Vote for your favorites in the Game Developers Choice Online Awards

Game Developers Choice Online Awards
The second annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards have been announced. The awards ceremony will take place on the evening of October 12, during the four-day Game Developers Conference 2011 in Austin, Texas.

The GDC Online Awards represent the best in ONLINE gaming, honoring the accomplishments of creators and operators of online video games – from large-scale MMOs through free-to-play titles to social network games. Awards span excellence in live services, technology, game updates, online game design, and more.

Only games that launched during May 2010 – May 2011 in North America are eligable. The awards recognize 12 categories including excellence in visual arts, online game design, live games, technology, audio and community.

The inaugural Awards, held in Austin at GDC Online 2010, saw Riot’s standout “multiplayer online battle arena” title League of Legends lead the winners with five awards, including Best New Online Game.

Other recipients included CCP, which received the Best Live Game award for EVE Online, MUD co-creator Richard Bartle as the Online Game Legend recipient, and Origin and Electronic Arts’ seminal MMO title Ultima Online as the first Hall of Fame inductee.

The Choice Online Awards continue to celebrate the long history of online game development with the special Online Games Legend award recognizing an online game trailblazer that has made an everlasting impact in online game development and the Hall of Fame award honoring a game that has left a lifelong impact on the online games space.

Additionally, the worldwide community of online game players and makers will have the opportunity to designate their favorite online game in the returning Audience Award category. New for 2011 is the Online Innovation Award. This award honors one particular online game that shows key aspects of innovation in the fast-expanding online games space – a title that pushes the game design and social boundaries of how we play video games online against others.

Finalists and winners for the Game Developers Choice Online Awards will be selected by the International Choice Award Network’s (ICAN) online division. The ICAN Online is comprised of 400 specially picked leading game industry creators from the foremost online game companies.

“The reception from the game development and player communities to the first Game Developers Choice Online Awards was tremendous last year, and it was immediately evident that this awards ceremony was celebrating under-recognized achievements within online games,” says Izora de Lillard, Event Director, GDC Online. “We’re excited to see which games and developers the community chooses to nominate our second year in Austin at GDC Online.”

The full list of categories for the second annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards include:

Best Online Visual Arts recognizes the overall excellence of visual art in online game – including, but not limited to, art direction, animation, modeling, character design, and so on.

Best Online Technology recognizes the overall excellence of technology in an online game – including, but not limited to, online networked infrastructure, persistent world coding, graphics/3D programming, etc.

Best Online Game Design honors the overall excellence of design in an online game – this category recognizes the best social-specific gameplay mechanics, quest design, and other major game design elements.

Best Audio for an Online Game recognizes the overall excellence of audio in an online game – including, but not limited to, sound effects, musical composition, sound design, orchestration, etc.

Audience Award honors the audiences’ favorite game. Members of the public vote on their favorite game from the Game Developers Choice Online finalists.

Best Social Network Game recognizes the best game of that launched on a social network, such as Facebook or MySpace, honoring the most outstanding title in terms of overall depth, execution and quality.

Best Live Game recognizes the best currently-operating online game – distinguishing itself by releasing exceptional new content through expansion packs, patches, or other updates in the 12 months to May 2011, as well as a vibrant player community, high-quality community management and network operation during that period.

Best New Online Game recognizes excellence in any online-specific game, including MMOs, free to play titles and social network games

Community Relations honors the currently operating online game that provides the highest quality community feedback and experience, including customer support, forum moderation and leadership, weblog and information updates, real-life events, and other community outreach.

Online Innovation honors one particular online game that shows key aspects of innovation in the fast-expanding online games space – a title that pushes the game design and social boundaries of how we play video games online against others.

Special Awards:
Online Games Legend recognizes the career and achievements of a developer who has made an indelible impact on the craft of online game development.

Hall of Fame recognizes a specific online game that has resulted in the long-term advancement of the medium, pioneering major shifts in online game development and games as a whole.