)
Come and get schooled using the industries best debugging and profiling tools for both Android and PC development in one of our hands on Tools labs. You’ll get hands on experience using our tools with real game code. It is also a great opportunity to meet our engineers.
To sign up, please visit the links below:
- Nsight Visual Studio Edition VR Developer Labs (Tuesday)
- NVIDIA SHIELD Android Developer Tools Labs (Wednesday)
Presentations from NVIDIA (Wed, Thurs, Fri)
We have 16 presentations spread over three days, covering virtual reality to DirectX 12 and Vulkan to high performance Android development with NVIDIA SHIELD. If you make games, we have some talks you should come to.
Wednesday, March 16th | West Hall, Room 3014
- Give life to your 3D art with MDL and NVIDIA Iray in Substance Painter | 9:30 am to 10:30 am
- High-performance, Low-Overhead Rendering with OpenGL and Vulkan | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
- Advanced Rendering with DirectX | 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
- Advanced Geometrically Correct Shadows for Modern Game Engines | 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
- Fast, Flexible, Physically-Based Volumetric Light Scattering | 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
- Advanced Ambient Occlusion Methods for Modern Games | 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Thursday, March 17th | West Hall, Room 3014
- From the Lab Bench: Real-Time Rendering Advances from NVIDIA Research | 10:00 am to 11:00 am
- Raise your Game with NVIDIA GeForce Tools | 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
- Rendering Faster and Better With NVIDIA VRWorks VR in UE4 | 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm
- Vulkan and NVIDIA – The Essentials | 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm
- Designing a VR renderer and engine for modern CPU/GPUs using MaxPlay’s Game Development Suite (GDS) sponsored by NVIDIA | 3:00 pm – 3:30 pm
- Android TV Gaming: Designing (and Programming) for Success on Marshmallow | 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
- Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel on Android – AAA porting with NVIDIA CodeWorks | 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Friday, March 18th | West Hall, Room 3014
- Streaming Games from the Cloud with GeForce NOW | 10:00 am to 11:00 am
- Indie Guide to Leveraging Industry Partnerships | 11:30 am – 12:00 pm
- Magical Realism: The Art of Creating Everest in Your Living Room with VR | 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm
Full details of all these talks can be found on our NVIDIA Developer Zone GDC2016 page.
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