Game Developers Choice Online Awards nominees

2010 will see the first annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards being handed out at a conference of the same name. The GDC Online conference was formerly GDC Austin, and will be held in Austin, Texas from October 5 to October 8.

Two special achievement awards will be handed out at the event:

The Online Game Legend Award

The Online Game Legend Award recognizes the career and achievements of one particular creator who has made an indelible impact on the craft of online game development.

Dr Richard A. Bartle is Senior Lecturer and Visiting Professor of Computer Game Design at the University of Essex, UK. He is best known for having co-written in 1978 the first virtual world, MUD (Multi-User Dungeon), and for his 1996 Player Types model which has seen widespread adoption by the MMO industry. His 2003 book, “Designing Virtual Worlds,” is the standard text on the subject, and he is an influential writer on all aspects of MMO design and development.

The GDC Online Awards Hall of Fame

The GDC Online Awards Hall of Fame recognizes a specific online game that has resulted in the long-term advancement of the medium, pioneering major shifts in online game development and games as a whole.

Ultima Online
   
Electronic Arts’ Ultima Online, the Origin-created game that is now the longest continually running massively multiplayer online game in history, will be honoured with the first ever Hall of Fame award for online games.

The persistent world installment for the seminal Ultima game franchise, which launched on September 25th, 1997, has now been operating for almost 14 years – and was a key part of the wave of late 1990s subscription-based MMOs which brought the genre to much wider attention.

Some of Ultima Online’s most important features included in-game events affecting the entire lore of the world, progressive features for their time such as item crafting and persistent player housing. Continued upgrades of in-game content and even game engine have helped to keep the game fresh for players, some of which have subscribed continuously for over a decade.

2010 Online Game Award Nominees

In addition to the two honourary awards, there will be awards nominated for, and voted on, by the online development community. These awards and their nominees are as follows:

The Best Online Game Design  Award

The Best Online Game Design Award honours the overall excellence of design in an online game that launched in public beta or full version in the year to May 2010. This category recognizes the best social-specific gameplay mechanics, quest design, and other major game design elements.

  • We Rule (Newtoy/Ngmoco)
  • Champions Online (Cryptic)
  • Zoo Kingdom (Blue Fang)
  • Dungeon Fighter Online (Neople/Nexon)
  • League Of Legends (Riot Games)

The Best Online Visual Arts Award

The Best Online Visual Arts Award recognizes the overall excellence of visual art in online games that launched in the 12 months to May 2010 – including, but not limited to, character and animation design, interface design, and 2D or 3D art creation and direction of all kinds.

  • GodFinger (Wonderland Software/Ngmoco)
  • Papermint (Avaloop)
  • League Of Legends (Riot Games)
  • Star Trek Online (Cryptic)
  • Love (Quel Solaar)

The Best Community Relations Award

The Best Community Relations Award honours the currently operating online game that provides the highest quality community feedback and experience, including customer support, forum moderation and leadership, weblog and information updates, real-life events, and other community outreach.

  • Wizard101 (KingsIsle Entertainment)
  • Free Realms (Sony Online Entertainment)
  • EVE Online (CCP)
  • Guild Wars (ArenaNet)
  • World Of WarCraft (Blizzard)

The Best Online Technical Award

The Best Online Technical Award recognizes the overall excellence of technology in an online game that launched in the 12 months to May 2010. This includes excellence in complexity of network infrastructure, persistent world coding, graphics technology, artificial intelligence, or any other elements.

  • Global Agenda (Hi-Rez)
  • Aion (NCSoft)
  • Love (Quel Solaar)
  • League Of Legends (Riot Games)
  • Champions Online (Cryptic)

The Best Social Network Game Award

The Best Social Network Game Award recognizes the best game that launched on a social network such as Facebook or MySpace in open beta or full version in the year to May 2010, honoring the most outstanding title in terms of overall depth, execution and quality in the space.

  • Nightclub City (Booyah)
  • NanoStar Siege (Digital Chocolate)
  • FIFA Superstars (Playfish)
  • Social City (Playdom)
  • Treasure Isle (Zynga)

The Best Audio for an Online Game Award

The Best Audio for an Online Game Award recognizes the overall excellence of audio in an online game that launched in the 12 months to May 2010 – including sound effects, musical composition, and overall sound design for an online title.

  • Nightclub City (Booyah)
  • Champions Online (Cryptic)
  • We Rule (Newtoy/Ngmoco)
  • Music Pets (Conduit Labs)
  • Aion (NCSoft)

The Best New Online Game Award

The Best New Online Game Award recognizes excellence in any online-specific game, including MMOs, free to play titles and social network games that launched to the public in open beta or full versions in the twelve months ending May 2010.

  • League Of Legends (Riot Games)
  • Dungeon Fighter Online (Neople/Nexon)
  • We Rule (Newtoy/Ngmoco)
  • FIFA Superstars (Playfish)
  • Nightclub City (Booyah)

The Best Live Game Award

The Best Live Game Award recognizes the best currently-operating online game, having been launched in North America for at least 12 months (before May 2009), and distinguishing itself by that exceptional new content through expansion packs, patches, or other updates in the last 12 months, as well as a vibrant player community, high-quality community management and network operation during that period.

  • EVE Online (CCP)
  • World Of WarCraft (Blizzard)
  • Dungeon Fighter Online (Neople/Nexon)
  • Farmville (Zynga)
  • League Of Legends (Riot Games)

The Audience Award

The Audience Award honours the favourite game of the worldwide online game community. Members of the public will be able to vote on their favourite currently operating online game, with options from the Game Developers Choice Online finalists and beyond. Audience Award winner to be voted on mid-September and announced at the Choice Online Award ceremony Oct 7, 2010.

For more information regarding the GDC Online conference, visit their official website.

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Game Developers Choice Online Awards nominees