Journey takes top prize at GDC Awards

Thatgamecompany's adventure title beats out Mass Effect 3, Walking Dead, and others to secure top honor; Cart Life wins grand prize at Independent Game Festival Awards.

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The votes are in and Journey has taken top honors at the 13th annual Game Developers Choice Awards this evening in San Francisco, California. Journey not only took home the top award, but also accolades for innovation, best visual arts, best downloadable game, best audio, and best game design.

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Thatgamecompany's adventure game beat out XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Mass Effect 3, The Walking Dead, and Dishonored to secure the Game of the Year Award.

Jenova Chen, cofounder of Thatgamecompany, thanked his parents and his educators for helping him get where he is today. He said creating Journey was no easy task, but noted he has learned a great deal since beginning on his own journey to make the game.

The 2013 Game Developers Choice Awards was hosted by Double Fine founder Tim Schafer. Last year's winner was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

The GDC Awards were preceded by the 15th annual Independent Games Festival Awards, where Cart Life took home the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. In addition to the top prize, Cart Life--developed by Richard Hofmeier--won the excellence in narrative and nuovo award.

A full list of the night's nominees with winners in italics follows below.

GAME DEVELOPERS CHOICE AWARDS

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)

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)

Innovation
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)

Ambassador Award
Chris Melissinos, curator of The Smithsonian's The Art of Video Games exhibit

Pioneer Award
Spacewar creator Steve Russell

Audience Award
Dishonored

Lifetime Achievement Award
BioWare founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk

INDEPENDENT GAMES FESTIVAL AWARDS

Seumas McNally Grand Prize
Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games)
FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games)
Cart Life (Richard Hofmeier)
Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation)
Kentucky Route Zero (Cardboard Computer)

Excellence in Visual Art
Incredipede (Northway Games and Thomas Shahan)
Kentucky Route Zero (Cardboard Computer)
Guacalamelee! (Drinkbox Studios)
Loves in a Dangerous Spacetime (Asteroid Base)
Year Walk (Simogo)

Excellence in Narrative
Thirty Flights of Loving (Blendo Games)
Cart Life (Richard Hofmeier)
Kentucky Route Zero (Cardboard Computer)
Dys4ia (Auntie Pixelante)
Gone Home (The Fullbright Company)

Technical Excellence
StarForge (CodeHatch)
Perspective (DigiPen Widdershins)
Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation)
Intrusion 2 (Aleksey Abramenko)
LiquidSketch (Tobias Neukom)

Excellence In Design
Samurai Gunn (Beau Blyth)
FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games)
Starseed Pilgrim (Droqen & Ryan Roth)
Super Hexagon (Terry Cavanagh)
Super Space (David Scamehorn and Alexander Baard/DigiPen)

Excellence In Audio
Kentucky Route Zero (Cardboard Computer)
Bad Hotel (Lucky Frame)
140 (Jeppe Carlsen)
Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games)
Pixeljunk 4AM (Q-Games)

Nuovo Award
Cart Life (Richard Hofmeier)
Spaceteam (Henry Smith)
Dys4ia (Auntie Pixelante)
Bientot l'ete (Tale of Tales)
7 Grand Steps (Mousechief)
MirrorMoon (SantaRagione + BloodyMonkey)
VESPER.5 (Michael Brough)
Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation)

Audience Award
FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games)

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