Red Dead Redemption lassos Game Developers Choice Awards

GDC 2011: Rockstar San Diego's Western triumphs at Game Developers Conference's annual ceremony; Mass Effect 2, Limbo, Minecraft, also honored; full video inside.

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Each year, the Game Developers Conference's crowning event is the Game Developers Choice Awards, one of the most prestigious ceremonies in gaming. Hosted once again by the comically gifted head of Double Fine Productions, Tim Schafer, the evening wasted no time in getting started, awarding the Best Audio trophy to Red Dead Redemption.

John Marston can put the GDCA GOTY trophy on his shelf.
John Marston can put the GDCA GOTY trophy on his shelf.

After making a crack about his onetime legal foe Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, Schafer went on to introduce the Best Debut category, which was won by Independent Games Festival Grand Prize winner Minecraft from Mojang. Interactive Achievement Awards Game of the Year Mass Effect 2 picked up the trophy for Best Writing, often an augury for the GDCA's Game of the Year.

Moving on to Best Game Design, Red Dead Redemption rode off with the trophy, putting another notch in developer Rockstar San Diego's belt. Minecraft got another trophy for Best Downloadable Game, as well as the Innovation Award, leaving game cocreator Markus Persson virtually speechless.

Best Visual Arts went to Playdead's Xbox Live game Limbo, which was also the subject of one of the night's various skits by nerd-comedy troupe Mega64. Best Handheld Game was won by ZeptoLab's Cut the Rope.

The GDCAs also dole out honors in noncompetitive categories, and this year's Pioneer Award recipient was Yu Suzuki, who gave a presentation earlier in the day. The lifetime achievement award went to Peter Molyneux, the cofounder of Bullfrog Productions and Lionhead Studios, which created such games as Populous and Fable.

About halfway through the ceremony, the tide appeared to turn in Red Dead Redemption's favor, once it won the Best Technology award. And when it came time to hand out the night's grand prize--Game of the Year--Rockstar San Diego's crew once again took the stage to collect the top honor.

Game of the Year
WINNER: 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)
WINNER: 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)
WINNER: Minecraft (Mojang)
Limbo (Playdead)
Dance Central (Harmonix)

Best Technology
Starcraft II (Blizzard)
WINNER: 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)
WINNER: Cut the Rope (ZeptoLab)
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (Kojima Productions)
Game Dev Story (Kairosoft)
Dragon Quest IX (Level 5)

Best Audio
Limbo (Playdead)
WINNER: 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)
WINNER Minecraft (Mojang)
Monday Night Combat (Uber Entertainment)

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

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

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

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