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Games Entertainment

Portal, Bioshock Lead Game Developer's Choice Nominations 71

Posted by Zonk
from the cake-is-a-LIE-damnit dept.
Gamasutra is reporting that the annual Game Developer's Choice Award nominations are now available for your reading pleasure. Portal, BioShock, Mass Effect, and Call of Duty 4 are all looking pretty good, with Portal in particular sitting pretty in five separate categories. Here are a few of the nomination lists: "Best Game Design - BioShock, Call of Duty 4, Mass Effect, Portal, Super Mario Galaxy. Best Visual Art - Assassin's Creed, Team Fortress 2, Crysis, BioShock, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Best Writing - Portal, God of War II, Mass Effect, Half-Life 2: Episode 2, BioShock. Innovation - Rock Band, Portal, flOw, Peggle, Mass Effect." Five bucks says Portal sweeps the awards.
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Portal, Bioshock Lead Game Developer's Choice Nominations

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  • Portal` (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @01:28PM (#22140690) Homepage Journal
    Portal is a great game- too short in my opinion. It shows that PC gaming is long over-due for something more innovative in the game-play category. Now combine portal with half-life 2 = most amazing game ever!!!
    • Re:Portal` (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shimdaddy (898354) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @01:39PM (#22140870) Homepage
      Portal does rock, but I think one reason it's so great is because of its minimalism. I think Half-Life & Portal in the same game would be too much, and worse than the two games separately.
      • by EvanED (569694)
        Agreed. Also Portal is a puzzle game. HL2 is a FPS with occasional, pretty simple puzzles. Forcing puzzles into HL2 or a significant FPS part into Portal I don't think would work. Having the portal gun in HL2 would be neat, but it wouldn't be Portal, it would be HL2 with the portal gun.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ReverendLoki (663861)

          Actually, I'd love to see a TF2 map that featured the portal gun in a very limited sense - say, one gun with very limited "ammo" that cannot be reloaded, and had a slow respawn. Or perhaps a class that was armed with the portal gun only, and limited to one player per team.

          Could open some interesting dynamics, like forming a mass attack party to try and escort that player to the intel room, or trying to open a portal into the enemy's choke point after 4 engineers build level 3 turrets at the other end. O

          • by Nos. (179609)
            Kind of like the teleporter in TF2. Really, its fairly close to the same thing, except you can't "shoot" a teleporter to the other side of the map.
            • You also can't take a flag through a teleporter, or put a teleporter on the ceiling, or go both ways through a teleporter, or shoot through a teleporter, or quickly drop a teleporter under someone by surprise, or over them by surprise. You can't put a teleporter behind the sentry gun that is causing you so much grief and shoot it from behind. You can't look through a teleporter to see what is going on on the other side.

              I see what you're getting at, but a teleporter as it exists in TF2 now has a very li

              • by Nos. (179609)
                That's true, there's a lot of differences, but they limited the teleporter's usefulness for just that reason. Being able to go both ways through a teleporter with the flag would make for very quick rounds, and seriously throw off the balance of the game. That being said, having portals in a regular FPS game (where you're actually fighting other guys/creatures/etc) would be very interesting.
      • I think Half-Life & Portal in the same game would be too much, and worse than the two games separately.

        You're definitely right there. Putting Half-Life 2 and Portal together would be overdoing it. I mean, what next? Throwing Episodes 1 and 2 in there as well, and maybe even Team Fortress 2? Yeah, exactly. Ludicrous combination of doom. Too many games at once equals never play any of them properly. Way overdoing it and far worse than each game individually.

        So I'm glad Valve decided not to do it that

        • by pthor1231 (885423)
          Putting two games on the same disc isn't the same thing as combining two games, like the parent was suggesting.
    • Re:Portal` (Score:5, Informative)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @01:39PM (#22140888)
      Now combine portal with half-life 2 = most amazing game ever!!!

