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Bioware Austin win most awards at GDC Online

11:30 AM on 10.11.2012 // Allistair Pinsof
  @DtoidAllistair

Hometown heroes claim four awards, Riot Games win three

Despite having a hard time with employment and keeping membership afloat this year, GDC Online's judges sent Bioware Austin home with four awards for its Star Wars MMO The Old Republic. The developer won four awards in its six nominated categories, including: Best New Online Game and Best Online Visual Arts.

Riot Games' League of Legends received praise both within and outside panels at this year's GDC Online, but its most notable achievement may be winning Best Live Game, Best Community Relations, and its second Audience Award at GDC Online. Riot has become the poster boy for small developers growing into a large ones with a focus on quality community support so no surprise there.

Strange to see not much mobile love in the above categories but maybe next year. Just remember the show will be moving to Los Angeles and renamed GDC Next. For the last foreseeable GDC in Austin, it's nice to see a local developer be put in the limelight for a night.

You can find the full listing of GDC Online winners and nominations below:

 Best Online Game Design
The Best Online Game Design Award honors the overall excellence of design in an online game that launched in public beta or full version in the year to May 2010. This category recognizes the best social-specific gameplay mechanics, quest design, and other major game design elements.
 
WINNER: Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin)
Glitch (Tiny Speck)
Realm of the Mad God (Wild Shadow Studios/Kabam)
DragonVale (Backflip Studios)
Woodland Heroes (Row Sham Bow)

Best Online Visual Arts
The Best Online Visual Arts Award recognizes the overall excellence of visual art in online games including, but not limited to, character and animation design, interface design, and 2D or 3D art creation and direction of all kinds.
 
WINNER: Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin)
Tera (Bluehole Studio/En Masse)
Empires & Allies (Zynga LA)
Age of Empires Online (Robot Entertainment & Gas Powered Games)
Glitch (Tiny Speck)

Best Community Relations
The Best Community Relations Award 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.
 
WINNER: League of Legends (Riot Games)
World of WarCraft (Blizzard Entertainment)
Solitaire Blitz (PopCap/EA)
World of Tanks (Wargaming.net Belarus)
Diamond Dash (Wooga)

Best Online Technology
The Best Online Technology Award recognizes the overall excellence of technology in an online game. This includes excellence in complexity of network infrastructure, persistent world coding, graphics technology, artificial intelligence, or any other elements.
 
WINNER: Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin)
Diablo III (Blizzard Entertainment)
Indiana Jones Adventure World (Zynga Boston)
Tera (Bluehole Studio/En Masse)
The Sims Social (Playfish)

Best Social Network Game
The Best Social Network Game Award recognizes the best game that launched on a social network, such as Facebook or MySpace, honoring the most outstanding title in terms of overall depth, execution and quality in the space.
 
WINNER: Draw Something (OMGPOP/Zynga)
CastleVille (Zynga Dallas)
Rage Of Bahamut (Cygames/Mobage)
Empires & Allies (Zynga LA)
The Sims Social (Playfish)

Best Audio for an Online Game
The Best Audio for an Online Game Award recognizes the overall excellence of audio in an online game including sound effects, musical composition, and overall sound design for an online title.
 
WINNER: Diablo III (Blizzard Entertainment)
Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin)
Tribes: Ascend (Hi-Rez Studios)
Marvel: Avengers Alliance (Playdom/Disney)
Indiana Jones Adventure World (Zynga Boston)

Best New Online Game
The Best New Online Game Award recognizes excellence in any online-specific game, including MMOs, free to play titles and social network games.
 
WINNER: Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin)
CastleVille (Zynga Dallas)
DragonVale (Backflip Studios)
Draw Something (OMGPOP/Zynga)
Rage Of Bahamut (Cygames/Mobage)

Best Live Game
The Best Live Game Award 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 2012, as well as a vibrant player community, high-quality community management and network operation during that period.
 
