Despite the notion that gamers are all of the same hive mind, Machinima’s Inside Gaming Awards — held Saturday night at the Avalon in Hollywood — presented notable differences from Spike TV’s more high profile Video Game Awards, which took place the preceding night. The most important distinction being game of the year honors: “The Walking Dead” was the winner Friday, but “Halo 4” captured the top prize at the IGAs.
Not to say that there wasn’t some overlap. Both games boasted multiple nominations at each awards ceremony, and along with Bioware’s “Mass Effect 3,” seemed to dominate in wins as well. “The Walking Dead” won prizes for best downloadable game and best character design; “Halo 4” claimed three awards, including for its sound design and in the best competitive multiplayer category.
The tones of the awards shows are very different, however. While the VGAs are more inclusive, with platform-specific prizes (best Wii game, etc.) and a barrage of trailers for upcoming games, the IGAs are more, well, insider, with game developers and Machinima personalities presenting awards, comedy skits interspersed throughout the ceremony and only one trailer award presented. It’s an event that focuses on the games of the last year, not the titles set for release in the next 12 months.
In the best independent game category, Polytron’s “Fez” edged out Thatgamecompany’s “Journey” as the top title at the IGAs. “Fez” also won for best original score.
The highly touted “Assassin’s Creed III,” which was shut out of the VGAs, won the Gamers’ Choice Award.
Following is a complete list of the IGA honors, presented by the editorial staff of Inside Gaming Daily, a gaming news/information site.
Game of the Year: “Halo 4” (343 Industries)
Best Competitive Multiplayer: “Halo 4” (343 Industries)
Best Co-Operative Multiplayer: “Mass Effect 3” (BioWare)
Best Downloadable Game: “The Walking Dead: Season One” (Telltale Games)
Best Narrative: “Spec Ops: The Line” (Yager Development)
Best Animation: “Max Payne 3” (Rockstar Vancouver)
Best Environmental Design: “Dishonored” (Arkane Studios)
Best Character Design: Lee Everett – “The Walking Dead: Season One” (Telltale Games)
Best Trailer: “The Last of Us” Gamescom 2012 Trailer (Naughty Dog)
Best Original Score: “Fez” (Polytron)
Most Original Game: “Hotline Miami” (Dennaton Games)
Best Indie Game: “Fez” (Polytron)
Best Additional Content: “World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria” (Blizzard Entertainment)
Best Game Cinematography: “Mass Effect 3” (BioWare)
Best Art Direction: “Journey” (Thatgamecompany)
Best Sound Design: “Halo 4” (343 Industries)
Gamers’ Choice Award: “Assassin’s Creed III”
— Jevon Phillips
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