      Are you referring to this? [primotechnology.com]
      • Neat
    • I think that portal (the orange box version) released simultaneously on consoles as well. regardless, I totally agree that we need some more short original fun games. We have lots of re-heated epics.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by TheSpengo (1148351)
      Did you play half life 2 episode 2 yet? I suspect aperture science will definitely be playing a role in future half life games. :) Here is a screenshot I made for ya... (spoilers warning) http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/5914/aperturejs5.jpg [imageshack.us]
      • Holy fuck, yes!
      • I suspect aperture science will definitely be playing a role in future half life games.

        Since presumably a portion of Episode 3 is going to involve going to that shipwreck, I suspect you might be right.
      • by niteice (793961)
        Watch those screens for a bit - it'll show the plans for the Borealis. On those plans is supposedly a mention of GlaDOS herself.
    • I thought the length was just right. They way people said it was "ZOMG! TOO SHOORTT!" I completely wasn't expecting the whole escaping from the labs part or the final battle. And then there's the advanced versions of the puzzles. I figured it would just end after the last puzzle.
      • Personally I found the advanced maps disappointing. At times they were good, but for the most part they felt less like puzzles are more like lessons in how ridiculously hard and obtuse the developers could have made the levels if they'd wanted to screw up the game.

        There wasn't the same sense of satisfaction as with the original, because I didn't feel like I solved anything. Rather, I felt like I abused game mechanics.

        For example, in one "puzzle" you need to bounce an energy ball into a receptacle using the
        • by armareum (925270)
          It actually took me longer to do that puzzle using the companion cube; I managed to do it on my third try using the companion sphere.

          I really liked the advanced versions where you had to complete them in as few portals as possible. The other two types I did not enjoy so much.

    • by Xelios (822510) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @03:57PM (#22143548)
      If you listen to the developer commentary in Portal it's pretty clear this first game was just testing the water. I'm sure there will be more Portal in the future, maybe as a standalone game, maybe integrated into the Half Life series.

      But the cake is a lie.
      • There already is a plethora of third party maps. I especially recommend the Ren Test map which was created by one of the professional level designers from bethesda.
    • The current issue of Game Developer (Jan 2008, Thinking With Portals) indicates this marriage is likely.

      Before the writing started, we met with Erik [Wolpaw] and discussed our list of narrative constraints. Since at the time we were using some Half-Life art assets, and because we wanted to leave ourselves the option of someday using the portal gun in a Half-Life game, we decided that the story should in some way connect to the Half-Life universe.

      The article goes on to describe Apature Labs as:

      the scrappy,

  • Rock Band (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Freeside1 (1140901) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @01:37PM (#22140846)
    Exactly how is Rock Band innovative? It's multiplayer Guitar Hero with drums, and a mic.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Derekloffin (741455)
      It's got drums and a mic man! That's like the best thing evar!

      Seriously though, it is mildly innovative in how it combines them together. At least they didn't nominate Bioshock in that category. I keep hearing people call BS innovative and I still don't see a single new thing in gameplay it brings in (sure the setting is new, but many games have new settings, and I don't really interesting story elements, no matter how inventive, innovative in a game where gameplay is what you're looking for).

      • by kellyb9 (954229)
        Having a microphone isn't even mildly innovative. Games in the past have featured this. Karoke Revolution comes to mind, and really is a game that involves percussion any more trivial then dance dance revolution. This game simply isn't innovative. Nor is it all that difficult.
    • by Negatyfus (602326)
      How is that NOT innovative?
      • Because they didn't do anything but take existing ideas/games and put them together in one game. The drumkit is most innovative part, but it's not like electronic drums kits have never existed. It's fun, but not innovative or original. Seems like they just wanted to nominate Rock Band for something, so they just stuck it in the Innovation category.
        • by Catiline (186878)

          Because they didn't do anything but take existing ideas/games and put them together in one game.
          Sure, they took existing ideas (plural!) and put them together, in a cooperative game. What other game can you think of where the players co-operate, but have to do different things in the process? The closest thing I can think of in relationship is MMO gameplay, but that's a totally different game type....
          • Because they didn't do anything but take existing ideas/games and put them together in one game.

