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BioWare founders to receive lifetime achievement awards

Founders behind the Mass Effect studio to be honoured at GDCAs

by Aaron Lee @develop-online
”bioware-founders-receive-lifetime-achievement-awards”

BioWare co-founders Dr Ray Muzyka and Dr Greg Zeschuk are to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards for their contributions to games at the 13th Game Developers Choice Awards next month.

Muzyka and Zeschuk, known throughout the game development community as the ‘BioWare Doctors’, met while in medical school at the University of Alberta where they learned they shared a passion for video game development.

They founded BioWare in 1995. The studio has created some of the industry’s most influential and revered role-playing games, such as Baldur’s Gate (coming to Linux), Star Wars: Knights of the Old RepublicJade EmpireDragon Age andMass Effect.

The Doctors left the studio late last year to focus on new ventures.

“The BioWare Doctors are truly a unique breed. Not only have they created some of the most emotionally-engaging and beloved games ever made, they are two of the most passionate, engaging, just all-around nice guys anyone could be fortunate enough to meet. Anyone, be they a long-time colleague or a fan who’s met them only once at an event like GDC, can tell you they treat everyone like a friend, and I am so pleased we can show them our deep appreciation this year with this award,” said Meggan Scavio, general manager of all GDC events.

“There’s no denying the deep footprint Ray and Greg have made, and how much their dedication and leadership will be missed in our industry. We’re proud to honour them with the Lifetime Achievement Award as they parlay into their next careers.”

The GDCAs, are held yearly at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Lifetime Achievement recipients are chosen by the awards’ advisory committee, which includes luminaries such as Doug Lombardi (Valve), Mark Cerny (Cerny Games), Harvey Smith (Arkane), Raph Koster (Playdom), Chris Charla (Microsoft) and John Vechey (PopCap).

Muzyka and Zeschuk will be honoured at the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony, on March 27th, at 6:30 pm at the Moscone Convention Center, during GDC 2013 in San Francisco. The ceremony is open to all GDC 2013 attendees.

For more information about the 13th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, visit the official website.

Reblogged from: develop-online.net

”linux-game-gaming-gamer-news” title="Linux Game Gaming News

Tween gaming site stays competitive with PEER 1

Premier Conference Programmed to Highlighting Online and Connected Gaming Development Will Return to Austin, TX on October 8-11, 2012 

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — The Game Developers Conference® Online (GDC Online, formerly GDC Austin) concluded on Thursday, Oct. 13 with record attendance numbers of 3,350 current and aspiring game development professionals, experiencing 12% growth over last year. The event, which took place at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, featured four days of sessions, business and networking opportunities, all of which spotlighted the evolving connected gaming industry. GDC Online will be returning to Austin, Texas on October 8-11, 2012.

This year’s GDC Online featured more than 145 lectures, panels, keynotes and roundtable discussions presented by 226 industry-leading speakers and a bustling expo floor with over 100 exhibitors and sponsors. The week kicked off with focused summits that covered topics and emerging themes in Game Narrative, Smartphone & Tablet Games and Virtual Items. The summits and main conference tracks created a forum for attendees to gain and share knowledge on the connected gaming space, all in a community-based setting.

The second annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards, a special event honoring excellence in the online game development space, saw Trion Worlds’ Rift honored with the top award as Best New Online Game; the title also took home the award for Best Online Technology. In addition, breakout sandbox building game Minecraft, developed by Mojang, won the prestigious Best Live Game award, along with the award for Best Community Relations. Special Award honorees John Taylor and Kelton Flinn were celebrated for their work on the major genre forerunners Island of Kesmai and Air Warrior. EverQuest, the breakout 3D MMO title and beloved fantasy game, was inducted into the Hall of Fame during the ceremony. For the full list of Choice Online Awards winners visit: www.gdconlineawards.com .

“As host to many key industry leaders who provided quality talks that covered current or future online game development issues and exhibited breakthrough tools and technologies, we can truly say that the conference was a huge success – – the event’s record-breaking attendee numbers reflect that,” said Izora de Lillard, Event Director for GDC Online. “The energy throughout the event was incredible and we’re excited to return to Austin in October 2012.”

For more information on GDC Online, please visit the official website: www.GDCOnline.com .

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GDC Online: Game Developers Online Choice Awards Live Report

This evening at GDC Online in Austin, TX, Mojang’s Minecraft and Trion World’s Rift were the big winners in Game Developers Online Choice Awards, which focuses on social and online games.

The awards, held at GDC Online, are a companion to the Game Developers Choice Awards held at GDC in San Francisco every year. Tonight’s ceremony marked the second year for the Online Choice Awards.

