Journey leads nominations for developer-picked 2013 GDC awards

The Walking Dead, Dishonored, and Journey lead the pack for the 2013 Game Developers Choice Awards.


The peer-moderated Game Developers Choice Awards has announced its 2013 shortlist, with nominations for the 10 categories decided by other game developers.

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Journey, GameSpot's Game of the Year for 2012, received the most nods with six nominations. Other games hoovering up attention include Dishonored and The Walking Dead, with four and three nominations respectively.

Plenty of indie games stand alongside blockbuster releases, with titles such as Hotline Miami, Mark of the Ninja, FTL, Spelunky, and Hero Academy being nominated alongside Mass Effect 3, Assassin's Creed III, and Halo 4.

The nominations for the most coveted of the GDC awards--Game of the Year--are Dishonored, The Walking Dead, Mass Effect 3, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and Journey.

Any game released in 2012 is eligible for the 13th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, with an open balloting process providing the shortlist that is then judged by an invitation-only panel of game creators.

Winners will be announced on March 27 at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The list of nominees in full:

Best Audio
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games/Devolver Digital)
Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Assassin's Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)

Best Debut
Humble Hearts (Dust: An Elysian Tail)
Polytron Corporation (Fez)
Giant Sparrow (The Unfinished Swan)
Subset Games (FTL: Faster Than Light)
Fireproof Games (The Room)

Best Game Design
Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)
Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)

Best Downloadable Game
The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)
Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)
Trials: Evolution (RedLynx/Microsoft Studios)
Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Best Technology
Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
PlanetSide 2 (Sony Online Entertainment)
Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)
Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Treyarch/Activision)
Assassin's Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Best Handheld/Mobile Game
Gravity Rush (SCE Japan Studio/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Hero Academy (Robot Entertainment)
Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)
The Room (Fireproof Games)
Kid Icarus: Uprising (Sora/Nintendo)

Best Narrative
Spec Ops: The Line (Yager Entertainment/2K Games)
Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)
Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)
Virtue's Last Reward (Chunsoft/Aksys Games)

Best Visual Arts
Borderlands 2 (Gearbox Software/2K Games)
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)

Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games)
The Unfinished Swan (Giant Sparrow/Sony Computer Entertainment)
ZombiU (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft)

Game of the Year
Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)
Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

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Avatar image for Sahle123

Am I the only one who thought Journey was only a great game, but no superlatively sensational?

Avatar image for JudgeSim

walking dead... journey... two games that take 2 hours to complete are nominated for game of the year. great, this will encourage all games to be short now.

Avatar image for matem8904

@JudgeSim Journey is short but it's still a great game IMO.

Avatar image for Bhargav_pvs

Journey deserves that place in the nominations along with some great games of 2012.... Its some good competition in GDC.

Avatar image for Carving_a_GSAU

is queuing_for_PS4 really already queuing for the ps4? When is out? i wanna get one. It would be pretty good i rekon. Better than ps3. ps4 would have way better grfx than the ps3. I rekon ps3 fanboys would be raging when the ps4 comes out cos ps4 is totally gonna kick ps3's ass. They will be trying to cling onto their ps3's and trying to defend it saying it has more exclusives, but i rekon ps4 will have more exclusives and better graphics and better games. Im not a ps4 fanboy by the way, i just accept the facts that ps4 will be way better than ps3, so dont shoot me please ps3 fanboys

Avatar image for piedude67

@Carving_a_GSAU what are you even saying? Videogames are videogames, play em. End of story.

Avatar image for evil-zodiark

oh and dishonored deserves GOTY IMO, either that or GW2 but the latter wasn't nominated....

Avatar image for evil-zodiark

Xcom getting the credit it deserves :D

Avatar image for jubdeidamasta

Listen to my opinion!!!!!

Avatar image for cbb1018

I did not like journey at all. Its unique but definitely not my type of game.

Avatar image for Shinobi-Neo

Journey is pretty cool

Avatar image for 00LiteYear

Too bad Journey won't have a GOTY edition, since it's only 3 hours long.

Avatar image for CLOCKWORKIAN

Glad to see that Spec Ops: The Line" is nominated for best story. Actually, I'm happy about a lot of these nominations. The lists helps put in perspective what a wide range of quality video games we had in 2012.

Avatar image for ItsEvolution

Journey should win. I'd say it should be a tie with The Walking Dead, if it weren't the glitchiest game since Skyrim. Fantastic game, but clearly very little testing was done.

Avatar image for blackace

Hope Walking Dead or Dishonored gets GoTY. I'm a little shocked that Dust: An Elysian Tail isn't anywhere on the above list. Should have been nominated for Best Downloadable Game & Best Visual Art.

Avatar image for blackace


LMAO!! Biase fanboy response.

Avatar image for gatsbythepig

Does Journey play on the Vita?

I might buy a PS3 for this game and two or three others I missed this gen.

