The Game Developers Choice Awards are fast approaching, and with it, the recognition and celebration of “creativity, artistry, and technical genius” delivered in 2018 from the finest developers and studios the west has to offer.

Many of the nominees announced today will come as no surprise to those familiar with any number of the ‘Game of the Year’ lists printed and discussed in the tail end of 2018. Big hitters ‘God of War‘ and ‘Red Dead Redemption 2‘ find themselves nominated in most eligible categories, whilst indie standouts ‘Celeste‘ and ‘Return of the Obra Dinn‘ find their efforts recognized with a number of nominations between them.

The ten categories ranging from ‘Best Visual Art’ to ‘Best Narrative’, with awards such as the ‘Innovation’ category containing titles that looked to push the design space in new and interesting directions, and ‘Best Debut’ welcoming new developers to the GameDev community in glamorous style.

Despite there not being many surprises here, some categories are primed for the underdog to claim the award, and most will agree that every title represented are here on merit above all else.

The nominations, including honorable mentions, are as follows:

Best Audio

  • Celeste (Matt Makes Games)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Tetris Effect (Monstars and Resonair / Enhance)

Honorable Mentions: Beat Saber (Beat Games), Wandersong (Greg Lobanov / Humble Bundle), Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope / 3909), Battlefield V (EA DICE / Electronic Arts), Forza Horizon 4 (Playground Games and Turn 10 Studios / Microsoft Studios)

Best Debut

  • Polyarc (Moss)
  • Mountains (Florence)
  • Nomada Studio (Gris)
  • Villa Gorilla (Yoku’s Island Express)
  • Sabotage (The Messenger)

Honorable Mentions: Beat Games (Beat Saber), Digital Sun (Moonlighter), Two Point Studios (Two Point Hospital), Okomotive (Far: Lone Sails)

Best Design

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Celeste (Matt Makes Games)
  • Into the Breach (Subset Games)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Honorable Mentions: Frostpunk (11 bit studios), Minit (Kitty Calis, Jan Willem Nijman, Jukio Kallio & Dominik Johann / Devolver Digital), Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope / 3909), Astro Bot Rescue Mission (SIE Japan Studio / Sony Interactive Entertainment), Monster Hunter: World (Capcom)

Best Mobile Game

  • Alto’s Odyssey (Snowman)
  • Florence (Mountains / Annapurna Interactive)
  • Reigns: Game of Thrones (Nerial / Devolver Digital)
  • Holedown (Grapefrukt Games)
  • Donut County (Ben Esposito / Annapurna Interactive)

Honorable Mentions: Furistas Cat Cafe (Runaway), The Room: Old Sins (Fireproof Studios), Pocket Run Pool (Zach Gage), Alphabear 2 (Spry Fox), Twinfold (Kenny Sun)

Innovation Award

  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)
  • Florence (Mountains / Annapurna Interactive)
  • Nintendo Labo (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
  • Tetris Effect (Monstars and Resonair / Enhance)
  • Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope / 3909)

Honorable Mentions: Minit (Kitty Calis, Jan Willem Nijman, Jukio Kallio & Dominik Johann / Devolver Digital), Celeste (Matt Makes Games), God of War (Sony Santa Monica / Sony Interactive Entertainment), Astro Bot Rescue Mission (SIE Japan Studio / Sony Interactive Entertainment), Moss (Polyarc), A Way Out (Hazelight Studios / Electronic Arts)

Best Narrative

  • Florence (Mountains/Annapurna Interactive)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope / 3909)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Honorable Mentions: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft Quebec / Ubisoft), Detroit: Become Human (Quantic Dream / Sony Interactive Entertainment), Celeste (Matt Makes Games), Life is Strange 2 (Dontnod Entertainment / Square Enix), Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (Dim Bulb Games and Serenity Forge / Good Shepherd Entertainment)

Best Technology

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft Quebec / Ubisoft)
  • Forza Horizon 4 (Turn 10 Studios and Playground Games / Microsoft Studios)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Honorable Mentions: Sea of Thieves (Rare / Microsoft Studios), Far Cry 5 (Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Toronto / Ubisoft), Battlefield V (EA DICE / Electronic Arts), Detroit: Become Human (Quantic Dream / Sony Interactive Entertainment), Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope / 3909)

Best Visual Art

  • Gris (Nomada Studio / Devolver Digital)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope / 3909)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Honorable Mentions: Battlefield V (EA DICE / Electronic Arts), Tetris Effect (Monstars and Resonair / Enhance), Dragon Ball FighterZ (Arc System Works / Bandai Namco Entertainment), Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft Quebec / Ubisoft), Below (Capybara Games)

Best VR/AR Game

  • Budget Cuts (Neat Corporation)
  • Beat Saber (Beat Games)
  • Tetris Effect (Monstars and Resonair / Enhance)
  • Moss (Polyarc)
  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission (SIE Japan Studio / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Honorable Mentions: Jurassic World Alive (Ludia), In Death (Sólfar Studios), Tendar (Tender Claws), Firewall Zero Hour (First Contact Entertainment / Sony Interactive Entertainment), Deracine (FromSoftware / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Game of the Year

  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)
  • Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope / 3909)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Celeste (Matt Makes Games)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Honorable Mentions: Tetris Effect (Monstars and Resonair / Enhance), Super Smash Bros Ultimate (Bandai Namco Studios & Sora / Nintendo), Into the Breach (Subset Games), Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft Quebec / Ubisoft), Florence (Mountains / Annapurna Interactive), Monster Hunter: World (Capcom)

The Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) ceremony will take place on Wednesday, March 20, at 6:30 pm during the 2019 Game Developers Conference (GDC). The award ceremony will also be streamed at Twitch.tv/gdc, with Tim Schafer of ‘Double Fine’ fame hosting.

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