WINNER: League of Legends (Riot Games)
Rift (Trion Worlds)
CityVille (Zynga)
World of WarCraft (Blizzard Entertainment)
EVE Online (CCP Games)

Online Innovation Award
The Online Innovation 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.
 
WINNER: Journey (thatgamecompany)
Realm of the Mad God (Wild Shadow Studios/Kabam)
Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin)
DayZ Mod for ArmA II (Dean Hall/Bohemia Interactive)
Idle Worship (Idle Games)

 Best Online Game Design
The Best Online Game Design Award honors the overall excellence of design in an online game that launched in public beta or full version in the year to May 2010. This category recognizes the best social-specific gameplay mechanics, quest design, and other major game design elements.
 
WINNER: Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin)
Glitch (Tiny Speck)
Realm of the Mad God (Wild Shadow Studios/Kabam)
DragonVale (Backflip Studios)
Woodland Heroes (Row Sham Bow)

Best Online Visual Arts
The Best Online Visual Arts Award recognizes the overall excellence of visual art in online games including, but not limited to, character and animation design, interface design, and 2D or 3D art creation and direction of all kinds.
 
WINNER: Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin)
Tera (Bluehole Studio/En Masse)
Empires & Allies (Zynga LA)
Age of Empires Online (Robot Entertainment & Gas Powered Games)
Glitch (Tiny Speck)

Best Community Relations
The Best Community Relations Award 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.
 
WINNER: League of Legends (Riot Games)
World of WarCraft (Blizzard Entertainment)
Solitaire Blitz (PopCap/EA)
World of Tanks (Wargaming.net Belarus)
Diamond Dash (Wooga)

Best Online Technology
The Best Online Technology Award recognizes the overall excellence of technology in an online game. This includes excellence in complexity of network infrastructure, persistent world coding, graphics technology, artificial intelligence, or any other elements.
 
WINNER: Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin)
Diablo III (Blizzard Entertainment)
Indiana Jones Adventure World (Zynga Boston)
Tera (Bluehole Studio/En Masse)
The Sims Social (Playfish)

Best Social Network Game
The Best Social Network Game Award recognizes the best game that launched on a social network, such as Facebook or MySpace, honoring the most outstanding title in terms of overall depth, execution and quality in the space.
 
WINNER: Draw Something (OMGPOP/Zynga)
CastleVille (Zynga Dallas)
Rage Of Bahamut (Cygames/Mobage)
Empires & Allies (Zynga LA)
The Sims Social (Playfish)

Best Audio for an Online Game
The Best Audio for an Online Game Award recognizes the overall excellence of audio in an online game including sound effects, musical composition, and overall sound design for an online title.
 
WINNER: Diablo III (Blizzard Entertainment)
Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin)
Tribes: Ascend (Hi-Rez Studios)
Marvel: Avengers Alliance (Playdom/Disney)
Indiana Jones Adventure World (Zynga Boston)

Best New Online Game
The Best New Online Game Award recognizes excellence in any online-specific game, including MMOs, free to play titles and social network games.
 
WINNER: Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin)
CastleVille (Zynga Dallas)
DragonVale (Backflip Studios)
Draw Something (OMGPOP/Zynga)
Rage Of Bahamut (Cygames/Mobage)

Best Live Game
The Best Live Game Award 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 2012, as well as a vibrant player community, high-quality community management and network operation during that period.
 
WINNER: League of Legends (Riot Games)
Rift (Trion Worlds)
CityVille (Zynga)
World of WarCraft (Blizzard Entertainment)
EVE Online (CCP Games)

Online Innovation Award
The Online Innovation 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.
 
WINNER: Journey (thatgamecompany)
Realm of the Mad God (Wild Shadow Studios/Kabam)
Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin)
DayZ Mod for ArmA II (Dean Hall/Bohemia Interactive)
Idle Worship (Idle Games)


Allistair Pinsof,
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