Limbo nabs seven GDC Award noms

Playdead's IGF winner joined by Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect 2 as top contenders at Game Developers Choice ceremony; indie frontrunner Minecraft up for three.

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The Independent Games Festival Awards and Game Developers Choice Awards have traditionally been joined at the hip, considering both occur on the same night of the Game Developers Conference, but this year's shows will be more so than usual. Today, show organizers announced nominees for the 2011 GDCAs, and the top contender walked off with a couple of top prizes at last year's IGFAs.

Playdead's dark horse faces stiff competition.
Playdead's dark horse faces stiff competition.

That game is Playdead's Limbo, which took home top honors for Technical Excellence and Visual Art at the indie spectacle last year. As it takes on the main event this year, the macabre puzzle-platformer is up for seven awards, including Game of the Year.

Limbo, which received plaudits from critics upon its release through Xbox Live in July 2010, is also in the running for Best Game Design, Innovation, Best Audio, Best Downloadable Game, Best Debut Game, and Best Visual Art.

Despite the plethora of nominations, Limbo's victory in the Game of the Year category is anything but a lock. To win, it will have to best such top-tier titles as Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption (six nominations), BioWare's Mass Effect 2 (five nominations), Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops (two nominations), and Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (two nominations).

Adding an additional link to the IGFAs and GDCAs, Mojango's Minecraft will be competing in both award-bestowing events. Having received three nominations in the indie showcase, including the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Minecraft is up for a trio of GDCAs: Innovation, Best Downloadable Game, and Best Debut.

This year's GDCAs will follow the IGFAs on March 2 as part of GDC 2011. This year's conference will return to San Francisco's Moscone Center, running from February 28-March 4.

Game of the Year
Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar San Diego)
Mass Effect 2 (BioWare)
Call of Duty: Black Ops (Treyarch)
Limbo (Playdead)
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft Montreal)

Best Game Design
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Nintendo)
Mass Effect 2 (BioWare)
Limbo (Playdead)
Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar San Diego)
God of War III (SCE Santa Monica)

Innovation
Heavy Rain (Quantic Dream)
Kirby's Epic Yarn (Good-Feel & HAL Laboratory)
Minecraft (Mojang)
Limbo (Playdead)
Dance Central (Harmonix)

Best Technology
Starcraft II (Blizzard)
Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar San Diego)
Heavy Rain (Quantic Dream)
Mass Effect 2 (BioWare)
God of War III (SCE Santa Monica)

Best Handheld Game
God of War: Ghost of Sparta (Ready At Dawn/SCE Santa Monica)
Cut the Rope (ZeptoLab)
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (Kojima Productions)
Game Dev Story (Kairosoft)
Dragon Quest IX (Level 5)

Best Audio
Limbo (Playdead)
Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar San Diego)
Halo: Reach (Bungie)
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (DICE)
Mass Effect 2 (BioWare)

Best Downloadable Game
Costume Quest (Double Fine)
Limbo (Playdead)
Super Meat Boy (Team Meat)
Minecraft (Mojang)
Monday Night Combat (Uber Entertainment)

Best Writing
Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar San Diego)
Heavy Rain (Quantic Dream)
Mass Effect 2 (BioWare)
Costume Quest (Double Fine)
Fallout: New Vegas (Obsidian)

Best Debut Game
Limbo (Playdead)
Darksiders (Vigil Games)
Minecraft (Mojang)
Monday Night Combat (Uber Entertainment)
Super Meat Boy (Team Meat)

Best Visual Arts
God of War III (SCE Santa Monica)
Limbo (Playdead)
Call of Duty: Black Ops (Treyarch)
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft Montreal)
Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar San Diego)

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