Avatar image for Shingetsu


The PS3 has some great games, but so to does the 360. Fez, Spelunky, Minecraft, Halo, Bastion. So one can hardly say the PS3 has better games. Though judging by your name, pledging your allegiance to a console of which you know nothing about, given it hasn't even been announced, tells me I'm talking to a little child who has yet to hit puberty.

Avatar image for 96augment

@Shingetsu Don't forget Super Meat Boy, Left 4 dead, Gears of War, Forza, Fable 2, and Mark of the Ninja

Avatar image for andrecaseiro

@Shingetsu I agree with you on Fez and Halo(3, Wars, ODST, Reach and 4), if you want to play them you need a Xbox 360, but the rest are multi-platform...
"The PS3 has the best games"
they both have, but PlayStation 3 clearly have more exclusives

Avatar image for USAPATRIOT21

The People have already decided. Far Cry 3 was Game of the Year by just a hair over Mass Effect 3 according to Gamespot's people's choice voting. All these other nominees are just the opinions of a few.

Avatar image for blackace


Far Cry 3 was a good choice for GotY compared to Gamespot's Journey pick. I would say Journey was the PS3's GoTY considering how many PS3 exclusives had flopped last year.

Avatar image for Albaficas

@blackace go back to your crapbox

at least sony has games especialy in 2013...unlike the xbox which is stuck with one game,another gears i guess

Avatar image for Saketume

I really liked playing The Walking Dead.

If only they had some real choices in the game it would have been perfect.

Now it was all like

"Do you want a hamburger?"

A. No! Other people are more hungry than I ---> You give the hamburger to Clementine.

B. Yes I'm starving! ---> Clementine looks at you with her puppy dog eyes so you decide to give the burger to her instead.

C. Let's split the hamburger ---> There's nothing to split the burger with so you give it to Clementine.

D. We don't know what's in the hamburger or who made it. They might come back for it or it might be poisoned ---> Clementine looks hungry so you give the burger to her anyway.

Now I KNOW it's EASY to give the player a little bit more control. Different paths could have lead to the same place in the end. 4-6 different endings could have been possible too.

Avatar image for gatsbythepig

@Saketume I played through twice and I enjoyed the game. However, I totally agree with you. Choices meant almost nothing. I wouldn't care so much but it was TellTale's main selling point. In the game they convey that your choices affect the outcome. After the second playthrough, I realized that your choices don't really affect the plot, just the dialogue.

Avatar image for Shingetsu


I think you miss the point of this game. It's about the journey, not the destination. If you want the false sense of choice go play Mass Effect.

This game does what it does perfectly. It's not about altering outcomes, but about responding to pre-set outcomes in a way you feel best suits your own personality.

Avatar image for texasgoldrush



Your choices actually matter in ME3, especially in the Tuchanka and Rannoch arcs, as well as the Citadel coup mission.

Avatar image for benelori

@Shingetsu @texasgoldrush

Because not all the choices are meant to influence the ending


Avatar image for Shingetsu

@texasgoldrush @Shingetsu

The ending is the same no matter what you pick, only with different colour energy flowing around, so how does that make my choices matter?

Avatar image for Saketume

@Shingetsu I don't want the false sense of choice. The game gave it to me anyway. I want some actual choice.

I'm saying I liked the game a lot but I would have liked it more if my choices had some impact.

For instance (oh and a slight spoiler alert here)

If I was given the choice to stay at the motel instead of going to the farm there could have been another minor event at the motel instead and the bandits would still have forced us from the motel and the story would still go on. Instead I'm forced to the farm no matter what I choose.

Sad that a game like this does this choice thing worse than the disney comic pockets did when I was a kid.

But other than that it was lovely.

Avatar image for gatsbythepig

@Shingetsu The game was advertised as a choice based game, just like a Twist-A-Plot or a Choose-your-own-adventure story. Those are two examples of books where the ending is different based on your choices.

It was refreshing to play a game with a style I haven't seen since the early '90s, but with the most engrossing story I have played in years, if ever.

Avatar image for Shingetsu

@Saketume @Shingetsu

I think we'll have to agree to disagree. The game was never about choice. Think of it more as an interactive story that allows you to visualise your own feelings. You can't change the ending of a book, you are just supposed to enjoy the read.

In any case, here's to the sequel *cheers* :)

Avatar image for Mr_Mark_Legion

tastes are an interesting thing

Avatar image for EPaul

Journey picking up noms like boss!

Avatar image for PlatinumPaladin

XCOM for game of the year? Seriously?!

Avatar image for xavvor1

Journey is going to win GOTY

Avatar image for megadeth1117

No Max Payne 3? Really?

Avatar image for Mr_Mark_Legion

tastes are an interesting thing.

Avatar image for Scorchstar

Dishonored for GOTY. Arkane is my new hero. They are true developers with minds dedicated to making a great game.

Avatar image for damodar_thade

Hope the walking dead takes narrative and goty if it doesn't there is something seriously wrong.

Avatar image for PortalJumper93

@damodar_thade It probably won't take GOTY. They are going to give that to Journey. I would be happy if TWD Game did win it though.