As host of the 2009 Game Developers Choice Awards, Tim Schafer got an up-close look at a whole lot of happy developers walking off the stage with shiny new trophies in hand. Next week, the Double Fine Productions founder will get a chance to be on the other side of that equation, as independent game festival IndieCade today announced that he would be the first recipient of the group's Honorary Trailblazer Award for Lifetime Achievement.
The award was created to honor "a true visionary in the field of game design" and "an individual who has displayed extraordinary vision and creativity in the field of game design, while serving as an inspiration to up-and-coming designers in the field." Schafer will receive his award from Secret of Monkey Island creator (and new Double Fine employee) Ron Gilbert.
Schafer began his career working with Gilbert on LucasArts hits like Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle before becoming lead designer on games like Full Throttle and Grim Fandango. After leaving LucasArts, he founded Double Fine, which has since produced Psychonauts and Brutal Legend. Although Schafer is receiving a career retrospective award, the developer's work is not confined to the past. Next month will see the release of Double Fine's Costume Quest, the first of a full slate of downloadable and retail games the developer has lined up.
The lifetime achievement award is just one of 11 honors that will be presented at the IndieCade Awards Show October 8 in Culver City, California. Awards will be handed out in categories like aesthetics, gameplay innovation, and documentary games, with actor LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Reading Rainbow) hosting. Among the finalists for this year's awards are dozens of games, including Limbo, Trauma, Retro/Grade, Every Day the Same Dream, Bit.Trip Runner, Auditorium, and more. The awards are just the opening night highlight of the IndieCade 2010 Festival, which runs through October 10 and also features hands-on gaming and panel discussions.
For more on Schafer's latest game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Costume Quest.