The 2012 Spike Video Game Awards were held on December 7, with the 10th anniversary event recognizing the latest chapters in popular franchises like Halo and Borderlands, as well as some of the year’s brightest newcomers. These games represent the combined work of hundreds of programmers, artists, sound designers, and more, and we were happy to see that over a dozen Full Sail graduates worked on six of the winning projects.
Up against some fierce competition, Game of the Year went to the innovative episodic title The Walking Dead: The Game. This five-part graphic novel adaptation featured the talent of 2006 Computer Animation grad Brandon Batterson as keyframe character animator, and also netted Studio of the Year (for developer Telltale Games), Best Performance by a Human Female, Best Adapted Video Game, and Best Downloadable Game – making it the most recognized title of the year.
Borderlands 2 followed it with four awards – Character of the Year, Best Shooter, Best Multi-player Game, and Best Performance by a Human Male. Alumni who worked on the role-playing shooter included Joshua Davidson (sound designer; Recording Arts, 2007), Adrian Montoya (quality assurance tester for DLC; Recording Arts, 2009, Entertainment Business, 2011), and Donald Shults (freelance dialog editor; Recording Arts, 2007).
The acclaimed sequel Halo 4 took Best Xbox 360 Game and Best Graphics. Five alumni worked on the game’s different components, including Matt Campbell (cinematic animator; Computer Animation, 2008) Mark McCall (technical artist; Computer Animation, 2011), and Wimolrat Tangtiphongkul (environment artist; Computer Animation, 2008) in the art department, Brandon Layton (software development engineer; Game Development, 2011) and Jason Lyons (game programmer; Game Development, 2007) on the programming team, and Judah Getz (original dialogue mixer; Recording Arts; 2006) contributing to the audio.
Best PC Game went to XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a remake of the 90s sci-fi strategy classic. Helping to reimagine the series were grads Samuel Batista as UI programmer (Game Development, 2009), Nicholas Bozzone as original dialog mixer (Recording Arts, 2003), Nigel Nikitovich as QA tester (Computer Animation, 2009), and Anthony Tominia as motion capture artist (Computer Animation, 2007).
Among the year’s freshest new properties, Dishonored, took Best Action Adventure Game. Critics have praised the Arkane Studios hit for the freedom of its mission structure, as well as the bold artistic design – the latter of which featured the effort of 2005 Computer Animation graduate Kyle Gaulin as cinematic animator.
Finally, grads worked on games nominated in the VGAs two sports categories, with the award for Best Team Sports Game going to the latest entry in Visual Concepts’ long-running basketball franchise, NBA 2K13. The series has long been known for its level of detail in recreating the look and feel of a live basketball game, and Anthony Tominia (Computer Animation, 2007) contributed to that aesthetic by handling motion capture for the player animations.
The 2012 Spike Video Game awards celebrated a nice range of the year’s most exciting projects, and we’d like to congratulate the grads who helped bring these winners and all the nominated projects into our living rooms. For a full list of winning games you can check out Spike.com.