‘The Last of Us,’ ‘Tearaway,’ ‘Gone Home’ lead prestigious GDC noms

Jan. 09, 2014 | 5:45 p.m.
Neil Druckmann, 34, Creative Director for the survival horror action-adventure game, "The Last of Us." (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Neil Druckmann, 34, Creative Director for the survival horror action-adventure game, “The Last of Us.” (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Naughty Dog’s survival horror title “The Last of Us,” Media Molecule’s folkloric “Tearaway” and The Fullbright Company’s domestic narrative “Gone Home” lead the nominees for the 2014 Game Developers Choice Awards, with each game generating five nods across a number of categories.

The industry-voted Game Developers Choice Awards, held in conjunction with the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, are widely regarded as one of the industry’s most prestigious honors. This year’s ceremony will take place  March 14 at San Francisco Moscone Center.

“Gone Home” is the only independently released title to compete for game of the year honors and was the first title released by the four-person Fulbright Company. The downloadable title is up against the PS3’s “The Last of Us,” Nintendo’s Wii U title “Super Mario 3D World” and cross-platform blockbusters “Grand Theft Auto V” (Rockstar Games) and “Tomb Raider” (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix).

“Gone Home” and and the touch-centric Vita title “Tearaway” are each nominated for the innovation award, a category designed to recognize those titles that “push the boundaries of games as an expressive medium.” Others in the field include Lucas Pope’s immigration drama “Papers, Please,” Simogo’s mobile mystery story “Device 6″ and Galactic Cafe’s trippy take on cubicle life “The Stanley Parable.”

One of the creature obstacles in "Tearaway." (Media Molecule / Sony Computer Entertainment)

One of the creature obstacles in “Tearaway.” (Media Molecule / Sony Computer Entertainment)

“Gone Home,” “The Last of Us” and “The Stanley Parable” are all in the running for best narrative. Rounding out the field is Square Enix’s “Tomb Raider” reboot, which presented a more vulnerable Lara Croft, and “Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons,” a melancholic fairy tale from Starbreeze/505 Games.

Some of the year’s biggest, most touted titles are competing in the best technology field. Here, “Grand Theft Auto V,” “Tearaway” and “The Last of Us” will battle with Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” and Guerrilla Games’ “Killzone Shadow Fall.”

A complete list of nominees for the Games Developers Choice Awards is presented at the bottom of this post.

The Writers Guild of America Award also unveiled its nominees for the outstanding achievement in video game writing. Now in its seventh year WGA’s  video game honors can be awarded to scriptwriters and story writers.

A scene from "Batman: Arkham Origins." (Warner Bros.)

A scene from “Batman: Arkham Origins.” (Warner Bros.)

The nominees are “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” (Darby McDevitt, Mustapha Mahrach, Jean Guesdon, Darby McDevitt, Jill Murray, Nicoholas Grimwood and Mark Llabres Hill), “Batman: Arkham Origins” (Dooma Wendschuhm Ryan Galletta and Corey May), “God of War: Ascension” (Marianne Krawcyzk, Ariel Lawrence), “The Last of Us” (Neil Druckmann), and Lost Planet 3″ (Richard Gaubert, Orion Walker, Matt Sophos).

The winners will be announced at the 2014 Writers Guild Awards on Feb. 1 during simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York.

Below are the complete nominees for Games Developers Choice Awards:

Game of the year

“Gone Home” (The Fullbright Company)
“Grand Theft Auto V” (Rockstar North/Rockstar Games)
“The Last of Us” (Naughty Dog/Sony)
“Super Mario 3D World” (Nintendo EAD Tokyo/Nintendo)
“Tomb Raider” (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix)

Honorable Mentions: “The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds” (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo), “Papers, Please” (Lucas Pope), “The Stanley Parable” (Galactic Cafe), “Tearaway” (Media Molecule/Sony).

