As part of the all-digital 2021 Game Developers Conference, the Game Developers Choice Awards and the Independent Game Festival Awards were hosted on Twitch this year. In the GDC Awards the big winner was Supergiant Games’ action-roguelike-visual novel Hades, which won Game of the Year as well as Best Design and Best Audio. I’m sure those will all look nice on the pile next to the other trophies Hades has racked up, including two Golden Joystick Awards, five BAFTAs, two Game Awards, two Gayming Awards, five D.I.C.E. Awards, and a Nebula for Best Game Writing.
Asobo Studio won the Best Technology category for Microsoft Flight Simulator, since they did model the entire planet Earth (and all its monoliths). Kinetic Games picked up Best Debut for multiplayer ghostbust-em-up Phasmophobia, and Valve won Best VR/AR Game for Half-Life: Alyx, as it has in pretty much every game awards ceremony that’s had a VR category since its release.
The Pioneer Award went to Newgrounds creator Tom Fulp, and the Lifetime Achievement Award to Laralyn McWilliams, who was creative director on the MMO Free Realms, lead designer on Full Spectrum Warrior, and has credits going back to 1996’s Daggerfall.
Following the GDC Awards ceremony was the IGF Awards, at which the outstanding Umurangi Generation won both Excellence in Narrative and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, presumably because there isn’t a category for Best First-Person Photography Political Nightmare. Cosmic mystery Genesis Noir was rewarded for both its Excellence in Visual Art and Excellence in Audio.
Here’s a full list of the winners.
- Best Audio: Hades (Supergiant Games)
- Best Debut: Phasmophobia (Kinetic Games)
- Best Design: Hades (Supergiant Games)
- Best Mobile Game: Genshin Impact (miHoYo)
- Innovation Award: Dreams (Media Molecule/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
- Best Narrative: The Last of Us Part 2 (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
- Best Technology: Microsoft Flight Simulator (Asobo Studio/Xbox Game Studios)
- Best Visual Art: Ghost of Tsushima (Sucker Punch Production /Sony Interactive Entertainment)
- Best VR/AR Game: Half-Life: Alyx (Valve)
- Audience Award: Ghost of Tsushima (Sucker Punch Productions/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
- Game of the Year: Hades (Supergiant Games)
- Pioneer Award: Tom Fulp
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Laralyn McWilliams
- Audience Award: Arrog (Hermanos Magia and Leap Game Studios)
- Excellence in Audio: Genesis Noir (Feral Cat Den)
- Best Student Game: Vessels (Local Space Survey Corps, LLC)
- Excellence in Design: Teardown (Tuxedo Labs)
- Excellence in Narrative: Umurangi Generation (Origame Digital/Playism)
- Excellence in Visual Art: Genesis Noir (Feral Cat Den)
- Nuovo Award: Blaseball (The Game Band)
- Seumas McNally Grand Prize: Umurangi Generation (Origame Digital/Playism)