On Wednesday, March 2, the best and brightest members of the game development community will gather to honor their own at the 2011 Game Developers Choice Awards. In addition to the usual trophies handed out in such categories as Game of the Year, the ceremony will see a Lifetime Achievement Award given to British game designer Peter Molyneux.
Currently the head of Lionhead Studios, Molyneux has been developing games for more than 25 years. He founded Guildford, England-based Bullfrog Productions in 1987 and led development on such classic titles as Theme Park, Magic Carpet, and Dungeon Keeper. There, he also made the famed "god game" Populous, which he will be discussing at a session at the 2011 Game Developers Conference.
In 1997, Molyneux left Bullfrog--which had been bought by Electronic Arts in 1995--to found Lionhead Studios. That new studio would be responsible for another god game, Black & White, as well as the acclaimed Fable series of role-playing titles. In April 2006, the company was acquired by Microsoft, which named Molyneux as the creative director of Microsoft Game Studios, Europe.
Joining Molyneux on the GDCA stage will be Tim Schafer, who is reprising his duties as host of the ceremony after a one-year hiatus. One of the developers of such LucasArts classics as Grim Fandango and the Secret of Monkey Island 1 and 2, he also founded Double Fine Productions, the shop behind Pyschonauts and Brutal Legend. Schafer previously hosted the GDCA ceremony in 2007 and 2009.
Leading this year's GDCA nominees is indie sensation Limbo with seven nominations. To win Game of the Year, 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). Another indie phenomenon, Minecraft, received three nominations. The ceremony will be streamed live on GameSpot.