Innovation award

“Device 6″ (Simogo)
“Gone Home” (The Fullbright Company)
“Papers, Please” (Lucas Pope)
“Tearaway” (Media Molecule/Sony)
“The Stanley Parable” (Galactic Cafe)

Honorable Mentions: “Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons” (Starbreeze/505 Games), “Candy Box” (Aniwey), “Kerbal Space Program” (Squad), “The Last of Us” (Naughty Dog/Sony), “Proteus” (Ed Key/David Kanaga)

Best debut

Blue Manchu (“Card Hunter”)
The Fullbright Company (“Gone Home”)
Galactic Cafe (“The Stanley Parable”)
Squad (“Kerbal Space Program”)
Undead Labs (“State Of Decay”)

Honorable Mentions: Facepalm Games (“The Swapper”), Frogmind Games (“Badland”), Grinding Gear Games (“Path Of Exile”), Suspicious Developments (“Gunpoint”), Warner Bros. Games Montreal (“Batman: Arkham Origins”)

Best design

“Grand Theft Auto V” (Rockstar North/Rockstar Games)
“The Last of Us” (Naughty Dog/Sony)
“The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds” (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
“Super Mario 3D World” (Nintendo EAD Tokyo/Nintendo)
“Tomb Raider” (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix)

Honorable Mentions: “DOTA 2″ (Valve) “Pokemon X & Y” (Game Freak/Nintendo), “Rogue Legacy” (Cellar Door Games), “The Stanley Parable” (Galactic Cafe), “SteamWorld Dig” (Image & Form), “TowerFall” (Matt Thorson/Miniboss/Alec Holowka)

Best handheld/mobile game

“Device 6″ (Simogo)
“Fire Emblem: Awakening” (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)
“The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds” (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
“Ridiculous Fishing” (Vlambeer)
“Tearaway” (Media Molecule/Sony)

Honorable Mentions: “Animal Crossing: New Leaf” (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo), “868-HACK” (Michael Brough), “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon” (Next Level Games/Nintendo), “Plants Vs. Zombies 2″ (PopCap/Electronic Arts), ‘The Room Two” (Fireproof Games), “SteamWorld Dig” (Image & Form)

Best visual art

“BioShock Infinite” (Irrational Games/2K Games)
“DmC” (Ninja Theory/Capcom)
“The Last of Us” (Naughty Dog/Sony)
“Ni No Kuni: Wrath of The White Witch” (Level 5/Namco Bandai)
“Tearaway” (Media Molecule/Sony)

Honorable Mentions: “Don’t Starve” (Klei Entertaintment), “Grand Theft Auto V” (Rockstar North/Rockstar Games), “Papers, Please” (Lucas Pope), “Puppeteer” (SCE Japan/Sony), “Ryse: Son Of Rome” (Crytek/Microsoft), “Wonderful 101″ (Platinum Games/Nintendo)

Best narrative

“Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons” (Starbreeze/505 Games)
“Gone Home” (The Fullbright Company)
“The Last of Us” (Naughty Dog/Sony)
“Tomb Raider” (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix)
“The Stanley Parable” (Galactic Cafe)

Honorable Mentions: “Attack of The Friday Monsters” (Millennium Kitchen/Level 5), “BioShock Infinite” (Irrational Games/2K Games), “The Cave” (DoubleFine Games), “Ni No Kuni: Wrath of The White Witch” (Level 5/Namco Bandai), “Shadowrun Returns” (Harebrained Schemes).

Best audio

“BioShock Infinite” (Irrational Games/2K Games),
“Forza Motorsport 5″ (Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Games)
“Grand Theft Auto V” (Rockstar North/Rockstar Games)
“Saints Row IV” (Volition/Deep Silver)
“Tearaway” (Media Molecule/Sony)

Honorable Mentions: “Animal Crossing: New Leaf” (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo), “Battlefield 4″ (DICE/Electronic Arts), “Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon” (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft), “Gone Home” (The Fullbright Company), “Metro: Last Light” (4A Games/Deep Silver)

Best downloadable game

“Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons” (Starbreeze/505 Games)
“Gone Home” (The Fullbright Company)
“Papers, Please” (Lucas Pope)
“Resogun” (Housemarque/Sony)
“The Stanley Parable” (Galactic Cafe)

Honorable Mentions: “Guacamelee” (DrinkBox Studios), “Gunpoint” (Suspicious Developments), “State of Decay” (Undead Labs), “SteamWorld Dig” (Image & Form), “TowerFall” (Matt Thorson/Miniboss/Alec Holowka), “The Wolf Among Us” (Telltale Games)

Best technology

“Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
“Grand Theft Auto V” (Rockstar North/Rockstar Games)
“The Last of Us” (Naughty Dog/Sony)
“Killzone: Shadow Fall” (Guerrilla Games/Sony)
“Tearaway” (Media Molecule/Sony)

Honorable Mentions: “Battlefield 4″ (DICE/Electronic Arts), “DOTA 2″ (Valve), “Forza Motorsport 5″ (Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Games), “Metro: Last Light” (4A Games/Deep Silver), “Tomb Raider” (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix)

– Todd Martens

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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