            Sure, they took existing ideas (plural!) and put them together, in a cooperative game. What other game can you think of where the players co-operate, but have to do different things in the process? The closest thing I can think of in relationship is MMO gameplay, but that's a totally different game type....

            Er, but you could already do this YEARS ago with the Guitarfreaks/Drummania/Keyboardmania cooperative mode,

            • by Catiline (186878)
              Rock Band also consolidated it so only one console was required for four players, rather than one per instrument. Oh wait, that's not innovation, that's TECHNICAL. </sarcasm>
        • Re:Rock Band (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Cornflake917 (515940) * on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @02:18PM (#22141530) Homepage
          Rock Band is innovative in how it brings it all together. Yes pretty much every aspect of it has been done before, but you could say the same for Portal.

          It's definitely original. I don't think any other games have gone all out trying to simulate the rock band experience with a full set of instruments.

          It's hard to explain, but getting large group of friends together to play Rock Band (and drink) is an experience unlike any other game I played. Maybe because females actually get involved, and that doesn't happen much when we're playing games.
          • by randyest (589159)
            Rock Band is innovative in how it brings it all together. Yes pretty much every aspect of it has been done before, but you could say the same for Portal.

            No you couldn't. I'm not saying Rock Band isn't innovative, I'm just disputing the notion that every aspect of Portal has been done before. Narbacular Drop didn't have GlaDOS or JC's awesome endgame song, you know. Those aspects are just as important to the fun and innovation that make Portal as the portals themselves.
            • What is innovative about GlaDOS and a credit song? Are you joking?
              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by Spellvexit (1039042)

                I don't think the poster was joking -- I nodded with appreciation when he mentioned GlaDOS and the credit song as well. Maybe it's not 100% original... but fresh? There is something much more rewarding about GlaDOS as a antagonist with her split personalities and peculiar musicianship. I found her to be one of the best adversaries in just about any game I've played, and it highlights Valve's ability to create amazing, immersive scenarios with a great deal of depth. Unlike Shub-Niggurath in Quake, or who

                • I agree all of that stuff is well done, but not necessarily innovative on their own. I would say that Portal as a whole is innovative because of the way it brings all of these not-so-innovative things together. Which is same reason why I said Rock Band is innovative in my original post.

                • Maybe it's not 100% original... but fresh? There is something much more rewarding about GlaDOS as a antagonist with her split personalities and peculiar musicianship. I found her to be one of the best adversaries in just about any game I've played, and it highlights Valve's ability to create amazing, immersive scenarios with a great deal of depth. Unlike Shub-Niggurath in Quake, or whoever that generic demon was, GlaDOS had a strange attraction in that she (well, discounting the cannons) was the only one wh
        • by revlayle (964221)
          So, like, how many OTHER games out there does what rock band does?
          • by miscz (888242)
            Consolidating other games features is not innovation. Similar but separate karaoke, guitar and drum simulators were available for years. Just because technology enables you to put it all into a single screen doesn't mean you have invented it.
            • by revlayle (964221)
              The Orange Box is a consolidation. Putting a bunch of games into one box. The innovation here, with Rock Bank, small as it may be, is providing those three separate games into one cooperative game playing experience. It provided a small innovation in social gameplay... a small innovation that resonated with a LOT of players.

              Innovation does not have to be grand. Just because it is original doesn't mean it's any good.
    • Well, then, it won't win. Problem solved.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nEoN nOoDlE (27594)
      Portal - just an FPS with 1 weapon and decent writing
      flOw - just Eco the Dolphin with no story
      Peggle - just another puzzle game with physics
      Mass Effect - just another FPS game but with RPG elements

      see? You could take the innovation out of any game by breaking it down to its elements.
  • Call of Duty 4 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by framauro13 (1148721) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @01:42PM (#22140938)
    A shame CoD4 was left out of the writing nominations. It had the most immersive storyline of them all.

