Gamers in the States are familiar with Spike TV’s Annual Video Game Awards, but England has had been hosting its own long-running tribute to the medium with the Golden Joystick Awards, founded in 1983. This year’s event was held in London on October 25, and among the winners were titles that featured art, design, audio, and programming credits from a number of Full Sail graduates.
Game of the Year was given to Grand Theft Auto V, which was released this September to blockbuster sales and critical acclaim. A combined ten graduates from our Computer Animation and Game Development programs worked on the hit at Rockstar Games in various roles, including four who were a part of the studio’s previous hit, Red Dead Redemption.
The hit sequel Bioshock: Infinite was awarded Best Visual Design for its unique retro art style and sharp graphic effects. This winter 2013 release included contributions from graduates like David Fox (Game Development, 2009), Jonathan Fawcett (Game Development, 2009), and Anthony Tominia (Computer Animation, 2007).
Best Newcomer went to the Playstation 3 exclusive The Last of Us. This third person action game has been a favorite of gamers and critics this year thank to its gripping action and affecting characters. More than a dozen alumni worked on the title, including Keith Guerette (Computer Animation, 2005), who explained “I’m really proud to be part of a game that was able to pull off such a unique mood.”
The Last of Us developers Naughty Dog also received the prize for Studio of the Year.
Call of Duty was this year’s induction into the Golden Joystick’s Hall of Fame. The series’ influence on the last decade of gaming is indisputable, and part of the team who helped found the World War II shooter is Computer Animation grad Chance Glasco, senior animator. Chance is a member of Full Sail’s own Hall of Fame, and has been joined over the years by other grads on the series including Mohammad Alavi (Game Development, 2003), Chrissy Arya (Recording Arts, 2003), Craig Harrison (Computer Animation, 2003), Caleb Schneider (Game Development, 2007), and Greg Zheng (Game Development, 2007).
Finally, Best Online Game went to World of Tanks from developers Wargaming.net. This is a unique entry in that the game went through usability testing by students in our Game Design program. The curriculum for the degree includes a section where students are tasked with reaching out to a professional game studio and proposing an in-depth analysis of its usability, ergonomics, and player experience.
Looking at this recap of the Golden Joystick Awards it’s inspiring to see so many alumni involved with bringing many of 2013’s most revered releases to the global gaming community. You can read the full roundup of categories and winners below:
Game of the Year Grand Theft Auto V
Hall of Fame
Activison: Call of Duty
Best Newcomer The Last of Us
Most Wanted (in association with Playfire) Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Best Indie Game Mark of the Ninja
Best Visual Design BioShock Infinite
Best Multiplayer Payday 2
Best Gaming Moment (in association with Absolute Radio) Far Cry 3 – “The Definition of Insanity”
Studio of the Year (in association with MPG Universal)
Innovation of the Year (in association with T3)
Best Storytelling The Last of Us
Best Online Game World of Tanks
Best Handheld Game Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation
YouTube Gamer Award (in association with YouTube)
Best Gaming Platform (in association with Digital Spy)
Best Mobile/Tablet Game of the Year XCOM: Enemy Unknown