Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic from LucasArts and developer BioWare corp. emerged as the big winner Wednesday night at the fourth annual Game Developers Choice Awards, held in conjunction with the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif. The role-playing game for Xbox and PC stormed off with the most awards, scoring wins in three categories including Game of the Year.
Star Wars: KOR scribes David Gaider, Drew Karpyshyn, Luke Kristjanson and Peter Thomas were honored with the award for Excellence in Writing, while the games purple android, HK-47, was selected as Best Original Game Character of the Year. A team member accepting the award commented, "HK told me hed like to thank all the organic meat bags who voted for him."
The Rookie Studio award went to Infinity Ward for Call of Duty. Meanwhile, the Ubisoft Montreal team, led by David Chateauneuf, Patrice Desilets and Jordan Mechner, accepted the award for Excellence in Game Design. Desilets, creative director for Ubisoft, commented, "I thank all the teams because it was really a work in progress in game design. We didnt have everything worked out on paper, so we were kind of doing designs for graphics and levels, and building the game design while we were building the entire game." Sands of Time also garnered a win for Excellence in Programming for graphics programming by Dominic couture, Feng Quan Wang and team.
Chuck Russom took Excellence in Audio for sound effects in Call of Duty, while Excellence in Visual Arts went to the The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Walker art direction team of Masanao Arimoto, Yoshiki Haruhana and Satoru Takizawa.
The First Penguin Award, an honor reserved for an individual who’s brave enough to jump in and first test the waters in a certain area, was presented to Masaya Matsuura. Matsuura was the first to make beat-rhythm and music a breakthrough gaming experience for the mainstream game audience with titles like Parappa the Rapper and Um Jammer Lammy. Addressing the audience, he stated, "We put a great deal of effort into creating something with a really new and different visual style, and I think, this evening, to be recognized by all of you is a truly incredible honor. Thank you very much."
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Mark Cerny, founder of game design cousultancy firm Cerny Games. Cerny was praised for his "Cerny Method of game production, which recognizes an explorative risk-taking pre-production period, based on the belief that the best ideas require a period of creative freedom from rigidly scheduled deadlines.” Cerny worked for Atari, Sega Technical Institute and Universal, among others.