Our Thoughts: Game Developers Awards 2015 Nominations

The nominees for the Game Developers Choice Awards 2015 were announced yesterday. There's a lot more love for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Curiously absent (save for a nomination in the Best Design category) is Dragon Age: Inquisition.

You can check out GDC's official rules on how nominees are chosen, but the gist is that these awards come from within the industry. The full list of nominees follows our thoughts below:

Dan:

Glad to see Shadow of Mordor get a lot of nominations for this year's GDC awards.  It could easily (and probably should) win most of the categories it's nominated for with exception to Best Narrative. Narrative was the weakest part of Mordor for me. I don't get the whole Hearthstone thing and never will, so the GOTY nominations are baffling. I could see it winning best mobile or design awards, but GOTY?  Blizzard's habit of taking something, ie MMORPG's, CCG's, soon to be a MOBA and an FPS; and making them more user friendly and accessible doesn't spell GOTY. 
 
I was a little sad there wasn't much Nintendo love sprinkled in, but the categories don't really lend themselves to solidly built, fun to play, always-there-and-working-when-you-need-it Nintendo games.  Nintendo's stuff was solid, but nothing really new or exciting from a developer's standpoint. 

Eric:

GOTY:

Wish I had seen Dark Souls 2 and dragons age on the list over Hearthstone and Destiny

Surprised to see Alien on there but seems to be picking up steam as of late

Innovation:

Very happy This War Of Mine is getting recognized 

Mordor is deserving for the nemesis system alone

Best debut:

Stoic studios very worthy for Banner Saga. Banner Saga 2 could be amazing.

Best Design:

This is one category I would be fine giving to Hearthstone. Very user friendly and smooth.

Best Mobile: 

In a category I loathe, Hearthstone is the best of the best.

Best Visual Art: 

Will be a travesty if Child of Light doesn't take this award

Best Narrative:

Would have put Dragon Age on the final list and most likely my winner. Shocked at the lack of love for this game.

Best Audio:

Although I haven't played anything other than Destiny on that list, I find it hard to believe those games are a better choice than Child Of Light or Far Cry 4.

Best Technology: 

Although I am not the game's biggest fan, I can appreciate Mordor here. Destiny a very close second for me.

Will:

  1. The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter is this year's Gone Home
  2. Really wish I played games like Shovel Knight, Bayonetta and Wolfenstein
  3. I don't understand the love for Threes
  4. Wish Child Of Light got more love

 

Corey:

I'm happy to see I'm not the only one that doesn't have Dragon Age: Inquisition in their top five. Mordor deserves the recognition it's getting here; it did a ton of things right. Glad to see a game like Bounden make the Innovation Award nominees. Any game that teaches me how to dance without making me feel like a crippled twerp is worth its weight in gold.


GDC Awards 2015 Nominees:

Game of the Year

  • Bayonetta 2 (Platinum Games/Nintendo)
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • Destiny (Bungie/Activision)
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Blizzard)
  • Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega) 

Innovation Award

  • Bounden (Game Oven)
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • This War of Mine (11 bit studios)
  • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts)
  • Monument Valley (Ustwo) 

Best Debut

  • Yacht Club Games (Shovel Knight)
  • Respawn Entertainment (Titanfall)
  • The Astronauts (The Vanishing of Ethan Carter)
  • Stoic Studio (The Banner Saga)
  • Upper One Games (Never Alone) 

Best Design

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • Shovel Knight (Yacht Club Games)
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition (BioWare/Electronic Arts)
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Nintendo EAD Tokyo and 1-Up Studio/Nintendo)
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Blizzard) 

Best Handheld/Mobile Game

  • Threes! (Sirvo)
  • Super Smash Bros. 3DS (Sora Ltd. and BANDAI NAMCO/Nintendo)
  • Hearthstone (Blizzard)
  • 80 Days (Inkle Studios)
  • Monument Valley (Ustwo) 

Best Visual Art

  • Monument Valley (Ustwo)
  • Hohokum (Honeyslug and Sony Santa Monica/Sony)
  • Child of Light (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
  • Bayonetta 2 (Platinum Games/Nintendo)
  • Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega) 

Best Narrative

  • 80 Days (Inkle Studios)
  • This War of Mine (11 bit studios)
  • Kentucky Route Zero: Episode 3 (Cardboard Computer)
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts) 

Best Audio

  • Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega)
  • Hohokum (Honeyslug/Sony)
  • Destiny (Bungie/Activision)
  • Transistor (Supergiant Games)
  • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts) 

Best Technology

  • Destiny (Bungie/Activision)
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order (MachineGames/Bethesda)
  • Elite: Dangerous (Frontier Developments)
  • Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)