    Personally I think it was the best FPS released this year, and definitely the best out of the entire franchise, and that's not even taking into account the amazing multiplayer mode. I'd definitely opt for this game over BioShock in a heartbeat, and I loved BioShock.
    • I haven't gotten the chance to play BioShock but I totally agree with you. I think COD4 is the best overall FPS of the year. It's single player experience was just as fun has HL2:E2, and I would go as far to say that COD4 is the best multiplayer FPS since Counter-Strike. Don't get me wrong, I think TF2 is great but COD4 has so much more depth. While I'm not a huge fan for the whole level/unlock system on FPS non-mmo games, I still enjoy the plethora of weapons/upgrades at my disposal. I think it's a g
      • Rent BioShock, play it to the end, and you might change your mind about COD4 -- especially if you're interested in what can happen when flawed people try to create a flawless society.
        • by Danse (1026)

          Rent BioShock, play it to the end, and you might change your mind about COD4 -- especially if you're interested in what can happen when flawed people try to create a flawless society.
          Bioshock has a cool story and atmosphere, that much I can't argue with. It just doesn't really do anything innovative gameplay-wise. It's all stuff that's been done before, and often done better since. The story is the only thing to keep you going forward, it's certainly not the gameplay.
    • by p0tat03 (985078)

      CoD4 had a great immersive *experience*, but IMHO it had no real storyline. It had some interesting locales and set piece battles tied together loosely with a very stereotypical and cliched storyline of terrorists and nuclear bombs. I would say that it was the most cinematic game all year, and really gets your adrenaline pumping, but innovative storywriting it is not - BioShock would be more along those lines.

      I would also put CoD4 above BioShock as the best FPS of '07, but innovative storyline it does not

  • PAs Opinion (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @01:46PM (#22141012)
    Appears to be as follows: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/12/28/ [penny-arcade.com]
  • IANAL (Score:5, Funny)

    by mattwarden (699984) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @01:47PM (#22141038) Homepage
    Five bucks says Portal sweeps the awards.

    IANAL, but I'm 99% sure this is binding.
    • by Zekasu (1059298)
      It is written...

      But honestly, I'd be dissapointed if Portal won. Overall Game Design? I really doubt it, compared to the others up there, Bioshock included.
  • Or does the developer's choice only include western games? The only japanese game I see in that list is Mario. (dunno about mass effect and god of war, though.)
    Chauvinism, anyone?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Liquidrage (640463)
      I've also noticed that the Oscar's rarely put up anything from Bollywood.

      Maybe it's because, unlike most people on the internet, they are only discussing that which they know?
      • by Hitto (913085)
        Wow, way to flame an honest post, dude. Not cool. Then you wonder why the rest of the world sees America as an island only aware of itself.
  • by randyest (589159) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @03:34PM (#22143050) Homepage
    Best Downloadable Game
    Pac-Man Championship Edition
    Everyday Shooter
    Peggle
    Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords (XBLA version)
    Flow

    So while, Portal, TF2, HL2:ep2, COD4, and Bioshock get lots of "Best" nominations, they're mysteriously absent from the "Best Downloadable Game" category, even though they're all quite downloadable via steam. Maybe they meant "best downloadable (only) game (not available in stores?"

    With Steam and (the relatively crappy) Direct2Drive sales channels, isn't just about everything "downloadable" now? Heck, if you include torrents and such, I'm sure absolutely everything is downloadable ;)
    • they're all quite downloadable via steam

      "Quite" downloadable? Maybe "somewhat" downloadable or "technically" downloadable. I don't really have time for games these days, so it was exciting when I decided to blow a whole weekend playing the new games everyone was talking about. I bought the Orange Box on Friday night. When I saw how much still remained to be downloaded on Saturday morning, I just about lost it. So much for that weekend -- I blew the next weekend playing Half-Life 2 and Portal.

  • I'm making a note here: huge success.

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