The Show

Spiral Knights took the award for Best Online Game Design, and developer Nick Popovich said, “With me is the CEO of Three Rings, Daniel James, the person who made this possible, so I have to thank you… And I have to thank the very nimble Spiral Knights team. You are very small, but you do big things, so thanks to you!”

Best Online Visual Arts went to DC Universe Online. “In the absence of preparing a speech tonight, I decided to drink,” SOE’s Lorin Jamison joked. “But we’re thrilled!”

Rift won Best Online Technology. “We make games to entertain audiences for sure, but being appreciated by everybody else who makes games, that means a lot to us,” said Trion Worlds’ Scott Hartsman.

Next up came the Audience Award — voted on by fans. With over 170,000 online votes, the winner of the award turned out to be Wizard101. “This is incredibly gratifying,” said KingsIsle’s Josef Hall. “I never knew how could it would be to have thousands of young fans who mail in their hand drawn artwork for your game, because it means that much to them.”

“It took us a year, but I’m delighted to say we figured out how to bribe our players than the League of Legends guys,” Todd Coleman joked.

In the awards’ new category for 2011, the Online Innovation Award, the winner was Shadow Cities, the MMO for iOS. Grey Area — the Finnish developers, for which this is their first game — seemed overwhelmed by the attention when they took the stage.

Best Audio for an Online Game was awarded to Clone Wars Adventures from Sony Online Entertainment. Rodney Gates and a team member in Star Wars Clone Trooper helmet took the stage.

The trooper was revealed to be Todd Carson, the game’s senior producer. With it off, he said, “I just want to say thanks to the dev team for all their hard work, and thanks to our PR and marketing people — without you we wouldn’t have 8 million people playing our game!”

Best Community Relations went to Mojang’s Minecraft. “As someone who started playing last November and started working for them, I can tell you that they really appreciate the community,” said community manager Lydia Winters.

“I had to attend by recorded message, so I’m really happy to be here to present this award to our worthy successor,” said MMO pioneer Richard Garriott, before launching into praise EverQuest. “By the end of 1999, it passed my own product in terms of subscribers,” he admitted with obvious chagrin and admiration. “It became the product to which almost every MMO ever since has been compared.”

SOE head John Smedley took the stage to accept the award, along with a huge number of team members. “This is a lot of the original EverQuest team. A lot of these guys before they made games delivered pizzas and were working at a gardening supply store. They were out of our industry,” he said.

“We have to thank our fans for the last 13 years, it’s been awesome. We started making this game in 1996. I look at this team now and they’re entirely different looking than they were,” he joked. “It’s been a lot of pounds and a lot of hair.”

Smedley introduced Brad McQuaid, a key designer of EverQuest. “He embodies the spirit that EverQuest brought,” said Smedley.

“We had no clue what was possible, what wasn’t possible; we put in crazy hours and poured our hearts and souls into this game,” said McQuaid. He thanked the fans and all of developers — while clad in a nostalgic (and surprisingly well-preserved) 989 Studios T-shirt.

The Best Social Network game award went to Playdom’s Gardens of Time. Eric Todd, creative director came up came up to accept “his fantastic award” on behalf of Playdom and Studio 24. “This award is only in very small part mine,” he said. “It’s actually Studio 24’s — all those people who put their hard work and passion into it.”

He also praised Playdom for letting the game be developed. “It’s what happens when a good company decides to take a sound risk on a wacky idea.”

Playdom Austin’s Gordon Walton took the stage to present the Online Game Legend award to Kesmai founders John Taylor and Kelton Flinn.

“It was my good fortune to work with and learn from the recipients of the Online Game Legend award tonight,” said Walton. They taught me everything they knew about online gaming, and infected me with their passion for what was then a really new medium.”

“They are also both first rate human beings… They cared about advancing the art of putting players together in a realtime environment.”

Taylor said he was “surprised and deeply humbled by the news” of the award.

“I’m just in awe of where the industry has gone,” said Taylor. “When Kelton and I started writing games it was 32 years ago in graduate school. Many of the faculty were just dismayed we weren’t doing anything useful,” he noted. “I’ve got just one thing to say to you: neener, neener!” he joked, speaking to the head of his graduate department.

“I would just like to add one thing — when we started Kesmai, we were really there to have fun and make great games, but our legacy isn’t the games. The legacy is all of the people it brought into the online industry. So I want to give a real thank you to all of the people that worked for Kesmai. Thank you,” said Flinn.

The Best Live Game award went to Mojang’s Minecraft. Lydia Winters took the stage once again. “Thank you so much — this is awesome. I know that Markus — or Notch, I should say — and Jens worked really hard on this game. We’re really proud of it, and we’re really excited for the release that will be coming out at MineCon, for the actual game to be released.”

Rift took home the Best New Online Game award. Trion’s Scott Hartsman came up once more to express his gratitude. “In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a little shocked,” Hartsman joked, after tripping onto the stage.

“I knew that the team was probably the most amazing collection developers I had, or would ever be, lucky enough to work with. Thank you guys all very much,” he said.

The Winners

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best Online Visual Arts
DC Universe Online (Sony Online Entertainment)

Best Social Network Game
Gardens of Time (Playdom)

Best Online Game Design
Spiral Knights (Three Rings Design/Sega)

Online Innovation
Shadow Cities (Grey Area)

Best Online Technology
Rift (Trion Worlds)

Best Community Relations
Minecraft (Mojang)

Best Audio for an Online Game
Clone Wars Adventures (Sony Online Entertainment)

Best New Online Game
Rift (Trion Worlds)

Best Live Game
Minecraft (Mojang)

Audience Award
Wizard101 (KingsIsle Entertainment)

Online Game Legend
John Taylor and Kelton Flinn (creators of Island of Kesmai)

Hall of Fame
EverQuest (Sony Online Entertainment)

VOTING FOR THE AUDIENCE AWARD OPENS FOR SECOND ANNUAL GAME DEVELOPERS CHOICE ONLINE AWARDS

[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]

SAN FRANCISCO –– The Game Developers Choice Online Awards organizers have announced the opening of the Audience Award, encouraging online game fans worldwide to vote for their favorite persistent online game from September 8 until September 22.

The winner of the Audience Award will be revealed at the Game Developers Choice Online Awards ceremony, to be held on the evening of October 12, 2011 as part of the 2011 Game Developers Conference (GDC) Online which is taking place at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas October 10-13.

The second annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards – a sister event to GDC’s notable annual Game Developers Choice Awards in San Francisco – is the premier award ceremony honoring the accomplishments of the creators and operators of online games. Industry veteran Mike Goslin of Mindspark Interactive Network returns to host the “for developers, by developers” awards ceremony.

Those voting for the Audience Award simply have to enter the name of the game and a valid email address to receive an email and confirm their vote. They may pick from any currently-operating persistent online game, whether it be a subscription MMO, free-to-play web game title, social network game, or anything else. More information on the Audience Award can be found at https://www.gdconlineawards.com/audience.php.

A good starting point to consider picks might be recently announced nominees of the Game Developer Choice Online Awards, which run the gamut of online titles. These developer-nominated titles span from expansive and hugely popular MMOs such as Trion Worlds’ Rift or Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft or Riot Games’ League of Legends through addictive social network-based titles like FrontierVille or CityVille by Zynga to the breakout indie title Minecraft by Mojang.

The Game Developers Choice Online Awards will also be honoring landmark titles and influential figures in the ever-changing online gaming world. The Online Game Legend Award will be presented to John Taylor and Kelton Flinn, the founders of Kesmai Corporation and the creators of groundbreaking online games such as Island of Kesmai and Air Warrior. The Hall of Fame award will be given to Sony Online Entertainment’s beloved fantasy game EverQuest.

More information about the Game Developers Choice Online Awards is available at the official website for the awards, www.GDCOnlineAwards.com. GDC Online takes place in Austin, Texas from October 10-13, 2011. Information about sessions and registration for the show is available at www.GDCOnline.com.

About the UBM TechWeb Game Network

A core provider of essential information to the professional game industry, the UBM TechWeb Game Network – formerly known as the Think Services Game Group – offers market-defining content, and drives community through its award winning lineup of print, online, event and research products and services. These include the Game Developers Conference®, the Webby Award-winning Gamasutra.com and network of sites, the Game Advertising Online ad network, the Game Developers Conference® Online, the Game Developers Conference™ Europe, the Game Developers Conference™ China, Game Developer Magazine, Game Developer Research, the Game Career Seminars and GameCareerGuide.com, the Independent Games Festival and Summit, and the Game Developers Choice Awards. Visit www.jointhegamenetwork.com

About UBM TechWeb

UBM TechWeb, the global leader in technology media and professional information, enables people and organizations to harness the transformative power of technology. Through its three core businesses – media solutions, marketing services and paid content – UBM TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed brands and media applications in the technology market. More than 14.5 million business and technology professionals (CIOs and IT managers, Web & Digital professionals, Software Developers, Government decision makers, and Telecom providers) actively engage in UBM TechWeb’s communities and information resources monthly. UBM TechWeb brands includes: global face-to-face events such as Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat and Enterprise Connect; award-winning online resources such as InformationWeek, Light Reading, and Network Computing; and market-leading magazines InformationWeek, Wall Street & Technology, and Advanced Trading. UBM TechWeb is a UBM plc company, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion. Visit: www.ubmtechweb.com

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